Monthly Archives: April 2022

A good night’s sleep….

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It was such a sweet plan. It is seldom I can convince Roy to splurge on a hotel room; especially when there were other options, but to my pleasant surprise, this time he agreed. We would spend the night before Easter at a hotel.

It was a very simple plan. We had two family events for Easter, one on Saturday night and the other at noon on Sunday. We were only an hour and a half from home, so we COULD have made two trips, but I didn’t want to. I began weeks ago on my campaign to get that night in a hotel room on Easter Saturday.

“The dog really could use some time away from us,” I mused one evening when she was being particularly bothersome. “Maybe if we spent a night away from home, she could have a night away from home at the kennel. I really feel like she would enjoy that.” I ignored the steady stare of the dog, who seemed to be aware somehow that I was attempting to dump her for an evening.

“Well, I’ll see,” came the non-committal reply. I was not satisfied with this. “We’ll see,” is code in our house for “I don’t want to do whatever you have suggested, but give me time to think of an excuse.”

While we were working on the random disposal of the dog, I also pointed out that it wouldn’t be fair on a holiday to horn in with family. We couldn’t stay with them. In addition, with the price of gas, how could we justify driving back and forth for two days? All of my arguments seemed reasonable to me, and even the issue of the dog finally was settled. Much to her chagrin, she was going to spend Easter at the kennel and I was going to get my night in a nice hotel. For those of you worried about the poor dog, don’t. She definitely got her revenge.

With a gleeful heart, I made my hotel reservations and we started on our journey…our long night’s journey. We left the dog looking resentfully out at us through the bars of the kennel and hit the road. We had a delicious supper at a relative’s house and had a delightful visit. Then, it was time to go to the hotel.

When we checked in, the clerk asked us, “Do you want to be on the first floor or the second floor?” It’s Easter weekend…what would be our concerns? “Second floor,” said my husband, adding to me, “It might be a little quieter in case people arrive late.” I would look back upon this observation with pain later on.

We got to our room at little after nine and we decided we could watch a little television. While we were watching Jack Lemmon in “Under the Yum-Yum Tree,” I kept adjusting the sound, hoping to not disturb our neighbors, but after a while, I became aware that they had theirs a little loud too. Oh well, it can’t be helped!

When we had entered the room, we observed that the cover to the heating unit had fallen on the floor. Not wanting all that mechanism to be exposed, we put it back on, but nothing we could do would stop the clatter and rattle when the motor would heat up. Again, a minor thing.

It was about 10:30 when we turned the television off to go to sleep. It was then that we noticed that the neighbors appeared to be playing rather loud music. We lay in the bed, trying to lull ourselves to sleep to the “boom…boom…ba….boom,” for quite a while before we realized that it was really getting very loud and there was a lot of loud talking and laughing as well.

I was outraged. Someone had the audacity to use their hotel room to have a loud party. On my fought-for night in a nice hotel, I was being subjected to some hooligans and their extremely loud and terrible music.

The volume kept increasing and I began to do a slow burn. I visualized myself calling the desk and with a few well chosen words (interspersed with swear words) advising the managed to calm down the ruffians or I should be forced to call the authorities.

Before calling the office, I thought I would do a little reconnoitering to see exactly where it was coming from. Oddly, the minute I went to the hall and closed my door, I could no longer hear it so plainly. Perhaps they had calmed down. I went back into the room and the volume rose again.

Now I was convinced they were having the party in the parking lot outside our window. When I pulled aside the window shade, I found I wasn’t too far wrong. They were having a party, one they had rented a party hall for at the hotel. They were having a wedding reception/dance in the ballroom…located right below our room!

So there was indeed, nothing we could do. We lay there in the dark of our room listening to the thrum of drums, the clang of dishes and doors and the shrill notes of some very loud songs. In addition, we got the clatter and rattle of room’s heating system, just in case there were any lulls elsewhere. We dozed in the few minutes when the band took a break, but even that was disturbed by the talking and high pitched laughter of the smokers having a cigarette break outside the windows.

My husband bore up under this disaster of a night’s sleep pretty well, but he did once or twice make such comments as “sure glad the dog isn’t disturbing our rest tonight,” or, “do you think we could get them booked under our windows at home some evening?”

“I can’t hear you,” I grumbled. “Because I have my head wrapped in this pillow. If you make any more comments, I’m going to wrap your head in a pillow.”

Around 2:30 or so, the party broke up as the bride and groom presumably went on their way to a honeymoon and a happy life. We fell into an exhausted slumber, and if we snored, we did not wake up each other. I’m sort of hoping some of the party-goers were around us and they were kept awake, but it’s hard to know those things for sure.

The lowest blow hit the next morning. As we dragged out to our vehicle to pack up, a group of people were talking in the parking lot. I was so grumpy, I wanted to turn to them and say, “Quiet down and what are you looking at?”

When I looked over at them, however, I realized, that beyond them, spread out over a large area of land, was another whole wing of the hotel, far away from the dance hall and its sounds. So, in other words, the clerk who checked us in asked the wrong question. Instead of “first floor or second floor” the question should have been, “quiet room in the other wing, or hot spot room right over the dance floor.”

I could write you more about my night of faulty heating covers, wedding music and joyous laughter, but I’m just too tired. I’m going to bed early tonight and if the dog knows what’s good for her, she won’t make any noise, either!

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Illness, according to the marriage vows

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Now I know that when I took those wedding vows, that I said, “in sickness and in health.” I didn’t pay close enough attention, though, because although I said, “in sickness and in health,” I think my husband may have said, “in health only.”

Now, I’m not talking about the big stuff, life-threatening, ect., I know that he would support me through all of that. I am talking about the days where a stuffed-up head and the sneezes or coughs have got me. I think he forgot to take any vows about when I have the flu.

When he is sick, he wants his hot soup and cold compresses and orange juice delivered to where ever it is he is lying, sitting, or contemplating how sick he feels. I am happy to do this, and not because I took any oath, either. Just because it is the right thing to do. Do I wear masks and gloves so I won’t catch anything? Of course, but I always take care of him “in sickness.”

When the tables are turned, however, things are a little different. I have frequently made the observation that he would show up at my deathbed, and the first remark out of his mouth would be, “Before you expire, what’s for supper?”

It isn’t that he has no sympathy, it’s that he simply blocks out the fact that I am sick. Mostly because that would mean he might have to cook a meal and maybe, the lord forbid, clean up the dishes afterward!

This weekend, I have been feeling really lousy with a head cold and congestion. All I really want to do is lie around in my easy chair, watch some romantic movies on television and sneeze until my nose drops off. I don’t care about eating or much of anything else as long as the Vicks and the kleenix holds out. I don’t even want him to take care of me, just let me die in peace.

This does not happen. An hour into the morning, he appears from his shower, toweling himself off and remarking, “I don’t smell any coffee. Isn’t it done yet?”

“No. I didn’t make any coffee, I’m not well. You’ll have to make it yourself.”

After five minutes of listening to him slamming the things around in the kitchen and exclaiming that he can’t find the coffee, the filters, creamer, etc., I finally get up and go out and make the coffee. This is, of course, my first mistake. I have demonstrated that if the house were on fire, I could get up and move sufficiently to get myself out. That must mean I’m not sick.

While he can get himself a bowl of cereal, it’s always a fifty-fifty chance that there is no milk on a Saturday. “Uh, I don’t have any milk. Are you going grocery shopping this morning?” he questions, holding his dry bowl of Grape Nuts.

“I’m not going grocery shopping,” I say, blowing into my tissue.

“Why not? We’re out of milk,” he says incredulously.

“Because I thought it best not to infect everyone at the grocery store with my disease,” I answer, “have some toast, or go get some milk.”

I can usually count on a couple of hours of quiet then, but it was not to be this morning. “Uh, I’m out of clean socks,” he calls from the bedroom, “did you do any laundry?”

“Yes,” I answer through my sneezing fit, “I did some yesterday. There are clean socks in the dryer.”

“Well, why didn’t you bring them up and put them away?” he honestly can’t understand it.

“Do you understand that I am sick, that I don’t feel well, that I am under the weather as they say, and I don’t care if your socks are in the dryer, in the drawer, or on your head. Take care of it yourself!” by now I’m shouting, which is not good for a sore throat.

This will of course, give him a bit of a case of the sulks. He will leave me alone for a time, but I have to hear mumbled comments about how some people are sure in a bad mood today. I don’t answer because he is right! At noon, I roll over to see him standing over me with a smug look on his face. “I made myself a scrambled egg for lunch, because I figured you weren’t going to make anything.”

At least that explains the smell coming from the kitchen. I didn’t think even burned eggs could smell that bad. I relaxed, though, because I figured that maybe this meant he had gotten the idea that I was sick. I was wrong.

“The dog and I are going for a walk, you should come along,” he says in his brightest voice. “Good fresh air will clear your head because you’ve been sleeping all afternoon.”

“I don’t want to go for a walk,” I mutter, after a coughing fit. “I didn’t want to wake up to tell you that I don’t want to wake up and go for a walk.”

“Come on, dog,” he says in his most aggrieved tone, “I guess she doesn’t care to take care of her health with exercise.”

It had been a long day, and I truly felt unwell, so I decided that maybe I should just turn in and try to sleep things off. “I’m going to bed,” I told him. “Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

“Oh, okay,” he replied, “but before you go, what were you planning on for supper?” He didn’t like my suggestion and I can’t tell you what it was because they don’t allow profanity on these internet sites.

Tomorrow, I’m just going to pretend I’m not sick. It’s less work!

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Old Mother Hubbard…

I believe this old rhyme continues, “went to the cupboard, to get her poor dog a bone. But when she got there, the cupboard was bare and so the poor doggie had none.” Well, the good news is that unlike Old Mother Hubbard, my cupboards are not bare. The bad news is that if I had a bone for the dog, it wouldn’t matter because I wouldn’t be able to locate it in all the mess!

Before you ask, yes, that is an authentic picture of what my cupboard actually looks like. Some people line up the things in their cupboard in alphabetical order and with military precision. My cupboard, however, generally looks like I backed up three feet from it before I flung the items in with all the organization of the city dump. (Forgive me city officials, for that insult: the city dump is much better organized than I am.)

I believe I have mentioned that my refrigerator is badly organized, but any item in there is likely to be removed as soon as it indicates by smell or bacterial growth that it needs to go to the garbage can to die in smelly splendor. My cupboards, on the other hand can unknowingly house canned and bottled items dating back to the Crusades. It would just be difficult to discover in the disorder.

If you inspect any cupboard in my kitchen, the story is the same. My baking supplies are jumbled in with the crackers and the old cereal, while my dishes are hanging in there in a minimal state of precision. I have one whole cupboard just for the plastic storage containers I use to house future spoilage bound for the refrigerator. This cupboard is a demon abyss in which lids of all kinds are quietly and efficiently devoured into the black hole, while the lidless containers are fired back at me like heat-seeking missiles any time I am foolish enough to open the door.

I know it looks like there is a lot of food in that cupboard, but if you understand my method of grocery shopping, you will soon discover the problem. I am a hoarder and proud of it, and it causes me to shop thusly, “Oh, look, I need a can of tomato soup, but it might be best, while I am here, to buy three, to have some for later.” This method applies to all groceries. That is why when I buy a container of eggs, I always buy two for good measure and bring them home to be stacked on top of the third container of eggs already in residence.

It isn’t as though I don’t try to organize, you know. It would be wonderful to line all the cans up and stack the packages neatly, and even have the tea bags sitting daintily together on one shelf. But that takes time and it has to mean you care about how your cupboards are organized. I know anyone coming to my kitchen will open my cupboards, swallow hard, and quickly close them as if they have just viewed something indecent or obscene. And for the most part, I am okay with that!

Watching me put away the new groceries that I have hoarded…I mean…purchased from the grocery store runs like a news reporter in a war zone–only much sillier and less fatal. “And she gains ground on the second shelf where the four cans of mushrooms (I hate mushrooms) give way to the new cans of tomato sauce. On the first shelf, the noodles, enough to last beyond the present century and the cinnamon, plentiful enough to spice the rolls of the entire western hemisphere, are squeezed beyond endurance by the arrival of a bag of rice big enough to feed all those starving children her mother always used to guilt her into eating all her liver with. Just as she believes she has won the day, she is bombarded from the air by boxes of Rice a Roni, leaping from the top shelf, giving their lives to stop her assault on their territory. Oh, the humanity, ladies and gentlemen!”

I have been given all sorts of hints on how to avoid this crisis. I tried keeping a list, but I think the cupboard ate it, because it disappeared. I have been told an inventory would help keep things organized and prevent me from overstocking, but I look at my cupboards and I think it would be easier to inventory the sand on the beach…and at least I’d get fresh air and a tan doing that!

I could tell you even more stories about the syrup and honey bottles so plentiful they take up half a shelf…or I could regale you with the story of how a poorly closed box of macaroni once dumped over on the top shelf and rained down on my head, but I think by now, you kind of get the picture. So if there is anyone out there interested in excavating a set of kitchen cupboards, you are welcome to come and give mine a try. But be careful of the Tupperware containers cupboard…it is always hungry and it shows no mercy! Oh, and if you see my dog…give a her a bone, would you, she’ll never get one from my cupboard!

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