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I’m Probably Not the One Who Should be Filing Papers

About once a month, I come to the conclusion that I really need to divorce Cap’n Firepants; in fact, I should have done it a long time ago.  I mean, how can I live with a man who can’t stay up past 10 P.M., or who cannot smell, no matter how many times I ask, the mildew odor emanating from our brand new mattresses?  He is clearly the most unreasonable man in the world.

You’ve probably noted the regular schedule of this revelation, and I bet you have wisely deduced the reason this epiphany occurs every 30 days.  I have, too.  But that doesn’t make it seem less important every month.  Fortunately, during saner times, I instituted a Major Decision Moratorium for these 12 weeks a year.  And, despite the clarity with which Cap’n Firepants’ many transgressions suddenly overwhelm me each time, I am somehow able to suppress the urge to initiate any divorce proceedings long enough for the deep conviction that I would be better off as a single woman to subside.

The conversations I have with myself in my head are interesting, though.

“Is he crazy?  Did he just have the gall to ask what you wanted for dinner tonight?  As if you are going to be doing the cooking?  Why can’t he do the cooking?  It’s the weekend.”

“Don’t you think you are overreacting?  Isn’t it, uh, you know…”

“Of course I’m not overreacting!!!!  Do you think any other woman puts up with this garbage?  Do you think Oprah lets Steadman expect her to do the cooking?  What about Hillary and Bill?  Or Michelle and Barack?”

“Um, I think they all have other people cook for them.”

“Great, so I have a horrible husband and I’m poor.  Thanks for pointing that out.”

“Maybe you should just take a look at the calendar.”

“So I can see that I’m another day older?  Trust me, I haven’t forgotten that I’m old and wrinkly.  Boy, you really love making me feel low.”

“O.K.  Forget the calendar.  Look at your pills.”

“Well, thanks for telling the whole world that I take Happy Pills.  You are just determined to completely demoralize me today, aren’t you?”

“Not those pills.  The other ones.  You know, the ones that have the days of the week on the pack?”

“Uh huh.  Yeah, what about ’em?”

“One week left.  That’s all I’m sayin'”

“And why do I have to be the one that takes the pills?  Why can’t he be the one who’s responsible?  God, he is so selfish!  That’s it.  This marriage is over.”

“O.K.  I tell you what.  Wait 7 days, and if you still feel that way, I will completely support you.”

“Fine.  That will give me 7 more days of ammunition to use anyway.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.  Can I divorce you, too, while I’m at it?”

“Good luck with that.”

“Fine.  Just give me some chocolate and shut up.”

12 years, and the divorce papers have never been filed.  Cap’n Firepants is one lucky guy.

photo credit: DanielJames via photo pin cc

The Mark of a Good Marriage

In all of my zeal to be vigilant over our bulldog to be sure he does not destroy our new furniture within the first week of its delivery, I forgot to watch over my husband, Cap’n Firepants.

The Cap’n has been quite calm about the gradual demolition of our home by Wonderbutt, the Dog Who Ate the World.  Periodically, the Cap’n even contributes to the demolition by doing such things as knocking down walls and tearing out flooring.  He claims he is trying to improve our home, but I’m sure that is what Wonderbutt would say, too, if only he could talk.

We were all so energized by the delivery of new furniture to our household on Friday, that the Cap’n decided it was time for him to do some more home improving which involved removing some planks of cedar off of the wall so he could replace it with drywall and paint.

I could hear him tearing it down, and, instead of being concerned, I felt comforted by the fact that he was in the same vicinity as Wonderbutt, meaning any assaults on the couch would be unlikely to occur in my absence.

After the noise died down, I wandered out to the living room to survey the damage.  To the wall.  The intended damage that was in our Grand Plan of Creating a Designer Home.

The Cap’n looked at me apologetically.

“It turns out our floor isn’t so indestructible, after all,” he stated.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.  He pointed down.  Because, like an idiot, I was still looking at the wall even though he’d said the word “floor”.

There, on our newish concrete floor, in the middle of the Cap’n’s very own design for our entryway, was a long, deep white scratch – presumably from a vengeful piece of cedar desperate to mark its territory one last time.

I am the Wife Who Backed My Car into His Truck, the Wife Who Brought the Dog Who Ate the World into Our Household, the Wife Who Sets off Smoke Alarms When She Cooks.

I cannot fault him for a white scratch on our floor.

But it will be a good weapon in my arsenal when Wonderbutt finally makes his mark on the new sofas.

Note the fancy rectangle design in front of our white door.  And the absence of any white marks.

Note the fancy, deep, white scratch that now adorns our rectangle design – the sole reason our home will now never be featured in Architectural Digest.

The Only Thing with a Bigger Appetite Than Wonderbutt

My husband, Cap’n Firepants, is a big proponent of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  However, in reality, he often just Rearranges… the Garage to Fit One More Thing.  In his mind, he can imagine many other uses for each piece, but these uses do not usually get implemented within the century of their retirement.

With the addition of new furniture to the house, I was afraid that the old furniture would join the other odds and ends piling up in the garage.  And donating it to Goodwill would have  resulted in quite a bit of Ill Will toward the Firepants Family, I was certain.  Considering that it looked like this

and smelled much worse than it looked, there was only one possible destination for these pieces.

“But Wonderbutt looks sad,” Dimples, our nine year old, protested.  Wonderbutt is the one responsible for the sorry state of the old furniture.  He is our insatiable bulldog with an affinity for foam – particularly the foam in carpet padding and furniture.

“Wonderbutt is a bulldog.  He always looks sad.”

She was right, however, because, at the moment, Wonderbutt was sitting on our old couch, cushion removed, leaning heavily against the corner, with eyes glazed over, and his wrinkly face staring down as though he were mourning the death of the only one he truly cares about – Wonderbutt.

Of course, he moved as soon as I tried to take a picture of him looking doleful.

I hardened my heart.

“It doesn’t matter.  Tomorrow is the Dial-a-Trailer across the street.  And that is pretty much the only way are going to be able to get rid of these things – legally, at least.”

I did not tell Dimples, or Wonderbutt, that Dial-a-Trailer is a big ole truck that consumes tree limbs and furniture as easily as a giant masticating bran cereal.

So, this morning, Cap’n Firepants and I loaded the old pieces into Cap’n Firepants’ truck, and delivered them to the Jaws of Death.  And I only sniffled a bit as I watched the spines get snapped on our first set of furniture bought as a married couple at a store that went out of business eighteen months ago. (That’s when they went out of business, not when we purchased the sofa and love seat.  Although, that is roughly around when Wonderbutt came into our lives, so I would not put it past him to be responsible in some way, shape, or form for the entire collapse of the furniture industry.)

Then we came back to the house, and I realized that 2 of the sofa cushions had not made the trip.  And that the Jaws of Death could help us free up another 10,000 square feet in our garage if we made a couple more trips.

After I used some gentle persuasion (“I’m sick of this mess!”) to convince him that the Jaws of Death were still hungry, Cap’n Firepants loaded our old wall into the truck – and then our old entertainment center.

That had been one of my first pieces of furniture.  During my last year of college, I had purchased the unfinished piece, and sanded and stained it on my own.  For years now, it has stood in our garage with a bunch of other junk piled on top.

I was ready to say good-bye.

Cap’n Firepants was not.

“I just wish we could at least try to sell it or something.”

“We did!”  I pointed to the orange sticker that said 25 cents on it, a remnant of our one and only Garage Sale Fail.  I expected him to say, “Well, that didn’t really count.  It poured sheets of rain the entire day, and we only had two customers the whole 8 hours.”

But he didn’t.  He loaded it up.

“You don’t have to go this time,” he said.  I thought he might be trying to be gentle of my feelings, maybe concerned that it would break my heart to see the old entertainment center instantly mashed into a thousand pieces.  But then, I realized his true motive.

“You just don’t want me to embarrass you by taking pictures!” I accused him.  I had taken out the camera to document the cushions, destroyed by Wonderbutt, that now crowned the pile in the back of the truck.  And, yes, I had kind of considered taking a picture of them being eaten by the Trailer.

“You’re right,” he said.

And he left.  And he returned 15 minutes later without the cushions or the wall or the entertainment center.

Unfortunately, neither one of us thought of the true solution to all of our problems – which would have been to feed Wonderbutt to the Trailer.

Now, don’t sic PETA on me. We would never have fed Wonderbutt to the Trailer. Even if we had thought of it. At least, I wouldn’t have. I can’t really speak for Cap’n Firepants…

Pole Envy

As soon as I saw the man walk into the cafeteria at our daughter’s elementary school, I knew there would be trouble.  I silently prayed that my husband wouldn’t see him.  Of course, the man headed straight for the row in which we were uncomfortably seated in hard plastic chairs awaiting the beginning of Dimple’s choir program.  He plopped down to the right of my mother-in-law, two seats down from my husband, the Honorable Cap’n Firepants.  I lowered my head in defeat as Cap’n Firepants sat slightly straighter in his chair upon noticing the man.  Cap’n Firepants swiveled his head to look at me.

“I know,” I furiously whispered.  “He has a long pole.”

This was not meant to be a double entendre – at first.  I was merely acknowledging the fact that the stranger had a pole on which to affix his video camera.  Not a tripod, which wouldn’t fit in the ridiculously narrow aisles between chair rows anyway. A long, straight pole.

The Cap’n and I always have the same “discussion” at every camera-worthy event.  Who will videotape, and who will take still pics?  He does not like to videotape.  Mostly because his arm falls asleep trying to hold the camera still.  I do not like to videotape.  Mostly because The One Who is Not Videotaping forgets to take pictures at key moments – inevitably the rare ones when Dimples chooses to smile and actually appears to be enjoying the activity in which she is involved.

If he had a long pole, that would solve our problem(s).

I want to be clear here.  I was not the one coveting the long pole.  The Cap’n was.

“If you would just hold it once in awhile,” the Cap’n whispered, presumably referring to the video camera. Or, perhaps not.  “Even once a year would be nice.”  There was a slight twinkle in his eye at this suggestion, and I nearly fell out of my plastic chair into the choir teacher who was setting up her music stand to my left.

“Fine,” I whispered back.  “I’ll hold it right now.”

This is the type of banter that occurs between a husband and wife who have had very little sleep for very many days – and not for any kind of a good reason.

I looked up “the pole” when we got home from the concert.  If you click on this link, and read the name of this accessory very carefully, you will see why Cap’n Firepants might not want to act too quickly about acquiring a long pole.  It seems the other parts of “the package” might not be quite as worthy of boasting about…

Some people apparently use their long poles for nefarious activities. photo credit: dfinnecy via photo pin cc

In Pursuit of the Poppy Paparazzi

After a day and a quarter of unimaginable fun and hijinx in Fredericksburg, our cousins – the Globetrotters – had to return to Houston.  That left only the Cap’n and I to find trouble.  So, we decided to follow these guys to see what they were up to.  They had been making frequent appearances in droves on Main Street – yet did not appear to be there for the purpose of shopping in quaint stores or touring vineyards.

On Sunday, we found out their true destination – Willow City Loop.

Willow City Loop is a bit outside of town, and is known for its scenery.  It is also known for being a private road, and has many postings, such as this one, warning that you should not  get out of your car.

You will also see many of these signs:

But, this is the only loose livestock we saw:

Note that these people were not in cars.  This herd seemed oblivious to threats, and were willing to make any sacrifice, apparently, to get a good photo.

The sign didn't say you had to stay on your motorcycle...

And there were many good photo opportunities to be had.  This is wildflower season in Texas, and this year they seem to be particularly bountiful.

I managed to get a few good pics myself – without getting a ticket, jumping out of a moving car, being flattened by a motorcycle, or getting shot by an angry Texas ranch owner.




So, that is how we concluded the Great Cap’n Firepants 40th Birthday Celebration Weekend – following a bunch of hogs to heaven.

Note to Self: Do NOT Bring Your Credit Card on a Wine Tour

So, it turns out that when the Firepants and Globetrotter contingents get together, we are lushes.  That certainly was not the intention for the Grand Birthday Celebration of Cap’n Firepants, but when you get 4 adults together (sans dogs and kids) in Fredericksburg, Texas, and you start out the weekend at a place called Fredericksburg Brewing Company, moving on that evening to the Lincoln Street Wine  & Cigar Bar, well, what can you expect?

The following day, we had scheduled a tour of one of the local vineyards.  Oenophiles and sommeliers will quite likely be shocked by, and perhaps a bit skeptical of, my next statement. Unbeknownst to us, the area around Fredericksburg is the second most visited wine region in the United States, second only to Napa Valley, according to Orbitz Travel!

That piece of trivia was one of many that we accumulated during our tour of the Grape Creek Vineyard.  Our seemingly knowledgable guide taught us all kinds of things we did not know.  I am reticent to call him an expert because A.) There was no one else there to contradict him and 2.) We were so snockered by the end of the tour that I probably won’t remember any of his “facts” correctly anyway. Throughout our tour, all I could think of was that none of the steps in the wine-making process that he was describing occurred in the famous I Love Lucy grape-stomping episode.  And that, to me, is the ultimate reference guide to wine-making.

For example, he informed us that the only difference between red and white wines is that the skin of the grapes is completely removed from the wine-making process for whites.  I am pretty sure he is wrong on this.  Purple grapes make red wine.  Green grapes make white wine.  And pink grapes make blush.  (And brown cows make chocolate milk, by the way.)

I saw more cows than actual grapes, so maybe the cows make the wine here in Texas.

Also, according to the guide, this is the handy gadget used to remove the leaves and stems from the grapes.  I am confident he was really showing us a giant cheese grater.

 

The fun started once we entered the building.  We began the “barrel tour”, and got to taste the wine being made in three different barrels.  Our guide was quite generous with the “tastes.”

As I debated whether I should surreptitiously pour my third “taste” into a nearby sink (since it was only 12:30 in the afternoon, and I really kind of wanted to be somewhat cognizant during the remainder of the day), our guide said that it was about time to move on to the tasting portion of our tour – where we would get to taste six different wines from the bottle.

I’m sure it is no coincidence that the 8th wine I tasted that day was the best one I have ever had.

I’m not going to tell you how many bottles of wine we eventually bought.  But I will say this: if I owned a company, I would definitely adopt this business model.  Get ’em drunk and lead them to the gift shop.  I’m surprised someone doesn’t shove a shot glass of tequila into my hands every time I walk into the mall.

 

Who Stopped the Presses?

Well, I am glad that I have a bunch of optimistic readers, and no one panicked upon reading my “Emergency” post.  As most of you surmised, I was actually having fun helping my husband, the Cap’n, to celebrate his 40th birthday – and I am not dead.  I apologize for taking so long to respond to comments, but I will try to catch up as soon as I can.  I am now in the middle of doing every chore that I procrastinated in honor of Cap’n Firepants, so I will have to postpone my tales from the weekend, and offer you a couple of pics of a dog we encountered during our Birthday Adventure.  The next time I don’t get paperwork turned in on time, I am using this little guy as my excuse.

"I haven't seen this kind of piddle pad before."

"Whoever is holding up the printer, move out of the way! Can't you hear them yelling at you?... Huh? Who, me?"

Emergency Blog Post

This is my Emergency Blog Post.  Don’t worry.  There is nothing wrong.  At least, I don’t think there is.  I have set this page to publish in case I am too busy having fun with my dear husband, Cap’n Firepants, on his Birthday Weekend Extraordinaire. (What I am really celebrating is that he is finally in the same decade as me.) So, if you are getting this, it means, that I am having an excellent time.  Or, that I am dead.  But let’s try to be optimistic, shall we?

Wonderbutt says that all is well. He is working on couch cushion number three, and we will return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Hoarder – or Hero?

I have learned that there is a very fine line between hoarding and being prepared.  Maybe they cover this in Boy Scouts.  I don’t know.  Since I’m not a boy.  And I have never been any type of scout.  Scouting implies, to me, finding your way around.  And that is definitely not one of my strengths.

Anyway, my husband and I often have arguments about what should be thrown away.  Pretty much 95% of what he owns – according to me.  Nothing ever – according to Cap’n Firepants.

I can honestly say that I have never regretted anything I’ve deliberately thrown away.  (Accidental disposals do not count.  I did not intend to throw my engagement ring in the garbage; it slipped off of my finger.)  Despite this stellar track record, however, the Cap’n rarely listens to my advice.  And trust me, I give it to him often.

Here is the most recent example:  We can’t use our old dog bowls on the new concrete floors because the rubber on the bottom counteracts with the stain in the floor.  The Cap’n bought new ones.  I had almost released the old ones into the garbage can when the Cap’n said, “Wait!”

I looked down at the dingy, slobber-covered bowls in my hand, and looked back at him.

“Tell me one thing you plan to use these for in the next year,” I challenged.

He was silent.  Into the garbage went the bowls.

That night, I looked up at our kitchen ceiling fan.  One of the blades had split in half.  To me, this was an opportunity.  I’ve hated that ugly fan since we moved in.  It’s in a dumb place, and it’s, well, hideous.  I pointed out the broken fan blade to the Cap’n.

He looked up.  “I can fix that,” he said.

“How?” I said, doubtfully.  I pictured Dimples’ Skull and Crossbones duct tape adorning our fan.  Which might actually be an improvement.

“I have replacement blades.”

“Huh?”

“From the fans we took down in the other rooms.  I kept the blades.”

He KEPT THE BLADES OF THE FANS WE HATED SO MUCH THAT WE TOOK THEM DOWN  – “just in case”.  And now there was a case.

I hate it when hoarding comes in handy.

I deliberately left it dusty so you would be more likely to agree with me about its ugliness. As for the popcorn ceiling - yeah, hate that too.

March’s Dead Rubber Post – Part Uno

"Dead Rubber" means boring. I didn't like those pictures, so I chose the Dead Rubber Duck instead.

This month’s not-so-hot post will be one of updates.  And, I found a clever way to make my monthly Dead Rubber Post extend over two days – by making it a two-parter.  If you are not a Loyal Reader, most of this post will not make sense.  Actually, that pretty much happens daily whether you are Loyal or not.  So, if it bothers you that I don’t make sense, you may not want to return two days from now when I actually will go back to putting effort into my writing.  That’s when things truly get complicated.

Our Floor – We are on track to get our beautiful stained concrete flooring installed by professionals next week.  In the meantime, Cap’n Firepants is doing his best to completely destroy the house before the contractors arrive.  He likes to save them the trouble of wreaking havoc on our lives.  The Cap’n decided that he was perfectly capable of removing the tile from our kitchen, and we have the lovely grouted surface and fine covering of decimated tile dust all over the Great Area to prove it.  He’s not done; he has 3 more days to finish before the contractor Head Guy comes to inspect his work.  Wonderbutt has been observing this wanton destruction of the portions he was unable to damage despite his best efforts, and I am pretty certain he is taking notes on how to use Cap’n Firepants’ tools.

The Third Dog Controversy – I don’t think this is going to happen.  I kind of suggested it as a joke, and Dimples did not find that joke amusing.  Since she already pinpoints Wonderbutt as the source of all of her problems, I really don’t want to add to her roster of blame-worthy family members.

Siriusly? – I decided to try out the thoughtful gift the Cap’n gave me for Valentine’s Day, since I asked for it, and all.  He installed it so that you can barely see the cords.  I love listening to it.  And I am biting my tongue about the whopping lopsided piece of velcro he used to affix it to the car.

Wonderbutt’s Great Escape – The Cap’n, at my behest, installed cable ties at the top of each rebar post.  So far, Wonderbutt has not made any noticeable attempts to break out again.  This may change later this week, as we are going to be very busy, and he is 99% guaranteed to be seeking our attention through Nefarious Means.

For once, I actually have lots2say.  I just have little time to say it.  Apparently, every entity in the universe conspired to schedule activities for the afternoons and evenings this week (right before Spring Break) for Dimples.  So, I will give you another dose of updates tomorrow if I survive my daughter’s many Very Important Events.

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