Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"What a WEEK I'm Having...!"

(Okay, not really a WEEK. Really, I'm just having a DAY. But I couldn't resist that quote from, yes, another eighties movie! Anyone?)

My day actually began at 4:00 AM when Ana's cough woke me up. She's had this dry, unproductive cough for several days now and my husband was out of town which makes me sleep even more lightly than I normally do. (If I wasn't so tired right now, I'm sure I could think of an analogy here but y'all are just going to have to analogize yourselves.)

I came down and let the dogs out. Sydney, in her dotage at age 15, has taken to using the carpet in the living room as her personal toilet whenever it pleases her and HOLY COW, I am SO NOT OKAY WITH THIS. Yes, I know that she doesn't actually WANT to misbehave. She's ancient and she's confused and her systems are starting to shut down on her... most notably that system which makes her fear repercussions for pooping in the house. Because, who am I kidding, what am I going to do, SPANK HER? Yeah, I don't think so. So I've just been trying to put her out to go potty as often as I possibly can.

Even at 4:00 in the morning.

After which, I hobbled back upstairs and slept for a few hours before I jolted wide awake with the Fear of Death upon me. Dudes! It is RECYCLING DAY! CANS AND BOTTLES!! I forgot to set the bin out!

See, in New York, the pick-up for recycling is every other week! Every. Other. Week. I think you know us well enough by now to know that our output of wine bottles and beer cans water bottles and cans from organic vegetables is sort of awe-inspiring. (We're in training for the 2016 Olympics because we hear it will be a newly added sport.)

I hauled the recycling container down the driveway, all the way to the curb. It's a big bin and this is how full it was: This is the way to the curb:
I noticed the paper was lying by the mailbox but knowing our cow dog Scout's passion for retrieving it, I left it at the bottom for him to retrieve.

Unfortunately, he came back without it. ("There was one?") Because apparently, he has forgotten his passion for retrieving it. Of COURSE he has. So I had to hobble down the hill AGAIN to get it. I found it, not far from where it had been earlier, only now it looked like this:

Now, while I was limping up and down the hill and cursing Scout's very existence, I had left the front door WIDE OPEN so that Sydney could come and go as she pleased, no pressure.

Well, she WENT all right, all over the living room rug. Inside the house. With the door wide open.

And, oh yeah, I had missed the recycling pick up. No medal for me.

I cleaned up the poop, opened all the windows, made myself some coffee and woke the girls. We're getting ready for school so every day I've been waking them up fifteen minutes earlier, which should translate into fifteen minutes earlier to bed at night but it never does. They were pretty good-natured about it and ate their breakfast and got dressed.

We headed to the grocery store because today was supposed to be Tomato Relish Day and I was missing a few ingredients.

And there, my friends, my children exhibited the worst behavior I have ever witnessed from them in a public place in all of my ten plus years as a parent. I have never been so horrified and embarrassed in all of my life. I don't even want to revisit the details but suffice to say there was actual screaming in the self-check-out line and I ended up apologizing on their behalf to everyone in the store.

The ride home? THAT was fun, you betcha.

Upon arriving home, they were sent to their rooms to think about what would constitute an appropriate punishment. No consensus on that topic (Oddly enough, they didn't like MY idea, which was to deny them their allowances, desserts and all screen time until they are THIRTY YEARS OLD.) but I let them out for lunch and then they played in the basement for a while while I got to working on the tomato relish.

To make tomato relish, you have to blanch (plunge into boiling water for a minute and then put them immediately into ice water) and peel the tomatoes first. Our tomato crop was mostly Roma tomatoes this year because I had no idea what, if anything, would actually grow. I don't even really LIKE Roma tomatoes but we had a bumper crop and a homegrown tomato is miraculous, no matter what the species.

Blanching and peeling Roma tomatoes, however, has to be the most tedious job on the planet.

Except, perhaps for CORING them. Because they're almost entirely made up of CORE.

Here's what the peels of sixteen pounds of homegrown (mostly Roma) tomatoes looks like:

Here are the tomatoes themselves:

So, I was looking at all of this while I had my lunch ( ) and it occurred to me that I'd never known anyone to make tomato relish out of Roma tomatoes.

I bent over quickly and put my head between my knees. And then I breathed into a paper bag. My life flashed before my eyes. [Insert other appropriate panicking cliches here.]

So, I called the foremost expert on tomato relish in the Universe, my father-in-law, Wyatt. We had a fairly hilarious conversation, sort of like one doctor calling the specialist for a consultation. "I am concerned that the Roma tomatoes might be the wrong consistency for tomato relish, Doctor, do you concur?"

He pronounced the tomato relish DOA (big bummer, that) and suggested that I make and can tomato SAUCE instead. Which I will do. Tomorrow, when I am having a better day and my foot isn't hurting so much. At that moment, though, I felt an Enormous Sulk coming on.

The girls and I decided to watch a movie. But first, we had to go pick up Jane's new glasses. I don't know why hers were ready and Ana's and mine weren't but off we went.

We had just gotten back from that when the optical place called, "Mrs. Cooper? YOUR glasses and Ana's just came in!"

Well, we'll just turn right around and drive back then, shall we? Of course we shall. Because I live for that kind of thing. Because the entire freaking day has been a complete freaking waste anyway, what's ONE MORE DISORGANIZED, USELESS TRIP WITH MY UNGRATEFUL SPAWN???

Here's Jane in one of her TWO new pairs (don't ask me how that happened but I think she cast a spell on the optician because she got TWO pair for the same price that I paid for Ana's.)

Here's Ana who was so happy about her new glasses, she kept wandering around just LOOKING at things. "Mom, I can see the words on that box over there. And the leaves--I can see the leaves on the trees! Oh, I'm so happy! I can see!") (Mind you, the girls had just been to the eye doctor in November so it's not like she's been forced to go without seeing for very long... but it still made me feel like I should have gotten them this check-up sooner. The possibilities for guilt in motherhood are just ENDLESS.)

And here are MINE as I try to approximate what my face must have looked like in the grocery store.

Quite the week--er, I mean, DAY.

16 comments:

how to pick stocks said...

what happened to the other one?

Barb said...

You mean the other pair of Jane's glasses? I couldn't get her to take off the DISNEY PRINCESS ones long enough to take a picture in them. It's okay, though, because THOSE are the flexible sport ones and my guess is that the Disney ones get broken the first week of school.

Hannah said...

Awww. Sounds rotten. :-(

I can't help wondering whether the "actual screaming" in the checkout line was done by your kids or you. Because I've come really close a few times myself. :-)

Stefanie said...

Oh, but your hair looks nice, doesn't it?

I love reading your blogs for this very reason, Barb... Because in five minutes of reading I get updates of how yall are, what yall are up to, and how the girls are behaving themselves. Perhaps you can take the angle of, if suddenly Ana and Jane started behaving themselves and doing exactly what they were told to do all the time... what on earth would you blog about?

Lynn said...

Another confirmation that everything really is bigger in Texas. Your "big" recycling bins look about the same size as my "small" trash bin. Maybe yours are tall and thin, like a supermodel?

Laughing, laughing at the supermarket meltdown(s). Last one of those I had to endure was when LittleBit was two; Mom was visiting from Idaho, and she and Firstborn and LittleBit and I had gone to get groceries. LittleBit was two, and tired. When she started to wind up, I looked her squarely in the eye and said, "If you pitch a fit, I will leave Sissy and Grandma here at the store, and I will take you home, and I will come back to the store and go shopping without you." She did, and I did. I had to drive with one hand and hold her in her car seat with the other [back in the thrilling days of yesteryear, before we knew to keep them in the back seat until they are almost old enough to drive, themselves].

Thank you for starting my Thursday with a belly laugh.

K said...

The tomato relish sounds awesome and I am sad that romas won't work. At least you can take comfort in knowing that romas make awesome sandwiches! They are also the perfect size to fit on those little biscuits that come 10 to a can and I love making tomato sandwiches for breakfast. I now know what I am having for breakfast this weekend!

Also I think it is great that you are able to fill your whole recycle bin. Ours looks pathetic in comparison to yours and we only put it our every two weeks because weekly is unnecessary for us. I hope you can last another two weeks!

hokgardner said...

I do the same thing as Jane every time I get new glasses. Which reminds me . . . time to schedule a check-up.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Theo did that guilt thing to me, too - he kept walking around after we got his glasses and saying things like, "Wow! Everything's so much clearer now!" I felt like handing him a kitchen knife and telling him to plunge it repeatedly into my body instead.

That sounded sick, but you know what I mean.

And your one mistake here? You should have made the girls peel all those tomatoes.

DK said...

Oh, my gosh...that was funny. You know, in the retelling. I'm sorry you had such a rotten day.

I think SC's suggestion for the girls' appropriate punishment is a good one. Make them peel tomatoes until they're thirty.

What about puppy pads for Syd? Like, reverse housetraining. Back in NH (so, pre-dog door), I used to leave Maggie with hospital chux (like washable puppy pads) when I had a particularly long shift. She did well with it.

LaDonna said...

So you let your girls live to see their new glasses after that...good for you! Mine like to start fights in church, especially when I have to sing with the choir so I can't sit between them. I reminded them that it's a good thing one of the commandments prevents me from throttling them both.

OK, that sounds worse than it is, but still. Punishment follows. I like the peeling tomatoes until they're 30 idea. Too bad my tomatoes didn't take off this year.

CK Holder said...

Ooooooh! I love your new glasses! Sorry about the rest.

Becca said...

I feel you on the poop thing. I got home yesterday and opened the door to be greeted by my younger dog. this was a bad thing because he is supposed to be kenneled due to sever separation anxiety. I guess i had forgotten to double check that the freezer was firmly pushed against the door of his kennel (he can escape form anything). He actually hadn't done much damage this time, but he did pee and poop in my living room, and bedroom 9thank the gods for hardwood floors) and run about the living room with his water dish in his mouth so there was splashed water EVERYWHERE.Oh, and he ate ALL the food in the dog food bin, and woke me up at 3 this morning asking to go out to poop and then to take a LOOONG drink of water. Good thing we love them hey?

Dawn said...

Believe it or not, my mother sent my baby sister (18 yo) and myself to the car (age 19yo) because we were misbehaving in the store. It is one of my funniest memories.....

MadMad said...

OK, that last picture was funny, too!

Marie said...

Oh, Barb, for each incident I am like "been there, done that", "oh, been there, done that", "oh, yep, that too!".

Read the "Living Alone" portion of my August 27 posting.

It will either make you laugh or want to put your head in the oven.

absolutelytrue said...

Barb, I'm fairly horrified by the 5th picture in this blog. Are those tomato peels in the garbage? I mean really...they could have made some great compost. :)