Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Stupid computers.

Had just typed up the first couple of paragraphs of this post when we were hit with a sudden blackout that lasted only a second at the most. I was quite pleased when the computer came back on and I still had my work. I figured I might better go ahead and safe what I had as a draft--never can be too careful, you know.

So I hit Save As Draft on the screen, and in mere seconds got back a screen saying that the network was unavailable. Oh crap. Then I hit Back, and those few paragraphs were gone. If I had only thought to copy them before hitting save...

Oh well.

Anyway, what I had started talking about was going home yesterday--got the kids and hit the house in full take-charge mode, ordering them around like I was their parent or something. Which they really enjoy.

Not really.

Catherine was the first to get the treatment--I had tried to get them all to get their bits of junk up out of the den floor and take it upstairs, and she decided to pitch a fit and fall back in it. Big tears, bigger noise--when she's really on her game, she sounds a lot like a wounded bull moose being run over by a freight train in the middle of an air strike.

I had intended to eat lunch first, but the noise had to go. I got Rebecca to make me a sammich and wrap it up, and Oldest to go get the bricabrac off their bathroom counter, and I rounded up Youngest with the intention of quarantining her with me in there so she could calm down. I got the big new can of Scrubbing Bubbles and went to work on the bathtub and the counter.

Amazing the amount of filth four children can generate.

After a few minutes, she finally shut her gaping, squawling maw, and got interested in what I was doing.

"What's that?" pointing to the can of cleaner in my hand.

"YOU read it."

And she did--"What's it do?"

Cleans little child grunginess and leaves a sparkling fresh scent. Although it's a bit hard on the lungs when you breathe in the overspray. Thanks, Dow!

She was quite taken by the cleaning power of the bubbles, and I got her to go get me a little scrub brush to work in behind the faucets. Did that, sprayed some more, then went and worked on the tub. Rinsed, sprayed, went back to the counter.

Back and forth. After an hour and half a can of spray, the tub and sinks were pretty and sparkly again. As was Tiny Terror's personality. Then we dusted the decorations, and at that moment I made the mistake of touching the window blinds with the wet cloth I had been using. You're probably ahead of me on this, but here's a tip for the ones who aren't--dust needs to stay dry if you want to get it off of something. Even the slightest bit of damp makes a mess. A BIG mess. Even worse is a big mess--ON MINI BLINDS.

I smeared a big smeary smear across the middle of the blinds, and tried valiantly to contain the damage, but for naught. Not but one good way to clean blinds, so I ran the tub full of hot water and dumped them in there. "You giving them a bath, Daddy?"

Of a sort.

Let those soak, then cleaned the pot. Four children can make a lot of filth, as I noted previously, but one little boy can produce a heap of it all by himself. All over the place. And surprisingly high upon the walls, too.

The throne propery cleansed, I turned my attention to the rest of the walls--or more properly, the greasy child smudges all over them. Scrubbing Bubbles does a pretty good job on those, too.

While I did that, I got Ashley to come and Windex the big mirror. Which she did without balking, thank heavens. Even did it TWICE! Then we sorted through the various baskets and holders and cups and trays that had accumulated on the counter, cleaning the ones that were to stay, and putting the rest in a drawer (rather than in the To-Go box--maybe another day). In the same time frame, I got Middle Girl to get all the remaining toys and books and trash bits out from in front of the door to her and Cat's bedroom. FINALLY the upper landing/hallway is free of (much) clutter!

AND ALSO FINALLY, after TWO hours of work and three-quarters of a can of the finest floor wax and dessert topping ever made, the upstairs bathroom was finished (except for mopping the floor). The kids came and oo-ed and ah-ed. "You know, if y'all will help Mommy and Daddy keep your bathroom clean, it can look like this all the time!"

Blank looks all around.


On to lunch, except I got sidetracked along the way, seeing as I was still carrying the Can o' Bubbles with me downstairs. Children, being filthy beasts, do not contain their crustiness to only the bathroom, but seem compelled to spread it all over their territory. Notably on the walls, where they feel compelled to write, Crayolaize, touch, beat, gouge, hammer, pick, step on, and otherwise transfer as much of their nastiness as possible to every vertical surface within reach. And some beyond their reach.

More spray foam soap, more elbow grease. Slightly fewer signs of childlike sheetrock abuse. Some of the big ones just wouldn't budge. Don't let Miss Reba know about this, but we really need to paint inside. SHHH! Please don't tell her.

Finally made it downstairs, ate my lunch, watched Judge Judy interrogate an 11 year old about who broke the big screen television. Finished up, got out the vacuum cleaner for the forty-eleventh time this week and started to go over the upstairs landing. Hmm. I wonder...

Yep. Bag was fuller than a tick. So, time to change the bag--must have been a ten-pounder. Eww. Took it out to the garbage can, noticed the hummingbird feeder needed to be changed--no juice gone, but it's been out there long enough to go bad. In with that, trying to pour out of a cup into a tiny little fill hole, phone rings, Reba's on the way home, gives me the number to the high school to call to set up a registration appointment for Oldest, try to call but since it's after 3, there's no one there. While I'm in the bedroom, I printed out a copy of Rebecca's birth certificate and our insurance card for her team meeting. Then, go back downstairs and finish filling the hummingbird feeder, hang it up, then get back to changing the vacuum cleaner bag.

BUT FIRST--I needed to get some supper on. Lucky for me, we had some of those dinner-in-a-box deals you cook in the oven, so I got Rebecca to help me fix that. "Lasagna" is was, and bore only the most passing resemblance to actual lasagna. What it lacked in traditional construction it more than made up for in convenience and the abilty to be cooked without having much human attention.

In the oven with that, THEN the dirtsucker. It's an older model Eureka (saaaay, you don't smell so good yourself! Sorry--Three Stooges dialogue tends to go around in my head a lot) that thankfully is a top-fill. (It uses the famous Z style bags, you know!) Hard as heck to get onto the little rectangular opening. Tore up one when I shoved my thumb through the side of the paper bag. ::sigh:: Got another and got it installed with no drama, then lit off the switch and WHOA, MAMA! Hard to believe the difference putting on a new bag can make!

[Editorial Aside: I am just sad that Bill Clinton is in the news so much lately--any sort of analogy of the tremendous suction power I now controlled really cries out for a comparison to That Woman, but to use that analogy would seem only as though I was merely exploiting the current buzz about his former indiscretions. So I will not use such a comparison, much to the detriment of the flow and humor of the composition.]

It sucked like a...a...ummmm, great big sucky thing!

Did the upstairs, then the first part of the steps going down, and then for some reason decided to skip the next set and went down to the dining room and redid that for the third time. Then the foyer again and started into the den when Reba got home and it was time for supper.

She and the kids ate, but since I had eaten so late I wasn't hungry, so I just sat there and melted like a big blob into the chair, staring the thousand-yard stare out toward our neighbor's house across the way. Finished up supper, loaded the dishwasher, and got Bec to go take a bath and get ready for our soccer meeting.

I got a shower, left instructions with the remaining children to help Mommy start getting the kitchen countertops cleaned off, and we were off to the Community Center.

Long meeting, mostly filling out paperwork, trying on new uniforms for size, voting on a team name change (they're going to be the Blaze now, instead of the Twisters--::yawn::--sorry, but Blaze is a stupid name). And the paying of money. Ouch. $130 club dues, $110 for uniform--three jerseys--red, black, white sleevless; one short, black; one pair socks, black. $30 tournament fee. Stiff dough, but still not as expensive as some sports that have even less equipment.

Over with around 8:30, walked outside into a deluge of Noahic proportions. (Looked almost like the one from last May that flooded the town.) It had been raining off and on all day, but it was ON in a big way. I left Bec at the door and ran to the car--thankfully, I did have the foresight to bring an umbrella with me--and swung back around to the covered drop off to get her. Back home dodging puddles the size of a blue Ford Focus, then inside, and see that a small dent has been made in the vast array of junk in the kitchen.

Spent the next couple of hours getting that all squared away, throwing away stuff right and left and forsaking my beloved Scrubbing Bubbles for the heavy-duty grease cutting power of Simple Green. It doesn't bubble, but is sure does do a number on goo.

Finally sat down again just as Letterman was coming on. Watched for a bit while I had something to eat, then went to bed.

For some reason, I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.

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