Because I Needed to Fix ONE Damn Thing

March 20, 2017 in Beth, But Seriously by Beth Woolsey

There’s paint on my fingernails. Some of it’s nail polish. Some of it’s wall paint.

Abby came home from college for Spring Break. She left warm, sunny Hawaii where her friends spent the week on the beach in teeny, tiny swimsuits getting perfect tan lines, for cold, rainy Oregon and her mommy and daddy. I told her she’s doing college and Spring Break wrong. But kids these days; they never listen.

“LET’S GO GET OUR NAILS DONE,” she said, Spring Break Day 1.

“OMG! YES. YES, LET’S GO GET OUR NAILS DONE RIGHT NOW,” I said back, which I’ve never previously said to her — never in her whole life — because it costs $25 to get ONE PERSON’S NAILS DONE ONE TIME, whereas an ENTIRE BOTTLE of nail polish is $3.99 at the grocery store, OR, if you insist on being fancy, $8.99 with a $2 off coupon.

But Abby knows exactly when her mommy is a sucker — Spring Break Day 1, man — because even if she’s doing college and Spring Break wrong, I’ve at least taught her the life skill called How to Manipulate Your Mama So She Does Whatever You Want, Always. And so, I sit here typing with manicured nails, but also hands dotted with wall paint because I’m why we can’t have nice things.

“Tracy and I got fake nails today,” I wrote in my 5th grade journal after we snuck to the store and squandered our allowance on press-on nails, “but then we dug up a gopher hole, so they fell off.” My 43-year-old hands are, in other words, exactly like my 10-year-old hands. I tried to look like a grown-up, friends. I tried real hard.

I painted my bedroom this week.

It wasn’t part of the plan, I have 36 other priorities right now, my teenage man-child with special needs is having a rough go of it lately, but, suddenly, nothing felt as important as painting, rearranging and redecorating my bedroom. Not one thing.

Instead of mock myself for it, though, I’ll tell you — and myself — a more gentle truth: I needed to control something in a world that feels out of control. I needed to make something pretty in a world that seems ugly. I needed sanctuary as our church falls apart. I needed a sanctuary to sit in. I needed to find sanctuary in the ethereal sense. And, while there’s a very, very small, logical part of me that understands painting my room ultimately provides no substantial fix, there’s a much larger part that is soothed by fixing something. Anything. One goddamn thing. Even — especially — if that thing is where I lay my head at night.

More soon, friends. I’ve been trying to wrap my fragile, fabulous, fearful, fierce brain around what to say about the world these days and how to navigate it. I’m almost there. Stay tuned.

With love, as always,

 

 

 

P.S. Here’s what I’ve done to the room so far…

I forgot to take “before” photos, so these are mid-way pics… in the middle of cleaning and reorganizing pre-painting and moving furniture.

BEFORE(ish):

BEFORE(ish):

We’ve switched where the bed and desk are located. Thus,

AFTER:

AFTER:

P.P.S. I DID think about making the bed for you — it’s adorable with all the different Bohemian-feel linens which are a combo of stuff we already had, like that weird and fabulous 1960’s quilt from my great aunt, and the throw pillows you can see on the dresser, and the other linens like the blue and white bedspread I scored from Goodwill — but, honest to God, our bed is only made 0.0001% of the time so making it for you felt too much like lying. So we’re going with “it’s the thought that counts.” I thought about making the bed, so it counts, yes? Yes. This is why we’re friends.

P.P.P.S. The Nolen’s Booksellers sign was Greg’s score at the recent sale in Portland of all the prop pieces from the Grimm TV series. Seems fitting to put with Aden’s werewolf self-portrait and our twins’ zombie pic.

P.P.P.P.S. The desk wall isn’t done.

I’m considering doing a word mural on the wall with what has become my theme…

There is MAGIC in the MESS,
and GRACE in the GRIME
and WONDER in the WILD
of this LIFE lived OFF-COURSE
from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.

It seems like the perfect place for such a reminder. I’m just not sure how to execute that idea. Thoughts??

P.P.P.P.P.S. I have a beginner’s writing retreat coming up in May at the Oregon Coast! I’d love to hang out with you there. You can find all the info here: Writing 101. Please do consider coming! And contact me if you have any questions. <3

Kitchen REVEAL (A Group Remodeling Project: The FINAL Chapter)

February 28, 2017 in Beth, But Seriously by Beth Woolsey

I know. This reveal has taken months. And months and months. Which is a terrible repayment to all of you who weighed in with your placement, design and decorating decisions on parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67, and 8 of this project. I mean — you’re the people who took us from I Don’t Want to Start My Stove with an Ice Pick Anymore to TODAY.

The bad news is this: we LOVE EVERYTHING about the new kitchen, and we’re painfully aware we wouldn’t have made, like, 70% of these choices without you (quartz countertops, moving the stove out from under the window, wall and color choices that gave us the farmhouse industrial look we hoped to have), so you’re officially on the hook for every Woolsey design project from here on out. Honestly, you have only yourselves to blame, so I don’t want to hear you complain about this. If you had thought ahead and given us crap advice, we wouldn’t be relying on you now. But you DIDN’T think ahead, it looks AMAZING, and it functions even better, so you’re stuck. Forever. You made your bed, friends.

The good news, however, is this: we don’t remodel frequently, so it may be a while before we throw ourselves on you for assistance again. Oh, we have a thousands things that NEED remodeling. We just don’t usually have the time, energy, capacity, or willingness to spend the money in order to accomplish them. So you can rest. For now.

Which bring us to …

… THE GREAT REVEAL!

The last time we saw Betty, she looked like this:

She was IN PLACE in the kitchen, but the rest, obviously, was unfinished.

Here’s what her space looked like BEFORE she moved there:

And here she is NOW:

I kind of feel like if the rest of this post was filled with nothing but that one picture, it would all be worthwhile.

 

Just one more time:

I feel like I’m DREAMING.

Can we just recall for one second that I was starting this…

…with an ice pick? surrounded by orange counters?

And now I COOK HERE:

Before:

AFTER:

From the Family Room before:

From the Family Room after:

I love all of it. ALL of it. But my very favorite part of the remodel is in the picture below, where Betty sits, and to her left. Above her, there’s fantastic light and a totally unnecessary, fabulous, luxurious pot filler. I’ve already made stocks and soups, and I adore this feature.

To Betty’s left is the pull-out garbage and recycling drawer. The fact that it’s not under the sink is a little troubling to guests, but it’s IDEAL for cooking and baking. With the baking cabinet just above the mixer, also to Betty’s left…

…I can work in that space, throwing away wrappers, eggshells, etc. as I open them. SO MUCH LESS MESS. Which in our house is the same thing as a MIRACLE.

And then there’s this, which those of you with a keen eye for details and a TINY bit of OCD have already noticed. It’s the one knob that doesn’t match, which was the Christmas present I forced Greg to buy me. See it?

It’s my beer bear.

Its mouth opens bottles.

Which is the same thing as saying it’s a Necessary Kitchen Device, I know, but Greg felt like that was less than obvious.

I tried to get Greg to buy it for me last year, from Planet Dork on Etsy, but it was too close to Christmas for shipping to make it to us on time, so nope. No beer bear bottle opener for me to display in our kitchen from Greg. It was a sad time.

THIS year, though, I made SURE in OCTOBER to remind Greg to order early because I PLAN AHEAD.

Greg didn’t order it in October.

That’s OK, though, because I reminded him again in November.

Greg didn’t order in November.

That’s OK, though, because I reminded him again in December.

Which is when Greg said, “SHOOT! Sorry. It’s too late to order it now.” He clearly felt AWFUL that he hadn’t ordered it in time for Christmas. I mean, he tried to fake like he didn’t feel horrible by saying things like, “I already got you an ENTIRE KITCHEN REMODEL for Christmas,” and, “Seriously, Beth? You really want to hang a bear head trophy in our newly remodeled kitchen?” and, “You know it costs $40, right? FORTY dollars plus international shipping for a bottle opener.”

I reassured him, though, that he needn’t feel bad, that it wasn’t too late, and that he shouldn’t worry that he tried to give me an incomplete kitchen remodel for Christmas when it would only take one, tiny, practically free steel sculpture tastefully handmade by an independent artist in the south of France to make it perfect. I even offered to go ahead and place the order for Greg because I am a Christian wife and we are our husbands’ helpmeets, and I mentioned it would be ideal, anyway, because if I placed the order I would also be able to order the sculpture by the same artist titled Dog with Unfeasibly Large Testicles which carries the loving words, “You’re the Dog’s Bollox!” and would make Greg an ideal birthday gift. Two birds, one stone! Greg said that was unnecessary, that he would actually be happy to order my beer bear, that I didn’t need to worry my pretty little head about a thing, and GUESS WHAT? The order magically came in time for Christmas!

So now the beer bear lives next to Betty to keep her company, and the kitchen remodel is complete except that he needs a name.

Bently the Beer Bear? Brewster the Beer Bear? Buzz? I mean, obviously, with Betty next to him and Syphilis wandering past, we can’t have the bear there not knowing how to introduce himself.

Taking name suggestions now.

With love,

 

 

 

P.S. This is what my children do when I tell them to stay out of the kitchen for 15 minutes so I can take pictures of an artificially CLEAN space:

Chemistry experiments. “Stay out and keep things clean for 15 MINUTES ONLY” = CHEMISTRY experiments.

We Woolseys, I tell you; we are GREAT at following the rules.

P.P.S. Also, yes, that is our Christmas tree. And yes, it is the tail end of February. And no. No, we have no plans to take it down soon.

P.P.P.S. There are last-minute spots available for the Mindfulness Retreat, March 9-12. If you’re needing rest, respite and a reset at the lovely Oregon Coast for the weekend, please come! Given our current political climate, I cannot think of a better time to relax with friends, new and old, have lovely meals prepared for us, and learn how to be present in our world with curiosity instead of judgement. Contact me if you have any questions about this retreat! If you’re a teacher or minister, ask about the teacher/ministry discount, please. I’m at fivekidsisalotofkids@gmail.com. Or you can contact Maggie, the retreat coordinator, at petersonm1@spu.edu. I would LOVE to hang out with you for the weekend!

 

My Parents Gave Me Syphilis for Christmas

February 3, 2017 in Family, Funny by Beth Woolsey

My parents gave me one of those automatic vacuum cleaners for Christmas.

My sister-in-law got a membership to a wine club.

My brother got $50,000. (Or $50 plus books. Whatever. Same same.)

Greg got a 3D printer.

I got a cleaning implement.

My brother was jealous. He’s a younger brother. It’s what they do best. “SURE,” he said. “I get a money and books, and BETH gets the COOLEST VACUUM EVER. So what do I have to do to get a gift like that? JUST NOT CLEAN MY HOUSE FOR 12 YEARS, LIKE HER?”

Yes, Jeff.

Yes; that’s exactly what you have to do. Not clean your house for 12 years. And in retrospect? TOTALLY WORTH IT. Look at me, planning ahead!

So we have an automatic vacuum cleaner running around our house these days.

Greg named him Sisyphus, after the Greek mythological King of Corinth. As the tale goes, Sisyphus was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, on repeat, forever.

We don’t know what our vacuum robot did in a previous life to have to be reincarnated as the object that tries to clean our house, the ultimate act of futility, but it must have been BAD, friends. Very, VERY bad.

Some of our kids, though, can’t remember how to pronounce Sisyphus.

They call him Syphilis.

As in, “Syphilis got stuck under our couch again.” And, “Mom, have you ever noticed Syphilis seems to be EVERYWHERE in this house?” And, “Mom, I like to play with Syphilis and see if I can outrun it.” And, “MOM! Syphilis got me again!”

You know, we try really hard not to have secrets in this house. We’re much more of the Live Life Out Loud Even Though We’re Weird kind of family. And BE BOLDLY US. And LET’S TALK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS. I feel, though, like Syphilis should be the exception that proves the rule.

In conclusion, my children are not allowed — EVER — to talk about our vacuum robot at school. Syphilis just became our family secret. I mean, what could go wrong??

Sincerely,

 

 

 

P.S. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving me Syphilis for Christmas. I like it very much.

P.P.S. I’m supposed to write a post about the February book for our Escapist Book Club, but people at my house are still barfing, and it was easier to write about Syphilis. Sorry. Here’s the February book, though, in case you’d like to get started:

More soon, I hope, about January’s book which I thought was RAD.

Making Progress (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 8)

September 14, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

img_1509There are holes in my walls, and this time they’re supposed to be there instead of spontaneously appearing as precious surprises from my teenage boy’s fist.

We are making progress, folks!

Things are a mess. They’re chaotic and jumbled. There’s a sheen of dust and debris over every surface. None of which is different than normal, actually. But WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.

I wish I could remember that every day. That it’s a series of steps toward progress, not instant completion. Like when my dad used to tell me I didn’t have to clean my whole room; I just had to pick up one thing at a time and keep doing that over and over until the room was clean. Of course, my dad underestimated the appeal of sulking on my bed and muttering into my tape recorder about how mean and horrible my parents were instead of cleaning, but he’d have had a point if my actual goal had been to clean my room instead of make my parents suffer. I mean, I made my parents suffer one step at a time until they suffered totally and completely, so I feel like I understood the spirit of what he was teaching even if I ignored the letter of it, you know? Like, my dad taught me to make slow, deliberate progress toward the larger goal of making them utterly insane, and I’m still good at making people nuts today, so WAY TO TEACH LIFE SKILLS, DAD.

Our remodel is coming along, though. We have a make-shift camping kitchen set up in the backyard on an old, peeling brown vinyl table, and inside, everything is ripped to pieces and being slowly put back together.

AND I think we’ve picked our countertops.

When last we chatted, I asked for your advice thusly: Can I do laminate or MUST I consider something else?

Guys, I was pretty set on laminate. Not gonna lie. It’s cheap, getting prettier all the time, EASY to care for, and hard to ruin. That’s a Woolsey Win, right there.

So if you wanted me to consider something else, you were going to have to talk me into it. Like, serious, sit-down, come-to-Jesus chat. I did, however, make a commitment to listen to you lest I end up with another green and orange kitchen, and what you said surprised me!

Here are the results, by percentage in favor of each option:

chart

Given the choices of Laminate or Other:

  • 37% of you were all, “Sure! Laminate’s great!”
  • 34% of you were all, “STOP, BETH. LISTEN TO US. Quartz is what you actually want. We SWEAR.”
  • 17% of you adore Joanna Gaines, and she loves concrete.
  • 11% of you like your Corian counters (but others detest it, so…)
  • And less than 1% of you suggested other options like granite and marble, which doesn’t fit our budget.

Honestly, that’s a huge showing for quartz, so I looked into it more thoroughly.

Now, Greg thought we ought to source Phenolic resin countertops, typically used in laboratories, which are difficult to find, very expensive, and indestructible. Let’s be honest, indestructible lab counters are PERFECT for our house. We Woolseys are TOTALLY a Mad Science Experiment one foaming beaker away from setting the world on fire; we could use indestructible surfaces around these parts. On the downside, we briefly looked for some, and we can’t find any without making an extraordinary effort, except we have 5 kids so we’re unlikely to make an extraordinary effort for counters, you know? Psychiatric care? ABSOLUTELY; extraordinary effort, here we come! Counters? No. Counters are not now and are not likely in our future to rise to the level of Worthy of Extraordinary Effort. So it’s really not an option.

On the bright side, it turns out lab counters are very much like quartz counters — indestructible, unstainable, unbreakable resin — and so, while Greg, Mr. Cheap Pants, would normally put the kibosh on quartz due to cost alone, quartz is actually cheaper than lab counters, so he already self-prepared for this kind of upgrade. In our Christian house, we call this the Leading of the Lord. The Preparation of the Holy Spirit! In other words, Jesus wants us to have quartz counters!

(Please note: Jesus does not want us to have quartz counters. That’s offensive.)

Now, we don’t technically know yet if we can really afford these countertops because Greg told the countertop guy we wanted the countertop we definitely did not want so he sent the wrong bid. Greg says this is my fault because I told Greg earlier the same day that the Countertop We Did Not Want was the Countertop we DID Want, but Greg was clearly not listening when I told him the Countertop We Did Want had become the Countertop We Previously Wanted, leaving room for the Countertop We Did Not Want to become the Countertop We Now Definitely Want.

I don’t know why Greg can’t keep these things straight.

In short (too late), I’m fairly, almost, approaching-definitely certain we’re going for quartz counters. The type we’ve picked, installed, look like this:

img_1510

And like this:

img_1511

I tried to find pictures that show the counters with white cabinets, subway tile backsplash, and dark wood floors like ours. I think the pics above are as close as I’m going to get, except you’ll need to imagine them with perpetual paperwork, piles of sticky dishes, and an unidentifiable puddle of gelatinous goo by the sink.

In conclusion, construction is underway, I think we’ve made all the major decisions so we can actually proceed with the project, and you can say All the Prayers for Greg.

Sending love,

Signature

 

 

 

img_1508

We’re Back On! (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 7)

September 11, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Alrighty, folks; it’s been a little while since we’ve discussed this, so for those of you who’d like a refresher, feel free to check out the first 6 installments our Group Remodeling Project:

In short, we were TOTALLY UNDERWAY for our kitchen remodel in April/May before we fell rather dramatically apart and basically are just now, 4 months later, getting our crap together enough to dive back in.

We ARE, however, diving ALL the way back in, as we’re wont to do, and so we’ll commence torturing Greg together again STAT.

To date, we’ve agreed the old, crappy stove we start with the ice pick has to go, along with the orange counters. We’ve agreed I cannot be trusted to make ANY kitchen decisions without you (reference: orange counters). We’ve decided we’ll put subway tile up the walls in the kitchen area. We’ve met Betty, our new old stove and the Hero of this Tale, and we’ve decided to put her against the wall between the fridge and the sink where she’ll shine without blocking the window.

IMG_9466mostrecent

We left you hanging when it came to the range hood, but we’d previously agreed either a stainless hood against a tiled wall…

RangeHood1

…or a hood mounted under a cabinet…

RangeHood4

…would be fine, so Greg and I left the decision up to the expense.

The contractors tell us the former option (stainless steel hood against tiled wall) is cheapest, so SOLD.

NOW, ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

Are you ready??

CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN, and Betty’s new home is being prepared.

img_1480

Please note, for those of you not yet convinced of my inability to decorate in any way that resembles a grown-up with, say, taste, that mint green wall you see with the cabinets removed is, in fact, the original wall color I picked on purpose… wait for it… to go with the orange counters. DO YOU SEE WHY I NEED YOU?

Yes. Yes, I need you to the moon.

Which brings me to the latest.

We, um, have started construction without all our decisions made. Like counters. NO IDEA WHAT TO DO ABOUT COUNTERS. And Not Knowing will hold up construction since they can’t tile ’til the counters are in place. But the construction guys were ready to roll, and I’ve been procrastinating the heck out of this project, so I told them to go ahead and start, and I’d try to catch up.

That’s what I said.

Go ahead and start, and I’ll try to catch up. After all, if we don’t start by doing something, we might end up doing nothing, and I CAN’T START MY STOVE WITH AN ICE PICK FOREVER.

Guys, this is totally like life. Because Oh My WORD, friends; oh my word. Sometimes we just have to START ANYWAY, you know? Even without knowing the end goal. And even if we’re fully aware others will outpace us. Sometimes we have to just GO AHEAD and say all the Hail Marys and hope we can catch up. Amen? AMEN.

Which is why today’s subject is Belated Counters. Specifically, what type of material to use and what color.

Here are the factors for type of countertop material:

  1. We can’t take care of stuff. <– We can’t. We’re terrible at maintaining things and treating them gently, so if there’s a type of counter top has to be handled carefully or must be babied, polished, sealed, oiled or sanded, it’s out, friends. It will die a horrible, terrible death at my house, and no one wants that.
  2. Due to #1, we’ve ruled out granite, soapstone, wood and tile.
  3. Confession: I’ve loved our orange countertops. All except the color. They’re laminate countertops, and they are so easy to clean and maintain! They don’t stain. You can’t break them by sitting on them. They’re easy to wash with soap and water. And we never have to polish, seal or oil them.
  4. So we’re considering laminate again… I hear laminate’s gotten better. Prettier? Less plasticky? With lovely edges now? So I want to seriously consider laminate unless you all are, like, NO WAY, BETH; WE ARE HERE TO SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF. Check out these pics at Decor Chick, though, before you yell at me, K? I think you’ll see what I mean.
  5. …or maybe stainless steel? Now, I’m not actually sure we can afford these, but I like the idea in theory — countertops that can take what a lab dishes out can surely take what my kids dish, right? Plus they don’t stain. I have heard I won’t like all the fingerprints on them before the years it takes to develop a nice patina, and my friend, Emily, who’s weighed in, says they’re too cold for the space. Emily is good people with a pretty house, so I tend to believe her. Added to the possible high cost (we did rule out whether the steel shop in town was willing to make them — they’re not 🙁 ), and I’m not certain this is high enough on the list but wanted to throw it out there.

So, Question #1 is countertop type. Can I go ahead with laminate? Or must I consider other options?

Next, we have to discuss color. I do like high contrast looks like our dark wood floor with our white cabinets, but I’m wondering if the counter should also be a contrast to the cabinets (dark brown? dark grey?) or if it should blend in with the cabinets (lighter gray, maybe?). I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, FRIENDS. HELP ME.

On the one hand, I’m a short, round woman, and I’ve always been told not to break things up too much — do not wear a skirt of one color and a top of a totally different color, Beth; it chops you up! — but on the other hand, I’ve never actually heeded that advice, BECAUSE IT’S CRAP, and I’ll defend to the death my kitchen’s right to wear whatever she darn well pleases.

Glad we had this chat.

Nevertheless, my kitchen can’t change her counters as frequently as I change my skirt, so I want to do well by her.

Like, take a look at this photo is from HGTV’s Fixer Upper

hicontrastfarmhouseindustrialkitchen

The color scheme and farmhouse industrial feel above closely match the vibe in our kitchen, from the darker wood floors and the reclaimed wood table top to the subway tile walls and white cabinets. Their counters have that light/medium gray thing going on, which makes me think we’d be on the right track with something similar. Yay or nay??

So Question #2 is countertop color. Light grey? Dark grey? Something else entirely??

In conclusion, help a girl out. You’re my only hope.

Sincerely,

Signature

 

 

P.S. In other news, I do not have to murder Greg, after all! Which is, frankly, hours of planning and premeditation wasted. However, because it DID turn out to be a handsaw he let the 9-year-old use and NOT the power saw AND because he didn’t let that child purchase or build a forge for melting metal and also inevitably his own flesh, now Greg thinks I owe him cake.

But First, Tacos

June 2, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Things you should know:

  1. I’m still alive, and
  2. I’m missing writing here,
  3. but one kid had surgery,
  4. and one kid has mono,
  5. and one kid, who’s in the special education class, told another kid in the special education class that she was taking out a hit on him because he didn’t let her help him with science, and everyone knows when someone doesn’t let you help with science the only reasonable solution is to threaten that person with death.
  6. Also, one kid has a tiny concussion. And maybe mono, too. But probably just the concussion. I told him if he has mono like his sister, I’ll spank him, so he decided not to have it, after all.
  7. I won’t actually spank him; partly because it turns out I’m not a spanker, and partly because he’s hard to catch, even with a concussion.
  8. Also-also, one kid is graduating high school Saturday, so we are preparing to Fake Having a Clean House for the party. The struggle is real.
  9. Also-also-also, my Coma Friend had a heart attack last week, which she did not technically do at me or to me, but it was still unacceptable and uncalled for. She has apologized, so we can forgive her, but we are writing it into the Friendship Contract that she shall not have another. On the bright side, I got a free night’s lodging at the hospital.
  10. This morning, I threw away my mostly-consumed tub of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge frosting (aka, COPING MECHANISM) because I do NOT need to eat ANY MORE of that crap at night while reading Meljean Brooks’ steampunk romance novels,
  11. BUT DO NOT WORRY because this evening I dug that tub of processed sugar out of the bathroom garbage and am finishing it now.

All of these things are happening, and also more things — All of the Things, really — and we may get to them in the coming days, but first, tacos.

First, tacos, because I feel they are emblematic of All the Things and particularly emblematic of the last two weeks.

I saw this in my Facebook feed:

IMG_9627

“Start typing @m [in the comments] and the first person that pops up has to buy you tacos (no cheating)”

I thought, “Ooooh. I love tacos. I could TOTALLY USE tacos right now. I could stuff, like, A DOZEN FEELINGS about illnesses and momming and busy-ness and heart attacks with a plate of tacos. I would EAT THE HECK out of those tacos!”

So I did it, friends. I typed “@m” in the comments while I thought, “I wonder which of my friends will have to buy me tacos?! Maybe Melissa. Or Mindy. Or Monica. Or Mary Ellen. These are all friends I see regularly. These are all friends who have, in the past, bought me actual, literal tacos. These are all friends who, if I’m pathetic enough, will buy me tacos AND margaritas. This is a WIN!” Which is when I saw my results…

IMG_9628

… and the Universe cackled at me because the Universe sucks sometimes. “You know who’s going to buy you tacos, Beth?” the Universe laughed, “NO ONE IS WHO. You are ALL ALONE and TACOLESS.”

I wish I had a happy ending to this post, but the Universe stole it.

Waving in the (tacoless) dark anyway,
Signature

 

 

P.S. One of the kids just stole the rest of my frosting.

P.P.S. I can’t get it back, though, because she’s been known to threaten to take hits out on people.

P.P.P.S. Actually, I think I will go get it back. If I have to die, doing it for chocolate frosting feels like a worthy way to go.

How to Get Kids to Pick Up Quickly and Enthusiastically

May 19, 2016 in Family, Funny by Beth Woolsey

I asked my boys to tidy their room, which was a disaster, and, because they’re smart, capable, 9-year-old children who don’t need to have everything explained to them anymore in excruciating detail, I gave them two basic directions, as follows:

  1. When you are finished picking up your room, gentlemen, I should be able to both see and walk upon the floor.
  2. Your things should be organized in such a manner that you can easily find everything. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that you can certainly not find everything — including the shoes, jackets, books, homework folders, etc. that you cannot find ANY of the school mornings — if you shove it all underneath your bed or in the closet. Correct? I do not need to point this out? That there needs to be a better system? No? You get it? OK. OK, then, boys. Full speed ahead.

They finished in 10 minutes.

They have NEVER finished cleaning ANYTHING in 10 minutes, but there they were, tumbling down the stairs in holey socks with giant smiles, proclaiming completion.

I clarified.

Me: I can see AND walk on the floor?

Them: Yep!

Me: And not just a teeny, tiny sliver of the floor?

Them: Nope!

Me: And you have organized your belongings?

Them: Yep!

Me: ALL of your belongings or SOME of your belongings?

Them: ALL!

Me: And I will find how many items shoved under your bed?

Them: None!

Me: And you have completed this entire task in 10 minutes?

Them: Yep!

Me: And it’s SO complete that you feel good about me inspecting it?

Them: Yes!

Me: Now?

Them: Let’s go!

We trooped up the stairs for inspection, and I patted myself on the back on the way because friends — friends — if you give your children FREEDOM to complete tasks THEIR WAY, and you DO NOT INSIST ON YOUR OWN, they finish jobs QUICKLY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY, and it’s a MIRACLE. I should write a Parenting Book! I have finally figured it out!

Also, here is their system:

CleanRoom1

As they say, “A clear path for walking and all of our belongings at our fingertips!” There is nothing under the bed anymore, and, in fact, nothing left in the closet, either, because they pulled everything out of it. Everything. To create their New System of Organization.

I asked where they got such a terrible, terrible idea, and they said — I kid you not — “We learned it from watching you.”

In conclusion, bless their hearts. Bless their punky, butt-nuggetty hearts.

Keepin’ it real,

Signature

 

 

 

P.S. Their room still looks like that because they pointed out there’s WAY less vacuuming this way, and “it’s likely to smother all the bugs.” I’m having trouble arguing with their logic. Well played, boys; well played.