Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Happy Schadenfreude!

I'm feeling like an idiot. But I'm sharing, because my hero Beth Woolsey has assured me that it's helpful to the people that don't have their poop together, because AT LEAST they didn't do this today. Hear me, momrades, hear me well.

I mean, I'm a smart person, usually. But last night and today, I made some stupid mistakes that could have been serious if something else had gone wrong.

Breaking a glass jar that was holding leftover grease was a simple thing. But it had sat so long it had gone bad. Like - so bad that everyone was asking if the dog had pooped in the house after the jar broke. And the grease got EVERYWHERE. So the clean up was gross, and I was kicking myself for not having thrown it away DAYS ago when I first thought about it. Gag. We even had to pull the oven out to clean where the grease just rolled down between the cabinet and the oven. Pine Sol and 3 rolls of paper towels later, the mess cleared up. (Yes, rags are cheaper, but I didn't want to try washing that smell out of anything!)

Then I went down to add firewood to the wood stove.  The fire was already going pretty well, but we've been trying to cure some mortar in the enclosed porch, so we've been keeping the house hotter than usual to help it dry out faster. So I loaded a bunch of wood in there - hardwood. For the past few weeks, I've been dealing with slightly rotted, slightly damp, non-hardwood. I forgot how HOT hardwood burns. Jake was horrified - it got so hot it could have warped the stove if we weren't careful. That was the potentially dangerous mistake.

Today, we were scheduled to go downtown to the Capitol Building to meet with one of the people responsible for getting the new homeschool law in Pennsylvania passed. Parking in downtown Harrisburg is ugly and expensive, and we're only about 3 miles from the Capitol, so I decided I'd put the boys in the bike, put on the rain cover, and pedal on down. We packed a lunch, a cozy blanket, the diaper bag, we bundled up, and we brought warm cocoa and hot coffee. I had a heavy chain and lock for when we got there, and a full size pump in case of slow leaks.

You know what we didn't bring? A patch kit, a spare tube, or tools. And halfway there we got a flat on one of the front tires.
That one. Only I don't have that blogger reflex of taking pictures of calamities yet, so this is after it was fixed.

After calling a few people (and seriously wondering if AAA worked for bikes), my mother- and father-in-law came to my rescue with a spare tube. Ross Willard from Recycle Bicycle sent a wonderful volunteer to make sure I was OK. 

But I can't keep playing that damsel in distress card. For one thing, it doesn't work as well after 35. But for another, I need to be prepared for this kind of thing. Bike tires go flat all the time, mechanical problems arise, and I need to have a tool kit with me to take care of it. I need to have, at minimum, a patch kit and tools. A few spare tubes would be a good idea, too, and maybe treating them with green slime would keep us rolling in cases like this.

Thankfully the new tube went in just fine, and since we were so late for the event (and we were chilly) we decided to just go home. Tristan was really fussy about sitting still until Daniel started reading to him.

Sorry about the reflective thing around the window there - but you can see they're reading Green Eggs and Ham. Cutest thing ever to hear them reading a book as I pedal.

Selfie in motion.

So, you probably didn't cause your kitchen to smell like dog poop, almost burn your house down, or strand yourself and your kids in cold weather because you neglected to bring $20 in emergency supplies. And to the moms I was supposed to meet - now you know why I didn't show up. Sorry I didn't call - I didn't have the contact numbers with me.

Happy Schadenfreude!


  1. Love it! Graceful writing, and yes, I do feel better. I'm a bike mechanic who once borrowed a 90lb e-assist cargo bike. Know what I did with it? I rode it to the most rural place possible, 20 miles from home, used up the battery, then flatted with zero tools and supplies. The closest help was an ex-girlfriend who was a passenger in a car filled with women on the way to a party. I swallowed pride (took at least 3 swallows for this one) and called

  2. The snipe-y beratement from two of the women (not the driver or the ex) for being a stupid unprepared man and delaying their party arrival was so thick and heavy that I almost cut the rescue ride short, in favor of walking in peace