Thursday, May 17, 2007

My New Superhero Handle . . .

is Avoidance Girl.

Before Steve left town, I promised him I would finish painting the family room. I know, I know. It was a lot to promise, but the faster that got done, the faster the room would get finished. It's obviously something I can do myself, so why not?

All good in theory, of course. In practice, I seem to find every excuse to not start painting. I can't paint during the day because the little ones will make a mess with it. I can't paint at night because I'm too tired; I'll do it tomorrow; I've got something else I need to do right now, etc.

In the meantime, I've managed to find all sorts of other projects this week. Yesterday I mowed the lawn. It needed it badly; Steve's been so busy lately on the basement that we've become "those" neighbors. The ones that get everyone else on the block looking up city ordinances on grass length. (Luckily, we live in the sort of town that doesn't have city ordinances on lawn maintenance.) However, I haven't mowed a lawn since I was 18 and left for college. It was my job during my teenage years to mow my parents abnormally large lawn with a non-self propelled lawn mower with a non starting gremlin residing in the gas tank. I hate mowing lawns; Steve likes it. The division of labor was obvious. Yesterday, though, in the face of my unpainted family room, I found myself with the itch to just get it done.

I sent my children to a neighbor's house to play (I have this thing about young children being anywhere near a running lawn mower.) The lawn mower was retrieved and I pushed it around front. I pulled the cord. Nothing. I pulled again. Nothing. I pulled the stupid cord on our "one pull start" lawn mower for nearly five minutes and couldn't start it. I called my husband and ranted at him via voice mail. (And he was glad his phone was off, I'm sure.) I called my neighbor to whine, and being the totally awesome, giving person she is, she offered the use of theirs.

She pushed it down to my yard, where I begged her to start it for me, because I truly believe lawn mowers hate me. (If you had had to mow lawns with my father's Frankenstein creation of a lawn mower, hobbled together from three different mowers to create one that works, you would have a complex too.) My neighbor leaned over the front and said, " it's got a priming button. you have to push it three times and then it will start."

Yes, folks, my lawn mower has a priming button, too. There was a two second delay while my brain processed the idea of a button before I made the connection. I did blush.

Anyway, yesterday I mowed the lawn. Today I froze 10lbs of carrots. I also brought over 10 wheelbarrows of gravel from the neighbors' yard to mulch the flower beds. Not something that needed done this week, of course, but it worked to avoid the basement. Cool neighbor did another 10, so we've about got it done.

This evening, when I swore to myself I would at least get to the family room ceiling, I fixed the zipper on my new (Craigslist) couch. I do love the couch, but it had a broken zipper. I'm glad it did, actually. The owner had it listed for two weeks and no one was even remotely interested because of the broken zipper. I paid $40 for a beautiful, tan couch with 25% down filled cushions. It's got a very up to date shape to it, unusual for Craigslist, the land of broken down, corduroy pillow backs. About a week after we got it home, I inspected the cushion and discovered the zipper wasn't really broken. It was just missing the pull, so I bought a cheap, metal zipper at Walmart in the right gauge that I could canabalize. This evening I did a little cover surgery, slipping the new pull on and sewing the popped seams back together so it wouldn't happen again. It looks fabulous and I'm feeling especially clever.

I'm thinking tomorrow I can do a complete wardrobe switch out for summer for all the kids. Finish the other 10lbs of carrots, finish leveling out the gravel in the flowerbeds, wash 6 loads of laundry, completely clean the house, cut off and hem the jeans with the holes in the knees . . . .

What? Family room? What family room?

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