Playground Uprising


Sword Fighting

There are those among us who proclaim the perils of the sedative existence of a T.V. watching kiddo. These people are of course the folks who reside outside of the house of a boy who each day rolls up a legal size piece of paper and pops in Narnia in preparation for an all out epic battle of wills – likely concluding in an older boy grabbing his head and shrieking “Mom, Charlie is a sword fighting again.” And as I peak around the corner ~ the battle commences with jabs, and jolts, and leaps that could only make our one hundred and fifteen year old house feel like it just might not make it to the next century. Thus one not worry that these altercations are reserved for the T.V., I assure you that they rage at nap time as Charlie leaps upon his bed and peers into the mirrored wardrobe impressed by his dexterity, and in the grocery store as I ponder the advantages of fettuccine over rigatoni, and as one waits for our free Subaru oil change in the company of those who really just want to know the latest on the Casey Anthony trial.There are even little twinges of it as Charlie walks back down the aisle after attending children’s chapel, and though there are parts of me that are reluctant to claim the weapon wheeling bandit stalking the sanctuary ~ the one who corrected me yesterday when I said “Charlie, don’t you think it is a beautiful day?” To which he responded, “Mom that is something only princesses say ” ~but truth be known, I sure do love the gusto of boy who is willing to take on his world.



An Electrical Hazard
February 23, 2007, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Family, Life, old houses

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The electricians came today. The plural form of electricians is important here since we started with ONE and THREE anxiety attacks and SEVEN hours later another one appeared in an attempt to fend off future litigation.

Now this was a nice man (peculiar, large, furry hat and all), and the job was minimum, according to my initial and clearly ill-informed assessment.

And so the morning began like this …

We, meaning him (I am lucky to successfully screw in a light bulb) started with the busted socket in the Master of Disaster’s room (because we all know that electrical hazards are a healthy addition to any childhood barracks). The socket needed some handy work and a new brown plastic cover, you know the one that Greg inquired about on Tuesday and left a reminder about on Wednesday, the same one that peculiar hat man referred to as, “oh yeh we only have white ones on the truck but I can go by Lowes (when I am paying by the hour) to pick one up, yes that one. This monumental task was completed in 2 hours with no further fanfare and designated the success story of the day.

Then, we moved to the kitchen, the culminating hell.

The outside light, sitting defiantly by the kitchen door, burned bulbs with ominous regularity, until one day, it officially decided to switch to the dark side (a move I was seriously considering). This was the next task. So, peculiar hat man (for reasons yet to be determined) removed all of the switch pads inside the kitchen and cut an unknown number of wires (some which turned out to be fairly important) and TaDa the outside light worked and the kitchen lights now had the added feature of NOT TURNING OFF. Peculiar hat man then turned to me and asked, “Is this a problem?” “Well of course not … leaving the lights on 24/7 will certainly support our attempted green lifestyle and now I can formally adopt the catchy hotel slogan “Come on over, we’ll leave the lights on for you.”

After this triumph, he turned his attention to the light that is suppose to hang over the breakfast room table but instead is about 6 inches to the left, anticipating its head to head combat with unsuspecting guests and dazed family members. This endeavor started at 12pm and was still entertaining small children at 5pm, when I called Greg and suggested that his early return home from work just might keep his wife off of the America’s Most Wanted list for yet another day.

About this time, peculiar hat man informed me that his boss was coming over to assist him (and I am thinking by “assist” you must mean “fire your crazy self”) and I assured him (that since we now no longer had a choice) …. “that we would leave the light on for him.”



Old Houses
February 22, 2007, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Family, Life, old houses

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Old houses are bit like children.

We love them; we take care of them; and we try to stay on top of their aches, pains, and bouts of disobedience.

Gloria, as in “glory, glory, glory halleluiah the old girl hasn’t fallen down yet,” went through a bit of a summer facelift. It was not on the scale of a raised roof or renovated bathroom, this was a step down from a tummy tuck and more in line with the Ashley Simpson nose job. But instead of thanking the surgeon for her enhancement, which in this case took the form of enough household paint to change the color scheme of a forgotten and outdated country, Gloria cracked up. And I don’t mean cracked up like various family members have over the years or me following one of those mornings of being peed, pooped, thrown-up on, and just generally disrespected but literally cracked up.

And these have been the gifts that keep on giving. Like they start graciously in the westward corner of the bedroom with just a bit of smile and before you know it they have giggled their way across the doorway into a full grimace that screams, “yeh … so what are you going to do about it now … sucker.”

So in an effort to reign in Gloria’s free wheeling spirit we elicited the advice of a structural engineer who offered helpful tidbits like, “Hmmm, quite a few houses in your neighborhood lean against each other and develop cracks as if sitting on a shifting fault line, but it is usually not a problem until it is.” And I am thinking, “STOP, right there, the palpitations are becoming noticeable and the twitches more frequent.”

So for this week, ignorance will hopefully prove bliss (with the help of a bottle of Advil) and we will allow Gloria to call on the support of neighbors and exert her independence through medieval noises and creative line drawings, and I will try to convince her other tenant to resist the urge to put our realtor’s number on speed dial.