Monday, May 11, 2009

Odious Tasks

I don't know about you, but there are some parts of being who I am, called to do what I am doing, that are really stinkin' excellent. On the flip side, there are a couple of things that are significantly less excellent. I'd like to mention a few of those things here today. I hope this isn't 'grumbling and complaining'. Perhaps it is just enough 'realness' for you to finish your week knowing that someone else is in the trenches beside ya.

Ready?

Okay, so first, I really hate going to bed knowing my husband isn't coming home. If I know he'll be home at 3am because of work? No problem. I'm in the happy land of Snooze by 9:15pm. But he's not coming home all night? He's travelling? Sorry. I'll be up til the little birdies sing their happy morning song. Do you know why I hate this? Yes, partially because I'm a sappy, hopeless romantic, but really because I think this might just be the night that some ne'er-do-well rapscallion is going to break into my house and steal something. Nothing strikes fear into the heart so much as the phrase "home invasion". This goes beyond the hassle and severe heebie-jeebie-ness of 'break and enter'. No one wants to know that someone has broken in and rummaged through all your unmentionables, but while I'm at home? sleeping? Um. No thanks.

Next on my list, is making the beds. I'm not talking pulling up the sheets in the morning and arranging the pillows ever so jauntily. No, I mean, I just spent all day haulin' 62% of my body weight in sheets and comforters up and down from the laundry room, only to have to now climb all over some rectangular "funhouse" trying to pin down an elastic edged sheet that doesn't feel like co-operating. And you do realize that at present we have one bunk bed set in our house. We have 3 more sets a comin'. Nothing like whacking my head whilst doing the bottom bunk and then suffering from vertigo from the top bunk to make my night. In fact, I have, in moments of weakness, prayed, whilst up on said top bunk, for that ne'er-do-well rapscallion to come at that exact moment. And I would beseech him to have the decency to help make that top bunk before robbing me blind. Pathetic.

This next one might surprise you. At first it doesn't sound so odious, but if you are a homeschooling mom you may just relate. Sharpening pencils. OH! how I hate sharpening pencils. I really do *heart* a nice sharp HB, but when there are 6 children at the table, all wanting a pointing thing with which to colour or print, and you are trying to sharpen as quickly as possible, it becomes an odios task. Especially when just as you are nearing pencil point perfection, the stupid lead breaks off several millimetres below. It is at that point that I wish I was not such a stupid cheapskate, because the leads likely break so easily because I bought a box of 24 pencils for 10 cents at Target. Why do I think they mark them down to 10 cents? Ah yes, the greatness of the 'deal' is losing its lustre right about now.

Toilet training? Anyone? Ya. Thought so. Moving on....

Picking tomatoes. I know, I know, garden fresh and back to nature and all that. Believe me, I love tomatoes right out of the garden. Nothing tastes better. All hot from the sun and juicy and perfect and YUM! I know. And I realize that *someone* needs to be out there picking them. Just please let me pick the basil that will taste like heaven with the tomatoes. Or let me gather some green beans. Picking in and of itself is not the problem. It is tomatoes specifically. The vines are the problem. They have a smell that makes me gag. Even "on the vine tomatoes" at the grocery store creep me out. Yes they taste better, but only if I plug my nose when I pull them off the vine.

Now this one is obscure, but it trumps the rest: Getting jalepeno pepper juice in the eye. I know, how often does this happen? Not often, but only once in a life makes it the most odious of all tasks. Except possibly making the top bunk. But I digress. It is like a little "do it yourself, at home pepper spray" kit. Man alive, you have to really like guacamole to put up with that pain. It happened to me in a really horrific way once and I was so incapacitated with pain that I left my (at the time) 3 youngest children alone in the living room to fend for themselves while I stood in the shower, fully clothed, trying to pry my eyes open and rinse them out with cold water. This after I had tried to pry my eyes open to get my contacts out (which of course were nicely rubbing that capascin juice right back into my cornea). The thing is, with pepper juice, your eyes don't tear. Your nose runs like a faucet, but there ain't a drip of tear to wash this stuff out. My hubby came home an hour after it had happened and thought that I'd been crying my eyes were still so red and swollen. I told him I would rather be in labour than have my eyes pepper sprayed. Seriously.

This is a long post. Are you still here? Maybe I just gave you an odious task of note: Reading Barbara's rambling blog. Painful.

Here's to hoping that none of us have to do any of those things in the next several days. Especially the jalepeno bit. Maybe keep one on hand though in case of home invasion.

10 comments:

Lindy said...

I have made three batches of guacamole in the last week (ripe avacados on sale) and only got pepper juice in my eye once. I was pretty proud of myself but also firmly believed that no one else on earth would do something like that. It's nice to feel I'm not alone. In lots of ways. Thank you for sharing. :)

Barbara said...

Lindy, that is excellent! I do love guacamole. If I had known you had so many batches on the go, I would have invited myself over :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh no, you're not the only ones. Many years ago, Graham and I decided to make a HUGE kettle of salsa and bought the hottest peppers we could find. Graham, bless his heart, sat forever cutting up the hot peppers. At one point, I casually mentioned, "you know, I think you are supposed to wear gloves if you are going to be cutting so much" to which my tough husband said "nah-I'll be fine' which he was until about a 1/2 hour after we finished preparing the batch. His hands started to burn and soon he was in so much pain, we actually called poison control to seek advice. Their advice was to soak in cool water and, if we had any bananas, to rub the inside of a banana peel on his hands. Poor guy, he is very careful when he cuts up hot stuff now, except for the time he inadvertantly rubbed his eye...

onfire in PNG said...

you know i love you tons but i have no idea why you put jalapenos in your guacamole ... seriously. never do this in my life and we make it nearly weakly. onion, lemon juice, tomato avacado, check ... done.
and ain't no burglar gonna invade your house. he watched you move in sister and he counted all the legos that could potentially be left on the floor. ain't gonna happen.

onfire in PNG said...

and i take back the "he watched you move in" part.
really.

Jessica said...

I suggest you invest in an electric pencil sharpener.. it could change your life!

halfpint said...

I can relate to the bunks but I seriously only have one! It is an adventure. Think of all the weight training you are getting going up with the bedding. I suppose Chris should start wearing his uniform till the neighbourhood becomes well aware of his 'stature.' I'm paranoid sometimes when Jer goes away (which doesn't happen often I admit) but then I decide that there isn't anything I can do about it, and heh I'm too tired to care. I shut my brain down basically (without any weird chanting or hocus pocus like some people). I've never picked tomatoes.Maybe you should stick to strawberries?I've never made guacamole either. How sad because I do like it. Hope you are all adjusted to your 'new' life.

Barbara said...

Kristina...lemon juice? Gotta be lime if you want it sublime. And the lego comment was spectacular. Jalepenos only go in my guacamole if I'm trying to impress someone.

Jess, electric sharpener. You have transformed homeschooling for me forever. Of course!

I think training our kids to do the top bunk is right up there with knowing how to brush their teeth in terms of real life usefulness. We're working on it :-)

Duct Tape Chronicles said...

I just pointed out to my husband that we had two set of bunkbeds in our house. It is just a baffling thought to me. And yes, making them is a pain in the patut-ee. How can I expect my girls to get their beds looking nice when it is difficult for even me to do? We got the boys their set two weeks ago and I have gotten much wiser about it; they have sort of a 'camp look in their room and i just ran with it; Sheets and a sleeping bag! I thought I was brilliant-no more reason for a messy bed...just zzzzzp and we are done.

Alyson said...

Barb
I have been spending some time reading your blogs, thank you for your honesty. I have to agree with you about the bunk beds and the toilet training (I do think boys are harder!)
My main comment try getting that jalepeno's juice in your kids eyes. OK don't really do it take my word for it it was an awful after noon 10 years ago I swear CAS is still trying to find that screaming kid!