Category Archives: homeowner

Time to Cry Tuesday – You can’t go home again

540

Cleaning my office the first day back from the holidays, this picture fell out of a file folder onto my keyboard.

The Big 540… my childhood home.

The same house that we sold a few months ago. The process of selling was rather unpleasant, the details remaining unwritten. Use your imagination if you do not know the details. The process of dismantling it was long and arduous, as my parents had lived there for 60 years. But it was a labor of love. By the time we signed on the dotted line it was more of a relief than anything else.

Oddly, a few weeks after closing I had the most bizarre dream. I was showering in my parents’ bathroom and suddenly realized that we no longer owned the house (oops). Yep, wrapped in a towel in someone else’s bathroom and they walked in the back door. The classic version of the ‘I forgot to study for the test’ dream.

A few weeks later I had another dream that I was hanging out in the house and all of the new owners’ relatives started showing up with furniture and started yelling at me and threatening to call the cops. Again, I had forgotten that this was no longer ‘our house’ (yes, I am way crazier than I let on).

I don’t have to be a therapist to know that the loss of this house is obviously effecting me more than I realized. I have never lived without this home – quite something for someone of ‘my age’. This is where I grew up, where the family gathered, where my mom planted. And planted. And planted. Where my history lived in the walls. And although my current home has been in my life almost half as long as this one has, there is something unnerving about losing this place.

I know ‘home’ is not the building. And Lord knows I have brought enough of the stuff from that house here (anyone want to help me go through 14 crates of photos). It is hard to explain how I feel.

Maybe it is simply the knowledge that I can’t go home again.

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Filed under aging parents, grief, homeowner, loss, real estate, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Being Six

1526299_10202899101262805_1167290587_nYeh, that’s me. At six.

Six was pretty perfect. Obviously from this picture I was sure I was all that. This is such an amazing shot. Hey, it got over 50 likes on Facebook in less than 24 hours! I told Gary today I think I might have peaked at six!

All kidding aside, I had the most amazing childhood. And this picture seems to embody it all. I know those are my eyes. I remember her. The way she lounged on that couch and maybe ate a little chocolate pudding out of one of those fabulous green square glass bowls. Or one of the white milk glass ones with the gold rim.  My brother and I didn’t realize that this life was not the norm at the time, but as we grow older we appreciate how wonderful it was to grow up in our house.

And now that house has sort of outlived its happiness for our family. It’s not that it has lost its beautiful memories, it is just time. The master of its charm has left the building, and so now, must the contents of a lifetime. It’s an interesting task. One that uncovers the treasures of the past buried amongst the bowling balls, slide projectors and ice skates from the 1960s. I have just begun, and I am sure there will be many tears and equally as many laughs as we dismantle what was for me, the most wonderful place on earth.

Thanks Dad, for giving me this task. Don’t feel bad about it. Don’t worry about the time it will take. You know this is my process. And you have earned the rest.

What does worry me a little is that closet in the garage, though. Mom always told me if she had a third child after raising me she would lock it in the garage closet… she was kidding, right?

 

 

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Filed under aging parents, childhood, homeowner, moms

Obviously Men Can’t Smell

nosefinger

Or, hey bud, your nose is more than just a place to keep your finger.

Monday 7:30 AM, returning home from an early morning dog walk.

Scene: 2o-year-old son at kitchen table in the ‘I will never get used waking up early and commuting’ intern stupor, hunched over a bowl of cereal praying no one will speak. Not just to him, but at all. Husband preparing to make a smoothie.

Me: Um… don’t you guys smell burning plastic?

Gary: No.

Danny: (silence, or at best an imperceptible grunt)

Me: Are you KIDDING me? (thinking about how the kitchen smelled oddly like we were manufacturing small plastic toys or making shrinky dinks.) Did anyone use the toaster oven or the micro this morning?

Gary: Not me.

Danny: (silence and fear that this line of questioning was not going to be short, only adding to his misery at an hour that is closer to his usual bedtime than one he has considered morning since high school)

Me: HELLOOO, no one smells this?! (now my eyes are starting to sting and the dog is coughing)

At this point I am somewhat convinced there is a direct correlation between possessing a penis and having no solid sense of smell. This realization, of course, comes from a woman who can smell an old sponge in your kitchen…

no matter how far away you live from here.

Gary: (opening the dishwasher) There you go!

And there, seared to the coil on the bottom of the dishwasher, sat the remains of a Tupperwear lid.

In red.

After using the requisite Jewish tool… the steak knife (which is an upgrade from the usual butter knife) we tossed around some brilliant ideas like using a razor blade and slicing the plastic off the coil, running another cycle to re-melt the sucker and peel it off while it is hot, or trying to ‘remove the coil’ ourselves.

Realizing that any of these would result in quadrupling the ultimate cost of the repair I called ‘my girls’ who always seem to have ‘a guy’ (why don’t I ever have a guy, I have lived her for 25 friggin years, I should have at least one guy).

Enter RALPH.

I love Ralph. He can actually smell. AND he can fix!

I love a problem I can fix. Or at least that Ralph can.

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Filed under danny, gary, homeowner, humor

Another Senseless Pumpkin Deflation

Early each morning at the crack of dawn I unwrap my day during a peaceful walk with my dog. I often snap an amusing sight and post it to facebook in realtime. These are sort of little notes to myself for blog posts. This was one such image.

These ridiculous blow-up lawn ornaments can be seen all over the zip code from late September through early January. We start with the ghosts and pumpkins, roll into the turkeys and then hit the crescendo of lawn tackiness with the vast array of Christmas offenses. There is everything from the mundane Santa through to enormous snow globes with full nativity scenes or reindeer extravaganzas.

Early each morning you can drive through town and see at least half of them deflated on the front lawns of our less tasteful neighbors. It is as if someone has driven around in the cover of night pulling the plugs on all these babies.

I swear it is not me. But I do applaud whoever it is.

In this one instance, I have a sneaking suspicion it was the patriotic ghost.

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Filed under carry a camera, holidays, homeowner

Expiration date humiliation

Ok, I will admit it. I suck at throwing stuff away. I may appear to be all neat and Virgo when you first walk in my house but the pockets of stuff are way out of hand.

Labor Day found me in a flurry of ‘I must get rid of shit insanity’, so I tackled a few kitchen cabinets.

My dear nephew who is now a big old engaged grown up, used to come to my house as little kid and check all the expiration dates on my stuff. You know, mayonnaise, dressing, ketchup. Alright, so my condiments might have been a little out of date.

Well, Sir Matthew, this blog post is for you. Here is what I found:

1. 2004. Cough medicine. Yeh, probably will be still hacking away if we took this one. (fyi, box was still sealed, could be worth something)

2. 2005. Pepto Bismol. Do you think it may still cause ‘darkening of tongue or stool’? And while we are discussing this, are you not more than a little disturbed to find a healthcare product that uses the words ‘tongue’ and ‘stool’ in the same sentence?

3. 2008. More Pepto Bismol… tablets this time. FYI, this is Gary’s favorite OTC remedy. He actually likes the taste!

Ok, there was one more thing that even though it had been in my cabinet for over 23 years(!) it will never have an expiration date and I don’t think I will ever be able to bring myself to throwing it out.

I know, awww!

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Filed under absurdities, health, homeowner, humor

When you are expecting a dead mouse you get a flood


This would be my version of We Plan and G-d Laughs. Simply put, it is never what you expect that is the thing that gets you.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to spend the 3rd and 4th with friends Out East. For those of you not from Long Island, Out East is where you want to be invited whenever you can. The Hamptons, as it is called, include some non-hampton named towns but in general the whole east end of the south fork of our lovely island is sand, sea, hydrangea, hedges heaven. We were just about getting to the gateway to the area when we got a phone message, “Ame, call me, we have ‘a situation’ at the house.”

This did not sound good.

I called back to find out that the hose under the sink had burst and not only did they have a pool in the backyard, they now had one in the basement and the beginning of one on the main floor.

What about the mouse? Don’t get your underwear in a knot, I am getting to the mouse. Sunday night, when leaving the house, a mousetrap was set to catch a little varmint that had been leaving evidence about. With this in mind, a certain member of this clan was a bit hesitant to enter the house alone in fear of finding the dead mouse.

So instead, she found a flood.

Morale of the story: bring hip waders to the beach? Nope, the moral is no matter what you are worried about, you can be sure something completely unrelated is what is going to happen.

But, this group is agile, we still managed to have a fabulous time with plenty of food, drink, and an extra helping of the saviors from the local Servpro. Thanks to my fabulous  experience with them this year, they were the first ones to come to mind. Consider this a plug for one of the most amazing operations out there for flood and fire remediations… 24/7 365!

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Filed under friendship, holidays, homeowner, humor

Let the summer begin!

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Wishing you all a very happy start to the best season of the year.

Take off your shoes, paint your toes any color your heart desires, go to the beach, do a little gardening, surf, sail, bike, play golf, tennis or whatever endorphin inducing pastime you can think of, BBQ, put the top down, play the music real loud, eat outside, unplug, read paper, play with your kids, your dog, your cat, your sloth (for you American Idol watchers) drink a little too much, sleep late, eat ice cream, turn on the sprinkler (not just for the kids) and most of all…

Lighten up.

Happy Memorial Day and may you wear white pants with a clear conscience.

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Filed under fashion, gardening, holidays, homeowner