7 quick takes: what I learned today


1.  If you were planning to spend the day with nine children at an art museum a few hours away, but decide, when the three-year-old throws up all over you TWICE before you’ve even had your coffee, that you’d be a fool to take her to the art museum, you’d be right.

But if you think that that would be the worst way you could spend your day, you’d be wrong.  (See here.)

2.  If you are going to keep all of your nails, screws, bottles of paint, billions of plastic beads, nuts, bolts, bottles of glue, grout sealant, screwdrivers, paintbrushes, pipe cleaners, bits of felt, googly eyes, sequins, wrenches, pencil sharpeners, bouncy balls, clothespins, curtain rods, broken picture frames,  dried up Play Doh, broken tape measures, and flattened coffee filters that will probably be useful for something some day in two rickety cabinets stacked one on top of the other, it is probably best not — NOT, I repeat — to keep several gallons of loosely closed paint on top of those cabinets.

3.  Or at least, holy crap, why would you keep it so close to the computer?  (Yes, what I learned is “holy crap.”)

4.  Sobbing.*

5.  I always think my husband is going to yell at me and make me feel bad when I do something incredibly stupid, but I learned again today that he never does.  Instead he reassured me that he knows I didn’t do it on purpose, and that he would find a way to retrieve all the photo files from the last seven years somehow, and that we didn’t really need electricity in that part of the house anyway (I actually just silently said that part to myself, and assumed that he would agree, but just thought it too obvious to mention).

7.  A computer that will not turn on is not a computer that will never turn on!  Sometimes it just needs to have each of its 427 individual bits cleaned out so there’s not so much paint on them anymore, and then your husband will devote a mere five hours of his only day off this week to setting up the wireless milgram remote connectivity port mesodrive modulator.

Happy Friday!

*This is not actually something new I learned today.  I was just brushing up.


    • Oh, one of the cans of paint splashed very spectacularly directly into the outlet, which shorted out the circuit or whatever. I guess the surge protector thing worked, because the hard drive wasn’t fried – it was just in shock for a while or something.

      Scrambled eggs, eh?

  1. Oh, I’ve been there with paint. Except in our case, our Basset Hound decided it would be a good idea to jump on a table (seriously, he’d never done that before in his life) and knock a full can of bright yellow paint to the ground. While we were out. At the time, including foster pups, we had seven dogs in the house. There were yellow paw prints ALL OVER the house when we arrived home. Our couch will never be the same.

    So happy you were able to recover your hard drive info! Praying your little one feels better soon!

  2. My husband reacts the same way, though each and every time I expect him to yell and carry on. That’s how frustration was communicated in my house. Apparently his family does this thing where they…talk. In quiet tones. And don’t yell about accidents, no matter how ridiculous.


  3. Oh, wow! I’m sorry about your paint and your electricity… Although in the interest of full disclosure I think you should know I may have laughed a little. Not a full-fledged laugh, or anything. More like a snorkle.

  4. Aw, your husband sounds like a sweetheart.

    Beadboy1 one day found a gallon of purple house paint and dumped it down our carpeted stairs. I’m usually pretty good at solving problems, but that time I just stared at the stairs and hysterically muttered over and over “I don’t even know where to begin!”

    After trying to mop it up with several rolls of paper towels, I called Stanley Steamers, and they did a great job, although you can still see a faint lilac tint to the carpet. And there are still splotches of paint on the pants I was wearing that day. And tiny purple paw prints throughout the house, because no matter how hard they tried, my cats could not avoid the paint.

    • Ha, I don’t know! I thought #7 came awfully quickly! I’m just trying to get in the habit of actually blogging here a little more, instead of just links to the Register. Looks like one more proofreading is in order for next time.

  5. Oh, how horrible all those disaster stories were. I have no awful paint stories only because we have never *ever* painted in our house. The real estate coat of paint (1 coat) has flaked all away leaving a houseful of mottled walls and doors.

    Anyway, please ask your patient husband to say a little prayer for my angry, anxious husband, who *always* yells and carries on at everything, no matter how big or small. Thanks.

  6. I remember every time I threw up when I was a kid. (Before Alcohol.) And two of those times it was on my grandmother. Even now, that seems unaccountably rude of me.

  7. I guess my over active imagination comes in handy sometimes – it helps me avoided those HC situations because I *usually* imagine everything (no matter how far fetched) that could happen. It makes me a pain in the butt to deal with sometimes (at least my not-as-patient-as-your-husband husband tells me) – spontaneous and adventurous are not part of my personal make-up.

  8. If it makes you feel any better at all about the crap storm: our pool pump exploded. The pump room functions as my laundry room as well. I keep five children’s clothing in there. The pump was already broken, so the pool turned pea green. –Lot’s of angry, tearful little stinkers had stuff to say about that. So when it was fixed, and then exploded, the ensuing geyser that exploded on umpteen loads of laundry was a lovely shade of green. I’m still disgusted.

  9. Hey, I have a broke, disaster-prone-family question: Does anyone have experience getting rid of silverfish? They are eating everything we own; including my only nice shirts and dresses. I can’t afford to buy all the whole cloves it would take to put in everything (I heard they are a deterrent) but then again I can’t afford a new wardrobe, either. Too many kids to poison, I think. Anybody? I am desperate!

  10. My husband is always nice to me when anything like that happens, too. I think he feels relieved when it is my, and not his, fault.

    Last year I was frantically doing paint touch-ups at home while my husband went on an interview for a job several states away. If he got and accepted an offer, we would need to put the house on the market right away. I dumped half a gallon of white paint on the beige carpet of our upstairs hallway.

    I cleaned frantically, dumping an entire bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner there, and did pretty well. The stain was very faint, but the carpet was flattened and hardened as if glue had been spilled.

    My husband eventually took a different job and just a month ago we closed on our house, but if either our realtor or the buyers ever noticed the stain, they never mentioned it!

  11. As I write this, I’m staring at the green lagoon. All of our overnight bags are hanging on the pool fence, drying in the sun (I wonder if they will make our clothes smell lagoonlike) So here’s my confession: There’s stupidity, and then there’s willful stupidity–kind of like never learning infant CPR. So here it is: I had one of those *feminine intuition moments* yesterday, right before we left to go watch the big soccer game at a pub downtown. I said to my husband, “you’d better show John Paul where the master switch is *in case anything goes wrong* because he was babysitting three kids. It’s not like it hadn’t already been running for almost a full day already, and that we hadn’t left for mass, shopping etc. But there it was like that lightening bolt of premonition. My husband showed JP the master switch. I, for my part chose not to go seek out that information myself (pumps? computers? Tires? Bah! Men’s work!) So *what* do you think I did, when I heard the awful noise? I ran franticly, stared in horror at the green geyser, searched like a freak for that elusive switch, went into full panic mode, as a green wave began to sweep across my kitchen floor as well, and then did one any self respecting gurrrrrrl would do: I screamed at the top of my lungs, until the menfolk arrived to save the day. (sigh)

  12. I’m not trying to borrow trouble here or anything-but- that is totally something that would happen to me. I’m a Giant clutz- and totally preggo so it’s like infinately worse. Thanx for posting! Ur such a hilarious inspiration.

  13. Why do we all assume installed, “built-in” fixtures in our homes, e.g., cabinets, counters, various jambs, sconces, etc., are immovable representations of The Permanence that will never fail because that’s just not what they do? I too have been burned by this assumption. Multiple times. Yet I still have a 5’x4′ cabinet crammed full of holy crap hanging on my garage wall that I hung with…pretty sure about this…two or three drywall screws. Can’t remember if I bothered to find a stud. Probably, but there are few guarantees in life.

    Simcha, thanks for your posts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from work and my wife or I have resumed The Conversation with “did you read Simcha’s post?” You give us so much to think and laugh about. And your stories from the homefront really help quell the little fears that sometimes arise in my moments of unbelief when I juxtapose our five kids (six-and-under) and my wife’s 15 years of remaining fertility.

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