Archive for the ‘mowing lawn’ Category

I recently had a very intellectual debate with myself about the whole phenomenon known as tipping. Now, I’ve always believed that tipping should be done when service is over and above what might “normally” be expected. Except, of course, restaurant servers, I tip them regardless of their service because I know that they only get paid like $2 an hour and they rely on tips to even make a living. And that is where I run into a problem. (more…)

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We all have at least one quirky relative. Some of us have more than one.  In my case, it’s my dad.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Let me begin by saying that I love my dad very much, warts and all. He’s far from perfect, but he’s the person God entrusted my care with so I owe him my deepest gratitude for not killing me as a child. And everyone knows that it’s okay for us to poke fun or our own family, but no one else is allowed to – right? That’s just an unspoken rule.

So now that that’s all established, I want to share with you my Dad’s four favorite words: “I’m throwing that away.”

I know – weird. But my dad has a fascination with junk. He’s a crap hoarder. His house is not cluttered to the rafters, but his sheds, or as he calls them collectively, his “shop,” is a different story. There is not one square inch of uncluttered space in his “shop.”

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

If anyone knows my dad, you can get an immediate visual of this “shop,” but for those of you who haven’t had that . . . ah . . . privilege, let me just say that the “shop” is a series of crudely-constructed sheds, attached together by staples, bailing wire and duct tape, in a row, much like box cars on a train track. When one fills up, he constructs and attaches another, sometimes cutting a hole in the adjoining walls – for walk-through purposes – sometimes not. Collectively this row of mind-blowing dilapidation is known as “the shop.”

My dad will drag home anything. He often does yard work or minor brush clearing for older folks or single ladies and he brings home whatever he uncovers. If someone is moving and cleaning out a garage, my dad is the first one to volunteer to help. He’ll haul home anything left behind, including stuff intended for the dump. Recently my husband and I started cleaning out the ravine below our house. We unearthed a dented hula hoop, a deflated basketball, a plastic oar with a broken handle, and a three-wheeled wagon with a broken axle. My dad’s eyes lit up with pure joy when he saw these treasures in the refuse pile.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

“What’re you doing with that stuff?” inquires my dad.

“We’re throwing it away,” I reply.

“Oh, don’t do that,” says my dad with barely contained excitement. “I’ll take it home.”

What in God’s name my father is going to do with a dented hula hoop and a deflated basketball is anyone’s guess, but I let him load that crap up and cart it home. I didn’t even want to ask his intentions.  I’ve just learned that shit like that is to my dad like manna was to the Israelites in the Desert of Sin. It delights and nourishes him in indescribable ways. (Is it sacrilege to use a swear word in a biblical metaphor?)

That’s my dad – gotta love him. Or as they say in the south, “Bless his heart.”

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

What weird-o family traits are kept in your closet? Come on, spill it. I’d love to hear about your quirky relatives.

Word of the Day: Quandong (it sounds dirty, but it’s not)

Fun fact about me: I like to scrapbook.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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So I’ve recently discovered that my husband has a super power. He can see through cement walls. I didn’t know this about him until we moved into the new house, which is primarily cinderblock on the bottom floor, the floor with the living room and t.v.

You see, at my house, whenever my husband is home, the t.v. is almost always on, whether he is watching it or not. I do not understand this habit, but I have learned to live with it. I prefer quiet. No t.v., no radio, no talking. It’s blissful. (Plus it helps me hear the voices in my head, which, as you authors know, is vital if we want to succeed.) But, I love my husband dearly and so I’ve learned to accept the constant yammering away from the black box in the living room.

Here’s where I get a little cranky about the constant presence of the t.v. – when he’s not even in the house! I’m not talking about the minute or two jaunts when he goes outside to get firewood in, or to take the trash out. No I’m talking about when he goes out to mow the lawn, or play with the dog, or talk on the phone. (You see, he has to go outside to talk on the phone because it’s easier to hear outside without the t.v. noise distracting him.) Hmmmm.

But, I digress.

So out he goes to mow the lawn, which I love about him. He takes awesome care of the lawn and yard. But . . . turn the damn t.v. off when you go! He’s outside for half an hour or longer if I’m especially tolerant, when I’ve finally had enough and turn the set off. Two seconds later he comes barrelling in the front door. “I’m watching that!”


How the hell did he even know I turned it off? It’s ah-ma-zing! Every time. Whether I turn it off or just mute it, he always races in and proclaims that he is completely aware of what’s going on with the game, the race, the movie, whatever. Even the debate where everyone is talking on top of everyone else, he knows exactly what’s being said.

Which leads me to believe that apparently when this super power kicks in, it is accompanied by bionic ears because he is also able to hear despite the whirring of the lawn mower. They are apparently conjoint super powers, but only work in an exact set of circumstances because the heightened sense of hearing does not seem to work when I speak to my husband from another room. Perhaps it’s the sound of the lawn mower that engages this united super force.

It’s scary really. I’m a little creeped out by it. Especially since he can’t find anything in the refrigerator or pantry even if it’s right in front on the top shelf. With his uncanny sense of x-ray vision, I’d think he’d be able to see just about anything in plain sight. Perhaps I’ll put the refrigerator behind a cement wall. And turn on the lawn mower when I have something important to say. Hmmm.

And because I know my husband reads my blog (he’s awesome that way), I’m reiterating that I love him very much. He’s just got his . . . quirks.

So, how about you? Does your spouse have a super power? Does your significant other always have the t.v. on? Does it bother you? Do you prefer quiet, or do you need white noise? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the day: kibitzer

Fun fact about me: I know all the lyrics to the Pirates of the Caribbean song.

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