Me Quirks

Something Old Meet Something Blue

Below is a tale of a rather unfortunate plight that had befallen me during renovation season. I do, admittedly, push my luck to the edge of the precipice far too often… recklessly stepping on its fingers, one at a time, as they cling for dear life. My luck … Well, it pushes back sometimes.

But alas, let us begin at this plight’s innocent birth.

The previous night, the stars aligned allowing a genius plan to collide with a rare healthy dose of motivation. Oh, heck yes! Pinterest addicts ain’t got nothing on me. Awkward bathroom, aka: project ugly duckling, will transform into a beautiful swan by my own hands!

Demolition ensues in the form of trim removal. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of trim in my oddly huge bathroom due, in large, to the fact that the previous DYI-er opted to forego the sleek, modern taped and mudded corners for a simpler, more traditional (and frustrating for me) corner trim. 22 pieces later, I have half the room de-trimmed. Half. Motivation slightly waning, I have adjusted the initial plan to include only painting the south and east facing walls. Marvelous, plan B means the de-trimming requirements have been satisfied and I can rest up for the big paint day!

I nearly choked on the creative energy flooding the air that morning. Calling in sick niggled at being a viable option, if only my ridiculous conscience would get on board. Silly work ethic! My next artistic fix would have to wait until lunch hour when I could indulge in a quick hit of selecting the perfect paint in the optimal finish. The winning shade: Yarmouth Blue. Excitement mounts. Why can’t it be home time?!

Being able to see into the future would be so convenient sometimes. I could have just walked away, left my luck tucked in its cozy nook and washed my hands of the whole plan. I could have left well enough alone.


Proudly, I journey home after a full exhausting work day of suppressing my design prowess. The formalities of feeding my family finally dispensed with, I can continue the bathroom transformation process. Prepping the wall. I hate prepping. It requires patience. Patience means I can’t put the paint on the wall yet. But it’s dying to be on the wall for all the world to see!!

Fine, I’ll prep.

Proper, no shortcut prep. Wash the walls, tape the edges, tape the tub, find a container for all the billions of cleaners we never use that are taking up shelves space, clear off the shelves… Uuugghh… There always seems to be one more thing to do! Remove the shelves …well, in a bit…Maybe I’ll just start painting the edge of the first wall. Just to see what it looks like. Yes, of course … My genius has been spot on all day!

I pop the lid off the brand new gallon of Yarmouth Blue, breaking the smooth creamy surface with clean bristles. With excited trepidation, I guide the saturated brush along the first edge of the wall…. The color stunning! So fresh and crisp! This is even cooler than I imagined!

The paint can sitting on the porcelain lid of the toilet tank at the perfect height for efficient and swift wall coverage, I make it back to that corner with the wretched shelves in short order.

Fine, I will finish taking out the shelves. Where are my minions when I need them??

With each strangely secured section removed, I see that the back portion of drywall has not even been screwed in. My curiosity has me poking about in the corner when, at long last, a minion appears.

“Mom, what are you doing?”

I explain that it’s an adventure renovating someone else’s renos … You never know what you’ll come across. He leans, with great interest, into the corner to observe like a bright young Padawan eager to soak in wisdom.

Things become slightly blurred at this point. Due to us both possessing gangly limbs, it is unclear which one made that awkward movement …. That fateful lurch … The proximate cause of damage. Each working at getting an expert view of the corner, each one standing on either side of the toilet… Suddenly a sickeningly tinny thud as the paint can slides off the toilet tank lid and bounces off the toilet and onto the floor, spewing forth a fountain of blue on the entire journey down.

One gallon. One entire gallon, save for that beautiful test edge, of Yarmouth Blue running down my toilet, across my immensely large 8 foot length of bathroom floor and then up my pedestal sink.

In times like this, some might panic. Some might freak right out. Some might see this as a calamity.
But hubby was outside.

I urged my minion to flee from the scene and stared for a second at how cool the blue looked across the floor, then my Mennonite frugal flair took charge and reminded my muscles to get moving because we are not buying another gallon of paint! Armed with a clean dust pan, I start scooping up gobs of paint and carefully pouring it back in the nearly empty can.
This feels productive. Yes, I see progress here! Scoop, pour, scoop pour. Uh-oh…. The familiar sound of hinges announcing entry tells me that hubby has found his way in.

Hmmmm, this is inconvenient… I really had hoped to weave this tale for him in a more fictional fashion. As a “hey, it’s all good now, but you know what happened earlier?!”

Not so.
Caught blue-handed.

Perspective is a funny thing… While I revel in great joy at the amount of Yarmouth Blue I am rescuing, hubby is failing to see humor or joy or anything besides what I can only assume is a faint shade of red. You see, the bathroom floor is one of the only floors in our entire house that is not being replaced in the overhaul. So Mr. Glass Half Empty is far more intent on rescuing the faded old cream vinyl with the blue square pattern…. On a side note, having the 2 blues in such close proximity makes me want to high five myself for the keen color matching.

My man is not so much in the high-five mood right now so, in guilt ridden silence, I work alongside him armed with thick rolls of quilted paper towel. Three quarters of a gallon of paint having been slopped back into the can, one dust pan at a time, the task of cleaning up that old vinyl begins.

If you can imagine a steam roller taking a wrong turn and crashing a crowded Smurf party, you have just envisioned my crime scene. I sensed by my hubby’s tone and demeanor that perhaps I should be taking this more seriously. After all, who knows how many Smurfs had to die to make one gallon of blue paint??

Is it weird that I feel we should be bringing out the bottles of bleach??

My pride really wanted me to handle this on my own, it was my mess. But, time being of the essence, hubby joined me on all fours and we swiftly scrubbed before the paint dried. All in all, it was humbling and humorous. I’ve learned to embrace my tendency towards less than graceful movements, but the fallout can be more far reaching than I’d like to admit. I surely do appreciate hubby’s patience on this front!

I’m sure that there are bushels of wisdom that could be reaped from this entire catastrophe, but there’s one fact that shine through the brightest.

My old vinyl bathroom floor has never been so clean.


Don’t Mind the Mess

Daunting is the task of effectively expressing a budding idea that’s dying to burst forth. I’m not just talking any idea, but one from my brain in particular. Carefully mixing the perfect combination of letters together by trial and error to form a palatable concoction. One that can be digested easily by the average joe … Or at least those with a craving for the less serious side of life. As the chemist in this equation, I recommend you safely wash down whatever concoction I throw together with a tall glass of soothing milk.

Hmmm…on second thought, a potent wine could act as a viable agent in lubricating the mind’s message cables, assisting in a clearer translation coming through.

Here’s the mole hill which I am tasked to scale the face of. My brain is a hoarder. Yep, just like those people that have religiously kept every single edition of their local newspaper for the past 50 years… Including the coupons, cuz …. You just never know, right?! Minute details of the most mundane trivia, every last shred of fact or fiction I’ve absorbed amongst it. Pictures! Pictures of everything I’ve ever seen! (those are getting awfully faded I must admit)

While all this hoarded information could potentially make me a super genius, I’ve tragically failed to adopt an efficient and logical filing system. In all honesty, Mr. Dewey Decimal would roll over in his grave. Overstuffed tattered boxes, teetering paper piles, a sweet memory of a first grade teacher stuck to the back of an old job interview.

You know when your mom would walk into a room and say “It looks like a tornado ripped through here!”. Well, that ravaged room has the precise organization of an operating room in comparison to my chaos. 33 years of accumulated disaster is the heap I rummage through during an exam! How I ever find anything in here is an enigma. Though, now that I ponder it, superpower springs to mind.

Aside from a shrink ray to fit me for the job of climbing inside my own head and sorting tidbits one by one, writing seems to, at the very least, provide a makeshift organizational solution for a fraction of the new incoming intel. Perhaps not yet a Pinterest-worthy solution, but hey, baby steps.

Now that we’ve given the extent of clutter a nod, inviting innocent bystanders to sip from the concoction cup takes on a far more terrifying form. Actually sharing what I write is much like taking a perfect stranger by the hand and leading them into the great halls of this crammed illogical brain. For safety purposes, average joe access must be permitted to the hallways only.The dime tour won’t get you into the vault of chaos, and, unfortunately for me, having company in here means I’ve agreed to venture in, brave the clutter and dig something decent out of there with which to entertain my guests. Where is that hard hat??

It may be in my best interest to fine print my welcome mat with “caveat lector” …

Latin for “I will not be held responsible for the level of ludicrous you peg me at based on what you read”

So come on in!

Did You Just Get Humble Pie on My Game Face??

I don’t always bowl like a rockstar, but when I do I’m the boss’ wife.
I hate to flog a dead horse with an overused catchphrase, but I just really like that Dos Equis guy. The suave and debonair ambiance in his facial hair alone has me nearly convinced to embrace my future bearded heritage as a Mennonite woman. But, alas, back to being the boss’ wife. Clean shaven, to be clear.

It’s a night on the town. A planned work outing for hubby, his hilarious manager partner, and their direct reports… to up the ante, add the better halves into the mix. So I brush off the rarely used, boss’ wife hat, still in pristine condition, and place it, ever so daintily, atop my excited little head. (Yea, I need to get out more)

With the kidlets squared away, it’s off to the big ole city. Not unlike any other cultured, sophisticated woman of high society, I pass the time on the car ride as a secret agent snapping covert couple selfies. I got this. Dinner is a success as I have the group lulled into a false sense of “she’s normal” as I play out my demure persona… well, mostly.

Next is bowling. Innocent enough right? Hmmm..

With the gang divvied up into 3 teams, lanes side by side ready to compete, who struts in to crash this party?

My game face.

I can’t help it, there is not a hat in my closet that can cover it. I like to win. I’m competitive… and I’m not even that good at stuff!

Demure slinks off into the corner to sulk while Scrappy takes over. *deep breath* …Play it cool, boss’ wife. A vision is painted into my thought bubble…“Hey, there’s the manager who’s wife broke her leg at that work bowling night when lunging over ball returns to showboat in the opponent’s lane… completely sober.” Nobody wants to be that guy. Whispers of this nature could besmirch his good works.

Behold…my saving grace. The cheer couple! What soul can outdo the competitive spirit of a couple comprised of two lively award-winning cheerleaders? None, I say. Naturally, fate would have us on the same team. My dramatic one-knee down/fist pump combo after each strike blends in quite nicely. I’m on fire! Throwing caution to the wind, absurd quantities of high fives and guttural war cries of “Xeeeenaaaa!” became the norm. Not only was team “Hyperactive” beating the other 2 lanes, little miss boss’ wife was bending it like Beckham, only with a bowling ball. Locked in my highest score ever, and yet somehow, did not fall over the foul line due to the imbalance caused by my swelling ego. (ok, there was that once, but I played it off as though I tripped on my slightly too long jeans).

Here we are, the last game of the night. A round of Bingo bowling, 3 teams racing against the clock and each other to clear the screen of the points shown in each Bingo square. The atmosphere electric, Arctic Monkeys rocking through the speakers, adrenaline dripping all over everything, no one is sitting between turns anymore. It’s close. The aggressive cheer kids are a force to be reckoned with and we are clearing off points turn after turn. Hubby, aka, the boss, aka, Professor X, displayed some stunning sniper skills to pick off 3 pins, one by one, to get the very difficult 11. Down to one last square on the Bingo card, a “C”. (it’s ok, i haven’t read bowling for dummies either… the experts informed us it’s the center pin and 2 left pins or 2 right pins in one throw). To get those 3 pins down requires a tricky curve ball. Multiple failed attempts at the “C”, Time is ticking and the competition is hot on our heels.

My turn.

Time to shine. My ego really wants to bring home the imaginary trophy with the most exquisite curve ball in the history of spouse colleague glo-bowling. I ceremoniously select the one odd-colored ball from the return and get into position. Stepping forward, ball reaches back to the top of the arm swing… harmonious fluid momentum brings it to the optimum release point, rolling slightly off my crooked pinky to add the spin that produces that perfect curve. I bowl maybe once a year, so I have no idea what I’m talking about… but this is what I felt like in my head. Down on one knee, I’m mesmerized by the eternity it took the ball to roll down the lane. The triumphant climax playing out before my eyes just as it happened in my mind. The 3 pins… perfectly in line with their impending doom.

Wait?! WHAT?? Why is the pin sweepy thing coming down??! My champion ball takes down the 3 pins micro seconds before they are swept away.

Confusion. crumbling victory. My imaginary trophy being melted down to make teeth caps. I don’t understand. I turn and find an ashen-faced Professor X at the helm of the button table. “I accidentally hit the reset button when the ball was halfway down the lane!” Less than 60 seconds left on the clock and my “C” doesn’t count!

I swallow my pride, brushing off crumbs of humble pie, and do NOT throw a tantrum on the lane in front of 18 of my hubby’s work friends. I CAN be a big girl with a less inflated head and say “that’s ok”. I don’t have to be the hero. I don’t even have room on my mantle for that trophy. I don’t even have a mantle.

Our time runs out, the gang heads out with cheers and thanks for a great evening. My boss’ wife hat is still intact. Looks like a success, Professor… just remember, I see the whipped cream on your hands.