Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Whole Lot of Nothin'

[Originally published in the Miami News-Record on August 2, 2015.]

I try not to miss writing this column too often, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Last week 4/5 of us came down with a horrifically vile stomach bug that had me changing trash cans, spraying Lysol, applying cool cloths to hot faces, bleaching anything that looked remotely germy, and washing every sheet, pillowcase, and blanket in the house every time someone recuperated only to begin the whole process over again when the next one bit the dust. I just opted to just take the week off. I don’t think I could’ve written anything intelligent anyway. Paul and I slept on the couches or an air mattress for a solid week while the kids convalesced in our room close to a bathroom and nightly my slumber was punctuated multiple times by barfing teenagers or husband. Needless to say, I was kind of doofy by my Friday noon deadline anyway. But hurrah for “mom-munity” because once again everyone in the house got sick except me. Although … a few days in bed sounded kind of nice by week’s end.

In my “free” time I have been working on lesson plans. My dining room table hasn’t seen the light of day since July 4th . I am in the home stretch, though, and by the end of the weekend should have both kids’ lessons written out through Christmas break. I have been having strange dreams about Moby Dick, the Jamestown colony, Hiawatha’s wedding, sentence diagrams, sonnets in iambic pentameter, and business ledgers for the better part of the month. Something tells me I need a vacation. Well, either that or some medication.

Not long after we moved a year and a half ago my washing machine stopped agitating. The repair guy said it was the transmission and it was on borrowed time. Well, we borrowed three days then she gave up the ghost. We took our monthly date night to Lowe’s to purchase a new Whirlpool. The new machine was fancy and weird, but we adjusted. Over time I grew accustomed to the strange clanking noises the owner’s manual said were normal as the load leveler and automatic doohickeymabobber did their jobs. But alas, a mere week after the one-year warranty went out, she began her death cry – a horrible racheting sound that makes the coyotes howl and the cats run for cover. It also makes my husband grumble and the kids moan. It just makes me see dollar signs. A call to my favorite repair guy went like this:

“Did you buy any kind of extended warranty on that washer?”


“Well, you should have.”


Last June I began the construction of my very first rag rug. I got this crazy Pinterest-fueled idea to make all of my sister’s and my kids a handmade (with love!) rug. The idea was to present them as graduation presents. Since Abby had already graduated and my nephew Trust was about to be born I decided to tackle Trust’s first as a birthin’ gift then would finish Abby’s immediately after then be on track to finish my niece’s long before her graduation this coming May. I put the last stitch in my squishy baby nephew’s rug last Monday, a week before his 1st birthday. So his birthin’ gift has turned into his birthday gift and I learned that homemade rag rugs aren’t to be rushed. I also hope he doesn’t mind that toward the end I jammed the needle into my finger so hard I kind of bled on his rug. But it’s on the underside, so as long as no one inspects it too closely, we’re good. It turned out really pretty and I’m proud of how it looks (blood and all). I know how to make things go smoother for the next one. And the good news is my niece should expect her rug in May.

Of 2025.

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