Monday, November 18, 2013

Fast Weekend and a Bleak Outlook for "The Project"

The weekend seemed to absolutely fly by.  We began it with a very nice evening Friday, and followed that up with a good day meeting my newest nephew and then doing a little shopping in the Tri-Cities' area.  None of us was really too into shopping, though, and we only came home with some tea.

After going to China I have a better respect for all things tea.  We had some very good tea and some very bad tea.  We learned that Jasmine tea is very popular and is very good.   We learned that chrysanthemum tea is NOT.  We brought some small tea pots home with us.  They were okay for brewing tea, but often dribbled in places you didn't want them.  Finally, this summer we visited a tea shop in Ocean shores and got a tea pot for loose leaf teas.  No bags for us, thank you!  We also bought some tea.  This was the second time we had visited the shop, and the owner remembered us from two years before...but, Chloe's so danged cute, who wouldn't?  But I digress.

When it was realized we were going to visit the area, I looked up tea shops and came up with one place.  I was worried it might not be as good as the one in Ocean Shores, but I need not have feared.  If anything there were more teas available.  Which was great!  We got to sniff our way through about 40 different varieties, which was not all of them.  We bought a couple black teas, a white tea, and an herbal tea.  Nothing too exiting, but still, for a dyed in the wool coffee drinker, it's a major step to go bagless.

Yesterday went too fast.  I'd discovered a pea coat/mackinaw jacket at Eddie Bauer in Kennewick and found that it made me look...well, better than I am.  So I wanted to see if all pea coats were the same, and alas they are not.  We ended up visiting Costco, Toys R Us and a few other places.  Chloe was great at all but Costco, where I may have overreacted to her squalling.  Still, all-in-all, it was a good day and we came home and set about letting her have a nap and we relaxed a bit.  We made beef jerky again.  It's still drying.

It looks as though I may be working on the bathroom today.  I managed to miss out on a couple jobs, due mostly to not being home to take them, and none have come up in the 5am hour, which is when most teachers seem to realize that are not going to shake the little tickle in their throat or whatever problem they have comes up.  So, while I'm sad not to see the income, it will be nice to make more progress on my project from hell.  My main problem now is to locate a stud that I hope is in the vicinity of where I need it.  You would think that being a carpenter's son, I might have a knack for the skill?  You would be totally wrong.

I can think about it for a long time, but never having put a shower in, I am finding a few things that might have been nice to have known.  For instance, the shower that was already there was pretty heavy-duty compared to what we put back.  And then there is the fact that whoever did the plumbing did not care too much about keeping the pipes all the way IN the walls...that was an awesome discovery.  Oh, and the bastard who put that whole wall together after the sloppy-assed plumber wasn't very familiar with straight lines either, because the whole thing sort of zigs, when there should obviously not be any zigs, or zags, for that matter, in that particular wall.  That is where my dad's spidey senses would come in handy.  He makes shit like that look easy, but I take a lot more time to think it out and second guess myself.

So, that will be my day.  Stand and stare at the project, tap the wall with my hammer...go out and look for a tool in the thirteen places I keep tools only to discover it's in a place I don't usually keep tools, or to discover I actually don't actually own said tool.  I'll have to make a run to the store, then come back and find I should have grabbed something else while at the store.  Then I will yell at the tool for not working like it's supposed to.  Then I'll go on line to see what's wrong with the tool. only to discover that I was what was wrong with the tool.  Then, before going and using said tool in the correct way, I'll check my email, and laugh at a forward, and then I'll check Facebook and then I'll lose an hour of my life that I'll never get back, then I'll get hungry and realize that nothing we have sounds good, so I'll have to make something from scratch and then I'll go stare at the project again, then I'll tap the wall with my hammer, and...I think you see my problem.  I should just never start projects.  It's that whole, "If You Give a Jim a Project" thing all over again.

I hope everyone else enjoys a productive Monday.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Life and Humor

To say that my child has a sense of humor is like saying the Pope is somewhat spiritual.  She has a well-developed sense of what is funny.  She has a classy sense of humor for a four-year-old.

The other morning she was sitting in front of me not getting dressed in the clothes that were right next to her.  I decided that the least she could do is be put to use, so I asked her to please grab my shoes, as they were out of my reach.  Granted I could have moved, but sometimes all it takes to get her to do what you ask is to ask her to do something completely different.  This morning, though, it backfired.  She got up and picked up my shoes.  Then she RAN down the hall to her bedroom, where she collapsed on the bed snoring in her quick/not asleep, but faking it way.  I followed and retrieved my shoes after giving her a good tickle.

Another morning, another instance of me asking for my shoes, please.  You would think I'd learn, but I am a slow learner when it comes to my daughter.  This time she goes over to the shoes and puts them on.  I assumed, quite wrongly, that she would walk them over to me as she has done in the past.  I allowed my attention to be drawn to the television and when I glanced back at my lovely raven haired daughter, she was marching resolutely down the hallway in outlandishly huge shoes, with a determined humor in her eyes!

Every night we put Chloe to bed.  It is a bit of a process that usually involves both parents and a good deal of intestinal fortitude.  Things like putting on a pull-up before bed can become a game or a battle if approached in the wrong frame of mind.  Sometimes  OFTEN, she asks for a story, like a story that isn't in a book.  Like when Mommy was a little girl, or when Daddy was a little boy.  Sometimes she asks questions that create...turmoil in her parents.  Questions that pertain to her past and cause us to try to think fast so we can answer honestly and yet in such a way that a four-year-old can understand.  Add to that the endless questions about all sorts of things and we have our hands full.  At one point, she was afraid that dentists were going to come for her.  Other questions involve the neighbor, who came over one time with a bad cut and borrowed the phone.  That same neighbor has four daughters very close to Chloe's age, so questions often center on those kids' names.  Or what we might do tomorrow, or Tuesday, or next Halloween.  Bedtime, let's just say, is a process.

Anything we can do to ease that process, is a blessing.  Every night, the cat comes in and wants to be fed.  He likes canned cat food, as dry cat food only gets a sniff and then he follows me back to Chloe's room where he often jumps on her bed... in the middle of her... which just begins the process all over again.  So, I usually give him a small can of cat food.  The other night, I went in to feed him in his room.  As I opened the can, the lid flipped off and flicked a droplet of Ocean White Fish Feast onto my cheek.  I wiped it away and fed him.

I could still smell it and retired to the bathroom where I washed my face and hands.  Still I could smell this delightful fishy smell.  So, I returned to the bedroom and interrupted a conversation between the two of them and asked them to smell me.  They did, and didn't smell anything untoward.  However, this piqued Chloe's curiosity, and she asked why I wanted them to smell me.  So I explained the whole cat food experience, complete with miming the part where I wiped it off my face.  This is the point where my darling comedian daughter lost it.  She started to giggle, and then she started to laugh a belly laugh that was a pleasure to behold.  All three of us were laughing, though I was proclaiming that this was not a laughing matter, which just made her laugh harder.

Finally she calmed down a bit and we seemed to be making progress on sleep, then her body would wrack itself in a paroxysm of hysteria as she giggled to herself about the cat food experience.  Her body just shuddered.  It was cute.  In a "this-kid-really-thinks-this-is-funny" kind of way, not, a "Wow, she's got a really warped sense of humor" way...that remains to be seen, so the jury is still out.  Anyway, we thought it was over.

Then, out of the blue she says, "Mommy?"  Snicker.

"Yes, Dear?"

"I smell cat food."  Snicker, snicker, Laugh!!!!

Wicked child!

The next morning we were sitting drinking coffee, and she was in my lap.  She looked over to her mommy and said, "Mommy?  I smell cat food."



On a different note...

Last night we went out for dinner after doing a little shopping.  We went to a Mexican Taco establishment.  Chloe was great.  The owner (I assume) complemented our daughter on how cute she was and suggested that she should be a model.  I tried to explain that she already was.  Anyway, the establishment seemed to bend over backward to make sure our experience was good.

Chloe was getting tired.  She wasn't particularly pleased with the quesodilla but she was happy with the Spanish rice.  She was slow to eat, while Cora and I finished ours fairly quickly.  She experimented with lying on her side and back.  We greeted this with "Get up!!  You have to eat!!"  Finally, we were ready to go after Chloe's antics and we had eaten.  She still had rice.  She was only eating the rice.  I went and got a lid for her quesodilla and found she wanted to save her rice. So I said, give me your rice and I'll save it. To which she responded by holding it in her hands and standing on a chair.

Cora said, "Give Daddy your rice before you spill it."

You guessed it, the child took a step, from one chair to another, and somehow, gravity took over and she fell spreading delicious Spanish rice across a 9 foot square area.  She then began to cry and scream.

It was only a few minutes later as we escorted her to the car that we discovered that she was worried that the owner would be mad that she spilled her rice.  She REALLY LIKE HER RICE.  So, I asked for some more rice and relayed Chloe's worries that they were mad.  I offered to pay for the extra rice, but they said no and sent me on my way with my rice.  So, if you live in Yakima, Washington and crave some good Mexican food, then go on down to Nino's Mexican Grill.  Awesome service and awesome food!