Friday, December 9, 2011

My Fantasy Football Experiment

I've mentioned a time or two (or eighty) that fantasy football is a religion of sorts here in my house. The guys have been in a league with some friends from church but then realized other friends wanted to play so they started a league of their own.

Now if you know me, then you know I'm a game girl. I am super competitive and will do what it takes to win. I am not one of those moms who will throw a game of Candy Land so my kid can win. Oh no. If you beat me, it's going to be a hard-earned win. And then you have to deal with me pouting about it the rest of the day. All that to say, I love games.

But, and here goes the heresy, I think fantasy football is dumb. I mean, I get the idea. I do. And I kind of understand the appeal. But when they guys needed one more person to have a team in their league, my first thought was not, "Oh yay! I'm so glad I get to play."

But I agreed. When they explained how the draft worked, I thought about it for a microsecond and decided to let the computer pick my team for me. (And because of scheduling issues, everyone else did the same.) But then they all started changing and dropping and trading and dealing with something called waivers, and well, I don't really understand all the rules. So I decided to do an experiment. I told the guys I was naming my team "Luck o' the Draw" and sticking with whatever I was randomly given. They thought this was so crazy.

I took it relatively seriously. I downloaded a couple fantasy football apps to my phone so I could keep up with it all. I paid enough attention so as to change players out (but only those from my own team) if someone had a bye week. Lowell tried to get me to make some trades at one point using the excuse that THREE of my players were hurt and not playing. Yes, THREE. And, oh, I was tempted. Because I still like to win, even if the game's dumb. But I didn't give in. I knew he was just setting me up so if I won, he could use the argument that I actually played. So I stuck with my players. Nobody can accuse me of being a fair-weather fan.

And then I started having fun. Throughout the season I found myself fairly regularly checking my points. I started looking forward to Monday night football. Not to watch it really, just to check my games when it was over to see if I won that week. At week six, I was in the lead. I almost blogged then, but I didn't want to jinx it.

But I figure now that it's fantasy football playoff week, I can let y'all in on my season. Check it out.

Yep, that would be Luck o' the Draw in position one. Numero Uno. That's me. I may lose it all in playoffs. But that's okay. I think I proved my point. Fantasy football takes no skill or knowledge of the game of football. Fantasy football is dumb. And I honestly can't wait until next season...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Airing Our Dirty Laundry

Well once again, life's gotten crazy. We have a new guy. He moved in at the end of August, which is why there haven't been any posts. He keeps us on our toes.

Our guy with zero short-term memory moved out on August 31st. He called us every day for a month to check in. But we think maybe his lack of memory has gotten the better of him because we haven't heard from him in a couple of weeks now. Which is good. Because some days, even having to answer the phone was enough to push us over the edge.

New guy is a tad, shall we say, busier, than old guy. He's an active little fellow. Literally. He's a smidgen over four feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds. And he could win a strongman competition when he's mad. It's odd. Anyway, he is non-verbal (which, I must add was a welcome break from Mr. "Talks ALL the time and then repeats it all because I don't remember what I just told you.")

So he's quiet. Except he plays the piano. Not so quietly. Sometimes he plays in such a way as you might think you are in a jazz bar. Sometimes, a haunted house. He doesn't know how to play so to speak but he plays in a different way than a toddler might. It's not just banging. But it's certainly not playing.

Another "quirk" of our Pianoman is that his preferred state is naked. I could say that one took me a bit to get used to. But honestly I don't think you ever get used to a grown man stripping down to nothing. This month I've said the words, "If you want to be naked you need to be in your room" and "We don't play the piano naked" more times that I could count.

He also changes clothes more often than a teenage girl getting ready for a first date. It's ridiculous. He's very particular about what he wears. Maybe that's why he prefers naked. So he will rip off his clothes and run to the laundry area. He then stuffs his clothing in the washer (or sometimes the dryer), no matter if there are clothes in there already or not. So him adding dirty clothes to the already clean clothes means we are doing more laundry than the local dry cleaners. It's ridiculous. It's hard to think of it as a "teaching moment" when there is a four foot naked man standing in front of you, but we've been really working on teaching that the dirty laundry goes in a basket. It's a steep learning curve around here ya' know!

So anyway, last night we realized that he had changed clothes but hadn't put them in the washing machine. We got a tad excited thinking that our days of non-stop laundry might finally be over. He's learned to use the laundry basket. But alas, we were wrong.

When Lowell went outside this morning, this is what he saw:

A basket seems so limiting when there is a whole yard right outside the window. Just push out the screen and toss the clothes as far as you can. So it's not quite in the laundry basket. But maybe we are getting closer. Baby steps, y'all, baby steps.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Football - It's That Important

Football is pretty important in our house. And that's putting it mildly. If you remember last year, we missed what turned out to be a very important banquet because some idiot scheduled it on draft day.

And while we L. O. V. E. real football, fantasy football is a very close second. You may remember my family's preferred decor from last year's fantasy football "preseason".

And it's that time of year again. It's ridiculous really. (We went out to eat while on vacation and the waitress gave us paper placemats. The boys immediately took this to be their invitation to write up a mock draft while we waited for our food. Gotta be prepared right?)

So I'm not sure why the events of this week were surprising really. I called Lowell while on the way home from an appointment and he told me he'd been working on his draft. And then I hear the smoke alarm. And no Lowell. So I rush home to see this:

The smell hits me before I can get to the door. And I walk in my house to see two firemen and an unimaginable mess. I said, "Smells good honey, what's for dinner?" (The firemen thought this was funny. Apparently most wives would be freaking out. Not sure what it says about our life that a fire in the kitchen is a little thing.)

Did you know that if you put a kettle on and then go get so engrossed in your draft that you forget about it, the tea kettle will catch fire? And oh, if it has a plastic handle it will completely melt into the stovetop? And that those microwave doors melt? And that if you spray a fire extinguisher, you will find the dust in every drawer and cabinet in the room and somewhere in every other room in the house? It's all true. I know.

But no worries. The kitchen may have burned up but the fantasy football rosters are safe. And isn't that really what matters??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Beach Safari

We just got back from a MUCH NEEDED vacation to the beach (thanks G-Dad!). We stayed in a really nice condo, but the decorations were a little, well, crazy.

I am totally that person who walks through TJ Maxx and sees all the cute beach decorations and thinks, "If I had a beach house, I'd definitely be buying that." Because there is A LOT of cute beachy decor out there. I get it. However, our condo wasn't just beachy.

It was almost as if Ms. Condo owner walks through TJ Maxx and thinks, "If I only had an African Safari home, I'd buy that." And then decided to go ahead and buy it anyway because, hey, what doesn't go with beach theme????

So this was our home away from home for the week.

Really nice furniture, but don't miss the parrots nesting on top.

And who doesn't want to bathe with an anchor, sea shells, African elephant, and Mr. Scaryface? He was all over the place.

But no worries, we also had Jesus by the bed.

I love Jesus, I really do. But it's still a little weird for me to have an image of Him by the bed. (He was screwed to the wall by the way.)

Here's another good example of "it just doesn't go together." (Don't miss the parrot heads peaking out behind the flowers.)

And how's this for fancy?

And how's this for, well I don't even have a word for the spiral cat sitting by the lighthouse. Odd, maybe that's the word I'm looking for.

I guess I'd choose sleeping next to Jesus and African idols over frogs.

And doesn't every beach house need a good wasp's nest over the tv?

Notice the note on the corner of the mirror. It said, "Do not recline sofas. They are screwed shut." And although this would have been sufficient there were at least eight other places that had similar notes.

Like the entertainment center.

And the lamp.

And the curtains.

And the refrigerator.

And I don't even know why we were surprised to open the pantry door and find another. But we were.

They REALLY didn't want us to try to recline the sofa.

So we didn't. Although they certainly made it tempting.

So our accommodations were at the same time weird and wonderful and all in all we had such a great time.

Doing a little physical therapy (you had to be there).

Catching crabs by the bucketful! I swear I am reminded of the story of Noah as he opened the doors to the ark and the animals came. I think Joshua just has to put his net in the water and ocean critters just jump in. We had crabs all week. He caught jellyfish like crazy. And also several of these:

I get the heeby-jeebies just looking at it. (It's an electric ray by the way).

Lowell built me a sand, uh, wall? I guess. And the whole time the waves were crashing over it the children's church song about the wise man building his house on the rock kept playing in my head.

And we had fun dinners out with extended family.

And we ended the week all tan and refreshed and relaxed.

And now back to reality...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Let Me Just Say...

That I would oh so much rather wake up every morning to this:

Rather than this:

(that's a radio that was thrown at me)

And rather than this:

(and this one would be hair grease smeared around every coil of the stovetop)

And rather than this:

(This would be chocolate ovaltine mix that was dumped on the floor and left "chocolate milk" footprints EVERYWHERE!)

And rather than this:

Yep, a beach vacation is EXACTLY what I need...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Full of Glee

I'll admit it. I'm a closet "Glee" watcher. I'm not going to say I'm proud of it. But I do watch. For those who don't watch it's a high school show about the drama that is high school. The show centers around the school's glee club and each individual's search to find where they fit in. Of course, since Glee Club members are often not the most popular students in the school, these kids endure lots of harassing/bullying. One particular form of harassment exclusive to these students is to be "slushee'd" or "slurpee'd" or whatever the term. Essentially, a football player takes a frozen slush-type drink and throws it in the faces of the Glee Club member at random times.

So all that background leads to a personal experience for me last weekend. On Saturday, one of the staff from next door runs over and yells that they need help. One of the ladies in that house is having a bad day and has chosen to take out her frustrations on the other folks in the house as well as the house itself.

So I rush over and the other staff all go outside. I'm staying relaxed and making jokes and thinking that the situation is calming down when here it comes. Not a slushee thank goodness, but it was a whole pitcher of red Kool-Aid. Thrown right in my face. And the first thought that came into my mind was Glee. And how I'd have to admit that I watch it. Because this is funny. (I did get a little peeved later when i had to throw my shirt away.)

I was able to get most of it out of my shoes! Good times. Good, good times.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Apparently, at our house, we think Independence Day is the day where we stand up for ourselves and our ability to exert our independence. Because that's what happened yesterday. And it wasn't fun.

The day started okay. And even up until around 6 pm, it was fine. Lowell and Joshua were headed to a party at a friend's house and I was going to hang with the guys. I even gave Lowell a big "now you go have a good time and don't worry about a thing here at the house because I have it all under control" speech before he left.

And then it happened. All hell broke loose.

I was supposed to take our grocery sacker to work. Totally not a big deal. Except it was. He got in the van and was mad. No idea what triggered it. But he was mad. He was mad that he has to live in a group home. He was mad that someone else is in charge of his finances. He was mad that he has to go on other people's schedules. He was just mad.

So he took all that anger and turned it into, "I'm mad because you told me I have to wear a seat belt." It sounds silly I know. It's just a seat belt. But last night, it became oh so much more. So I sat in the van waiting for him to put on his seat belt while he yelled and cussed and hollered about how nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say anything at all about wearing a seat belt. And on that exact note, I guess he was right. But I tried to counter with the whole rights vs. responsibilities argument. And I don't know why I even tried. I've never won it. He cannot comprehend it. Or at least he has made a firm choice not to.

So at the point where I was feeling like it might not be safe for me (and another resident) to remain in the van with this guy, I grab the keys and slide out. At this point Lowell has been gone maybe twenty minutes when I, ("Ms. I have it all together, don't worry about a thing"), call him and tell him to come home NOW, because I think the van may be about to blow up. Because apparently there is some game for the XBOX that tells you exactly how to hot-wire a car. So, by golly that was the plan. Hot-wire the van. Drive yourself to work. Sans seat belt.

It didn't work. However, he did somehow manage to cause the hazard lights to flash rapidly. This is what we were left with.
So then he jumps out of the van and runs down the street. I call my supervisor to let her know and she asks, "Will the van still start?" And I'm all, "Who knows, but I am not about to be the one to stick a key in the ignition right above the cut-and-dangling wires and try. Isn't that what our maintenance team is for?"

So I borrow a van from down the street (because, this was after all, the company's one spare van since ours is still in the shop due to the bean field incident.) And I take off after him. I tell him that if he wants a ride, he just has to buckle up. If not, we will follow him to work to make sure he gets there safely. Because, clearly, safety is our number one priority!

Lowell comes and trades off with me. It takes this guy an hour and forty minutes to get to work. So he has about an hour and a half left of his three hour shift.

I go pick Joshua up at the party and let Lowell handle the end-of-shift transportation. We were both thinking that this guy is tired and will get in the van without argument, buckle up and go home. We were both wrong.

Except this time after he cusses and yells and demands that his "rights" be met, he walks off in the opposite direction of home. So again Lowell follows behind. He follows for around thirty minutes until this guy starts picking up rocks threatening to throw them at the van if Lowell won't stop freaking following him around (I paraphrased that to keep it PG). Not wanting our home to be responsible for putting THREE vans in the shop, Lowell backs off a bit, and the guy completely ditches him. We call our supervisors, his dad, and the local police to file a missing persons report. Then ensues several hours of several people driving around searching for a guy who does not want to be found. And who most certainly does not want to wear a seat belt if and when he is found.

Four hours later, he comes home, heats up some leftover chicken nuggets, and heads to his room. We have no idea where he's been. We honestly don't really care. We again are on the phone with supervisors, parents, and the police. He's in bed, because he's "been up all night and is worn out."

This morning he came down to complain of a "killer blister" on the back of his heel. But other than the blister, all was well. No threats, no nothing. Just back to normal. Whatever that is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Irritate a Farmer

So we decided to take a couple of vacation days. We are here at the house and therefore, we are "first on call" if something happens. But this isn't really one of those houses where we can say we weren't worried about it because "nothing ever happens." This is more of a "something always happens" house.

So about 10:15 this morning, I get a call from the substitute working in our house that he's had a "little accident." He says that he "slid off the road a bit" and was "stuck in the mud." He's called the other supervisors and maintenance to give him a tow. Nobody is injured. I thank him for letting me know and go back to watching the Law & Order marathon.

About an hour later, this guy calls again saying the police need information on the client who was with him in the van. I tell him where to find all the information he needs and then I question him about the fact that they are still stuck "on the side of the road". He tells me that the tow truck hasn't arrived yet. Knowing that the particular client who is with him has the potential to completely freak out at any point now, I volunteer to go pick up the client while he is waiting for the tow.

So imagine my shock when I arrive to find two police cars and see our van here:

This was one of those times that reminded me of when you are young and a parent says, "Not telling the WHOLE truth is the same as telling a lie." Because, yes, the van was "off the road." But I think a better description would be, "The van is in a BEANFIELD." But maybe that's just me.

Truly now, how does that even happen?? So I talk to one of the officers. And I'm trying not to laugh at the absurdity that my employee somehow jumped the ditch and landed our van in the MIDDLE OF A BEANFIELD. And the officer just points out what a beautiful day it is and how he can only speculate about what may or may not have happened. He says he is waiting for the tow truck to get there because they will have to "shut down the road" to get the van out of the field.

So I begin the journey through the ditch, the mud and the beans to get to the van. When I get there, the staff tells me that he's really embarrassed. I couldn't figure out why really. I mean, don't we all park in the middle of beanfields every now and then?? And then he says, "I'm not sure what happened. I wasn't really speeding at all. I just couldn't slow down enough to make the turn."

And the only thought that screams its way through my head is: ISN'T THAT THE VERY DEFINITION OF SPEEDING???????

So I get the client and he and I traipse our way back through this beanfield. I'm trying to be careful not to step on the beans when I realize that my staff has driven through and is currently parked in this poor farmer's field. Stepping on the beans after someone has driven over them probably won't hurt them much. We cross over the muddy ditch and I just know they had to have been airborne at some point to get to their landing point. (And the particular client in the van happens to say "Wheeee!" every time we drive over a bridge, so I'm sure he thought it was better than a ride at Disney.)

Apparently when the tow truck got there, one of the back tires was off the rim and under the van. The wheel itself was completely bent underneath. The staff said it probably happened when he cut the wheel so sharply to try to make the turn. Because as we all know, anytime you make a sharp turn, the tires have a tendency to fall off, right?? I personally would speculate that it was likely that particular tire that our 15 passenger van landed on after it jumped the ditch. But what do I know? I just work here.

Now, back to my vacation...

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Night at the Club

Because we are all kinds of cool up in this house, our resident grocery-bagger decided he wants to go to nightclubs after work. He gets off of work at 10 pm and hears other employees discussing going "clubbing" and he wants so desperately to fit in. And bless his heart, he is just so socially awkward that he's likely never going to be in the "in crowd" of the grocery store employees (if such a group exists). He did ask one girl out - the story of which could have it's own blog entry complete with him wanting to dress up in costume so she wouldn't recognize him; to making up a name as a secret admirer; and finally to writing secret notes and trying to have Lowell deliver them (I can just see explaining to our friends and family why my husband is in jail for soliciting a minor!) - and she was very sweet when she declined. But I digress.

So a couple of nights ago, Lowell picks him up after work and he says he wants to go to a certain nightclub that he overheard some people talking about. He tells Lowell where it is, and Lowell, knowing full well that there is no nightclub at this address, drives there anyway in an attempt to put an end to the nightclub discussion. However, once they got there and there was no club, Lowell was asked if he would drive around to look for it. So as they are driving down the street, they discover another club. Grocery-boy gets really excited and stops to ask somebody if they know where the other club is. They don't. But lo and behold it's "one dollar cover charge night" there so he goes on in while Lowell waits for him in the van. While he is inside, Lowell googles the place and gets a good chuckle when he sees this written on the website: "genre: gay/lesbian". He really laughs when said guy comes back out and says, "I'm gonna hang out in there for a while, but if I pick up a girl and come out with her, will you be cool and all?" Lowell promises to be "cool and all" about it, but the idea of this guy going into a gay/lesbian nightclub and emerging with an interested female is crazy enough. But to think that he would actually meet someone who would be willing to come with him to meet his STAFF is downright laughable.

He stays in there for seriously over an hour. All the while Lowell is texting me. He's waved to a couple people from church who were out walking their dog. We know that every time they see us from now on, they will be wondering if they should fill me in on the fact that my husband hangs out in front of gay nightclubs. And I won't be able to stop laughing.

When he finally comes out (no pun intended), he says to Lowell, "I had to leave. There weren't any women worth picking up. The band was good, but the men just announced how long they'd been married. Men are married. The men in the band are married!"

At least he figured it out. And it only took him an hour. And a huge club-wide announcement. And we seem to have gotten the "want to go to a nightclub bug" completely out of our system. So I guess it was worth it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Helpful Hints from A Group Home

Remember Heloise? I used to enjoy reading her helpful hints in the newspaper. She always knew how to get that stain out, what ingredient could be a substitute for whatever you are lacking, and how to make your own laundry detergent. And now, I know I am no Heloise, nor am I Martha Stewart, but I've learned some decorating tips and useful household hints throughout my time in a group home. So turn off the HGTV and see what I have to share!

What do you do when you are chopping vegetables and can't find that pesky cutting board anywhere?? It's easy, just open the nearest cabinet, clear the closest shelf of whatever dishes might be residing on it, pull that shelf off of the pegs and Voila, you have a cutting board. How nifty is that??

And what about when those cabinet doors seem to always be in the way. You just despise having to open one anytime you need to get something from the cabinet (a cutting board, maybe). Did you know you can just pull really hard on them and they'll pop right off? No need to worry yourself further with the task of opening and closing!

And how many of you have ever wished for new countertops? You visit a friend and they have new granite, someone else has beautiful tile. But you have ugly white laminate and really can't afford to have it replaced. Well do I ever have a solution for you! Grab a Sharpie!! It's amazing what you can do.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maybe I'm Back

Okay, so I'm a tad embarrassed. December 15th was the last time I blogged? Can that be true? I mean, I know it's been a while, but really? Four months, wow!

And now the problem is, I don't even know where to start! Uh, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I guess I have been in one of those blogging "funks" that I think most bloggers have from time to time. Life is happening, life is sad, life is funny, life is hard, life is wonderful, and you still just feel like there is not a lot to say, or at least not a lot of time in which to say it.

So nothing has really changed in our lives over the last four months, in which I haven't been blogging, but nothing ever remains the same either.

Our guys are the same. And even though it seems like we repeat the same day over and over and over and over, there's always a little bit of crazy thrown in.

We think one of our guys is depressed right now. Or at least that's the psychiatrist's most recent diagnosis. I think it's like living with a colicky baby. He's crying ALL the time. And he's fed, and he's clean, and his schedule hasn't changed, and everything is in place that should be in place to make him happy. And yet he still cries. And I understand, though would NEVER condone, where shaken baby syndrome originated. Lowell and I have both learned that when we get to that point, we have to pass off responsibilities to the other person and go to the local bar for a stiff drink or two. (Just kidding about that of course, but it's a thought that's crossed my mind.) Here's hoping that the new antidepressant will solve the problem, and we'll have a little less screaming and a lot fewer tears, for all of us, not just for the resident Eeyore.

One of our guys knocked on the door a few weeks ago in the middle of the night, was holding his right side, and said, "Can you take me to the emergency room? I think I need my appendix out." And would you believe, he was right? So Lowell got to spend the whole evening and a good portion of the next day in the hospital with "Mr. I Know How to Diagnose Myself". He was released a lot earlier than they had originally planned. We are pretty sure it had something to do with the fact that he was continually asking for a meal and complaining that there was no Sci-Fi Network on the hospital televisions. When he started asking for video games and Microsoft points, they decided he was ready to come home. That was over three weeks ago. The surgery was laparoscopic, so the healing time was about 2 days. He went back to work this week. Talk about somebody MILKING an injury. Pathetic doesn't begin to describe it.

And then we have "Mr. My Short-Term Memory Gets Worse by the Second". The loops that he gets on could be scripted. We know exactly what he is going to say and when he is going to say it. And then he's going to say it again. He loves to talk about the weather. Any time you drive past one of those digital time and temperature signs, he will tell you the temperature over and over until we pass another one, and then he points out how much the temperature has changed. And the loop goes on. The first few times that he made statements like, "It's 50 degrees. Kind of cold for a Tuesday," we laughed. But we have since decided that hearing, "it's warm for a Friday" or "kind of rainy for a Thursday" just isn't that funny anymore. I've tried to steer him by saying, "yeah, kind of warm for FEBRUARY," but it's been to no avail. I give up. I remind myself that this is the same sports nut, who, the Wednesday after the Super Bowl, told us several times that they were having a huge parade in Green Bay because they like celebrating Wednesdays. Again, no use explaining that the residents of Green Bay aren't just big fans of Wednesday!

Anyway, that's pretty much life as we know it. Hopefully, I can get over the non-blogging funk that's had me down. I'm going to go turn the heat up. It's kind of cold here for a Thursday.