Friday, November 8, 2013

Redneck Laundry

I mentioned earlier that my p.o.s. house is slowly falling down around me and guess what????? It still is! Oh, the joy! I decided to be proactive about the broken things at home and my first stab at playing repair wonder woman was my leaking wall behind my washing machine. Yep, it's leaking all right. Clear under the wall and into the next room.

Luckily, Manchild is a redneck repairman and he came up with a truly brilliant idea that would allow me to do my laundry without flooding multiple rooms until things can get fixed the right way. He opened the window in the laundry room, ran the drain house through the opening right out into the yard and then let 'er rip.

I'm not sure how I'm going to explain the geyser coming from my washroom window to my neighbors without coming across as pure white trash. I'm pretty embarrassed to tell them what's up even though they'll see a small sudsy lake if they happen to walk through the yard that runs between our houses. Maybe I could tell them that I'm trying to get the ground to swell while I wait for the foundation company to come out and fix my house. Maybe I could tell them that I'm trying to conserve water so I'm using the gray water to water my lawn. It doesn't matter that it's rained for the last 3 days...I'm just making sure that one spot is completely wet. Maybe I'll just hide whenever I see them outside so I won't have to explain myself.

This problem probably won't be fixed for the next month & 1/2 because I'm currently a deer widow. My hubby has been gone for the last week and he's going to be gone for another week so that he can hunt full time. And I know that he's going to be spending every spare waking moment hunting after his vacation is over, so asking him for help is a waste of breath. Oh well, I guess I'll have a nice, clean green spot where my washer spews the rinse water. Maybe the spot will get wet enough and water will start standing then migrating ducks can stop in for a rest. I could have wildlife right outside my kitchen window! Then someone will call the city and I'll get arrested for hoarding ducks. And for making a pond between two houses without a permit. And for doing redneck laundry in the city.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For many, many, many years, Halloween was the holiday for me. I looked forward to it all year long. I liked it more than Christmas! Every year I went shopping right after Halloween to find the perfect (discounted) decorations for the following year and man, did I have a lot.

The very first day of October you could find me in my yard putting up decorations. I "dug" graves, I had spiders and skeletons, I had a full sized coffin and more. 

Some years, I'd dress up in a costume and position myself inside of the coffin just waiting to scare the bejeezus out of poor unsuspecting kids. Other years, I'd make a long dark tunnel out of my front porch and I'd dress up in a creepy costume, sitting stock still in a chair with the candy bowl in my lap. As the kids approached me, I'd stare at them while wearing creepy yellow contact lenses, just daring them to reach for a piece of candy. When they did, I'd barely move  which would really freak them out. 

I had dozens of costumes to choose from, too. Here are a few of my favorite looks:

Halloween was the Holy Grail for me. It didn't matter that my kids got older and outgrew trick or treating. I still liked to dress up and wander around. I was a kid that refused to grow up (still am).

Last year I began to notice a change. I didn't drag out as many decorations and I didn't go shopping for more props. I did dress up and go trick or treating but it didn't seem to be as much fun. 

This year I only put out one decoration. My casket is still stored in the garage. I didn't bring out the bats and rats and bloody body parts and I didn't even open up my costume container. I'm wondering what in the heck-fire has happened to me. Where has my spirit gone??? 

Where I work, we go all out decorating and the children of the employees are invited to come to the office and go trick or treating. It's a HUGE deal but I didn't get involved. And when the kids showed up, I high-tailed it to an unused office and hid from all of the wonderfully wild mayhem.

Um, excuse me but, I think I'm turning into a scrooge or something! It's alarming! As of this writing, I've got 2 days to ramp up my Halloweenism. I don't know if I can pull it off but I'm sure going to try because there are tons of little kids out there that need to see that you never outgrow Halloween. Plus, they're fun to prank. Maybe I'll go crazy and dress up in one piece from each of my costumes. I'll be a conglomerate the likes of which no one has ever seen. That's if I can catch the spirit in the big way like I've done in past years. I sure hope I do. Otherwise I'll be a dull old humbugger.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Just go ahead and shovel dirt over me!

When it rains, it pours. And boy have I gotten poured on lately. Or at least it seems that way. Most of the time I’m a very positive thinker but I guess enough road bumps have gotten in my path that it’s starting to affect me. None of my problems are hugely gigantic but there seem to be so many, I feel myself beginning to shut down when yet another item arises.

Let me begin with my biggest trouble…my p.o.s. house that is slowly crumbling to pieces. My foundation is a total wreck and it needs a lot of expensive repair work. Because the foundation is so sorry, my walls are cracking and buckling, the tiles are popping loose from the floor, windows won’t open and doors won’t shut and just the other day I discovered that water pipes are breaking. Grrrreeeaaaaaaaat. But hey, it’s nothing a hefty loan won’t fix.

My air conditioner is also trying to die on me. So far I’ve spent over $500 trying to keep it living a while longer but it’s still on the fritz. Who knows how many hundreds (or thousands) more it’s going to cost to get it up and running. But hey, it’s nothing a hefty loan won’t fix.

I haven’t been receiving child support in a year & a half so it’s up to me to cover all of the expenses of two girls, one of which who is in college. Lucky for me, she’s going to a less expensive community college right now but I know in my heart of hearts that she needs to experience university life. And that’s gonna cost me plenty. But hey, it’s nothing a hefty loan won’t fix.

The Christmas holiday is rapidly approaching which means gifts need to be purchased but I don’t think that the banks make loans for that. Credit cards do, but they have a way of rearing their ugly heads in 30 days or less.

One of my favorite statements is ‘hey, it could be worse’ but I haven’t been using that one lately. I keep trying to change my attitude but it’s really hard to do right now. My health hasn’t been cooperating so I’m automatically sore and tired and I know for a fact that stress and depression do not help things. And, there isn’t a loan for that either. although, I have some pretty radical meds. Except that they turn me into a sleepy, slack jawed zombie who can’t perform the most basic task. So even if I decided to get a second job to pay off all of the loans I have coming my way, I’m not sure if I’d get hired because the great meds render me useless. It’s a vicious tail chasing cycle.

I know what I need to do…I need to quit bellyaching and make friends with an understanding banker who will grant me a loan to make it past all of these disasters and get shit fixed. Then I need to get off of my zombie ass and help someone who needs help more than I do. Because when you help others, your problems don’t see as significant. And only after I help someone else can I fall down on my bed and slumber for 29 or 60 days straight. But if I did that, something would probably get neglected and break and I’d be back to square one. Because I live in a money pit. And I’m a zombie.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Givers and the Takers

There are people out there who have very little to their names but would give you the shirt off of their back. I admire those kinds of people. Then there are people out there who have plenty of money or time or both and they won’t give you an inch if you needed a mile. I don’t like those kinds of people.

I have an acquaintance who apparently feels that they are entitled to having others serve them without returning the favor; ever. They take and take and take but never go out of their way to help others. They’re the kind of person who would chip in exactly the amount they spent for their lunch when out with a group, but not pitch in for the tip. They arrive at BYOB events empty handed and drink everyone else’s stuff and at pot luck meals, they never contribute.

This person is a leader of many, who in my humble opinion should show good values that others should follow and yet I never see that happen. I see a perfect example of how not to be. I scratch my head and wonder how they achieved the status that they did.

Perhaps instead of being annoyed because of this person I should examine myself and be grateful that my mama and daddy taught me some great core values. I know I’m off the charts a little when it comes to doing things myself. I almost can’t ask for help, which is a weakness in itself. Maybe that’s why I’m so bothered by the takers. I feel that they are “less” because they won’t do anything for themselves. I feel that they are weak and lazy and worst of all, I have no respect for them.

I know that it’s not right to judge others and I’ve been working on improving my low opinion of the “taker” I have in mind. I’ve about come to the conclusion that the best way to remain unbothered is to simply avoid all interaction with this person. That in itself is difficult because I’m not the kind of person to walk away when someone needs help. It’s a vicious cycle.

I wonder if any of you have any helpful hints about how to deal with this sort of thing because while I am tied up in knots the “taker” is blissfully ignorant.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blue, blue, blue weekend

This weekend was truly a blue Labor day weekend. Kidlet and I spent most of our free time listening to the blues. We started off on Saturday at the Bedford Blues Festival where it was a balmy 107 degrees outside. The park where the event was held did not have an abundance of trees and the lawn area in front of the stage was in a direct line with the blazing sun, so there was NO WAY I was going to stretch out on the parched ground in the blazing sun to hear my favorite musicians. Just walking from the car to the concert had me feeling queasy and my shirt was soaked through and through. I could feel my makeup sliding off of my face and the back of my hair was literally dripping with sweat. Luckily, the event staff were handing out hand fans to help with the heat but I couldn't wave that sucker fast enough to even disturb the rivulets of sweat that were running all down my body.
No, that's NOT hair on my chest and underarms. It's supposed to look like sweat - I just can't draw worth a damn.
Thanks to the scented lotion I had applied earlier in the day, I wasn't sticky...I was slimy! The only good thing was that there were hundreds of other people who were just as sweaty, stinky, slimy, and miserable as we were. Somehow, kidlet didn't seem to be as affected as me. I saw the fringes of her hair dampen a bit but she wasn't dripping.

We finally put our blanket down on the ground in the shade of a tree to the side of the stage. We couldn't exactly see the performers but we sure as shoot could hear them and that's what mattered. Now, anyone who knows me will know that I am physically unable to sit on the ground for any length of time. My back fusion surgery sealed that fate for me. My body just won't fold. I have to recline and when you're all sweaty and slippery, reclining isn't as easy as it sounds. I kept sliding across the blanket! I tried to stay seated and actually lasted for about 20 minutes before the pain got the best of me. 

My poor kid had to help me get up and I'm sure to the casual observer it looked like I was trying to tackle her or pull her to the ground or something because it was so difficult for me to get up. We finally got my lard ass up and gathered our things and went off in search of any kind of heat relief we could find.

I love festivals of all kinds but the only problem I have is with the prices that are charged for food and drinks. I know that's how the event people raise money but 6 bucks for a lemonade is a bit steep. We weren't allowed to bring coolers so we were forced to shell out mega bucks to keep ourselves hydrated. I don't think that the drinks we had kept up with the sweat output, though. 

Eventually, we ran into a crazy friend who is a pretty subtle guy. Can't you see? He and his friends had a spot under a tent so that's where we landed and stayed for pretty much the rest of the evening.

Dang! Look how red I am! And that was at about 6 in the evening when the temperature had dropped down to 104. My red face goes well with my friend's blue beard. All we needed was some white and we'd be downright patriotic. By 9:00 or so, we were so fried and overheated we had to get into the car for some air conditioning so we left the event. 

And that began the second phase of our music quest. The next day we continued to travel and went from the little house in the woods to east Texas for a little outdoor concert. Luckily, rainstorms were in the area so the temperature had dropped to a bearable level, but it was still muggy as heck and it took about a nanosecond for my nice, clean body to become encased with a layer of sweat. Again. Now, I mentioned that rainstorms were in the area where we were that evening and they were threatening to cover the area where we went. At one point, after the band had fully set up their equipment on the outdoor stage the restaurant manager scurried out to tell the guys that the threat of rain was too great and that they had to break down their set and move everything inside. Being good friends and fans we started grabbing equipment to help with the migration but were stopped in our tracks while the club owner and the band guys had a powwow to decide if a move was really necessary. As fate would have it, the clouds stayed away and the band was allowed to stay where they were. It only took about 10 minutes for the equipment that had been broken down to be re-set so that was a plus.

The evening was progressing nicely until I needed to go to the car to retrieve something and then calamity struck.
Yep, I locked the keys in the car. I had put the keys in the console while I fished around for what I went to get in the first place (in the dark) and when I felt around and grabbed what felt like the pointy tip of a key, I jumped and ran. Right after the door clicked firmly shut I checked my pocket juuuuust to make sure I had the key and I noticed that the pointy thing wasn't a key because there were 4 other points attached to it. I had grabbed the hubster's deputy badge. It's an easy mistake, right? A 5 point star feels a lot like a car key.
I mean come on - anyone could have made that mistake. Anyone who was drunker 'n Cooter Brown or on crack or something that is! And no, I wasn't on crack or drunk...I just made a bone headed mistake. 

My heart started pounding something awful because I figured Manchild was going to be furious at me for doing something so stupid. I went in to face the executioner him and surprisingly, he didn't rant or rave or cuss or call me stupid or anything! (Thank you, Shiner Bock!!!)  He was pretty dang calm about it all although he did let me take care of the whole problem including letting me stand in a dark parking lot all by myself while waiting for help but that's beside the point.

Kidlet #2 is a whiz bang at punching buttons on her iPhone so she helped me find the phone number of a local locksmith. Now, know this...all of this happened on the Sunday before Labor Day at about 10:30 at night in the middle of nowhere. The chances of me finding someone to come out to a bar in the boonies on a holiday weekend at night were slim. I crossed my fingers and placed the call to find out if he could help me and was told (by a very drunk man) that his car battery was dead and that his car wouldn't start. Then there was silence over the line. I asked the drunk locksmith if that meant he could not help me and he repeated the line about his battery being dead and how his car wouldn't start. The guy was so sloshed I didn't bother with niceties, I just hung up. The only other number Kidlet could find was for a wrecker service so I decided to give that a shot. Unbelievably, a sober nice gent answered my call, took down my location and told me he was on his way. And to top that off, he arrived when he said he would! 

He brought his daughter with him and she entertained me while he worked to unlock the door. He took great pains to make sure his tools didn't scratch the paint and he was very reassuring that he would get me into that car. Who said chivalry was dead??? After a short time of work he finally got the door opened to my great relief. I was profuse in my thanks and tried to tip him in addition to his charge but he refused to accept it. He stated that he had charged me plenty (CHEAP by city standards) and didn't need a tip. Man oh man, there really are some good people still out in the world!

I finally got to return to the show and enjoy the rest of our weekend. But not without a lot of ribbing from my man.

All in all it was a hot, great, sweaty, blues infused weekend filled with fun, friends and family and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Well, maybe I wouldn't have locked the keys in the car and could have saved myself $65 but then I wouldn't have a story to tell. 

Special thanks to Smith Brothers towing of Jacksonville, TX. Honest, hard working, great quality service!

Monday, August 19, 2013

He Cheated And Joined A Funeral Procession

Manchild and I went to the town closest to the little house in the woods to do a little shopping. As we were going down the road, we had to swerve to avoid a big ol' redneck truck that had abruptly pulled to the side of the road. It wasn't a big deal until we went a short distance and had to swerve around another redneck truck.l Then we had to avoid a car or two.

What in the cat-hair was going on?!? We were already used to lame-brained drivers who drove as slow as molasses, avoiding farm trucks that looked like they were about to self destruct, tractors driving down major roads holding up traffic, and the occasional stray mutt trotting down the street but even this stuck us as odd.

We started paying closer attention & noticed that nearly all of the cars on both sides of the street were stopped with the exception of a long line of cars rolling slowly in the left lane. My man bellowed "what's wrong? Is there a funeral or something?" And then we saw the hearse. The rednecks that we had cussed were simply stopped to show their respect, not to read the days cattle feed records.

Shame on us! Mr. Man quickly stopped and waited for a few minutes until his hunger got the best of him and forced him to drive to the nearest eatery. It would be horribly disrespectful to blast past a funeral procession so he simply turned on his headlights, squeezed into the line of cars and became a participating mourner.

He pulled us in to the funeral procession! 'What the hell are you doing!?!' I shouted and I was told that at least the funeral cars were rolling so we'd just roll on with the rest of them. We'd mourn and claim the deceased as on of our own until we got to the nearest Whataburger.

I kept waiting for the inevitable lightning bolt to strike us down for being such disrespectful Southern sinners but it never happened. We peeled out of the procession and went into Whataburger, ate our food and never even "accidentally" choked.

I'd be curious to know what all of those mourners (who happened to be black) wondered about a couple of white crackers randomly joining their procession 1/2 way through the route. And then left the group to get burgers and fries.

This story horrifies me and yet I find it oddly hilarious. Who in their right mind would feel that it's perfectly OK to join a funeral procession solely for the purpose of shaving 10 minutes off of their drive to get breakfast? My man, that's who.

I wonder if anyone ever went to hell from sin by association. Because if so, I had better get myself some flame retardant undies!

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Got Caught Skinny Dipping

It's been really hot here in Texas and after an evening of working in the yard and grilling while it was 103 degrees outside, I was a hot, sweaty stinky mess. I decided to make use of my super awesome redneck swimming hole (which takes up my entire back patio) and cool off a bit. At first I was going to get in with all of my clothes on but the kids were gone and Manchild was in the office working on the computer and the only one that would see me was the dog so I decided to go au natural. 

Boy oh boy did that water feel good! It was a tepid 90 degrees or so, there was a gentle breeze blowing, the stars were beginning to shine in the sky, I could hear birds chirping and I was in heaven floating in the water.  The picture above is exactly what my pool looks like. It's 13' wide and 33" deep which means that if I lay on my back in the water, I've got about 4-5" clearance between my bum and the bottom of the pool. It's not exactly designed for diving under water. I can fully submerge myself but my "buoyancy properties" (AKA - FAT) make it hard for me to stay under.

I was happily swimming in circles when I noticed that my pup was looking into the house with her ears perked up. That could only mean one thing...someone was entering the front door which just so happens to have a straight line of sight to the back porch. Where I was swimming. Nekkie. Great.

As it turned out, it was my oldest kidlet returning home with her boyfriend in tow! I can guaranteed with 1000% accuracy that a 21 year old young man does not want to see his flabby 50 year old (maybe future mother in law) girlfriends' mother swimming in the buff. No way, no how. Luckily, my girl had spied me outside and made a beeline to the back door to see if I was swimming in the buff (she's got me pegged, doesn't she?). Her inquisitive look turned to horror when she saw what I was doing. I haven't seen the girl move so fast as she beat feet to her boyfriend to steer him to a portion of the house that had no view of the patio. 

I slogged my way out of the pool and dried off then slinked through the house wrapped in a towel so I could throw on some clothes. The funny thing is that once I emerged with clothes ON and I greeted the young man, the fact that I had been skinny dipping didn't seem to phase him at all. I guess he's been around me long enough to know that I'm going to do some pretty crazy/stupid stuff. The abnormal is my normal! I'm just grateful that he didn't see anything but the top of my head while I was swimming and that he didn't have to gouge his eyes out with a spoon to get the vision of naked me out of them. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kat Shoots Collin's Gun

I've already written about my oldest kidlet - the teeny badass. She might be small but she likes shooting big guns that go "boom." One weekend, her and her main squeeze came to the little house in the woods and one of the items on their agenda was to shoot guns. No worries - we were in the middle of nowhere. We wouldn't bother anyone. So the shooting started.

First off were the pistols. Bang, bang, bang, bang, get the idea. Next up was a big scary looking shotgun. My girl grabbed that thing, cocked it and let 'er rip. Dirt went flying where the pellets struck, the smell of gunpowder filled the air, girl had a victorious look on her face...until the barrel of the gun drooped and fell to the ground. The barrel fell off of the gun!  

We all stood there in stunned silence and then I did what any good mother would do when her kid's boyfriend shows off his cool (broken) toys - I howled with laughter. What else could I do? Imagine the scene; girl cocks the gun - cha ching, girl takes steady aim - silence, girl fires gun - BOOM, barrel falls to the ground with a thud while onlookers stare in stunned silence, Mom starts laughing like a hyena - 
Photo via

Photo by fan
After 5 minutes of laughing I finally got my wits about me and thought about the fact that I might have embarrassed the young man. Luckily, he's a really good sport and knows about my sick sense of humor so I don't think he was too terribly offended. He even laughed at it. We all were wishing out loud that the shooting incident had been on film because it would have wound up on America's Funniest Videos for sure. Hey, anyone want to come to the little house in the woods and shoot guns?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dear Old Dad

I have the best parents in the world. They love me even though I'm crazy. Just the other day my Dad and Othermother came by to celebrate my birthday and things were going great until my A/C started making noises that sounded like a varmint scratching around. 

For some reason, my ears can pick up tiny little sounds and I'll go nuts trying to locate the source. Boy, did I go crazy. I had to find the source of the noise! It was a lot like the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ( there wasn't a Christmas tree involved.  I looked at the air vent and thought I saw a squirrel! I saw something tan and it appeared to be standing up!

(Picture from
I was convinced that there was a squirrel looking down at us from the vent - probably cackling with delight at the way I was going berserko. Well, I did what any crazy, insane person would do, I got a ladder and climbed right up to take a look at the critter. As it turned out, my "squirrel" was actually a piece of wood that was a support for the air duct. But the noise kept going on and on!

Leave it to Dad to save the day. He used his (calm) ears to trace the sound to another air vent where he calmly opened it up. The sound turned out to be a piece of metal air duct tape stuff which was scratching against part of the A/C unit. No killer squirrel in sight.

Now, I have to back up just a bit and admit that as dear old Dad was unscrewing the bolts holding the vent to the wall, I was horrified to notice that the thing was covered in dust and stuff. And he's a neat freak! O...M...G!!!!!
I was extremely embarrassed for him to see my gunky vents. Dad didn't even make a fuss about it - he simply asked me if I had a broom so it could be cleaned up. But nooooooooooo, I was so humiliated, what did I do? I started crying. I'm sure Dad thought I had lost my marbles - heck, I felt like I had! I tried to explain that I was upset because every time he visits my home, something is broken, or something breaks, or that I think there's a varmint in my vents and those vents are really scummy and dusty and I'm a horrible housekeeper and he's super neat and clean. Yep, I was blubbery. And stupid. And snotty.

In retrospect I think that what happened, was that something else had happened prior to my parental units' visit which had me upset and crying. When they arrived, I did my best to put on a happy face and pretend that I wasn't upset. When the squeaking started I went into a psycho crazy laughing jag at the thought of squirrels flying out of my walls, and the scene from Christmas Vacation and then Dad saw my grungy vent and my hysterical laughter turned into tears. Can anyone say "hormones???"

The rest of the visit went quite well and we had a nice visit - once the squeaking was gone. Geez I love my parents. I don't think that they judge. Too much.

I made it!

Well, I made it to 50. Hallelujah! When I was 40 I announced my hopes of making it to 50 and here I am. A little more wrinkled, a little wiser but still as immature and goofy as ever.

I can't begin to express how glad I am to be here on planet earth. I've had some health scares and multiple surgeries but I've also had a hell of a lot of fun. I'm one of those people who choose to find the positive in everything and I'm grateful for every day that I'm alive. I try my best to make the most of each day and to not sweat the small stuff and I think that those beliefs are what has help keep me going strong.

The people at my work were all very aware of my excitement over turning 50. Probably because I reminded every one who would listen of my accomplishment. They decorated my cube with tons of black balloons and goofy things that directly related to my sense of humor. They made me feel like the most special person around. My family celebrated with me, too. So all in all I would say that my 50th was one of the best birthdays I've ever had.

I plan on spending my next 50 years living la vida loca. Care to join me?

Thursday, July 25, 2013


For reasons unknown to me my brain just has not been functioning the right way. It's sort of sluggish. I feel like I'm wading through molasses or something. I don't want to do anything that requires thinking. Or activity.

I've had many days where I arrived at my office or home and have no recollection of how I got there. Just the other day I was going through my normal routine that I always do when I get in the car to drive somewhere. I usually put my phone in the cup holder so it's readily available but on that particular day I was ON the phone talking yet I continued to rifle through my purse looking for the phone! I was holding the dang phone yet I was looking for it! Brainless!!!

There are a multitude of chores I need to do at home and yet every day when I go home, all those plans fly right out the window. The things I need to do are snowballing on me and rather than chip away at my list one thing at a time I either ignore them completely or try to do 10 things at once and never finish anything.

The longer I put off stuff, the worse my mind gets. I think it's because my brain is so full of thoughts, the pathways are clogged and nothing is getting through. I've got to do something quick because in a week I'll celebrate my 50th birthday and that's way too young to have dementia. Isn't it? I can't remember right now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Great Mister Debacle

My manchild is a fairly simple guy. He doesn’t need fancy “stuff.” He eats beans for dinner when I’m not around. The little house in the woods has a sofa for seating & that’s it. No chairs. If there are more than three people in the den, someone is going to have to sit on the floor. I had to convince him to let me bring in a lamp and sofa table so we could have light from something other than the glow of the TV or the kitchen light. When we had our wedding party at the little house, I convinced him to let me hang tiny white lights on the front porch for ambiance. They looked great and are hanging to this day.

Since summer has arrived here in Texas being outside is almost unbearable so I came up with the brilliant idea to put up a misting system. “LOWER THE TEMPERATURE BY 20°!!!” the box advertised. “Perfect” I said, so I bought a system from the local handy Randy store in town. I read the directions in the box and was raring to go, but was stopped by Manchild – a true perfectionist. I’m sure he was having terroristic visions of me doing a half-assed job, so he insisted on “helping” (which means ‘leave me the hell alone and let me do it the right way, not half-assed’).

The instructions on the box said to put the mister tubing on the outermost edge of the roof overhand but Mr. Perfect didn’t want it to show so he insisted on putting it in a hidden spot, right where the twinkle lights were precisely hung. To do so involved the removal of the thingies holding the lights up, securing the mist tubing and reinstalling the lights.

For the most part things were so far – so good with the exception of reattaching the little staple things that held up the lights. They were “U” shaped and sort of short so my man hammered his big, manly finger multiple times. Each time he hit himself, he let out a string of curses that could be heard 3 counties away.
My guy always gripes and complains a lot when he's working on a project so I'm slowly getting used to it but this particular day he was in fine form. I think I heard all of the local wildlife stampeding away in terror. He was kind enough to mention that he wasn't shouting at me but I was still sort of sick inside.

So...eventually the tubing was installed and the twinkle lights were precisely re-strung and my hopes were high in the anticipation of that wonderful cooling mist. I connected the water hose to the misting system and (cue the hallelujah chorus) a fine mist began spraying. It felt wonderful! 

I was quite happy until I looked at the connection where the water hose was. It was spewing water everywhere. I tried tightening everything but it didn't help. Of course, when Manchild looked at it, he saw the problem right away and remedied the problem. While he was looking at it, I was attempting a "repair" of my own. The system was equipped with a drain valve and I got the bright idea to test it out. The only thing needed to make it work was a simple screw at the end of the line, and by loosening it a little bit, the water could be completely drained out. Sounds simple, right? Well, me being me had to totally remove the screw to "look at it and check it out" and in doing so, I managed to release a teeny weeny spring that was instantly lost forever. The purpose of the spring was to operate a little cut off valve. Can you guess what happened to the water after that? It spewed. There was enough spewing water to shoot completely across the entire porch and spray the wall immediately next to the front door thereby splattering anyone who chose to enter our little love nest.

We turned the water off and on about a hundred times trying to figure out why the drain valve was saturating the side of the house before I admitted to completely removing the screw and effectively breaking it. Yea me!!!! A half hour later we were still trying to find a way to seal the hole where the water was spewing. I thought my man was going to blow a gasket of his own! The problem was finally remedied by jamming a wooden toothpick into the drain hole and so far, it's working fine. In order to completely outline the porch with a fabulous mist curtain, we're going to have to install another complete set. I'm really hoping that the next set installs much more easily and painlessly.

The thing I've learned about simple projects is that they are never simple. Ever. If the instructions state that the project can be accomplished in three easy steps, know that it will probably take you about 300 steps. Oh, and plan for a full day of work, too. That's how it was with us. I'll be sure to post later on how the installation of the second set went. It will probably be about a week from now because I'm sure that's how long it will take us to complete the job.