31 March 2013


While Ohio State and Michigan fight for spots in the Final Four, I am experiencing my own version of March Madness in my house. Since we returned from PNG, Paul has gone crazy with his “make a list and get everything done right now so that it can just be done” mentality. I nearly freaked out yesterday.

We had been making a list of the things we needed to do for the last week but some of that depended upon where we would be living, so we hadn’t really done anything that we need to do to prepare for two big moves. Thursday evening we returned home in time for bed.

Friday morning, at some point, Paul turned on the television and noticed that the cable box had not activated. He went to the entertainment center to investigate. After a few minutes of prodding, pulling plugs and playing with switches, he determined that the plug leading to the cable box had died so he decided to go to StarHub in search of a replacement.

I was awfully sick, having woken at 5:30 with what I called the wrath of PNG and what Paul referred to as PNG withdrawal, so at the time I had absolutely no care in the world for television. Let’s just say that in 10+ years, Paul had never seen me like that, he was amazing and that he definitely earned his “in sickness and in health” badge.

He returned with a smile on his face. “I cancelled our service!” he said. “And the land line.” I laughed. “What?”

“Well, I went in and I explained to the guy that this part was broken and then I asked for a replacement. He told me that our cable box was an old model that they no longer serviced so we needed to pay to upgrade to a new box. So I told him to just cancel our service and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. So then I said, ‘While you’re at it, cancel our land line as well. I am going to hang on to the Internet for another week but then I will be canceling that, too.’ Haha. You should have seen his face.”

Once he returned, he morphed into the handyman as quickly as Superman changed his clothes. He began banging on the sink with a hammer as he attempted to dislodge the water filter that I had so amazingly attached two years prior. Apparently I put it on there pretty tight because it took well over five minutes and a few tools to get it loose.

The next thing I knew he was cutting the power to the house and fixing our doorbell. That was funny. He shut off a few breakers – the ones controlling the front of the house – and he walked outside. He removed the doorbell cover, attached a couple wires and the doorbell started sounding.

“Hey! Nice work,” I shouted. That doorbell has been broken for well over a year.

He pushed open the large wood door and popped his head into the living room. “Was that our doorbell?”

”Uh, yes.”

”Oh. The funny thing is, I thought I shut off the power out here.” And he came back inside and shut off the power to the entire house.

He walked back outside and again I heard the doorbell going off. He came back inside. “Well, I guess it’s on a separate breaker altogether.” I heard clicking associated with restoring power to the entire house and again playing around with breaker switches to figure out which one controlled the dinger.

He eventually gave up and decided that the bell switch was broken. “I’m off again to get a new doorbell and an attachment for the sink. I’ll be back!”

This was weird.

He returned with what he needed and, indeed, restored the doorbell and the sink to normal operations. I was proud of my handyman.

Saturday I was feeling better so Paul decided it was on! Target one: moving companies. Paul called no less than six companies in such a rush that if they didn’t answer, he didn’t call back. He immediately booked three same-day appointments, one for Monday and one for Tuesday, which he stated he would likely cancel because it was too late.

I looked at the clock and noted that it was 10 a.m. and the first guy was slated to arrive at 10:30, so I jumped in the shower, annoyed. The first guy was late; he arrived about five minutes before the second guy so it was obvious we were shopping for the best deal.

While these appointments were getting sorted, Paul arranged for the aic con service men to come that afternoon as well and I contacted the Salvation Army to see if they would be willing to pick up all of our living room furniture.

We took a break for lunch to head to the bank to discuss our accounts but the line was too long so we went to Subway and then I headed to the grocery while Paul went home to meet the air con guys and another moving company representative, scheduled for the same time.

I popped into my favorite neighborhood butcher to see if any Sunday dinner ideas popped into my head and all of a sudden I realized the next day was Easter Sunday. OMG I can’t believe the entire week disappeared. I was supposed to make baskets and dye eggs with Nicola. If tomorrow is Easter then I have to make lamb! Where’s the lamb?

I saw the lamb. The legs were more than $70 so I opted for the cheaper option and got two smaller leg chunks without the bone. I know, bone in is better but Paul won’t have a paycheck for two months so I thought I would be a little cost conscious.

As I was purchasing the lamb, I called Nicola. “You’re coming over for Easter dinner tomorrow.” I didn’t even ask. “O.K.,” she replied. “I’m going to go so that I don’t tell you anything I’m not supposed to,” and she hung up. She was planning my surprise party that had already been foiled by both Nicola and my husband the day earlier.

Once finished with the butcher, I had to figure out what else I would be serving besides lamb. We had been in PNG since Monday and then I was sick Friday so I hadn’t even thought about an Easter menu. Potatoes and they all love broccoli…..Appetizer? What could I do? Should I even make one? What about dessert? I won’t lie, I stood in the baking aisle looking at the boxed stuff for inspiration – I was that desperate.

I had chocolate stuff at home, not a lot of flour. Heck, now that I write this, I don’t even know if I have enough sugar. Thank GOD, I just found some hiding in the cupboard! O.K., O.K. I am in a calm place of zen, right Nic?

I finally determined that I did not need appetizers, I would make a salad. People could hate me later. The dessert would be a springy lemon cake with a buttercream icing. Simple, light and oh so delicious.

I returned home, only forgetting two things on my list, and got the kitchen sorted. Nic wanted to meet me at 4 for mani-pedis so I had less than two hours to do what I needed to do at home, shower and make myself beautiful for my party because I was informed that I would not have time to come home and shower after. Yes, as it turns out, I would have.

So I dropped the cake idea thinking I could do that before church and I decided to just do the eggs without Nicola. After washing and placing a dozen eggs in a pot to boil, I heard the dreaded popping sound. I knew that I should have placed the eggs in a muffin tin in the oven but I thought that would take too long so I went with the traditional method. And I got six eggs out of 10 (we don’t get eggs by the dozen here, I don’t know why).

I followed the instructions on the dye kit and hurriedly dyed my six eggs. I tossed them into the fridge and jumped into the shower.

Paul has told me that I am not allowed to make any plans on Monday or Tuesday because he is leaving Tuesday and we still have a lot to do. We are going to attempt to do the bank thing again today or tomorrow. Monday we will be at the doctor for Paul’s work physical and to see if I need to do anything in the next week or if my April follow-ups can wait until June.

We have submitted forms to the Salvation Army for our donation of a living room set that’s not even close to a set and to the curtain cleaning people because according to our lease we must have eight sets of curtains – priced by the kilo mind you – dry cleaned and replaced before we move out.

We have to cancel all of our accounts, which I leave to Paul because I don’t know a single one of them. We need the handyman we called to fix an interior door to come back this week with the missing part. I need to submit some work expenses. Paul has a final meeting with his boss. And then Paul leaves Tuesday, leaving me to deal with the dirty work. Paul leaves in three days. Crazy.

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