The To Do List

The house is off the market.  We had no plans for the weekend (we being a very subjective word, I had plans to get a massage and my hair done) and so I presented my husband with a to do list Saturday morning.

This isn’t a common practice in my house.  The only time to do lists usually surface are when we are listing the house for sale or preparing for a party.  But some things have been bothering me lately, so I decided to get serious and put them in writing.

Here’s the list, with some explanation:

1. Fix the kitchen sink.

For some reason, the left side of the sink has started to bubble up whenever the right side gets too full, like when I’m washing dishes and a back log of water accumulates. This is weird for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I have garbage disposal on the right side of my sink, which means I never use the left side of my sink, except as a holding ground for dirty dishes that require some sort of extra care (read hand washing) and therefore, may not get done as quickly.  When the left side bubbles up, it is a vile smelling mess of food particles.  So, if the garbage disposal is working and I don’t put anything but liquid down the left drain, then where is all this food coming from?

What does this all mean?  That double sinks are essentially useless!  My next sink is just going to be one huge tub.

This task, not completed.  I’m not sure why, but after it went on the list it was never mentioned again.  Maybe it was the gross out factor, or because he’s not a plumber, but I do know number one husband totally employed his selective hearing Sunday night, as in, maybe if I don’t make eye contact with her, she’ll think I don’t hear her, when I proclaimed while washing dishes, “It’s happening again!”

2.  Clean the playroom windows.

I have a thing about windows, especially the three very large windows in the playroom that look out onto my yard.  These windows are in my view all day long, and while the view is nice, the windows are dirty.  The afternoon sun just accentuates the dirt.

So, you may ask, why don’t you just clean them?  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll tell you again, snakes.  I don’t like them, but they seem to like living around the perimeter of our house.  What do snakes have to do with cleaning windows? Another good question.  Under these windows, there is a very thick hedge that comes up to my knee, so thick that I cannot see what is in the hedge, underneath the hedge or behind the hedge.  I’m not blindly stepping into the hedge.

I did ask my landscaper, yet again, to cut the hedge away from the house.  He didn’t.  No big surprise there. By the way, I finally got that spring clean up, in August, not bad (please read very heavy sarcasm).  Now, I’m waiting for an estimate to pull those three large bushes in the front of the house.  Mr. Landscaper, on the day of the clean up, said he would get it to me. I said, ok, not in five months, though, right?  He didn’t find this amusing.  I did.  Needless to say, I haven’t heard from him since.

The hedge hasn’t completely discouraged me, though.  After watching the handy man place a ladder square in the middle of it to fix the windows, I tried a variation of his method, using a folding chair.  But the damn thing is so wide that there was only one position that I could place the chair in that allowed me to step on it, without having to actually step into the hedge, and so, I could only reach one window.

Task, not completed.  Number one husband, “What’s with you and the windows?” And then it rained.

3.  Pick finish, color and counter tops for master bathroom vanity.

This task involved the following, traveling to the kitchen and bath store with three children, one of whom insisted on wearing a princess dress and a winter hat, odd, but I have to tell you, I admire her fashion sense.  Then, making decisions with virtually no assistance from a sales person, since the person we’re working with recently informed me that she only works Monday through Friday, 9-5, and hinted that it would be wrong (as well as flat out useless) to ask anyone else for help since they work off commission. Which just left me wondering why we’re working with her?

This task was semi-completed (I think), by me, with number one husband and children ultimately retreating to the car, leaving me with no one to convince that my decisions are best. With no one to convince, now I’m not so sure.

Making kitchen and bath choices takes me right back to registering for china, in what I like to call the first test of marriage, which is interesting because my ten year wedding anniversary is coming up.  It wasn’t pretty then, but we passed, we’ll make it through this home project too.

4.  Spray perimeter of house for ants.

A simple task made difficult by the fact that we ran out of bug spray which meant a trip to Lowe’s.  What we could not foresee was that little lady would fall asleep in the car, wake up and not fall asleep again for the remainder of the day.  This meant my carefully timed massage, was now not so carefully timed.

Number one husband never made it out to spray the house, and then, it rained…a lot, which he totally used to his advantage, like in good thing  I didn’t spray for ants since it all would have been washed away.  Hmm, lucky break.

5.  Make basic decisions about using our space more wisely.

To consider:  Where to put a second tv downstairs?  Playroom or living room?  If the living room, then where do we move the piano?  Maybe, the never dined in dining room? If the playroom, where do we move the elliptical?  Will we need another couch? And will the sound from the playroom tv interfere with tv watching in the adjacent room? Furthermore, should we keep the spare bedroom a spare bedroom or give second son a bigger, more comfortable bed (in hopes that he will stop hopping into mine) and make it into a music room? Should we move the drums into the play room, spare room, or non-existent basement? And exactly who is doing all this moving?

No decisions made.  Does it really matter, anyway?  All options, save the bed, require a mover, cable man, basement, or the purchase of some new furniture and tv, which is not an immediate or pleasant task with three children in tow.

6.  Hang pictures on the wall.

These are pictures that I have had for over a year, pictures that I love, but by the time I finally got around to getting frames, we had decided to put the house on the market for the first time. Personal pictures are supposedly a big no-no, I’m not so sure if I agree with that, but anyway, they’ve been sitting on a shelf ever since.

Task, at first, delayed, due to lack of hooks.  After a Sunday morning hardware store trip, hooks were acquired.  Task still put on hold, due to my impending hair appointment, which meant number one husband got busy getting his game on, Legos, cars, Wii, until he finally caved to the exhaustion and ordered Rio, which he absolutely refused to do two days earlier, on principle and price.  A little friendly persuasion from the children (second son would be a pro at counter terrorism and interrogation, he will break you), and lo and behold, it was on when I came home.

“You just don’t understand,” number one husband said, as if I’m never alone with the kids.

Task finally completed Sunday evening, possibly the worse time to complete such a task that requires spousal cooperation.  With kids running around, fighting, little lady throwing clean clothes at the ceiling fan, amusing herself, as they were flung far and wide by the blades, the chaos just added to the basic snarkiness (in the most loving way, of course) that accompanies any husband and wife project.  Alas, it was completed, almost, we still need one more frame.

One (maybe two) out of six, doesn’t seem so good.  Maybe we’d do better without the list next time.  Then, maybe, I would just forget about the tasks, until I see another ant, the sink backs up again, I pass the framed pictures sitting on shelf in the unused spare bedroom, or trip over the bikes in the garage that we would have more room for if the drums were moved back inside…and the list goes on.

I guess there’s always next weekend.



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