Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is an Underwear Free Photo Zone

Probably going to get some weird hits from that title, eh? Anyway, I'm doing Project 365 this year (so far, so good!) with the result that there are more than a fair amount of end of the evening photos when everyone has settled in for the night and I realize that I forgot to take a photo earlier in the day.

My husband received a lovely new pair of "soft pants" for Christmas - they are a very soft fleece and as ugly as red and green plaid fleece pants can be. Like clockwork, when dinner is done, he will change into those soft pants and sit down to read or play with the kids. Tonight they are playing Pirates of the Carribbean something or other and I snuck over to get a shot of the family fun. He very emphatically told me "I'm tired of you taking pictures of me in my underwear!" So instead, I bring you the lovely shot of his coffee maker, set up on his birthday morning.

He gets to be the subject of my underwear free blog post for today because he had multiple ticket offers for the hockey game tonight and chose to come home because I had a rough couple of days and he thought I'd feel better if he was around. He was right. Aarrrr... even if he's shouted once too often about someone stealing all of his booty.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jack be nimble, jack be quick

I... I have a blog! Yeah. I don't expect anyone is still out there. But lately, I have things to say and nowhere to say them. I could dig out an old fashioned journal but that's never worked out too well for me.

So jack be nimble, blah blah blah... LIMBO! I don't think the game version is the right definition but I couldn't think of anything witty related to the existential version so I just went with it. In the photo above, Grace is duct taping Charlie's mouth shut. See how she's doing it nice and gently though? She is duct taping his mouth shut because we are always together. Always. And sometimes, it gets to be a little bit much. A bit much too loud. A bit much too crowded.

We are living in the space of what used to be the H&R Block office on the first floor of the historic hotel my parents own. See the very cool brick wall behind Charlie and Grace? This building is full of wonderful little architectural gems like that. Currently sharing this building is the law office, George my hair stylist/genius, and a nail shop.

Anyway, the H&R Block space (also local Obama headquarters during the 2008 election) is cozy. We share one big living room, one smaller room partitioned into two separated sleeping spaces, a porch where we store our clothes and a bathroom. There are no doors on any of these rooms except for the bathroom. Like I said, we are always together. Justin has taken to calling the room where the beds are the "reading room" because that's where he retreats to read in relative peace and the living room is the "media room" because that's where the tv, video games and computers reside.

We're here for exactly 28 more days until our new house is built and we can camp out there instead of here. The whole experience has been much better than I expected. I've enjoyed the cozy togetherness, I think it's really been good for us as a family; we've had to become more patient, more considerate and more willing to do things together rather than just go our separate ways. There are days though, like the duct tape day, when the ability to escape to our own rooms or the backyard or even the kitchen is sorely missed.

In addition to the limbo in our home situation, I am in limbo in my job. I'm going to save that topic for another post but it's something heavy in my heart tonight after a particularly trying day.

One unexpected benefit of this living situation is that it has provided much grist for the imagination, lots of stories and adventures and just silly tales that I want to record but I don't really have an outlet for outside of this blog. Today's silly tale comes from the laundromat. The kids didn't have school because of Dr. King's Day. I've been putting off going to the laundromat since Friday - when I went last Monday someone had been sick, and while I finished the laundry, I was not eager to go back. Today we went in and it was... worse. It smelled like dirty kitty litter. How can a whole laundromat smell like dirty kitty litter? It soon became clear it was thanks to one woman there who probably should have just stripped down to her underwear and thrown everything she was wearing into a machine.

Laundromat etiquette (as far as I'm aware) requires that you don't acknowledge unpleasant smells or odors. You don't even acknowledge other customers - you just go about your business quietly and quickly and keep your head down. Charlie is blissfully unaware of laundromat etiquette. He and Grace went straight into the game room (we'll call those video poker machines the game room, okay?), came out to see my progress and asked, at the top of his lungs, "Mom, why does it smell so bad in here? Mom, it smells just like Lucky!"

Lucky is the stray cat my husband rescued on my birthday last year. Lucky is Lucky because her microchip revealed that she was previously owned by a Chinese restaurant approximately 45 minutes away from our home. They didn't want her back. She was a lithe black bullet 7 months ago. Today, Lucky resembles Jabba the Hut and she is not a fan of grooming at all. Sam, our fastidious Siamese cat is forever trying to groom her but she tolerates only her ears and the top of her head being cleaned. Lucky does not always smell very good. In fact, Justin told Lucky last night that she needs a moist towelette.

I don't think that woman knew about Lucky but she packed herself out of there very quickly. While embarassed by Charlie's gaffe, I admit that I was also grateful. Because he was right, that whole place really did smell just like Lucky.