A Tale of Three Emails

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days, it was the Realtor® of wisdom, it was the Realtor® of foolishness, it was the new mom of belief, it was the new mom of incredulity, It was the Amish in light, it was the Amish in darkness, it was a corgi rescue with hope, it was a corgi rescue with despair…

I started my afternoon of Friday, the 25th of January, at a Committee Meeting at our local Real Estate Board. I’m on a committee responsible for slapping the hands of bad, foolish and incompetent Realturds. I’ve thankfully moved on from my three years of service on the Grievance Committee to the next level. How could anyone forget the Grievance Committee? That’s the one that turned my hair as gray as it is now.

Three of the most brain dead people in the world were on the committee last year. It was truly unbearable to be in the same room with them. They amused and infuriated me the most when they would announce that the entire time we were voting on a specific case - through 17 articles of our Code of Ethics and 100 some odd standards of practice, that they were voting on a different case than the rest of the room was voting on.

Here’s a photo from our last meeting.

130925-dumb-dumber-cheat_bwjdd5.jpg

Back to today’s meeting. Because today’s meeting and this year’s Committee will be nothing like last year.

When I walked into the room I was greeted by a few dozen unfamiliar faces, at least one of whom thought it was a good idea to swim in a pool of cologne this morning. I choked through two hours of legalities. When I got bored, I made the mistake of checking my phone where I quickly learned that all hell was breaking loose in various corners of my world.

In my work email, I found this gem, addressed to me:

We have several questions in regards to the building / condo association and are hoping that you can help. It is our understanding that you are very familiar with the building and unit itself. Any insight will be greatly appreciated. 

1. Is this unit is a condo or coop? What are the %'s for both in the building (can affect financing)?
2. What does the HOA/Condo Association cover?  
3. Any special assessments in the last 5 years?
4. Any information about why some units went condo, while others stayed coop?
5. Can the purchaser install a washer/dryer within the unit?
6. Does this unit come with storage?
7. Is there an underlying mortgage for the Coop portion of the building?
8. What entity covers the cost of new windows?
9. Are there any financing restrictions?
10. Are pets allowed?

We look forward to receiving your response. Thank you!

That email was from another agent. I had a whole lineup of possible replies, to include:

  • Why the f*ck are you asking me? Do your job and find out yourself!;

  • Do you see the guy who works at Burger King being pulled from the line at McDonalds, where he was just trying to get some fries, man, and the McDonald’s guy asking him to jump behind the counter and cook the burgers for them while they sit there and collect their paychecks for his work? No? Good, don’t ask me to do that either.

  • #Loser

I told her I thought she had the wrong person. I gave her a chance to back away slowly. But, nope.

Have you listed and sold units within the building? We were informed by another agent that you had and that you were very familiar with the building... 

Is this bitch serious? Yes, let me go find the answers to these questions about your listing. I can’t wait to do your job so you can collect your commission! This time I was a bit more clear in my response.

You need to get this information from the management company or your client. It is not appropriate to ask another Realtor for this information who has no official role with the condo

She thanked me and told me to make it a great day!

Moving right along. Next up we’ve got my Yahoo email where all my Rue La La and various email subscriptions land. In that inbox is a post to one of the neighborhood mom message boards.

I am a single mother and I just gave birth , before this decision I have taught a lot and the only solution is to get the child a good ,caring and God fearing home. The child deserves nothing but the best and I will do everything in my power to see that the child is adopted . I don't care if you are single or married. I really want to bless a home out there who had not had the cry of a baby. I will really prefer a home where they have not had the cry of a baby or a home with a maximum one child looking forward for a second child. I am really sorry about my preference but I have made a lot of research about this. if you are seriously seeking to adopt, please send me a direct email.

I wrote to her because I couldn’t not write to her. Scam or not, I needed to go to bed tonight with a clear conscience. She hasn’t written back. But I’d totally take the baby. I mean, it’s not every day your neighborhood message board is offering a free baby.

Then I went to the rescue email. And this is where I find an email a woman just sent 20 minutes prior, that there’s a corgi at an Amish Mill Farm in PA that they are giving up. Here’s the thing with the Amish. When they say they are giving up a dog, you have to fire up your buggy right-that-very-second don’t-stop-to-pee because they can change their mind faster than electricity travels.

Ha ha. Oops. Those jokes never get old.

In all these conversations about said corgi, who has been bred over and over for puppies, who has been living outside when it’s below freezing, someone told me to buy one of their pies when I get there. Absolutely not. They may have infected it and I’ll catch their “I don’t give one iota about animals except for the money they can make for me” disease.

So, after spending the rest of my afternoon on the phone trying to figure out how to get this dog off this farm asap, finally I arrived home. Real Estate Dad was outside with the corgis. I bust out of the car with “I’VE GOTTA GET A CORGI TOMORROW IN PENNSYLVANIA AND I’M PICKING UP SOME CORGS IN FREDERICKSBURG IN THE MORNING AND I’M GOING TO BE DRIVING ALL OVER FOR THESE DOGS ARGH.” He’s used to having a manic wife. I chatted with him for a second, then walked up the stairs to our house when someone drives by and screams out the window “NICE ASS!” Real Estate Dad looked at me and I said, “I think they were talking to you.”

Time for this day to be over.

She Was Caught in a Mudslide, Eaten By a Lion, Got Run Over by a Crappy Purple Scion

It’s no secret we’re in love with Summer Nanny. She came back last year to be Spring Nanny, and Summer Nanny again for 2018, and Fall Nanny and now she’s Winter Nanny. It seems though, Winter Nanny was offered a job which will make use of her MBA and her days with us are sadly winding down. She will not be Spring or Summer Nanny any longer. Sniff Sniff.

It’s wrong to have wished she would never get a job so she could always be our nanny. Didn’t stop me though. I suppose she can’t sit on the floor and play LOL Dolls with the girls forever - even though she really really appears to love it. I was lamenting my woes to Real Estate Dad about how I’m going to miss her because she really loves these crazy girls of ours.

But what I’m really going to miss? Her hilarious and extremely unique excuses for why she can’t come to work like 30% of the time. Most of the time it’s on Friday too. The reasons are never the same which is sort of amazing. I wish I kept track of all of them, but since summer, I can recall the following reasons why All-Season Nanny would call in sick.

  • Ex-boyfriend she shares custody of their pit bull with, let the pit bull go on hot pavement and his pads ripped off so she was taking him to the vet.

  • Said pit bull was attacked once by a chihuahua, that was also a vet visit.

  • Had to help her parents pack their house.

  • Texted one Thursday after she left to say she was rear ended on the beltway. The next morning she said she was dealing with insurance all day and couldn’t come in. Real Estate Dad said, “It’s always Friday. Why doesn’t she just ask for Fridays off?”

  • Job Interview

  • Migraine

  • Was walking to her car to drive to our house and vomited before she got into the car.

  • Forgot she was supposed to be the photographer for her cousin’s wedding at the courthouse.

  • Went to Urgent Care and they told her she had a lung infection and if she kept coming to work she could die.

  • Trampled by a giant corgi

Giant Corgi.jpg

Okay. Not that last one. That sounds like it would be my excuse for calling in sick, actually. And she gets extra credit for coming the day she woke up with purple fingers and was diagnosed with Raynauds Syndrome. That text only came to me though, and I ignored it because it wasn’t a good day for her to not come to work.

At first we were all out of sorts trying to adjust our schedules but now we’re just used to it. And the reasons are entertaining and impressive. Whenever we get the text and I’m at work, I hand the phone to my work-wife and we both laugh and then I confirm that Real Estate Dad is home and can get them.

I was telling Real Estate Dad now that she’s going back to a full time job I’ll look for other childcare options for the girls after school. Then I quickly followed up with the fact that I may wait until April or May to firm up the plan. If attendance is a requirement at the new job, Summer Nanny may not survive her probationary period.

You Are Feeling Verrrrry Sleepy

If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been struggling to drop the 25 lbs that magically appeared after Chubs was born. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. I see pictures of myself from when I “thought” I was fat, and I’m like, “Girllll give me that body back any day.”

Last year, after listening to everyone’s advice for years and not losing a pound, I paid a small fortune for a hypnotist. I found a woman with great reviews and I signed myself up after meeting with her. I expected her to be able to shut off my constant craving for devil’s food chocolate cake, but that didn’t happen. What did happen though was I became very aware of what I was eating and when I was full. Without trying really hard, I lost 10 lbs. Omg! Progress!

Unfortunately my sessions ended and I didn’t have time to re-up them because: work. Then, a few weeks and a box of Baklava sent from my parents and the weight was back with a vengeance.

For my New Year’s Resolutions, yes, that’s plural, I decided to implement a Habit Tracker. I’m obsessed with this genius idea. You write your habits on the left and you track them in a simple grid. You can draw it out, a la the current bullet journal craze or you can make it on a spreadsheet program. Or, if you’re like me, a lazy Amazon Whore, a.k.a. Amazhore, you can just spend too much money for one on Amazon.

Here’s a great example of a Habit Tracker in case you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, Willis.

One of my habits is to cook more at home instead of ordering / eating out all the time. So off to the grocery store I went to get this year started right.

Instead of making a list, I have always wheeled the cart down every aisle so I don’t miss anything. So, I’m coming out of cereals and u-turning into cakes and baking items when I saw her. The hypnosis doc. I was like, “Oh shit, she cannot see me because she’ll be like ‘Big fat fattie, you need to get your fat ass back to see me.’” And she wouldn’t be wrong about that. I’d ignore her and she would yell, “NOT THE CAKE AISLE!!!”

I have never seen her in my (MY) (it’s not mine, I know) grocery store before and I’ve been going there for over 4 years. I bolted up the aisle thinking “Please don’t let me run into her, please don’t let me run into her, I’m weak and vulnerable after admitting I need to get serious about this weight loss.” I headed over to produce to camp out in case she saw me. At least if we have to bump into each other I’d rather be found next to the apples than in the farking cake aisle, even if I’m not buying any cake. She was all about removing temptation. “If it isn’t in the house, it won’t beckon you from the cabinet late at night.”

I waited until I thought she was gone and I picked a line to check out.

I loaded all my food on the conveyor belt. It wasn’t a bad haul, but I do have 4 and 6 year old daughters who like things like Cheerios and Chips Ahoy! (I’m not yelling. Chips Ahoy! really has an exclamation point after it.) As I finished, someone came up behind me with their basket and 3 items in it, saw how much stuff I had, passively aggressively eye-rolled and turned to find another register. Shut it Poindexter, we haven’t been food shopping in a month. We’re THAT FAMILY, who just goes to relatives houses for the holidays so we don’t actually have to cook. Same thing happened a few more times with people coming, seeing my haul and leaving for another line.

Then. She gets in line behind me. Noooooo.

For some reason, the gods were nice to me that day, and we didn’t make eye contact. She saw how much stuff I had and backed her cart out and went to another aisle.

Now that I know she goes to MY grocery store, I’ll need to drop at least 10 lbs, pronto because this is embarrassing.

Oh, bonus. All this running around the store and I hit my 10,000 steps! Another one to check off on my habit tracker!

When Santa Squeezes His Fat White Ass Down That Chimney Tonight, He's Gonna Find the Jolliest Bunch of A-Holes This Side of the Nuthouse

Growing up, the holidays truly never disappointed in the Terzis household. Before visions of Norman Rockwell dance in your head, let me clarify: We’re really talking more Griswalds. Someone kept screaming “Save yourself!” It was me, and too bad I never listened.

This year we’re heading to Connecticut the day after Christmas. The trip happens sans Real Estate Dad because he’s got other things to tend to. This is unfortunate because it means I’ll have to be extra vigilant, watching the girls like a hawk. Not because of their behavior, but because of everyone else’s.

I’m still scarred from our visit to the Pez Factory two years ago. My family felt compelled to teach the girls how to “sample” the different pez flavors from the dispensers specifically meant for purchase by the pound. By “sample” I mean “steal” because the pez were above a giant sign that said, “Not for sampling.”

When I vehemently stated, a la a verbal “strongly worded letter” that teaching our 2 and 4 year old how to steal is not right and not something we want them to learn, it was justified:

“Oh don’t be silly. Everyone does it.”

You know how people say, “Oh I grew up like this and I’ll never do it to my kids?” and then most of us turn into our parents? Nope. That right there will not be passed down to this generation.

Future Ex-Convicts, Learning the Family Business

Future Ex-Convicts, Learning the Family Business

Tonight I tried to FaceTime everyone’s ipads to ask a question (unrelated to the Pez debacle) about the impending visit. No response. So I had to, gasp, dial the house phone.

My Dad: Hello?
Me: Wow, it’s so weird to dial the landline since now we only talk on FaceTime.
Dad: Who is this?
Me: Really? You have no idea who this is?
Dad: No. No idea.

Huh. It’s gonna be a good visit. I’m already thinking that 4 days might be too long.

No real surprise though. There was that one year I landed at Westchester County Airport for Christmas. I had been summoned by my mother to come, when in reality we weren’t on the best terms that year. Or the several years before.

This was in the days when you landed on the runway, walked down the stairs, across the tarmac and into a building that looked like a storage shed. You’d say out loud: “THIS is an airport?” Yes. It was.

Okay, it wasn’t this bad in the 90’s but it wasn’t much more than a trailer.

Okay, it wasn’t this bad in the 90’s but it wasn’t much more than a trailer.

Thankfully it’s been expanded and it no longer looks like that. Or so I hear.

My Dad, who was supposed to pick me up? Nowhere to be found. I thought this was where they were just going to stick it to me and probably did this on purpose. But, I finally decided to call. What follows ranks as one of the stupidest conversations I’ve had in my life.

Mom: Hello?
Me: Hi, is someone coming to pick me up?
Mom: No, your flight was canceled.
Me: No it wasn’t because I was on it.
Mom: Melissa, your flight was canceled. The airline confirmed it never took off the ground.
Me: And I’m telling you, I know I moved out of New York 3 years ago, but I still know what it looks like. I guarantee you, I am standing in Westchester County.
Mom: Let me see what they told me. Yes, here it is - they said your flight was canceled and not rescheduled.
Me: We could go around like this all day. If you’re not coming to get me, I’ll call one of my friends and go hang with them for the weekend.
Mom: Okay okay, your father is on his way.

When my dad peeled around the corner and I got in the car, the first thing he said to me was "Who the hell are you?" "Your flight was canceled. Mom called."

I just grunted.

When we walked into my parents house, my mom yelled, "MELISSA!" with an enthusiasm I haven't heard since probably the day I was born. I smirked, turned to my brother and said, "Okay, what did you do now?"

That Beeyotch Manning the Toys for Tots Table

The Glover Park Holiday Party was this past Friday night. The party is just as much a neighborhood event as it is a school event. Because I like to be all helpful and shizz, I checked out the list of volunteer spots available to see what help was needed.

You gotta know your limits when you sign up for these things. It’s all fun and games until you slack off and someone’s kid flies out of the moonbounce and face plants on the gym floor because you are too busy retying your ponytail for the 17th time, hoping this time you didn’t have any hair bumps. That said, I signed up for the toy donation table.

Here’s the deal. You bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, and you get a raffle ticket. The prizes vary from bottles of wine to restaurant gift cards. All good stuff. If you bring multiple toys, you get a raffle ticket for each. The Marines are there, and they haul the toys away and handle the donation portion. Seems simple enough.

Some pretty sweet gifts started arriving and it really warmed my heart to see such nice stuff fill the table so quickly. But then, as it always seems to happen - whether it’s in a real estate transaction, or rescuing a corgi, or volunteering at school - someone pees the bed thereby sucking the wind out of my sails and making me question everything about humanity.

This man and his son handed me three junky plastic mazes with the tiny silver ball that he GOT FROM A FURKING HAPPY MEAL!!! I have to say, I was NOT happy about this. People brought in giant easels, tents, unloaded 15 toys they picked up for kids who won’t have anything else to unwrap this holiday. These people have the nerve, the furking (yes, FURKING, I am trying to make this blog more family friendly) nerve to hand me 3 pieces of plastic crap from last year’s happy meal and expect 3 raffle tickets in return.

Not on my watch.

They got one raffle ticket. They said “Uh, three.” and I said, “Well, these are very tiny toys considering the big items some other people purchased new. You can keep two of them if you want.”

Yes. Of course I said it. It’s absolute bullshit that they had the nerve. God. Just come to the party and bypass the toy desk. And in front of a Marine? These men put their lives on the line for us and you have the nerve to show up with this piece of crap and seriously hand it to them?

Just in case you’re thinking, “Well, this is sad, what if they don’t have the money to buy a new toy?” I get it. That’s fine. But, it wasn’t a requirement to bring a toy. Insulting the process and hurting an innocent child is something else entirely - and then expecting something for it? Whoa.

You want fries with that?

You want fries with that?

I wish I could say that was the extent of it. Nope. It got worse.

A man came in with his two kids and opened up a plastic Safeway bag to show me what was inside. I saw some oranges in there and a toy. He pulled the toy out and handed me a train car. But, it’s one car. The front and back of this thing have the hook and eye that indicate there are OTHER cars that connect with this train car.

So really you just grabbed something from your toybox that your kids no longer play with, and brought it here so we can do what with it - throw it out? Um. Thanks? Then they handed me a tiny little plastic figurine of some sort. Like the size of a hatchimal or something but not a hatchimal. I put it with the train and handed them one raffle ticket as well. Because, come on. I’m all about “it’s the thought that counts” until you’re dealing with some child who has nothing to open on Christmas morning and then all bets are off.

Then there was the group of 5 or 6 kids in the corner whose parents were clearly nowhere to be found. Their children were smashing plastic water bottles on the wall and floor of the gym. Real Estate Dad is more one of those “kids will be kids” type dads where I’m like, “Is this really my life now and get those hellions off my lawn” parent. Even he was like, “This is sort of outrageous, and no one says anything to them. That bottle almost hit you in the head when they threw it off the wall.” Yup.

So that was my Friday evening.

How many raffle tickets does just the middle car get me? What if I throw in an indescribable plastic figure?

How many raffle tickets does just the middle car get me? What if I throw in an indescribable plastic figure?

Bananas Never Survive a Roadtrip

Today is Real Estate Dad’s birthday. I thought about not saying anything until 10 minutes to midnight like he did to me last year, but I decided not to. I mean, I don’t want anyone to think I hold a grudge or anything. Besides, he looked so good when he got ready for a meeting today that I just had to hug him.

This week was the elementary school’s book fair. EEEEEEE I love book fairs! I used to love getting those flimsy little newspaper magazines from the Scholastic Book peoples. Clifford, Miffy, Hello Cat You Need a Hat - all the good classics still exist in our house today came from that book newspaper.

I know. You want to know why I still have books from 40 years ago. Even if you didn’t want to know, I’m telling you anyway. My parents? They don’t throw anything away. Like, at all. To this day, every phone call that comes FROM their house or any visit TO their house inevitably carries with it, some version of “I was cleaning out some closets and I found (insert piece of garbage) do you want me to save it for you?” My answer is always no, but that doesn’t stop them from dumping it on me when I visit. Now when I’m saying goodbye to them at the end of a visit, I keep my hands in my pockets so they can’t hand me anything.

This hoarding thing isn’t new. The aroma of my entire childhood is eau de rotting bananas. Every time we left on a vacation there would be the last-minute-grab of things that wouldn’t keep until we got home. We all know that bananas are really bad travel companions. That didn’t stop my parents from trying. We would leave our house, get on 95 south and in 20 minutes the banana rot could overpower the burning smell of the Bronx, circa 1979.

The gorgeous landscape of the Bronx in the late 1970’s

The gorgeous landscape of the Bronx in the late 1970’s

Now that we got that whole “descended from hoarders” piece out of the way, let’s move on to the book fair. I volunteered for a shift every day because I’m a book nerd. I love reading. I miss reading. I don’t get to do it as much as I would like to because, houses need to get sold, kids need to be raised, corgis have to be walked, other corgis have to be rescued, our house needs to be cleaned, yadda yadda yadda.

I have to say I did pretty well in my customer service role. Good thing the last day was indeed the last day because I started to crash. I didn’t even shower for my last shift and I didn’t bother to change out oOffspring T-Shirt. The one with the smoking skeleton head.

Ugh…..of course some kid said something to me. OF COURSE. In front of his dad too, who didn’t look like he was anyone who would appreciate the Offspring.

“Why is that skeleton smoking? That doesn’t even make sense. Why would he have a cigarette in his mouth?”

I could not ring that book up fast enough to get Chatty Charlie the hell out of there.

Then the security guard, who was milling around with friends, wandered over to the book fair and tapped a parent on the shoulder to say, “You didn’t sign in.” This shit again.

The point of signing in is so that they have your face on camera. I get that. But the school was a complete melee. For anyone to have any sort of false sense of security that the guard is going to be able to stop a real threat is comical. I should be nice because last week she appeared to give one tenth of one shit about my grandmother’s ring that Chubs defiantly brought to school and promptly lost. But she could be playing me.

The piece de la resistance was a Harry Potter Cookbook. This thing sold out like hotcakes and there was one left which a teacher had added to their wishlist pile. Someone wanted to buy it and it was late. Since no one had bought the book for said teacher, the book fair lead was going to let her buy it.

So, picture this. We have a line that’s got about 10 people in it, and a woman flipping through a cookbook trying to decide if she wanted to buy it. I have everything else rung up and ran her card and was waiting to see if she wanted this cookbook. I see the line getting antsy and I asked her to just step over so I could grab the next person. She clearly got mad and said “Never mind, I’ll just buy it on Amazon.” Yowsers. I didn’t think it was wrong to ask her to step aside to look at the book, and if she wanted it we could have rung her up real fast but yeesh. She said something about not having enough time to look through it and yelled the Amazon dig again.

Lady, you don’t have to threaten me with Amazon. I’m a full on Ama-whore. There ain’t nothing Amazon is selling that I ain’t buying. Like where would you ever be able to get something like this? (Don’t forget to read the comments - that’s where the gold is.)


Yes, but does it have a thermometer?

Yes, but does it have a thermometer?

Things That Happen When I Stay Up Late To Read a Book

A small bug crawling up the wall. What is that? A tick?

Closer inspection confirms that it is probably not a tick. But, I’m still not convinced. It has some weird long thing that comes out of it’s head. It’s tiny though.

Squash. Flush. Move on.

Oh. There’s his friend. Must be looking for him. Okay friend, I’ll show you where your buddy went.

Squash. Flush. Move on.

Jesus, is that another one? Good lord. Squash. Drop in toilet. Pee on top of it for good measure while silently praying it doesn’t craw up the side of the bowl and bite my girl parts. Having a penis would come in really handy right now. Not just for aim, but for visibility and for maintaining a distance from the enemy.

Urinate. Flush. Move on.

Check girl parts. Confirm they are weevil-free.

Return to couch.

Feel very itchy.

Text Real Estate Dad, who is upstairs asleep, to alert him to this man-job he will need to attend to in the morning.

Back to book. Cannot concentrate. Realize that Real Estate Dad’s answer in the morning will be “Well the exterminator just came yesterday, so next month when he comes we can tell him.”

Urgency. Not Real Estate Dad’s forte. Further evidenced by the fact that a) he stopped for coffee when I was waiting for him to quickly walk Sammy so we could go to the hospital because my cervix was crowning with Chubs’s head roaring through and b) he never once broke into a run for any of the events during the morning from hell where I went from “Am I in labor?” while in my nice warm bed to laying in an ambulance with a huge firefighter squeezing my hand, to “Who wants to hold her first” in a hospital half way across the city in a span of 70 minutes.

Reality hits. I need to handle this bug thing myself. Google black bug with long head and body with two shell-like parts. Choose images and begin scrolling.

After seeing every kind of tick, beetle and bedbug, I spy one that might be our new resident. The grain weevil. Okay. Let’s see what the grain weevil’s story is.

Grain weevil likes grain. Go figure. Enjoys rice and cereals. Especially fond of bird seeds.

Thinks to self: Like the bag of bird seed sitting by the front door? The bag I’d been trying to get rid of for a year when someone (that’s you, sleeping Real Estate Dad) went and bought another giant ba? All so the girls could feed the birds. I hate birds.

I realize my hatred of birds flies in the face of me being a lover and rescuer of animals. (Flies in the face - see what I did there?) But, birds are absolutely not a topic of love in my diary. They fly around, dropping a turd whenever and wherever the hell they feel, whether that be in my freshly keratined hair, on a woman’s bridal gown, or in a news reporter’s mouth - like an old man at a nursing home who sharts and laughs because someone else has to clean it up. Birds wake everyone up at 4 a.m., singing like those obnoxious ROTC’s in college, trying to make sure the rest of us are also awake and miserable while they sing their way through morning bootcamp. I’d love to be able to pick off those Mockingbirds who divebomb me, the kids and the dogs when we are only trying to leave our house. No one cares about your stupid nest and your eggs you ugly birds! There. I hate birds. I said it. I do not want to encourage them to hang around our house. AT ALL.

When the girls put seed out for the birds, the birds aren’t even grateful. They hover around, squawking at each other like the nail techs at the salon, make a damned mess, leaving shit all over our porch and spew seeds and shells all over the patio. And do they even clean up any of the edible seeds? No. They’re too good to eat seeds from the ground. They only want them from the feeder. The corgis, trying to be helpful, run out there like it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet to inhale the seeds all over the ground. Then for the next 3 days, the corgi firing squad is in high demand by capital punishment states, because of their ability to shoot bird seed straight out of their asses.

It’s 2 a.m. I cautiously walked over to the bucket of bird seed in the bag by the front door and opened it up. I grabbed the cup in there and scooped up some seed. I waited for all the little kernels to fall into place and for the seeds to stop moving so I could determine if there were any bugs in the bag.

And then, it was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The seeds never stopped moving because there were weevils everywhere!

Vom vom vom. I unlocked our door faster than I would have if Ed McMahon was standing out there with a Publisher’s Clearing House check in one hand and a basket full of corgi puppies in the other. I ran outside in my pajamas in the pouring rain and threw that bag of nasty on the street.

I went inside and upstairs to report to Real Estate Dad what happened. He asked where the bag of seeds was now. I told him I threw it at the edge of the sidewalk in front of our house.

You’re welcome, Glover Park. Blame the house with the flamingos outside. It was us.

 

Bathtubs Suck & Other Home Renovation Advice From Someone Who Doesn't Give a Rat's Arse

In the spring of 2017, we finally got to the bathroom renovation. Our 1932 Glover Park House still had the original deco style bathroom which was pretty cool looking, but not functional for our lives. And, it seemed that it could never be clean enough. (For me anyway - the child of a woman who has a bottle of clorox in every room.)

The only shelf is that tile on the radiator?!?

The only shelf is that tile on the radiator?!?

Being that I personally find bathtubs disgusting, dirty, ugly, and a back-breaker to clean, and that reglazing it actually didn’t work, we planned to rip the old tub out. The fact that that 85 years of asses had sat in that tub was enough to put me over the edge. No way would the girls ever be able to bathe in there without a Haz-Mat suit.

85 Years of Asses, cleaned their cracks right here ^^^^^

85 Years of Asses, cleaned their cracks right here ^^^^^

The problem was what to replace it with since it was somewhat of a non-standard length. Every tub option was just as ugly as the next.

Then, unrelated to our renovation, I would tour houses with clients and get misty eyed at the gorgeous showers. I wondered, “Why the hell do we need a tub?” So I did what any confident, smart woman does - I posed the question on Facebook.

The bath-lovers were rabid. They came out en masse. So rabid they were in defending their love of lounging in a pool of filthy bathwater (albeit, their own f that the few friends who supported a no-tub house were scared to comment. They resorted to texts. (Jeez people, the political fighting is bad enough but BATHTUBS?)

Anyway, I’m not sure why I asked for opinions but after hearing, “I’d never buy a house without a bathtub” and “Families with little kids will never buy your house” several dozen times, I said, “Miguel? Rip that shit out. We’re getting a shower.”

Then I got to pick out tile and fixtures for this amazing bathroom that I love. It’s so fresh and so clean clean. I rationalized it with: We have Stoddert Elementary - people are dying to get in this neighborhood, lack of a tub won’t stop them. Yup. I made that decision with emotion and backed it up with logic. Just like someone shopping for a home would.

Now the bathroom looks like this.

That’s the Speakman Anystream Showerhead. I FLOVE it. We stayed at a Hilton in Connecticut with these showerheads. I’m a fan.

That’s the Speakman Anystream Showerhead. I FLOVE it. We stayed at a Hilton in Connecticut with these showerheads. I’m a fan.

A closer look a the tile - one wall in charcoal glass and the other in ceramic with a criss cross design.

A closer look a the tile - one wall in charcoal glass and the other in ceramic with a criss cross design.

Added shelves to the right which made a HUGE difference for us.

Added shelves to the right which made a HUGE difference for us.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, yesterday morning I woke up to the news that Houzz put out their 2018 bathroom trends. And part of the trend they cite from this year? A full 34% of people have ripped out their tubs in favor of a shower. I’m a trending statistic!

Well well well. There’s nothing I love more than vindication. Well, vindication and watching the dirty shower water go down the drain instead of surrounding me.

The story ends here that the girls love taking showers. They love drawing faces in the condensation on the glass, and I love the fact that they don’t get bladder infections from sitting in the water like they were prone to. This was a win all around.




Follow the Leader

Halloween in Glover Park is pretty amazing. (Shut up, I know it’s November 6th.)

This year we were at the head of the neighborhood parade again. This isn’t a coveted position. It just means you got to the lineup late and last, so when the entire gang of people turn around to head out, you’re suddenly at the front.

The first year we lived here we were at the head of the parade. M was little and Chubs was just a few months old so we decided to take a short cut back to our house. And everyone followed us, because, hey, parade! When we went up the steps to our house the rest of the parade (the entire neighborhood) ended up milling around the front of our house. Follow the leader doesn’t work if the leader is an idiot.

This year we made it to the Manor House! It did not disappoint.

M at the famous Manor House.

M at the famous Manor House.

The entire neighborhood of Glover Park explodes in costumed children and candy for Halloween. They know how to do it right here. After an hour of trick-or-treating, my children decided they would rather pass out the candy. For M this actually meant passing out the candy. For Chubs this meant eating the candy. Real Estate Dad and I were thinking to just let the littles gorge themselves and they would get sick of the candy. No such luck. M and Chubs got to a point of complete insanity where they just couldn’t calm down and shut their engines off. It drove me temporarily insane. The wine helped.

Then, because I’m a glutton for punishment, we went to Hershey Park for the weekend. Actually we went because it was a central location for the board of East Coast Corgi Rescue to meet in person! It was so nice to be in the same room (with 6 corgis and Ziggy the terrier) while we planned out the future of the rescue. I still cannot believe I started the rescue from my chair two years ago in the middle of the night one night and it’s exploded to be so huge and so amazing.

I went up to Hershey early Saturday morning with the dogs and we had our meeting during the day. Then Real Estate Dad came up with the girls later in the day. What I had grossly miscalculated was the end result of my not being home during the packing process. Typically I pack the girls clothes and then give them each a bag and say you can fill it with toys, books, whatever, but it has to zip closed.

Chubs is a hoarder.

Real Estate Dad is a sucker.

Chubs pretty much brought everything she owns and some things she doesn’t with her for the weekend. And she unpacked it all into the hotel drawers.

This is what happens when you take your eyes off Homeless Helga

This is what happens when you take your eyes off Homeless Helga

There was more trick or treating at Hershey. The girls again got so out of hand, it was misery in the hotel room. I took them out to the hall and said “Let’s play follow the leader” because I’m clearly so good at it for the Glover Park Parade. I did probably a dozen laps through the halls of the hotel and the lobby doing all kinds of stupid stuff to wear them out. The only one who got worn out was me. I did hit my 10,000 steps though. I went back to the room huffing and puffing and told Real Estate Dad to get out there and wear them out.

He was back in a few minutes. They were still bouncing off the walls.

This is the nicest time of year workload-wise, for me. The real estate market slows as it get closer to the holidays. It’s a good time to plan for next year and a good time to do more things with the kids.

Summer Nanny (who is now year-round-nanny) told me that when she was picking the girls up from school, someone in M’s class said, “That’s your nanny? Are her tattoos real or fake?” When M said they were real, she said, “My mom says only people in prison have tattoos.”

Here we are, Summer Nanny and I, ready for the slammer.

Inmates #1 & #2

Inmates #1 & #2