Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Osteological Adventures of a Middle-Aged Mommy

Okay - so today the home clean-up moved back outdoors for the final sweep before the home tour. (Bonus: I had the weekend wrong so I still have another week, BUT the trash man cometh Monday, so I really need to get it all out by then).

I pruned, I pulled, I raked, I bagged it. Then I stood there in the drive and thought: "You know, if the garage just looked a little better..."

As if I wasn't already walking crooked from pure exhaustion.

A while back my boys went visiting to a ranch in Texas and came home with bags and bags of cow bones. Yes. You read that right. They collected enough bones to re-construct several cows, minus a few parts here and there. And my husband let them bring them home. To me.

Well, those big old bones have been in our (detached) garage ever since and today was the day to purge them since, you know, I was working alone and all.


I gathered up a few "heavy duty" (proper use of quotation marks) trash bags and headed in.

Friends, I was not put on earth for this.

I put them all in the bag before I discovered it was really too heavy to carry. No problem, I was also too tired to carry it, so I decided to just drag it out to the corner and hide it amongst all the bags of weeds and tree limbs and such. With two hands behind me, I dragged that sucker down the driveway and around the corner right up next to the other bags. Ta Da!

As I turned around to head inside for a boiling hot shower, there it was: a trail of bones all the way down the drive and out into the street and up to the pile of bags.

I considered that I might actually win the neighborhood holiday decoration contest for Halloween this year if I just left it... but we would also significantly reduce the value of our home. So, I did it all again. And then I boiled myself alive. And that is all.

New Heights in Home Decorating

One of this week's chores has been to help Spencer organize his room. Spencer is ordinarily the most organized among us in this household, but a few days (minutes) of Colin had a major impact on poor Spencer's life. You see, there is a door between their rooms and at some point Colin thought the best way to clean his own room was to move his stuff into Spencer's room. Somehow Colin convinced Spencer to help.

Both rooms suffered greatly.

Colin is, well, messy. He can take a room from clean to neglected-for-centuries in under five minutes. It is a special talent.

And I don't really mean to burst Colin's reputation. Those outside our house seem to be under the impression that Colin is organized and precise. This is simultaneously wildly amusing and completely incomprehensible to his parents.

So, anyway.

I will confess that I have been ignoring the bedroom situation for weeks. I just knew that entering the zone of destruction would take me to a mental place to which I was unwilling to go. This isn't the first time this has happened, you see, and I've been known to crumple into a weeping heap of sorrow and despair. James knows I am a delicate flower and he boldly offered to go in for me.

The plan was to remove every thing from the room except furniture and sort it all out on the upstairs' landing. We would then do a scrubbin' and move about 10% of it back in. The rest goes to charity or the trash. Spencer agreed to this plan with great relief.

Thursday the room was cleared. At some point I mustered the strength to help and I sat on the landing sorting. Legos, rocks, bolts, game pieces, crayons, Star Wars guys, Star Wars guys' equipment, stuffed bunnies, books, cars, trucks, animals...all of it.

Last night we went in for the sterilization process. After sweeping and vacuuming and stripping the beds, it was time for the walls. I knew the boys had taped a few posters to the walls and we had already had the lecture. Now it was time for the tear down. What I didn't know is that Spencer had not limited himself to posters. Just around the corner in the little gabled area, he had taped up his science collection. We're talking entomology, friends.

Little strips of Scotch Magic Tape held up roly-polys, snails and feathers.

Friends, my little boy's room is now the scene of bug torture: death by taping.

It just goes to show that you never really know everything that is going on under your own roof.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Historic/Hysterics Home Tour

This weekend our neighborhood is having a home tour. Everyone is all abustle tidying up for the flocks of folks who come to see the old houses. Our hope is that the tour will favorably impress so that those who seek to live in an historic neighborhood will think of us when the time to buy comes.

To that end, I have been spending a few hours each day trimming and picking and generally trying to improve the outward appearance of our home. I have been up on high ladders bringing down large branches, I have been down on my knees pulling stubborn weeds...and I have shelled out a few dollars to get my boys to do some of the work for me. I stacked all my large branches neatly in the back yard, out of sight from passersby, and I bagged up all the other refuse and stacked it behind the fence. Looking good.


First thing my son thought when he saw the pile of branches was that it was his lucky day! Mommy may have forbidden the making of a tree house in the tree, but (!!!) she never said anything about not turning the playground equipment into a tree house by adding branches!

And so the dragging began. The dead branches went up all around the "fort" until one could climb up the ladder, sit inside, and absolutely believe it was the inside of a genu-wine tree house.

I actually thought it was clever and, despite not looking fantastic, would not significantly affect property values in the near vicinity.

And then.

Just as I am feeling the weary, aching triumph of a job almost done, I ventured outside to take out the trash. And. . . Uh. Wait just a minute. Where is the "tree" house?

The branches were not in sight. Had my wonderful children chopped them up and stacked them beside the house for next year's winter fires? Oh, the darlings. They are so clever.

But no....

I found them outside the fence, in the direct line of the pathway for the neighborhood tour, stacked loosely to a gravity-defying 5 feet high.

I staggered. I swooned. "WHA?" I cried.

Colin explained, "Well, Spencer needed some camoflage, so we moved 'em out there."

So, dear home tourists...please watch for 6-year-old snipers this weekend. If you see any camoflage on your path, steer clear.

I think I need a pill.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Rainforest According to Spencer

Tree Frog



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