Knowing When to Switch Gears

This morning went poorly.

It was hot and my Patient Parent switch was stuck in “off”. Chloe has had diarrhea for the past four days, so today was the day to take a sample to vet. The problem? She hasn’t pooped all day. We even tried going to the playground, which is normally a surefire way to make her do the doo. But it was a no go.

By the time we got back, Mama was grumpy, Rex was whiny, and Chloe was hot and confused. After I lost my temper and yelled the third time, I took a deep a few deep breaths and tried to step back from the situation. Time? 11:38am. Status? Hot, tired, frustrated.  And hangry. I gave Rex some much needed hugs, apologized for yelling, and scrapped the entire day’s to-do and should-do list.

We switched gears.

I made lunch, turned on some Mickey, and we took a little break from each other.  My to-do list will still be there tomorrow. Nothing on it is urgent, unless Chloe finally poops.  We’ve made it to quiet time without further incidents and all house residents appear much happier. I think it was the right choice.

2015-06-29 13.40.24Rex in our makeshift wading pool (aka an empty Sterilite box) with his new orange playground ball from Grandma and Papa.


An Unexpected Bonus

Our little condo is across from an elementary school. One unexpected bonus that has come from being so close to a playground is my new Evening Time. For the last several nights, we’ve been going to the playground after dinner.

Rex has been taking his basketball, but mostly he watches the other kids play. Chloe (our elderly dog) takes advantage of the grass and chases a ball for a few minutes. Being a senior doggy who isn’t the slimmest girl out there, she tires easily. After about 15 minutes or so, I take her back home for water and her evening meds. Sam and Rex remain at the playground, usually for another 30-45 minutes.

Do you know what one woman can accomplish in 30-45 minutes when left totally alone? It’s amazing.  Tonight I celebrated the new routine by making myself a drink, throwing on my wireless headphones, and having a ridiculous dance party by myself. I shook my booty and did the dishes, the laundry, and cleaned up after dinner.  The complete emotional reset accomplished by 30 minutes of alone time and a kickass private dance party is astounding.

I think I’m going to like it here…

IMG_20150622_192629(Gratuitous Rex shot, sent to me by my husband during their playground time.)

Dear Neighbors,
If you’re looking in my windows, I’m not sorry for the awesome brain-staining booty shakin’ you saw. It’s your own fault for looking.
Love, Me.

Outdoor Upgrades

We are lucky that our little condo has a private fenced yard with a patio. I use the term “yard” loosely, as it is really just an area that isn’t concrete. The previous two tenants did not take care of the outdoor space of this place. According to the neighbor, one used it exclusively to store junk. This was deeply evident when we dug out this piece of rebar.

2015-06-17 19.26.56(My foot for scale. Roughly a women’s size 8-9.)

Our first upgrade was to give Chloe a more comfortable place to do her business. I purchased a 6’x8′ piece of faux grass from Home Depot. Once the rebar was no longer sticking up out of the ground, I was able to lay it down.

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I was going to trim it to fit, but Sam suggested that this would prevent spray into the neighbors’ yard when I hose it off. It isn’t done by any means, but at least Chloe has something that passes for grass. Today, I picked up some small edging blocks to make it look a bit more finished, but haven’t had a chance to lay them down.

The next upgrade was to replace the bamboo privacy fencing. The prior fencing had served it’s purpose, but was old and faded.  A new 6’x16′ roll, a dozen zip ties, and it looks much fresher.  (Do yourself a favor, buy long zip ties. I purchased 4″ ties, but they were a bear and a half to get around the fence and still catch the little end.)


The fencing obscures our lovely view of the neighbors’ carport and provides us with the illusion of privacy.  I also trimmed back the blackberry vines that were encroaching on our space.  Both upgrades were about $25 each.

An Easy Fix for a Cheap Fridge

The new place we’re in is definitely a “builders grade” condo. As in, the cheapest fixtures and appliances they could get away with. It’s not as bad as some places I’ve seen, but there are definitely some luxuries we do not have. One of those luxuries? Glass shelves in the refrigerator.

Our fridge is decent sized and I’m grateful to have it, but the wire shelving was driving me CRAZY. Things would fall over, snag, and were just generally harder to get to. I did a little poking around online and the most common fix I saw was to get plexiglass cut to fit. So, I measured my shelves, packed up the kiddo, and off we went to Lowe’s to wander the plexiglass aisle.  (FYI, I browsed both Home Depot and Lowe’s online first and Lowe’s seemed to have the better selection in store.)

The plexiglass was a bit pricey, and good luck finding someone to cut it for you.  That’s when this caught my eye. It’s corrugated plastic sign board. Durable, lightweight, and cheap. For just over $10, I could do both shelves and have some left over.  Add a roll of contact paper and I had my supplies.

Ready to beautify your cheap fridge? Here it is in five easy steps!

Step 1: Gather your supplies

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  • Corrugated plastic sign board
  • Peel and stick shelf liner
  • Scissors
  • Sharp blade
  • Clear packing tape

Step 2: Cut shelf liner and apply

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Cut your shelf liner to size, peel and stick it to the board following the manufacturer’s directions.  Be generous with your liner size, you can trim it down later.

Step 3: Cut board to size

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Trim your board down by scoring it with the sharp blade, bending, and then cutting the other side.

Step 4: Position and tape

2015-06-17 16.01.34 2015-06-17 16.02.32

Position your board so it matches up with the front of your shelf. Tape in place, being sure to press the tape down into the grooves between the wires.

Step 5: Place in fridge and admire your handiwork

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Stand back and admire your beautiful shelves.

Total Cost: ~$17.50
Total Time: <1 hour

So, We Moved.

We moved last week. I had it scheduled and planned and everything ready to go.  And then things happened.

Saturday prior to the move, the landlord of the old place decided that was the ONLY weekend to come get some things from the house (patio furniture, lawnmower, etc.).  Not only was she an hour late (without apology or explanation), but then it took an hour and a half for her to gather all of her stuff, effectively costing us a half day of productive time.

Monday prior to the move was Rex’s birthday. We spent the morning giving him the best birthday we could under the circumstances. When we got home, we discovered that our lovely elderly dog had eaten mouse poison. She’d knocked down a bin, bypassed the chocolate and the cat treats, and chewed into a box of poison.

Friends with pets: Know your poisons!  There are apparently two kinds. One is an anticoagulation toxin and the other is a neuro toxin. The first has an antidote, the second doesn’t.  I didn’t know there was a difference, but now I do.  We were lucky this time, but things could have been very, very different. And awful.

Thankfully, we were able to get her to the vet quickly where they emptied her stomach and fed her activated charcoal. Four nerve-wracking days later and she was pronounced out of the woods. We are beyond relieved to still have our sweet old girl with us.

The series of unfortunate events continued as the previous tenants of the new place took an extra week to vacate, which put the turnover way behind schedule. When we saw our place for the first time, it was with the full moving van parked outside.  The carpets were still wet from cleaning (and they stunk to high heaven with chemicals that took nearly a week to fade) and we discovered the lack of air conditioning as a heat wave arrived.  And then our couch wouldn’t fit through the door, even with professional movers working on it.

The schedule got further and further behind, resulting in grouchiness and late night packing and cleaning of the old place. We finished the final trailer load to storage last night and just have a load to go to my parents for further storage.

And through all of this? We were sick. Rex came down with the cold first and then shared it with his parents. I’m still getting over the last of the cough and snot while we unpack. But the little condo is growing on me. It’s certainly smaller and cozier than our last place (by about 1500 square feet), and the lack of AC was a challenge until I got more box fans.  So far, I only have three complaints (the shortness of the toilet, the lack of AC, and the condition of the outdoor space), but none of them are deal breakers or things we can’t work around/fix up.

All in all, I think we’re going to like it.

Adult Like a Boss

Sometimes I wonder if we should be allowed to be adults.  Exhibit A: Text conversation with my husband earlier today.  I guess it’s an efficient conversation, right?


Me:  I done did all the things.

Him:  awesome wow

Me:  Library books = returned. Boxes = mailed. Trailer = unstrapped. New boxes = purchased. Things = returned. Child = happy.

Mama = tired.
Him:  ya