Monday, November 3, 2008

Toy Soap Story II

So...I'm short on time which means this is going to be a short entry...

For those of you who are faithful followers of this blog (Sara) you will remember the story about Wyatt and Ella building "sand castles" on the basement carpet with laundry

Well, never to be outdone by her younger siblings, Jada (age 4 and extremely cute) decided to vie for my attention by lacing the carpet with liquid hand soap. Yes, it is true! My children are artists and their chosen medium is soap.

After nearly losing it; I asked Jada, "What was your inspiration?" to which I received a blank stare. I followed up with "What were you thinking...why did you do that?"; Jada paused for a moment, looked down and then looked at me and said, "I thought it was fun?" As you may have noticed, Jada did give her answer in the form of a question...however, the answer was wrong!

(NOTE: possible correct answers may have included: 1) the devil made me do it?; 2) I was trying to clean up Wyatt and Ella's mess?; or 3) Because I am a child of God...with parents kind and dear?)

The story only gets better, or worst...

In the process of cleaning up the liquid soap with lots and lots and lots of water, infinitesimally small soap particles from the earlier soap fiasco were brought to life, raised from the carpet in a lathery resurrection. UNBELIEVABLE!!! was such a big mess! Finally (between sobs) I closed-throatily screeched "Uncle" and gave up for the night. Eventually I rented a carpet cleaning machine (with defoamer) and cleaned it up.

What have I learned:

1) I can't write a short blog entry;
2) I no longer only hate bubbles, but I now hate all of bubbles' relatives; and
3) The Skonnard family must have the "make messes" gene.

(NOTE: As of October 2008, all soap is banned from the Conklin house. If you are planning to visit our home, please wash your hands with your own soap at your own home before AND after your visit.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Entry for the sake of an entry

I guess this is my first blog entry just for the sake of blogging. What is new with me...?

Well, for the past 13+ months we have been making double mortgage, no, not on the same house (silly), on our summer home in exotic Omaha, Nebraska! I suggested that we find a summer home somewhere not quite so, so...inland, however, the price was right and it was conveniently located near law school. We actually got the home at a pretty good price with the thought that we would live in the home during school, fix it up, and then sell it. Our plan played out nearly to perfection, except for selling part.

We put the house on the market at the beginning of August 2007. Now, I don't have any solid evidence, however I have it on good authority that wall street had specific knowledge that we were putting our house on the market and consequently screwed up the housing market to add yet one more challenge to my life. If you know anything about me, none of my big decisions (except marriage) go exactly as I plan. Things always work out, mind you, just not according to my masterfully crafted plans.

For example:
Following graduation and the subsequent selling of our Omaha home, we knew that we would have a brief hiatus from repaying our student loans and thought that this would be a perfect time to enjoy our new salary and buy some things for the new (Utah) home; you like an attorney!!! Uhh, WRONG! It seems that the housing market crash exactly coincided with our placing our home on the market. So, for the last year we have been making double payments and sadly watching the prices of both our homes drop.

However, as of October 15, 2008 we will no longer be the owner of two homes!!! That's right, after 13 months of stress and worry (as well as prayers and fasting) we have found a buyer for our home! Granted, being in the uber-powerful buying position that they are, they have pretty much hosed us for anything and everything that they want (yeah...we're going to lose close to $3K). Yet, I DON'T CARE!!! I am past caring. My feeling is that the market is going to continue to plummet (regardless of the bailout plan) and this sale is really going to cut our losses short. I just want this burden, this obnoxious liability to be gone and out of my life. I want it to be someone else's problem and source of stress!

NOTE: If you are the buyer of our home, and you are reading this blog entry prior to October 15, 2008, please know that it has been a pleasure working with you and that it breaks our hearts to have to sell our cottage of love. However, knowing that our first abode will be inhabited by such genuinely caring and honorable individuals as yourselves helps to heal the wounds of our hearts and gladden our emotionally fragile memories. Please know that if there is anything, anything at all that we can do to further assist you in this purchase, our doors and our hearts are open to you. Don't forget to cross your t's and dot your i's!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rediscovering "Meet Joe Black"

Have you seen "Meet Joe Black"? I mean recently. Tonight, following a post-presidential-debate conversation with my wife, I began surfing around to see what was on. I saw that MJB was on and commented aloud, "Hey, remember this was kind of a weird one..." and then promptly commenced watching.

In accordance with the male code of television etiquette, my original intent was to watch until the commercial and then turn to something else. However, the commercials came and went and I found myself intently watching MJB. I was really enjoying the movie.

Sara's attention quickly left her book (Amazon finally delivered "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn", which means I, the kids, and the house are on our own for a couple weeks...Thanks Stephanie Meyer!) and she started watching as well. I'm not sure what the difference was this time through; however we both thought it was a really good movie.

In all fairness, we missed the first fifty minutes, or so, which may have made the difference. The movie is extremely long (3.5 hrs including commercials) and perhaps the shortened viewing brought the movie within my attention span. It could also be the fact that I am now a father and therefore could better identify with Anthony Hopkins' feelings and emotions. Whatever the change, I enjoyed it.

Past experiences of "rediscovering" an old movie have been less favorable. For example, my all-time favorite movie as a child was "Lady Hawk"; a love story set in Medieval times about two lovers who, due to a curse, each live their lives as animals during opposing times of the day. He was a wolf by night, and she was a hawk by day (and by "she" I mean Michelle Pfieffer; an instant and persistent childhood crush). Anywho, when Lady Hawk first came out on DVD I quickly rented it and began watching with high hopes of a nostalgic rebirth. BAD IDEA! That movie stinks! All my precious childhood memories, warm fuzzies, and general good will stemming from that movie were dashed to pieces. I was horribly disappointed. Fortunately I stopped the movie after about 30 minutes, and defeatedly scrapped together my remaining memories and locked them deep inside my broken heart. I guess some things rely on muted and innocent childhood memories to retain their brightness.

If for some reason you decide you would like to rediscover a childhood movie, you may want to ask yourself the following questions first:

1) Did this movie shape your life in any respect?

2) Can you buy this movie in the $5.99 DVD bin at Walmart?

3) Did you last see the movie prior to High School and/or puberty?

4) Was the movie based in fantasy, science fiction, or use "little people" as cast members?

5) Did any of the leading stars go on to have a successful career in something other than acting?


6) Are you in a stable, supportive relationship?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First post...drum roll please

No "Cheer" for laundry detergent all over the basement carpet

Yesterday, on my drive home, I received a phone call from home. Usually the 5:30p call comes to check my ETA. Frequently I can hear the screams of wild, hungry, tired children in the background which largely drowns out the slightly contrived, calm voice of my wife. 5:30p is a difficult time at our house. However, yesterday I was greeted with the following:


and so on and so on. No kids in the background; kind of an eerie, silent backdrop...

Coming from a long line of worriers (thanks Mom) I immediately had visions of bloody smears, severed limbs, and limp adolescent bodies, no doubt the result of unsupervised experimentation with kitchen machinery or some dangerous, yet curiously fantastic tool in the garage. However, it turns out that kitchen machinery and woodworking tools pale in comparison to laundry detergent. That's right, Ella (3) and Wyatt (1) decided to build sand castles all over the basement carpet with laundry detergent.

At first Ella blamed it all on Wyatt (naturally), however the guilt eventually got to her and she fessed up. Prior to seeing the mess, I assured Sara (my wife, the frantic one mentioned above) that I would take care of the clean up, which I did, with a vacuum in about an hour's time. I am happy to report that all of the detergent came up out of the carpet, and our basement now has a fresh, spring scent which deceptively smells like laundry has been recently done.

I wonder what today's 5:30p call will be...