My Special Circumstances (for Today)

My Special Circumstances (For Today) at

Monday morning, my husband drank his coffee out of a cereal bowl.

To be fair (to my slob self), our cereal bowls do have handles and could technically be called really big mugs.

But still . . .

I hadn’t washed dishes since last Friday.

I know. I KNOW I have to do dishes. I KNOW it is the habit upon which the state of my home balances.

I totally know.

But y’all, I had special circumstances.

Unique circumstances. (I would love to say really unique, but there’s no such thing. Unique is unique, so degrees of uniqueness aren’t possible. That’s your language lesson for the day week month year.)

I have ants.

Ants everywhere.

Ants marching in lines across my cabinets. No matter what I do, no matter what I scrub or block or remove, the ants keep doing their ant thing in my kitchen.

So I’ve been avoiding my sink. Belly up the sink and you’re guaranteed to find an ant crawling on your shirt or your arm or your NECK very soon.


But guess what happens when special circumstances keep me from doing my dishes?

1. We run out of clean dishes.

2. My kitchen gets really messy.

3. My husband drinks his coffee from a cereal bowl. (A cereal bowl with a handle . . . but still.)

Reality doesn’t stop because of my special circumstances.

While special circumstances may keep me from doing what I need to do, the results of me not doing what I need to do still happen.

Results have no pity.


But really, though, I’m the Queen of Identifying Special Circumstances That Justify Avoiding Tasks I Didn’t Really Want to Do Anyway.

So Monday morning, I used the last of my cinnamon in a desperate attempt to get the blankety-blank ants to stay away from the point where my belly meets the sink.

It kind of worked. A few fewer ants made it onto my t-shirt. My cinnamon-stained t-shirt.

What special circumstances are you facing that keep you from doing the things that have to be done, no matter the circumstances?

Podcast listeners click here.

Oh, and if you want to know how to pronounce “blehalalala” just click the play button below to hear this post in audio form.


Every Excuse Has a Shelf Life

VERY messy microwave at

A few weeks ago, it took forEVER to clean the house for our weekly church home group meeting on a Sunday night. This was because the meeting hadn’t been weekly for several weeks due to weather-related-cancellation and spring break and such.

Right. I’m saying that even though my house is infinitely more livable than it was pre-blog, and even though I’ve figured out how to keep the kitchen and living areas under control, I still let things go waaayyyy too far when life is crazy and there are no impending doorbells for an extended period of time.

Anyway . . . as I worked in the kitchen, I actually thought something like this: “I’m going to count on the fact that no one will need to use my microwave tonight. Surely, there will be no reason for anyone to look in there . . . ”

Even though people often bring food. And people occasionally need to use my microwave.

It was a gamble, and I lost.

Sure enough, the evening’s chef encouraged people to microwave if needed.

So I began nonchalantaly blabbing about my hideous microwave. As I tend to do.

“Did you know spinach explodes?” I said.

I just didn’t mention how long ago our spinach had exploded.

People were understanding and allowed me to do any microwaving needed so I could keep them from seeing the green-leafy hideousness.

And then the next Sunday afternoon, as I did MUCH less cleaning since I was only working to recover from a single nowhere-near-as-crazy week between doorbells, I happened to notice my microwave again.

Equally as green-and-leafy as the week before. It hadn’t bothered me one single time during the week between. So I cleaned it. I microwaved a bowl of water with a squirt of lemon juice in it and began scrubbing. In just a few moments it looked like this:


Far from perfect but oh-so-much better. (It will never be beautiful again after a certain child hit 14:55 instead of 1:45 when making popcorn a few years back!)

But this post really isn’t about how quickly I can clean my microwave once I get after it, it’s about how my motivation was that I couldn’t pull off the same excuse two weeks in a row.

People are willing to laugh about how messy your microwave is, but the second week it’s not as funny. And that second week, you can no longer hope people will assume that it just happened a few days ago and not a few weeks ago.


Every Excuse Has a Shelf Life pin at


Extras. And Back-Up Plans

Extras. And Back-Up Plans at

So do you know what was totally annoying me back in December?

Every single time I drove my spare Suburban, I got totally freaked out because we never reset the clock when the time changed.

You know how that is, right?


Not really?

Perhaps I should explain the “spare Suburban” thing.  No, we’re not so filthy rich that we have an extra vehicle sitting around.

In September, we bought a “new” Suburban.  We got it quickly, because when you find a decade-old car in great condition you jump on it.  Right around the same time (before we’d listed our ’97 Suburban  for sale), we were having some more estimates done on our foundation.  One of the guys remarked on our obvious love of Suburbans (y’know . . . since we had TWO) and to make a long story short, that Suburban became part of the negotiations and was traded for a portion of our foundation work.

So we still had it until early December, when the work was complete.

In the week-or-so before we handed it over, I went through a period of Extreme Scatter-Brainedness.

Yep, when Tunnel Vision hits me, keys are usually the first things to be lost.

But if there’s anything I love . . . it’s having a back-up plan.

This is one of the reasons why we generally do not EVER know where both keys for any one vehicle are at a time.

Finding the ONE set of keys is crucial.  Non-negotiable.  It’s a have-to.  But if a set is lost and there’s another set hanging right there on the key hook by the back door?

Why stress???

Grab that EXTRA set and go!  And never again think about the second set and where in the world it might be.

Which means that the “spare” set only ever gets found at random times like when I’m decluttering a junk drawer or moving furniture or checking an old purse before I stuff it into a Donate Box.

It’s the reason I love a new 32-ponytail-holder package.  For at least 32 days, I don’t have to search for a ponytail holder.  I just grab one off of the handy-dandy cardboard holder.

WHY would I waste time looking for the one I randomly pulled off yesterday (by my bed, near the couch, wherever) when there’s one right in front of me?

This is a source of frustration for my husband.  While I do NOT see the point of stopping to look for something when another perfectly good version of it is in front of me, he seems to think that lost things should be found.

Simply because they’re lost.

(I know he’s right.)

It’s our two different versions of practicality.

Me: I simply don’t have the time to waste looking for something that doesn’t ABSOLUTELY have to be found right at this very second.

Him: People should know where their keys are.  Both sets.  If we don’t find them now, when we REALLY need them (like if when the other set gets lost . . . ) we’ll be in bad shape.

And have to drive the “extra” vehicle.

Except that other than those twoish months this past fall, we don’t have an “extra” vehicle.

Fine.  I guess he does have a point.

Extras. And Back-Up Plans pin at


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