It’s Spider (Smashing) Season!

You would think that after seven years, my passion for smashing and killing anything and everything even remotely resembling a spider would not come as a surprise to Nathan.  I am deathly afraid of spiders, this he knows.  I insist they all be smashed, vacuumed, and/or flushed down the toilet.  He knows this too.  Yet somehow, I still managed to catch him off guard with my reaction to a spider last night.

As I said, I hate spiders.  They scare me.  A lot.  In elementary school, I watched part of Arachnophobia at my friend Andrea’s house. (Her parents told us we were not allowed to watch it.  Being fourth grade geniuses, we did not listen.)  If that wasn’t enough to scare me sleepless, I then read a “fun fact” in my math book that said the average human eats eight spiders a year in their sleep.  What?!?!  Our old house seemed to be a breeding ground for giant house spiders, and this place is not much better.  The spiders seem to know which nights I am home alone, and choose to come out at that time.  I often spend several minutes staring at the spider in a paralyzed fear before I can work up the courage to get close enough to smash it.

So last night.  I was getting ready for bed, so we both went upstairs.  I walked down the hall and into our bedroom.  A minute later, Nathan walked up and stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the hallway, staring at the wall above the bedroom door.  “How on earth did you miss that spider?” he asked me.

I really had no idea.  Normally I am on pretty high alert for spiders (and also mice and and suspicious neighbors – you have to watch your back around here).  I wondered what I had missed.  In my head, I pictured a spider as big as my fist, and decided it would be best to sit safely on top of my bed while Nathan dealt with The Situation.  “I don’t know, but get rid of it!”

Nathan pulled up a chair, and then grabbed a handful of toilet paper to smash the spider with.  Then he hesitated, and said, “I think I’d rather have a shoe.”

I tossed him a shoe from my closet, and started imagining a spider the size of a small dog.  He doesn’t usually ask for a shoe.  Nathan smashed, and shouted, “No!” as the spider dropped to the carpet and started to scurry away.

This is where I stepped in (and apparently, shocked my husband into a hysterical laughing fit).  I had to do SOMETHING.  It couldn’t get away.  I yelled, “I GOT IT!”, leapt off the bed, and beat the spider to death with the only weapon readily available – my water bottle.

By the time Nathan took the water bottle away from me, the spider was in a million pieces, and he was doubled over and practically crying from laughter.

I’m still not sure what was so funny, but at least I make him laugh.  Maybe Nathan could explain it to you.  He said he thought it was hilarious that I walk around all day with no depth perception, but put a spider in front of me and I suddenly develop a deadly (and unfortunately, only temporary) accuracy.  What can I say?  Different things motivate different people.  I think he should be more impressed with my brave display of courage (maybe present me with some sort of medal or award?), but whatever. 

I do know one thing for sure, though – that spider’s little friends will think twice before venturing out into my hallway.  


Beach Bums

Last weekend, Nathan and I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and take a day trip to the beach.
Now, for some people a day trip to the beach involves a lot of activity –swimming, kite flying, sand castle building, perhaps a walk around the tourist part of town or a trip to the aquarium.  A day trip with us is exactly the opposite.
Our day trips to the beach involve hauling a bunch of junk food, People magazines, and beach towels down South Beach until we are far away from all other people (noisy children and dogs, in particular).  Then we lay out our towels, eat lunch, and take naps – all while wearing several layers of jackets.  Somewhere in there, I usually find time to dip a toe (and sometimes my whole foot!) in the ice bath known as the Pacific.  We really know how to day trip it!
Last weekend was so nice, that the beach actually felt WARM.  Don’t let all our layers fool you.  At one point I actually thought, “I am too hot with all of these jackets on.”  The thought quickly faded, but that’s not the point.  It was warm enough that I even went in to the water up to my knees!  The wind wasn’t too bad either, at least not at first.
Someone who shall remain nameless was a bit of a Crabby Patty after they woke up from their nap to find their entire towel covered in sand.  So, we packed up our stuff and headed north for a little bit of whale watching!
Our first stop was Boiler Bay.  We have seen whales here twice before, so we always make sure to stop by.  We didn’t see any whales last weekend, but it was a beautiful day and the tide was coming in, so we stayed and enjoyed the scenery for a while.
We returned to the car to find a group of seagulls watching it intently.  Perhaps these were the same seagulls who attacked Nathan’s unopened bag of barbecue chips last summer when we went to the beach (a very devastating loss for him), and they could smell his second attempt at barbecue chips in the car?
After we left Boiler Bay, we stopped at one other lookout on our way home.  I am sure it has a name, but we missed the sign, so we decided to name it ourselves – behold our pictures of “Suicide Lookout”.  A lot of the lookouts on the Oregon coast completely fence off any access to rocks and water, but apparently they don’t feel the need to do so at Suicide Lookout.  They’ll let anyone jump, fall, or be blown off the cliffs by the wind.  At least the jumpers can enjoy a good view on the way down!
Yeah, because everyone listens to these signs.
Sadly, there were no whales there either.  But we did enjoy a lovely day!


Adventures In Dry Cleaning

Most people who know me personally know that I am a bit of an airhead.  I am the queen/leading expert on doing dumb things and asking stupid questions.  This personality flaw seems to be a great source of entertainment to my husband, family, and friends; so rather than fighting it, I have just accepted it (also, fighting it doesn’t really seem to do me any good).  But every so often, one of them will “pull a Megan”, and I rather enjoy it when they do.

While doing laundry on Sunday night, I had an enlightening and amusing conversation with Nathan.  He is a very helpful husband, and often offers to throw in a load of laundry or run some clothes through the dryer for me.  More recently, he has even volunteered to run cycles of my dry clean only clothes that I clean at home with Dryel.

So I am throwing a load of laundry into the washing machine on Sunday, and Nathan is standing next to me because we were having a conversation about something.  I had a couple hand-wash tops, so I grabbed my mesh Tide hand-wash delicates bag from next to the washing machine and tossed the tops into it, zipped it up, and threw it in the washing machine.

Nathan gave me a funny look.  “You are putting that bag in the washing machine?  Then what’s that other bag for?”  He pointed at a second smaller bag next the washing machine, which is another mesh Tide bag made specifically for bras.

I replied, “Yes, this goes in the washing machine.  This one is for clothes that are hand-wash only.  The other one goes in the washing machine too, but it is only for bras.”  I wasn’t surprised that he was confused, because I always run the hand-wash clothes myself.

Nathan still looked confused.  “Then what do the Dryel clothes go into?”

“They go in the big bag above the dryer . . .” (cue light bulb going off in my head).  “Wait, have you been dry cleaning my clothes in THIS bag?” 

The answer, as it turns out, was yes. 

I can’t be too upset about it, because my clothes don’t seem to have gotten damaged in any way (although I am not sure how clean they actually may have gotten).  Frankly, I am more impressed that he managed to fit three pairs of pants, a blouse, and sweater into a little mesh bag that was designed to hold 1-2 tops maximum.  And he was only trying to help me.  Believe me, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have a husband who actually offers to help with the laundry.

But it still made for a good laugh.

After we finished laughing about it, Nathan got an apprehensive look on his face.  “You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?”

Yes.  Yes, I am.


Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s day to two very special ladies:


Moms are patient, moms are kind.  Moms love you even when you are being a total brat and aren’t really that deserving of it.  Moms forgive you for your mistakes and cheer you on through all of your accomplishments.  Moms sit through endless track and cross country meets in the rain.  Moms stay up late retyping your fifth grade report on Rhode Island when you accidentally save the bibliography over the top of it.  Moms answer the phone at 2 AM when you call in a panic because you can’t get your smoke detector to stop beeping.  Moms are pretty awesome. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!


Eli Manning Tries To Earn My Forgiveness

Tonight, Eli Manning will be hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time.  And shockingly, I will be watching.

Eli Manning has crushed my dreams not once, but twice.  For this I can never forgive him.  So why am I watching him on SNL, you ask?  For the same reason that I could not bring myself to purchase this shirt:

Because I love Peyton Manning.  Granted, not in the “I love Tom Brady” sort of way.  But because he is one of the classiest guys in sports, honest & hard working, and flat out HILARIOUS.  His episode of SNL is probably one of my favorites.  See the proof:

Peyton Manning For United Way skit on Saturday Night Live via ebaumsworld.com

Out of respect for Peyton, I could not buy the shirt.  And out of respect for Peyton, I am watching Eli on SNL.  If Eli is half as funny as his big brother, he will be worth watching.  (I assume he must be at least a little funny, otherwise why else would he have all those commercials?  They can’t all be because of Peyton.)  If he is REALLY funny, he may even drop a few spots on the Enemies List.   

Have a good weekend, and whatever you do, I hope you get some laughs in too.


The Truth About Happiness

I was Pinterest-ing earlier this week and stumbled across this quote pinned by one of my friends (via bettermess.com):

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

The truth of this phrase really hit home for me.  I know it to be true because I see it happen in life. 

Right now, a close family friend is battling health issues.  We consider he and his wife to be our “adopted” third set of grandparents.  Anyway, he is going to be 97 years old in a couple weeks, and has spent the last several months in and out of the hospital and nursing rehab facilities, when really he just wants to be at home.  The situation is frustrating for him, and he has more free time on his hands then he knows what to do with.  Instead of sitting around being miserable, he has decided to make something productive come out of this time.  He has been writing his memoirs, starting with narratives about his brothers, sisters, and parents.  This is something that his family and children have wanted him to do for a long time.  He has been using his free time to write his stories, and then he gives them to me to type up.  I return them to him so that he can edit them and send them on to his family members for them to review and add their own memories.  It helps him occupy his day, and it has been a treat for me to read his stories and type them up for him.  I admire him so much – instead of letting the struggles in life get him down, he is finding a way to make the best of it and remain in good spirits.

I try hard to be a positive, glass-half-full kind of person.  Occasionally I go a little overboard.  Nathan has called me an eternal optimist on multiple occasions.  I believe in happy endings, both in movies and in life.  I tend to avoid negative people, because they bring me down.  I once worked with a fairly pessimistic person, and came to realize that their attitude really had an effect on my days at work.  So every time they said something negative, I would counteract it by saying something positive about the situation.  I think I drove them crazy.  But it helped me keep my own sanity.

Yet I still have times when I focus on the negatives.  The things that I can’t change, the personal goals I haven’t accomplished, the to-do lists at home that I make in my head but never get done.  The “fat days”, bad hair days, or terrifying breakout days.  The people in life who I have lost and miss.  Every once in a while, I need a little jolt to remind me that true happiness comes when I count the blessings that I already have.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful family.  A supportive husband who loves me (even on a day like last Sunday, when the stars aligned and said fat day, breakout day, and bad hair day all occur on ONE day, leading to a major meltdown on my part).  I am blessed to be healthy, employed, and have a roof over my head.  I have food in my house, clothes in my closest, and money in my bank account.  My hair may be frizzy and voluminous, but at least I will make a fantastic extra in a movie about the eighties.

The happiest people count their blessings and don’t take them for granted.  I count myself lucky that I have people in my life to remind me about this and show me it is true. 


The One Where Jill Gets Me Lost

Last weekend, Nathan and I had to go to Salem to volunteer at a track meet.  In an attempt to avoid getting carsick, I volunteered to drive.  That meant Nathan was in charge of Jill.


Disclaimer:  Nathan hates Jill.  So does my mom.  I always thought they were just jealous of her (and therefore, my) superior navigational skills.  Until Saturday.

I had Nathan set Jill’s destination to the University of Willamette, where we were heading, and away we went.  I basically have no idea how to get anywhere in Salem (besides Michael’s Crafts, of course), so I was fully dependent on Jill.

I am driving along, minding my own business, when I realize that Jill says I am driving 10 miles an hour slower than my speedometer.  My speedometer says I am going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit.  I am getting passed by everyone, so who the heck really knows?  “Stop paying attention to your GPS and just drive,” instructed my husband.  So I did.

Jill got me off of the freeway just fine, but this weird thing happened as I took the off ramp.  Jill got confused, and seemed to be several hundred yards behind my car’s actual location.  Nathan checked to see what was wrong, and found that Jill was not showing any satellite signal.  Which was strange, since she was still managing to shout directions at me. 

He reset her, and we got going again.  Or so we thought.  Apparently Jill had another brain malfunction, and this time got way AHEAD of us.  She was telling me to turn several blocks before the actual turn.  I was trying to remember all the directions she was giving me so that I could make the turns when I actually got there.  If you have ever gone anywhere in a car with me, then you realize how difficult this is for someone as directionally challenged as myself.

Did I mention that Nathan hates Jill? 

So right about the time that we start driving past the Willamette University buildings, and I start wondering where the heck the track is, I remember that Jill doesn’t take you to the track if your destination is Willamette University.  I actually learned this getting lost on the way there last year, but magically forgot. 

I have Nathan reset the destination to the city park that is right next to the track, but by that time I have entered downtown Salem.  And the one way streets.  And road construction.  And this conversation ensued:

Me (panicking): “I think I’m lost.  I have no idea where I am.  Where do I go?”

Nathan: “Jill’s still thinking.”

Me (panicking more): "I don’t know what to do!  Now we are really entering downtown, this is definitely not the right way.  Should I go straight or turn?”

Nathan: “Turn.”

I turn.  Then I drive some, and make a few other turns.  I was attempting to make a large circle while Jill thought, but thanks to the stupid one ways and random closed roads, ended up somewhere completely different.  I began approaching the end of a street where I had no option except turning left or right.

Me (full on panic mode): “OK, now I really have no idea where I am.  I am totally lost.  We are going to be late!  What do I do?”

Nathan: “Stop.”

Right, I can stop and wait while Jill gets her act together!  Why didn’t I think of that?  I see a McDonalds to my right, and that seems like a perfect place to stop, so I turn right and head towards them.

Nathan: "You just ran a stop sign!”

For the record?  I blame Jill.  The least she could have done during all her useless babbling was mention the stop sign.  Thanks to her, I had to explain to my husband that I didn’t stop because I didn’t SEE any stop signs.  Shockingly, he didn’t seem to think that was a very good reason.

We learned three very important things that day.  One, a basic word such as “stop” can have a very different meaning to different people.  Two, apparently I disregard all the rules of the road when I get lost or panicked.  And three, your spouse doesn’t appreciate bad driving any more than your parents do.

Needless to say, Nathan drove the car home.  And managed to get out of Salem without Jill’s assistance, even though I gave him my own version of directions which took us (shocker) in the completely wrong direction.

SCORE: Husband, 5.  Jill, 0.  Megan, –10.