QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Diamonds? No. Carrots are the hardest substance on earth

It's official. The husband, the 13-year-old, the 11-year-old, Sophie the dog and Katie the cat and I are homeless. All together. In one little budget hotel suite. Yup. One big happy family, inclusive of furry members. Here we all are... until the middle of next week.

The move out went surprisingly well; it was quite painless - quite the difference from when we moved in the house out of which we just moved - all by ourselves. This time I started way ahead of time, packed all of our own boxes (weeding out unwanteds along the way), and pulled up a lawn chair as the four hardworking guys evacuated my house of all of our earthly belongings. Well, believe that if you will.

The fourth guy did a great job of emptying our refrigerator, coming back often for sustaining snacks. It was very nice of him to purge the fridge for us. By the end of the 12-hour move out I think it was pretty much free and clear of food.

So.... everything we own is in storage, and here we sit in the hotel. With our furry friends. Just thought I'd make sure you knew that.

The first night here we tried putting Sophie in her crate to make it just like home for her. At 1 am she stirred and barked, thereby waking me up from a deep slumber, a much desired deep slumber after 2 nights of having had very little sleep. I ignored her and she stopped barking, but the stirring... the stirring did not stop. Her long claws scraped the bottom of the crate almost exactly every half hour. In addition to the regular stirring/scraping, there was an odd, irregular noise above me somewhere, unidentifiable yet irregularly irritating.

6:40 am rolled around lickety-split, and dutifully I arose to take the scraper out to go potty. I put her leash on and walked out into the hotel's hallway with her. She broke into a run, nose to the floor, dragging me helplessly along with her. Abruptly she stopped and let the diarrhea flow... right onto the carpet in the middle of the hotel hallway.

No!!! my soul protested. It didn't matter. As quickly as I possibly could, I thrust the Target bag (aka poop scooper) under her rear end to catch as much of the runny matter as possible. I didn't have time to open the bag, just caught as much as I could in a pool on the side of it.

Just like that, she was finished.

Ahhhh, you could see her relief.

I was now in the middle of a hotel hallway, poop (well, the liquid version) in hand and under foot, dog leash (attached to dog) in the other hand.

Now what?

I quickly prayed no one else would venture down the hallway, and I sprinted, with the dog, back to the room. As I cleaned up the mess in the hallway, I realized how intelligent these hotel designers (who foolishly allow pets) were, making the hallway carpets (and the room carpets) the exact color of poop. Go figure.

Past that drama, I thought I'd make it more homey here in our hotel room and make a crock pot lentil soup for tonight. It turned out okay, but I think my hands will be sore tomorrow after trying to chop onions, celery and carrots with the Walmart serrated knife that's in the hotel room drawer- the only knife allotted to us here. I settled for much bigger chunks than usual, and the family would just have to suck it up.

My 11-year-old, home sick from school, observed my challenging task and heard my complaints. He came and stood closer to me, bird-dogging the process (bird-dog, by the way, is a vocabulary word from our new 365-day word-a-day calendar to prepare the kids for SATs someday. It's a verb, oddly enough, and means to watch or observe intently). He remarked, and I quote verbatim, "Mom, that's not a chopping knife."

"Ohhhh. Thanks, buddy. Gosh - I didn't realize. Well... that should solve everything, thanks."


  1. I would have very sweetly told him that it was, actually, a STABBING knife.

    I am so sorry to hear about your hallway experience with Sophie. Not the kind of "runs" you guys usually like to take together, now is it.

    (So sorry, the sophomore in me comes out the minute your mention diarrhea..)

  2. You are a good person for cleaning that up. I know many people who would've run away.

    I'm still debating as to what I would've done...

  3. Ah, poor pup....er.....I mean poor Mom!

    The 11-year-old will be given a pocket knife and a barrel of potatoes....

  4. I don't know what is worse, leaving essence of dog on the hall carpet only to be found by a CSI crime unit and other dogs, or making LENTIL SOUP in a hotel room, which will smell for the next guests into next year?!!!??!!?

    Again...when is the hotel party?
    Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn!!! I'm there!

  5. I'm so a-scared of hotel carpets now. Actually, I was already scared, but now I've entered an entirely new realm of carpet fear.

  6. OH my GOSH!!! Ha. I agree with your above commenter...hotels and their disgusting floors scare me already. On a recent trip I died everytime my boy crawled all over it. gah.

    The movers will clean out your fridge? Guess I've never had decent movers. GOOD LUCK!!!

  7. I hope you all survive the hotel life and don't resort to using the little hotel approved knife on eachother! ;-)


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