Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ten Things That Have Prevented Me From Blogging

Nice. Where have you been? Guys, I'm so sorry that I've been a bad blogger the last couple of weeks. I have many excuses for what's been stopping me from putting fingers to keyboard and providing you all with a couple minutes of distraction. Here is what I've been doing:

1. The Movie - If Dad were a dog, he would turn 525 today and I tried to get the children to make a movie for his birthday. I took some video on my iPad and tried to get them to say "Happy 75th Birthday Granddad." Here is how it turned out:

So, clearly that wasn't going to work. I found an old video from three years ago of them singing Happy Birthday and spliced that together with the only decent current video of them and put in some titles and music in iMovie. I had no idea what I was doing, so it ended up being very amateur-ish:

This took me an absurdly long time, but I'm sure that I will win an Oscar, so it will all be worth it. Alternatively, Dad will enjoy it, so it will all be worth it.

2. The Tudors - As I previously mentioned, I have been reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It's about Thomas Cromwell, who helped Henry VIII rid himself of several wives in an attempt to find someone...anyone to give him a male heir. Well, I finally finished it, and now I've started on the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. Even though I know, based on my college World History class and extensive Wikipedia research, that Anne Boleyn is going to get executed, the book is still somehow suspenseful and I'm compelled to stay up late reading it.

3.  The Bug - Last Wednesday I was hit with a stomach bug that had previously felled the Girl and the Boy. At about 3:00 p.m., I collapsed on the bed, where I proceeded to have repetitive fever dreams about James Gandolfini dying, Paula Deen being an appallingly insensitive racist, and hours and hours of baseball practice. When the fever broke I learned that the all three things really happened and I was sad. On the whole, I think my family took my sickness worse than I did. On Thursday morning the Girl informed me that she had "made" dinner for the Boy and the Baby on Wednesday night, while I thrashed about in the bed dreaming about an endless loop of pop flies. "I hope you're feeling better, because I just can't take it anymore," she said, "I had to microwave chicken nuggets for [the Boy and the Baby]. Now I know why you're so depressed." From the mouths of babes.

4. The Game - Not to beat a dead horse, but I am ready for baseball to end. It takes up so much time, that I don't have a chance to write my nonsense blog. Priorities! We've also got to stop before the Boy starts wearing his caps with a strait brim like Justin Bieber.

I just can't...

As an aside, while I was searching for images of flat brimmed hats I saw this:

Which is a cap for the Tampa Bay Rays, only I immediately thought that the "TB" was short for tuberculosis. I think we should start naming sports teams after diseases. The Boy's team this summer was the Bobcats, but consider the intimidation factor if the name of the team was the "Plague," or the "Hypertension," or the "Paraneoplastic Neurologic Syndromes."  

5. The Tree - I haven't mentioned my latest obsession, which is that there is a large dead tree on our next door neighbor's lawn. It had been limping along over the last few years and now is quite completely, 100%, without a doubt, dead.

Note the tree in the foreground with brown leaves...
Picture of the fungus growing on the trunk and the
dead leaves all over the grass. Recall that it's June.

Our new neighbors moved in around March when it wasn't as abundantly evident as it is now that the tree was dead. The dead tree concerns me mostly because of how it will effect me if the tree falls down. If it comes down, it will likely take down the power line to our house, our wall, and whatever car is parked on the street in front of our house. I saw the guy neighbor and inquired casually, "do you think that your tree is dead?" He responded, "what tree?" Isn't it funny how when you see something every day, it becomes just part of the scenery and you don't pay attention to it? I cleared my throat and pointed to the tree on the front lawn, "that one." He looked at it and shrugged, "maybe..."

This was a couple of weeks ago and there seems to be no urgency on their part to do anything about the tree. This is funny to me particularly because of my one previous interaction with them. As soon as they moved in, they set up a home gym in the sunporch that I can see clearly from my kitchen window. I commented to the wife about how cute it is when their dog sticks his nose out the window when they're running on the treadmill. Within a day, blinds were installed on the windows facing our house. That'll teach me to spy on them like a normal suburban neighbor!

6. The Room - The Girl wants to redecorate her room, which is currently a pink and green relic of her youth. She found some sheets from Serena & Lily that she really liked:

They're probably "boy" sheets, but if she doesn't care, I certainly don't either. See the blue framed pillow case in the lower right? Well, I ordered that and the matching duvet along with the sheets based on the picture above that implies that they match. Well, everything arrived and nothing matches. So, I wrote an email to the "design experts" at S&L to ask for some help:

I received this response:

Hmmmmm. Not sure that this answers the question of why items are placed together in a picture if they don't coordinate, but never mind. Naturally, the Girl doesn't want a quilt, so we have to return everything and go back to the drawing board, or the catalog perusing, as it were.

7. The Trip - Our big summer trip to Maine is coming up and I have tons of stuff to do to get us all ready. As of right now, the only thing I've actually done is get the suitcases out of the attic. The children will pack for themselves, and then I'll go back through their suitcases to make sure they've packed things that they'll actually clothes. While I'm sure the Boy could fashion an outfit out of the bazillion Pokemon cards that he packs for trips, the forecast is for rain and cardboard clothes are not waterproof.

I should probably just let them pack for themselves and not even bother with double-checking their work, but I'm still scarred by the summer that I packed for Maine by myself and brought only one pair of pants, which happened to be bright yellow Gloria Vanderbilts. One cold, rainy day, I wore my inappropriately bright pants on an errand with Dad to the dump (there's no garbage pick-up, so you have to take the trash to the "transfer station" a.k.a. the dump). I was helping out by flinging garbage bags into the big pit, but I slipped and the entire side of my yellow pants got covered in dump mud. I was stuck like that all day because I had no other pants. I don't believe in sheltering children from everything, but no one really needs to spend a day in bright yellow pants splattered with dump mud.

8-10. The Children - Oh my gosh. I didn't realize how little free time I have when the children are all home. What on earth was I thinking with this no-camp business? Sometimes they are great at entertaining themselves, but mostly they want to watch Spongebob Squarepants and ask me for snacks. Next summer, I have to remember:

I'm planning at least one more post before I leave, and you all take the opportunity to break into my house. Don't worry, my neighbors won't notice because they'll have their shades properly drawn to avoid seeing anything in my house. I hope I'll be able to post from Maine, but we have no wi-fi. Yes, that's right, it's all 2008 up there. If worse comes to worse, I'll be tweeting (Lord help us all) @susannahOWTL and posting pictures on Instagram as susiekhayat.


  1. Oh, so glad to see you back! I needed a little diversion tonight. I laughed out loud at 1 & 3. I think the movie will turn out great! Kudos for your creativity. No doubt your dad will cherish it.

    Regarding your free time comment, I just said the same thing to someone a few days ago. What was I thinking not putting them in camp?? They are much happier with structured activities with kids their own age, and still have free time after camp anyway. Thank goodness for family trips and VBS... and the last minute camps I'm adding. :) Enjoy Maine!

    1. Nothing like hearing that you are depressed to make you feel depressed! I may be going to a coffee shop in Maine to get them into some camps for the last couple weeks of summer.

  2. Yup. What was I thinking? Any last minute camp suggestions?

    1. I wish! Let me know if you find something...anything for the last couple weeks of July!

  3. I drove by this weekend - and the tree is gone! I am guessing your neighbor reads your blog and took the hint :)

    1. I know! Apparently he was so shocked when I pointed out the pile of sticks/tree that was on the lawn that he was rendered speechless. He got the name of a tree removal company from us before we all left town and had it removed the morning that we returned to Decatur. I am sorry that they got stuck with having to take care of it when it was limping along last year.