Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh, Holy NIGHT and DAY- A subculture mix of genetics

Happy Holidays to all my readers- since 'Going Rogue' I have had lots of page views - I'm hoping my comments have hit a nerve at some level.  It is a time for change! Here's to a better 2012.  So I'm now back on track with ripping on my wild family....

I have written before on the murky gene pool that contributes to my children's whirling brains. It's complicated, coming from many directions.  This past weekend I experienced another factor that has also added to their organizational difficulties.  It can be stated in one word - their maternal Grandmother known as ... 'Grammie'... yes, my own dear Mother.  She is a whirling dervish of energy and creativity, but at times, this fun and excitement catches up to her. 

On Friday before Christmas we had a lovely time - just the two of us,  meandering around a very busy book store in a nearby community - we had a great time until we returned to our house to discover that she had left her purse on the floor by her chair in the latte cafe. Trauma began as we tried to verbally inventory what was in this valuable 'vessel' ... all credit cards, medical cards, social security, cash for her visit - her  phone, new leather gloves were just a few of the things she remembered. In a full-on panic we called through VM hell to determine that 'Larry' at the front desk had her purse.  WHEW! We quickly drove back to the store and recovered this precious purse.  

Beginning fresh on Saturday, Grammie headed out for a day of shopping with Darling Son an activity which commenced with an ice cream treat at our local Dairy Queen. We then planned (because it was Christmas Eve) to go to a musical church service at 4:45 - so around 4:15 we were organizing to leave when I heard the fateful words 'I can't find my purse'!!....(again!) ...  After backtracking we determined that she had left it at our Dairy Queen so we quickly (on the way to church), checked to see if it was open... of course it had closed at 4:00 and would not open again until Monday Dec. 26... so we had to just pray.   

Calamity continued....then on Christmas night...'someone' left the interior light on in her car, so when I went to move her car off our street - the battery was dead- so I found myself with another challenge which was waiting for  AAA to come and 'jump' her car at 10:00 pm on Christmas night.  Oh, holy night!  .... and as luck would have it - (and thankfully) we live in a safe suburb- the Dairy Queen had her purse which we recovered at noon on Monday. WHEW (again!) Thrilled at the recovery - she insisted on a picture!

As Grammie was happily leaving to go home,  I did a quick check of her belongings- this time she was doing a bit better  - she was in the car and ready to roar out!  One last thing.. she forgot her beloved dog!  If you keep up with this blog, you will know that I have no interest in adding to our animal menagerie so I quickly got 'Sophie' and they peeled out.   WHEW (again!)   Happy New Year to all ! 
xo The International Laundress

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Going Rogue...a RANT from the heart - the current state of business!

Today is tough times for many, particularly for Americans.  For my International readers this might be enlightening - it's my hard view from the trenches.  Since everyone has the attention span of a gnat - I'll keep my thoughts in bullet form. Please find it in your brain to at least 'read'- and also feel free to write me... and more importantly spread this message  .....
  • For the past 30 years our American economy has been eroding from a proud strong 'manufacturing' base to one of lower priced 'consumption.'  the jig is now has stopped.
  • This unfortunate shift started small and has been fueled by our politicians who for their own self -interests, created neat tax incentives to help businesses move all aspects of production overseas.
  •  Quietly, this 'movement' has destroyed American jobs (it's true) and worse-yet created a mindset and out-of-control demand for lower priced goods and services.

    • Now, even the overseas manufactured goods are sold at a discount! This insatiable appetite for thinking that everything can or must be produced for less - slams the job market particularly hard and deeply hurts Americans.  Americans then support this demand because they don't have extra $$. Gas prices rise along with basic food items and Americans are stuck in this downward spiral.
      • Companies are guilty of 'tippy toeing' around age-discrimination laws by calling it a 'position elimination' substituting capable older workers for much younger less experienced and cheaper personnel. 

      •  In our culture then, (because they are more expensive) wisdom and experience is no longer valued and the older talent (especially very much needed in today's times)  is now found hanging out at Starbucks looking for non-existent 'good jobs'.
      • What is left in the ashes of business and for those who are fortunate to still be working, they find themselves frantic working the job of 3-4 people.   This then contributes to health problems and chronic low productivity in the work place and from one report I read, costs our economy over +60 billion dollars yearly.  
      • Everyone it seems, is in 'survival-mode', chronically exhausted, overloaded and stressed out to new levels. 
      So what do we do?  How can we help ourselves????!

      Because I don't have time to 'fix' this problem...(too busy working) .... I am throwing this out for consideration among my readers...note; I don't have an Economics background, so this is good old-fashioned common sense.


      Can we all say 'DUH' here?!
       I'm not talking a cute 'marketing buzz' here- I'm talking about a full on social MOVEMENT for 100% MADE IN THE USA brands!  'Occupy our Economy'... as in buy things!   This idea (because the numbers are massive) like the 22 yr. old who 'moved' the Banks- ...can immediately create the demand needed and the opportunity for new jobs.  When people don't have a job they don't buy anything... more 'DUH' 
      To further fire up this message.... just give this quote a moment of your time....and visualize it!
      '400 people control more wealth than 150 MILLION of their fellow Americans'   and no, I did not make this up to be 'funny' :) ... it's from The New York Times 8/6/11 article by Drew Westen.  Sounds like someone has been cheating in Monopoly! It's an inequity worse than Bangladesh- this can't possibly be America!
      It's hard for me to not visualize the 400 people...sitting properly upright in my children's school auditorium.  They would be chins high- pinky extended... eating all the 'cake' leaving the crumbs for the rest of us!  tsk tsk... now there's not even a broom left.  From this inequity, we now know the financial community won't be helping... you can't even get a loan for a good idea let alone a new house.  WE NEED TO IMMEDIATELY HELP OURSELVES - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

      Aside from reading all labels of what you plan to buy; ...

       Here is my 'stimulus plan';
      - FIRST; throw the elected officials out-of-office - replace with honorable Americans who know how to keep their hands in their pockets and understand the meaning of representing the best interests of America.  

      - SECOND; show a little compassion for people who are struggling.  Emotional help or otherwise.  If friends are 'on-fire' .... don't stand in their driveway with a Dixie cup of water!  This 'cancer' of no-jobs could easily and quickly strike you or someone close to you.  Everyone is venerable. (ok, not the lucky 400) but Baby Boomers are particularly at risk.

      - THIRD; give thought to the idea of raising awareness even within your local stores to highlight and feature 100% Made in America goods- if enough of us are asking and looking we just might start seeing sections or aisles popping up!   This is like 'ingredient labeling'...! Americans need to know where the goods they are buying come from.   Also, be responsible and remember when you buy overseas goods you are only hurting yourself right now.  Looking for a gift for this holiday season?  I would recommend starting here I CHOOSE AMERICAN  (exquisite American made goods)

      - FOURTH;  be conscious... be alert... be mad when you see people (especially those that speak in forked tongue about American made things) to then push massive deals on TV with overseas made goods  - try to have some self control- don't buy it and then 'bust' them through twitter or FB.

      - and finally... if you are emotionally paralyzed and sleepless from all this - don't take sleeping pills.... you may need Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear  (and yes, this brand is 100% MADE IN THE USA)

      Give yourself a pat on the back if you got through this - I'm very proud of you! and that I might add,  is a good start:)  Thank you!
      The International Laundress

      Monday, October 31, 2011

      Halloween 'Sheep' Counting... nothing better!

      It's been another great Halloween! ..... Emma our Old English Sheepdog is always a good sport in her  'Sheep' Costume ... Her sister 'Lollipop', was on board as well (although looks a bit reluctant here!) she is the perfect 'black sheep.'  :)

      Happy Halloween!
      The International Laundress!

      Saturday, October 29, 2011

      Tricks are TREATS for me! Happy Halloween!

      As I've stated before, my ultimate life-goal is to be alone in the woods, painting - birds chirping with an occasional visit from a sweet cleaning lady - so to put a 'visual' to that  'dream' here is my inspiration...  an original painting by my wonderfully talented art instructor, Didier Nolet

      After my favorite part of my day -- sleeping -- I carefully open one eye before hitting the whirling mess and noise (in my real life) and gaze at this painting.  You might like to take a break too! :)

      So now on to the title of this post!  Since the Halloween-of-my-life- began - the new 'normal' - I have 'trick's' that have become 'treats' for me....and the fact that I think these are great ideas, just speaks to how low I am in this abyss of Parenting.
      Yes, I am aware that this is not a 'box' but a deco basket !
      The first brilliant suggestion is one that I can't take credit for. It's from a dear friend who is also an older Mom in 'survival mode' who was not only blessed with one child - but then twins!   She personally developed what we call the 'SOCK BOX'.    It was something my family  easily transitioned to ... and it was especially  liberating for me.   I was tired of looking at a large bag of 'sock orphans' and my friend  happily suggested the 'SOCK BOX SYSTEM' that has worked for her for years.    All I can say is.... it was invigorating for me !   As I age, I tend to care a WHOLE lot less about things like matching socks.  I wasn't always like this and was actually horrified one day when I saw Darling Son running in a soccer game in one bright green sock and one maroon-colored sock (when his team was 'blue') but later concluded it was a benefit for me as my eyes were failing and it was easier to 'spot' him!  Yet another defining moment for me! :)

      Another 'system' that has also evolved around here stems from having neat beautiful laundry baskets for each child that quickly  and conveniently for them, morphed into portable 'drawers' to never be seen again.  We now have a fitting place for newly washed clothes... (Brace yourself, Grammie )   an oversized chair in the middle of the living room! it works for us - we are now like a family of crows picking through the pile as we breeze by.  If we have guests, this 'pile' then goes into a laundry basket to temporarily 'hold' - for the next dump (so we are still using them!)

      I know these are not ideas for Real Simple MagazineThe editors would puke to see such a sight. I 'get it' and like my life, things are still completely and utterly disorganized but you can't say their clothes aren't clean... ok, I know they're stained.

      Someday... as I day dream about my house in the woods I'll have clothes too, that aren't dull, stained, wrinkled and all mixed together.   It will be nice.
      The International Laundress

      Thursday, October 20, 2011

      'Daddy's Little Fatty'... Mystery Solved! Once Again, Communication Issues Abound!

      For awhile now, we have been singing the  old C & W song by Bob Wills, with a lyric line.... 'Daddy's Little Fatty' when referring to our beloved dog, Lollipop.  Her physique has changed this summer and I was blaming the weather and sadly on her behalf, no one pays attention to anything around here -- like robots in forward movement only ... chugging through daily things....not giving a wit of thought to anything. (especially things of routine)

      Today, much to my surprise, Darling Daughter stated....'I hope you're NOT feeding the dogs after me'...huh? she even added...'I thought you'd know!'  (since apparently the dogs now talk to her!) It turns out that after we started insisting that she put 'The Girls' out at 5 am it seems she was also feeding them.  Then in line like a programmed robot....Good Sport Husband would feed them AGAIN each morning too !   I guess, they didn't 'tell' him they were 'full' LOL... woof woof  :)    So our dogs (for quite a while now) have been fed 3 TIMES a day !!

      Lollipop... a cozy pillow these days!
      This now explains the term; 'Daddy's Little Fatty'... our black Border Collie/ Chow Chow mix.... I actually thought she was having menopause-like symptoms....she hates the hot weather and is gaining weight.  Lollipop also doesn't run nearly as often as Emma (the Sheepdog) who is 3 years older.  So that explains it.  One of the great mysteries around here is the idea of buying expensive dog food all this time has also been solved.  a 2-fer today.

      And for my toe-tapping readers - here is the fun Bob Wills C&W song... 'Daddy's Little Fatty'  ... :) really called 'Roly Poly'- it will bring a smile to your face!  For those of you with ADHD ... be patient because the words in this song begin after a :45 second fast clip intro... hang in there!  it's really cute!

      Ya'll have a good day!
      The International Laundress

      Saturday, October 15, 2011

      Attention Spans..... itired, istressed....NEED SLEEP Zzzz

      Warning:  This is not a silly rip on my family - but a needed RANT! :)  ......  I feel better already! :)

      You would think that I would be 'seasoned' to a life of short attention spans, after all ... I've been watching people with ADHD (which is my whole family) and seeing them actually become 'distracted-from-shiny-things' before it was a popular phrase! ..... What I believe now cranks this idea into a new gear are all the electronic gadgets (shiny and non shiny) beckoning our attention 24/7.   One would think that having a laptop, ipad/tablet or smart phone would make life easier, but I think it complicates things if you start getting some volume and you are not used to managing things this way.  (like I am)   In addition to this mindset and new way of communicating is the FACT that most people today are in 'survival mode' for their own lively hood.  Everyone is stressed-out and chronically exhausted with information overload....  An unfortunate fact indeed. 

      For me, being  in the field of Marketing & Communications for years... I had always learned that you research first, then nurture contacts - write them - personalize a message to their needs and in most cases they will respond.  Could I really have been that stupid!?!  The eye opener for me today is  how people (even friends) have no time for anything except their own survival.  No malice is intended I know, but after months and months of email 'follow-up' I've determined it really is a ridiculous way to communicate. 

      At first, I thought I had 'email halitosis' :) 

      The 'new professionals' are now hiding behind their computers armed with a simple 'delete' button... tsk, tsk... and  spending time finding phone numbers today is like being a private investigator  -- and as soon as your area code is i.d.-ed... you're done.  It's worse than breaking through a castle fortress!  

      Editors proclaim;...'We'd LOVE to hear from you!' that is,... until you write! :)  Friends have no time to even respond to a quick question - lost in their fast stream of other things to do....even old friendships are scorched on the back burner.   I am sure that I am far from alone, but is this really a way to conduct business (or  basic friendship)?!   It's like the 8th wonder of the world. 
      Our sluggish economy contributes to this problem and is fueled by crisis reports fanned into flames by the Media .... most reports are true, but where are the suggestions for improvement?  oops ...just saw something shiny (and it's not a coin) ....
      .....has the whole world 'caught' ADHD?    Unemployment is frightening and filling Starbucks over sized chairs with talent nationwide .... older workers are replaced by younger, inexperienced cheaper workers .... compassion, loyalty and basic manners are forever gone.     So I spend my work day writing to 'Santa' ho, ho, ho... it's ironic too, because the brand I represent is now needed more than ever! Everyone is just wiped out from life...
      Ok, I'm coming out of the closet... (er, I mean drawer).... for the past 70+ posts I have created funny words that link a wild life to the important connection to SLEEP. (in case any of you have paid attention to that).  The connection is still there, but I am going to take it to a new level (are you still with me here?).... it's new sleepwear that I personally discovered  (then joined the company) that really helps me sleep better. The brand is called Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear  and I am also thrilled to say that it is 100%  Made in the USA .... hmm, maybe that's the answer to our problems?  Think clearly about that for a second and think about how your life might change by consciously buying 100%American Made Goods... hmm?  create demand here (in the U.S.) it's a refreshing new concept!  --- this creates jobs... jobs create security and freedom from a wild ADHD life...  It's what I would call a 'simple solution' so we can help ourselves through tough economic times.  So 'jammie testers' you know who you are... start promoting!    Even someone with an attention span of a fruit gnat can get that one!  (I think)

      xo The International Laundress!

      P.S. You get an 'A+' if you made it to here! Gimme '5' without squishing the gnat!

      Also, if you are also frustrated --- feel free to write me! :) and if you have communication ideas for me.. better yet! xo

      Saturday, October 8, 2011

      When 'NO' means oh, all right !

      My Darling Daughter did it again -- Good Sport Husband says she has a 'good heart'.... I say she has a tin ear, so when she pulled  into the driveway tonight to tell me she had a 'problem ' I knew intuitively that it wouldn't be good.  So like I have done a million times before ... I took a deep breathe and trudged forward not knowing what to expect. 

      I carefully leaned into the car window to find a full-grown Calico CAT of all
       things in her lap - found in her friend's neighborhood and after her own interrogation of people near by, determined that it was 'homeless' and brought this cat now named 'Emily' into our stable of other animals.  My budding Veterinarian (darling daughter)  had already determined that this feline was extremely dehydrated ('practically starving') and after checking her teeth -- knew the CAT to be about 4 years old!

       I vehemently protested about this idea but in her usual fashion, with 'NO' being her starting point for negotiation....she swiftly marched by me .... into our house with the CAT to find her ally, Good Sport Husband who gave her the nod.  I was actually surprised by his reaction since he complains endlessly about having to change our current litter box every other day because of the smell.   Good Sport Husband is a softy for animals....especially cats.  They both are crazy in my opinion.  So now tonight we have a true menagerie of animals.... 3 cats, 2 dogs a fish and a bird.... I feel like I should add a partridge in a pear tree.  And now... my new job is finding a home for 'Emily'... I just learned that 'the cat favors classical music'....(I am not making this up)  any takers? meow, meow... ;)  It's fun writing a blog in 'real time'.... can we's the 'cat's pajamas' ?
       xo The International Laundress

      P.S. NEWS FLASH update:  Darling Daughter received a very stern phone call around 11:15 pm  from Emily's owner (at least she had the sense to leave a phone number with someone!)  so Emily the CAT (age 18) was promptly returned and her  'excellent adventure' has come to an end  :) 

      Tuesday, October 4, 2011

      It's now 'FALL' - a new season of my life! :)

      I'm back! ... no, I'm not hiding under the rubble pictured up top, but there are times when I have felt like it! This has been one loooong summer and now it's FALL. Within the extreme life that I live, the weather has been right in line with my life. Extreme heat, torrential rains, indescribable humidity....and then (like my kids) the gigantic mosquitoes join in. That's 'summer' in the Midwest. I am not fond of heat for a variety of reasons. After years of running full throttle, additional 'heat' is just not something I enjoy so I do my best to stay near fans and A/C. The cold weather coming fast is a welcome relief so I am enjoying it as best I can.

      Now for the update; Darling Daughter is now driving and I have to's not as bad as I thought it would be. My late-night dispatch 'runs' have stopped and she is so eager to drive - even offering to do errands for me! Also, because we now have something she really wants (the car) her attitude has changed greatly and we are having real conversations and she even asked me to braid her hair last week! :) I don't think I have been allowed to 'touch' her hair for 10 years. It was nice.

      Darling son on the other hand is still making questionable choices and last weekend around 9:45 pm invited 8 boys into our newly cleaned house... I'm too tired to micro- manage except to say I did not appreciate hearing bb gun shots in the dark as they were I'm sure, also tramping around in dog sh-- outside to then bring into my clean house. He was 'entertaining' too bringing shelled peanuts outside in one of my good ceramic bowls. One of the joys of my life and I have few these days, is having my dear polish ladies clean once a month. I have been protecting the floors like a prison warden and banished the boys to the basement via text. I think my son knew intuitively they better stay there! I was actually able to then go to sleep!

      The International Laundress

      Sunday, July 3, 2011

      The Sound of Silence....Never Happening Here!

      Today was an amazing start of my day for about 2:13 minutes...I do savor the quiet- outside temperature was great (for a change) and my whole family was sound asleep (it's early Sunday) so like walking over booby-traps I created a goal to read yesterday's paper in my quiet little corner-of-the-world (my outside hammock). This area is small and sacred - an unsuspecting side -yard next to the driveway.  It's a space framed with a simple pergola and the atmosphere is created with a relaxing sound of water from a fountain. 

      To capitalize on this opportunity - I quickly organized the dogs after recalibrating the kitchen from the zombie behavior of Darling Son who left his usual mess... uncovered cream cheese and all the kitchen lights on (overnight) I then decided to bring outside TuTu my sweet bird and her bird friend 'Tommy' (who we are bird sitting) -  Despite being caged, with dog Lollipop peaking 'in', they still love the beautiful serenity of being outside too.   It was a quiet scene (and cute too) I decided to video tape this unique moment. (below) 

      I then gently leaned back in my hammock..... goodnighties on... hot coffee in hand to have a moment for ME--

      Then, like a calamity on wheels I hear a ruckus coming down the street - the sound was getting louder -- it was a big ass truck.... and then to my total amazement (and horror)..... the noisy truck started backing into OUR driveway... I honestly thought it was a joke.  Then 'the guys' in the truck got out (it's 7:35am) to declare that they were here to 'fix' pot holes and repair the driveway... huh?    So the moment was ruined thanks to  Good Sport Husband... err, I mean Crazy Husband - who 'booked' them for this urgent job -- on a Sunday am.  

      Need to start over again !   although the aroma of tar still lingers  :(

      P.S. If I had ever done this- ...the sound of silence would have been interrupted by machine-gun expletives (from his mouth).  Timing has never been a strong-point for my group.  although I do thank Good Sport Husband for bringing me breakfast in the 'green zone'.... so he's forgiven :)
      The International Laundress 

      Thursday, June 30, 2011

      Extreme Parenting (it sucks)

      Once as a result of a smart-mouth, I 'made' Darling Daughter watch  ME in horror from the spectator stands, as I 'took'  HER one hour private skating lesson.  A hardship for sure ... a struggle to not break a hip ... embarrassing to Darling Daughter.... to later find off ice,  other Mom's bowing down to me with support - some were even clapping :)   It was one of my finer moments as being a parent :) not a permanent cure for her sassy mouth, but a victory that still brings a smile to my face!

       Since then, I have been in search of other techniques with quiet impact....

      Today while on the phone rushing around my friend could hear the shock and awe in my voice after seeing Darling Son's room.  'Inspection' had been delayed... I've been busy and frankly haven't cared what his room looked like - he's 14 now and surely he has heard a few of the 100 times I remind him, to be sure and put away clothes and organize  his room ... but apparently, his ears are painted on again... or am I speaking Chinese?   What came next was another brilliant epiphany...

      Like a  joke, my friend suggested I put his things in a trash can (like HER Mother did for her sister) and  I have to say from just hearing that suggestion, I couldn't drive to the hardware store fast enough.   Such a brilliant idea - so compact and contained... and it has wheels. Clean up today was swift and exciting .... So see above,  Darling Son's new 'dresser'.... a 34 gallon drawer - so roomy and the color is dreamy for his room!    I'm thinking its a good investment too for when he goes to college- like new rolling luggage.  can't wait.  :)

       xo The International Laundress

      Saturday, June 25, 2011

      Things that just don't 'go' together!

      After recently seeing a shiny red Mercedes convertible with a licence plate that said 'MYRNA' (HUH?)? it got me thinking about other things that just don't go together like today.... waking up early to a strong wafting smell of burned eggs which usually means a charred pan with the remnants of that, ground into our flat-top stove and dishes/ pans/ drips everywhere.  Dogs were also barking ...

      We were playing Saturday 'chicken' again - determining who would be first to survey the collateral damage. As it turned out, Good-Sport Husband was feeling braver and my Excederin hadn't kicked in (yet) he volunteered.... But today, much to our astonishment the 'damage' was nowhere to be found... hmm?  it's a real mysteryWe were also surprised to see a relatively clean kitchen.... this is frightening stuff ... like tippy toeing over a land mine.  

      It seems that Darling Daughter made herself breakfast, cleaned up and then rode her bike to her job..... Amazing... Exhilarating ....  a feeling providing us with a glimmer of hope for the future .... Next up, Darling Son and the 3 teenage boys who stayed for a sleepover...well, at least we know it's a 'wave' today instead of the usual tsunami.

      For me, I'm going to enjoy my coffee in bed and light a scented candle until the inevitable  roar of the next wave begins.

      The International Laundress :) 

      Saturday, June 11, 2011

      Shoot me now...! :)

      While I was picking BB's out of my kitchen garbage disposal it occurred to me that my Darling Son needs to find a new hobby and I don't think it's this one.  I was less than enthusiastic that Good Sport Husband (who used to 'shoot' as a kid) recently bought him a Daisy Red Rider air gun (yes, the kind that will 'put your eye out') it was something they had been talking about for a while - you know, male bonding. I knew it had to be a grand idea to pry his fingers off the X Box 360 controls, so after several outside 'lessons' with safety glasses and ground rules he was in our back area shooting plastic water-filled bottles in a matter of days. It is now a fenced target range so neighbors beware!   I had been warming up to the idea of having him do something that involved being outside - quite a change from the underground video game life he has been living.  In usual hyper-focused fashion Darling Son can sometimes now be found practicing in his new 'target-range'  at 5 am....fortunately, it's quiet for an outside activity... unlike trombone playing...
      I'm just waiting for something crazy to happen - like a bad dream.  It reminds me of the time in real life when he was tooting his new trombone in the front yard (huh?) and a neighbor kid started chasing him and he tripped over some bushes -- tumbled down and bent the spit valve and other parts which became a major repair.  I know if I've learned anything from this journey of 'parenting' that I need to prepare for the unexpected...hmm?  stay tuned..... 
      The International Laundress

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      The Beginning of a Leaky Life.... :)

      I thought I would enjoy a cup of coffee in bed before I checked damage from a night of torrential rainfall.  This is another area I am extremely experienced in .... that is, cleaning up water in a leaky basement.  This began with the previous owners claiming the unfinished basement water seepage was 'only about a half cup a year' ... which a plumber once translated for me by saying 'they must have meant a 55 gallon drum'.  

      So before knowing that, during our move in period (16 days prior to Darling Son's birth 5/26/97), we had  the basement 'finished'. 

      In our world, the basement area finished/or not was the deal breaker in our house purchase because we were in desperate need of a bunker to store Darling Daughter's  many toys and most importantly have a contained area for this wildly energetic child to play.  We decided not to wait...remodel NOW... I was set... whoo- hoo...

      I immediately turned the room into a darling carpeted pre-school... bright alphabet letters framed the room and her favorite, Sesame Street decals on the wall - learning posters everywhere... couldn't have been cuter (really) ... Once I proudly showed this new space to the previous owner (she was picking up curtains I told her she could have back) and I remember how quiet and pale she became w/ a quick exit... I stupidly thought she must be remorseful at selling her home with such potential a 'vision' she couldn't have imagined as a way of expanding the living space.

      So that fateful October rainy night when my intuition told me to check the basement at 1:30 am I was even more horrified (if that's possible) to find a room of floating toys, stuffed animals and books waiting for me.  

      It was one of those nights imprinted on my brain.  I quietly salvaged what I could (things like the indestructible Little Tikes kitchen etc.) piled things in our new dining room.  At the time, I didn't know what a sump pump was or where it was...after all, we had carpeted over the floor drain.   

      My 'equipment' for clean up was a mini-car vacuum for water collection and after hauling at least 75 buckets of water upstairs to the kitchen work was done... and my workout for the next 5 years was complete.... Good Sport Husband was shocked when Darling Daughter woke him up at 5 am (the usual time then) to find this mess - just shocked (it was a noted occasion) the beginning of our new reality where nothing would surprise either one of us again. :)
      The International Laundress

      Friday, June 3, 2011

      Friendly Fire from the DMZ :)

      Whew, I'm safe... locked in the 'Green Zone,' my bedroom. It's a rewind from being blown from a sound sleep by Good Sport Husband's bazooka-sounding discovery that yes.... involved Darling Daughter.   I knew intuitively exactly what transpired and because this has happened before, I won't bore my readers with the smelly details - except to say that the 'humans' in this house (namely Darling Daughter - an honor student) failed AGAIN on the complicated task of adding the additional 'step' in her daily routine of turning a door knob  (to let high-spirited Lollipop 'out') - after all, it's all about THEM isn't it?  - the second  'step'  in this process, involves turning a key (hmm... maybe that's the hang-up) ? 

      Because this poor animal waits and waits and waits while Darling Daughter has a lovely breakfast at 5 am,  then showers, involving at least an hour's time lapse -  her routine of being  fresh & clean makes the office - where the dogs sleep,  (next to this bathroom)  into a catastrophic nightmare and today.... a real DMZ  (Dog Mess Zone) ... and  it was particularly not pleasant under my husband's work area.  So resident (very experienced) 'Poo-pologist' (ME) had to quickly step in (literally) and Save -The -Day.  :)

      In the military theatre-of-my-life, these escapades are not part of the time-management of my it's easier to just start over and pretend it didn't happen like a bad dream.   I will also add to that, a broken light bulb mess and helping Darling Son 'escape' from the men's 'tie' he was supposed to wear today that was apparently 'strangling' him complete with red-faced yelling and drama. 

      Now for my first cup of coffee my last Excedrin....and hopefully a better 'start' to my day.
      The International Laundress :) 

      Wednesday, June 1, 2011

      I have a DREAM...really I do....

      I wish my world was full of 'aha moments' instead of  'OH, NO... 'who broke THIS ? '  or  what is THAT smell ?    I long for a time when my own Mother doesn't lament .... 'I don't know how YOU can take it'.... 

      I get's crazy 'looking IN '.... it's also crazy 'IN' here ....  but it's the life I've created (whatever that means) .... 'created' ... hmm?

      Next time around... my dream would be to 'create' a family that doesn't answer all statements and questions from me with an immediate ....  'WHY?' or 'NO'.... the debating is what is so exhausting  (a link :)...  and I will go back to traveling Internationally  without a cell phone and 'check in' every few months - yeah, that's what I'll do :)   I'll even bring my paints :)

      Like a magic carpet ride, it would be a hard adjustment at first (for about a minute).... I would think of the barking dogs, slamming doors, foot prints and weird things stuck to the floor  and Good-Sport Husband's loud tone-deaf singing to C &W music when he is grilling. 

      I would also think of my watery eyes as I drove Darling Daughter to school doused with Britney Spears 'cologne' - the true meaning of  'toliet water' ...  I would also think of Darling Son... always running for something in  'white' socks on a dirty driveway -  then both fighting in the 5 minute trip to school with endless strategic conversations about where they are going (later) with my money.    It's endless....  I will think of a time like yesterday when my Darling Daughter decided to (finally) 'check in' with me - stating 'Mom, I'm checking in'  ....  an unprompted startling revelation to be sure that made me first think she was at a hotel... (see, I'm already thinking about my getaway )   :)

      The International Laundress

      Thursday, May 26, 2011

      The 'C'-section as in 'Chaos' Section redefines LABOR

      My baby.... Darling Son is FOURTEEN today... wow... and to be honest, I'm not feeling remorseful or any of the other typical MOM-feelings (ok... just a few)... because I can't wait for them to grow up!  I'm more amazed that my brain can still think back on the details of that 'event' ....  what a fiasco....
      It seems like  just yesterday when we had moved into our home 16 DAYS prior to his Birth-day.  Leading up to that momentous occasion,  I was immersed in unpacking many many boxes, painting shelves, closets and the kitchen, hanging draperies, up and down on ladders and chasing 3-year-old Darling Daughter.  (Did I mention I also was on crutches with a major sprained ankle).... the 'darling' baby blue nursery was on the back-burner so to speak... hadn't even bought diapers (yet)

      Because of my advanced maternal age and the fact that Darling Son was in a breech position -- a tidy C-section was scheduled for 5/29 so I was under deadline...  What I didn't know was....I was heading into my own extended 'C-Section' as in 'Chaos-Section' ramping up for the idea that  ONE (kid) + ONE (kid) = 's at least FIVE in our house   and I might add, not the kind of value anyone wants.

      The night all this began,  I found myself  on May 26th  at 2 am having my own shock and awe moment when my water broke.  These are life events you don't forget... but I apparently 'forgot' to arrange any kind of a plan and couldn't even find my shoes to go the hospital    With a towel between my legs I was waddling around the house throwing things together for my pending overnight...not telling anyone (yet)  the only thing I could remember was my doctor's number... he told me to call him in route (23 miles away) - naturally, I was not pre-registered at the hospital and didn't know where to go - had planned to work on that on 5/28   The other problem in all this commotion, was the 3 year old staring at us.  No family nearby and I didn't know any neighbors yet, so I got lucky (a rarity indeed) when my dear friend 12 miles aways just happened to be in town and just happened to answer the phone at 2:15 am to hear that a drop-off was emanate.  It was HER lucky day... err I mean middle-of -the-night.    By that time, my pain (that old familiar feeling) was starting to build - I was definitely in LABOR .... lunatic Good-Sport Husband, refused to speed or blow through red lights and I was yelling (offering to drive)  as we got lost trying to find this strange new hospital in a major urban city in the dark.   The cobble-stone streets were killing me as we bumped along... flagging down cabbies who had limited English skills for directions.  This whole escapade makes me tired  just thinking about it so I will move on... at 5:30 am that day, my healthy baby boy was born.....and then the real work began -- the 'Labor' of my life started ... :)

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Brain Erosion - it's happening! Zzzz

      We have always said if you are in need of a nap, the last place in this house would be to try to sleep on one of our living room couches... in fact, it's been compared to sleeping in the middle of a road --- waaay too many kids, dogs and chaos.... open doors and windows..... so you're just asking for trouble if you think even for-a-second that it's a place to relax (let alone sleep)...

      Today, being a quiet Sunday afternoon,  I surprised even myself when I started reading the newspaper to then wake from a REM sleep about ninety minutes later.   Good-Sport Husband even said there was a loud crash of thunder that I didn't even hear... oops... additionally, because I hadn't checked the weather, I was refinishing furniture with plans to finish, and my plugged in electric sander and paint supplies were all outside as a flash rain storm hit our area  .... upon waking, I was DAZED (and shocked) compound things, my car with all windows down (naturally) was also completely exposed to this quick storm...  Good-Sport Husband quickly jumped to rescue my sander and paint and to move my car into the garage without first driving over a bag of charcoal and a can of refinishing stain.  (he's not used to 'my side')   with supplies and too may things in the way, one needs to be really careful driving 'in' ......   :)

      I was still shaking my head to try to wake up from dreaming about a purple small dog I had just rescued... oh, the madness of my mind and I didn't even think I was tired!   My brain has eroded to a new level -- very sad.  Need a peaceful sleep and that will be tonight...  :)  

      xo The International Laundress

      Saturday, May 21, 2011

      An 'off' schedule welcomes more work for MOM

      Someday when I live my ultimate dream of living alone in the woods with a cleaning lady, I will recall the start to this morning and NO, I am not 'making up' stuff for content. 

      I was peacefully sleeping in - windows open too  (what a concept) determining that our whole, neighborhood and town must be chronically exhausted - not even a barking dog or a car driving by ... it was eerily quiet - and nice.  Being a Saturday this never happens and I should know better. 

      Then the madness began... 'Good Sport Husband' was anything-but-that, reporting to me as he sputtered while in 'discovery-mode'  that Darling Daughter was 'in a hurry' and because 'it wasn't 5 am' (her usual weekday schedule) she decided because it was  now 7 am and Saturday -- with  a pending luxurious  stream shower (which is another story) that it was not her job to let 'The Girls' OUT.. (our dogs) .... so as you can only imagine... a HUGE poop mess throughout our office on everything!  They had been waiting...   To compound things,  Darling Son was already drilling away on a video game in the basement and he also determined because this was not a 'weekday' for him,  that  he didn't have THAT particular job either... good huh?  Both independently working off the same game card ... this place kills me.    Did I mention (?) Good Sport Husband's frustration resulted in slamming a door and knocking a painting off the wall in the kitchen - one with two nails... I'll need a 'level' to fix that... so with my first cup of coffee in hand I began the unpleasant task of recalibrating this house. 

      The 'other story' on the 'shower'- just 2 weeks ago we hired a painter to fix the peeling ceiling paint because of these steam showers only this time, (I might add) with  moisture and mold resistant paint -- I can already tell by the puckering that this paint was not tested on a teenage girl.

      and so the day begins....

      The International Laundress

      P.S. I would like to thank my Good Sport Husband for later breakfast in bed and apologize to him for  having to go and get a key to get in to my safe zone. :)


      Sunday, May 15, 2011

      Definately a bad signal that needs tuning...!

      Yesterday I found a several of my kitchen dish towels in my Darling Son's  dresser drawer in his room, and it occurred to me that it's probably time to reorganize his messy room. Long pants now come up to his knees, long sleeves are  just below his elbows. The idea of having him make a 'give-away pile' (I know from experience), will not be happening here... He could care less.... and... I'll get to that next week .. LOL ... but it does reflect on a key part of raising ADHD kids....

      As Mom's the-world-over know, kids with ADHD are not what anyone would call 'tuned-in' when it comes to 'organization' ... like a bad signal on a TV-- I honestly don't think they even 'see' the path of destruction that is before them (or behind them) - mess is their comfort, a way of life - .... discovering dish towels mixed with t-shirts is not even a concern.

      Because both of my children have the 'gift' of ADHD....oldest child, Darling Daughter, has always been the leader when it comes to...'disorganization and mess' -- her hallmark trait from the time she could walk.

      Ready, Set...GO !

      As a toddler I attempted to contain the mess with a  'gated community' idea by putting a  'gate' on her bedroom door to minimize the damage to the rest of the house.  Even then, she would figure out how to escape.  Like Houdini she would find clever ways to break out from under a fishing net I had secured with bungie cords over the top of her crib -  the 'gate' would then be next... her mission of mass destruction always began at the crack of dawn.  When not manically jumping on the bed she was climbing (or is it called 'exploring'?)  to get into things -- nothing was off limits... toys everywhere - not possible to 'baby-proof' this curiosity.... messes continued ….

      Once an elementary teacher told me that her desk and the area around her desk was like a 'hampster cage' ... I couldn't resist saying...'you should see her room'. Now as a teenager, it is still astonishing ... homework buried in wet towels, cosmetics ground into the carpet, large empty tubes of hair gel on display and hair ' spray ' on the walls.  She loves it like that -- Darling Daughter has even declared to me how she can't find anything when the room is organized.... really? 

      So the 'dance' begins ...  it will all be perfectly cleaned and organized, I might add, when she wants her 'texting' back... that's my 'channel' .... well, at least something works  :)

      The International Laundress

      Thursday, May 12, 2011

      An Important Technical Correction :)

      Since earlier this month we have been busy busy with Goodnighties sleepwear (my business) ..... but I'm not too busy to correct important facts brought to my attention from one VERY alert reader regarding my previous post 4/26/11 ... it seems that I have horrifyingly confused Deer Poop (turds) with Creamy Coyote Sh**.....  Sorry about that (trying to keep things 'real' here)  .... After extensive research I have learned the difference ....  and THAT difference I might add, is what ended up on the necks of 'the girls' after they rolled in 'it' ...  so now you know the difference - apparently coyotes roam in our tony suburb.  Who knew?
      What I can communicate with certainty is that it's disgusting on dog fur.

      Have a lovely day now that we have this straight! 

      xo The International Laundress

      The Creamy  Stuff

      'The Girls'