09 October 2010

Mom tells the squirrel story

We lived in that little house out on Santa Rosa Road. Dad and Bernie - Little Bernie [my cousin] somehow caught a squirrel. They brought it in the house and put it in the sink and were going to cut its throat.

– What?

Yes, they were going to kill it and I discovered them.

– For dinner?

Yes, or something. [She throws up her hands.]

But I really let them have it. I was pregnant and when you're pregnant things can really get to you in a different way. I really tore them up. I almost packed my bags. I wasn't meant for that kind of thing. I just knew that wasn't the life for me. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.

My mom was a city girl and my dad was a country boy. Here's a photo of the men in my family on one of the happiest days in their lives:
Pheasant Hunting, San Joaquin valley
Click photo to embiggen.

06 October 2010

Sometimes I just write posts so you can feel better about yourself

I'm the first to admit that I'm not a great housekeeper any kind of housekeeper at all. Ok, let's face it, I'm terrible at housekeeping.

I once told Goon Squad Sarah "I realized that I'm just not interested in housework, so I'm not going to do very much of it."

This means that, when I tell you I'm doing housework? I'm probably reading blog posts. Full disclosure, people.

The thing I did - or didn't do really takes the cake. The lint-covered, fur-lined cake.

My vacuum had not been working well. It is a Sears canister vac and I mostly love it. It has a little powered hand tool that is great for upholstery.

I figured it needed a new belt and a new filter, because it was smelling kind of dusty and leaving little trails of dog fur on the floor. What with one thing an another, it took me a while to face going to the demonic Sears appliance department where Mitch is the only person who knows anything and Mitch isn't speaking to the other employees. When I finally got there, they didn't have any belts and yadayadayada a month (or three) passed.

I finally bought and installed the new belt and filter ALL BY MYSELF I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR AND USE A PHILLIPS-HEAD SCREWDRIVER.

The vacuum still sucked. Or didn't suck, to be more precise. I decided to further disassemble it and take a look.

Oh mah gah, my people. Are you sitting down?

I thought there was a little clog at the base of the tube that connects to the floor cleaner thingy. I took it out on the lawn to shake it out.

Eventually, a 4-foot dirt cylinder emerged like a germ-covered furry dust snake.

The tube that connects the floor cleaner thingy to the hose that leads to the canister had been PACKED FULL of dirt and dog hair and random filth and whatnot.

Sorry I have no photos to prove this. There are some things too horrifying for photos. There aren't many - but this was.

That dusty smell? Yeah, that was dirt flinging itself out of every little seam in my vacuum, trying to escape the fact that my vacuum tube had become a de facto bagless dirt catcher. Except the dirt, instead of being nicely contained, was just kind of hanging out.

I think you must agree that I win at sucking at housework. Just a warning so that you know. If you come over, a Tyvek suit and gloves are advised. Respirator is recommended but optional.

04 October 2010

My Ultimate Family Vacation

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Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.
Not having kids of my own, I don’t have a little family unit to define as mine. When I got assigned to write a post on my ultimate family vacation, it took me back a bit.

I feel lucky to have a family that is not so much defined by blood as by love. It doesn’t matter if someone was born into our family - if they hang around long enough, they get absorbed. Like Annie, the woman who has been vacuuming my folks’ house for the past 20 years. She started having a little sit-down before she got to cleaning. Then a longer sit-down. Then phone calls and visits and Facebook - and she’s one of us now and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Even the ultimate vacation idea is rough for me to narrow down, as I love to travel anywhere. I am happy whenever I wake up somewhere away from home, even if it is just 10 miles away. There’s always something cool to see. I always want to know everything about wherever I am and I'm happiest just wandering around with a camera, checking stuff out.

My travel wish list wraps around the world every which way. The only places I really don’t want to go are caves (ewwwwww) and ski resorts (because I am, as a bred in the bone Southern California girl who thinks snow is something Up With One Shall Not Put)…other than that, I’m packed and ready to go if you give me half an hour.

The idea for an Ultimate Family Vacation took some head scratching, but Dave from Blogography gave me inspiration with his most recent travel adventure.

The whole family. Me. Mom. My sisters and brother. Their spouses. As many of their 8 kids as I could round up. And might as well throw in their steps- and halfs, too. We love them all. And now the great-nieces and -nephews – I think we would be up to about 20-something little ones. And heck, let's grab Annie and her husband, too.

On a boat. A cruise ship, to be precise. If you’re going to have a large, unruly group, it is best to keep them somewhat contained so they can’t wander off, thus the cruise ship.

Watch out, world. The big extended Davis family is heading for the gangplank.

How awesome that would be. I have nieces and nephews who have never met each other. This would give them a chance to know their cousins. They could run around like little maniacs (what else is new?), play, swim and sun while the parents and grandparents got some relaxing in, too.

I think it would be so much fun that it wouldn’t much matter which itinerary we chose, but as long as I am having an impossible fantasy, the 11-night Mediterranean cruise that Dave did sounds awesome. Spain. Tunisia. I can almost feel the warm breezes and smell the spices. And maybe there’s an Armando or Felipe out there with an eye for a certain saucy older American woman…OlĂ©!
Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
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