You can’t always blame it on the Chia Seeds

I sweep the floor, and wipe the floor, and wash the floor a lot. It’s important for you to know this so you can really appreciate the breakdown I almost had today.

I had my 1 year old nephew over yesterday, plus the 3 and 6 and 15 year old at home with me. Each kid exponentially increasing the number of times I cleaned the kitchen floor.

messy little buggers…



My nightmare began when I brought the kids upstairs after playing in the basement yesterday. The 15 year old had just left for his dads house, it was just me and the three littles.

Walking into the kitchen, I notice….dirt…..something…..on the floor. First it’s just a few specks that catch my eye, but as I look, more and more becomes visible. It’s near the side door….and the kitchen table. Little black hard specks. Did Jake go outside and track this in before he left?!  But it’s almost too hard…. I looked at the houseplants suspiciously….did someone knock one over??

I sweep. Holy hell, it’s all over the floor!! Even the hallway?! What…… I swear, I just cleaned this floor!

I blamed it on a Kashi bar with chia seeds. The one year old was carrying it around, still in the wrapper, but I figured there must have been a hole or tear, hence these little black “seeds” all over.

I vacuumed… it felt like tiny chia shrapnel shooting into my ankles…a PILE on the carpet, then Sammy pointed out a trail of them on the couch. I spent a lot of time vacuuming. Sweeping. Wiping up. Eventually, the kids went to bed, chia seed bar went in the trash, and I told the husband about it when he got home. Funny. ha ha ha.

This morning. The three little ones are all with me still. WHAT is this stuff I’m stepping on….feels like….more chia seeds?! But how???

More vacuuming… how did I miss so many on the rug? More sweeping….HOW are they BACK?? Now I’m starting to panic. Are these REALLY chia seeds? There is something a little too hard… an almost metallic glint to some of them…. and chia seeds don’t seem so aggressive usually……

                              They LOOK innocent…….

Mind races…. some sort of insect? Pieces of insect? How are they being left on my floor practically under my nose!!? Cicada’s?? I feel like I’m missing something…. maybe I need to Google “suspicious small black specks showing up on my floor whenever I turn my back”…  I realize I just wanted it to be the chia seeds… that stupid Kashi bar was never opened, I checked….

Back and forth. Back and forth. Every time I look, everywhere I look, there are more.

At this point I’m talking to myself, a little panicked. What is going on? Am I crazy? Looking for the video camera…. is this a joke? Aliens? Am I in hell??  Because I can’t stop cleaning, EVER, if I can’t stop these things from appearing after I just cleaned them up!

This is hilarious….

And then I notice Sammy. Sitting at the kitchen table, eating fake Dorito’s, with a pile of those demonic black specks under his chair. Why are they black and not orange!?  I’m convinced this is the twilight zone. This is my eternity….I just cleaned under that chair!! I creep closer, waiting for some horror to make itself known.

And I notice something.

He’s wearing ankle weights.

And one has a leak. This kid has been spilling that gritty black filler since yesterday, All. Over. My. House.


He looks startled….then sheepish as I remove them from his ankles, black evil specks spilling out as I do it.

Now clearly, these are not chia seeds…..but I had to find a way to rationalize what was happening…… so, sorry chia seeds, my bad.





Dell hates me

I bought a new laptop recently, from Dell.  Had it less than a month. Realized something was very wrong with it…..tried to return it.

This was yesterday, as I started my 2.5 hour drive to pick up my daughter from college, I also dialed the phone. It took the entire ride……

I spoke with about 6 people, in various departments and countries. I learned that tech support lives in India, but the returns department might be in Brazil.

They also don’t speak to each other. Maybe they are not allowed to interact, on penalty of death.

There is also a man, in the return department, who is under the impression that he is The Master Of Returns… and he takes that role very seriously. He told me my computer had to be returned by the day before, since that was the 30th day from the invoice date. I scoffed initially, one day??! Give me a break, you guys weren’t working at 10pm when I realized finally the problem was you, and not me…. and I actually DID try to return it online and print out the label, but since the computer itself is doing weird things, it doesn’t let me fill in things like my zip code and so I couldn’t complete the return online.

He thought that was very unfortunate for me.

I spent 35 minutes alone with just him on the phone. It was like banging my head into a wall. He could not, would not escalate my complaint. It is NOT POSSIBLE…. because he is the master, and no one else in the world of Dell will speak to me, a mere customer. There is no headquarters, there is no corporate office, there is NO one to make a policy exception, or even consider it. There is just…..him.

I tried to explain I want buy something BETTER….from them. Give them more money!!  I just don’t want THIS particular, defective from the start computer. I begged him to check my account, my years of loyal history with Dell, including the last laptop I bought, also defective, that they finally did replace with the wrong computer, twice…. and I still came back.

I have never been reduced to tears of frustration, but at the end of my call with him I was crying. I hated him. Before we hung up, because he threatened to disconnect me anyway…. I came very close to saying something personal to him. Like, I hate you. You are a horrible horrible man. I think you must be compensating for something……..

But I didn’t….

I kept trying… calling after I got home, and I think my grand total of Dell employees spoken to was about 14 by the end of the day.

2 people in the “complaint department” told me that the computer was actually shipped to me on the day AFTER the invoice date, so I actually COULD return the computer….but all they did was reconnect me to the department under the reign of the Bastard of Returns, and all employees there were quick to tell me to stop calling, they weren’t helping.

I spent a good 30 minutes being transferred back and forth from them, back to customer service/complaints… only to be told “oh hey, no I’ll talk to them and they’ll return it…” and switched back to be told “NO!”

Finally I talked to tech support, who I was avoiding…. because I had been through that in the past and I didn’t want to fix it, I just wanted a computer that worked. From the start. For once.

Well, the guy was nice. He read the miles of notes on my account. He did some stuff, maybe it worked, I don’t know yet… because the problems weren’t something you could reproduce…. you just have to wait and see if it happens….

4.5 hours of my day.

some off those hours crying.

I am a broken person.

Dell… you have no soul.


Death to technology

I’m floundering here….

laptop is dead. New one won’t get here for another week!!!

18 year old kicked a ball into my hand, as I was holding my iphone…. sending it face down into a rock.

Imagine how hard it is to post a blog, check my email, text… even make a call with  a very cracked up screen. part of it stuck to my face yesterday. It came OFF on my face as I pulled the phone away.

I don’t know how the touch screen still works.

I have this laptop I’ve stolen from my husband, and every 10 minutes it shuts down and runs an everlasting update… I’m racing against time right now.

I have to find alternative ways of communication. Like, talking face to face!!??


Charlie saves the day

We had a play date today, me and the 2 youngest.

Jenna at any moment is usually carrying one or several pet dogs or horses, the stuffed variety. Today she insisted on bringing “Chip”, a beagle looking stuffed dog with her.

after 3 hours of playing, we left. All of us forgetting Chip behind.

The mom sends me a text, they found him…how do I want to arrange getting him back?

I made an executive decision, counting on Jenna to not remember that we forgot her baby behind. Just send him to school with her youngest on Monday, I’ll have Sammy bring him home.

Wouldn’t you know, Jenna sure did remember her dog…..


She didn’t take too well to my plan of letting him stay away for a few days. Even promising to get him tomorrow didn’t stop the tears.


I thought she’d taper off, go do something else, but she stayed focused on her misery. The only thing that slowed the tears was actually watching me take her photos…she would slow down enough to inspect each image. I pointed out tears and tried some filters to catch her anguish at its best advantage.

She is excellent at expressing her despair.

Finally, in desperation, I made a deal. I offered her the companionship of my own best stuffed friend, Charlie. With me since the age of 3, he is kept in a place away from grabbing hands where he can sit in peace and reflect on all the good years he’s shared with me.

I every so carefully brought him out and told Jenna she could take care of him until Chip comes back. She was taken with the idea of befriending my elderly raccoon.


No, Chip is not forgotten….but for now she is content.


And tomorrow….tomorrow that beagle is coming home.


The beer bottle mystery

beer beer1

Today, my husband noticed a pile of beer bottles in the back of our yard, at the fence line. They weren’t there yesterday.

As we looked out from the kitchen window, scenarios of how those bottles got there started to populate in my head.

Is someone casing the house? Sitting outside in the dark, boozing it up as they wait for us to go to sleep upstairs??

Random teenagers or homeless vagrants looking for an obscure place to party?

Is the raccoon a drunk?

drunk raccoon

So, I decide to take a look at the scene. Check it out for trampled vegetation, signs of someone sitting out there. Didn’t really look like it, but I did find several different brands of beer. More than 1 person maybe??

I gingerly pick up the bottles and put them in a bag to throw away, glance down at the other end of the yard, and see another pile of bottles and cans.

Now I’m remembering earlier this summer, cleaning up beer bottles back here….and wondering where they had come from then. At the time, I just thought it was a random occurrence.

I decide not to touch the other pile of bottles, you know, because it’s “evidence”. I call the police to just let them know about it. My plan is to go to the neighbors and the people behind us and ask if they’ve had any parties, or do they drink this kind of beer….do they know anything about how these bottles got in my yard? I’m still kind of worried about some random vagrant sitting back here, drinking and plotting a break in. I’m the one who stays up until 12 or 1am most nights, here in the kitchen, surrounded by windows. I hate the thought of being watched.

The police actually want to come out and see. So glad I didn’t touch the other pile of bottles now….

The officer takes a look outside with my husband. They found more bottles too…. so probably about 14 or so in total. Brands I’ve heard of, and others I haven’t….. fat tire beer???

The officer thinks its the house behind us, he’s pretty convinced. I don’t know who lives there. He takes a ride over there, and comes back soon. No one was home, but a neighbor was out, and told the officer there is a high school student living there who has a lot of friends over pretty often.

Seems the neighbor and the cop think that’s the answer.

High school boy? Friends over? ding-ding-ding!!!

I am relieved… that is much more appealing than a homeless vagrant, leering at me from the dark.

But…. what a dumbass. I don’t want to judge this kid yet, and I may never know the answer….. but if it IS him, it would make sense if he and his buddies each grabbed some beer from their houses and convened in his yard to drink it…. why there are so many different kinds….

Throwing it over the fence right behind you doesn’t make it go away, idiot.

So then, the question would be: Is this kid that stupid? Or is he just that much of an ass, to not care what he does to another persons property?

I was going to leave the bottles, just in case it turns out to be the kid and his buddies. If I were his mom, I’d make him go pick them up and apologize. Then I realized that his parents might just as easily get angry and never believe for a minute their son could do something like that….. so I picked them up. But I didn’t throw the bag away yet. In case they want some evidence or something……

And now I’m buying motion lights on Amazon to light up my yard like the Griswold’s Christmas if anything comes near the fence line…… be it dirty vagrant, or sneaky high school kid….. or drunk and stumbling raccoon.


The full college experience

So I learned what “molly” is the other day.

The key to learning a new definition, I believe, is to hear it used in a sentence first….to put it into the proper perspective.

Such as:

“MOM…. the guy just snorted molly off  my desk”

Right away I think “This probably isn’t something good… is that cocaine? Is that what they’re calling cocaine now?”


No. I’m quick to learn it’s not. It’s ecstasy, everyone seems to already know this but me.

And how did this happen?

The roommate, along with several friends who had already been busted for drinking in someone else’s dorm room… decided it would be a good idea to just bring the party to another room.

Because for sure, no one would ever catch them again.

I learned another term… “pregaming”…  thanks

North American

gerund or present participle: pregaming
  1. (especially of a person who is underage) drink alcohol before attending an event or social function.
    “a lot of the teenagers had pregamed before they got there”

So, this group of people was pregaming in my daughters dorm room, before going out one night. They were going to leave soon, so she’d have the room to herself to study later. She walks in on them, she left her phone charger in the room and had to come back. Finds them with bottles of booze, hanging out. She had told the roommate ahead of time she wasn’t going to be around if people were drinking, but didn’t want to prohibit the girl from having her fun.  As she is there, a guy puts some white powder on her desk and snorts it with a dollar bill.

She then decided it was time for them to leave. Right now.

Calls me, fuming. “He did it on MY DESK!” Hating that her belongings are now somehow tainted.

We are both getting an education right now.

The grief caused by a mouse

I am going to say this, as much as I hate to.

I saw a mouse in my house.

If you think about it, most people probably do have some sort of little critters lurking around in the heating ducts, the basement corners, attic, whatever. They are so small. Our houses in comparison are so big, not to mention so warm and dry when it’s crappy and cold outside… doesn’t take much to find a way in.

But it’s not ok for me to see it, or KNOW about it.

So after seeing this tiny little furry body scurrying across my floor, I was shocked. Mortified. Embarrassed. Disgusted.

As I have dealt with this little….issue…. I had no choice but to propel myself through various stages of emotion. Almost identical in fact, to the stages one often goes through after a divorce, or after the death of a loved one. It has been that tragic for me.

Stage 1. Denial.

Absolutely. Because there is NO WAY I have a mouse in my house. Obviously someone once had a pet hamster and it has managed to live in the heating vents for the past 6 years or so since we bought the house, completely undetected. Maybe I was witness to him finally finding his way free after all these years. Probably just looking for a big wheel to run on. Or, even better…. I probably didn’t just see that. Nope, it happened so fast… it may have been my imagination and god knows that thing gets out of hand all the time….

Stage 2. Anger.

After spending a fortune on a load of NO kill traps, and spreading them all over to humanely catch any potential mouse, or gerbil, or hamster that could possibly be living in my heating vent….. that bastard managed to avoid all of them and show up again the next day, scurrying around like he owned the place. TWICE in the same night. My jumping around with a flashlight and broom had no effect whatsoever. Now I’m angry. You might be cute. But I’m going to kill you.

it's on.

it’s on.

Stage 3. Bargaining.

What a wasted stage. This never works, as I can tell you-being a mother of 4. Doesn’t work with the kids, doesn’t work with a mouse. But we try it… and I guess the promise NOT to kill him just wasn’t enough to inspire that mouse to sashay into one of my traps. If only I had been better prepared for a rodent invasion….If only I had encased my home in steel mesh…If only I had made a better deal with God…. I could have saved us from the mouse.

Stage 4. Depression.

Well, it IS really depressing to know I am being invaded by at least one small, furry creature. And I am going to believe, for the sake of my sanity, that he JUST got here the very first moment I saw him, and when I am not seeing him, he is in some sort of suspended animation, and NOT spreading his little mouse germs all over my house. What? That sounds like denial to you? Listen, I NEED to be in denial right now. Or I would burn this place down…

Stage 5. Acceptance.

It helped when I talked to a friend at work. She just had the same issue. We talked about traps. She told me what I already knew, those no-kill traps are a joke. I accepted my problem. Bought a million cheap wooden traps after work… armed myself with peanut butter, and turned my furnace room into a torture chamber.

I have since become an official murderer of innocent mice. As much as I would have preferred to avoid that, I also accept that I am willing to kill a mouse, or 2…to keep my kids disease free and my home clean. And to keep myself sane.

Do I feel bad? Well….maybe a little??? Do you hate me for being a mouse killer?

You do???


Sorry Mickey.... We have no mouse tolerance....

Sorry Mickey…. but not really……

Car Krash Karma

How I feel......

How I feel……

I recently posted about the naïve stupidity of my little sister, accepting rides from shady strangers in New York.

I thought I was the smart(er) sister, when it comes to things like safety….common sense….avoiding risk.

I was wrong.

Karma came and kicked me in the face today. But I don’t blame Karma, I blame myself, and as I “punished” my sister by blogging about her lack of judgment, I am punishing myself now by blogging about my own-even worse-mistake.

What kind of mistake?

The kind of mistake that happens when you for some reason are exhausted at the end of the day, and find yourself literally slapping yourself in the face to stay awake as you drive home. The kind of mistake that finds you on your street, mere houses away from the safety of your garage when you suddenly find yourself WAKING UP as you drive into a pole. Rather, as I drive into a pole, on a tree lawn, down the street from my home.

like this

like this

It was not a huge pole, nothing like telephone pole size. It was a black street light. The slow motion that happens when you find yourself facing a sure collision allowed me to see it, and hear it’s gentle, almost eggshell-like crunch as I destroyed it. There was no sensation of force, it literally just folded on contact. As did the corner of my car.

That woke me up.

To the reality of what COULD have happened had there been a car around that curve in the road instead of a light. Or a child playing. My OWN little ones were in the back seat, completely unaware somehow of what had just occurred.

So I find myself painfully awake and aware of what just occurred, and it’s amazing how quiet the street is around me. How can it be no one saw this? Acutely embarrassed, I backed off the pole-now under my car, and was thankfully able to drive the short distance to my home.

I went through the initial panic of not knowing who to call first, but settled on the police, sure I just destroyed city property and wanting to make sure I called before someone else called on me. They were nice, sent an officer to the house within 20 minutes. His first question? Was I texting? NO! Thank god, because I know I couldn’t have lied. I already considered using the deer always around our street as an excuse, but knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it together. My Catholic guilt has always served me well.

It was bad enough that I gave him a name and a face for the cliché “typical female driver”.

Some more questions, lots of raised eyebrows…. I was given a citation with a nice fine for failing to control my vehicle. I can contest it in court if I want next month…pretty sure I won’t be doing that. I’m allowed to pay the fine without appearing there.

On to the husband, the insurance company, the repair guy, a cop friend. With each call, and each persons kindness, I actually felt worse. I’m a dangerous driver!  Equal parts humiliation and disappointment in myself. How can these people tell me to relax, it’s just an accident!?

I understand that accidents happen. But the what if’s….. they are killing me. How could I have allowed that to happen?

Maybe I could blame it on the 2 year old who kept me up last night, or maybe the babysitter who doesn’t drive, requiring me to take her home each day. But the blame is mine.  I KNEW I was so tired driving home, hence the face slapping. I think I just finally relaxed too much, literally on that final stretch…

I SHOULD have stayed fully aware and awake. I can’t believe I didn’t. Thankfully the damage to property and my vehicle is repairable, I could not have lived with myself had I hurt another person.

I’m left to figure out who I need to talk to about the street light, resting right now on the ground in the dark. I hate the thought of driving my very visibly damaged car, giving pause to anyone who will see it to wonder what in the world did she DO?! My 4 year old thought I was going to jail today, as he watched the officer taking pictures of my car. My oldest watched me sit on the floor and cry after he left, so upset with myself.

I am not feeling very confident right now. Not feeling like a great role model, and definitely not feeling like I have room to lecture anyone else about poor judgment.