So I wanted to tell you about last week. We finally made some progress on Operation Move Mom In. Mom decided that she doesn’t really want to substitute and work in the church nursery anymore (Hallelujah!), so it’s time to clean out the house and fix it up to sell it. I think I told you guys that this was going to be a multistep process, but thanks to her sentimentality and my broken foot, the steps are taking a
little LOT longer than we thought.
Nonetheless, we have completed the next step, known as the Garage Sale from Hell. My mom and sister started working on it a couple of weeks ago, while I hid behind my excuses of working and going to basketball tournaments. When basketball ended, I finally had to give in, so I took a few days off of work to join the fun. I set up tables and set things out, just so that my sister could send me out to buy food for everyone while she rearranged everything that I set on tables. And you thought that my OCD was bad!
This went on for days because, oh the stuff. You see, my mom is a collector of stuff. And she had 50 years of Christmases and 25 years working with children to collect stuff. For instance:
For those of you that like to give mugs to teachers as holiday gifts, please reconsider. How about a nice gift card that can be thrown away after its use? I’m just throwing it out there. Of course, if you insist on gifting mugs, I happen to know where you can get a few.
It wasn’t just holiday mugs. Oh no, there was a ton more stuff. The entire house, as in EVERY room, was filled with stuff. The garage was filled with just holiday stuff. Let me say that again. The garage was filled with JUST HOLIDAY STUFF. Not one Nativity scene, but more like a twenty. More Santas than one can count. Easter eggs galore and y’all, I didn’t even know that they made that many jack-o-lantern and black cat decorations. I think I might have threatened Mom that if I caught her buying a single Santa or whatnot that I would cut the cord to her oxygen tank.
But we, and by we I mean my sister, finally got it all arranged just right for the sale. We then spent two days in the blazing sun negotiating with people over things that we marked at $0.25. Yes, you read that right. We haggled over a quarter. And most times, we lost, but it was really a victory for me, since the more stuff that drove away in cars and trucks meant the less stuff that was coming to my house.
You know what did come to my house? Her cats – Sir Pees Alot and the Duke of Fleas. (Please note that the names are interchangeable.) My poor mother – bless her heart – decided to be proactive and treat the cats for fleas before they moved in, since I was already starting to twitch after the Great Flea Battle of 2014. Here’s a helpful hint: Hartz Flea Treatment is inconsistent and is known for its risk of Toxicity.
Guess how I know.
When I showed up one evening to help with the organizing, mom was silently crying while rocking in her chair. My sister announced, “Her cat is dying.” I might have said (a tad too enthusiastically), “Really? Which one?” But who can stand there and watch the sweetest woman in the world cry? Not me, that’s for sure. I loaded up Sir Pees Alot and hauled them to the vet. They ran some blood work, determined that it was indeed the toxicity of the medicine and washed him down to make sure that there were absolutely no traces of flea medicine left on him.
And then he moved into my house and FULLY recovered.
Yaaaaayyyy! [I need a sarcasm sign.]
Needless to say, the fleas have staged a mutiny against my sanity, but I was granted a slight reprieve to celebrate LoverBoy’s upcoming birthday. He loves watching soccer, so I bought tickets to the International Champions Cup in Dallas and we embarked on a five-hour trip to cheer for Real Madrid and stay in a fabulous hotel. If you are ever in the Dallas area, I highly recommend the NYLO Southside. The boys loved it.
Wait, did I say a five-hour trip? Scratch that. MonoBoy was at the beach with friends, so we had to route through Galveston adding another, ohhhhh, two hours to our trip. I thought that it might be pushing the limits on how long my boys could be in close proximity without killing each other, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not even once did I have to threaten to pull over and leave them on the side of the road. (They’re bigger than me now, so threats of smacking them only earns laughs.) Instead, we talked about careers and colleges and all kinds of important things. It was fabulous, much like the hotel.
The game was hot and crowded, but we laughed hysterically at the fans that stormed the field and stopped the play, especially the guy that paused to take a selfie before getting hauled off by police. Then we risked our lives in a cab on the way back to the hotel, ordered pizza to be delivered, and watched a movie in the room. Then I slept the best sleep of all because no phantom fleas were biting me. (Yes, I admit that most of the fleas are probably figments of my imagination. You have no idea what it’s like to live with my crazy brain!)
We are back to reality now. Mom almost killed herself while trying to set off flea bombs in her own house. There is still a ton of stuff at her house waiting to be boxed for charity or the curb. The kids are driving me crazy with their soccer registrations, referee clinic registrations, soccer cleat purchases, and back-to-school shopping wish lists. And I’m having a medical issue that forces me to realize that I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS.
But for a moment, I was on vacation and it was bliss.