Posts from the ‘Around Casa de Smiff’ Category

Bless This Mess

Alert the Media…phone the neighbors….wake the kids…I want y’all to know something:

Your Sista worked her hiney off this weekend cleaning up the dang house.  I worked so hard, I hurt all over.  Scary thing is that I’m not done but boy howdy, I’m so tickled to tell y’all I actually ACCOMPLISHED something this long weekend.

I must give props to my very thin sister with the straight bob-Thing about my sister and me is we are alike in many ways (we sound alike on the phone, so much so we can play tricks on you with it) we look somewhat alike, however, I do not feel as though we look like identical twins.  She is taller than I am and now she is thinner.  She can do artsy fartsy crafty stuff with her hands, whilst I can not.  She’s a lot more outspoken in person than I am.  She is not scared to give anybody directions on what to do, when to do it and the best way to go about it.  If I say “Hey, do this” and you say “No”, I say “Ok”.   I am more twisted and just plain odder than she is (but in a good way).  I love to cook and she does not.  You get the picture.

Something else she can do way better than I am is clean crap up.  She was telling about her friend who had  a mess at her place and how she went and helped her get it straightened and she told how she did it. 

I took mental notes here.  For some of us, a big ol’ mess is overwhelming and we get very scared of it and think maybe perhaps we might be swallered by it.  Some of us need direction. 

I had gotten a little motivated when I saw that poor woman on Oprah week before last who had crap piled in her house all the way to the ceiling.  I felt good that I didn’t have quite 75 tons of trash in my house, although I probably had more trash  than you do.  I bet the neighbors are wondering what kind of white trash they have living in the neighborhood that we have that many trash bags waiting to be picked up by our ignoramus hard-working trash guys tomorrow morning.

The other thing that motivated me was I had been telling the kids that there would be nary a Christmas decoration hung in the Smiff House this Yuletide if’n we didn’t get something done about the mess.  The Smiff Kids aren’t “into” helping out around the house.  Yes, I know, they should help me more.  YOU come here and make them. I feel like I rant and rave enough and it obviously accomplishes nothing.

It’s hard to get stuff cleaned up with Mr. Smiff and #2 in the house. Both of them think stuff has feelings and they feel bad when stuff gets tossed.  Example: I worked in the bathroom Friday cleaning up.  I found this old, Ernie doll.   Ernie had seen better days.  He didn’t look good enough to give to Goodwill.  Why it was in the bathroom, I do not know.  I haven’t seen one of my kids play with anything remotely associated with Ernie since before 9-11.  Ernie was lying there and I said (to Ernie) “Ok, Ern’…love ya, but, it’s time to say goodbye.” I tossed him.  Do you know SOMEBODY in this house, I do not know who, must’ve seen Ernie in the trash cause he was back yesterday. WTF?  This is part of what I have to contend with in getting rid of stuff.  I’m not a hoarder like that woman on Oprah. 

Mr. Smiff said today, while I was working in the kitchen “I just don’t understand how it can get this messy here, knowing my habits.”  It wasn’t five minutes later I picked up this stuffed dog (again, why it was in the kitchen is beyond me) and I was going to toss it.  I saw him turn into a 10 year old right there. I thought he was going to cry. He tensed up and then he came and took it out of my hands.  What in the world is a 47 year old man going to do with a stuffed Golden Retriever? I doubt very seriously he’s going to put it on our bed after he makes it tomorrow morning. And he wonders why….

It’s also amazing the long-lost things you find.  I found 2 Gameboy chargers that had been missing. 

I forget that with #2’s Asperger’s, he takes everything you say literally.  I have learned lately I have to watch my sarcasm with him.  I had said the other day, during one of my, “This is pig-sty” tirading rants that Children’s Services was liable to come get them and take them away cause we had such a mess happening.  I didn’t think anything else about that until last night when I was working, he said “What time are they coming?” I thought he was talking about his dad and the siblings.  “What time is the Health Department coming?”  Poor thing thought I was serious. 

So anyway, my mother gave me these big, plastic storage thingies yesterday and I brought those suckers home, started working about 6:00 and worked til I fell into the bed at 1:40 this morning.  #2 helped a little.  He picked up Pokemon cards.  When I tell you there are 4, 382, 918 Pokemon cards in this house, please believe me.  I told him I would throw them all away if he didn’t get them dealt with so he worked on those and put a bunch of them in one of those collector books (something his Thin Aunt passed onto him). 

When Mr. Smiff, the Manchild and the Holy Tara got home this morning from Myrtle Beach, I think they thought they went into the wrong house.  I still have a lot to do but I feel pretty doggone good about getting done what I got done, complete with PMS.  I threw a bunch of stuff away when #2 wasn’t looking.  I’m sure somebody out there will have words of wisdom on how to get the family to help me out around here. 


Messing with the template.  I don’t know that I like the Artsy Frosty look.  I think I liked it last night when I got home and it was so stinking cold.

I got so frozen when I came home and Mr. Smiff had left some trash bags by the curb and ….well….bless his heart…that’s just something we can’t do cause at night dogs tend to roam and sometimes deer are kso when I got home, there was trash in the yard, covered in frost, so I had to pick it up.  I called him (he had left for Myrtle Beach, get this, with TWO Smiff Teens in tow) and I thanked him for leaving me such a nice gift.

By the time I came in the house, I was in a Frosty/Christmasy frame of mind…thanks to the trash. So, I guess I should thank Mr. Smiff for putting the trash by the curb and it getting strewn everywhere cause before that, I was not fillin’ that Christmasy fillin’.  Something about frostbite makes one feel Christmasy, I guess.

algebra.jpgI want you to take a gander at your Sista in study mode.  Look at that…nothing but serious studiousness.  I am in-to it.  That is the Engineering Brudda In Law offering his Algebraic wisdom and assistance.  I actually kinda…understand it. 

The Post Where I Go All Mom Blogger On You With A Little Randomness Thrown In

 I spent all afternoon in the car.  In the rain.  In the lightning. Thunder. And very heavy rain. The Cruisin’ commenced at 12:30 and stopped at 6:00.  It involved picking up rental cars, (notice that’s plural), getting a kid checked for Strep, trying to fetch another one because the power went out at the high school during the storm, making two different pots of Chili, one for the Smiffs and the other one for work (this one’s White though).  I’m tarred.

#2 does have Strep.  Because it was storming and I was hoping to get him swabbed and home quick (Ha) I went to Sun Express Medical Walk In in Hendersonville and the PA on duty said that you can get certain antibiotics at Publix for FREE.  I like me some free.  I don’t know if this is just a Hendersonville store, all the time or what. 

I’m driving a rather nice Chevy Malibu that I wish the insurance company would say “Sista…you are so swell, why don’t you just keep this swell car, just cause we like you.” That would be something.

I’m watching my fantasy family on Larry King and I keep wondering why they called their paternal relative, not “Dad”, “Daddy”, “Pop”, by his first name, but, instead they referred to him very formally as “Father?”  Is that a Mormon thing?Everytime one of them says that, as much as I love them Osmonds, I want to scream at them to stop that.

I called my own paternal relation “Dad” and “Daddy” when I was younger.  I never called him by his first name to his face.   You know how in “On Golden Pond”, Jane Fonda’s character called Henry’s character, “Norman?”  I don’t know that I know anybody personally who calls their parents by their first names.

Something wild…if you think you’re stressed out, this lady I work with…her mother died last weekend.  She had been going downhill recently but the kicker is, her brother had been diagnosed with Leukemia a couple weeks ago THEN had a massive heart attack and died hours after the mother.

I’m starting to think Marie Osmond was dipping into the sauce before she went on with Larry King. 

Hey Good Lookin’

We actually ate a meal that I prepared myself this evening.  It didn’t come from take-out even.  Never mind that it wasn’t done until 8:00 but by ned, my kids ate real food tonight. Unlike this time last year, when I was making fantastic suppers (cause I was unemployed and had plenty of time to put it together) I have not been cooking much lately. I’m on Fall Break this week and I swore to myself I would actually feed my family while I was on break. 

I say the kids ate but really the only one who ate was the Manchild.  #2 deemed it gross and ate Goldfish crackers. Too bad for him cause the mashed potatoes were rather amazing, as my mashed potatoes tend to be.  He just doesn’t realize yet how good stuff like that is. 

I don’t pat myself on the back for a lot of things or come out and say “I’m good at this” but two things I will say about myself is that I’m one of the better spellers you will ever come across and I’m a good cook.

I often wonder what my kids will ask me to make for them when they come home from college. The Manchild likes my cooking and Holy Tara does, too, it just depends on what day it is and if she decides she’s going to be nice and appreciative of me.  #2 digs my Meatloaf a lot.  I do make what I deem to be the best meatloaf around. 

My mom was always a good cook.  We always ate nice suppers (it was “supper” at my house. I never remember us saying “Dinner’s “).  We had a small, black dinner bell that hung over the couple steps that led to our kitchen.  Mom rang that thing a lot to signal it was time for vittles.  I haven’t thought about the bell in a looong time. 

I usually liked everything my mom made EXCEPT I did not like that round steak stuff she made that was covered in tomatoes.  Anytime I smell tomato paste, to this day, it makes me think of that.  Everything else she did, was really good.  We rarely had dessert.  Usually when we did have some sort of dessert, I remember it being Jell-o Pudding she would fix and pour into tupperware bowls and they would set in the refrigerator. 

I’m a different sort of cook from my mother.  I guess I learned some things from her, but, really, I taught myself to cook when I was a teenager.  My mom was and is not the type that likes anybody in the kitchen but her when food is being prepared.

I like to blame my lack of kitchen cleaning skills on the fact she was perpetually telling us to “Get out from under her feet.”  That’s kinda a lame excuse because my sister can clean a kitchen like nobody’s bidness.  Funny that she blames her not being much of a cook on the “Get out from under my feet” cry.   (My kids and husband will tell you I have NEVER told any person or animal in my house to get out from under my feet. Nope. Never.

From The “Guess You Had To Be There” File…

Overheard from Mr. Smiff helping #2 with his Math homework….. 

“Demosthenees had a bag of pebbles when the sun came up.  He put 17 pebbles in his mouth, then there were 47 pebbles left in the bag.  How many pebbles were in the bag when the sun came up?”

I heard him try to pronounce that name and then he said “Why don’t they use ‘Fred’ or ‘Sam?  I have never known anybody named Demosthenes!” 

I then broke into a gut splitting laughter that lasted about 5 minutes.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the name used in the problem.  How in the world do they expect 4th graders to pronounce that name?   

I also couldn’t stop laughing at the problem itself.  The public schools are encouraging children to put pebbles in their mouths????

Now…is this little passage one of THE Demosthenes works?  If so, yay, but, they could’ve said in parentheses “Hey, this was a famous, Greek orator”.  Never mind it’s math.  I can appreciate including names of other ethnic backgrounds, but, for the love of Aristotle Onassis, use a name a 9 year old can freakin’ pronounce whilst trying to figure out their homework.  Sheesh. It’s hard enough to keep their attention on the work and then you have your crazy parents…one, your dad being totally appalled at the use of a mile long name that nobody’s ever heard of and your mother having a near hernia from laughing so loud and hard at it.

Oh…I found my wandering Itunes files. They were just getting comfortable in their new F drive.

I Feel Nice-Like Sugar and Spice

It was fun being somewhat blondish-like this summer, but, I’m back to my real hair color….brunette.  Who says I’m about 75% gray?  I know not of what you’re talking about.  I have the same hair color I had in 1987. Do too.

There’s a girl in my A & P class who is probably not even 18 yet.  Cute as a button.  She has the same color hair I used to have once upon a time.  How I covet her brunette that is not from a bottle  (I can spot natural or for real as good as Truvy could spot a bottle job in 20 paces.)  Oh well, someday I’ll embrace it, but, that day ain’t here yet.

Y’know, I’m glad I have the kinda hair that grows kinda like kudzu in Georgia, however, it’s kinda expensive and it’s a pain. I will have skunk roots within a week I bet. The thing about having the lighter hair, it tends to get brassy. I’ve been told that using that shampoo for gray hair (blue hair stuff) will help with the brassiness, but, I forget to try it.

This first day of Adderalling it has been uneventful.  I felt slightly jumpy this morning and by midday, I sorta felt like this:

It’s a time release thing and it’s supposed to last all day. Here it is 9:30, and I’m still feeling pretty good. The Engineering Brother in Law and I have bonded even more so over our Adderall. He said something about mood swings. That’s all I need!

Tonight, I still have to finish making a model of a cell with #2. I stole the cake idea from the Atwood Zoo.  The Manchild is into his brother’s Science project.  He just asked if he could have a bite of cytoplasm if there’s any leftovers. 

Let Sauerkraut Sprout

The Smiff’s lost power at the ol’ homestead last night. I had heard of others in the area losing power cause of all the heat and stuff, but, this was the first time it happened to us. At least it went off at 10:00 and only stayed off about an hour and a half. I fell asleep before it came back on.

While we were in darkness, me and #2 had some interesting conversations by candlelight.  (The Holy Tara was spending the night at a friend’s and the Manchild was at the Hendersonville/Station Camp football game, in which I hear was a really good game with SC winning).  I was telling #2 that he should try out for the chorus at school and the song they have to sing is pretty easy (My Country Tis Of Thee).  He didn’t seem to excited so I started to sing him another version of this patriotic classic that I learned from one Reagan Echols in about 1975.  (Good golly…Reagan would be in his 40’s now as he was older than I. Anybody know him or where he is? He’s Jerry Reed’s nephew)

It goes a little sumpin ‘lak this:

 My country’s tired of me, I’ll go to Germany

To see the Queen

Their food is sauerkraut, it makes your ears stick out

From every mountainside, let saurkraut sprout.

I never cease to be amazed at the silly things that will make #2 laugh like there is no tomorrow.  “Sing it again”….so there, by candlelight, I sang it again.  And again. Until he fell asleep.

Another thing that causes belly-aching laughter (Susan are you listening?) is when I squeeze my face together and say “My name’s Chubby…my mama’s chubby, my daddy’s chubby, e’en my dog’s chubby….My mama told me fat babies can’t smile but I’ll show her….”  Hee.  Susan was famous for that in middle school.  At our recent reunion, Rob Pomeroy didn’t know who I was speaking of when I said her name, but, then I reminded him of 8th grade Math in mean ol’ Mr. Smotherman’s class when Susan would do that.  He remembered.  HA!

Speaking of school, me and #2 went up to Vol State this morning to get my books.  I forgot it was “The President’s Picnic” and we hung around to see if we’d win the Nintendo system or Ipod.  We won neither.  I did find my classrooms and all that good stuff.  I’m pumped and ready to go.

They were out of used books so that means I got new ones.  To the tune of $361.33.  #2 asked if he could have them when I’m done.  Uh, no.  

Very cool Anatomy and Physiology book.  It has either Venus or Serena Williams on the cover and is packed full of neat stuff.  There’s a book that goes with it that’s “An Atlas to the Human Body” and it has photos of a cadaver’s body parts.  I was showing the boys (hee…they were ewwwing and ahhhing) the pictures (they searched out the ones of the crotch.  Shocker) and I opened up a picture of the uterus and ovaries  or maybe it was kidneys,   (remember, real pitchers) and #2 says “Oh look!  It’s cabbage!” 

This is going to be an interesting ride through the human body.  I can’t help but wonder what my 7th grade Science teacher, Bill Rucker, who has since passed on to that great classroom in the sky) who gave me D’s cause he liked me (kept me from repeating 7th grade), would say.  I giggled my way through Anatomy and here I am, 38 years old and going to try to learn it for real. He’d probably say in his ever-so-dry way “Dat’s beautiful, Miz Collie.”  That’s what he always would say to me when I’d interrupt with a long, babbling story about something that had nothing to do with what he was talking about.  He was one laid back man.

 Life is a trip, ain’t it?