I Tried to GET S#IT DONE But Was Hijacked by Sex Crazed Dustbunnies

IMAG1818

Leader of the Dust Bunny Colony

If you read my post the other day, you saw I was trying to get myself motivated by following a mantra for the month of March. I was off to a great start. Then yesterday I looked on my S#IT list and saw change furnace filter. It should have been a 10 minute job ( get tools, unscrew furnace cover, pull out old filter, replace with new filter, screw furnace cover back on, return tools, move on to next item on list) only that’s not what happened. When I pulled out the filter, it looked like someone had shorn their sheep and left the wool on it. But that’s not what it was. It was a colony of dust bunnies lazing about on my furnace filter. After I finished screaming and throwing it into the garbage can, I noticed something. The dust bunnies were everywhere. I went to get a rag, but when I returned, a giant dust bunny that I kid you not was bigger than a cat. It must have been given a growth hormone similar to rBHT or rBGH or ISAT or GRE or whatever the heck they give animals to make them super big. It darted behind the water heater that shares a space with the furnace and played hide and seek with me.

I was afraid, but I was also afraid of what would happen if I didn’t do something. I returned with a spray bottle of cleaner and started spritzing it into every corner, hoping I could mat them down and then wipe them up. But it was like a B level Zombie movie. I looked around and all was fine. Then after I captured a dust bunny and looked again, I noticed them everywhere. I worked up a sweat trying to combat these fluffy nuisances. I felt like I was on a new television show like The Amazing Race, but instead of racing around the world, I am frantically racing around my house trying to stop dust bunnies from multiplying and impersonating my children. There is no prize because everyone knows you can never fully eradicate these critters. I found them nesting behind the warm refrigerator coils in the kitchen, making wild dust bunny love. They were also shagging behind the house plants like the apocalypse was going to happen in less than 24 hours. WARNING: the following image might be disturbing.

Two dust bunnies engaging in sexual relations.

Two dust bunnies engaging in sexual relations.

While searching through my house I saw something disturbing. I never gave it any thought until that moment. I stood in the hallway staring up at what I believed to be the dust bunny portal to my house. A strange, circular vent with spirals that looked like no other vents we had in the house. There are always dust bunnies loitering underneath it. I think they wait there for their orders on where to deploy or which room to go to for doing it dust bunny style.

I’ve often wondered how they get upstairs, but I think I’ve figured it out. They hitch a ride on your sock or pants or soft slipper. Then when they arrive upstairs, they hop off, have a quickie, roll around on the big blue wool rug before snowboarding like Shawn White down the stairs, catching an edge, doing some flips before landing in some place hidden. How do I know this? I find bluish tinted dust bunnies on the first floor. It’s the only logical explanation of course.

After 3 hours of playing hide and seek with these despicable dust bunnies I had to stop. I think I eradicated about 95% of them. I hopped into the shower, knowing some of the babies were probably stuck to my hair or inside my ear. I also blew my nose. And before you think I’m going to drop some big TMI on you, keep reading. It was a good thing I did, because the tissue contained teeny tiny dust bunny eggs. Do you realize what this means? That I was a step away from incubating a new breed of dust bunny in my very own nose, not to mention probably landing a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for starting a dust bunny colony there. Please people, remember to clean your nose after hunting dust bunnies. As someone famous said a long time ago, “One small step for man kind.” or something like that.

I know some of you are probably thinking, Why don’t you just use a Swiffer when you dust? These are an ingenious idea to ward off dust bunnies. Someone made a bunch of money from that product as we have turned into a nation of cleaning freaks because the commercials tell us to. I used to buy them but went through them faster than a gallon of milk when our condo was on the market and I was trying to keep the house Pottery Barn perfect. If I kept cleaning with them now I would have no money left over to buy real groceries. So now I use old kitchen towels. The problem with these is the amount of residue left over from the  dust bunnies. I have to hold the towel at arm’s length from me before I spend 3 minutes rinsing the towel clean. Seriously there has to be a way to

a.) get rid of these once and for all because my friends and neighbors will never see me again if this keeps up or

b.) find a way to make use of the dust bunnies since they have no natural predators, unless you count the occasional puppy or toddler who has to put everything in their mouth.

So, as a concerned and weary citizen, I have started a list. I know I already have a long list of items on my GET S#IT DONE list, but this is serious folks.

Uses for Dust Bunnies:

  • Have everyone collect them and send them to the Argon National Laboratory in the near west suburbs of Chicago. I know those physicists and engineers could figure out a way to combine them with some super secret gas or chemical and launch them into the atmosphere to get rid of the Polar Vortex for good. Their mission statement says they try to address the societal needs of our nation. This would be perfect.
  • Use the dust bunnies to fill comforters. Yes, I know some people are allergic to dust, but these would be for everyone else to have an affordable way to keep warm during the continued long, cold winter caused by the polar vortex that all the United States is experiencing except for southern California and parts of Texas. You will be pleasantly surprised  when your comforter gets bigger and plumper by the week as those dust bunnies go to town increasing their population.
  • Possible pothole filler ingredient. Back to Argon they go. The citizens of  Chicago would be so grateful if a pothole that was just filled lasted longer than 12 hours.
  • A new secret weapon the military can use when they are fighting off terrorists or invading some foreign country. Just the threat of launching dust bunnies might cause the women of the country to order a cease-fire peace agreement. Dust bunnies have not been introduced to countries outside the U.S. They have the potential to wreak havoc in homes all over the world.
  • Phone operators for companies who don’t want to deal with customer complaints. I’m pretty sure large dust bunnies could pass for small people given the right disguise. I’m also sure they are capable of making some sound, although I don’t think I have heard them. Customers would get so flustered when the dust bunnies remained silent or garbled something unintelligible (kind of like when you are on a customer service call and the agent is most definitely working in another country.) This would cause customers to hang up, never to call again and waste their time. Hey, I think this might be the government’s solution to issues with Obama care. You can thank me later.
Dust bunny working as a telephone operator.

Dust bunny working as a telephone operator.

Well, I’m back to working on my list and trying to fill my head with other things that have nothing to do with dust bunnies. But I’m sure they’ll return sooner than I want them to. Be careful. This could happen to you, especially when you are trying to get S#IT DONE..

 

Advertisements

March Mantra

IMG_5719

Forget about March Madness which will soon be upon us. I need a mantra for the month. I am drowning in projects I started last year, last month and last week. I racked my brain for a catchy phrase to motivate myself to be productive. Then I spotted this mug at a friend’s house over the weekend. Not one to be über American and insist on constantly reinventing the wheel I stopped thinking. This was perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. It is succinct and to the point – everything I strive to be but sadly am not. Unfortunately I did not steal the mug from my friend’s house. Now I need to creatively write my mantra and put it in a prominent place so it will serve its purpose.

Do you have a mantra that helps you be productive?

Valentine’s Day Revisited One Year Later – Throwback Thursday

IMAG1742

It has been one  year  since I wrote a post about Valentine’s Day. In honor of the upcoming day of everything hearts, love, pink, red, mush, gush, sparkle, sprinkle, chocolate, cards, roses and rubbish I present you the Valentine’s Post from 2013: Enjoy:

FOURTEEN REASONS TO BOYCOTT VALENTINE”S DAY (OR MAYBE JUST TONE IT DOWN A BIT)

As you can tell by the title of this post, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. What about all those other days of the year? How many of those days are actually significant to people for real reasons? To list a few: birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations, the date you got your first job, rented your own apartment, the day you quit the job you loathed, the day you learned how to play the guitar, ski, cook a meal without burning it. I could go on, but I know you get the point.

2. The hype (but not as long as Christmas). People are not even done celebrating Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Three Kings, etc and the stores are filled with red white and pink. This brings me to my next reason…

3. The colors: red, white and pink are everywhere. Well, almost. I haven’t seen pink beer yet.

4. Messages are everywhere in every store window to buy (sound familiar?) You name it and the store is selling it: decorations, cooking utensils, clothing ( for adults, children and pets), decorations, baskets, stuffed animals, decorations, picture frames, hand towels, decorations, candy, cards, straws and did I mention decorations?

5. And speaking of decorations, some people have to decorate the outside (and I’m sure the inside) of their house. I saw a neighbor put hers up on January 7th.

6. There are millions of  songs about love. Who wants to listen to them all day, or the days leading up to Valentine’s Day? I enjoy many songs about love, but come on people, practice some moderation.

7. People feel obligated to  express their love in ways they are not comfortable with. (Like maybe saying I Love You when they are not ready to)

8. Cheap stuffValentine’s Day is another reason for stores to sell cheap stuff and for people to buy it. Seriously, how many fake rose bouquets and stuffed bears holding a heart pillow does the average person need? Do not answer the stuffed animal question for a child. They always need more stuffed animals than they have, contrary to what we tell them.

9. HeartsYea, yea, yea, the heart is the symbol of love, but does it have to be everywhere and on everything?

10. Jewelry  If you are buying jewelry for a female, does it have to be a heart? I think it will still say you care if it is a butterfly or a free form shape.

11. Does it have to be diamond jewelry? If not, then obviously the person you are buying it for is not worth it (obviously NOT my opinion, but it’s the message sent from everywhere, especially the jewelry stores!)

12. Store bought cardsI’d take a homemade one from my kids with original drawings and messages any day. Would you?

13. ChocolateIt almost didn’t make my list, but it is everywhere. My teeth and I would rather have good chocolate once a week then endless cheap garbage that comes home from school to commemorate the occasion.

14. It becomes another way in which people try to one-up each otherI don’t mean this in a bad way and I’m sure people are not intentional about it, but especially with access to content on the web and social media it becomes a report of what people did or planned to do to make it such a “special day” (gag). Open a magazine, look at blogs and it is everywhere from how to make the perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner, romantic evening, blah, blah , blah.

So readers, are you going all out or are you going to treat it like another day on the calendar? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.

Because Valentine’s Day Isn’t Over Yet…….

I wonder what rating this box would get? At least is has a guide to what is inside.

I wonder what rating this box would get? At least is has a guide to what is inside. (Photo credit: waldopepper)

Some people tend to let  holidays linger.  Valentine’s Day is no different. There is still some remnant of it to remind you about it the next day. I’m thinking of the box of cheap chocolate you might have received in a shiny, red heart-shaped box. It’s chocolate, but  you have no idea what is in the middle. You’ve tasted it and let’s face it, on a scale of one to ten you’d give it  a two. Yet this box is still in your possession. You are unable to rid yourself of its presence because it is chocolate.

In honor of the leftovers of Valentine’s Day, I have an acrostic poem. I’m warning you: it is not  sweet like chocolate.

V vague

A assumptions about

L love leaving

E everyone

N nauseated 

T to the point of

I insisting on saying I Love You

N never

E ends well

 

If you write an acrostic poem on your blog and send me a comment and a link to it, I will re-blog it. If you do not have a blog and still want to take part, leave your poem in the comment section of my blog (or in the comment section on Facebook)  and I will post it on my blog. In honor of my friend over at genXatmidlife.com I will be accepting and re-blogging or re-posting until February 17th, so let me hear from you.

Top 13 Reasons Why I Like to Celebrate Three Kings Day or Dia de los Reyes Magos

Three Wise Men Day cake at Bellpuig.

Finally, another holiday season is over. Is the word finally really needed, you ask? Yes!!!!(extra exclamation points necessary) By this time of year, I have had it with the holidays and everything about them. And if you’re wondering why I am posting this on January 24th, it is because I was sick for one and a half weeks and put away my tree and decorations a few days ago.

In case you have never heard of Three Kings Day, let  me introduce you to the holiday I now prefer to celebrate. It is also known as Epiphany or El Dia de Reyes.  It happens every year on January 6th. The story says this is when the Three Kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. I do not want to inaccurately report the details about the history, so click on the link above to explore if you feel your knowledge of this day is lacking.

So you’re probably wondering why I started celebrating this holiday. Here are my top 13 (why 13? It is the year 2013 and my favorite number) reasons why I like to celebrate Three Kings Day:

1. The Christmas Season is entirely too focused on materialism. Yes, we give gifts on this day, but the hype in our household is minimal and we are not inundated with messages to spend (and spend some more!) for Three Kings Day.

2. There is no set way you have to decorate. We put up a tree (only because I inherited a ton of ornaments from my childhood), but we NEVER decorate with red and green because those happen to be the ugliest two colors you can put together (even on a Catholic school uniform).

3. There are very few songs related to this holiday, thus no need to send your eardrums to the Loony Bin for overkill. Seriously, don’t you get sick of listening to the nine versions of Jingle Bell Rock and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas when it is not even snowing outside?

4. No creepy, tear-filled, and  scary moments (yet often hilarious looking pictures)   with Santa.

5. Kings in Robes – cool. Fat Guy in a red suit with a big belly – not.

6. I don’t have to rush to get cards in the mail. Our cards say Happy Holidays in English and Spanish and I work on them at the end of December.

7. My husband is from Spain and this is what they do to celebrate the Christmas season. When you marry someone from another culture you have to decide what celebrations you will embrace for your family.

8. I like to be unique. No one else I know here in the States (except our downstairs neighbors, who also happen to be from Spain) celebrates Three Kings Day.

9. AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES!!! Okay, they are not that exciting, but are sometimes helpful.

10. No crazy holiday shoppers to contend with.

11. We get to put our shoes out the night before, as this is where the gifts are left. This year I told my kids I was planning to put out my tall boots. They were jealous because they thought it was unfair I had more space to receive my candy in.

12. No clean up! You heard me.Each gift is left unwrapped next to each family members’ shoes. Wrapping paper , bows and gift tags (*sigh* I kind of like wrapping gifts and sometimes putting a tiny gift in a big box) unnecessary.

13. Eating Roscon de Reyes and chewing each bite carefully.It is tradition to  hide a small trinket  inside the cake for good luck. Although for some reason the bakeries in Chicago hide ugly plastic babies in their cakes.

Have I converted you? Doesn’t this sound better than what has become a typical American Christmas?

And since we just ended the season of “Gift” giving, check in soon for a new post on what sorts of “gifts” I gave myself this year.

Welcome To The Neighborhood

I first noticed it when I went to the car, which was infrequently these days. Someone had let their  dog poop on our property. I am not a dog owner, and therefore am not accustomed to picking up excrement with a little plastic baggie. The thought of having a thin piece of plastic  be the only barrier between my fingers and some squishy poo was a little more than revolting to me. Yes, I had changed hundreds of diapers and cleaned up after the cat when she had an accident,  but for some reason I was squeamish about dog poo. I ran back inside to get the rubber gloves and not one, but two plastic vegetable bags. The poo would not separate itself from the rocks that served as our parking space, so into the bag they went. It was a good thing I brought an extra one for double bagging, because I did not want the bag to break open and get permanently cemented to the inside of my city issued trash bin.

The days went on, and I noticed there was always a present for me by the car. Each time, I let myself grow annoyed, but soon began to take hand sanitizer, gloves and bags with me on the way out the door. In the back of my mind I wondered who could be so rude as to let their dog defecate on another persons property without so much as cleaning it up. I would stare at it, thinking that someone had left their version of a basket of goodies on the porch with a nice note saying, “Welcome to the Neighborhood”.

We were relatively new to the neighborhood, so we kept this brazen breach of neighborliness to ourselves. The people I did see taking their German Shepherds or Labradors for a walk seemed to be polite and responsible pet owners. Would they dare to use my backyard, a formerly unoccupied space, as a potty for their pups? Probably not. I began to suspect it was someone from the other side of our alley, or even someone who lived a few blocks over.

The little piles continued to arrive, and I continued to seethe with anger.  I knew I would have to tough it out a little longer until we could get a new fence for the property. I began to view anyone with a dog with suspicious eyes. When I went to my car, I looked around at all the windows. Someone had to be watching occasionally, or else why wouldn’t there have been an encounter after so many months of enduring the poop fairy? If there had been, what would I say? “I have a plastic baggie, in case you’d be interested in cleaning up after your terrific terrier?”  or “Smile. I’m sending your picture to the city. The fine is now $250 for failing to scoop.” Or a sign that said “No Dumping, Private Property”.

I found myself falling asleep to plans of leaving dog biscuits laced with chocolate in the alley, setting up a poop cam in the backyard and  getting estimates for an invisible fence. I was giving this whole situation too much of my time and mental energy. I decided to stop obsessing over it and shortly afterwards, the dog decided to find a new outhouse. At least for now. Now, off to Google fencing companies.

Spring Break Boot Camp Highs and Lows

The kids headed back to school after a week of Spring Break and I reflected on the past week. Due to a few unforeseen events, boot camp did not go exactly as planned, but I think they learned a few new things that will go a long way in life.

The week began with the task of rinsing the dishes and getting them into the dishwasher. The 6-year-old girl happily helped out, without complaining, as is her nature. The 8-year-old boy protested and said we were treating him like a slave. Yes, he is quite dramatic at times. I don’t see a future on stage, but with his quick argumentative skills, perhaps a defense lawyer or an activist. After each meal, I gently reminded him to please help out. It got easier for everyone within earshot as the week progressed.

Vacuuming the rugs was by far the easiest task. They argued over who would get to vacuüm first. They did  excellent work. Next time we’ll cover the art of the attachments.

Folding clothes and putting them away was a chance for the 6-year-old to show off her attention to details as well as her sense of neatness and order. She has willingly helped with this task in the past, so it is fair to say that she had an advantage over her brother. It was extremely difficult for him to attempt this chore, but mostly in the sense of mind over matter. I know I would have lacked  the patience  had this been a school day. Once again he began to complain before even attempting to fold one single item. He did not even want to learn step by step. Well, boot camp is not about letting them off easy. It is about working to accomplish the task, no matter how long it takes. Although I did not set the timer, the boy took a looooooooong time just to try to fold a pair of pants. Protests, refusals and finally tears. I offered rest time, calm down time, deep breath time, all the while encouraging him and reminding him I was here to help, even with those tricky European shirt folding techniques (um, I’m not explaining.) Eventually we got through most of his clothes. Eventually it did get easier for him the more he practiced. Eventually he realized that it was not that hard and that I was not such a mean mama.

We did not get the opportunity to work on our sewing skills or food prep skills. I’m not too worried, as my son said he wanted deviled eggs the other day and did not balk when I suggested he help me make them later in the week.  I think that I can try to incorporate these activities on alternating weekends, if I plan ahead. We did work on paper mache for a class project, which involved mixing and measuring ingredients.

As my cousin said over the weekend about his teenage son: “I don’t think he will ever do hard labor in his professional life, but I expect him to learn how to do it at home.” And that is just it. These skills will come in handy and we have to start at home, one task at a time.

This past week made me realize how capable my children are of achieving tasks, if they have the right amount of time, support and patience. I hope they can continue with the new skills they learned and pick up some new ones in the near future before things go topsy-turvy for them during Summer Boot Camp.