Taxi?

 

There’s nothing like starting your day at o’dark early by opening the garage door, getting in your car, and, as you start to fumble with your phone to take a peek at your favorite weather app, hear your teenage daughter say, “Ummm . . . why is there a taxi in our driveway?”

Because it was o’dark early, and because I, once again, had awoken with a migraine brewing, what I heard was, “Ummm . . . why is there . . . uhhh . . . Taxi in our driveway?”

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Taxi

“Taxi is in our driveway???” I thought, as pictures of goofy, happy Irish Setter running excitedly back and forth behind my car, hoping I would get out to greet him, flashed in my mind.  “But he died over 30 years ago.  This makes no sense.  No sense at all.”  Then I saw the headlights of the car parked directly behind me, blocking my way out of the garage.

Sure.  A taxi in the driveway makes much more sense than Taxi in the driveway.  When I was 14 years old, and Taxi, the most ridiculous dog ever to run the face of the earth, died, I prayed for quite some time that God would give me a sign that he was okay and truly was in a better place.  In church, we talk all the time about what happens to people after they die, but nobody really mentions dogs.  They also don’t talk about cats, and we had a cat who died when I was 10.  I was sure he was going to hell.  He used to pick fights with neighborhood dogs and lie under trees with nesting mamma birds just to ruffle their feathers.  He would sit in the hallway of our home and dare our Irish Setters, who were terrified of him, to pass.  He bit me once, but only once, and we got along really well all of the rest of the time.  He would eat catnip my mother had planted and lie, completely stoned, in the front yard.  My ten-year-old self was so afraid he was going to hell.

I never thought Taxi, the ridiculous dog whom we loved ridiculously,  was going to hell, and by 14 I figured that cat wasn’t, either, but I also wasn’t sure dogs could go to heaven.  So I would pray that God would let me know he was okay.  Specifically, I would pray that I could look out and see him, his spirit, running one last time.  That never happened, of course.  I never saw him that one last time, but when my fourteen-year-old daughter muttered in a mystified tone about a taxi in our driveway at o’dark early on another migraine addled morning, I was suddenly 14 again, and I thought, for the briefest portion of a second, that Taxi was running happy circles behind my car in the dark and the rain.  How much happier would those circles be once he found out we have horses he could run with?

But, yes, a taxi in the driveway made much more sense than Taxi in the driveway.  Except?  I hadn’t called for one.  Currently, we have more cars than drivers, so why would I?  Though the fact that we even have a taxi service or two in this country town isn’t new to me, I still find it mystifying, which just added to my shock that one of their cars was sitting behind me, headlights shining into my blocked car.

Without getting out of my car, I closed the garage door.

Probably a normal person (is there such a thing anymore) would have walked out in the dark and the rain to ask the taxi driver why he was here and explain to him that nobody at this location needed a taxi, but I, once upon a time, lived in a high-crime-rate city for a little too long, and my current house sits a bit far back from the road, and it was dark.  If having lived through crime isn’t enough to justify my overly-cautious behavior, then we’ll chalk it up to the horror movies I watched as a teenager.  I’m not a virgin at this point, so my chances of being stabbed by a homicidal cab driver are way higher than they were back then.  Whatever.

I went in the house, figuring the cab driver would eventually come to the door, which would cause a whole lot of dog barking (Wulfric, much like the first dog we ever had, has a wonderfully large bark that belies his current actual size), and I would holler through the unopened door that he was at the wrong house.  After waiting for what seemed suspiciously too long, I watched the taxi go slowly down my driveway, then down the street, down the hill, and out of sight.

Crisis averted.  Nobody was stabbed by a bored, homicidal, country cab driver.  No boys were awoken by doorbell ringing and dog barking.  No ghostly Irish Setters were running happy circles on my rain-soaked driveway, though that wouldn’t have been a crisis, really.  The adrenaline rush seemed to speed up and heighten the effects of the caffeinated Tylenol I took for the migraine, which was helpful, because I got back in the car and life went on.

 

Merry Christmas 2017!

I’m sitting here in front of my computer, hopped up on migraine-fighting caffeine and with a slight fever, so this is bound to be the best Christmas letter I’ve written in a long time.  You, of course, are thinking, “How many years has it been since you’ve sent Christmas cards?  Of course this is the best letter you’ve written in a long time!”  Touché.

McH is still working for The Great Mamma Corp.  Kind of.  He’s an associate director with OneBulb, and he keeps telling me he’s not in IT anymore but now works on the business side of things.  All I know is that anytime there’s some kind of OneBulb IT outage, he’s on the phone, or the computer, or both.  Seems pretty IT to me.  We think our time with The Great Mamma Corp. is probably coming to an end soon, but last Christmas we thought we were moving, so who knows?

I am homeschooling kids.  Still.  For at least four more years.  Maybe five.  I’m not saying I’m burning out.  I’m just saying that after 15 years of no promotions (unless you count my husband giving me the responsibility of more dogs and horses and God giving me more kids), no raises (unless you count my husband not questioning my Amazon spending), and no upward mobility (unless you count no longer changing diapers and wiping noses), I won’t mind “retirement.”

A~ is 20 now (next year is probably the last socially acceptable year to share her age, no?) and a junior at BYU where she is majoring in English, double minoring in editing and family history, and working for the BYU family history department.  She promises to find a job and settle close to us after graduation if we leave Canada South.

L~ is 18 and a freshman at Utah State where she is studying wildlife management and working in a Clydesdale barn.  We figure we can get her back after college as long as we provide horses and/or a place to keep them.  She’s easily bought.

Midge is 14, just got her braces off, and is in 9th grade at the local public school, which is as much of an adventure with the third kid as it was with the first and second.  After high school she plans to go to BYU or somewhere out west, probably, and study something.  She’s only 14.  I’m not worried.  Yet.

Tank Boy is 13, doing 8th grade at home, and very much looking forward to public school next year so that he can finally play football.  Hopefully.  Our schools aren’t much for academics, but they are ate-up competitive about football.  His current interests are Magic Cards and working out, and he’ll shank me in my sleep if we ever move from this area.

Quinn is 10 and doing 5th grade at home.  He loves when we manage to take a trip into town so that he can play Pokémon Go on my phone.  His favorite pastimes include Play Mobile adventures with his slightly younger brother and spending time with his family of stuffed cats.  I don’t know what he’ll study in the future, but it won’t shock me when he marries a spinster. 

Spuds is also 10 and doing 5th grade at home.  Every now and then I want to yell at him that he’s going to drive me to drink, but instead I sigh a little, smile a bit, and tell him he keeps my life interesting.  Now, when he meets new people and they start asking him questions about himself, that’s what he tells them:  I keep life interesting.  He is very much looking forward to wearing his Christmas fedora to church this year.

We hope this letter finds you and yours well, and pray that 2018 brings an abundance of blessings. 

The E. Family

Pinterest Fail Friday: The Living Room Edition

So we all know there are a fragillion mom bloggers out there who like to do artsy, craftsy, fancy decorate-y kinds of things and then post pictures of how beautiful, successful, and wonderful their lives are.  Along with these pictures usually come directions and encouraging words on how you, too, can be just. like. them!  Reach for the stars!  Be better today than you were yesterday!  Go you, and yay me for being such an inspiration to you!!!!

Well, that’s not me.  At least?  I hope it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for trying to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.  I’m all for setting goals and trying to achieve them.  I’m all for people trying to help lift and inspire each other.  These are good things.  GOOD things.  But I’m also all for keeping it real.  I’m for not comparing your average day, or especially your hardest days, to someone else’s staged and published day.  I’m all for cutting yourself some slack, especially when:

  • You have young children
  • You have a puppy
  • You have a chronic illness that is flaring up
  • You have a non-chronic illness that is kicking your rear
  • You are working on a special project of some kind which is taking time from your day-to-day upkeep stuff
  • You are mourning a loss
  • You just have more things to do than time to do them
  • You accidentally overslept
  • The baby has been keeping you up at night
  • The toddler has been keeping you up at night
  • The teenager has been keeping you up at night
  • The spouse’s snoring as been keeping you up at night
  • You finally found some free time, so you had to binge watch season two of Stranger Things
  • Work is kicking your rear
  • Volunteer work is kicking your rear
  • Every mechanical thing you own is falling apart at once and you’re trying to get it all fixed
  • It’s gardening season
  • It’s snow shoveling season
  • It’s leaf raking season
  • It’s back-to-school season
  • It’s fall sports car pool season
  • It’s any sport car pool season
  • You get the point, right?

Life happens, folks.  Life happens.  So cut yourself some slack, and, while you are bemoaning whatever your “Pinterest fail” du jour is, remember all that you did accomplish that day, or that week, or that month.

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Obviously I don’t have a house elf

On this particular day, I got school done with the boys.  I also kept them all alive and well.  I worked a bit on training the puppy to come and sit (accio and sedeas) with much success.  I can honestly also say the house didn’t smell like this picture would seem to say it should, so yay me for keeping the air breathable!  And see that orange bin there on the left?  That means I was taking down Halloween decorations and at least trying to put them away.  Also, cross my heart and hope to die, I did not stage those skeletons for the photo, but they look for all the world like a couple of my boys when I tell them for the thirty-four-thousandth time to just focus on their school already.

You should know that, after this day of epic housekeeping failure, today (which is not the day pictured above) this room looks much better — almost presentable, even (emphasis on the almost).

So, there you go.  The next time you feel like you are failing at maintaining the perfect Pinterest*-worthy life, come back and take a gander at my living room (and if you’re feeling really bad, enlarge the picture and gaze upon what you can see of my kitchen counters).

*For the record, I LOVE Pinterest.  I have found so many incredible ideas and so much inspiration there.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Pinterest and have probably single-handedly kept the Rustoleum people housed and fed these past few years thanks to Pinterest.  I just don’t always, or ever, LIVE, LIVE, LIVE Pinterest!  Like everyone, I try, but most days that’s about all I can do: try (which frequently involves spray painting something).

Home Depot and Divinity

As I was walking out of the local Home Depot with a cart full of paint-the-front-porch supplies, I passed a man going in who looked for all the world like Russell M. Nelson.  My first impulse was to run over and introduce myself to him, to thank him for his service and for being such an inspiration to me and so many others, but logically I knew it wasn’t him.  I don’t know if President Nelson shops at Home Depot, but, if he does, it’s not on this side of the Mississippi River, so Spuds and I kept walking towards our car.

While we were walking, pushing the cart, I began thinking about how the man I’d just seen, though he wasn’t a renowned heart surgeon or apostle of the Lord, was still a child of God.  We weren’t really parked that far back in the parking lot, but all of these thoughts just kind of washed over me and into me in a matter of seconds, so I pondered the divinity within that anonymous elderly stranger and thought how wonderful it would be if we all could recognize that in everyone we meet.  I have no idea who that man was, what he has or hasn’t done in or with his life, or anything else about him, but why should that mean I shouldn’t feel privileged to meet him, to shake his hand?  Can you imagine what kind of world it would be if we all greeted one another with a sense of awe and gratitude just because we are getting the chance to meet another child of God?  President Nelson probably gets special, effusive greetings from strangers on a regular basis, and I’m sure that bolsters him.  What if we all got sincerely effusive greetings, whether from strangers in a parking lot or at times of formal introduction?  What if we all met each other as if we were meeting an apostle (or a celebrity, if you’re not into religion)?  I can only imagine how we could bolster each other through such sincere appreciation for . . . each other.  I mean, I’m not saying I should have chased the old dude down and fawned all over him or anything — there are limits of social acceptability and all that — but if, within the limits of what is sane and acceptable, we all greeted each other warmly, in a way that made the other person feel special, important, noticed . . . how amazing would that be?

Very Deep Thoughts to be having in a Home Depot parking lot, but the conviction swept over me to approach each new person I meet with a least a little bit of that awe and gratitude, a little more recognition that I was meeting a child of God, a little more effort towards helping each person feel their importance.  “Why don’t I already do this???”  I wondered to myself.

Then I heard, “Hey,” from a bit of a distance.

I came out of my Very Deep Thoughts to see an unkempt man standing behind the car parked next to mine, but almost standing behind my car.  He and his clothes, beard, and hair looked unwashed, his eyes were glassy and his expression hard to read, and he was standing in place but shifting his weight back and forth, swaying from side to side a bit while smoking a . . . what was it?  Do vape pens come with attached boxes?  I really have no idea, but the smoke seemed to have no smell.  We had been walking down the wrong row and had just barely turned toward the proper one when his,”hey” came from that row over, so I initially assumed it had been directed at someone else.

Again he said, “Hey,” and I realized he might be talking to us.  I smiled but said nothing, because I didn’t feel like shouting across the parking lot, and I still wasn’t sure if he was greeting me and Spuds.  As we entered the correct row of cars and were halfway across it, again, “Hey,” but he didn’t move away from my car, even though we were clearly approaching it.

I said hi, but was getting a thoroughly creepy vibe from this man who was swaying and smoking from some mystery apparatus and standing so close to the back end of my car that I knew he’d be able to reach out and grab one or the other of us as we loaded our supplies in the trunk.

At the moment I thought we were getting too close to what could be a dangerous situation, my phone rang.  I gestured to Spuds to get into the car on the passenger side, the side furthest from Mr. Hey, while taking to Midge about whatever it was she needed to talk about and trying to make it sound like I was talking to an adult.  I loaded the car quickly and then smiled at Mr. Hey as I looked directly at him and squeezed by to get to my door, praying that he wasn’t going to let go of his smoking device and sway in to grab me.

After getting in safely, locking the door, and getting off the phone, I realized two things in slow succession:

  1.  I’d just failed at my brand new resolution to meet/greet new people as if they were amazing and it was my privilege — what kind of awful person am I that I can’t hold on to a goal for, like, five seconds???  That man was/is a child of God, too!
  2. There are very real reasons why I haven’t been doing this it’s-my-privilege-to-meet-you stuff already, and, child of God though he may be, his glassy-eyed swaying with no sense of boundaries and appropriate space was creepy.  Maybe I failed at my resolution, but maybe I succeeded at keeping my kid and myself safe.

My resolution isn’t dead, but I’m also not going to stop listening to my Spidey Sense.  I wish I didn’t have to.

What’s Comin’ Will Come, an’ We’ll Meet it When it Does

Those words up there are the title of a blog post I had swimming in my head last night as I was making a much dreaded trip to Wal Mart to buy cold supplies.

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With alll the snucking and snorfelling and trumpeting into tissues that some of my kids were doing, we were running low; and there were more of us coming down with it.  I could feel myself going downhill yesterday, so I knew I’d wake up feeling like garbage today.  I knew what was comin’.  I was right.  It did, and I do.

But people!  There is so much more comin’ today!  Like a new stove, and a new fridge, and a new microwave!  Incidentally, I won’t cook with a microwave, but we can’t leave the old one that doesn’t work hanging above the stove because it won’t match, so we’ve spent hundreds of dollars to buy a matching appliance that will not be used) (but will help with the resale value of the house should we move).  Exciting stuff!  Right?

Why, yes!  So exciting, in fact, that the person who did the measuring for the new refrigerator, a person who shall remain nameless and relationship-less for purposes of this post (speaking of relationships, did you all hear that Brangelina is divorcing?) found that the soon-to-be-old fridge was standard width, depth, and height.  When we picked out the new fridge and this person saw that it was the same standard width and depth, this person, unbeknownst to the other person, made the assumption that it was also the same standard height.

We all know what they say about assuming.

So what’s comin’, what we’ll meet when it does, is a brand new refrigerator that is about two inches too tall to fit under the over-the-fridge cupboards.

The way we see it, we now have two options: send the sucker back and probably pay some “yes, we’re idiots” fee, or raise the cupboards — all of the cupboards — about two inches.  We have 2.5 hours until our delivery window starts, so naturally my grandmother’s china is currently sitting on my bedroom floor, and The Husband is in the kitchen, with nothing but his power tools and ingenuity, trying to raise cabinets two inches all by himself.  We all know this means that ours will be the first appliance delivery in the history of appliance deliveries that occurs at the very beginning of the delivery window, if not earlier.

I’d help The Husband, of course, except I have to write about it all to avoid having some kind of heretofore never experienced nervous breakdown.  I did ask him what I could do to help.  He told me to pray.  Vigorously.  Does typing count?  Probably not.  I don’t think God reads my blog.

Are you there, God?  It’s me, E.

I hear the sound of power tools coming from my kitchen.  I can feel the cortisol pulsing through my body.  I don’t think the fight or flight response was designed to make a sick person want to flee her own house, was it?  I need chocolate.

You know what else is comin’?  What with the cupboards all being raised a couple inches?  Painting.  I’m going to have to repaint the kitchen.  I still have some of the paint from the last time I painted it, so maybe I’ll only have to paint the new exposed swaths of wall.  But still.  Paintin’ is comin’.

————————————————————————–

T-1 hour now (I actually did go help a bit), and guess what???  The delivery guys called.  They’re running early.  They’ll be here in HALF an hour.  On the up side, the necessary cupboards have been moved up the requisite space and nothing got broken in the process.  That’s a tender mercy right there, I tell you.  Who knew we, mostly him, could do that that quickly?  On the down side, the necessary cupboards have been moved up the requisite space which means the unnecessary cupboards now also need to be moved so that our kitchen doesn’t give everyone vertigo, and we?  Are not particularly tall people.

Some of the younger kids are rather happy that they can finally reach to get their cups and their bowls.  What kind of parent raises the cupboards two inches shortly after that milestone has been hit?  The kind who doesn’t thoroughly measure for a new refrigerator, apparently.

“Hey, Quinn, how about you go get cups for you and Spuds.  Ha ha!  You can’t anymore, shorty!  Whatcha’ been doin’?  Drinkin’ Miracle-Shrink?”

As I’ve said before, we’re not saving for their college.  We’re saving for their therapy.

But L~ came home during The Raising of the Cupboards, and I gave her a grocery list and my credit card.  So you know what else is comin’?  Chocolate.  And I’ll meet it when it does.

So will Tewt the Newt.

 

Swimming in a Bowl of Fruit Loops

When you contact an adjacent land/homeowner to ask if he/she would be interested in selling his/her property to you, and said land/homeowner says he/she will think about it and get back to you, you generally expect one of three things to happen:

  1. The land/homeowner will eventually get back to you with a, “No, I’m not interested in selling.”
  2.  The land/homeowner will eventually get back to you with a, “Yes, I’m interested.  Let’s sit down and talk details and see if we can figure something out.”
  3. The land/homeowner will never get back to you at all.

What you don’t expect, though, what you really don’t expect, is for the land/homeowner to get back to you and say things like:

  1. I feel like I’m being forced out of my home, but I want to retire here.
  2. But then you’d own two houses.  What would you do with two houses?
  3. That seems like an expensive thing to do for your horses.

You don’t expect any of these responses because:

  1. You merely asked, “Would you be interested in selling?”  You did not go over to his/her house with jack-booted thugs and tommy guns, extinguish a cigarette on your forehead in a show of threatening intimidation, and say with a growl, “You want to sell your property to me, don’t you???”
  2. Pretty much anybody who owns a second house, especially one adjacent to the one in which they already live, uses it as a rental property.  It’s an investment.  It’s not a vacation home in Aspen or something (though that could also be used as a rental and still be an investment).
  3. Yes, yes it is expensive for us to buy an entirely new house and piece of property to keep our horses on, but boarding isn’t cheap.  We can pay hundreds of dollars a month to board the beasts (and rarely see them because they’d be miles away and we don’t have time to just drive over and hang out at somebody else’s barn every day), or we can pay close to the same hundreds of dollars a month on a house payment, rent the house out, recoup that money, and still have our horses on the land adjacent to ours.  And all that aside?  Our money is ours.  I know that’s a foreign concept to a lot of people, but it is ours.  If we feel like we can afford to buy a house and let it sit empty and rot, that is entirely our business.

When we first moved here to Canada South, we really liked it.  It was much better than Little Town, or so we thought.  But in the six years we’ve been here?  It’s just been one crazy thing after another.  Crazy church, crazy school, crazy neighbors (this one and another one who threatened to shoot our horses).

We boarded the horses when we first moved here, but then we spoke to the land/homeowner adjacent to us who owns the land that is properly zoned for horses, (ours is not)  (unless we had a lot more of it), and he/she was happy to lease us some acreage.  The land/homeowner said he/she loved horses and was glad he/she would be able to see horses on his/her walks through the property.

We said, “Great!  Name your price.”  The land/homeowner did, and we did not haggle, did not dither, did not bargain, wrangle, quibble, or deal.  We just happily wrote a check and signed a contract.  For five years, we have been doing this, and for five years it has been a win-win, or so we thought.

A few months ago, when the contract was up for renewal, the land/homeowner informed us that he/she would renew for one more year, but this would be the last time.

  1. “Your horses need to be on 10-20 acres to run,” he/she said.
  2. “Sometimes I see them standing in mud,” he/she said.
  3. “I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of,” he/she said.

Three horses don’t need 10-20 acres.  In fact, many horses are stall boarded and stand in confining little rooms for most of their lives, so the couple acres we do have them on are really sufficient.  And?  We feed them.  They aren’t dependent upon the grass on those couple of acres.

Horses stand in mud sometimes, especially if it has been rainy or the snow has recently melted.  They stand in their own waste if they are stall boarded.  They don’t have to stand in the muddy area of their pasture.  They choose to do it.  I don’t pretend to understand why.  I’m not a horse.

We have been paying the exact price that was asked.  How have we taken advantage of anyone?

I really shouldn’t be shocked by any of this at this point.  We’ve been here long enough that I should know better.  Crazy church, crazy schools, crazy neighbors.  That’s just how it is.  I can’t decide if we’re in Wonderland or The Twilight Zone.

“I feel like I’m living in a bowl of fruit loops,” I told my husband last night.

“I almost expect Rod Serling to show up at our door,” he said.

“That would be the first thing to happen around here that actually makes sense,” I replied.

Tewt the Newt agrees.

 

 

Yippe-ki-Yay Mumble Mumbles

People, we are one pig head short of and two adults over for a William Golding novel.  I swear.  I mean, we have the boys.  Not as many as Mr. Golding envisioned; but two of them, if left unsupervised, could lose all semblance of their humanity in about 3.5 unsupervised seconds.  And?  We have the flies.  Dear heavens to Murgatroid (unless your British like Mr. Golding, then it’s Murgatroyd), we have the flies.

We live in the country, so houseflies, irritating though they are, are nothing new; but last summer?  The population that got into our house quadrupled to the power of five.  Or something.  I’m not math-y; but I am pretty sure these bugs are out for blood.  Or info. Whatever happened last summer apparently just involved an inordinate number of scout flies, many of whom gave their lives to gather whatever intel the rest of the flies needed in order to lay the groundwork for the Fly League Invasion of Entirety, Summer 2016 (code name FLIES 16).  This summer I actually wouldn’t be surprised to find a pig head on a stake in my living room.  It would explain a lot.  For crying out loud, we even have a dragonfly in here right now.  Where’s a maniacal, bloodthirsty band of boys when you need them?

(Cleaning the toy room at the moment, thankyouverymuch.)

We can’t figure it out, this fly problem of ours.  This evening, as he stood with a fly swatter in each hand, coiled to spring at the next unfortunate winged menace to land on the front door windows, The Husband said, “I half wish we would just find a dead possum under one of the boys’ beds, because then we could throw it out and know we’re done with all this.”  I don’t think the husband has read Mr. Golding’s book, or he, too, would have said “pig head” rather than “possum.”  We just gutted the boys’ rooms a week or two ago, however, so that, along with the distinct lack of olfactory putrescence emanating from the upper level of our home, pretty much guarantees we won’t find any rotting animals, road kill or otherwise, under the beds.

There is nothing like a fly invasion in one’s home to precipitate these most unexpected conversations.

“You know what I like?” I asked as The Husband, L~, and I ran from foyer to dining room, window to window, and back again flailing and swatting away.  “I like it when I manage to hit one clean out of the air and I hear it hit the swatter, and then I hear it hit the wall or the window or whatever and ricochet off.  It is just so.  . . .”

“THE most satisfying feeling!” the husband exulted as he smashed a fly against a window.

Egad!  The dragonfly just flew into a wall sconce globe.  I guess that takes care of that problem.  I need to set a reminder on my phone to buy a bug net at the dollar store next spring.

“Yes!  Exactly!  So satisfying,” I said as I swung for another.  “Like, yippe-ki-yay . . . mumble mumble!” (and I did say, “mumble mumble”).

Strange how an overabundance of houseflies can cause me to identify with a fictional character’s satisfaction of blood lust even though I’ve never actually watched the whole movie.  Yes, Bruce Willis and my fly swatter are my home boys, until we get a good freeze, anyway.

After a good two hours of Fly Reduction with Intended Entire Destruction (code name FRIED) activities tonight, I am listening to the ungodly buzz of at least three flies as I type (which means there are probably about 20 still alive in my house).  Hopefully one of our two bug zappers (oh yeah, we’re all kinds of swanky right now with two, yes TWO bug zappers IN. OUR. HOUSE!) . . . hopefully the remaining flies, however many there are, will succumb to a bug zapper after I turn out all the lights tonight.

Yippe-ki-yay, mumble mumbles.

Tewt the Newt doesn’t even want you around.