May 14


Today is our first day of summer break.  Yep, that’s right, we finished school for the year.  We worked hard all year to finish up early, figuring we’d have a new son to bond with by now.  No new son, obviously, but my older girls rock and got it all done anyway.

I am eating king crab legs and salmon for lunch as I type this.  Mother’s Day was great, and there are leftovers (in a few more minutes I’ll be able to say there were leftovers).  I’m getting very full.

So far today (it is currently 12:13 p.m.) I have: done several loads of laundry (though none of it is yet folded), walked a couple of brisk miles on my treadmill (I’m not a runner), read a couple of chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird (one more reason I walk on the treadmill), taken the girls to piano, dropped off our phenomenally cumbersome dual stroller to a family who actually wants it (free of charge if you just get it out of our garage!), watered my garden, picked up the girls from piano, went to my literature club, fed everybody lunch, and chased down two of our dogs who escaped the back yard.  I LOVE summer break.

Now, as interesting as all that is, it doesn’t hold a candle to Saturday.  I must tell you about Saturday.

For Mothers’ Day, McH and I (and my siblings) were going to get my mother a sycamore tree.  It’s a long story involving ash trees, emerald ash borers, and a little back yard reforestation project that led to that particular gift decision. 

McH took two of the kids and went to the nearest, biggest nursery.  Sure enough, they carry sycamore trees.  Hooray!  See, no big deal, just like we’d anticipated.  They tell him the different size trees they have and the different prices they are and, since our last name really isn’t Trump, he tells them he’d like one of the smaller trees.

So, doh-dee-doh, off they go tromping through the rows of trees to find one of the smaller ones.  You know, those would be the affordable ones that don’t actually exist.  So McH tells them we’ll buy one the next size up.  I mean what else are we supposed to do at this point? 

The Lovely Nursery People dig up the tree while McH is inside paying for it.  While paying for the tree they inform him he will have to pay an extra $10.00 for the burlap with which they will wrap the root ball.  Then they tell him he has to sign a contract promising to bring the burlap back, at which time they will refund his extra $10.00

I told him he should have looked at them glumly and said, “But ma’am, I cain’t bring it back.  My chilluns needs clothes.”

Anyway, he gave them the deposit and signed the Bring Back the Burlap or Burn in Hell contract, and then went out to oversee the loading of the tree into our Suburban.  It went something like this:

Lovely Nursery Toad: “We can’t load this tree into your truck.  You need to come back with an approved vehicle.”

McH:  “What do you mean?  I just paid for this tree, now I need it in my truck.”

LNT:  “Nope.  I won’t load anything I can’t load with my fork lift.”

McH:  “So what is an approved vehicle?”

LNT:  “A pick-up truck.”

McH:  “Well, I don’t have one of those.”

LNT:  “Then go rent one.  We’ll hold the tree for you for a couple of days.”

McH:  “I just paid for the tree and signed your burlap contract.  The tree is mine.  If you won’t help me load it into the truck I have, which is plenty big enough, then I’ll do it myself.”

LNT:  “If you load it yourself I’ll void the warranty on the tree.  We can’t guarantee a tree that hasn’t been properly loaded.”

McH:  “Here is my receipt, give me back my money.”

Cashier Woman:  “Is something wrong with the tree sir?  Why are you returning it?

McH:  “Because you people are rude and obnoxious to deal with.  You’ve lost our business.”

LNT:  “Bye!  Come back and see us again soon!”

Now, that last statement by the Lovely Nursery Toad seems naive or optimistic or out of touch with reality or something; but, as it turns out, he probably knew they were the only nursery in the tri-county area who had any sycamore trees.  In his youthful, my-daddy-owns-this-place-and-we’re-rich arrogance, he probably figured we’d be back for his sycamore tree.

Ha!  We got my mother two tree peonies instead. 

She’s always loved mine, and now that we know what they are . . . well, it just seemed like the next best thing.  Not that it will help the reforestation effort, but it’s sooooooo pretty.

The only other thing of any importance that happened on Saturday was that McH and I went out to dinner with some friends.  The food was good, the company was great, but I encountered one of those huge life conundrums.

You see, when I visited the ladies’ room, I was relieved to see it had those paper toilet seat covers that you can use (since I had my small purse which cannot carry my travel sized can of Lysol).

Another sanitary feature of this restroom was the auto-flush toilet.  Really, the less skin contact I have to have with anything in any public bathroom, the happier I am.  Here is the problem, however (please tell me I’m not the only one to encounter this):  I put the paper cover on the toilet seat the straighten myself up a bit to turn around and do what needs done prior to sitting down, and . . . flush.

The standing up and turning around motion activated the auto-flush and my protective seat cover was gone.  So, I grabbed another.


On the whole, I find public restrooms rather undignified to begin with.  Having to race the motion sensor in order to sit on the seat cover before it can be flushed away really doesn’t help matters.  To top it off, the auto-flush then didn’t work when it was supposed to.

From now on I shall always carry a purse large enough to accommodate my Lysol. 

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

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