Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time to spray for bugs...

Basements anywhere seem to be plagued with bugs. Spiders, earwigs, just gross bugs. But lately, being at Mom's house (no offense!) has been like a trip to the insectatorium. Or whatever. The bug section at the Zoo. Whatever you want to call it.

It all started a few weeks ago when Daddy was here. Mom and I were getting ready to go somewhere when we saw something scurry across the garage floor. It was large enough we thought it was a mouse. Mom jumped into her car and we yelled for Grant. Who informed us that it was a spider. A very large spider. So large, that when he stepped on it, guts spilled out at made him slip so much that he almost ended up doing the splits and going to the hospital.

Fast forward a few days. A spider was on the lamp. A big spider. I went to get it and it fell to the floor. After I caught it I went to kill it. And I squeezed. And squeezed. And squeezed. And after I actually gave force, it popped. I tried not to barf. It makes me shiver just thinking about it.
Fast forward a few more days. We had been outside grilling and I ate a burnt hot dog. This is a bit relevant, I swear. The kids were nuts that night, and I was out of my mind by the time they went to bed. I went to bed and woke up and as I was in the bathroom, I looked at my teeth. You know how you look in the mirror and run your tongue along your teeth in the morning. Between my teeth I saw a LOT of black stuff. Since we've had so many spiders, the thought of that email from forever ago claiming that we eat 8 spiders a year in our sleep (totally false, by the way) came across my mind. Instantly I felt nauseous. I was certain that I had eaten a giant disgusting spider in my sleep and the stuff between my peg laterals was chunks of spider leg. Then I remembered that we had eaten burnt hot dogs -- and maybe I had forgotten to brush my teeth before bed. I'm going to believe that's what it was. I really am.

And then there was last night. Last night when I was sitting innocently in bed and felt a tickle. In a sort of odd place. In the spot between my girls on the front. I said it. I figured it was a hair or something and went to scratch it. Only I felt something in there. Something like a stick. No worries. I had been crawling around outside all day. It was possible that it had been there for a while but I hadn't noticed it. Right? So I grabbed the stick and and pulled it out of my shirt.

Do you want to see the stick?
Are you sure?

Here it is!!

Do you SEE that?! That is NOT a stick or a hair or anything! THAT WAS CRAWLING ON ME! THERE!
We sprayed the house for bugs. And I feel a little guilty for killing that bug. It suffered a little bit. But then I still get a bit creeped out every time a hair touches me now. I can only wonder how interesting it will be when I get to the Island and have geckos and all kinds of crazy bugs and exotic 'pests' running around!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

...problem solved...

For the past six months my mother has had little Internet. Downloads were minimal. Uploads pretty near impossible. We've been blaming the "bad cable" in the attic.

A few weeks ago my dearest husband and some very good family friends moved the cable feed from the attic to the basement. And in moving the feed, removed about 3 splits and splices. The Internet got better immediately. As did the cable signal in the house. BUT it wasn't perfect.

After troubleshooting the router, and the cable modem, and seeing that the digital signal is still shoddy on occasion, I called Time Warner out to take a look. The guy who came out was actually VERY knowledgeable about what he was doing! It was amazing! He came, replaced some ends, I told him the whole long drama of Internet dis-connectivity and skipping cables, re-wiring and troubleshooting, restarting and rebooting, flashing lights and frustration. So he ran a speed test. It worked. No surprise. The speed tests often work and say that nothing is wrong. So then I said, let me show you. The speed test takes about 1 minute. The Internet craps out after about 3 to 4. Forget the speed test. I don't sit around running speed tests. Try to download the iTunes update! Try to download virus definitions! Try to download anything over 10MB!

So we did. And it failed. And it failed again. After troubleshooting, we came to the conclusion that we were fighting two problems. An indoor cable splice being used outdoors, AND a faulty router. Which is why the problem was so inconsistent and bothersome. No one wanted to take the blame.

Today we both did. New cable has been purchased. New cable will be run into the house using outdoor splicers. A new router has been purchased and set up. And now, my friends, my wonderful friends. We have a home full of computers with the latest virus definitions. And software updates. And skype works again!

I almost forgot what it was like to have real Internet!! ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Redneck vs. The Red Box.

Friday night. 8:00. Kids are in bed, too late to call a sitter. Not that we wanted to anyway. I was dressed in sweats and wanting to get snuggled up on the couch with a bowl of something chocolate and a good movie. But there wasn't anything we'd not seen or cared to see from On Demand. Blockbuster seemed far away and expensive.

But there is an alternative! The Red Box! Daddy and I had been using Red Boxes all over Rhode Island. We even used one at the base in Florida! No problems. Super easy. $1 per movie. I mean, how hard can it be -- You push the GIANT button that says RENT if you want to RENT a movie. And RETURN if you are bringing one back. Then you use the menu to pick out the movie you want. There is a picture menu next to the screen to show you what is available. You type in the title, swipe your card, and the box ejects a perfect red box containing the movie of your choice.

I got to the WALMARTS to get my red box, a little crabby and tired from a long day of fighting with small children who either can't or won't listen to a word I say. I have to admit that I may have appeared christian on the outside, but the thoughts going through my mind as I walked up to that Redneck vs. Red Box battle were anything but. These were the type of rednecks that were proud of it. "Big Papa" had a beer gut about four feet wide and he was donning the dirty holey jeans and a T-shirt that had a list of reasons why he was in fact a red neck. "Big Mama" was wearing a sweat suit too. Only hers was the same size I was wearing. And three of me could have fit into her. Their kids were wreaking havoc on the entry way, opening the doors and letting them shut. Open door. Shut. Open door. Shut. Run around and scream. "Big Mama" was trying to 'figgure it out and wudja knock off all this rukkis!!!" After about ten minutes, the man in front of me, but immediately after the red-necks looked at me and we shared the same thought. "Oh My LORD!" The kids were screaming (rednecks, not mine or the other guy whose child was patiently sitting in the cart) about wanting to watch some movie that the box probably didn't have. Through the whole ordeal I managed to stand there, quiet, without even mumbling things under my breath. I think fifteen minutes had gone by. Maybe not, but it felt like it.

At about this point, I was frustrated. Furiously frustrated. I was thinking VERY mean and VERY un-Christian things. But then I looked down, and realized I was dressed very much like a redneck in my sweat outfit. And if my kids had been there, the situation could have gone either way. They could have been angels or I could have been ripping my hair out too (although it is rare for my kids to be out and about after 8:30). The poor redneck mama was furiously getting frazzled. And the guy in front of me said "It's no fun when they don't have what you want, huh?" And the crazy redneck family left. Three minutes later, both I and the man in front of me had selected our choices, paid and received our movies.

I guess it was just a case of Red box vs. The Redneck. The red box won. And I hope that the next time I won't be so nasty and judgemental. Even if it was only in my head. And even if red box is set up to be easy enough for my three year old to do it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

August. September. October.

Sometimes it's hard to write things because it all seems so trivial. So silly. But maybe that is a good thing. If we focus on the trivial and the silly, then the serious and sad don't seem so big.

The past few months have been a blur. And for good reason. We have flown to Nebraska and back to Rhode Island. We have packed up our house and vehicle and shipped them off to a tiny Island somewhere in the pacific. We drove from Rhode Island to Florida for a week, and then drove back to Nebraska. During the week my husband was here in Nebraska, we sold a truck and our RV -- the one home that hasn't changed in the past three years. We saw Daddy off to the Island where he checked in and has been busy working on getting us into a house. We have wavered back and forth on whether we will be able to keep our beloved pet. All while dealing with the loss of one of the greatest people I've ever known.

We have done quite a bit since visiting Nebraska. Although Little Monster is sad that we weren't able to visit the "Pumpkin Patch of Blood." Some imaginary place he made up that he thought existed near Indian Caves State Park here. Between the Monster and the Monkey, I've been busy. Monkey is climbing onto table tops, running around and bashing her head into everything she can find. I know the whole "duct taping your children" got a bad rep, especially here in Nebraska. And I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!! But I can totally understand why someone might consider it. Anyone who couldn't, either doesn't have children, or their children are miracle angels that don't spend their days dismantling cabinets, moving furniture, and figuring out the child-proof locks that cause most adults grief.

I am looking forward to Monster's birthday party, and spending some time with family before we head off to the middle of the ocean. And then, I'm sure, things around here will get interesting.