Flurry of Activity

Since school has been back in session I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

Son is sticking with his “don’t be tardy” policy, which is fine with me, but until he gets his license (fingers crossed on September 30!)  I have to ride along on the morning and afternoon runs.  I don’t mind giving him the practice time, and he’s doing very well, but it cuts into my daily schedule a bit.

Only a few more weeks of this, though, and we got the HunDee back last night.  It had been up at our mechanic’s garage for a week, and when I walked in I asked if I should pay a lot rental fee as well.  We all had a good laugh over that.  Since the HunDee is back home, Son can drive that to and from….with me providing the vehicle, that is.

Like I said, only a few more weeks.

Then there’s Daughter, who naturally has gotten into a daily pattern once she gets home from school.  Practically a full two hour earlier than she got home from school last year, but I digress.

I had to leave, obviously, to go pick up Son’s car, so I wasn’t home when Daughter decided to jump in the shower.  When I got home Husband said “She just turned off the shower and she hasn’t eaten yet.”  Exasperated, I walked over to the bathroom door and said “You know you have a drum lesson tonight, right?  We have to leave in fifteen minutes!”

Daughter, abashed, came out of the bathroom a few minutes later with wet hair but dressed in the clothes she’d worn to school.  She apologized over and over as she hurriedly got something to eat.

(Because, ever aware mother that I am, I had dinner already prepared.)

Now me, on the other hand, I feel like all I’ve done is run run run.  Well, walk, as I finally got back on the treadmill this week.  If it wasn’t one thing it was my mother, since I not only had to make an unplanned Mart run for cough medicine (Daughter, as usual, had a nasty cold three days into the school year) but then take a call from my mother about an obituary she saw for someone I knew…and Mother was nebby.

Add to that the constant cleaning – two cats, remember – and playing the part of the washerwoman – no dryer, remember – and I was happy to be able to find the time to get on the treadmill, if only to have some time just for me.  At least Husband got the needed part to finally get the dryer operational.  I was afraid I’d have to hang underwear on the clothesline forever.

Which brings us to today, Friday, and a three-day weekend for Husband and the younglings.  I just want to do as little as possible, since next weekend will be hectic:  Son’s ACT test, Daughter’s birthday on the same day, and Daughter wants to go to the band exhibition that same day.

Busier than a one-armed paper hanger, I’m telling you…..

Don’t Be Tardy

Don’t worry, I’m not going to break out in song.

Since Son has late arrival to school, he said he’d catch a ride with his buddy who also has late arrival.  This buddy picked Son up before school last year as well, since the kid drives right past out house.  It was never really a big deal; sure the kid was a bit late sometimes, but he’d even make his then vice principal mother late when they gave Son a ride.

For what ever reason this kid doesn’t have great time management skills – or know how to program a coffee maker – but he is a teenager, so….

Yesterday Son sends me a text to tell me that he finally found his locker (long story there) and that he and his buddy were tardy but Son didn’t think the first one would be counted against them.  I knew Son was in class so I just told him we’d talk about it when I picked him up in the afternoon (he has early release as well).

As Son was driving us home – he’s getting in all the practice time he can – he said that his buddy had a valid reason for being late yesterday morning: there was a garbage truck in the middle of his road.

(Buddy was late, but I wasn’t surprised.  It’s a habit with him.)

“By the time we got to school it was 9:02, and then it was exactly 9:05 when we signed in and the tardy bell had rung!  I don’t think the first tardy is counted, but if I have too many they’ll take away late arrival!” Son explained.

“Well, if Buddy had a valid excuse, that’s one thing, but he’s kind of consistent with always running late.  I hope he’s not going to play fast and loose with this late arrival because he’s well known and a senior, that won’t do you any good.  You tell me what you want to do,” I said.

“I like riding with my friend but I don’t want to take chances,” Son hedged.

“So you want me to give you a ride to school?”


“That’s fine.  I understand your reasons and I’d be the same way.”

What’s that saying about apples and trees?

It’s more driving time for Son as well, since I told him he’s getting himself to the high school and back, one way or another.


Lock Out

I won’t lie, I locked myself out of the house yesterday.  It was my fault.

See, since my dryer is dead and I’ve been utilizing my clotheslines, I had to necessarily go outside to hang up the wet laundry.  The man-door in basement has two locks on it; I unlocked the first one but somehow forgot to turn the second one and…lock out.

No worries, I thought, I’ll just meander up to the garage (one can open the garage door using the outside touch pad) and get in the house that way.  Well, no, because when I’d gotten home from my Mart run I threw the deadbolt, which I always do when I’m home alone.

So I was locked out of the house…without my phone.


“Jesus!  Fuck!” I sputtered, as I took off down the driveway to the neighbors who, I hoped, were home.  I wasn’t dressed for a walk in that I was wearing an old pair of sandals I keep in the basement, but I trudged up the (quiet and low traffic) dirt road to my neighbors’ farm.  The only response I got was a lot of moos from the attendant cows.

Fine, I’ll walk up to the next house, which happens to be the home of the teacher who thinks Daughter is a lesbian.  I knew, obviously, that the teacher would be at work but I was hoping that her husband (son of the neighbors who have that farm) would be home.  The situation looked bleak as I neared the home.  As I reached their driveway I heard a vehicle approaching and thought  flag this guy down.

I did, he stopped, and said yes I could use his cellphone to call Husband.  Turns out this kind gentleman was a security guard – he made that clear after he heard me tell Husband “this kind gentleman is letting me use his phone” – for the nearby oil/gas set up with was further up the road.

Husband assured me he was leaving right away and would be home in about an hour.  Fine.  The security guard asked why I didn’t have a hide-a-key and then said “Lots of people around here don’t even lock their doors.”  I assured him that I do, all the time.  He then said “Well, go feed the cows” (as, obviously, there were cows about), and I said “Oh, this isn’t my place; I live across the road and up the hill.”

“You walked all the way over here?” he asked, astonished.

“Well, yeah.  These are the nearest neighbors I knew there’d be some chance of being around!” I said.

“I’ll give you a ride back, then,” he said as he cleared the passenger seat.  “Ignore the floor there, that’s my garbage can,” he warned as I kicked an empty Dr. Pepper can (diet, btw) and an old bag of M&M’s out of the way.

I can’t stand a trash filled vehicle, by the way.  If you’re going to give me a ride, clean your shit up.

Anyway, I told him where to go, which really isn’t far, and he went on about how it was too hot to exercise.  I said “It really wasn’t that bad except I would have liked more appropriate shoes for walking.”

He complimented me on our property and such, then once he saw the house asked if I could get in the garage.  Yes I can, I told him, but the door into the house is locked.

“If you can pick a lock,” I said, “I could get in the house.”

“Oh, ha ha, I’m retired highway patrol.  I caught the criminals, I’m not one of them.”

I bade him goodbye and hopped out of the truck.  I then waited on the porch, rocking in my rocking chair and listening to the TV, which I’d left on, and my cellphone, on the end table in the house, bee-booping with emails.

Panic set in about being locked out only because I knew I had to get to a phone to call Husband during the time I knew he’d be at lunch and would have his phone.  No one memorizes phone numbers these days and I doubted I could remember Husband’s direct line to his desk, or that of his boss.  I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to get up to the school to pick Son up, so I was hustling to get a phone.  Luckily I got to Husband on the first try and he came right home.

He was a little disgruntled when he got here and I said “Would you rather I’d taken the baseball bat and broken a pane of glass on that basement door to get in?”

“No.  This is fine.  We need to hide a spare key.”

So, no, he wasn’t upset with me, he was upset with the situation, and once we were in the house we had a talk about getting a copy of the house key made and where we could hide it.

Hey, I own my stupidity, what happened was my fault.

At least I got a walk in yesterday.

This Is Why I Don’t Work

The first few days of school are an adjustment for everyone, including me.

Son is able to take advantage of late arrival/early dismissal; he was able to leave early today.  Since he still doesn’t have his license it falls to me to run and fetch.  Apparently tomorrow I’ll have to run him over because his buddy won’t be able to pick Son up.  So there’s that.

Daughter informed me that the bus will be coming fifteen minutes earlier in the morning, also beginning tomorrow.

Basically I’ll be running and fetching both blessings, at least until Son gets his license.

That’s if he even has a vehicle to drive.

I did get the HunDee taken care of tire-wise (the ride is much improved) but I noticed some issues with the gear shift, the main thing being it didn’t feel right to me, and it didn’t get put all the way into PARK because the damn thing wouldn’t start up when I tried to pull it into the service bay.  Oh yes, it’s also doing that high/low idle thing again, always fun to listen to.

As soon as I got home from the tire place I called our car guy.  I gave him the straight poop and I was able to drop the HunDee off and letting him know that there’s no rush on this one, so he’s going to hold on to it for a couple days.

Never a dull moment around here, but dammit I get things done.

I get asked all the time why I haven’t gone back to work, but good grief…..

Stop asking.

The First Day Is Over

The younglings survived their first day of school.

Son helped Daughter quite a bit; not only did he take her on a walk-through of her schedule before school started, but he rode the bus with her yesterday to calm her jitters and then waited for her at the end of the day to make sure she found her bus for the ride home.  Since Son will (hopefully) be able to take advantage of late arrival/early release but still had to report at the regular time yesterday, this was all a big help to Daughter.

Son texted me a bit in the morning to give me the poop on a few things, which was also helpful.

Apparently, during the required drills and such, Daughter did see Son during a tornado drill.  Daughter’s friends, who don’t know that she has a brother who is a senior, were suitably impressed that “a big kid” talked to her.  Husband joked last night that Daughter should have said “Watch this, I’m going to punch a senior!”

Of course, as usual, there was a flurry of activity once the younglings got home.  As soon as their shoes were off and their backpacks were flung down on the kitchen floor they were down in the basement collecting their needed supplies out of the overstocked school supply box.  They spent a lot of time on this, and Son asked “Do we have graph paper?”

“No,” I said, “if you remember, I had my hands on it and asked if we needed it when we were at the Mart and you said no.  So no we do not have graph paper.”

Luckily he had some leftover and said he’d use that, but I’ll make a Mart run.  I mean, I have to go up anyway to get cat food, so…

Once I served up our dinner – an annual tradition of takeout from the mom-n-pop down the road – the blessings had started to calm down and decompress and started telling me about their day.  I assured Daughter that her days weren’t always going to be like this, and that she’d get used to the routine and the newness would wear off.

I had my own moment, however, when both kids told me I had to sign – had to sign – forms for free/reduced lunches.  Well, no, I don’t have to do anything, and I’m not going to do more than put my name on the forms along with a note stating we don’t qualify and my kids pack their lunches anyway.  I know it’s all so the district can get more funding, but I will not give out our financial info.  Hell’s bells!

So, you’re asking, what did I do with my first day alone in almost three months?  I cleaned and cleaned, and then cleaned some more.  Oh yes, and there was laundry, made all the more entertaining by the fact that my dryer died and I had to resurrect the outside clotheslines I haven’t used in at least two years.

Habit, really, that I mainly use the clothesline in my basement.

Anyway, after I cleaned up all the spider webs, dead bugs, bug/bird poo, and mold, the clotheslines were quite helpful.  It was a nice sunny and breezy day as well.  I could have done without having to wade into the sea of poison ivy that surrounds the one tree my line hooked to, but I washed thoroughly and this morning have no tell-tale blisters or itching.

So there’s that.

In all, it was a busy day for all of us.

More Hum-Drum Adventures

*  Recalling Thursday’s fun with driving, I forgot to mention that Husband has no clue as to what goes on with the rest of us.

I had told him that when he got home from work Thursday that I wouldn’t be there.  He knew that Son had his driving lessons, and I assured Husband that I would have something ready for him to eat when he got home from work.

All fine and dandy, and I came home from dropping Son off, at which point Husband looked out the window with a confused look on his face when I mentioned something about Son hopping in to the driver’s ed car.

“So, they provide a vehicle?” Husband asked.

“Well, yes, of course they do,” I said, somewhat bewildered.

“Oh.  I thought you took the HunDee up and Son drove that.  I mean, since he’ll be driving that for his test,” Husband stated.

“Um, no.  Son is in a AAA car with STUDENT DRIVER emblazoned on the front and rear of the car.”

I shook my head, as once again if it’s not about his parents or something else in Husband’s little world, he has no clue.

*  Husband does, however, have a clue about a new store that opened in our area.  Yesterday we went up to town to check out the new Rural King and I think Husband has new favorite store.  I’d checked one out last summer when Son was taking that college class; Daughter and I had three hours to kill and I suggested we check it out.

Now we have one up in our very own sorry excuse for a mall area.  I knew they gave out popcorn but I didn’t know it was unlimited, nor did I know there’s also unlimited coffee.

Yeah, I got excited about that.  The younglings and I also got excited over the chicks and ducklings; Son wants to get a duck but I picked out the cutest chocolate brown bunny.  Alas, I know that my cats would tear it up, but I just wanted to release all the animals from their cages.

Daughter muttered the entire time about how she’s “turning into everyone else around here” as she followed us through the store.  She especially took offense at all the camo clothing, sniffing and being generally snotty about those folks who wear that kind of stuff.  I finally turned around and said “Bitch bitch bitch!  Stop acting like a snotty teenager!”  She shut up after that.

*  After our “adventure” we stopped for lunch at a local deli that we’d been meaning to try.  You know how it is, you drive past a place again and again, saying “We’ve got to check that place out” but somehow never get to.  Well, yesterday we did and it was yummy.  Definitely a place to return to, and on the plus side it’s close to home.

*  As I usually do, I was checking out a favorite website and had clicked on a link about historical novels.  I commented to Husband that, while I really like stuff about the British monarchy, I’m getting a bit burnt out on the Tudors.  I’m reading this book now and it’s slow going.  Not because it isn’t a good book, because it really is, but because at this point there’s just a lot of other stuff going on.

And….I’m just getting kind of, well, tired of that bunch.


Absolutely Nothing

I have nothing to do today, and this is a very good thing.

The younglings and I have been running somewhere every day this week, and today we get to just stay home.  The younglings especially appreciate this, as their days of “freedom” are coming to an end very soon.

Yesterday wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d felt better; I must have picked up a stomach bug or something because I’ve been feeling less than well.  I still managed to get the children and myself up to the salon, though – the kids for their back-to-school haircuts and myself for my monthly root shellacking.

As soon as we got home, however, I fell asleep on the couch.

I did prepare dinner, though (chicken and biscuits) and had Son up to town for his driving lesson.

Oh that driving lesson…..

You may recall that this is all taking place at a neighboring (rival) school district, which in itself isn’t a problem.  Oh sure, I have a big ol’ sticker for our school district on my car but I just drop Son off and pick him up so I don’t cause problems.  Last night, though….

When I dropped Son off I saw that more people than usual were swarming around and I also noticed the football team out on the practice field.  I figured maybe it was a scrimmage or something and once Son was in the AAA car I took off.  Two hours later, though, it was CARS EVERYWHERE and I thought oh great, where the hell do I park so that Son can find me?

I found a place to leave the Mom Mobile and then hiked back to the parking lot where I usually meet Son and the AAA instructor.  I stood there, like a chump, waiting and thinking I’m so glad I put my cozy pants on and now have to stand here looking like I dressed out of the rag bag.

Because I didn’t figure I’d be getting out of my car so why worry about it?

Anyway, yes, Son admitted to panicking a little when he saw all those cars and that there was no where to park.  I retrieved him, though, and after talking to the instructor about when to meet him on Monday, Son and I sped off for home, both of us remarking on our lack of having anything to do today.

Except, well, I do have things I need to get done, as I always do; I really need to make an appointment for the HunDee to get new tires.  Son’s six months as a permitted driver will be up next month and I think it would be best if he didn’t take his test on bald tires.