Browsing Archives for General Lunacy

I believe I may have accidentally stumbled upon one of the secrets to a happy life. I was watching “Remains of the Day” starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, and Christopher Reeves, when it suddenly crystalized in my mind, but before I explain it to you we are going to have to visit my tawdry past.

Back in the olden times, when I was in college, I saw the movie “Mystic Pizza” starring Julia Roberts. I was deeply moved by the film and came to the conclusion that “Mystic Pizza” was the best film ever made and that Julia Roberts was the world’s most talented actress.
Then I went back to my dorm and spent the next two years perfecting the Julia Roberts pouty lip thing, which I am proud to say, I eventually mastered.

Several years later, I saw “Remains of the Day” and I thought it was stupendously boring.
Fast forward twenty odd years – and when I say odd… I do mean odd.

At some recent point in those last twenty years, I rented “Mystic Pizza” to watch again in an attempt to bring back my misspent youth. I was shocked and appalled to discover that Mystic Pizza was not the sweeping romantic epic that I had remembered. Instead, I found it to be silly and spastic and out of control which perfectly matched Julia’s big frizzy hair and her quivering lips. I could not remotely comprehend why I had loved that movie so much.

Then a few days ago, I watched “Remains of the Day” again… and it was wonderful. I was deeply moved and I came to the conclusion that “Remains of the Day” is one of the best movies ever made and also that that Anthony Hopkins is one of the most beautiful people ever made.

Um… well okay… maybe not, but still really a great film and completely opposite of “Mystic Pizza”.

Which makes me wonder if I am completely opposite of myself of 20 years ago?
And if so, how did I do that?
Twenty years ago, I loved nothing more than watching people express themselves passionately in hugely embarrassing ways, while proclaiming their feelings to the universe! These days I love nothing more than watching people who are highly suppressed, seemingly made of stone, barely able to take a deep breath, attempt to communicate without ever displaying an an ounce of emotion.
Well…except for the tray.
In the movie “Remains of the Day” the tray is a symbol of love, respect, friendship, humility, loyalty, care and concern People are always putting things on trays. They put tea on trays, and sandwiches on trays, and crystal decanters of amber alcoholic beverages on trays, and cake on trays, and breakfast on trays, and late night snacks on trays. They even put the newspaper on a tray… but only after they IRON it first!
Something about putting something on a tray… carrying it to someone… placing the tray in front of them and then serving them from the tray… this tray thing… it makes me happy. It makes me want to live my life via a tray. I want to put everything on a tray. I also want everything brought to me on a tray. Please bring me my shoes… on a tray. I need a pencil… please place it on a tray and carry it over here to me. I would love to pet the kitten. Can someone please put her on a tray for me? Darling, could you please bring me the phone… on a tray… not that tray… the other tray… the nice tray… yes… thank you. I would like my breakfast on a tray please… in my room… shut the door when you leave. Shall I bring you that tire iron on a tray dear? Yes, yes I will be happy to bring you a light bulb, but first I need to get a tray. You need me to hold the flashlight while you screw that light fixture into the attic ridge beam? How exactly do you expect me to properly aim a flashlight when I am also balancing this lovely tray of tea and sandwiches? I am going to need you to bring me a tray of two tickets to Paris please. Right now please. I said now. NOW!
Feeling low… put something on a tray. Holidays got you down…. try making some cocoa, placing the mug on a tray and then serving it to yourself. Credit card debt? Uh…. Perhaps a mini-tray to keep your cut-up cards on as a reminder to spend less?
All I know is that a tray makes everything better.
That and having a butler that irons your newspapers for you.

CDW Talkin’ Corn Stove

November 28th, 2008





We have been talking corn stove for two solid hours now.  TWO SOLID HOURS!  I know everything you could possibly know about corn stoves.  Go ahead and ask me.  
ASK ME!!!!

 When we are not talkin’ corn stove.. we are talkin’ “grain comfort”.  If we aren’t talkin’ “grain comfort” we are talking “exotic animal auction”  where you kin git yerself an emu with a broken leg for five dollars.  

Anyone in the market for an emu with a broken leg? 



Did you know that there are “hay stoves” into which you can shove an entire round bale of hay and it will heat your house for a month?  
Clay says he knows of a stove that you can shove an entire elephant into it and it can heat your house for a YEAR! 
If you ever get a wood stove, you want to get you an exterior one, but the “grain comfort” is far better as it burns cleaner than alcohol.  Besides, if you live in Kansas it makes no sense to burn wood, as there are no trees in Kansas.  There aren’t any elephants in Kansas either, so you really want to go “grain comfort”.  
The klinkers from a “grain comfort” are the size of a mouse turd and you don’t even need to vent it.  Stick one in the middle of your living room.  It burns as clean as alcohol.  The klinkers on the “grain comfort” exist but they can’t be seen by the naked human eye.  
Besides, with all that alcohol and all that nakedness, who cares if you are poisoned with carbon monoxide?
The next step is to erect a cinder block building and fill the holes with foam insulation.  Run a series of pipes from the cinder block building to your house and then shove a bale of hay in your living room, pour kerosene on it, set it afire and heat your home for free for a year.  
If the auger is as big as your pinky you are going to struggle, but if it is as big as you “other finger” you can switch over to corn, wheat, or rye which burns like alcohol producing a pile of ash so miraculously small, you will mistake it for invisible mouse turds.  
The only way to get your hay, wheat, corn or rye is to find a farmer who happens to have some laying around that he doesn’t need.  He will give it to you for free.  Then you can heat your house for free.  Pretty much all farmers have extra hay, wheat, corn and rye laying around.  All you have to do is ask.  If they don’t have any hay, wheat, corn or rye, ask for an elephant.  If they don’t have an elephant, ask for an emu with a broken leg.  
Dig a series of underground tunnels that connect the cement hole to your home.  Place an auger in your living room.  A pipe will run across the room from the hole in the wall to the stove in the middle of your living room.  Your wife will hate you forever due to the holes and the obscene, naked, alcohol burning “grain comfort” in the middle of her living room, but who cares?  Did she find the farmer with the free broken leg emu?  I don’t think so.
A pair of mated emus normally cost around twenty thousand dollars, but if you don’t mind an emu with a broken leg, it will only cost you five bucks.  I got mine at the exotic animal auction. Get the ones with the broken legs.  Saves you a bundle that way.  
Whatever you say… say it with authority.  That is all you really need to know about emus, “grain comfort”, klinkers, augers, anything.  If you are forced to take an anger management class someday due to a speeding ticket, you will know you have reached the pinnacle of success.
Socks are the bane of my existence.
A perfect cup of tea is the elixir of life…
And socks are the bane of my existence.
This is the yin and yang of Rechelle.  
Socks and tea.  Tea and socks.  Socks and tea.  
The problem is…
And why is it that some cups of tea are perfect and other cups are merely marginal?
Here is my recipe for a perfect cup of tea that more often than not turns out to be merely marginal.
Heat water in kettle to boil.
Warm cup or tea-pot with hot water. 
Pour out hot water and add new hot water.
Place tea bag in hot water.
Add milk.
Add sugar.
Sometimes don’t add sugar.
Sometimes perfect.
But more often than not…
Merely marginal.
On the other hand…
Socks never cease to torment me.
I have four sons and one husband.  
They go through at least one pair of socks a day, but sometimes two.
This adds up to six katwillion pairs of socks each week to wash, dry, match up and put away.
But some weeks I am far too weak and shaky to do the matching up and the putting away… so sometimes I have two weeks of socks to match up and put away.  And SOMETIMES I have three weeks of socks to match up and put away.  AND SOMETIMES I CAN’T OPEN THE FRONT DOOR BECAUSE IT IS BLOCKED BY A MOUNTAIN OF SOCKS THAT NEED TO BE MATCHED UP AND PUT AWAY.
This is generally when I try to make a perfect cup of tea in which to drown my sorrows, but it usually turns out to be a merely marginal cup of tea.  
It can get worse!
Sometimes to make myself match up all those socks, I will rent a movie and put the mountain of socks in front of me and sprinkled all around me and forming a cushion underneath me and I will use a pile of socks to form a back support and then I will create a tufted foot rest and a set of matching throw pillows and also an area rug… a room sized area rug… made entirely of socks… and finally, I will watch a movie and match all those socks while drinking a merely marginal cup of tea. 
After I match all those socks and drink all that tea,  I have to decide who gets which pair.  This is harder than you might think.  
For one thing – there is the whole size thing.  Jack – my youngest is still pretty easy.  The small socks go in his pile.  But my two middle sons have the same size foot so they can wear the same size socks.  However… in our house we have both crappy, shredded, socks with a sort of perma-crust embedded in the heels that no amount of washing will ever take away… and we also have socks that are spongy and soft and have some valuable trademarks on them that my children prize more highly than any other items in their wardrobe.  It is my job to carefully divide the crap, perma-crust socks and the highly prized logo socks between my two middle boys.  While I am doing the dividing, I often start to wonder if I am being truly fair.  Am I giving Ethan more soft, spongy Nike socks than I am giving Drew?  Why am I doing that?  Does Ethan need more sock love from his mother?  Am I trying to compensate for Ethan’s short-lived babyhood which was ripped away from him at the tender age of eighteen months due to the birth of Drew?  Will giving Ethan more thick, cushiony Under Armor socks really prove to him that I think he is just as special as Drew?   Will Drew grow to hate Ethan because Ethan has two extra pairs of Adidas shortcuts in his sock drawer with no visible stains while he himself has only one pair of Adidas shortcuts and they have tiny holes in both heels?
What about Calder?  He is my oldest son.  He can still wear most of the socks that Drew and Ethan wear, but he can also wear the socks that his dad wears.  How come I give almost all the nice larger socks to Calder, while I tend to give his dad all the crusty pairs?  Is it because I blame my husband for the lack of a female heir?  Where are my little pink girly girl socks?  Where are the socks with the lace trim?  Where are the tights and the leggings and the green and purple argyle socks?  Where are they?  WHERE????
It really would be easier to match up fun floral printed socks and polka dotted socks and socks with little pink cotton balls at the heel.  Trust me, four thousand pairs of white shortcuts that differ only in levels of crustiness and logos causes early senility in mothers.  
See it is happening already!
Look what came to my house this weekend…

A pair of sturdy toddler GIRL legs…

Sporting cute little girl shoes….

And these… these… these undeniable ruffles!

And yes.. white cuffed socks.  

I bet those white cuffed socks are an anomaly in her house.  
While in our house… they rise up like a killer tidal wave.
And I am the only line of defense.