Of Mice and Men

This is a story about shoelaces

You see, here at chez 440 we have a rule - no shoes in the house.

An due to the fact we live in a drive-able only suburban area -  except for a spin around the  block with my four legged friend - we drive the car and use the door between the garage and the house way more than the front door which is just for the odd guest and the UPS guy.

And due to this fact, and we find it’s just a good practice - we kick off our shoes in the garage.

Now for years this little system works great for a few reasons:

You’re not tripping over shoes at the door, the dog can’t eat your shoes. Yes, it’s been done. (BAD DOG), and I don’t have to vacuum as often due to the fact that there’s less dirt tracked in my us humans anyway.


I go out to the garage to toss on my shoes and the shoelaces are gone. Well, they’re there but there’s hardly an inch to grab on to to tie with and the plastic ends are gone and what’s left of the ends are frayed to bits.

I didn’t think much of it and just grabbed another pair to put on.

The next day I go out and go to put on my footwear and this is another pair of shoes that has it’s ends gone. gone. gone.

What the heck?

Then it dawned on me: Mice! (at least  I think so)

The little buggers have been chewing on my shoelaces. Often we’ll leave the garage open until it’s time to go to bed and so my guess is  they have found a love for my shoelaces recently and all they leave me is the nubs. Little buggers.

So,  I go to the dollar store and find  eight pairs of shoelaces for just a buck! Woo Hoo! That’s 12.5 cents a pair - a pretty good deal.

I get home, yank  a pair out and start lacing.  I only get  halfway. These laces are short! real short! Aw man I thought:  you mean to tell me I bought the wrong size? Also: there’s sizes????!!

But then further inspection realized that I bought the variety pack of shoelaces with various sizes from 27 inches to 54 inches in length. We now have extra shoelaces for any foot size. If you need  shoelaces call me first. I can help.

Lessons learned?

Shoelaces are tasty to mice.

Shoelaces come in sizes.

I can write an entire blog post about shoelaces.

PS. 7 more sleeps!

No Internet, No Respect and No More Jobs on the List

Item number 1:

The Internet was down today, and both the dog and I were not happy about it. There were cable guys in the backyard today changing one beige box for a brown box in the back corner. They were there for a few hours and were waist deep in mud digging and dragging to and fro.

Let me tell you, the dog was NOT happy about this development. How dare anybody go in her backyard? Of course, lots of barking and barking today just because she can.

Meanwhile, for yours truly I had just found my groove working when I went to reload a page and OH NO NO INTERNET. How did d we live before the internet? I think magazines were big. Also, I remember going outside more.

Once I realized the internet was going to be down for a while, I thought: Oh no! What do I do? So after some thought i knew what to do: I present to you:

Item number 2.

I have officially cleaned all that can or will be cleaned while BW is away. Including the fiddly stuff:

Cleaning under the sink:


Cleaning of the cutlery drawers:


All wrapped up:



All Lids Match:


Item number 3.

My phone chirps this am, and it’s a text message from my MIL asking how I am doing,which was very nice. I’m a lucky guy and I thanked her for thinking of me.

But then, she blew it.

Her next message was “Is the pantry done yet?”.

I can’t win.

In the meantime, watch this space for further developments:



Where's My Pantry?

Hey, Hi.

I haven’t been around the past few days due to illness. Mine. I’ll save you the gory details but thedog was not happy that she didn’t get walked one day and i was not very happy to be on the BRAT diet. But, that’s all over with and I’ll do my best to continue writing here and the dog got walked today so I guess we’re back in business.

But that isn’t what I want to write about today.

I want to write about the pantry. I think I have mentioned that there was a slim chance BW would have a pantry built in the kitchen by the time she got back. In fact the to-do list we made together looked something like this :

paint garage

paint deck

paint doors

caulk tub

clean fridge

and then at the bottom:

pantry? (note the question mark)

You see, I’m not very handy. Sure, I can wield a paint brush and run the vacuum around but there’s no way I can build walls. But, my friend G can and is willing to do do, except there are a few considerations:

G has a job. AND a side job which is really a full time job all in itself and a family with teenagers. Also, there’s a border between us. So it’s safe to say that to a large extent we’re at his mercy for all of this. It’s a full days work this project. (It would take me six days and sixteen trips to home depot - I had trouble enough with the bathtub)

All this to say we’re at G’s mercy when it comes to this project

Also, there’s really no rush for any of this.

Unless, You’re BW

You see, BW is not really good when it comes to being satisfied with where you are. There’s always something to do and it must be done now, even if the deadline is for away, or in this case really non-existent, and the Pantry project is the latest bee in her bonnet.

I’ve forgotten about this um, special trait of hers. It’s been a demand-free quiet month here for thedog and I. Sure, we’ve got a to-do list but we’ve been painting when the sun shines with no real schedule per se so we’ve forgotten about BW’s demanding ways charming personality.

But tonight I was reminded of her, um, personality.

For reasons unknown the past week or so we’ve been messaging via skype even though we have the technology we haven’t talked to each other via video. Until tonight.

So imagine my excitement to actually SEE BW and I waited with eagerness to see her beautiful smile and to hear her voice fill my lonely heart with those 3 magic words I had wanted to hear for so long:

“Where’s My Pantry?”

That sound you hear? It’s my heart breaking.


I tried to explain to her that it was out of my control, but to her G is my friend and so therefore I am in charge of all things pantry. And this must be done. NOW

Now, let me explain: There’s no real rush for the pantry. In fact there’s lots of things I think the house could use more than a pantry but I’m not a voting member here so there’s that. Sure, the kitchen will look a bit tidier and the counters a little cleaner but we’re living just fine pantry-less.

But BW wanted to talk about nothing else about the pantry.

In a way,I only have myself to blame. See, I told BW that G was coming this past weekend to build her a pantry. But, he ended up having a life that did not include a pantry and had to cancel. Fair enough. He offered to come earlier this week, but got stuck in traffic and the line at the border was 2 hours and then add to the fact I was starting my little adventure with the BRAT diet, G and I decided that BW doesn’t need a pantry that badly.

**I may live to regret this decision. **

PS: 8 more days til she’s home!

The Yes Man

This being married is hard work, I tell you.

Today’s example.

A new dog is in BW’s mind lately. I don’t know why because we already have one dog too many but whatever.

She’s got name picked out and everything.

So I wasn’t too surprised when she told me she had been online dog shopping (and I thought the dresses and shoes were bad) and that she wanted to get a new/another dog.

“What kind?” I asked.

“An old English Sheepdog”, she said.

“Oh, like Sam the Sheepdog” said I.

Like this:

“what do you think?” she asked.

and here’s where it gets weird:

**I said OKAY. **

“But you hate dogs”, she said.

“I’m coming around” I said.

Now, this is where it gets really weird. One would think that BW would be pleased with the fact that I agreed to another dog in the house without any protest from yours truly. But nope, not BW.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

“what do you mean?” I said.

“You’re agreeing to everything I say lately. I don’t like it”

I ask you dear readers to go read that last bit again. The part where I agreed to all and everything.

And she doesn’t like it. I give.

I reminded her that I paint, clean and now just agreed to get another puppy and that she should be thrilled.

But in a way this is her fault. I forget the topic, but I was getting teased by both her AND MY friends and they were ganging up on me and teasing me about married life and how I had trouble adjusting to being advised by my wife constantly.

But my friend took pity on me and gave me the best advice on being happily married yet:

He says “the trick is to just agree with ‘em” he tells me. “Half the time they forget what it is anyway, or you blow it off but this is way easier than protesting”

So, I’ve been tying being the “Yes man” and agreeing with BW and so far so good.

I think.

At least until I start to walk 2 dogs daily.


I can’t believe I’m sharing this on the internet but it’s true.

BW has been cheating on me.

Yes, she’s been watching a new netflix series without me!. *

She calls it ‘tabletto’-her little movie watching tablet she bought for her trip. And it was love at first sight. In hindsight I should have seen this coming,the way she spent hours with it under her blanket at night caressing its face.

“What are you doing?” I would ask and she told me she was reading the New York Times. I never thought it would come to this. I believed her.

I was told the new tablet purchase was for downloading books - you know - all proffessory and the like. So gullible like I am, I believed her. I feel so betrayed.

But as soon as she left our happy little home she broke the one sacred rule in our household:

She watched a show on the TV without me!

I thought for sure we had the talk before we left: “Be true to me” I said - reminding her of our sacred vows to consume mindless drivel on the TV together for ever and ever. (I’m pretty sure that’s what the minister said on our wedding day. Something about sickness and in health too, but I don’t really recall, because I was so nervous I thought I was going to pass out)

Anyway, the TV watching.

Like newlyweds we were, we watched so many shows together. The cooking shows, the real estate shows, the west wing, game of thrones, a series about mormons and even NFL football games!

But with a click of a button on her tablet she pressed play - never thinking of the consequences. I’ll never be able to catch up with her manic watching of episode after episode.

There’s just no way this will ever work now. Our circle of trust has been broken.

It wasn’t always like this. We used to make tea and hold hands with the pale blue glow reflecting off the walls and our happy faces and with a farting dog at our feet we’d bask in the glow of the characters on the big screen, for they seemed larger than life.

But now, it’s different.

She’ll always be a season or two ahead of me now. It will never be like it was before.

“But I didn’t know it would upset you so much” she said when I asked her why, oh why, oh why???!! How could she do this?

“You can catch up” she said, but it was too late. She knew too much. Her life included new characters now with stories I knew nothing of.

In despair I resorted to old Carol Burnett reruns on youtube. It was all I could handle. The one show that didn’t remind me of her.

I tried to watch other shows on netflix but the pain was so great. Every series listed was just too harsh a reminder of the good times we once had.

She told me: “I’ll stop”. But she doesn’t understand the pain. Watching an episode knowing she’s already watched it. Oh, I can’t even imagine the horror.

“You’ll like the show” she said,trying to convince me to watch and watch to get our TV watching clocks synched once again but I can’t somehow feel like this will never be the same again. “It’s weird, you’ll like it” she said. “Don’t tell me the name! I don’t want to know!” I said as I quickly changed the topic.

I needed something new to talk about. Another topic - the weather, the dog, her work, something.

I asked her when she was coming back?

“Soon” , she replied

“Good” I said, “I found this show…looks pretty good…..”

Less than 2 weeks to go. Not that I’m counting.

_* “Orange is the New Black” On netflix.