I get it, Lucy.

A friend of mine always tells me that my life is an ongoing episode of the “I Love Lucy” show.  Last night, while I was trying to corral an Industrial Floor Scrubber on my mom’s floors, I could definitely see his point.  It was a YouTube moment for sure.

First of all, the thing weighed 110lbs.  I’m not kidding.  I looked it up after I finished loading it, so I know what my max squatting weight is right now.  The way it works is you turn it on and HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE.  It whipped me around the house like a rag doll, and I weigh much more than its 110lbs.  Here’s a picture the darn thing:

floor scrubber

But keep in mind that this picture is of a fairly new machine.  The one that I rented was probably manufactured sometime in the 70s and it looks like it’s been used every day since.  It is nicked and scarred, probably from all of the renters that lost control of the damn thing and watched it speed across the floor only to run into the fireplace.  That may, or may not, have happened to me.  A few times.

Y’all, forget Pilates.  Toss out your elliptical machine.  There is no better full-body workout than the Clarke 17″ Floor Scrubber with blue pad.  I feel like I rode a bull and lived to tell about it.  My mother’s walls can probably say the same thing.

We’ve been working like dogs to clear everything out of mom’s house and to pull up all of the flooring.  The next step is to treat for fleas (did you know those suckers can survive without carpet, animals, or humans?) and then lay new flooring, but the Exterminator shook his head at the amount of flea powder that my adorable sister spread along the baseboards of the entire house.  He said it would have to come up before he could treat it.

That crap is like talcum powder, so no matter how many times we swept the floors, there was still a layer of dust.

Enter the Clarke 17″ Floor Scrubber, aka The Bull.

By the time I finished the main parts of the house (living room, dining room, hallway, and master bath), I was soaked in sweat and panting like the work dog that I am.  And then I started to cry.  Let’s call it a stress-relief session, masquerading as despair over the fact that there was no way that I could finish the other two bedrooms, let alone even think about how I was going to corral The Bull into their tiny closets.  I decided that I would return the next day with a good old-fashioned mop and bucket.  And hopefully, whatever little sanity I had left.

I drug The Bull out to my car, and realized that I had to lift the damn thing up and into my small SUV in order to return it.

crying-i-love-lucy1

Yep, I get it, Lucy.  I get it.

Happy Birthday to ME!

Sunday was my 43rd birthday.  I know, I forgot to mention it.  Notice the number?  Who really wants to announce that?  I was really just pretending that it didn’t exist.  I’m not depressed about it or anything, but I had a baby two days before my birthday 17 years ago, so let’s just say that I gladly let my birthday take the backseat.

This is completely foreign to LoverBoy’s sweet girlfriend.  She kept asking me if I was excited about Sunday, and I swear to you that every time without fail, my response was, “What’s Sunday?”  And I was serious.

This type of attitude worked out well for me over the years, like on my 30th birthday.  I had thrown a huge bash for my husband’s 30th birthday six short months before my birthday.  I actually thought it would be the one birthday of mine that would be celebrated.  When nothing was mentioned about my birthday, I just KNEW that I was getting a surprise party.  Oh, I was surprised all right.  He forgot, and then made a last-minute attempt to stop and buy something (quite possibly at a convenience store) on his way home.  I got candles.  “But they’re that scent that you like, Babe.”

Things haven’t changed much.  On Sunday, he called the boys to see if they wanted to “hang out” with him.  LoverBoy replied, “Well, I really think we should hang out with Mom, since it’s her birthday and all.”  His response, “Oops, my bad.”

Sorry, ladies.  He’s already taken.  You will have to wait a couple of years for Mr. No-Where-Close-to-Right to be available.

The good news is that he didn’t pass this trait down to my boys.  At five minutes after midnight, LoverBoy ran out into the living room to give me a hug and tell me “Happy Birthday.”  It was also the first thing that both of them said to me when they woke up the next morning.  I could have died happy right then and there.

I set about my day doing the normal things – laundry, dishes, changing cat litter, etc.  This sent several members of my family into convulsions.  It was my birthday and there needed to be a plan to celebrate it.  (Perhaps I’m adopted?)  I agreed to a day full of fun with family and friends.  First, I hit the mall with the boys and the girlfriend.  I wanted to get some of the back-to-school shopping out of the way.  (Okay, perhaps I’m a freak of nature?)  I know that shopping with teenagers sounds like a chore, but listen, I think I have found the key to a successful back-to-school shopping trip.  Go on your birthday.  They feel bad that you are buying stuff for them on your birthday, so they are super appreciated.  I must have been told that I was “the best” more than a million times.

After shopping, I decided to get a pedicure with my BFF.  When I told the boys where I was headed, they handed me their card and said, “You’d better open this now.”  It was a gift certificate for a pedicure. Of course, I know that it was the girlfriend’s idea, and I have never loved her more.  (Isn’t that my luck, I grow to love her right the summer before she leaves for college?)

We went to dinner with my mom, my sister and her family, and my BFF and her family.  I had a margarita and had the best time giggling.  (Obviously, I’m a cheap date these days.)  The boys thought it was great since I rarely drink.  Or have fun.  Plus, I probably gave them money because I’m generous when I’m happy.  Tipsy.  Whatever.

We ended up back at my house for cake and ice cream.  My mom and sister bought me this amazing cake called The Dobashe from a local bakery.  It is heavenly – layers of chocolate fudge and vienna fillings.  It’s my favorite.  And I’ve been told that cakes eaten on your birthday are actually fat-free.

It wasn’t anything exciting.  There was no surprise party or humongous gift, but it was absolutely THE BEST birthday that I have ever had, surrounded by the people who I love that love me back.  I can’t wait for the next 364 days to pass to have another day as great as that one.  (Even though adding numbers to my age adds other fun things, like READING GLASSES.  Ugh.)

Anyway, happy Birthday to ME!

 

For a moment, it was bliss.

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:

Anyone need a holiday mug?

Anyone need a holiday mug?

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.

Gulp.

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.

It’s another Monday. WHY?

Obviously mocking Monday is a super bad idea.  Monday will get the last laugh on Tuesday.

My lovely allergic reaction to God-knows-what remained in full effect on Tuesday, but to make matters worse, our a/c was out at work.  Let me recap.  Southeast Texas weather in July through September mimics the surface of the sun.  Only more humid.  You know what does not help a face rash?  Heat and humidity.  The rash spread to my eyes, and since I can’t rub Benadryl cream there, I decided to use my lunch hour to head to Doc-in-the-Box for a steroid shot.

Enter Problem #1.  The good ol’ doc decided to get high-tech and go paperless.  Kudos to him except, why this week?  After waiting for two hours, I was no where close to seeing a doctor.  I had also run down the battery in my phone perusing Facebook while I waited, only to discover that my former BFF was posting pictures of her tropical vacation celebrating her wedding anniversary and her “great friends'” wedding (aka my ex and his new wife).  Really?  Neither of them are on Facebook.  Why do you feel the need to post picture of their drunk asses at a bar?

Okay, so maybe I’m a tad more upset about this wedding thing than I thought.  You will understand more when you read about the rest of my Tuesday, or extended Monday.

Back to the doctor’s office.  Since I had already paid my co-pay, I told the nurse that I would be right back after I took the cat to the vet and picked up a kid from camp.  And I flew home at warp speed to try to dig a cat out of the bushes to drag to the vet.  Not the Kitten From Hell, but the old cat that hates her and has decided to pee all over my house as my punishment.  The last time she did something crazy like this, I learned that she had some sort of urinary infection, so I called the doctor with the hope that it was either that or impending death.  (I don’t take kindly to people or animals peeing on my floors.  Just ask my ex.)

Sadly for me, and ultimately for the cat, it is not a health issue.  It’s just “inappropriate behavior” that I will have to retrain.  With what?  Euthanizing her?  Nope, a long list of things that are next to impossible considering the fact that other people and animals live in my house.  Oh, and since she has been bolting outside, she has picked up fleas.  FLEAS?  In all of my years as a pet owner, fleas and urination have been a rare issue.  I should probably have been thanking my lucky stars this whole time, but I feel this payback is more than making up for my lack of prior gratitude.  Payback is hell.

I picked up MonoBoy and dropped him and The Punisher off at home and told the boys to get started on yardwork.  I designated Tuesdays for yard work, since there is no basketball practice or other pesky obligations to get in the way.  I sent some grand, lengthy text to the boys explaining to them that “yard work” was more than mowing the yard at lightning speed on the highest level of the mower, carelessly missing huge patches.  It meant that they needed to move the water hose and the soccer goal and any other thing that they leave around in the yard and not just mowing around it.  (Can you say Trailer Trash?) It means edging the driveway and walkway and using the weedeater around the mailbox, fence, air conditioner unit, and side of the house.  It means blowing all of the grass off of the driveway, walkway and other non-grass areas.  And it means, cleaning the dog-poop filled grass out of the mower before putting it back in the garage.

You would have thought that I texted them in German or Latin or some other language that they aren’t taking in high school.  Okay, let’s be honest, I could have texted it in Spanish and gotten the same confused looks.  But I wrote it in English and it was in writing so that they knew exactly what I expected and could refer to it as necessary.

Total waste of time, but I was ever-hopeful and left to go back to the doctor for my steroid shot and then hit Pets Mart.  A whopping $270 later, I left PetsMart armed with all of the things I needed to kill fleas and prevent (ha) inappropriate behavior.   It’s a racket, I tell you! Then I got back home and discovered that the boys had only followed their previous yard work plan, not the detailed one that I had outlined in my text.

After several days on Benadryl, combined with everything else going on in my life, let’s just say I was a tad bit testy.  I entered the house with a vengeance and animals and children were scurrying.  I took the boys back outside and supervised until I thought that my face rash would burst into flames.  Then I started dinner and began setting up all of the goodies that I had just purchased – putting up gates to block the dog from the areas with wood floor, plugging in Fel-away that’s supposed to calm cats and keep them from marking, and scrubbing my floors with a substance that will either kill the animal scent, or remove the varnish.  I could care less which at this point.  Then I started vacuuming rugs, only to discover when I moved my coffee table that somebody had spilled red Gatorade on my rug and not bothered to clean it up.  I’m sure they thought, “She’ll never notice since the carpet is mostly red and orange,” and quite possibly, they might have been correct if they hadn’t actually spilled it on the cream color leaves.

How long until my children go off to college and take the animals and their friends along with them?  Regardless of the answer, right now it’s TOO LONG.

I sat down to eat with the family and remembered why I don’t like to sit down to family meals with teenagers.  If I wanted to referee, I would sign up to ref soccer games and get paid to do it.  Finally, I gave up and excused myself to wash the dishes and work on laundry.  Sadly, those chores sounded more fun.

Then it was time for the chore that I dreaded – bathing all three animals, combing them for fleas, and applying flea treatment.  At one point, MonoBoy came into the bathroom to help, but left the door open and I had to dive for a drenched cat that bolted as soon as it saw the possibility of escape.  I might have asked him to leave the bathroom immediately because he responded with, “Geez, why are you so cranky today?”

Gee, I wonder.

After all of that nonsense, I decided to jump in the shower and go to sleep and pray that Wednesday wouldn’t be another Monday.  And I got the opportunity to pray all night due to my lack of sleeping.  Maybe it was the events of the day or maybe it was the steroid shot or maybe it was the rage I felt whenever I heard the bell on a cat collar when they were scratching a flea.  Who knows, but I didn’t fall to sleep until 1:00am and I was wide awake at 3:22am.  Plenty of time to obsess and dream about running away and living alone.

Today I am hiding in my office, partly because the doc said no more makeup and my face is blaring red with the heat in here and partly because I’m afraid that if I leave, I will discover that once again, it’s another Monday.

 

 

It’s Monday, without a doubt.

It’s Monday.  Oh, is it ever a Monday.

Last night I had an allergic reaction to something (no idea what since I’m allergic to everything) and my face is covered in a rash and it itches.  I took Benadryl last night, which meant that waking up this morning was next to impossible.  Benadryl makes me sleep like the dead.  It also makes me cranky when I don’t get enough sleep.

I’m also using Benadryl Cream as my moisturizer, which my foundation doesn’t like to adhere to, meaning that I have makeup on everywhere EXCEPT on the bright pink rash.  Lovely.

Earlier in the spring, I signed MonoBoy up for a week-long basketball camp.  It started today at 8:00am.  He goes to this camp every year, and this is the last year for him because of the age limits.  He was excited about it in the spring when I mailed in the money.  This morning, he was less than excited.  Probably because he likes to stay up late on Twitter (more on that another day).  He even had the nerve to ask to skip the camp.  Of course you can.  Right after you repay me the $150 registration fee.

As we were walking out the door for camp (because kids without jobs are broke), I noticed a smell and realized that Rat Dog pooped in the dining room.  Guess who forgot to let him out this morning?  I guess he was too busy arguing with his mother about camp.

And have I mentioned that my best friend is on a cruise for SEVEN DAYS?  That’s seven days without contact with the person that has been in charge of my sanity since 2008 when I started crying outside my Sunday School classroom and she was the brave soul that tried to comfort me.  It turned out that was going through the same thing, so she could relate.  From that moment on, she was my lifeline.  We got through our divorces together, we helped each other break away from those more-than-stupid rebound relationships that we found, and now we support each other through this terrible phase known as “teenagers.”  (The kids should perhaps make themselves scarce because I won’t have anyone to talk me off the ledge when I snap and want to actually choke them this week.)

She left yesterday, but the reality hit me this morning when I was typing an email to her and I realized that she wouldn’t receive it until NEXT MONDAY.

Oh my God…it’s Monday.  Without a doubt.