Silver Lining

I like to consider myself an optimist. In bad situations I try to find a silver lining, even if it is a sliver. Sometimes I find lessons to learn and other times I just sit back, full of thanks that things simply didn’t turn out as bad as they could have been.

Well, with my most recent DIY, home improvement project gone wrong, all I can come up with at the moment is:

1. I don’t have to clean under my washer and dryer for another 3-4 years and

2. I am the proud owner of 3 shiny new nipples.

I can only enjoy so many DIY shows on TV before I have to tear something up and try to put it back together again hopefully more beautiful. The fact that my sister is moving and talking about paint colors AND that my parents are remodeling, lessened the number of shows I needed to watch before cracking.

I do want you to know that Rick was NOT in the dark about this upcoming project. Just before he was heading to bed, the evening before the half bath makeover, I asked him to carry the toilet out to the garage with his big man muscles and put it beside the sink that I had already disassembled and carried out myself. I could tell he was about to say something so I jumped in sweetly saying, “Please, Rick, promise you’ll never say ‘NO’ to me when it comes to DIYing, OK?” “Think of all the money I’m saving us.”

I could hardly get the kids and Rick out the door that morning fast enough. I put on my home improvement clothes that have paint colors on them from my very first house I enjoyed DIYing. My plan was to have my half bath, off the laundry room, torn up and then magazine ready beautiful again before they all got home that evening. You know, just a little face lift.

Demo Day was going about without a hitch. I confidently tore out tile and drywall, puffed up a bit I believe from my successful plumbing the night before. I was already thinking about the hamburger and curly fries from Hardees I would eat at lunch that always makes me feel more like a real contractor who knows what I’m doing. Additionally, a salad with hold nearly everything I love about salad wouldn’t get me through the rigors of my day.

The last thing to demo was the mirror. I had my safety glasses on and a big blanket in the floor waiting with arms open wide to catch the shards. I used my mini crow bar and pried it from the side. The glass popped and cracked and then a huge piece fell straight down and landed directly on my cold-water pipe. Once the crashing of glass sound stopped I heard a hissing. I looked down at the pipe and saw a small spray of water forcefully spraying toward the ceiling and the pipe bent toward the floor. I instinctively lifted the pipe up to stop the spray and it worked!!!

…for just a second before the entire pipe broke loose in my hand and I was hit about knee level by an extremely forceful gush of water. Now I’ve never been to Yellow Stone National Park to see Old Faithful erupt but I can’t imagine it would stir that much more excitement in me than the active geyser I had on display within my own home.

I tried to put my thumb over the hole and almost heard the water laugh at me. I shut the door to the bathroom but could hardly think over the sound of the water blasting against the backside of the door. I began to dance around and I believe I even said, “what do I do, what do I do” out loud.

I was trying to keep it together but couldn’t stop thinking about Rick and all the money I promised him I was saving us. I would almost come up with an action plan then become interrupted by a thought like, “I wonder how much it would cost to replace the entire EAST end of my house damaged by water.”

My Dad, who has come to more than 1 DIY rescue, was out of town. I called The City of Lewisburg and the woman answering the phone was not excited enough about what was going on at my house so I hung up.

“I have to cut it off at the source!” “Where’s the source though!” “Think, think, think, Susan!”

I quickly remembered one beautiful summer evening playing ball with the with the kids in the yard. While running after a ball my leg unexpectedly fell into a manhole in the back corner of the yard. I remember not being positive about this situation at the time and arguing with Rick that evening that we needed to sue the city or something but he shot me down. I remember telling him, with possibly a hint of sass, “If it had been one of your legs pointing into a hole that someone didn’t cover appropriately, while your other leg was bent up behind you like you were jumping a hurdle, you would expect at least a pass on property taxes for a couple years.”  Well, until now I hadn’t found the silver lining behind that most mis-fortunate event but I figured that hole I found years ago was where I could place a tourniquet on my present water situation.

I looked into the hole and was unsure what to turn. Having just broken a mirror and the immediate events following, I was insecure to guess. I called for help who was coming, but 20 minutes away.  I began to think…

I could…

1. Stand around and watch water shoot out of a 5/8 inch pipe at what must be nothing short of 100 gallons per second into my home for the next 20 minutes,

2. Guess correctly and turn off the water,

3. Guess incorrectly and blow out a main water line that would put my present water geyser to shame, or

4. Get in my car and drive away forever.

With much trepidation, I went with option 2 and it work!!! The water stopped.

My help arrived to significantly less excitement but to me wet and muddy head to toe. He came into the house and inspected the damage. My relief that things were looking up dissipated quickly when he went on to tell me that the end of my nipple was broken off inside the pipe in the wall!!!

Most likely spurred by the look of confusion mixed with a hint of horror on my face my hero quickly stated, “Don’t worry. I can get it out.”

After a large exhale and a, “Well thank goodness” I watched him closely, noting his every move just in case I, or one of my close friends, ever found themselves in this type of plumbing situation again.

Can I just interrupt myself for a second and say that while I am refraining to expound upon all my inner most thoughts right now, if my water emergency assistant said “nipple” once he said it 100 times before driving off and with each time I found it exponentially more challenging to maintain my concerned expression. 

Well, he did get that tiny tip of nipple out and replaced it with a new, shiny one and quarter turn valve that made the other 2 nipples and valves in the room look dull and old. It was almost as if that new nipple was saying, “Hey everyone, look at me and how beautiful I am.” I could hardly stand it.

Thinking of no better time than when my source of water was cut off at the street and when my plumbing lesson was fresh in my head, I pulled out of the driveway as soon as I lost sight of my helper’s truck and took off for Lowe’s to get 2 more new nipples and quarter turns valves. Then easy-peasy, in less than 1 hour and no more than 1/2 roll of plumber’s tape, I had 3 shiny new nipples. Just like that. 

 Then fearful of the possibility that water was hiding out up under my washer and dryer, and them falling through the sub-floor to the crawl space in the next few months due to water rot, and unsure how I would go about explaining THAT to Rick, I pulled them out and cleaned, finding many lost items and plenty of lint and dirt.

After things had calmed down and I had time to reflect on my morning’s events, I was unsure if saying “Thank You” an annoying number of times was sufficient repayment for my hero’s trouble. I found my To-Do list and added, “buy Dicky’s gift card.” Now it was nearly time for a contractor sized lunch but who wouldn’t feel repaid with good BBQ. I mean come on.



Tooth Fairy Business

So I don’t know about your’s but our Tooth Fairy needs to step it up a bit.

Last night she got up from her favorite spot on the couch and reported to her quite masculine Fairy husband, “I’m heading to bed. I’ve been on my wings all day and they’re beat.”

“OK, I’m right behind you,” he responded, not turning his attention from the TV. “Hey!” he said with eyes now looking at hers. “Did you remember that little guy on Underwood Road that lost a bottom tooth earlier today?”

“Holy fairy dust NO! I’ll be right back!” she replied reflexively before having a chance to say something more like, “Do you think I’d forget something like that?”

She fluttered in moments later, “Do you have some change?” she asked. “I’m dried up and for obvious reasons I can’t write a check.”

“All I have is a $10,” he replied, after checking his tiny wallet.

“Well, there is no way I’m increasing my rate to $10!” she stated adamantly. “He has 15 more teeth to lose, his older sister has 8, and his younger sister hasn’t even started dropping them! That would be $430 before I’m done with the Leatherman Family!”

“Why don’t you take a $5 from his little sister’s piggy bank like you did last time and pay her back later when you’ve been to the ATM.” he said offering a problem solving suggestion from his cozy chair.

“Already checked. She doesn’t have any $5’s. Just two $1’s, a couple of $20’s, and several IOU’s from her mom.” she replied having already gone to her go-to “NO CASH” problem solving solution.

“Being a Tooth Fairy is hard work, you know!” she went on. “Santa and the Easter Bunny don’t know how good they’ve got it. Their time to shine is once a year and they can plan ahead! Not with teeth! They can fall out any day, anytime, prepared or not.”

“I still can’t forget the time I forgot to come when Sophia lost a front tooth! A FRONT TOOTH! What competent Tooth Fairy forgets a front tooth! The memory of that failure still haunts me today.”

The Tooth Fairy continued talking about that mishap like she often does when something is bothering her. “Sophia was so upset. I can still see her holding that rootless front tooth like a precious jewel in the palm of her little hand and I can almost hear her ask, ‘why didn’t the TooF Fairy want my toof?’”

“Do you remember how Sophia’s mom had to step in and do my job?! she asked, attempting to engage her husband. “My JOB!” she repeated with a dash more drama.

“Thank goodness Sophia’s mom sprang into action on my behalf and stealthily snuck a $5 from her wallet.”

“Do you remember the exhale?” still hoping to suck him into her relapse.  “Well, I do! It was an exhaled of relief that she had cash on her at all! She then told Sophia to come with her to her room. Then after telling Sophia to look around in her bed for the money, she got under the bed and of course found the $5 that Sophia had ‘knocked out of her bed while sleeping wildly from all the excitement of knowing that a fairy was going to be in her room while she was asleep'”.

“It got worse before it got better though.” the Tooth Fairy said with disappointment. “While Sophia was relieved that her Tooth Fairy hadn’t forgotten her and had indeed left her some cash, she was still concerned that the TooF Fairy didn’t want her toof.”

“Well, her quick-witted, lying mother impressively didn’t skip a beat and said, ‘Oh, Sophia! How exciting!!! This must be your one special tooth that the tooth fairy lets you keep!’”

“You see Sophia, of all 20 teeth you lose the Tooth Fairy chooses just one special tooth to let you keep forever or until you lose it somewhere in your room!!!”

“Now what a wonderful morning this has turned out to be!” her Mom said before moving on to her next mothering task.

The Tooth Fairy, finally returning to her present issue at hand, stated to her Fairy husband, who had just tucked his wings into bed, “What am I going to do? I can’t bear to watch their mother lie again!”.

Her empathetic husband, who of course had heard every word that his Fairy wife had spoken, lay there in the bed, frozen in horror like he had made the mistake himself.

“Do you think he is old enough to understand credit? She continued, not receiving an answer from her husband who was possibly in the first phase of sleep vs. frozen with horror.

“Maybe I could write him a short little note,” she said pleased with herself and still talking out loud not caring if there is always someone around to listen.

“It would have to be with my left hand of course. It could say something like…

Dear Harrison,

I noticed that you have another lose tooth that will most likely come out in the next week or so. I’m going to go ahead and leave you a $10 NOW, paying you for BOTH this tooth under your pillow and for the loose one in your mouth. I’m going to let you keep this tooth, that is not yet lost, as your 1 special tooth that I don’t take. (Just ask Sophia about it.)

So remember, when your next tooth falls out, you are getting jack-squat, nada, zilch from me. Understand?

Love, Your Tooth Fairy

P.S. You can do anything you want with your 1 special tooth other than take it to school for “Show and Tell”. Not all Tooth Fairies have this “Keep 1 Special Tooth” rule and it could upset your classmates. I know, it’s sad.”

Well, after flitting and flying all over her tiny house she came up with 5 dollars but had to contain all the quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies with a Zip-Lock bag. Due to the weight and noise, she was barely able to slip her payment under the sweet, toothless head of the boy, sound asleep on Underwood Road…but she did.

For the reasons discussed above we have fired our Tooth Fairy. Tomorrow, I am going to sit down with Haley, my 4-year-old, and lie. I’m going to tell her that the Tooth Fairy and I have come up with an offer she won’t be able to refuse. The conversation will go something like this.

“So Haley, in a couple of years your teeth are going to start falling out of your head. It will only hurt a little bit and there will be only a little bit of blood, unless your gum sticks to any residual root, then there will be more blood.

Don’t worry Haley. These baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth that may possibly, if you take after your father, seem unusually large at first, but with braces and time you will hopefully grow into them like he did.

(All time FAV pic of the man I said “Yes” to!)

So here are your choices: 1. You can either put these teeth under your pillow and then while you are sleeping a fairy will sneak into your room, take your tooth, and leave you $5. You must remember though, in addition to $5 buying little to nothing of a toy that will probably be thrown out in a week or two because you won’t put it away, I know you worry about things being in your room while you are sleeping, thus making us keep the closet light on.
Or, 2. The Tooth Fairy told me to tell you that she will give you $100 now for all 20 of your teeth PLUS 15% to cover inflation as well as the time savings she appreciates not having to come 20 times vs. once to deliver your $115.

There is one condition to choice #2 though that will ultimately be to your benefit. We have decided that you can spend $20 of your total tooth payment now to fulfill fleshly desires of immediate gratification but the less amount will be deposited into an aggressive growth fund.

So not only will you get to keep all of your teeth, while your siblings got to keep only one special tooth, your gross Tooth Fairy profit will far exceed theirs’s in the distant future. You might even be able to buy a cheap car!

I think the choice is obvious here Haley! I can hardly wait to see the art project you come up with using all those teeth! Surely to be a Father’s Day gift to remember for a lifetime!”


Welcome to Starbucks

“Good-morning! Welcome to Starbucks! How can I help you?” she said with a bouncy smile activated by collagen and elastin responding like it does in your second decade.

“Yes, I’d like a grande ‘deck-la-tey’, no wrinkles, and extra hot, please” I said.

“Excuse me?”, she responded with a puzzled look

-just like I did the first time I heard that word.

It was some time after Mother’s Day, my wedding anniversary, and my birthday, that are all clumped together at the end of spring, and I was at a day spa getting a facial.  You see, my family is well aware that they can’t go gift giving wrong by giving me a gift certificate to be rubbed on by a near stranger, all while being partially clothed if not fully nude, AND at the same time being completely left alone by those same people who love and know me so well.

I was lying there being pampered and asked her if she knew of some miracle cream I could rub on my chest. I went on to explain to her that I’ve had a few, minor, vertically placed wrinkles, smack dab between my breasts for some time now, after first waking up in the mornings, but that they had always resolved after a cup or 2 of coffee.

I went on to tell her that I was concerned that I was going to have to start setting my alarm clock an hour earlier, so that those same, vertically placed wrinkles, now nearing the height of my neck, would have time to clear before leaving for work.

She went on to say, “Yes, it can be very challenging to hide the signs of aging on the décolleté, especially if you are busty and a side sleeper”.

“Excuse me?” I said in my head and with my mind beginning to race. “Deco la what???” “Haven’t I seen that on the Starbucks menu?” and “How did I make it through an entire summer session of gross anatomy and never have to I.D. this part of the body?” Additionally, while I’am a side sleeper I’ve never considered myself busty-just well-proportioned for someone with a solid sized backside.

The word décolleté originated in France and while I’m not sure how they pronounce it there, in West Virginian it sounds like ‘deck la tey’ and it is also more fun to say it with a French accent.

She went on to destroy my hopes and dreams of a miracle cream but casually went on to describe a décolleté pillow that you can wear at night to decrease the morning wrinkles. I’ll admit, I didn’t hear a thing she said after that.

I couldn’t stop imagining me strapping on a bolster between my boobs then nonchalantly saying “goodnight” as I climbed into bed beside my husband, lying there, wearing his Snore Guard.  I mean, if we had that Tempur Pedic, split-king mattress that I’m saving up for, with duel remotes for personalized head and foot elevation, we would be nothing less than-


After that educational facial, I decided that I would use the word ‘décolleté’ 3 times every day in order to increase my vocabulary. It was fun and going well until my 8-year-old son asked me to please quit yelling across the public pool, “Come here Harrison, your precious, little décolleté is looking a tad pink and I believe needs some more sunscreen”.

So while I now rarely say the word, I think about it every night after wedging my body pillow snugly between my apparently busty breastacles. “What does a real décolleté pillow look like and how much do they cost?” I wonder as I lay there with my makeshift substitute. “Are they comfortable or like a bra that you can’t wait to take off as soon as you get home?”

I then quickly remind myself that while I’m sure I could order one through Amazon Prime and receive it in 2 days for free, the visual image would NOT help me to quit thinking about a décolleté pillow and how awkwardly amazing it might be to have one.

Hopefully, talking about this with you will help me forget about what I’ve been exposed to and finally let it go, once and for all!

However, if you have one and will admit to it, please private message me or give me a wink or thumbs up if we’re out in public, if you think I should get one because I’m missing out. Ok?

Haley staying warm in my decollete in the freezing cold IHOP while Rick contemplates what type of pancakes he is going to order.

9.5 Things My Mother Would Never Do

I was driving down the road the other day eating a deep fried chicken leg from Kroger’s and thought to myself, “Hey, I could write a blog post titled ‘Things My Mother Would Never Do’.” Here is a quick little list I generated after examining my life for a markedly short period of time.
Continue reading “9.5 Things My Mother Would Never Do”

The Cold Doritos Kiss

There’s something about this time of year that I just love. I mean, I love it so much that I’m considering celebrating New Years bimonthly. Now, instead of spending time wondering whether I am talking about twice a month or every other month, let me go on to reassure you that I won’t be saying “Happy New Year” randomly when I see you out and about in June in either scenario. I just haven’t decided what I’m going to call this celebration as of yet. 
Continue reading “The Cold Doritos Kiss”