Friday, April 17, 2009

Leaves and Slugs - An Ode to Spring

I don't know who said it but it is a point well taken, "never put off for tomorrow what you can do today."

In the cold, wet, damp and icky days of October when the leaves are in thick, matted piles around my yard I thought, "what the heck, I'll just rake them next to the fence and pick them up when it is a bit warmer.
Fast forward six months.

Warmer weather didn't arrive until April! I want to do yard work but, alas, my lawnmower is not working, and the battery charger isn't doing the job this time. I want to plant and prune and weed while the soil is wonderfully damp and friendly. But, I can't because I have a day's worth of dried up, nasty leaves to wrangle to the garden or burn pile or wherever I need to take them. NO ONE wants to help with the leaves (this doesn't matter if it is October or April it is pretty much the way of the family) today. So I do them, all day long.

John helped transport to the garden and raked out a few bushes for me. This is how he found his new pet, Sluggo. Sluggo actually found John. When John pulled his arm out from a pile of leaves, voila', there's the slug on his arm. He ran into the house to get his "bug habitat" and give Sluggo the life of luxury. Sluggo has different ideas. He proceeded to crawl around every surface of the luxury home. This greatly upset John who came slamming out the door to announce to me in his very disturbed voice, "Mom, Sluggo is getting on my very last nerve. He has slimed up every side of his new home. I've had it with him. He's not going to be my pet any more. He's now going to be a specimen (translation: dead for my bug collection.)

I explained to him that soft body invertebrates do not make good specimens and maybe he should return him to the wild. He agreed and said, "Yeah, that's a good idea. I'm sticking with normal pets like beetles." I wish it would always be this easy to help him out with difficult decisions but only 5 more years until teenhood and the easy stuff will be HISTORY!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weird post for Easter but I spent yesterday trying to clean my home and conquer the laundry. It left me somewhat annoyed and defeated.

One word for laundry woes...SOCKS. Socks for 5 (even though Will lives in his own home his socks are still a part of our laundry war) is a lot of socks. They tend to separate into different factions only to attack from a different angle. For example, Sam is in Florida for the Band trip. Sam is a very poor laundry commander. He's been doing his own laundry for more than half his life and most of it is still in baskets in his room. Socks are his nemesis so I thought I would do some service for him. BAD IDEA.

When he left for his trip he left two large baskets of clean clothes in the living room because he watched TV while he packed. So last night Reilly and I settled in to watch Bedtime Stories and I decided to match socks. What was I thinking?! Not too many matches but probably close to 60 actual socks. So I gathered up what didn't match and put them in a grocery sack and put them in my closet where they reside with 2 more sacks of mismatched socks. I will throw them all away this Wednesday and finally have peace of mind, for a season.

I have bagged and thrown out socks about every other year. I've tried buy all the same type of socks but our feet range from a man's size 15 to a small man with size 4 feet and two women. Even white socks are not all created equally. Depending on the brand (which I forget every time I try to buy more, "hmmm, Fruit of the Loom, Target brand, or Hanes; drat, I can't remember) they all look and feel different.

So my new strategy. Every Easter the whole family will get new socks and whatever we are using that isn't matched at that moment will get tossed. It seems somewhat wasteful but they are biodegradable and won't damage the environment, much. This will cut our laundry issues in half I'm convinced.

I'm not even going to get started on the phenomenon of socks in the washer and the inability of the washer to conquer it's hunger for socks. It seems to be a type of sacrifice to throw your socks in and cross your fingers to see if the same number are there when the "dirty deed" is done.

Well, off to throw some socks away.