Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Comdey of Errors

{This blog was begun on January 21...not finished until February 1. Took me awhile to be able to get it all down. You'll see why when you finish. Be warned, its long, funny and just another day in MolliWorld!}

I came home yesterday from a truly relaxing, wonderful interlude in Florida.

I spent time with my husband, who has been working away from home for far too long.

I napped. A lot.

I watched the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. I took pictures of the sunrise and sunset with my nifty, new camera.

I spent time walking the beach.

I spent time just sitting on the beach. A lot.

I ate seafood.

In short, it was, for me, a perfect vacation. Time spent with my husband, who is my favorite human on the planet. Plenty of solitude and time to reflect.

But, as all things do, this came to an end. I had to fly home (and I've told you before that I don't like to fly).I had fairly rough flights coming home, but I made it to Huntsvillle International without throwing up or anything too humiliating.

I landed, collected my bags and found my car in the parking lot. This was going very well. I opened my Jeep, deposited my bags and closed the back end. Got in the drivers seat, turned the key and BINGO! She started. More goodness. I found the ticket to pay for my parking and headed home.

Could things be any better than this?

Oh...Molli. You really are a smart girl. Why, oh why do you ask such silly questions?

I had managed to park in the wrong place. 4 nights of parking cost me (are you sitting down?) $112! One hundred and twelve of my hard earned dollars. I can't tell you how many people offered to take me to the airport and pick me up. I didn't want to inconvenience anyone, because I had to be there at 4:30 am. Let me just say this: Next time...prepare to be inconvenienced, my friends. $112! That would buy a gadget for my camera!

So, I call Rocket Man and listen to him pop an aneurism about the $112 as I'm driving home.

I pull up into the driveway and call the umpteen people who felt it necessary to know that I got home okay (and I adore each of you for your concern). I noticed that my leaves were raked and piled up in the yard for the city to come and vacuum up. I was very pleased that this task had been accomplished in my absence by my precious daughter, amazing son-in-law and I'm guessing one of my grandsons.

{An aside, but very important to the story} We were quite tardy in getting to the leaves this year. There was the small matter of me having back surgery in the early fall, and raking was out of the question for me. Then, we had a launch to attend and then Rocket Man kept going to and staying in Florida. Christmas came and went and we still had leaves in the yard. I'm not supposed to rake, and I think that means for the rest of my life.

Don't forget about the leaves. It is an important part of this story. There was a wall of leaves about 3 feet high and about 4-6 feet deep across my entire front yard. Lots of leaves. Lots. Piled perfectly where they were supposed to be, according to the city. Remember, lots of leaves.

I went in and put my stuff away. Let the cheeky dogs in and they were so happy to see me. I went up and down the stairs a few times, before I heard this noise. More than a drip...less than Niagra Falls.


Went into the downstairs bathroom to find the shower going. More than a drip...less than Niagra. I turned the knob and nothing changed. Turned the knob the other way and the nothing changed. This is NOT good. I kept turning until it came on full force, thinking that if I could get it on, I could get it off. I am not the Rocket Engineer in our household. I hadn't stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before. My plan didn't work.

I called Rocket Man, who is still popping the aneurism over the money, and now the University of Memphis Basketball game (they lost their first conference game in about a zillion years or was a big deal and I was interrupting THAT with a problem that he could do nothing about...Mars and Venus stuff at its best here).

Called our friend, Larry, who lives up the street. Can I just say God Bless Larry Mayo about a million times? He is such a dear friend, and I would say that even if he wasn't always having to come to my rescue. I am jazzed that he answers my phone calls. I'm always calling him in a panic about something. I know he has caller ID.

Anyway, Larry came and took a look-see. We called Rocket Man and had a big pow-wow about stopping the water. They decided that we needed to go to the water shut off valve and turn the water off. All the water. I'm wondering about a shower in the morning, but they assured me if would only be until Larry could do something to the something which would cause something else and the outcome would be good. I know a little about jet propulsion. I know nothing about plumbing.

Only one, little, teeny, tiny problem. Its as dark as the inside of a cow outside and the shut off for the water is *somewhere* in the front yard...under a mountain of wet, freshly raked leaves.

All 4 feet and 11 inches of me lost my sense of humor. I was tired. I had flown in bad weather. I wanted to be back at the beach. I wanted Rocket Man. I wanted the cheeky dogs to shut up. And so I did what seemed reasonable to me. I got a rake and started raking.

We called Rocket Man, who said that the shut off was about 12 feet from the storm drain toward the dogwood tree. It was not. I raked and raked. Larry kept asking me to hand him the rake, but I had my 'lean into the wind' very righteous attitude on and I was no way! no how! handing him the rake.

Larry: Mollianne, please give me the rake. You'll hurt your back
Me: I hope so
Larry: Ed said that the shut off ought to be right here
Me: I guess that the Rocket Genius doesn't know everything, does he?
Larry: Are you mad at Ed?
Me: I am mad at the world, but I can't be mad at you because I don't know how to turn off the dadburn water and you do, so just let me rake!
Larry: I'm going home to get a rake
Me: Oh, for goodness sake...there are more rakes in the garage. Help yourself.

We raked about 15 yards of leaves into the street before we found the blasted shut off. I knew that they had to be raked back in the yard, because I've had this fight with the city before and I know that I won't win. I hate fights that I know I'm not going to win. While Larry went home to get washers, because we couldn't find them in our garage, which looks like a ground zero...I raked the leaves back into the yard.

Larry goes into the bathroom with his toolbox in hand. He does the something, something, something. He comes out and tells me that he's going to turn the water back on and I shouldn't hear a thing. I'm all good with that.

Larry goes out and all of the sudden, I hear the water running. We have hit the Niagra Falls part of the scale.

Larry hollered: What's happening.
Me: You don't wanna know.
Larry: (as he walks into the bathroom) This is physically impossible.
Me: Feel free to shower in the impossible.

So, Larry the kind, the precious, the friend of the year turned off the water...again...and did something else, something, something. This time, it worked.

Oh, and the part about me not raking.

One week later, I'm having pretty good back spasms. My leg and hip are killing me. Like they did BEFORE I had surgery. I had to go to the doctor, confess my sins and be scheduled for a procedure that included the words 'injection' and 'spine' in the same sentence. Actually, the doctor had warned me that this was a possibility even if I hadn't raked. But I think (don't tell Rocket Man or Larry this, though) that the raking didn't help. The injections helped a great deal. At least, so far.

I have learned several things. I have promises to make. Here they are:

I promise to hand over the rake, should I ever be foolish enough to pick one up in anger, to Larry, Rocket Man or any of you who are bigger than me and man enough to ask me for it while I'm in a fit of rage.

I promise to either pay attention to where I'm parking at the airport, or go ahead and inconvenience the heck out of my friends and let them drop me off at 4:30 in the morning and pick me up at 8:30 at night.

I promise to try, Try, TRY to control the anger that takes my 4 foot, 11 inch frame and makes me into a gargantuan mega-Molli. Its just not very becoming.

It really is funny, looking back. And, the whole procedure with the needles and injection...thats a story for another day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank you, Army Guys

This past Sunday, I had three young gentlemen (using that term quite loosely) as my escorts. My grandsons, Death and Destruction and a neighborhood boy who is their friend.

After church, I was on a quest for a kerosene heater. I knew of someone who was having trouble keeping their house warm in this record cold blast and thought I could get one for them. We went to Lowe’s, but the clerk just laughed at me when I asked where they were.

‘They WERE on that empty shelf over there, lady. Did you notice the cold spell we had last week?’

It just never occured to me that they would be sold out. I mean,really! It was hotter than the hubs of hell last summer, but there were still fans for sale at the end of the season. Oh, well.

So we moved to Wal Mart in our quest to purchase a kerosene heater. 'To dream, the impossible dream...'

Same story at WalMart. Giggles, followed by an offer to give me $10 if I could find a kerosene heater for sale anywhere in Southeast Huntsville. Who knew?

As we were making our way up the aisle, my oldest grandson gasped and clutched his heart. (he can be quite dramatic...wonder where THAT comes from?) I followed his line of vision and saw two soldiers near the hardware aisle. This particular grandson-lets just call him Death, is also known as Camo Boy. He adores camoflauge. Nobody knows why…he just thinks it is cool. And, it is, I suppose if you are almost 12 years old and live in rural Tennessee. 'Grandmother, can you even imagine being able to wear camo every single day?'

(Yes, my darling. I can imagine!)

As we got closer to the soldiers, my other grandson, Destruction-also known as Boy Wonder-although I have no good explanation for that nickname,(and his Granddaddy calls him Boy Blunder on occasion) asked me why soldiers always had buzz haircuts. My quick answer,“Its regulation” was repaid with three of those ‘You must be talking in Latin because I didn’t understand that’ looks. About that time, we caught up to the two soldiers.

So, I said, “Excuse me, Sergeant. These gentlemen would like to know why soldiers always have their hair cut so short. Can you tell us why?”

The Sergeant bent down and looked them in the eye. Handsome young man, he was, and as if he were briefing the Joint Chiefs, he solemnly told them that it was regulation (HA! Told ya!). But, he continued,it helps on the field of battle if everyone looks as much alike as possible, so that the enemy can't distinguish one soldier from another.

The boys were mesmerized by the handsome young man who took the time to explain something to them, and to do it in such a manner as to make them feel very important.

He talked to them for a few minutes and then shook hands with all three of them. He then took my hand and simply said, “M’am.” I held onto his hand and thanked him and his companion for their willingness to talk to my boys. I told them more than that, I was deeply grateful for their devotion to duty, honor and country. I told him that my family prays for our military members daily and that we would pray especially for them and their loved ones.

He got teary when he thanked me. As we walked away, I turned around and said, “God Bless you.” He nodded and said, “God Bless you and yours as well, M’am.”

The boys were so excited. I heard Camo Boy say, ‘Wow! Imagine getting to wear camouflage every single day.” Boy Wonder exclaimed, ‘Wow! We talked to real live army guys.” Grandmother prayed, 'Wow! What find young men and women we have in America! Dear God, please lead my boys to be so fine and to be willing to serve, should the call arise. Keep them safe, but make them willing. And, Dear God, please bless these two Army Guys and their families.'

I didn’t ask the names of either of those two soldiers, and was much too busy watching them interact with the boys to look at their nametags.

As we got in the car, Camo Boy asked me how I knew that the Army Guy (we really have to work on the term ‘soldier’) was a Sergeant. I explained that you could tell by the insignia on his uniform and promised that we would look it up and print it out for him to study.

So…to the Army Guys-Soldiers- at WalMart on Sunday who were so kind to my boys, I say thank you. You are part of what makes America a great nation. God Bless and keep you in His care.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just Wasn't My Morning!

When you last glimpsed into MolliWorld, it was stinky. Yesterday, after being traumatized by the infamous dog poop incident (read my earlier post), I decided that it was time to leave the house. After all, I'd been inside and all alone for several days due to our recent weather event.

I put on very warm clothes and ventured out. I ran several erands and was very pleased with myself for accomplishing a few things that I thought needed doing.

Next stop was my storage unit to I could get my plastic tubs so I could pack up my Christmas decorations. Sounds easy, right?

Ha! The office of the facility had some sprinkler damage. Also, they had changed the codes to get into the gate since the last time I was there. I found the manager who told me how to get in. No problem.

I got my plastic tubs in short order and thought I was way ahead of the game.


I drove my trusty Jeep back around to the gate, which I had been assured would open automatically when I drove up to it. No code required. There is a sensor that makes it open right up.


Seems the electricty problems inside the office were also problematic outside. I like to pride myself in being calm and level headed in a crisis. That is part of the secret to my clever masquerade of being a responible adult.


I pulled out my handy-dandy iPhone and looked through my contacts to see if I have the storage facility office listed.


I pulled up the internet to see if I could Google it and get a phone number.


Feeling more and more panicked...because I was locked in behind a gate and it was freezing cold...I called 411 and told the automated attendant the name of the storage. And yes, please, I wanted to be connected. Think I got the right place?

Say it with me now...NO!

I hung up from the lady at some storage facility (not mine) who assured me that her gates were all open and I was calling the wrong place. I quickly called 411 directory assistance-again-and asked to speak to an operator. She gave me the number. Whew! I was almost out of the gate.


Seems the problem with the sprinkler that froze and then emptied all over everything took out the phones, as well. I began toying with the thought of calling 911. This was becoming an emergency to me! Good Idea?

Probably NOT!

I honked my horn, drove around hoping to find someone else in the area and finally called my Knight in Shining Armour, the Princely Rocket Man. Problem is, he's in Florida and was having his own bad day. He stayed on the line with me offering suggestions, like reach through the gate and punch in the code and then go get back in the Jeep and drive out.


The box with the keypad is about 8 feet away from the gate, and my arms are short enough to probably have me offically declared deformed.

Having a bad day here!

Finally, just as I was about to crawl out of my skin, a car drove up on the other side. The nice man punched the code onto the keypad. Do you think the gate opened?


Mr. Nice Man had to get out of his car and manually open the gate, which you can do from the other side...once the code is entered into the keypad.

I don't know who that lovely man was, but God Bless Him. He saved my life. I was breaking out in a cold sweat, which could be harmful on such a cold day. I made a beeline for the office and told them the sad story of Poor, Poor Molli being locked behind the gate. Think they were worried, concerned or aghast?


My heart is already beating a little faster to think that the packed up decorations have to go back to storage.

Anyone want to go with me and stay on the OTHER side of the gate, just in case?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's all fun and games...

...until I wake up at 4:30 in the morning because I smell dog poop!

Dog poop in Sister's cage and I could smell it all the way upstairs in my bedroom with the door shut. Yuk!

She doesn't like going outside in the cold, so she must have held it for several days. Guess she just couldn't hold it any longer. Just for the record, that is NOT my favorite aroma to have throughout my entire house.

Luckily, it was all on her pillow, so I picked that thing up and carefully took it outside (it was about 15 degrees with a wind chill of 5) to the trash and dumped it. To get a visual, I was in a thin cotton sleep shirt that comes above my knees with my hiney flapping in the wind. I had a pair of lime green crocs on my feet, hoping against hope that I didn't slip on the ice and bust something! I put both dogs out for a few minutes while I was cleaning up.

I let them back in and got some Glade and sprayed/stomped my way back upstairs. I scrubbed my hands, lit a candle in my bedroom and thought...Dang! That was a mess and Dang! I'm lucky I didn't bust my tail outside at 4:30 am without my magic pink cell phone (I would be in so much BIG trouble with Rocket Man for going outside on the ice without my magic pink cell phone, which was upstairs by the bed) and Dang! Its really, no-fooling, honest-to-goodness cold out there!!!!

You'll be pleased to know that I didn't kill Sister, which was my first inclination. Didn't even yell at her.

But I was p-i-s-s-e-d-o-f-t, I tell ya!

It wasn't sick-dog poop; it was regular, stinky, 'I'm not gonna go in the snow and you can't make me' dog poop.

I'm not having fun anymore. I'm not amused. Its all fun and games until Molli has to clean up dog poop! Not tiny poodle poop, but big dog poop!

My fun meter is pegged.

I'm going to Target!