Sunday, October 22, 2017

Best. Costume. Ever.

Hiding inside of Mr Potatohead is the younger son at approximately the age of seven. Note that he is also holding a Mr Potatohead. I think this is probably the best costume I have ever created. Reid requested it. He brought me a pad of paper and a pencil and asked me to draw Mr Potatohead to make sure I knew what he was talking about. Let me just say that I can't draw for crap. Reid agreed when I handed my best attempt back to him. He shook his head and sadly announced that it wasn't very good at all. Fortunately, I can sew. I did this up out of sweatshirt pieces and felt and no pattern, children. Odd that I can't draw something but am able to create a 3D version of it. This is adorable beyond description. Which is why I took a picture. I just don't have the time or patience for a thousand words today.

Dear Newton

I'm terribly sorry. I'm an awful pet mom. I scolded you in loud and derogatory tones this morning when I discovered that at some point overnight you left a stinky pile on the sofa and a liquid present in my big, comfy chair. I relegated you to the basement with no morning treats. And it's my fault. When the Arm & Hammer cat litter that you prefer changed its formula to a hard-clumping type, I became weary of cleaning those hard clumps from the sifting pan in your litter box. So I looked for a different unscented litter that wouldn't set up like freaking concrete. May I say that finding a clumping litter that isn't infused with Febreze or some such other pleasant to humans scent is difficult. But I did find one and bought a container. Then when I had Reid with me shopping on Thursday, I bought an even bigger one since he was there to do the heavy lifting. I will return the unopened large container which is still sitting in the living room. Reid has either forgotten that it is there or has not mustered up the strength to carry it downstairs. This time, that's a good thing. Again, Newt, I apologize. Switching up your litter was a dumb thing to do. I promise to not do it again. And you, Arm & Hammer cat litter people! Stop messing around with your cat litter formula! It is perfectly fine just the way it is. No more new and improved. No more weird scents. No more super-clumping. Leave it be, it's not broken, so stop fixing it. Fussy felines who dislike change will appreciate it. As will the fussy feline keepers who dislike surprises on the furniture. Thank you, ever so much.

Economics 101

Me, Too

This man, with his wife sitting next to him, in a public place, stuck his hand up the back of my dress and scratched my back, all the while grinning at me. Because we were in public, actually in a quite nice restaurant, I made a joke about it. Because that's what I do. Deflect with humor. Did you lose something? Whatever it was, you're not going to find it there. He slowly withdrew his hand, trailing it along my rear end and legs. I felt sick and degraded the rest of the evening. I had been walking around our table, camera in hand, taking pics of all the couples we were having dinner with. This was not my regular group of friends, I had been invited by someone who was one of the group. And he said to me later that week, yeah, when &*%#@ gets into the wine, he gets a little frisky. Frisky? He sexually assaulted me, I said. I did not ask for it, I did not want it, I was horrified and disgusted. Shame on you for apologizing for his vile behavior. It wasn't the first time I had dealt with this sort of unwelcome behavior in a man, both socially and in the workplace. I've handled the situation better, but it never is easy. This particular incident was only four years ago, and I point that out for one reason. At the ripe old age of 56 I still hesitated to call it what it was in the moment, made a joke for the comfort of others in the room, and went on with the evening. Things won't change until we call out these despicable men for their unacceptable acts. This man sexually assaulted me. It wasn't, and never will be, okay. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another Project Done!

I know, the egress window in Reid's room was installed back in April. So he's been living with this mess for six months. Trust me, off camera it really is a mess of boards and nails and other aftermath of the interior destruction that was necessary to get the job done. Either my son is a really good sport or he's an expert at ignoring a mess. Maybe both.

Taking advantage of him being gone for a couple of weeks, I was able to invade his personal space with impunity. The first step was to size up the paneling pieces that were removed and figuring out how to put them back. All the boards under the window needed to be trimmed down to fit, and the two pieces on the sides of the window had to be notched out. 

Those concrete corners required squaring up so out came the hammer and chisel.

This corner was the most difficult! The walls are poured concrete, not block, and there was a rock about the size of a golf ball right smack in the way! Yes, I wore safety goggles.

The upper right corner looked the worst, but that chunk came out in one neat piece after just a couple of taps.

Now the tricky business of notching out the piece on the right side of the window and getting that key piece in just to the left of it. Swearing was involved. The framing around the window was pretty easy to get into place. Construction adhesive and shims are now my very best friends.

Voila! Ready for paint! My first choice was to attempt to stain the wood to match, or sort of match, the paneling. But after experimenting on some scraps it became clear that I was not going to come close. I was working with three different types of wood and none of them were coming up with a similar hue. There is a bit of a mishmash of types and colors of trim in the house, so trying to be consistent is a bit iffy. I went with painting the window surround white, the doors throughout the house are white as is most of the baseboard so I thought it would look okay. I have a feeling I will be wandering around with a can of Valspar white latex enamel and a little brush on a regular basis for a very long time! 

Here we have the finished product! And just in time, Reid gets home tomorrow. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Three's, Well, Not the Charm

I took my third stab at it today and failed. Do tax forms really make sense to anybody? They make my brain hurt, my vision swim, and my stomach churn. I have been running around in circles trying to get my amended state income tax forms filed since August when they sent me a letter saying that I owe the state over five hundred dollars. I followed their instructions to the letter when I filed a protest but they refused it. I have also waited for ages on hold to speak to someone to clear up this mess twice. I'm beginning to feel a little bit harassed. I'm an old lady with a puny income, so puny that I don't have to pay federal income tax. Next year I will have my online tax service prepare my state form, too, even though it rankles me to have to pay the extra fee to get the numbers in the correct boxes. Guess I'm going to have to make the trip over to Fort Collins next week and visit the Colorado Department of Revenue office for some help. Guess I better take my checkbook, too, just in case. I expect this will be almost as much fun as hanging out at the DMV.

Meanwhile, Over in Miss Brenda's Yard

"This tableau is dedicated to the idea that we are all the same on the inside and everyone should be afforded the right to love who you gonna love and have dem babies."

Today's photo and quote are courtesy of my friend Brenda. She has the biggest heart in the universe and outdoes me by lightyears on the Halloween decorating scale. I lurve* her bunches and wish she would come visit me.
*Miss Brenda influences me linguistically. In addition to her signature way of spelling love, she also has me shouting stop flirting with me! in totally out-of-context circumstances.