Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pee to Be You and Me

The holidays are over and we are trying to get back to normal. After my Daughter in Law Number #1 noted that our place looks like an episode on Hoarders, we have continued our efforts to empty the extra crap we have from trying to meld two houses into one. It is a painstaking job. Especially in getting George to throw stuff out or sell it.
"Well, what is this big black thing under the bed?" I ask.
"Oh that is my guitar."
I stare at him unblinkingly. "Guitar? You have a guitar? I have known you for 15 years and I never knew you had a guitar? Do you think maybe we could find a new home for it?"
No answer, but the guitar is tucked more firmly under the bed where I cannot see it without getting into  one of those pretzel formations with my body.
Fortunately, Jeff, my son, and I believe in improving our minds when we are together. Our catalyst this year was that his wife ordered asparagus for dinner when we went out.  Of course this started the "Why does asparagus make your pee smell funny?" We found out a lot of interesting facts that you will want to know.

1. Post-asparagus odor has been observed for centuries. French novelist Marcel Proust noted that asparagus transformed his chamber-pot into a perfume flask.

2. A British Men's Club also posted a sign that asked members to restrain themselves during the asparagus season and not relieve themselves in the hat stand. Or hats.

3. In 1891 a scientist convinced 4 men to eat 3.5 pounds of asparagus each and measured the smell, determining that there was a chemical that caused the distinct odor.

4. According to WebMD, the issue is not whether your body generates the smell but if you have the special gene that allows you to smell it.

5. Approximately 22% of people have the ability to smell their own asparagus fumes. As stated in, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in a great work of modern literature, "Love in the Time of Cholera", wrote..."Even when it was not the season for asparagus, it had to be found regardless of cost so that he could take pleasure in the vapors of his own fragrant urine."

Hmm. I wish to thank my daughter-in-law, Shannon, for inspiring me on this journey of pee discovery. I did not ask her if she was a member of the 22% club when she came back from the restroom. But I suspect she may be.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Family Togetherness at Christmas

I love being with my family at Christmas. We truly have time to talk. The last 2 days I have been having my long-missed philosophical discussions with my oldest son, Jeff, who is now 35 years old. He has definite opinions on everything, most of them contrary to mine.

A half hour discussion emerged because I had confessed to him that I have indeed lost our family rubber chicken, which we pass to each other stealthily, each trying not to be the one to end up with R.C. at the end of the visit. Jeff did not believe me that I had misplaced R.C. and thinks it is a red herring to make him feel confident that he will not need to worry about returning to Orlando with a rubber chicken hidden in his underwear.

Substitute Less Desirable Rubber Chicken

Even when I went out and bought a substitute rubber chicken, a less desirable version, at Party City, yesterday he staunchly refused to believe that the other rubber chicken will somehow find its way aboard his vehicle after Christmas.

But that is not all we talked about. When I mentioned that the rubber chicken's feet looked backward, he told me that is what chicken feet look like. We surfed the net for a good 30 minutes looking at real chicken feet and rubber chicken feet. What do you think?

Missing Rubber Chicken (last photo)

Real Chicken Foot

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Last Garage Sale

Today George and I reached a milestone in our marriage. It was the day of our last garage sale...ever. As we trudged around in the afternoon sun, sweating and toiling we became aware that our wages for said garage sale netted us about 5.00 per hour. Plus I had to miss a tutoring session because of utter exhaustion, which would have netted me much more than the garage sale time I put in. 

And the really sad thing is that we appear to have more crap than when we started. We no longer have any pathway in our garage to walk through. So we are starting our process of recycling, giving away, advertising and leaving it on the curb in case someone will come by and take it from our bulk pick-up. 
But here is the good part. The best part of today was the people we met. Neighbors in our community that I now consider as friends. People from the FreeCycle Network online that were just names to me before. And some surprising behavior. 
When George and I have a garage sale, we truly want to get rid of the stuff. We don't want to haggle, we want it out of there, causing us to put some pretty low prices on stuff, even a free section for our fellow FreeCyclers. That was difficult for people. I would say about 5-7 people refused our low prices and insisted on giving us more. We were giving away a little old table that was scarred and of no use to us. Shopper: How much is this table? George: It is one of our free items. Feel free to take it. Shopper: No, really. How much? George: Please take it. You are doing us a favor. Shopper: I am not doing that. Here's 5.00 for the table. And this happened several more times. It was way cool that people wanted to be fair.
But we still don't want any more garage sales!