Save It for a Rainy Day

It was autumn, and I live in the boonies in Washington State. This means many things, one of which is that I can expect the power to go out from time to time. Trees fall. That’s just the way it is.

About a month ago came the first really windy storm of the year. The kind where all the fall leaves were blown off the trees in 48 hours, it rained sideways, and it sounded like there were little gnomes with tiny hammers whooping it up by banging on the roof and dancing gnome jigs in their tiny pointed gnome shoes in a drunken gnome stupor, like they so often do.


Though it might seem like a power outage is an opportunity for a quaint evening home with the little ones by the hearth making jiffy pop, there is seldom a good time for the power to go out (while cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, finishing up a big work project in the home office at midnight, doing laundry for the first time in over a week, or watching The Real Housewives – all were bad). However, this last episode’s unfortunate power outage timing might just take the cake.Image

I had the day to myself, which is a rare bird when you’re a mom of two little kids. I had fancy grownup dinner plans with my ladies in a place where people wear heels and shiny things. Naturally, to balance out the forthcoming fanciness, I was spending all day in a pink fuzzy robe and old plaid pajamas with holes in them, drinking right out of the carton, and reading a stack of my beloved science magazines.Image

I had budgeted just the right amount of time to leisurely get fancified and get out of the door on time to meet my friends, and I’d be damned if I was going to unslack any time before I had to.

And then….power OUT. I’ll wait it out for a while. Still OUT.

Knowing that the water that was already heated was still in the system, I decided I better take a shower before it cools off. This is what I’d done in similar situations at prior homes, and it worked fine. I knew how to conserve water in a shower. Get wet. Turn off water. Soap up. Turn on water. Rinse off. FINITO.

Let’s do this thing.

So, I hopped in the shower and quickly got wet, then turned off the water. I put shampoo in my hair, cleanser on my face, and soap everywhere else. I turned the knob to turn the water back on. NADA. WHAT? Off again then on again. NOTHING. What? The? Hell?

The shampoo was dripping down into my eyes and I was making a soap puddle over my feet.

Uhhhhh…..what am I supposed to do here? I have way too much water and soapy stuff on me for this towel to handle, and if I just use towels I’ll be supremely itchy all day and probably go blind from a soap-eye-catastrophe. I have to get it off.”Image

Time to try another faucet.

I got out of the shower, practically blinded at this point, and headed to try the second bathroom. I knew it was futile because there was clearly no power to the water pump – something I had forgotten to factor into my smug “there’s still hot water in the system” plan, but I didn’t want to believe it was true.

No water. SON OF A GOAT!


No water. GNOME BALLS!

I was slipping on the hardwoods due to my wet-and-soapyness, and I was leaving wet handprints on the walls. I needed to touch them to figure out where I was going since I couldn’t really see and the panic had set in.

I hoped that no one would come to visit me unexpectedly.

BING! IDEA! I KNOW! I can just go outside and rinse off – it’s raining like crazy. That might work!

*Note that I live on a few private acres – I was not running outside naked in a neighborhood, though I wouldn’t put it past me under the circumstances.

I slid my way out the front door. There was plenty of water all right. Water and wind. So much water and wind, in fact, that pine needles were being hurled at me by the hundreds, and they stuck to me because I was so wet and soapy. MOTHER OF A WHORE!

Now, I was not only blind, wet, and covered in soap, but I was also covered in pine needles and extremely cold with super dirty feet.

Get it together, self. There’s a way out of this. There has to be.

Okay…Maybe there’s some bottled water in the garage. I found my way in. Things were poking me and sticking to me and I was bumping into all kinds of mystery stuff. The garage just wasn’t working out. Back to the house.

Sometimes it is in our darkest hour where illumination finally finds us. EUREKA! I had a solution! There was a 2-litre of berry flavored seltzer water in the fridge. That’s basically just water, right? It was my only hope.Image

I felt around the fridge until I found it, and then took it to the shower. I poured it on myself. It was so cold that I screamed out loud the whole time as loud as I’ve ever screamed and jumped up and down. But, I was able to wash the majority of the soap and shampoo off. Enough that I could be semi-human again, at least.

Once I dried off and my heart rate returned to normal, I surveyed the damage to my home. It looked like a soap crime scene. Bubbles on the walls. Trails of water. Things knocked on the floor. Pine needs stuck in various places. Puddles.  Holy shitake; I wrecked this place.

Next order of duty, I called my friends and said, “We have to downgrade. There’s no way in hell I’m even going to put on makeup, much less get dressed up. I have a thin film of soap all over me, I smell like fear and berries, my eyes are bloodshot, and my hair is full of tree. Don’t ask.”

Thankfully, these women have known me for a long time, and, sadly, have come to expect these sorts of things from me. When I complained about the situation to Roolie, she simply said, “It just never ends with you, and it’s never going to. Get used to it.” Touché.

Much to my delight, we downsized the dinner plans to a place where we could drink good wine and eat good food, but wear jeans and swear profusely. One of my friends even picked out some of the pine needles that were still left tangled in my hair.

In short, life gave me lemons, and I added some seltzer, and my friends made a lemon drop cocktail out of it for me.

Then, I came home to find the power back on and this horrifying scene. Dun dun DUNNN! Cheers!


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My Sworn Enemy


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Make a Wish

Make a Wish

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Knife to the Heart

After so much time away, the pressure has mounted. How could Toolies come back without something worthy of a comeback? So, time passed and passed. Lots of mediocre things happened without note. I tripped and hit the wall with my face. I ate pork fat thinking it was a mushroom and then became a vegetarian for a few months. I started a new job where an unnamed coworker keeps candy and prescription drugs in her locked drawer (you know who you are). I fell in love with the concept and word “jazzercise.” My children put on a play named Pipaluna the Hippo Baseball Ballerina. I could go on. But, really, the point is that it’s impossible for something to be a good enough basis for a comeback, so I just picked a mediocre series of events from one afternoon to write about.


NOTE: Roolie has informed me that this story might be a little bit more mentally ill than funny. I told her that if she was there, she would know FOR SURE that it was mentally ill.

So, here we go…


Knife to the Heart

Small town grocery store. A place that I usually avoid during typical grocery shopping hours because it’s impossible to go there without seeing someone I know, and my general distaste for small talk when I have other things on the agenda makes it a bummer.  I like an in-and-out operation. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and complex relationship with efficiency.

Anyway, on this particular day I had to go pick up a prescription. I’d been working at home all day, which, of course, meant that I was in PJs until it was time to leave. I got dressed and rushed out of the house in a hurry. I was distracted and super tired that day. In a nutshell, kind of a wreck.

At the pharmacy, there was a long line, which I was instantly super irritated by. I grew pretty impatient as I was waiting, since it seemed to take 6-7 minutes for each person. I caught myself saying things in my head like, “No! Don’t ask to talk to the pharmacist! Just take your medicine and hit the pavement. You’ll be fine.”  I also became a temporary germaphobe.


I had recently gotten hit with a nasty allergy attack, and I couldn’t resist scratching my face and arms and hands. I knew I was being fidgety, but I couldn’t help it. I ITCHED. When I finally got up to the counter, they had some sort of processing issue with my prescription, so I had to convince them that the error was on their end, and I waited while they sorted it out. For a long time. Waited and scratched and fidgeted and flinched and repeatedly tried to convince the people behind the counter that I needed my drugs, which is not suspicious at all in the line at a pharmacy.

Image While I was agitatedly waiting, there were several announcements about a free gift they were giving away at the front of the store. Free gift? Fine. I’ll get one. What is it? It better not be a coupon or crackers. Lots of people were heading to the front of the store. What’s so great about this gift? Why are they announcing it every 5 minutes? What’s the big deal? What is it?

Image I was now fully in the zone, and scratching and squirming like a monkey with flees.  Who cares about these people? It ITCHES. I was getting some looks of pity, fear, and disgust, but whatever. It had to be done.

It was about this time that I realized that my shirt was inside out. Not like “Ha ha, you can see my tag inside out,” but OBVIOUSLY inside out.

So, to sum up, I was tweaking out in an inside-out shirt in the pharmacy line where they said they didn’t have a record of my prescription. Looking good, self. Looking good.

ImageEventually the prescription thing got sorted out. By this time, I was dead set on getting whatever the hell this free gift was. It had been my only source of hope through this hour long ordeal. This experience was not going to be all darkness and sorrow. I would get a gift.

Image I followed the crowd to the front of the store. There was a guy on a platform, a mini-stage if you will, like the ones they have to sell shamwows at the fair. Effing great. I have to watch this schmo to get a gift? He didn’t stop talking. Ever. One minute. Two. At this point, I should’ve left OBVIOUSLY, but no. I was going to get this farkakte gift if it killed me.

 “You can get the whole set of knives worth $650 for only $50.” “It can cut a penny [kind of] and then cut a tomato [kind of].”

Just give me my free gift. Just GIVE IT ALREADY.

Talk talk talk. “I’ll even throw in this handsome carrying case.”

Did he really just say “handsome carrying case?” How much longer do I have to put up with this to get my free gift? I know, I know. It’s his job. Just be polite. La la la.

And then the inevitable happened. The mom of one of my daughter’s friends came in. To find me itching, red/scratched, with an inside-out shirt, holding a prescription bag, watching some a-wad giving a sales pitch for overpriced cutlery. “Oh, hello!….She’s good….I’m just waiting to get a free knife <queue nervous laugh>.” GREEEEEAT!

That’s it. If I wasn’t already, I was all in now, baby. With all the humiliation I’d subjected myself to that afternoon, I would be damned if I was going to leave the store without my free cheese knife.

“….lifetime guarantee….”

I looked around at the rest of the shoppers, all just waiting for the gift. I wasn’t alone. We were all being held captive by the lure of a free shiny object. Someone had to speak up. THAT’S IT. IT’S GOING TO BE ME.

“Excuse me.”

He ignored me.



“EXCUSE ME. I’m not going to buy anything. I’m sure I’m not. Can I just have the gift?”

He barely glanced at me and mumbled, “Just a minute.”

Okay fine. I’d wait. That’s right. I’d wait as long as I needed to. I’d frieking camp out there all night until I got my knife. It was now a matter of principle.

Image And, of course, another mother of one of my daughter’s friends came in to find me in the same scene…holding a prescription bag, red, itchy, inside out shirt, scowling at some knife guy.



“EXCUSE ME. I’m really not going to buy anything. Can you just give me my knife? Please? So I can go?”

After all, it had been nearly 20 minutes.

I actually expected the other people waiting to be grateful that I spoke up—I mean, who really wanted to listen to this never-ending sales pitch?—but that wasn’t the case. I hadn’t realized how it would come across…like a crazy lady who is desperate for something free being bitchy and rude. Uhhh….whoops.


So, the knife guy, now aware that I was only going to make his life worse by staying there, gave me a knife.


It’s super ugly, and I’ve never used it. But it’s kind of like a trophy, so I’ve got that going for me. Lest you doubt this story, here is a picture of it. Just look how it gleams in the light!




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So Romantic

So Romantic

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Tis the Season of Nog

Tis the Noggy Season

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Just Say No to Mall Makeovers

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