Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The one where I have a nighttime visitor...

Okay, so remember the last post where I had to interrupt my movie and walk through the dark, scary woods dodging werewolves? Well, you'd think a girl would get a break after that, wouldn't you? Nope.

I finally make it back to the couch and turn my movie back on. I get settled in all comfy and start enjoying the movie. Then the weird noises start. Let's remember I'm already on edge. Well, a couple of times I thought I heard a door open, like one of the inside doors, maybe to Mike's office, and I figure it's just Sean getting home from Scouts. Except  I didn't hear his car pull up or the outer door open. And each time I get up to check-- no one is there. So I tell myself it's just the cats pawing at the door to the downstairs because they don't like being shut down there at night.

Then I hear a scratching at the back door. And I figure it's just our outside cat, wanting to come in. So I try to ignore it. Then it becomes a frantic, scratching, loud noise. So I get off the couch and walk to the back door. The kitchen is pretty dark, only the light over the stove is on and it's dark outside. It sounds like the stupid cat got itself stuck between the screen and the door. So I open the door. (You were all screaming at your screens, yelling, "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!" weren't you?)

 Well, I did. I looked down at the animal at my feet and, in the time it took me to realize that it was not my black and white cat, it took my measure and darted between my legs, racing through the kitchen.

"Holy shit! There's a raccoon in my house." That's what came out of my mouth. Luckily, the raccoon had pretty much trapped itself in the hallway. The outside door was shut, the downstairs door was shut, Mike's office door was shut, and I threw the baby gate up to keep it out of the kitchen. So I hop the baby gate, walk into the dark hallway and flip on the lights. The raccoon has climbed the door frame so it's eye level with me and I'm only a foot away from it. I'm not sure who was more freaked out, me or the raccoon.

Me: Shhh. It's okay little guy (little guy? This thing was bigger than my biggest cat and he's huge.) I'm not going to hurt you, okay? Let's just figure out how we can get you back inside.

So I run to the phone.

Sean: Hello?

Me: Where are you?

Sean: On the gravel, almost home. Why?

Me: There's a raccoon in the house!

Him: Shit! Okay. I'm almost there. Stay away from it, those things are vicious.

Me: I've got it trapped in the hallway.

So he hangs up. I go into the kitchen to look for some food and grab a piece of cheese. (Don't even ask why that was what I grabbed) And I take the cheese to the raccoon and kind of wave it in front of him. Then I tear it into pieces and make a trail from where he is around the corner and to Mike's office, thinking if I get him that far I can open the door and shoo him out. Then I climb up on Mike's desk to wait. No movement from the raccoon.

Sean comes busting through the door and says,

Sean: Where is it?

Me: around the corner on top of the door frame.

Sean: Do you know how it got in?

Me: Um. Well, yeah. It knocked and I let it in.

Sean: *giving me his patented "you're the stupidest person on the face of the planet look"* You let it in?

Me: Um. Yeah. I thought it was the cat.

Sean: It doesn't look anything like the cat.

Me: It was dark!

So he starts to walk around the corner.

Sean: Holy hell, what happened to your cheese? It's all over the place!

Me: I was trying to lure the raccoon.

Sean: With cheese?

Me: It's in the rodent family, right?

*again with the look*

Sean: Get in the kitchen.

He opens both doors to Mike's office. And gets a broom from my pantry. I hop the baby gate into the kitchen.

Me: What are you going to do?

Sean: I'm going to knock it off the door frame and chase it outside.

Me: You can't knock it down! It'll get hurt.

Sean: No it won't. They're like cats, it'll land on it's feet.

And then he yells, "HUZZAH!" And he knocks down the raccoon, chases it through Mike's office with the broom, hitting it in the butt, and onto the steps, where he does some crazy victory dance.

Me: Well, I don't think we have to worry about him coming back. He's probably telling all his buddies not to go to the big house. That crazy lady tried to feed him cheese.

Sean: No. Now it's going to be like a right of passage for all the teenage raccoons. Dare you to go up to the house and scratch at the door! And then they'll run away.

Me: F*ck. I'll constantly be opening the door and nothing will be there.

The movie? Oh yeah. I finished it the next day. And while this happening was hilarious, the raccoon party on my deck the next night was not. They dug through all of my pots and threw dirt everywhere. Thankfully, I'm such a procrastinator that I hadn't even planted anything yet. (Go me!) They also managed to knock over a garbage can and get the garbage everywhere. So I had to go get a tough one, with a strong lid and bungee cords to hold it down. And I'll fix their "pot" parties. I've got a topsy turvy planter. Take that, raccoons!

Moral of the story? That's not always opportunity knocking on your door. Sometimes it's local wildlife.


Friday, June 8, 2012

The one about werewolves and corndogs...

<----These kind of werewolves. Not these kind of werewolves--->

I know. Right now you're sitting there wondering what the french toast werewolves and corn dogs have to do with each other. Don't get ahead of yourself. All shall be revealed.

So Mike left Sunday night for Camp Eastman. They're doing a new joint crew week this year and he and Phil ended up being the crew weeks two deep leadership. In non-Scout speak: Mike had to go hang out with the ranger at the other camp and watch over the 8 boys who had come up for crew week. They'd spend half their week up there and half their week down here, doing projects for both camps and then having some fun time too. I'm used to Mike being gone a lot so I didn't figure it was a big deal. Except that, inevitably, the weird shit always happens when he's not here to deal with it. Like the time the limescale remover that he told me to put in my dishwasher actually ate the dishwasher and turned my kitchen into a lake. Or how he left me the first week we moved out here and being a city girl, I'd never heard coyotes. I nearly wet myself in fear. But it's whatevs. He's got a job to do.

So I'm sitting alone Monday evening. Sean is at a scout meeting and Mo & Dylan have just gone to bed. I fire up the DVR to watch a Lifetime movie (don't judge, it was about an artist who talked to an imaginary friend), and I'm maybe twenty minutes in when the phone rings. It's Mike.

Mike: Sorry. I know the baby is in bed. But is Sean there?

Me: It's Monday night. He's never home on Monday nights. (you'd think the man could get this schedule down. Sean's only had scouts on Monday nights for the last like 9 years.)

Mike: Shit.

Me: What do you need?

Mike: I needed him to go down and unlock the Cook's Cabin.

Me: Why?

Mike: The DE who was going to move in last week just called to see if I'd unlock it, but I told him I was up here. So he said he'd stay in Polar Bear as originally planned, but I think I locked it when NYLT left this weekend.

Me: Okay. I'll go down and unlock it. Which key is it?

Mike: You'll have to check that yellow sheet and find it.

Me: What yellow sheet?

Mike: The one on my desk. Or maybe the other desk. It's there somewhere.

Me: It's on top the printer. Alright, got the key. Do you have a flashlight somewhere? It's hella dark out there.

Mike: Um, somewhere. But the outside lights on the cabin and dining  hall are on so you should be okay.

So I go out and get in the car and drive down to the parking lot, where I find the gate closed and locked. At this point, I have two options. I can drive back to the house, call Mike and try to find the key to the gate, or I can just walk the rest of the way to the Cook's Cabin and unlock the door. I figure walking will be faster. Its about five feet into my walk that I realize it really is hella dark out. And I'm alone in camp. And there are dark woods everywhere. First, I start to wonder if coyotes or raccoons ever attack people. Then I start to worry about snakes. Then, as I'm passing the health lodge, there's a large commotion behind it, and I can make out the bushes shaking fiercely. Then I start to think about werewolves (again, no judging! I watched Teen Wolf that night). Then I speed up my pace and keep glancing over my shoulder. Then it dawns on me that is EXACTLY what people in horror movies do just before something really bad happens to them! CRAP. So I hurry to the safety of the lights of the dining hall, cross to cook's cabin to find...the damn door is already unlocked. WTF?

So I turn around and start the trip back to my car. I'm still uneasy and glancing around nervously. I mean, I have to walk right past the health lodge again. And by now, it's dawned on me that if a werewolf sees me, I probably look like a corn dog to him. I'm plump, juicy, awkward and slow. Might as well be meat on a stick. Yep, I'm the fair food of the werewolf diet. Fabulous.

I'm now also slightly pissed off. I made a wasted trek through the scary, dark woods at night. I get home and call Mike back.

Me: So the gate's locked.

Mike: No it's not. It's just dummy locked to make it look locked.

Me: Well I couldn't get it open.

Mike: Yeah you have to blah...blah...blah.

Me: Don't you think that would have been pertinent information to give me before I went down there?

Mike: oh, um, yeah?

Me: *Dramatic pause for effect* The damn cabin was already unlocked! I walked, WALKED through the dark to the cabin for you and it was already unlocked. You're lucky werewolves didn't eat me.

Mike: I was afraid of that. Wait? What? Werewolves?

Me: You thought the cabin might be unlocked and you didn't even tell me that? Do you know what I look like to a werewolf?? A corn dog, that's what!!

Mike: *laughing* A corn dog? *more laughter*

Me: You owe me big time, mister!

Mike: *still laughing* Okay,  pumpkin. I love you.

And the best part? That was only the beginning of the night of weird shit. I'll write about the rest of my evening later. And no, I never did get to finish the damn movie.

Stay away from werewolves and dark woods,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The one where I set the toaster on fire...

So I was going to go with Lu's plan to save the economy, but then we had a toaster catastrophe. And me blogging about it might save lives. Which would make me a hero. And heroes are awesome. Which makes me = awesome.

It started out like a typical Friday morning. I got up, stumbled to the kitchen for some coffee. I decided to eat some raspberry pop-tarts. I'd actually bought them for CJ's visit because he really likes raspberry pop-tarts, but then he didn't eat any while he was here, so I thought I would. Well, turns out they were the last two in the box. Who ate them, you ask. I'll give you two guesses and his name starts with "M" and ends with "ike." I was glad I was going to at least get these ones since after that they'd be all gone.

So I put the pop-tarts in the toaster and pushed down the little knob thingy that drops them down in there and causes the wires to heat up. (Does anyone even know what that knob thingy is called??) And then I went into the living room to talk to Sean because he'd gotten home after I fell asleep the night before. I figured I'd hear the toaster pop back up. So we talked. And after a while I realized that the toaster was taking a really long time to warm up two pop-tarts, so I walked around the corner into the kitchen.

There was smoke rolling out of the toaster. I knew my pop-tarts were probably black and I was slightly annoyed. But as I got closer to the counter, flames started to shoot out of the toaster. Did I mention that the toaster was sitting under my wooden cabinets?! I'm not going to lie- I started freaking out. I rushed over. I knew I couldn't just dump water on it (because toasters are electrical appliances, duh). So I wanted to unplug it, but I couldn't remember which cord went to the toaster and which went to the coffee pot beside it. So I freaked a little. And then I hollered.

Me: Sean!! The toaster is on fire! Help!

Lu: *walking down the hallway, sees the kitchen* Holy shit! The toaster's really on fire!

Me: That's what I said!

Sean: *strolling leisurely (and I do mean leisurely) into the kitchen* Wow. The toaster is on fire.

Me: Did you think I was making it up?!

Sean: Unplug it.

Me: *yanking out both plugs, because really, why does it matter if I unplug the coffee pot too?*

Sean: *picks up the flaming toaster* I'm gonna need you to get the door. *I open the door and he walks out onto the deck, down the stairs and sets the flaming toaster in the wet grass calm as can be* I'm going to need a glass of water.

Me: *running back inside for water. I come back out and he's casually lighting his cigarette off the flames still pouring out of the toaster* Here!

End of story: He dumps water on the toaster and the fire is put out. My poor pop-tarts (the last ones of their kind) are lumps of charcoal, not to mention soaking wet.

When I asked both kids about their startling lack of urgency when I shouted, "the toaster's on fire," they told me they figured maybe a crumb in the bottom was smoking, but that they didn't really expect flames. Apparently, the panic in my voice wasn't enough of a clue.

In case you're wondering, the cabinets were fine. Not even a burn mark or anything on the underside. Sean's calm demeanor and quick thinking saved the day. And the smoke wasn't that hard to get out of the house.

And we do have a fire extinguisher in our house. It was conveniently located about two feet from the flaming toaster, in the pantry. If the cabinets had caught fire we would have been forced to use it, but those things are messy and slightly toxic. I'm glad it didn't come to that.

Did I mention my house has wooden siding? Did I mention that I'm petrified of fire? (I'm going to blame villagers with flaming torches and pitchforks in a past life for that one.) So it was a mere toaster catastrophe, but it could have been worse.

Do you know what it says on the Pop-Tarts website in big bold red letters? This:
Due to possible risk of fire, never leave your toasting appliance or microwave unattended

Who knew?! Well, now we all do.