And what a week it's been! Since there isn't enough time in the world to rant about all of it, here's a synopsis:
My neighbors are driving me insane.
This particular set of neighbors have been home only 5 weeks since January 1st.* The rest of that time (except for the time I lied and changed the dates of when I'd be gone so that I wouldn't have to do it) I have been their dog and house sitter, which means going to their house a minimum of twice a day, and keeping the Cracker from breaking anything in their knick knack museum of a house. They never come home when they say they will. They said they'd be gone 3 days this time. Now it's going to be 2-3 months. I am leaving town in two weeks and will have to find another neighbor to guilt into the job. I also have the pleasure of hand watering their front and back yard for 45 minutes/night. I either have to do it during the dinner hour or in the dark because it has to be done after the heat of the day. And as a nice bonus for my hard work: I also found a black widow in their yard and then had to go to the store to buy something to kill it and then actually kill it so it wouldn't kill the dog. I also go to the post office for them, occasionally have to hang around waiting for UPS for them, buy more dog food because they didn't anticipate they'd be gone so long, fill the dog's prescription, oh the list just goes on and on.
*(Another neighbor is keeping track because if it continues he's considering reporting them to animal control even though I am always there. It's just not fair to the dog.)
I am trying to knock off some more of the landscaping.
It's going ever so slowly because it is too damn hot. I work 15 minutes and then take a 10 minute break, not because I'm tired or sore, but because I'm sweating so much I can't hold a shovel and my sunscreen is dripping into my eyes. We have no shade yet, which is what I'm working on. We live at a high altitude which means really strong UV rays, it's close to 100 degrees, and The Cracker undoes everything I do by helping. And he asks constantly if not only he can help, but his trucks too, when I've already told him yes and he's working on a task. The landscaping? It's all up to me, which isn't bad because I LIKE doing it, but it's going soo slow. I'm about to give up again at least until Fall because being out there for 4 hours and getting 30 minutes of work done once I've undone all the Cracker's hard work is getting a little depressing.
The Cracker is driving me nuts.
We are spending, minimum, 4 hours a day outside, but it's not enough. At least an hour in the morning, usually closer to two, then from 5-8:30pm, sometimes later. He has decided to start throwing tantrums again, and try as I might, time outs are not working. I've tried reasoning with him: "If you yell and kick and scream every time we have to go inside, Mommy isn't going to take you outside anymore." And even though he understands Advanced Physics, his look tells me he doesn't understand this. Every moment we aren't outside?
"Me go play ouside now. Bye!"
"No. It's too hot."
"No is hot. Is cold! Is snow-ging!"
"It is not snowing."
"No it's not raining."
"Me no go play ouside?"
"Me go dog's house? Dog eat?"
"No, we are not going to feed the dog."
"Me go give dog treats? Bones! Bones, Mommy, bones!"
"No we are not going to go give the dog bones."
"Me take dog for walk?"
"No we are not going to take the dog for a walk now."
"Me go dog's house waber fowers?"
"No we are not going to go water their yard."
"Me go outside get mail?"
"No we are not going to go get the mail."
"Me go Home De-po? Buy fowers?"
"No we are not going to Home Depot to buy plants."
"Mommy and me go red ball house (his name for Target) and buy me gucks?"
"I don't buy trucks. Nana does."
My other neighbors are driving me even nutsier.
A different neighbor, one who is certifiable, who I have been avoiding, started coming around again. He wants me to be his mother. He is late 50s, unemployed and severely depressed. He says I am his only friend. He invites himself over and tries to hang out with me all day. And if I dare do anything while he says the same few sentences over and over, like make my kid a sandwich for lunch, he asks me to stop and give him my full attention. Friday he not only caught me getting in the car, out of the car, and then rang the doorbell 5 times asking if he could come in, to which I said I could give him 15 minutes each time, but it wasn't good enough and now I've sent him into another funk. He sulked home and planted his ass right back in the lazy boy he has in his garage watching my house so he could pounce if I took out the trash. "I want to tell you a story!" "Well I always have 15 minutes." "But I want to tell you all of it now!" "It's a really bad day for me. Can you give me a few highlights?" "That's not enough. It's a really long story." Sulks off. Holy shit...a short story is a minimum of two hours. And before you think I'm a total bitch for telling him 15 minutes, let me tell you that dozens of times he's been at my house for 6 hour stretches. Once you say yes, or don't kick him out, he's there until after dark. And he is scary, unstable scary. Those stories for later.
Other other neighbors, my next door neighbors, who seemed like nice, reasonable folk, maybe aren't.
I consulted with my know-it-all-2am-internet mommy friends, and they agreed. This was not cool.
They asked to borrow my wheelbarrow. I bought it in February, loaned it out to other neighbors, came back unharmed. Sat in my yard when it was here. The only sign of use was a few smudges in the paint, but no scratches. So when it was asked to be borrowed by these people, I said sure. I told them I'd need it back in a few days for stuff I needed to do. They wouldn't give it back. Had to ask numerous time. (They were mid project. Screw my project.) Ask again, 10 days after I needed it back. Wife tells me to jump their fence, and IF I can find it, then she'll open the gate so I can get it out. Find it like this...
Mixed concrete and chemicals in it. (A nice neighbor found out for me...I was too shocked to say ask, and she was pissed that she had to open the gate.) No thank you, no sorry we held it captive. Where you still see paint it's completely detached from the metal and is a sneeze away from blowing off. The brown stuff? Not dirt, but RUST. BUT THAT'S WHAT WHEELBARROWS ARE FOR, RIGHT???
J is working 12+ hour days. The Cracker is goofing off talking to himself when he's supposed to be napping, even though he can't stop yawning. The Cracker is also starting to find trouble.
I used to be able to sit him in front of Elmo or Tubbies and know he wouldn't move for the first ten minutes. Jump in the shower, barely use soap, and then get back out just as his attention was weaning. Now nothing works, and a minute alone equals trouble. I had to take a shower the other day, had to, and so I dared leave him alone for 10 minutes. This is what he did to the fire place...
(Take a moment for me, would you, and click on the picture for a full sized version. Then you'll get the idea.)
That would be Lorna Doone cookies, which he used a stool to get, and then sucked on them to make them nice and gooey, and then painted the fireplace screen. It took me a few minutes to figure it all out. I had just dusted that area a few days before, and for the life of me I could not figure out how a few days of new dust was looking more like crumbs, that is, until I found the BOX hidden in one of his favorite hiding places. Sweet kid that he is, he even closed the cupboard from which he extracted them. Maybe showering is overrated.
Saturday night, just as I was preparing a cup of tea to go with a little blogging, I found 3 ants on my kitchen floor. Half dead already from the poison outside, but still alive.
That meant freaking out, rewashing the kitchen floor (which I had washed the day before but only wet Swiffered that night, spraying around the outside of the house in the dark, cleaning everything cleanable, vacuuming the whole house even though I just had that afternoon. But I had to, because now we had ANTS! I also asked J, nicely, if he could contain the Cracker when he ate so as not to have food around everywhere. Just as I finally had everything to my satisfaction after hours of panicked cleaning, he gave the Cracker a handful of tortilla chips and sent him walking through the house with them. HELLO MOTHERFUCKER! "Oops. I'm sorry." And he was. But did he offer to revacuum since I'd just spent an hour making sure the carpets were crumb free? No. He went off to play computer games. No sex for him!
And that's just a sample of why there hasn't been any blogging around here. Forgive me?