The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-03-14

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The day it all hit the fan and my kitchen got gutted

A few years ago me and my minipin, Ginger, were couch-potatoing on the bed eating some Extra-Crispy-Cheese Wackadoodle's and watching TV.  During a commercial me and the Gin heard something that concerned us...

Man, the washing machine's been filling a long time.

We shrugged, popped another Wackadoodle  and didn't give it another thought till the next commercial, eight...ten minutes later.

Isn't that thing full yet?

Some seconds, and a full shot of adrenaline, later I was off the bed trying to comprehend the full magnitude of my predicament. The washer had indeed filled itself and was now filling the dining room.

One floor down.

The cascade of events after that is really a blur.  I'm good in an emergency but I was so unprepared for this particular set of circumstances that I was running around holding drinking glasses tying to catch Niagara Falls

No, really that's not a metaphor.  That's a visual.  

Most of what I accomplished initially centered around loud screaming.

Turning off the water supply to the washer was the third thing I tried.

Yeah.  I know.

But when water is pouring out your (running) ceiling fan you just never stop, tap you chin thoughtfully, and think...

Hm. Maybe I should should Google this?

There also wasn't time for "during' pictures


I only have the Post-Migraine Flood Shots. That is to say,  pictures I
could take once I could stand the camera's flash again.


My ceiling eventually slowed down to an ooze.


Hours later the insurance company sent out a crew 
with industrial dehumidifiers and gutted several ceilings.
And six weeks of reconstruction began.

And that's sort of where the point of post begins and yeah, took me long enough.

So many things had to be replaced and I made a lot of mistakes because you have no time to mull it over and the construction guys are all about hurry up and tapping their wrist watches,  pointing you this way and that but mostly looking at you like what's taking so long a wood floor is a wood floor is a wood floor and all white paint is white for the love of....

My dining room's next to my kitchen so that ceiling was shot as well.  I had one of those humongous standard 'builder' light fixtures that fill your kitchen ceiling with a few feet by a few feet of white florescent awful.  You know which ones I mean?  Everyone does, I think.

It had to be replaced because it'd become the equivalent of  aquarium.  I wanted to replace it with a halogen fixture - had wanted to for some time but that would have required repainting the entire ceiling which was now - not having a ceiling, a non-issue..  Now was my chance, I thought.  I was talked out of it, I don't know why and have regretted it since because I got the same thing I had and hated..

This awful thing.


and not only do I hate it...


But it where every bug  in NJ goes to die.

I should have gotten the halogen light fixture.  I knew it at the time. But besides the bug graveyard thing, I like halogen  'light' much better, the bulbs are so much easier to manage than florescents, and they have tons of advantages over incandescents for example...  they are only lights that consistently stay on in my house.

The bulbs in my kids room are halogens, all on.


Although it pains me to see what's going on in there.


These aren't halogens...


These either...
Do you see where I'm going with this?  Halogens last.

Mom Central asked me a few weeks ago did I want to be part of the Sylvania Supersaver Halogen Light Bulb Blog Tour - Uh, yes.  Yes I do want to try the Supersaver Bulbs. And uh-huh, they embody everything I like and admire and want to make my best friend and have sleep overs with about halogen bulbs.  Nice and bright, easy to deal with and I expect - long lasting.

I've been a huge fan of halogen lighting  for years, since well before I made the mistake of replacing the old bug graveyard with the new one.  

Of course, other people may have other needs...Perhaps more technical questions and if that's you here's some info according to Sylvania's Site: The SuperSaver Halogen is:

An Ideal Incandescent Replacement - Perfect replacement for incandescent lamps being phased out by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)

It come in familiar Shapes -Available in familiar incandescent shapes: general purpose (A), and indoor floods (R and BR)

It's High Efficiency - Halogen capsule allows higher lamp efficacy and provides energy savings of up to 33% when compared to incandescent lamps.

There are a lot of great reasons to change the bulbs in your house; most of them have absolutely nothing to do with light fixtures full of bugs or flooded kitchens.  That's probably just my life. Want to see if they are a good fit for you?  Check out the SuperSaver bulbs here.

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And because it has to be said...

 “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of SYLVANIA and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm putting on my big girl orgainizing panties, want to join me? It's real simple...

Um, so by now everyone in the the known Universe with an internet connection is aware of the guitar containment facility, a.k.a. my kid's bedroom, on the second floor.

Geeze Ma, was that entirely necessary? 


Now I'm stuck in a holding pattern because I don't want to make all the same organizing mistakes again. In the past I'd clear out his room, redo it, and tell him how to maintain order.  Never works.

Partly because it's my system (not his), partly because okay, want to know what I know about organizing?


This time an added door prize is I told him to clean out his room. In retrospect I should have been more specific. Cause yeah, it's out for sure but...

I lost my hallway more or less. 


Mostly more.  

Now I'm overwhelmed with the enormity of the project and run screaming from it instead of diving headfirst into one of those big bins to see what's what.

What the heck was that?

Nuthin, that's just mommy screaming..

I've done nothing with it for a day in a half.  Maybe three. Tops. And just lived with the stuff in my hallway.  Scratch  that - as my hallway.

Randomly, (or maybe the Board of Health pointed them in my direction ) I got an email that said:

Real Simple and iVillage are teaming up on the Get An Extra Weekend Community Challenge.  When you join, iVillage will send you small, manageable steps to make each day more efficient--giving you a weekend's worth of free time!  Readers can sign up now and tips will start flowing March 29.  The sign up page is HERE.

I went to the sign up page and this is what caught my eye first " You'll learn how to ...  clean and organize your home the speedy way"   

And I wrote back and said, Yeah. Oh yeah, please?  Have you seen my son's room? Send. Tips. Now!  And they did.  This is the first one...


Whether your family computer lives in a home office or occupies a corner of the living room, it’s likely to be hanging out with a lamp, a printer, and perhaps, separate speakers—all with their own wires, each with a will of its own. To keep cords under control, grab an empty paper towel or toilet paper tube and cut it from one end to the other with a pair of scissors. Snap the tube over the cords and, using duct tape, attach the whole shebang to the underside of the desk, away from the leg area. You can also use paper tubes to corral lengthy extension cords by loosely winding spare footage and slipping it inside a roll (no scissors needed this time).  Danielle Claro


I'm so...





If I'm being honest (and what have I got to lose now, with my hallway and now this dust covered cord bedlam and whoopadaisy.), I've got lots of these small areas all over that together add up to visual clutter.  Big Time.

Enough already with the disorganization.   I'm putting on my big girl organizing panties and doing the challenge (and giving myself a fist bump to celebrate taking the first step).  

Anyone wanna hop into their big girl organizing panties with me for the "Get An Extra Weekend Community Challenge"?  You can sign up HERE

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

80 year old Aunties and patent leather

A few years ago an Aunt of mine asked me to eBay a few things for her.  I don't know if you've done that for people but it's not easy. Auctions are unemotional things and don't always go the way a person expects and when the Aunt that you love says, "Do I really have to sell it for that?" And she's talking about something she's had for decades it's difficult to say, "I'm sorry, you do."

Most auctions went well and I made money for her.  The  dolls made her hundreds and went to someone who loved dolls besides.  I sent her a copy of the email from the woman who said she couldn't wait to get "her new dollies and get to washing their hair!" That made my Aunt feel very good. 

The vintage purses were another story. I sold them as a lot because even though they came from the 1950's and early 60's and very well cared for they sell for surprisingly little.  Despite being in better shape than most of mine after a year.  I knew she was going to have issues with the prices of the  purses and I was just hoping a speech about 'somethings doing well will make up for those that don't' would ease the sting.

It was a big sting.  I hope she's forgotten by now and she doesn't even know the half of it because after the buyer got them she wrote to complain about the condition of one of them.  I really could never reconcile that because I post huge pictures I have 100% feedback and I under assess condition; that is I make it sound worse than it is... And it wasn't even condition as much as a smudge someplace as I recall.

But I did what I do in circumstances like that; I made the buyer happy and called it a day.  I gave her half the money back she'd paid for about five beautiful vintage purses.  Never told my Aunt. And never had her give me the money back ... I just ate the amount that I'd already given her.

A few months later I found a purse I hadn't listed.  It was in great shape.  She'd even kept the original tissue paper in it all these years but it's not perfect and thought of listing it brought that aggravation back so it sat around for years until I decided what to do with it...


I'm going to do something I've never done before....


I'm going to have a 'Vintage Thingies Thursday Thanks! for all your visits and I've so much enjoyed seeing everyone's Thingies' Giveaway .

And wow! That sounds weird.
But you know what I mean about seeing y'alls thingies, right?

I'm only going to run it today, Thursday March 18th - Which by the way is my Birthday - Midnight eastern time.  And since it's a bit bulky I'll do US and Canada but I can't ship it all over.

Leave me a Vintage Thingies Thursday Comment and let me know you want in for the purse and please - leave me your email!  Can't find ya back without it sometimes!   I'll pick someone else if I can't find ya and that would be sad and there would be boo-hooing on both sides...  So emails please!


Don't forget to check out Thrifty Thursday too!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The new retro looking turquoise glittery guitar arrives...

Another field trip, shall we?


Proposed floor plan...

beDroom2 copy

Looks much neater in the floor plan, doesn't it?

It's a really small room when push comes to shove.  I made this little mock-up a few hours ago because at ten last night my kid walked in with yet one more guitar.

Yep, the retro looking turquoise glittery guitar is here and I can see why it appealed to him.  The front looks like metal-flake in the most poetic color imaginable; The Caribbean Sea must look like that... Well, I'm assuming that it does, I wouldn't know because that would involve leaving my house, the sides look like white patent leather...  The metal doohickeys are shiny, shiny silver.

In fact, that guitar looks like every pair of shoes I've wanted since I was five years old.

 I'd show it to you but he and the guitar were only here 45 minutes which is time for what... A hundred....hundred fifty text messages?  One must have let him know a friend was home from college and that was the last I saw of him and the guitar.

It got me shaking about, I mean thinking, about the room again ...not that I can forget exactly 'cause it spills into the hallway...


But I decided to look for the floor plan and even though the furniture's not to scale, it's kinda been helpful.

Here's where I am...

1.  Oh, and I made the bed a bit too big but it's full size so it's not frightfully out of whack.  And I guess this isn't really number one is it? 

2.  He needs a small desk, I'm thinking of sticking it in the closet and surrounding that with a closet organizer?

3.  The guitars need guitar specific holders.  That's as far as I got there except they would go over the long wall by the bed.

4.  Two floating shelves over the dresser for his gaming stuff and I think I'm going to have to give up my flat screen TV.  I was all boo-hooing about it but really if it will get me my hall back I can put on my big girl panties and suck it up.

5.  The wall next to the dresser (across from the bed), I'm thinking floating shelves for his guyphernalia, random doodads and fa la la.  Oh.  And books.   Yeah, forgot those.  Books.  The floor space will remain space for the amps.

6.  As to the two and a half foot super-soaker that I mistakenly thought was garbage...


Not a clue how to fit this in.

I wonder what Eddie Ross would do?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Retro Tuesday, not... and something else...

And I know this is a strange one but I have a serious question at the end if you can plod through the wackadoodleosity of Retro Tuesday, Not...

I found the ad for the RelaxACizor months ago but could just never, never quite bring myself to post it for Retro Tuesday.  It's just too strange. Out there..  And I know, I know coming from someone who did The Minute Hygiene that sounds kinda odd but I did that a long time ago and there's something else...  

Wait a sec. Let me back up...

The thing is today I have to go grocery shopping.  I mean I really have to.  I'm out of like, everything especially coffee creamer.  Being out of coffee creamer is worse than being out of toilet paper... If I'm out of that, I go for tissues.  If I don't have tissues, I go for paper napkins even paper towels but there is just no substitute for coffee creamer.  I can not be out of coffee creamer.  NOT going to happen.  Had I thought this through I would have done the Retro Tuesday post Monday night, but I never do that.  I bring you Retro Tuesday fresh from my brain every Tuesday morning.  As a result I'm pressed for time now.

So now that you know way too much about my relationship with toilet paper and coffee creamer onto...

retrotuesay stamp

And than later if I can do Retro Tuesday,Real  I will but for now all I've got is
Retro Tuesday, Not...


Okay, so this diet ad thing?  

Well, of course it doesn't work, they never work...   And there was the inevitable recall (in 1971, after 400,000 of these things sold) by the FDA.  Because according to The Museum of Medical Quackery

"The Food and Drug Administration warned today that the sale of second-hand relaxacisors is illegal.    The warning stemmed from reports that owners of the electrical devices are attempting to dispose of them by offering them for sale in classified advertisements. The devices provide electrical shocks to the body through contact pads.  They were declared dangerous to health in a California court ruling last April against Relaxacisor, Inc., the distributor.

  In his decision, Judge William P. Gray said the devices could cause miscarriages and could aggravate many pre-exisiting medical conditions, including hernia, ulcers, varicose veins and epilepsy.

  The sale of the  thing second hand seems to have sparked it not the thing itself which is a bit odd but... okay.  However, back to the ad. What's always bugged me about it  is, okay it's a toss up.  First these claims; besides being laughable they are well, just look.


And second the picture in the ad.  

I'll admit it looks like she's doing something in that ad; but reducing's not it.


...although Good Housekeeping approved.

Okie-dokie... My question.

I've got this grocery shopping gig I'm facing and it's 10 am.

I don't even know what store I've going to go to.  I don't know what I'm going to buy except for a poorly hashed out list and I know ( I just know from experience) that in one or two days my family will be all, There's nothing to eat in there (when standing in front of an open (and painfully full, I might add) refrigerator.  I don't get that whole thing.

Don't get it at all.

Especially seeing that I now have the cavernous new 21 cubic foot fridge  (Hey, it's cavernous to me) instead of the old ker-phlunking 18 cubic foot one....  So my question is:  Am I doing this wrong?  Is there some secret to this that I didn't learn?  Did I cut that day in High School? Did someone post this secret of the universe  on a blog somewhere and I missed it?  How do you guys handle this?

I don't know if I'll have time to do a linky but if I don't and you want to link to this EMAIL ME and I will add you link right here in this post.  Which maybe a better solution anyway for Retro Tuesday...   And I'm going to add one now just to show how it will look ...

Vonlipi's Favorites

The Green Suitcase 

Scarborough Seashells

And hey, I'm liking this better than the linky's ...any thoughts? 

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Son of Help!

I want to thank you all for the guidance you gave me over the week end regarding storing my kid's guitarage...  Thought I'd show you my progress...


I know it might not seem like much changed but there is now a path for my kid to get to his bathroom at night without uttering... um, let us just say a discouraging word. 

Or two.

I can also get to the laundry room which you will notice is not so much a room as a nook.  No, it's not even a nook.  My dining room is technically a breakfast nook so what's smaller than that?   The laundry nook-speck? And as small as the laundry nook-speck  is the washer, dryer, water heater AND Hvac is in there...  Crazy, man. 

I looked over all the suggestions and my favorite was from  Janiss   who didn't exactly suggest  getting a 5 bedroom house that's 3300 square feet with several walk-in closets as much as tell me that wouldn't help.  I however, am willing to take the risk that that won't help and if anyone has a 5 bedroom house that's 3300 square feet with several walk-in closets laying around that they aren't using....

I'm willing to make that sacrifice and give up my house...

...that's a third that size ...


That's a no then? 

Okay, moving on...  My second favorite comment was from wngl  who asked if I tried calling Eddie Van Halen's mom for advice.  And that made me laugh like no one's business.  Oh, I wish I could but I think most of the excess guitarge fell on Valerie Bertinelli and I can't call her.  I just can't...  Nothing personal against her or Jenny Craig but I find those (any of them) diet commercials ripe with * ahem* disclosure issues.  And that's all I'm gonna say about that.  Except because of that I'm not speaking to Valerie Bertinelli.

So that's where I am.  Basically, I've cleared a path from my son's room to the bathroom.  And one to the laundry nook-speck.


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