A Tale Of Small Leaks And Tiny Copper Pipes…No Really…

ceiling 1

No, you are not at a home improvement blog, nor is this a DIY blog.  It’s jut me, back with another tale of calamity from The House of Stiletto.

I hate Mondays.    I hated this Monday more than most.   But let’s back up and talk about why I also hated it’s predecesor, Sunday.

Sunday arrived with much promise.   The Man and I slept in after going to a wedding, we had a lazy breakfast and were getting ready to float in the pool all day.    At about 10:00 it was looking really good for us.

At 10:30 that all changed.

The kids ran upstairs to tidy up their rooms and put on their suits when all of a sudden we heard screams, “OH MY GOD! THERE’S SO MUCH WATER!!! FLOOD!!! FLOOD!!” at which point that lazy Sunday disappeared as we ran up the stairs to see what could have possibly happened.    I was freaking out thinking that for sure I was going to see Shamu balancing a little ball on his/her nose  but was immediately consoled to learn that we had “very small leak” from a “tiny little copper pipe” .   While it required we go several hours without water or any type of fun, I was assured it was not a big deal as it hadn’t gone on for too long and The Man was able to fix it with a quick trip or two to Home Depot and our day was back on track by about 1:00 or so.

Yeah, about that.

Turns out, this leak must have been going on for much longer than we thought.    On Monday,  The Man broke down all the furniture in the room prepping to re-paint the ceiling,  even going so far as to take the blades off the fans.    I was literally slammed all day at work and exhausted by the end of the day.   We had a lovely dinner together that night and I was happily taking the kids upstairs to bed around 9:00  when I opened the guest bedroom door and saw THIS:

Yes, I know it’s a horrible picture but I snapped it with my iPhone really fast before I turned into my 8 year old daughter and ran screaming through the house.   I’m not sure you can tell it in this picture, but the hole is about as tall as I am  (5’4”) and much like me, needing to be much smaller in the middle part.    The fact that we resemble each other does nothing to make me love it in any way shape or form.

Also, like it always is with uninvited guests, it left a mess behind.  Witness:

That carpet right there?  Is now dead too.   Who knew one “very small leak” from a “tiny copper tube” could be so viscious?

The good news here, if there is any, is that The Man is super handy around the house and spent most of the day today cutting out the remainder of the ceiling and putting new dry wall in.

Even better?   We now have an optional moon roof in our guest room and I get to kill that hideous green on the walls.

See?  Always a bright side to everything.

But then again, I’m not the one dealing with drywall either…..

The One Where I Age A Few Years In A Coffee Shop

I’m at a coffee shop  right now, which is sort of a rare occasion for me.   I like going to coffee shops okay. I like coffee okay.  I just  don’t make coffee a  religion or anything which is why sometimes coffee shops and I are not a good match.    Regardless of how much time I do or do not spend in them, coffee shops are a great place to have a quick meeting which is how I found myself here today.

I got here a little early and thought it was a lovely day for a nice cold drink.    It’s way hot outside and something nice and cold sounded like just the trick to finish off my day rather than something steaming like the inside of my car would be when I returned to it.

I didn’t know it would take the remainder of my day to order the thing.

Sadly for me, as is usually the case, I pick the wrong line to stand in. This happens virtually everywhere I go as if I am somehow magnetically drawn to the slowest person in the room’s back. There’s someone at the department store who wants to make a very complicated return? I’m behind her. That lady at the grocery store who insists that her coupons should be doubled and then waits for members of the management team to arrive after she has exhausted her case with the 17 year old cashier? That wold be me standing behind her rolling my eyes and tapping my foot.

So it wasn’t with a great amount of surprise that I found myself behind the most coffee curious man in all of America today at said coffee shop. There was a new product being rolled out….some iced concoction that they could custom make with flavors. Best of all, they were offering free samples. Which…fine….whatever. However, this guy, upon receiving his sample began to ask just slightly under 2,472 questions about this tasty beverage. Curious? Here’s a sampling for you:

  • What is the origin of the bean used in this?
  • What length of time do you roast them?
  • How many calories are in a large?
  • A medium?
  • A small?
  • What flavorings can you put in it?
  • Could you repeat flavors 2-7 again?
  • Do you recommend one flavor over the other?
  • May I offer a suggestion on a flavor you forgot?
  • What is your personal favorite?
  • Do people often order with no flavor at all?
  • How many calories does the flavoring add?
  • Did you ever consider blending it?

And so help me God, he then proceeded to tell him it reminded him of a drink he had on vacation….which of course prompted a quick discussion on the vacation itself.    Now grouchy and with pinchy feet, I started making some “ahem” type noises which made no difference whatsoever.

It did however catch the attention of someone else behind the counter who had also been watching the entire conversation slack jawed because honestly, who knew one man could have so many questions about coffee?

I’m happy to report he finally exhausted himself and the guy behind the register seems to have recovered from slamming his head into the counter repeatedly.

And I?  Have my nice tasty drink and am on my way…

This? Is Worth Exactly Nothing…

mel gibson braveheart

Let’s just beat a dead horse here….

A long time ago, in a land far away, Mel Gibson was very, very famous.  And I had more money than I had common sense.

My how times have changed.   For both of us.

However, I am left of a reminder of both of our glorious pasts in the form of an autographed “Braveheart” poster.    “Braveheart” was my FAVORITE. MOVIE. EVER. For such a long time.    I loved everything about it, the fighting, the sense of history (no matter how correct it was or was not) and …  THE ROMANCE.

I loved it so much, my husband surprised me with this gift:

Such a sweet gift way back when.  In our previous home before he came down with a really bad case of the CRAZY, Mel had a prominent place in our game room.     When we moved, he was sort of relegated to a back wall as the new house was smaller and had less space for our autograph collection….and I’m sorry but Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. will always be more important….and were probably as intoxicated when their picture was taken as Mel was during that really unfortunate traffic stop a few years ago.

I  hated Mel for his antisemetic remarks when he got arrested and swore to never see a movie of his again.   But to be honest, I sort of forgot the picture was there or you would have seen this post quite a while ago.    Last week, we got rid of our never used pool table in order to make a more kid friendly TV area upstairs and I noticed he was still there.

It was sort of a “What the hell are YOU doing here???” moment and Mel was promptly ripped off the wall and stuffed into a closet.

Now I have no idea what to do with him.  I have a few options:

  • Try to sell it on ebay and hope there is an audience for autographs of extremely bigotted, male pigs with no hopes of ever acting again.
  • Paint my face blue and white and while brandshing a sword and a sheild (and without undies under my kilt) yell, “You may take the pride of every human on the earth other than white Catholic males….but you will never take OUR FREEDOM!!!!“  as I stab the poster repeatedly.
  • …or, replace the picture with this, which I think is far more appropriate and current:


Personal Checklist To Get Back To School Ready


Scared you with that one didn’t I?     Sorry, as part of my Type A tendencies I tend to like to get a  head start on things and I realized this weekend that I really needed to get busy on this whole back to school thing when Mr. C pointed something out to me.

He still had a “little boy” room.

And he’s going to into Junior High.

I am officially the Worst. Mom. Ever.

I had noticed a while back he was sort of embarassed to have friends up to his room but didn’t think much of it.  I figured it was just the fact that his room looks like a disaster zone and he didn’t want his friends to know what a mess he really is.   You know, because boys really care about things like that, right?

Because I can’t take a hint, this week he made it very clear to me that his room is no longer acceptable as a Junior High Student and the situation needed to be remedied immediately.

Alrighty then. A few things had to happen in short order to get his room worthy of a middle school student.

  • We had to get rid of the little boy paint on the walls.
  • We needed to update his bedding.
  • His bathroom needed fixing up.
  • His clothes needed to be sorted and separated between those that would go to charity and those that would go to family.
  • His books needed to be organized.
  • ..and last but not least, we had to get rid of all the traces of the little boy who had occupied that room for so many years before to get ready for the young man who now lives with us.   ::SNIFF::

So we started with this:

Yeah, I know, it’s a little football clock with a scoreboard. And he? Is only trying to be polite by smirking at the camera. To make matters worse, we had little baseballs, bats, gloves and what not all the way around the room:

And OMG, we had to deal with this:

Disaster zone or 11 year old boys closet?  You decide.

To make it more fun, I put on the 80′s channel….it served a dual purpose, it made me remember my own back to school days and it made him cringe in horror while I danced.   I’ve always thought 80′s music was multifunctional and now I know it to be true.

I tore through every single drawer, every book, every nook, every shoe and approximately 7321 stuffed animals that were crammed into various hiding spots.

We made piles of trash:

That cow clock should really tell you how bad his room was, that was from his first room which was a Cowboys and Indians theme.


Piles of things for donation:

Who says you can’t work a lesson in charity into a hard days labor? Bonus!

And piles of things to give to my nephew Joe:

We called this a “Joevalanche” when the clothes got so high they tumbled over and spread across the floor.

We found things that didn’t fit anymore:

Seriously?  These were a size FIVE.

And we even managed to re-do his bathroom with some nifty finds from Target….all for under $100 too.

Five hours later, his room was clean and befitting of a young man on his way into Junior High. We still need to buy some accessories and wall decorations but that is the fun part, right? Here, take a look at this awesomeness:

Not the perfect way to spend my Saturday to be sure but there is something very cathartic about throwing things away and starting from scratch before the new school year starts.   I picture him dutifully hanging his all clothes in a neat and orderly fashion (color and season coordinated), carefully placing his books on the correct shelves (now labeled:   Book’s I’ve Read, Book’s I Plan To Read, and Books I Keep As A Resource), using the correct towels in his bathroom and not the decorative ones,  making his bed every morning and of course doing his homework in his pristine new room without complaining.

…and you can stop laughing right now, thank you very much.

This post was sponsored by the good people at Target!

Christmas In July


Don’t get the stockings out just yet because Santa isn’t coming.   However, I just received the Best. Gift. Ever.

A friend of mine wants to take both of my little monsters on Saturday night.

She’s crazy.   I even called her to tell her so.   I made sure she knew what she was getting into.   These four have been best buddies since the pre-school years.   Look at how cute they are:

That was the four of them right before the bus arrived on the first day of school this year.

Here’s what you need to know:

The boys?  No problem.  They are of like minds and usually sit around plotting ways to take over the world.     They have devised ponzi schemes involving Pokemon Cards, eleborate plans for lemonade stands on the hottest day of the year in order to capture the thirstiest audience possible, as well as future plans to attend college together and then form “World Domination, Inc.”  wherein one of them will be President and the other CEO…to be determined by a coin flip…because you want to make sure it’s fair, right?   Their friendship has and always will be based on compromise and fairness.

Now, let’s talk about the girls and why my friend is so brave.  Never have you met two such headstrong young women.     Both are smart, both are beautiful (if I do say so myself), and both are very determined little forces of nature.  They are best of friends as well to be sure, but they can clash sometimes.      Such is the nature of strong future women…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So when The Man came home tonight and informed me of this amazing gift I didn’t just grab it and run with it.   I didn’t embrace it.  I feared it and I feared for the sanity of my friend who had offered such an amazing thing.

And then I called her.   These are the questions I asked:

  • Have you lost your mind?
  • Are you totally mad?
  • Do you know what the girls will do to your house?
  • Do you know what the girls will do to each other?
  • Do you swear on your life not to burn my house down at 11:00 pm when Miss G refuses to go to sleep?
  • Do you want my tranquilizer darts?   ( I mean sure they are usually used for wild animals but has she ever seen my Miss G in the throws of a fit?  I have, and I have no fear of dragging it out and taking her down.)

But she assured me she was looking forward to it.  Excited really….thrilled that she will be able to sit on the sofa and watch a movie while the four children occupy themselves.


Okay then, off they go, and The Man and I get to go to the movies or dinner….or whatever….

All that matters is there will be no children in my house after 6:00 pm on Saturday.

Good luck my friend, and remember….I warned you about burning my house down in the middle of the night.

Not that I would blame you.

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