Up and Down

It was an up and down kind of a day. Actually it was more of a downer kind of a day but ended on a good note. The girls both took naps today, and Athena ended up going to bed early when she thought Morella was going to bed, so I pretty much spent most of the day with just one kid as the naps overlapped, and Morella got up after Neeners went down. We watched The Polar Express which I had taped on the DVR and Morella LOVED it. I even made popcorn which she munched happily and asked me a bazillion questions as the movie progressed. She had a theater like spot sitting in Athena’s big Christmas present — a new britax carseat which had arrived late this afternoon. It’s still clean, plush and soft. That won’t last long!

I was just thinking that it’s going to be a little sad retiring the old bucket seat. In the last 36 months it was only out of commission for six. We got a good 30 months of use from it…not to shabby. I’ll be glad to be rid of it though. It’s so hard to buckle Neeners into it right now and I am frankly surprised that one of Athena’s first 10 words isn’t “damnit.”

The downer part of the day was around noon. Athena had gone down for her nap after an early lunch. I brought Morella into the kitchen to play with playdough – a toy I busted out for special occasions like this – after quickly clearing a spot on the table by putting Neeners cumbersome tray, placemat and a towel onto the stove. I then suggested to Morella that I make her some of her Children’s Tea that she so thoughtfully got from Sarah as a birthday gift to ward off some of the kitchen chill. I filled the kettle and put it on the burner and turned it on. I was immediately distracted by keeping the water running so that it would get hot enough to do a few dishes and clear out some for the dishwasher. I was just about to load the dishes into the dishwasher when I heard Morella say something. I turned around and saw a plume of black smoke and fire. I had turned on the wrong burner! The dishtowel, plastic placemat and tray were all on fire. I quickly got the fire extinguisher but couldn’t figure out how to use it. Years of dust and grime covered the instructions and I was too panicked to figure it out. So I picked up the place mat, tray and towel and put them into the sink full of water. There was still a small flame on the burner and I ran to the cupboard to get the salt … except I couldn’t find the salt! After a minute I gave up and found the salt shaker and dumped it on the flame putting it out. I opened the back door, the kitchen window, turned on the oven hood to full blast, opened up the living room door and turned the living room fan onto full speed.

What a rotten time to find out we are of salt. I could have stopped the fire so much sooner…but then again the fire never should have happened because I had crap on the stove. I never do that. I also never turn on a burner without double checking to make sure it’s the right one either. I guess I should never say never because I did it. Sigh. I am glad I was in the kitchen, but maybe the novelty of being in the kitchen for an activity is what caused my boneheadedness. Ugh…it was scary. Thankfully, no one was harmed. The stove is still fine and the tray was one that Morella had outgrown.

Then as we were calming down to a cup of tea and more playdough fun we heard the mail come. Morella said the same time I did “Mail’s here.” I went and got the mail to cheer myself up a bit. There was one Christmas card (only our second, not including the one before Thanksgiving) and handed it to Morella to open. Meanwhile I opened the other mail. One was a big bill for the extra insurance on the car, and the other was a bill I never imagined I would open, read and contemplate — my father’s final expenses. Thank god for the tribe and their generous funeral donations. The total cost was $6,315. The tribe pays for $6,000 and anything beyond that is the responsibility of the family. I knew it would be that much, that wasn’t the downer. The downer was sitting at the table holding the bill for my Dad’s funeral. It’s was cold, grey and glum outside and snow had started to softly fall. I had my smart, beautiful daughter by my side to lessen the blow, but I was still sad and cried. Morella tried to cheer me up by giving me hugs, and coloring with me.

I called my brother Shane to talk a bit, but I didn’t know what to say. He was busy hauling wood with a neighbor. It was enough to break the mood a bit. I was just about to text Tim and tell him that he should come home to beat the storm when the dog started whining loudly outside. He had only been out for a few minutes, so I went to let him. As I opened the backdoor, Tim opened the front door and came in. Athena (who was up by then, because Morella went to nap) was happy to see him.

After that I watched some TV with Neeners, made one of my favorite dinners – mashed potatoes with hamburger gravy (browned hamburger, onions, can of gravy and can of cream of something soup) with peas on the side. We all ate something. Tim let for his Thursday night game after putting Morella to bed and I put Neeners down, and that brings you to the top of this post.

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