Operation Short Rod was a Success, Regardless of the Critical Opponents. The Rest of the Weekend was a Success, Too.

I set up a new playlist on my iPod this morning, which covers everything from Lady GaGa and Pink to Sawyer Brown, Duran Duran, Chris Tomlin and original songs from Glee.

(And by the way, Glee, your original song of Loser Like Me is nothing but true golden perfection.  I have played it twenty-nine times in the last three days.  Well done, Glee.  Well done.)

With the cherry limeade wax melting in the Scentsy pot and the upbeat playlist shaking the walls of the Jedi Manor this morning, I hauled out the vacuum cleaner and the Pledge and the Clorox wipes, and I made some changes around here, because our house — coming straight off the weekend — looked like the Pi Kappa Alphas had thrown a little party for 300 on the premises.  And by little party, I mean that it looked like the Pikes and their 300 guests had danced all over our house with muddy shoes, while they were smashing packets of Ramen noodles, playing Jenga on the dining room table and kitchen counters with common household items, and throwing Lego bricks and Fruity Pebbles cereal at one another.  Now, though, after cleaning hard enough to break a sweat, it looks like the Pi Kappa Alpha house does at the onset of Parents’ Weekend.

You know, CLEAN.

And ALL the laundry is done — even the towels and the bedding and the bathroom rugs, which is such a rare occurrence, I don’t even know how I’m supposed to act when there is JUST NOTHING LEFT that I can scrunch up and stuff into the washing machine.

Yes, our weekend was another good one, even though we lived it smack in the middle of a dirty house.

On Friday night, while we were busy devouring the steaks that Hubs grilled for dinner, my parents called and asked if there was anyone at our house who might want to spend the night with them.  The boy toppled his chair over at the dining room table in his excitement to be on his way.  He packed up his bag with all the overnight essentials and enough diversionary items to keep him occupied for months on a deserted island, and he was off.

Hubs and I did what we usually do when there’s no boy making noise at our house.

Ma-Maw and Pa-Paw ate their prunes for dessert, took out their teeth, pushed the walkers against the wall so that no one would trip over them in the middle of the night, and they went to bed early, because they had not been invited to the Pi Kappa Alpha party, nor did they have enough energy on reserve to actually survive such a party.

And, just when I was looking nine uninterrupted hours of sleep square in the face on Friday night, Hubs said, “We have a new Big Bang Theory DVD from Netflix.”  So, you know, we watched it in its entirety because Dr. Sheldon Cooper makes me laugh more than any other TV character EVER, and then I looked six hours of uninterrupted sleep square in the face.

On Saturday morning, Hubs’ cell phone rang bright and early, because the servers were down at the local airport.  Being married to an IT guy is like being married to an on-call physician, but without the grand salary or the house in Costa Rica.  So, while Hubs was off bringing the airport back into the world of being able to get online (I’m sure they were all on Facebook, which caused their servers to crash!), I played eight straight games of Scrabble Blast on the computer and talked on the phone with Theresa.

Theresa had wanted to know what laundry detergent I use, because apparently she thought the Star Wars sheets that she slept on when she stayed at our house one night last month smelled fantastic.  I told her that I simply used a strong bar of homemade lye soap, and that I took the sheets down to the river and beat them against a rock.  I am Woman; hear me roar. I did admit, though, that once in a while, when I’m up to my elbows canning tomatoes and making  my own candles when the river is frozen over, I sometimes cheat on the laundry and use the modern convenience known as a washing machine, and THEN I use Tide with Downy and the big jug of purple fabric softener.

Theresa, never being shy with words, simply said, “You, honey, are a dork.”  I know she loves me, though, so I don’t mind!

When the airport’s computers were once again in marvelous working order, Hubs and I did the usual weekend errands which included COFFEE IN DISPOSABLE CUPS.  And then we gathered up the boy from Mam and Pa’s house, and we gathered up additional boys, and we took everyone to the annual 4H Carnival, which is similar to being in New York City during a big parade.

Crowded?  Oh my word! The good part, though, was that we ran into every single friend that we own, so we talked nonstop, while the boys played all the games.

There was a booth where you could dunk people.

The boys waited in line for time periods equal to those at Disneyland for chances to throw three softballs and try to drop a child into the water.

The boy managed to hit the target and knock the kid into the water THREE OUT OF THREE TIMES!  For his perfect score, he won a rubber duck.

Yes.  He won a RUBBER DUCKIE.  To say that he was UN-THRILLED with the prize is an understatement.  He looked at me and said, “I don’t want to carry a rubber duck around up here!  Everyone will think I’m a baby!”

And that was our first time EVER on caring what others think about us.  We crossed into a whole new world with that one comment on Saturday.

Enzo hit the target two out of his three throws, and he won a foam pool noodle.  Or rather, HALF of a foam pool noodle.  The boy tried to trade his rubber duck for it, but Enzo firmly held strong by keeping his own winnings.  He didn’t want to carry the duck around either.  The boy kept saying, “If I’d known I was going to win a duck, I would have tried to miss my last shot!”

The duck was eventually left behind at the carnival.  The shortened pool noodle went home with us, because, in a pinch, it could be used as a substitute lightsaber to smack each other with.

The boys also tried their hand at shooting the rubber band guns.

And then, after winning CANDY for prizes, which made them HAPPY, they moved onto the miniature golf course.

Heather and Tyler were at the carnival with their little nieces, and, although the boy is completely blocking the little girls so that you can’t see either one of them, trust me when I say ADORABLE!  Their cuteness made my ovaries ache, and I told Hubs, “Let’s look into stealing one of those little girls so that I can dress her in cute outfits and put big bows in her hair!”

Hubs decided that living with ONE GIRL was plenty-enough for him, and sadly, he wasn’t interested in adding another one to the Jedi Manor.

Yes, if you’re paying attention, the boy uses the putter in both the left-handed AND the right-handed positions.  He can’t decide which way he likes better.  He bats baseballs left-handed, and has half-decided that he may putt golfballs better as a lefty, too, but he’s still trying to make up his mind.  However, since he manages to sink his golfballs either way, he simply looks up at me and says, “Nailed it!”

I think that’s what they call Ambidextrous Putting.

After battling the crowds and the lines for a sweet forever, and after having talked to everyone until I was almost hoarse, the boys spent their remaining gaming tickets on blue snow cones and purple cotton candy, and we set off for the park because of BEAUTIFUL DAY.

There was much swinging and much jumping out of swings.

Our park adventure came to an ABRUPT STOP when Enzo attempted one of the 13,000 jumps that were made on Saturday out of the swings and caught his vest on the swing’s chains, which caused the swing to yank his arm and shoulder backwards and dump him hard on the ground.  There were tears in abundance, and most of them were from ME, because I was rather certain that I was going to have to call Enzo’s mama from the emergency room to say, “So…your son’s shoulder is dislocated and the wrist is plum broken.”

Thankfully, we had some serious scrapes, but all bones and cartilage seemed to be in the proper spot, so we came home, so that the boys, who were hopped up on blue snow cones and purple cotton candy, could bounce off the walls in my house.  There isn’t anything like pure sugar and artificial coloring to add excitement to your day!

I fed them all homemade spaghetti for dinner, and then Hubs and I cleaned our fish tank, because you could no longer tell how many fish we actually had in it.  And THAT, people, is our determining factor for whether or not we should actually put forth the energy necessary to drain and scrub and refill an aquarium.  If the water is cloudy enough that you can no longer achieve an accurate fish count, it’s time.

On Saturday, it was time.

I don’t know if y’all know the levels of fun that can be had in scouring a fish tank, but I’m here to tell you that those levels are right up there with being at a cattle branding and dropping the hot iron on your bare foot.

I’m just sayin’.

However, the pristine tank AFTERWARD made it all worthwhile.

Or so I keep telling myself.

Every Wednesday night, the boy attends youth group with his buddy, Carter, at his church.  Yesterday, the youth group was invited to put on the entire Sunday morning service, so we cheated on our Baptist church and went to church with Carter’s family.  The boy was even asked to play the piano during the service, so he had his first PUBLIC PERFORMANCE!  Naturally, I sat close to the front, but I didn’t bring my big camera, because I was not in my HOME CHURCH, and I wasn’t sure how a new congregation would feel about the crazy lady down in front who was popping off two hundred snapshots of the cute pianist.

As it turns out, I think they would have been just fine with it.

But, our memories of the event were simply preserved through the use of my cell phone’s camera.

The service was great.  The kids led the entire thing, and two of the high school boys from the weekly youth group delivered the sermon.  They did an amazing job, but the short piano player in the green-striped shirt was the highlight of the morning, even though Carter’s public performance in a little skit about the Good Samaritan made me laugh until my sides hurt.

Well done, boys!  Total aces!

On Sunday afternoon, the boy’s friend, Patrick, came over to hang out, while I presented Hubs with a nice little list of household chores that I needed his help with.

Hubs thought that cleaning the fish aquarium the night before was his GET OUT OF JAIL AND WEEKEND CHORES FREE card, but it plum wasn’t, because Hubs got to hang drapes!  And hang pictures!

Our dining room windows blend right into the door that leads out to our deck.  It’s one long bank of windows and doors.  Because of this, any curtain rod that would go above the mass of glass would need to be as long as a Greyhound Bus and cost our credit card oodles of dollar bills during an online custom-order. Honestly, curtain rods aren’t made in a length like we needed; special ordering was the only way we could score one.  Because of that, our dining room windows have been stark-raving naked since the day we moved in.

Until yesterday.

Because I like to stalk home decorating blogs once in a while, I found a couple of times where girls had used little short curtain rods to hang their drapes at the ends of a big bank of windows.  This renders the curtains as DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES ONLY, instead of FULLY-FUNCTIONAL, CAPABLE-OF-BEING-CLOSED drapes, and I was PERFECTLY OKAY with this maneuver.  I bought two miniature curtain rods and the drapes and revealed the plan to Hubs.  I even showed him photographic evidence of the beauty that could be achieved from the blogs of perfect strangers.

Hubs, it turns out, was not okay with this decorating move, because he couldn’t understand a life in which the drapes WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO BE PULLED TOGETHER.  This man will wear socks with holes in them.  He loathes decorative throw pillows, because they get in his way when he wants to flop on the sofa.  He thinks area rugs are useless, and that the only rug necessary in a household is the one in front of the shower, because he can’t stand to put his wet feet on the tile floor.  If left to his own defenses, Hubs would paint every single wall in his house a brilliant white, and he’s shove a sofa smack against one wall, with a giant big-screen TV on the opposing wall.  There would be no decorative end tables or matching lamps or photos hung on the walls.

And suddenly, on Sunday, Hubs had some major issues with the short curtain rods for DECORATIVE USE ONLY, because he couldn’t come to grips with their UN-FUNCTIONALITY.

Thankfully, I talked him off the ledge, and he hung the short rods exactly where I wanted them, even though he grumbled about it the entire time, claiming that Operation Short Rod seemed like a total waste of a good mission.

By the time Hubs was done hanging drapes and pictures around the house, he was exhausted and grouchy, so we loaded up the boy and Patrick, and we met Gabe and Jodi and their kids at the cinema, so that we could see the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie.

People!  I adore Greg and Rodrick Heffley like no others!  We laughed.  And we laughed.  And we laughed even more.  At one point, Hubs was laughing SO BLASTED HARD, Jodi announced that she thought she’d get to see a grown man wet his drawers!

So run!  Run like the wind!  Go see this one!

And then, after we’d dropped Patrick off at his house, the weekend was plum over!  Just like that, it was all done.

Kind of like this blog  post.

Happy Monday night, y’all.

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