Avoidance

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It snowed for about 36 hours this last weekend. The snow was light and fresh and was covering everything. We got about 9″ of the white stuff.

For a short time, the world was quiet. Peaceful even. There is something very comforting in watching it snow. For me, it causes me to slow down and enjoy the stillness. Silence. Fresh.

But, under that blanket of white there is a yard that just makes me cringe.

I can honestly say this is the time of year where I just think the NW is plain ol’ ugly. The trees are naked. The grass isn’t green yet. Everything feels grey and cold, not to mention sopping wet. The snow helps hide this dreadful scene.

With the snow, the yuckiness is gone. It just goes away. It can be avoided, put off, ignored. The ugliness is replaced by something beautiful, divine, perfect.

So, while the snow lasted, I avoided even thinking of all the work that has to happen in the yard before Spring arrives. Now the snow is melting quickly and the sopping, rain soaked ugliness is returning.

Avoidance is no longer something I can hold on to.

I am just gonna have to do it.

Just chill

OK, no, I don’t wanna chill.

Seriously.

It is damn cold outside (for the NW) and it is freaking chilly inside the house.

This week the low temps up here in the Northwest corner of the US is going to be in the low 20s. That isn’t typical for us so when it gets down in this range, we tend to just break out the sweatshirts and insulated jackets and try to avoid the out of doors. Last night the low was around 27 degrees.

So, the furnace has been acting funny and last night I was pretty sure there we were headed for a breakdown. Sure enough, this morning the house was 58 degrees when it should have been 66 when I got up. The furnace has in “lockout” mode – meaning it tried, it didn’t get lit, and then it gave up…for the next three hours.

When I got up to let the dog out at 5:00am I was like, “Crap. This is rather irritating, and cold. Dang, it’s cold in here.”

I tried resetting the furnace by turning off the power and then back on again. The stupid thing gave a good effort but after three cycles of trying, I gave up and went back to bed where it was warm. After warming up a bit, I was awake. So, back out of bed I went and out to build a fire in the wood stove. I was trying to be quiet so as to not wake the others in the house. Quiet, I tell you. Only to have one of the smoke detectors decide to CHIRP for a new battery. So much for being quiet.

Anyway, fire started and going and the warmth is starting to fill the room.

I called into work and let my manager know I was going to have to deal with this issue today and took at least half the day off. (Thank goodness for flexibility!)

I disassembled the ignitors, cleaned them with sandpaper, and reinstalled them. Furnace back on, cycled through the startup process, and still nothing. So, out comes the shop vac and vacuuming the pumps, the fans, the gas feed tubes (not sure of the technical term), etc. How did I know to do this stuff? I had a tech here once who we called because this happened like 6 years ago and we had no idea why it wasn’t working. He literally came out, cleaned the stuff, and charged $125 for 15 minutes of work. He was like, “Look, you don’t need me or need to pay me for this stuff. You can do it yourself.” He showed me what to look for, where to clean, and how to take the ignitors out and clean them.

VOILA!

Everything is back up and running. “Let there be heat!”

The fireplace is all fired up (see what I did there?) but the furnace is now doing what it is supposed to. I’ll keep the fire burning so as to not drive up the gas bill while the cold is here this week, but we are back in the warmth.

Six(ty) Word Story

Photo by Mary Taylor on Pexels.com

We have talked about it over and over again. You know I don’t like it.

I have asked you not to do it. You agreed you wouldn’t.

Yet, you do it anyway. Are your actions that important to only you?

You just ignore me and my feelings, my requests.

I don’t understand. I’m confused.

I’ll just sit here hurt, alone.

Smoke alarm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First night home from vacation and a loud noise interrupts the peace. A loud, piercing, and from a dead sleep, shrieking noise. Dazed and confused but somewhat aware of what all the racket was about, I hoped outta bed and threw on some clothes.

On the way out the bedroom door, the youngest man-child in the family was apologizing for having set off the fire alarms (the whole house is wired so when one goes off, they all go off). He was making corn dogs in the middle of the night, to be precise that would be of the 12:30ish AM variety of the middle of the night.

So, after waving a pillow profusely over my head at the fire alarm so that air would move and it would no longer detect smoke, I tossed the pillow on the couch and gave him a rather irritated look.

So, what they hell?

What is with teens and late teens staying up all hours of the night and causing the old people in the house to lose sleep because they make so much racket? Talking to friends, playing video games, making food, dropping things, knocking stuff over, and everything else that you can think of that makes noise…all to our dissatisfaction and loss of sleep. Can’t you just be like “normal” people and go to bed at a civilized hour?

Yeah, yeah, it’s probably our fault some how.

I’ll tell you what though, nothing is more frustrating that waking up to the fire alarm because the non-adults can’t monitor their food while everyone else is sleeping.

Good night.

Worst ever

Photo by Ann Nekr on Pexels.com

There are a lot of lists out there for lots of different things: best, worst, most visited, most traveled, highly valued, etc etc etc. I am not going to jump into that trend because quite frankly the news media outlets do that crap just to generate clicks. I am not much of a bandwagoner so I will avoid that trend.

But, I am going to give a “worst ever” item. The list is only one item, so it won’t take long to read.

So, here we go…the three worst words to see or hear:

“Vacation is over.”

I was standing in the shower and I realized that I don’t like hearing or seeing those words in that order!

I have about 24 hours left of vacation and it has been a very relaxing and restful time away. I don’t want it to end. I just want it to keep on going.

Today’s post will be short and I am going to get off of here and go soak up as much of this vacation as I have left.

See ya next week.

Surprising

Photo by Zsu00f3fia Fehu00e9r on Pexels.com

There are some fruits that I can’t stand. Many of them I developed an aversion to when I was younger and have avoided them ever since. It’s probably because of texture or because of flavor, but I decided way back when that I didn’t like them and have maintained that stance since then.

Yesterday, I was surprised. I had a grapefruit I actually liked. Normally the fruit is kinda nasty to me, so the fact that I even tried it was surprising.

Interestingly, I liked it enough to try it again today and I still liked it.

Now, this is probably an anomaly since they are so sweet. I don’t know exactly the variety, but they look like a traditional pink grapefruit. I have no idea why it is so sweet, but the grapefruit I pulled off the tree in my parents’ yard in Palm Springs is just downright tasty. I have now decided that I would eat at least a half of grapefruit every morning while I am here. It is almost like candy…except supposedly better for me.

I doubt this will change my outlook on them when I return home though. I will probably avoid them like before.

But for a short time, I am going to enjoy the surprising treat.

“Up to here”

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

I am sure you probably heard it growing up. I know I did more than a few times.

Well, I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered those words directly at my children, but I do know that I have said it mentally or muttered it under my breath thousands of times. Maybe tens of thousands..

I have had it up to here… *motions with hand at a level*

– said by every parent in the world at one time or another

Up to my armpits. Up to my neck. Up to my chin. Up to my nose. Up to my eyeballs. Up to my ears. Up to the top of as high as my arm will reach…up to here!

Again, there is a certain child and his family that I have had it up to here with…the never ending, always needs help, continuously makes bad choices, can’t catch a break, needy child. Up to HERE!

Actually, when I think about it, there are a lot of things I have had it UP TO HERE with:

Politics.

Liberals.

Lockdowns.

Family.

Covid-19.

Media.

Social Media.

Can you feel me? There are a lot of things to have had it up to here with…

I am just gonna sit here, in the dark, and ignore everyone and everything for 15 minutes. Maybe more. Until my “up to here” level has gone down.

What’s got you having it “up to here” these days? Hit the Comment button and dish!

Word up

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

I didn’t know this word existed and I actually thought maybe I was making it up, until I Googled it. So much for being original…

Manctuary.

What is that? Well, it is basically another way to discribe a “man cave.” Urban Dictionary had a good definition, of course, but I think it really goes beyond the man cave.

I guess I see a man cave as something a bit less sophisticated and more about being loud and using tools and working on some sort of automobile. I know that isn’t probably the best description or working idea, but that is how I see it in my head. I see it more of a cross between an auto-shop and a bar, which I am sure is appealing to a lot of guys. But not me.

I see a manctuary as something a little more on the “den” (3) or “study” (3) side.

I don’t think a manctuary has to all high brow (high-back leather chairs, smoking jackets, monocles, etc.) but I think it can include some class. It should be, however, a place a man can go for some solitude. Space. A place to enjoy time away from others, pursuing things he enjoys, highlighting his collection of things he is proud of, and the like.

All this to say, I need a manctuary. No, I desire a manctuary.

Whatever the case, I want a space to call my own. Sure, the garage is a place of refuge to some degree. But my garage is more a place of storage than a place to hang out. It isn’t a place I seek to go, other than when I really need a place to get away. It isn’t built for comfort or cozy. It doesn’t have all the amenities of a manctuary. It doesn’t say “this is my space” like a manctuary would.

Am I being selfish? Do I really NEED a place such as this? Do guys REALLY need this kind of space?

What do you think? Any of my readers out there have anything like what I am describing, man cave or manctuary? How did you make it happen? Did you regret it once you had it?

IBAF

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I am creating a new acronym. IBAF. There you go.

Actually, it isn’t new because apparently there are others out there that use it for inane purposes like the name of organizations or something like that. For me, think if it as a new text acronym.

I am sure you are familiar with “WTF,” right?

Think of this one along the same lines.

IBAF = Irritated Beyond All F*cks.

How is that defined? When someone does something that is so beyond comprehension AND irritates you to a level you haven’t known before, you just stop caring but can’t at the same time.

Yes, I know that makes no logical sense. But, if illogical can explain the illogical, then it is logical. Make sense?

Ah, never mind. I don’t expect that you can understand.

Just know that I am irritated enough that I am making things up just to deal with it.

Bailing, again

Photo by Anatolii Kiriak on Pexels.com

Why do I feel like we are constantly responsible for bailing out the adult children? Good grief, it is never ending.

“Can we borrow the car?”

“Can we live with you?”

“Can you watch the kids?”

“Can we use the house?”

“We need help…”

“The kids need…”

“Can you help us find…”

“Can we do laundry at your house?”

“Can you keep this in your big freezer?”

“The car broke down again…”

“Will you co-sign with us?”

Choices. It all has to do with choices and theirs are continually poor. Much of it stemming from the fact that they rarely think about the future. Vision for the future and putting in a little thought about consequences and what might happen if…thus, the lack of forethought constantly has them stamping out fires of their own creation and never allowing them to head in the right direction.

Once again, we are being asked about borrowing a vehicle and providing a place for them to hang out while they have appointments in town. They are the ones that chose to move over an hour out of town (“We like living in the country”). They are the ones that made poor financial choices and only have one running vehicle, which also happens to be providing the only manner of income at the moment. They are the ones that have chosen to have four children on little to no income (supposedly the last two were unplanned, but we know better…).

These adult step-children are killing me. They know they are the source of friction in my home and yet they do nothing to help. It is a constant stream of needs, wants, and demands (or at least putting us in a position where it feels like a demand, leaving us with little choice).

The problem is, when I try to mitigate the help and limit the aid, it comes back to bite me in the ass. The wrath and second guessing in the household becomes palpable. Winter inside, and outside the house.

Yeah, good times…

Here we go again…