Tag Archives: homeowner

Obviously Men Can’t Smell


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

We do breakdowns in a big way

Apparently the mechanical things in my life did not get the memo that the world did not end this week. Here is a little overview of what has been going on here since Monday.

1. Fax machine rings but the line defaults to static and will not connect.

2. Line 2 (biz line) becomes pure static when line 1 rings… only at certain times of the day. Apparently the phones were jealous of the fax getting all the attention. (as the child psychologists used to tell us ‘negative attention is still attention’

3. My time capsule decided to stop accepting my back ups on Monday. Brought it to the genius bar… geniuses could not revive it. Had to buy a knew one only to find out I left my wallet home. Back home, got wallet, back home again… time capsule will not connect to the internet. Half hour with internet provider tech help (nice guy), another half hour with apple tech help (another nice guy) and up and running. Time capsule would not accept back-ups – isn’t this where I started off with $300 more in my pocket? Eventually got that going – this was at 3:00 when I began my days work.

Are we having fun yet? Oh, not nearly enough!

4. Enter the picture above and the backstory. Danny went to work today to help Gary out. Such a nice boy – oh, and he was being well paid. Phone rings around 6:30. ” Mom, the car just died in the middle lane of the LIE.” Oooooo, that’s NOT good. After stressing under no circumstances should he get out of the car, I called AAA to find out he is not on the account. Pay $25, set up the highway patrol and a tow and meet him at the gas station.

Could they have found a bigger truck?

5. Oh, how could I forget… as I was leaving I forgot something in the house and stopped the garage door in mid close position… where it decided to remain. That’s right, you can find me at home tomorrow waiting for the call from the mechanic for the car and the repair guy for the garage door opener.


Filed under humor

Can it fit in a toilet?

This is the first question that Gary asks when told about a small dog. He is not a fan. (can you tell?) Being a big dog kind of guy I think this is his way of saying if you can flush it then there is no real argument for it having any pet value. I always sort of worry that he might actually try it one day. Then again, he used to call them puntable dogs and I never actually witnessed him drop kicking one, so I assume it is just his slang.

Anyway, this post is not really about small dogs. It is actually about toilets. And the crazy things that accidentally get flushed down them.

It seems that when shit happens (no pun intended), it usually happens in a big way in my house. We don’t like to do single crises. You could say we are calamity over-achievers.

So, as a quick overview, in the past few weeks I have been diagnosed with vertigo (it passed thankfully, except in extreme circular situations or when I hold my head funny), I chipped a tooth on a piece of toast and the biggie, my dad needed to have his pacemaker changed. He has had it done before, but being a long-term multi-issue cardiac patient it is a bit tricky. In all the confusion of family staying over and rotating bathroom schedules somehow the cap from the air freshener found its way into the bowl just as the water was going down.

Now, you may say to yourself, that cap is too damn big to go down a toilet.


Down it went and off to the hospital we went, with a call into my plumber of 22 years. Who, by the way, has still not returned my call from 9 this morning. So, yes, he is no longer on the preferred vendor list here. But another lovely plumber with some kickass blue super sonic gloves, a really cool telescoping mirror (kind of like the one the dentist uses, Dr. Jimmy, but a little less sterile) and the ever famous…

toilet vacuum! Yep, this baby sucked that cap right out of the toilet like it was nothing. And I am proud to say I now have the cleanest toilet in town. Kind of like a toilet colonic, if you will.

Of course I had to ask this guy what was the oddest thing he has ever seen flushed down a toilet? His answer?

False teeth.

EW! On so many levels


Filed under absurdities, family, gary

If the hag fits, wear it!


Let me preface this with the fact that I have lived in my house for 20 years this month and my attic is, well, let me say where we keep EVERYTHING! Skeletons, portraits – ok, those are not so subtle proverbial examples – but truthfully I have a playpen up there and my youngest is taking his road test this Friday.

When the central air conditioning guys come for maintenance I win the award for the scariest attic. “M’aam (I hate when they call me that) you have a lovely, well-kept home but your attic is a horror show.”

This weekend Gary went up to the attic and passed down the camp trunks and duffles to Danny. I stood at the bottom of the steps bossing them both around because that is what I do.

After the camp crap beloved camp items were dragged down to the living room, I heard Gary banging around in the attic. There could be nothing good about this. Let me explain that when Gary gets a burst of homeowner energy I know there will invariably be something else that catches his attention in the middle and the task will go unfinished. His intentions are honorable but his desire to close is simply not there. At this very moment I was rather annoyed that after 20 years of recklessly filling the attic with useless crap he chose 4 days before the camp trunks were being picked up to clean it.

Me: What are you doing up there?

Gary: Leave me the hell alone, you crazy old hag. 

I am not sure why this struck us both so funny, but at the same moment we both started cracking up. And there was poor Danny, standing on the landing between us in a bewildered state.

Danny: I will never get the two of you. 

Seriously, Gary was lucky I was in a good mood. That comment could have ended badly if I were in a hormonal rage.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under danny, gary, homeowner, humor

If You Give a House a Cookie…

Where to begin on this crazy homeowner’s tale? First, let me say this crap always happens to me the week before my kids come home. Second, this one is a little long, but if you own a house you will sympathize. If you don’t, call the super and go out for a margharita!

The other day we had the WILDEST storm of the summer. Hell hath no fury like a summer storm (wait, isn’t that woman scorned? whatevs). So in comes this crazy mother of a storm with wind and rain and dark skies and hailstones the size of baseballs (slight exaggeration – but hail scares the crap out of me). The poor dog was fuh-ree-kin’!

While multi-tasking (talking on the phone, throwing in a load of laundry and doing the 30th revision on a job) I walked into the kid’s ‘playroom’ in the basement outside my office and heard the rushing of water. Not a good thing. Source of said water? The wall behind the TV, VCR, cable box and prized possession of all 16-year-old boys… the X-Box. Not good. Not good at all. 

My first reaction was to pull out the plug on the powerstrip where the water was rushing down the wall over the socket. Second thought? ‘Today is not a good day to die’. Being the lucid homeowner, I shut the power strip, pulled the plugs from it and dragged all the equipment to drier pastures. 

1 Wet-Vac (note to self: buy a filter, this thing could make penicillin), 2 fans, pulling back of the carpet and the antibacterial padding (laid last year a week before my kids came home – see a pattern here?), some lovely Gardenia carpet freshener and 12 hours of the dehumidifier and I am as good as new?

Don’t be silly. In the course of the flooding episode I went to get towels from the basement linen closet. Ohhhhh, I said to myself, this could be why this bathroom has smelled like mildew all summer. There, in the closet was a pile of towels and blankets… soaked layers deep. And was this from the storm? Of course not, this was from the water main valve to my house that was leaking! Now if you know anything about houses, this is the valve that you shut of when you have a leak. So you ask, what happens when IT has a leak? Or worse, when it really goes. Well, the answer to that is that you are fucked!

Luckily, I was only pre-fucked (that sounds a lot more fun than it really is, believe me). Called the trusty plumber who asks, ‘do you know where the water district shut off valve is?’ and I answered, ‘I have only lived here for 20 years, why would I know that. I am a Jew for G-d’s sake!” He tells me to call the water district who should be back from lunch by 1:00. (and I am thinking, why does the whole district take lunch at the same time?). Now they come down, find the valve, spray paint it blue – which looks lovely in the middle of my lawn – and they are on their way (should I have tipped them? I tip everyone, drives Gary nuts).

Enter the plumber again. We love him. He told me to tell them the valve was about to go and I needed to be a priority and they came right away. He is my favorite worker. AND he does not have the crack of his ass showing when he bends down so he is no stereotype, this guy.

Wait, what was the point of this whole story? Oh right…

I always loved this book!

(BTW, check me out today at Mid-Century Modern Moms. I am guest blogging there on Wednesdays for awhile. And check out my new photo blog leaving the zip code. Check the details on the Submit page, this sucker is going to a group project. Yes, I still have time to work. I don’t watch much TV and I don’t sleep much).

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Filed under homeowner, humor, humor