Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I Can't Do

Being the totally cool, sweet, legit mom that I am, I pick up on all the teen slang.  Ok, usually not, although I did score as "the coolest mom" on Good Housekeeping's "Test Your Teen Slang" Quiz.  That is why I know that my last couple days have been an epic fail.  It did occur to me that since I know and have actually used this phrase, it is probably no longer in and my kids would laugh at my attempt to be current, but I'm sticking with it.  I really don't need to know the most recent term for my ineptitude.

The Urban Dictionary defines an epic fail as "complete and total failure when success should have been reasonably easy to attain."  That pretty much covers my life the past two days.  Here's a partial list of things I, evidently, can not do:

Plumbing - Here at Green Acres we don't have city water/sewer.  We have a well and a septic tank.  The previous occupant was a single man who was in the area on a temporary job and returned home on weekends.  He only used it 3-4 nights/week as a place to sleep.  Consequently the septic system has become "sluggish".  We are in the process of fixing this, which involves nasty smelling chemicals and a guy with a pump and a job I don't even want to envision.  However, while we are waiting on the guy and are in the process of balancing the bacteria or whatever, the drain cannot handle the volume put out by the washing machine.  (Don't panic - it handles all other small water usages fine.)  So temporarily, I am required to monitor the washer and shut it off mid-cycle if water begins to back up through the floor-drain in the basement.   I know this is more information than you ever wanted about someone else's plumbing issues, but just keep it stored somewhere - we'll get back to it.

Computers - I nearly crashed ours.  The thing is seven years old - that's 284 in computer years - so yes, we should just dump the thing and get a new one.  But it's just the two of us now so it only gets used for blogging, email and to play Age of Empires and, up until the move, most of my blogging/e-mailing was done from work, so we've been babying it along.  It really shouldn't have been surprising when it began giving me the message "you're out of space, idiot" every time I tried to do something.   The solution to that was obvious.  Using all of my highly-trained computer technician skills, I began deleting stuff I didn't think we needed.  Evidently some of it was needed.  

When I had the computer so screwed it wouldn't function, my only option was to restore it to some point before I decided I had a clue.  I can't really explain what happened, but after two attempts at restoring to a previous date, both of which ended in "can not restore to this date", ten minutes of panic over a seven-year-old Windows password I couldn't possibly remember, and re-installing the new wireless USB thingy, it works.  No insufficient space messages, no not recognizing the mouse and keyboard, no 20-minute wait to open a web page - it just works.  Go figure!  

Guess what was happening in my basement while I was pacing and ranting at the computer?  Yup, forgot to monitor the laundry so it emptied on the floor - twice.  Again, don't panic - it's just a big concrete room with the washer/dryer and a floor drain, so all the water ran back downhill (away from the dryer *whew*) and eventually down the drain, but the mess and my inattention annoyed me.

Bread Machine - An appliance I used to use frequently, but which went by the wayside (along with most housekeeping chores) when I got a job.  Evidently, I don't remember how to set the thing because the first attempt at bread was edible but a long way from successful.  The second attempt, this time for cinnamon rolls, was a total disaster that ended in a half-baked clump.  Third time's a charm, and we finally had cinnamon rolls, but only at the expense of my blood pressure.

Advance Planning - I've always been a menu planner.  Regardless of how far we lived from a grocery store at any given time, I made out two weeks of menus, compiled the corresponding grocery list and made one shopping trip.  Between trips, I only had to make the occasional stop for milk or ingredients for an unexpected dish (company, pot-luck, school bake sale...).  I have lived as much as thirty miles from the nearest grocery store, so I thought I had this licked.  Guess not!  When Dave asked what we were having for supper, I answered "It's called 'We-were-going-to-have-tacos-but-after-making-the-meat-I-realized-I-didn't-have-all-the-other-ingredients-and-we-live-twelve-miles-from-town-so-I-improvised-this-casserole' but I call it Mexican Surprise for short."

By yesterday afternoon, after two days of prooving my incompetence, I needed to stick with a simple yet productive chore.  I drove to town to run a few errands.  I nearly rear-ended a van (although he shouldn't have been trying to turn left from my lane!), then ran my shopping cart into displays in two different stores.  The first one only knocked some gift bags to the floor, easy enough to pick up and replace, but the second one nearly toppled a display of bottled iced tea.  GLASS bottles!  Who puts this stuff in the aisles?  

Today, I am going to sit quietly on the couch, watching soap operas and doing cross-stitch. Here's hoping I don't destroy the satellite dish or spend the day ripping out stitches!


  1. I've had days like that.

    As for your septic, I hope you get that cleared up soon. We get ours pumped out once a year and now that we've done it a couple of times, it's really no big deal.

    I hope things get better.

  2. Oh don't feel bad - Andy deleted something that was important just last week off of his laptop. Did the same thing you were doing - cleaning up space. Threw out a major component for functioning in the process. That's why he is not to touch my laptop. If he screws up his work one, that's there problem. If he screws up mine, we get a divorce.

  3. Yep, that pretty much sums up epic failure in mom world! We like to think that we're rarely unable to do whatever we want done. Our computer is getting old, but my job has taught me a lot about computers and I'm getting pretty good at keeping it running.

  4. Great fun to read this post. Glad to see you are settling in. I love the picture of the cows. Great way to farm - someone else does all the work.