Polar Vortex

It’s the fifth consecutive school day off.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, a boulder really, you know it’s downright frigid here in the Midwest.  Baby, it’s cold outside.  It’s cold inside too.

The frost is inside our kitchen. Inside!

When my babies were babies, Jody, their day care provider would usher them into her house with the warning that if they didn’t hustle, they’d “freeze their frips off.”  To this day, the exact meaning of “frips” remains a mystery to me, but I will guarantee that whatever frips you have would become fripcicles in an instant this week.  Bars are beer delivery are shut down.  IN WISCONSIN, you guys.  Delivery of the US Mail has been suspended, and workers whose jobs take them outdoors, like my husband, have been given the option to take vacation time instead of repairing streetlights, which this week is essentially a suicide mission.  Some vacay.  Well at least he’s still got his frips!

Cabin Fever has begun to set in however.  Ennui abounds (or lies there doing nothing, more accurately), and even my children, slaves to their electronic devices, want to go back to school.  They miss their friends.  That biology exam keeps getting pushed back, which sure, means more time to study, but let’s be honest about the fidelity of that process. . .  YouTube has lost some of its luster, and even my dear, dear roommates, the boys’ best TV friends, the Impractical Jokers guys, are enjoying a brief hiatus at Chez Weir.  Summer vacation is different–even when it rains, you won’t die going outside–there’s always somewhere to go, something to do.  You know the fever’s bad when the kids want to go to school.  And NOT until the end of June.  I’ll be curious to see how many of these days will be required to be made up and how the district determines just how it will make them up.

There are myriad activities to enjoy, or if not enjoy, then just do, when you’re housebound though.  I thought I’d share with you a few of the ways we’ve been passing the time this Polar Vortex.

  1. Yoga: I rolled out my mat Tuesday morning, and before I could remove my socks, my idiot dog had commandeered my mat, laid out, covering the whole thing in what I call his frog-dog position. *eye roll/sigh*  Caleb is better at downward facing dog than I am, but that’s only because his snout is in my face while I breathe deeply seeking zen.  Idiot.  I love him.
  2. Watching Bosch on Amazon Prime: I’ve faithfully read the entire Harry Bosch series from author Michael Connelly as he’s cranked out each volume, though ’til now have avoided the screen adaptation.  I’m one of those “it’s better in my imagination” types so I’ve stayed away, but they’re worthy mysteries.  I enjoy Titus Welliver’s embodiment of Bosch, and I like how the series has updated some of the details to lend a modern feel.  I love that Bosch remains an vinyl LP-spinning, old-school jazz guy, and that not every actor is a perfect physical specimen. I mean, they’re all TV-pretty, but not unbelievably so.
  3. Culling through stemware: As a rule, I’m a moderate-to poor housekeeper.  We don’t live in squalor, but I suck at making things pretty, and this includes my ability to display china and crystal.  I ditched three mismatched wine glasses (I’m guessing each the lone remnant from a one-time set of four), a couple vases and two candleholders. I purchased that Marie Kondo hold-onto-your-shit-and-see-if-it-sparks-joy book four years back.  It sat, spine barely cracked, on my nightstand every day since until I finally gave it to a coworker just last week.  You’d have to strap me down and tape my eyes open to make me watch the tidying up show.  Just not my jam.
  4. Culling through greeting cards: There is an excellent reason to keep some of these missives.  You’re reminded just how spectacular others believe you to be, even if only for a brief and shining moment.  It’s a happy stroll down memory lane mostly, with a few bittersweet moments–like the transition from the kids’ birthday cards being signed ” With love from Gramma Terry and Poppa” to only “With love from Gramma Terry.”  I held onto all our wedding cards, the welcome baby cards, and a few sympathy/support cards from when the big kid’s diagnosis was handed down.  I say this all the time, but you wish you had the friends I have, you really do.
    img_3065

    In an example of my poor organizational strategy, I unearthed this photo, stashed in the greeting card drawer. Awwwwww. This is truly one of the best-ever photos of the tall one! So pure.

  5. Family Game Night:  There is nothing like a game of Sorry or Uno to learn exactly where family allegiances lie.  It’s generally agreed that the individual producing the highest volume of sass and trash-talk (my husband) is the common enemy.  I’m a little disturbed though at my children’s ease and delight in throwing down a Draw Four or Sorry card in my direction though.
  6. Reading a couple Harry Dolan books:  The two I’ve read are set in Ann Arbor, Michigan which is where my friend Kristen used to live.  According to her, Ann Arbor is cool (I’ve visited only once and had a lovely, murder-free experience), collegiate and literary like the novels, but not as vibrant with intrigue and killing.  Thinking about Kristen makes me think about how we met, through Barenaked Ladies (she, an uber-uber-uber-uber fan and pretty cool chick otherwise too), so there’s a totally weird connection that in all the world can only be made in my brain.  Then you can while away a surprisingly large sum of time thinking about the upcoming summer Barenaked Ladies tour, and the fact you’re not going.
  7. Baking a really shitty cake: You know those Pinterest pins and Facebook videos that suggest you can make a box-mix cake taste like a bakery cake if you simply add an extra egg, substitute milk for water, and melt butter?  DO NOT DO THIS.  Well, don’t do this unless you want a cake that rises, then settles like a brick.  We legit laughed out loud after we let it cool.  The “cake” did not retain even one inch of its height.
  8. Cleaning out the spice cabinet:  I have an entire kitchen cabinet of spices, not just what one might consider a spice cabinet, but a wall o’ flavor.  After our kitchen remodel, I organized them alphabetically, sorted by cooking vs. baking spices (nerd, and FYI, my closet is a rainbow, sorted by color).  Naturally, spice blends like Montreal Steak Seasoning, Emeril’s Essence, or Garam Masala occupied their own shelf.  Over time, I’ve come to just toss them back in (see Number 3 above for my statement about my housekeeping prowess), but now I’m good for another two years or so.
  9. Public Library Time:  I love spending time at the library, just hanging out, browsing amid the shelves.  I took the kids before the deepest segment of the deep freeze kicked in and the city closed the libraries.  I think about library patrons whose only warmth comes from an open public space, such as what libraries provide, and think I’m not as grateful as I should be for the good fortune of a thermostat.  And the house the thermostat serves.
  10. Preparing for my dog’s girlfriend’s birthday party: I’m just going to close with that entirely true statement here.

The one thing I absolutely cannot do is catch up on the mountain of work that was already a foothill of work before these days off.  When I left work last Thursday, I never in my wildest dreams believed I’d have a week off.  I can’t access any of my data, observation notes, or historical records from which to draft my reports. They are locked up nice and tight, safe and sound in my desk.

My kids wanna go back to school, a big enough shock to stand on its own merit, and *gasp* so do I!

Wordless Wednesday

Right, like I could pull off wordless. Why communicate without words when 213 will do?  I’m ornery (-ier?) today because mendacity is our kitchen contractor’s unofficial motto. In place of bitching though (because stay tuned, surely there is enough fodder to fuel an upcoming “Lies Our Kitchen Contractor Told” post that at least octuples the 213 words I suggested above and I’m really in no mood for “I told you so”), I’m sharing with you a gift I received yesterday.

It’s Wordless Wednesday in the blogosphere, but I am not wordless; I’m speechless.  This arrived on my doorstep last evening from my friend, Nikki.  She’s been drawing and sketching in response to and/or in avoidance of the hate and crazy perpetrated on social media of late ’cause she’s smart like that.

Have you had something created especially for you?  Not because you commissioned a piece of art, but because a friend thought enough of you to create something spontaneous and unique, because that friend wanted to wrap you up in a hug so tight it would make right everything in your world?  My friend created something quite distinctively me: my song;  greater than gravity for #1 Son; baseball for #2.  She recently referred to me as the friend everyone needs, but that’s not me.  It’s her.  See?

So Where Do You Keep Your Extra Toilet?

Because we are poor planners, insane? overachievers?  All and/or none of the above??  Because we are in the midst of home renovations, we find ourselves with very little in the places you’d expect things to be.  Dishwasher?  Tucked away in a cloud of dust in the corner of our dining room with a snippet of pink fiberglas insulation atop.


Where else would it go?  Range and coffee makers?  Obviously they’re in the basement.  The Sawzall is also in the dining room, and two ladders, 6 empty paint cans, and two buckets of drywall compound are in the otherwise barren kitchen.  But my favorite misplaced item sits at the foot of my bed.

You didn’t believe me, did you?  You thought I was exaggerating, right?  I opted not to edit this photo because there’s no way to polish and pretty this up. Plus, now you can see that the kids get their laundry skills from their dad.


Yes, I have an empty, umplumbed toilet NEXT TO MY BED.  And not in the “Awesome!  I don’t have as long to go for those wake you up in middle of the night potty needs” way.  No, no.  See, it’s not connected to anything, and really, it would be pretty weird to have a random toilet just kinda out there in the middle of a room, don’t you think?

I have a toilet at the foot of my bed because it goes with the new bathroom vanity, which sits against the wall across from my bed.  I am not making this up.


Getting back to the beginning here, we are the wackiest kinds of home remodelers.  You move into a new/old house, determined to gut your sunflowery kitchen within the first year, except you’re pregnant with your second child when you move in, and your toddler is exploring his two-ness in great depth and with studied intensity.  Instead you do the quick fixes–paint the living and dining rooms because dirty, white walls?  Blah.  Boring walls with mauve-painted crown molding?  What the what??  Then you (and by “you” here I mean my husband because I can’t even work a damn screw gun.  I can tear shit out, but cannot put thing one back together) engineer and install a family room in the basement.  Next you replumb everything from the basement up because you need to redo the main bathroom, but you can’t live in a home without a means to bathe, so you add a master bath in your bedroom.  No, this is not the first time I’ve had a toilet in the middle of my boudoir.  Years later, voila!   (Look at me all speaking French and stuff here)  You have a second shower, and now you can get crackin’ on that main bathroom.  Hold, up!  How about instead of that bathroom, you gut and re-tile the powder room off the kitchen?  But hey fellas?  Don’t tell your wife you’ve completely gutted it, or even thought of gutting it until she’s home from a week with the kids at her brother’s.  That’s the best plan.

Life has a way of mucking up our best laid plans, and I’m flexible like that.  Plus I like to laugh, and my life is filled with high hilarity.  No, really, I actually mean that one–I do like to laugh because why woudn’t you?  Life’s too short for seriousness 24/7.  The only reason we finally dove into the kitchen reno was that our downstairs fridge went.  Remember old Harvest Gold?  Goldie’s demise led to my insistence on a kitchen reno. If you need a road map to financial stability, a full on kitchen tear out and custom design is super financially savvy.  It’s obviously way smarter than buying a new fridge for the actual kitchen and moving the existing one downstairs for the fun stuff and extras that don’t fit.  Go, Wendy.  Ah heck, it was legitimately time, and we’ll never have enough money to do it anyway.  Might as well do it now, because in a year it’ll be yet another couple grand, right?   Exactly.

So I have a random toidy in my bedroom because the main bathroom is finally tiled, painted and the tub reglazed.  It’s really quite lovely.  I must say, Tom and I have exceptional taste in tile and colors (and thanks to the dude at The Tile Shop, we have a nice low/no-skid slate floor to account for my big kid’s instability).   All that’s lacking is the finish plumbing.

He’s coming back when the kitchen is ready to be rigged up, and oh, THANK YOU VERY MUCH stupid kitchen contractor for pushing our start date back another week.  If you can’t tell that’s sarcasm there, we really need to talk, friends.  I get that we’re not one of their $100K jobs, but you know what happens to nice guys like us.  Wait, that’s not helping.  I’ve got to sit down and think about this–If only I had a seat in my bedroom just to be and to ponder.  Hmmmm.

Best.  Twelve.  Years.  Ever.

This post was brought to you by the 2nd Annual Hitters Baseball Tournament at Infinity Fields.  We’re on rain delay.  Hour 5.  Super excited I woke up at 5:15 AM to hit the pause button ad infinitum.  The kids played their best defensive game yet yesterday, hanging in with THE team to beat.  Boy did they underestimate our guys!  I’m looking forward to them keeping their momentum today.  My kid’s the starting pitcher and he couldn’t be more excited.  Go, MBA!

TGIF TMI

I routinely facilitate group discussions for work.  Sometimes my group size is 20, sometimes 40, and sometimes 200.  I’ve alluded to this before, but I’m not a superfan of the icebreaker activities.   They’re purposeful in their way, but they’re contrived and inauthentic, which is why I’ve adopted the “What’s Your 1% Skill?” method.

 

Snow. April 8. Super high-quality pic, but see, you’re not supposed to drive while taking photos.  Or is it not take photos while driving?  I was at a red light–don’t judge so harshly, people.

It was snowing this morning.  Yes.  And I wanted to do something that might get people talking about something other than the weather.   I had a 40-size kind of meeting this morning, and it went better than I’d anticipated.  I don’t often, but I sometimes feel that no matter how much I prepare, I remain unprepared.  I went in feeling blind today, but it turned out well, even without the icebreaker.  I work with these really smart, challenging minds, and deep, thoughtful professional conversations were the outcome.  Friday morning felt like an upset victory of sorts for WW.

I’ve had an exhausting week.  For reasons I don’t fully understand, Wednesday night was a tear-filled one for me.  I’ve begun to think about our new kitchen project with my son’s declination in mind, and that sucks.  I never know how or why neuronal pathways connect in the ways they do in my brain, but biology won this week, and I was feeling sad.  I was looking ahead, and I could “see” my older son losing his ability to walk.  I could “see” him fall down and not be able to get up, and I could “see” him wheeling around in our newly-designed kitchen.  Are these daymares?  The opposite of nightmares?  What do we call them?  Because calling them the future makes me kinda pukey.  Definitely teary.  I digress.  I was going to write more about my daymares, but choose instead to answer stupid icebreaker questions posed by titans of business, industry and professional development.  My husband says this is way too, too TMI territory.  He’s probably right, but it’s Friday night and I’d rather be a glib open book than a sincere, pained open book tonight.  Plus if you know me, you know many of these ridiculous answers to banal questions anyway.

What color is your tooth brush?  Pink and white

What is your favorite summer activity?​  Not setting an alarm.  Oh, you mean something active?  Walking or running or watching my little kid play baseball.

If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?​  Comedy.  Obviously.  If I were 20 years younger, Amy Schumer.  She killed it in Trainwreck, and has the nerve to say all the shockingly inappropriate words that we all think, but don’t dare verbalize in polite conversation.  I would die before saying some of the stuff she does, but I laugh my butt off at her performances.  I’m about 97% inappropriate in the way of things I find funny, and this is not news to you, dear reader.

If you could be any flavor of ice cream what ice cream flavor would you be and why?​  Vanilla.  I like vanilla, it’s the finest of the flavors (bonus points if you sang it).  OK, I’ll play along. . .  Vanilla is the base; it’s reliable, predictable, and sometimes it’s amazing. It’s almost never a deal-breaker, and you can add anything to it and make it better.  So I’m vanilla, reliable and generally non-offensive to the masses; my loved ones, friends, and hobbies are the hot fudge sauce and salted pecans.  Sorry if you’re allergic.

Are you a morning or a night person?​  A to the M.

What is your favorite hobby?​  Currently?  Writing this blog.

What is one thing that annoys you the most?​  I have to pick just one?  Ridiculous, untenable mandates issued by autocrats. Make your own assumptions.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?​  I eat most anything, but I don’t order weird stuff just ’cause.  I ate raw oysters once.  Not a fan.

What is your favorite thing about someone in your family?​  It’d be impossible to whittle down to one.  My cousin Paul, a/k/a Brooklyn Paulie, has the BEST, naughtiest laugh, and we laugh like complete idiots every time we’re together.  The 2001 Canton Slurpee Incident nearly rendered Paul, his wife Kathy and me unconscious.

What is one of your weird quirks?​  Isn’t that sorta redundant?  Weird quirks?  Who has typical quirks?  If your quirks were typical, they’d not be quirks, aaaaand I think we all understand now the direction we’re headed.  I’m a word and grammar nerd.  Not in my own blog writing of course, but in formal writing.  Please DO NOT MISUSE the word myself.  I will have to break up with you.  It’s a reflexive pronoun; no one can do anything with yourself but yourself.  Don’t ask me to join yourself for coffee.  Can’t be done.  I can’t come to the meeting with yourself; that’s a job for you alone.

Describe your self in 3 words.​  Strong.  Kind.  Funny.

If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?​  Ed Robertson’s wife. You have to ask why? (KIDDING, Honey.  You’re a better husband that I could have hoped for in my wildest dreams and I love you the bestest, you know I do.  I mean that sincerely.)  But I don’t deny my little celebrity crush. . .  Who’d I trade with?  I’ve no idea.  Someone influential in their benevolence and kindness to all.

If you could talk in your sleep what would you say?​  Please let it rain money, please let it rain money, please let it rain money.  And world peace.  And eradication of fucking muscular dystrophy.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?​  Think or verbalize, “shit.”  Truth.

What is your favorite joke?​  Knock-knock.  Who’s There?  The interrupting cow.  The interrupting co. . .  MOO!  I crack up every time.   I’m not much for telling jokes; I’m a much better story-teller.

Where is the worst place you could get stuck?​  Anywhere Naked and Afraid is filmed.  Kill me now.  NOW.  What are you waiting for?

What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?​  Debt.

Describe the perfect kiss in 3 words.​  Really?  This kind of thing is so not my wheelhouse.  Knee-weakening, genuine.

What is your biggest addiction?​   I will eat peanut butter M&M eggs until my face hurts. I might need an intervention for my music hobby.

Do you have a song that reminds you of a relationship if so what song?​  I have a song for every  single detail of my existence.  Currently I’d say I totally heart two relationship songs.  “Take Us Home” by Alan Doyle is one which reminds me of the early years, that new love that steals your sleep because you don’t want to miss a minute.  “Toe to Toe” by Barenaked Ladies is the other.  That one speaks to me about the long haul, the depth and constancy of true love, even when it’s imperfect, which true love is.

This is my hand
Take it now it’s yours to keep
These are my eyes
Look into them and you’ll see
How a rainbow needs the rain
Or it will never shine again
It’s the same for you and me

These are my footsteps
Falling surely next to yours
This is the moment
That we’ve been waiting for
It’s our story now to tell
Raise the curtain, ring the bell
And open up the doors

Hey, altogether we will be
We’re forever you and me
Hey, the sun will show us where to go
Love will give us heart and soul
And take us home

These are my arms
Come to them when you’re cold
This is my shoulder
Rest your head and dream of home
For there’ll nights and there’ll be days
It seems a long, long ways away
But we’ll make it now I know

This is my song
It’s the only one I know
This is my heart
Take it with you when you go
I wanna thank you for the show
No one wants to dance alone
I’ll see you down the road

 

 

I’m convinced that I am stronger when standing in one place
Just sometimes I don’t have the choice

There are instances when I no longer see your face
But I can plainly hear your voice

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

Love’s a gamble
They say you can win the lottery
It depends on what you bet

There’s a body of water
Dividing you and me
I’m not afraid of getting wet

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

More than half a life away
It’s gotta amount to something

We’re still standing here today
It’s not a hit and run thing
It’s gotta count for something

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

How many books have you read so far this year?​  Woefully few.  8 thus far.  I have been racking up the hours reading blogs on WordPress though like it’s my job.

When I dance, I look like…?​  I am suffering some type of neurological event.   I will say that I am a pretty good chair dancer though.

If you were famous what would you be famous for?​  Can you be famous for realizing only in your mid-40s that you’re pretty awesome and that your friends and family who helped you realize you’re awesome are a bajillionfold more awesome than you, and you want the world to know how kick-ass your peeps are?  That.  Or my incredible sense of comedic timing.  Or Name That Tune.  I’m AMAZING.

What is the worst job you could have?​  Something in a factory where it’s repetitive.  Or cardiothoracic surgery.  Tough call.

What is the thing your most afraid of?​  My children or husband being in pain or suffering in any way.  I would do anything to prevent harm or pain from coming to my family.

If you could paint anything what would you paint?​  I would give a million dollars (metaphorically speaking, of course) to paint a fucking straight line and/or not to slop all over every other damn thing but the paint’s actual target destination.

What celebrity annoys you the most?​  If I answer, that would acknowledge and give weight to the individual’s inane celebrity status.  Turn off the TV, change the channel.  Yawn.

What is the most interesting thing you have in your purse/wallet?​  My migraine meds?  Oooh.  No. I know!  A ticket stub from the first of three BNL concerts I attended last June.  Row A, Seat 9.  Frontest, centerest seat in the house.  Thank you, good night!

What is your life long dream?  Living it.  Only with less money and a smaller parcel of real estate.

Have you ever tried to do something you know you would be really bad at, what was it?​  Every craft I’ve ever attempted.  I was terrified to do any public speaking at first, but now I’m pretty good at it.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how “cool” are you?​  See how this dial goes up to 11?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?​  Between showering, dressing, eating, ironing, preparing breakfast for my children, and hair/make-up it’s about 1:45.

What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?​  Write a song on guitar.

What TV cast would you want to save you in the apocalypse?​  Ed’s Up.  The Walking Dead would be a close second.  I think their experience says it all really.

What store do you shop at the most?​  Target.  I dare ya to get out of the red-bullseyed monster in under $100.

What supply in your house is running low?​  Patience.

What is the most delightful word you can think of?​ Delightful.

What is your least favorite beverage?​  Beer.

If you were stranded on a tropical island what 2 things would you want with you?​  Who can answer this?  I’m an ass if I don’t say my family and I’m a liar if I don’t say my fully-loaded and always charged iPod.  Two.  Both true, by the way.

What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet?​  First instantly?  Face, as in eyes/smile.  First generally?  Communication skills.

What was your favorite book growing up?​  Charlotte’s Web.

​ What compliment do people give you the most?  That I’m helpful.

If you where running for office what would your campaign slogan be?​  I will lie to you less than any of the other assholes against whom I’m running.

Harvest Gold

You’re not lost. For the next several months, my “parenting/muscular dystrophy/Barenaked Ladies/be nice to people” blog will likely be flavored with a dash of kitchen remodeling alongside the rest of my usual trainwreck of thought.  You know how you move into a new-to-you house and you go, “I canNOT live with this awful kitchen for one minute” and then you live there for twelve years and then your ancient previous-owners-left-it-behind-in-the-basement moldy, harvest gold refrigerator leaks all over the floor and dies finally and you decide that you want to remodel the kitchen?  No?  Just us??

It is was really nice having an extra fridge.  With two boys and their mom who could eat breakfast cereal for lunch and dinner too, the amount of milk we have to have on deck is substantial, so the extra space was a little gift for us.  When the gold monstrosity blew, and let’s face it, that sucker outlived any warranty’s wildest prediction, my husband wanted to replace it with another fridge.  We’d grown accustomed to the convenience.  Instead, we decided it was time to jump in and remodel our actual kitchen, investing in a big-picture solution instead of in a major appliance relegated pretty much to milk and extras duty.

We met with a couple contractors and settled on a design at last.  And when I say settled I don’t mean we settled like, “eh, may as well go with this guy,” just that we agreed on a expertly designed, beautiful floor plan and room design borne of my husband’s brilliance and keen eye for layout.  I was all like, “I am NOT having the kitchen sink back there, it’s stupid and I INSIST on an island” and was not backing down.  Until I saw the plans. . .  It’ll be incredible, but it won’t be easy.  Or cheap.  And because when you have a designer and custom cabinets built and are not independently wealthy, you have to do much on your own.  Sweat equity, they call it, and we started sweating, people.  Day 1 began like this:

We had the border stripped and cleaned in less than an hour.  Easy-breezy cool except for the Canada geese stencil pattern we learned was painted underneath the wallpaper border.  I spent the rest of the evening singing O Canada, and to my husband’s remarkable credit, he didn’t tell me to shut up even once!  We decided we would document the process through before/after photos, so this is Step 1, photo 7 or 8.  My husband did totally require several takes to get a halfway not blurry picture because as we have learned previously, technology is not one of his special gifts.

Getting back to old Gold.  Day 2 of the project was slightly more physically demanding.  Don’t tell anybody, but I think there’s been some kind of mistake. See, I am strong, deceptively so as it relates to the physical feats I’m able to accomplish.  For an old woman woman not in her 20s or even 30s, I got skills.  Or maybe it’s strength of will, not skills, but either way, I almost never fail when I set my mind to a reasonable physical task. Never one for endurance, I am mistress of the burst. Move a flat of landscaping blocks?  Sure. Move ’em over here now?  I got this.  Carry furniture or move mattresses?  Piece of cake. I’m strong.  Pretty sure I mentioned that. I’m strong, but I leaned that I am no match for a ’70s-era harvest gold refrigerator. Well, almost no match.  I did say reasonable; this was not.

Tom and I got the behemoth almost all the way up the stairs, like to the tippy-top stair, but I was unable to lift it that extra centimeter to clear the lip of the landing.  Dammit!  Refrigerators are fucking heavy.  There.  I said it.  FYI, 70s-era refrigerators are also super ungrippy, further complicating the extraction.  Back down the basement stairs it went.  Huffing, puffing, waving the white flag and clutching my lower back, I gave my concession speech.  Tom then called one of his work buddies, but it turned out he was unavailable (something about spending the evening with this family–whatevah. . .).  Like all modern middle-aged women, I took to Facebook to share with the world my frustration at not being strong enough to help carry a harvest gold refrigerator up a flight of stairs.  What was the takeaway?

“You have a harvest gold refrigerator??

NO!  Well, yes, but it’s in the basement. Now the friends who’ve never been to my house think I have harvest gold appliances, and that’s way worse than any backache I could endure.  Ugh.  “Would it be lighter if it was white?” asked my friend Jan.  Nice.

I knew like I knew my name it wasn’t over for my husband though.  Nope.  I have (relatively speaking) mad bursts of strength skills, and my husband has mad determination skills. Tom went to work disassembling the compressor mechanism with the hope it’d lighten the load sufficiently to find us that last little measure of success.

It didn’t lessen the physical load by much, but it did spurt 40-year-old freon goo all over the basement floor.  And the stairs.  And the sidewalk.  And the alley.  But do you see what I’m getting at here, people?  We got that beast outta the basement!  Victory was ours.  Victory had to be ours because probably poisonous, definitely malodorous goo was puddling on the floor.  Sure, I could Google it, but I think I’m going the ignorance-is-bliss route on this.  DO NOT leave helpful chemical hints in the comments, OK?  If I’m gonna die, I’m going out in a blaze of back-breaking glory.  OK, actually I did Google it and I’m probably going to survive.  Comment all you like about how foolish I am.  I can take it.  I am strong.  See?

For those of you keeping score, it’s Wendy, 1; Harvest Gold, 0; Ibuprofen, 2-3 every six hours.