Typing One Handed

Parenting is a game where only the kids know the rules.

Man-Chore Powers December 30, 2009

Filed under: super powers,Writer's Workshop — Kelly Jo @ 12:12 pm
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One thing I have enjoyed since starting up my blog is checking out other blogs.  I have spent many hours holding Baby Maya in my left arm while alternating my right hand back and forth between the mouse and keyboard, checking out all kinds of interesting reads.  One I came across is called Mama’s Losin’ It.

Every Wednesday she hosts a writer’s workshop where she posts topics for bloggers to choose from, and encourages you to choose one topic and blog about it.  So for today’s blog I present to you my Writer’s Workshop Post:

You wake up one day with an unusual super power that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific “talent.”

For the record, I chose this prompt for my husband.  Even though I really like all of today’s prompts, I figured I could write something he might actually enjoy, since he is such a loyal reader.  And because he puts up with a lot of my postpartum moodiness.  He deserves a good laugh.

Man-Chore Powers

It’s the chore that must be done, but nobody likes doing it: cleaning the gutters.  Luckily, as a woman, I get out of this one.  It’s a man job.  Just like taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, and doing the laundry.  No?  Not that last one?  Shoot.

I was just as shocked as my husband was when the words came out of my mouth.  “Why don’t you stay inside and watch the game?  I can go clean the gutters.” 


Before I could claim insanity, the Seahawks were on.

As soon as I got outside, the realization hit me: I had no idea what I was doing.  I knew I needed a ladder, but what else?  A hose?  Gloves?  A little hand shovel?  (You can probably tell I spend a lot of time doing gardening and other outdoor home improvements.)  I got out the ladder and went up, figuring I could see what was up there and then determine what tools I needed.  As I SLOWLY climbed the ladder (one can never be too careful) I wished I had Spiderman’s powers and could just quickly scale the side of our two-story house.  Then I could just get right up there, clean the crud out, get right down, and feel safe the whole time.

Well, Spiderman powers weren’t there for me, but that doesn’t mean I was left without powers.

When I got up to the gutters I almost gagged upon seeing the sopping wet mess of leaves, pine needles, and miscellaneous Northwest sludge that was waiting for me.  But as I grabbed on to the edge of the gutter, the strangest thing happened: a shot of air came bursting out of my left ring finger.  It had more pressure than the air hose at the Chevron.  But more exciting yet, all the sludge came shooting out of the gutter, and disappeared into thin air.  And my hands were still clean!

This was too good to be true.  I quickly finished cleaning the gutters and then set out to see what my air-hose finger could accomplish.  Leaf blowing, tire pressurizing, hair drying?  The possibilities seemed endless.

As I tried all of these tasks, however, I came to a sad discovery.  My air-hose finger only worked while it was in contact with a gutter.  I went back into my house, head hung low, upset that I all I could do was a man-chore.  But as I sat down to watch the rest of a typically pathetic Seahawks game, I was (thankfully) interrupted by some breaking news.

A family just down the road from my own house was trapped inside their home.  A gust of wind, so strong, had blown the gutters right off their house, blocking every exit and vent.  Not only were they trapped inside, but they weren’t getting any oxygen!  And the gutters were so full of nasty Northwest sludge that they were too heavy to move.  If someone didn’t clean their gutters, and fast, this innocent family would soon be meeting their maker.

I knew my time had come.  This was the moment I had been waiting for my whole life.  Today, I was going to become a hero.

I ran down the road as fast as I could (which isn’t very fast, but I did my best), to where a crowd was starting gather.  “Let me through!”  I yelled.  “I can help these people.  I clean gutters.”

Several of them sneered.  “How do you expect to help them?  You’re a 5’3″ tall woman with no ladder, and gutter cleaning is a man’s job.”

“I WILL help them,” I stated boldly, “with my gutter cleaning super-powers.”  The crowd gasped.  And with that, I reached out my hand to the ground level gutter.  My air-hose finger took care of the rest.

The strong man (every super-hero story needs a strong man, right?) tossed away the gutter, and the family came bursting out through the front door.  “Thank you, Gutter Cleaning Hero!” they exclaimed, as the news crews from all the major networks began interviewing me.

That night, my husband was so proud that he bought me extra-spicy chicken pad thai for diner (hint, hint… I know you’re reading this).  He talked about starting what would be a very profitable gutter cleaning business.  I stopped him shortly into the conversation.  It was a good idea, and of course we could use the money.  But I just couldn’t take advantage of people like that.

Some powers should only be used for good.


If I Could… December 4, 2009

Filed under: holidays,Writer's Workshop — Kelly Jo @ 10:48 am

One thing I have enjoyed since switching over to my shiny, new, grown up blog is the ease of checking out other blogs.  I have spent many hours holding Baby Maya in my left arm while alternating my right hand back and forth between the mouse and keyboard, checking out all kinds of new blogs.  One blog I came across about five minutes ago is called Mama’s Losin’ It.

My first thought when looking at the title is- Hey, I can relate!!!  But in reading her blog I not only found myself  laughing and enjoying her posts, but I also came up with today’s inspiration.

Every Wednesday she hosts a writer’s workshop where she posts topics for bloggers to choose from, and encourages you to choose one topic and blog about it.  So for today’s blog I present to you my Writer’s Workshop Post:

Describe how you would celebrate the holidays if it was totally up to you and money was not a factor.

This is a good topic for me to write about right now.  And I would like to start by saying that I LOVE PRESENTS.  In fact, I love them so much that if you want to give me a present I can promise you that I will happily accept it, as long as it is something that you have carefully chosen from my detailed Christmas list.

That said, I am one of those dorks that truly believes it is better to give than receive.  There is nothing I love more at Christmastime than having so many presents stuffed under my tree for all of my loved ones that they are spilling out all over into the living room.  I love to see the look on someone’s face when they unwrap a present that they truly love.  I love to see the joy on my daughter’s face as she and daddy play with her new toy and have so much fun together.

I have been so lucky the past few Christmases that this has been a reality.  However, circumstances are different this Christmas.  I had Maya in October, and she came right on time.  She did try to come early however, so early that I was placed on bed rest about a month and a half before my due date.  As my maternity leave is unpaid, this really made things tight. My husband and I crunched numbers and decided we have enough in savings to make it work, so I could still take my full maternity leave.  Then the bomb dropped.

My husband lost his job one month after Maya was born.  Although he has some good prospects and is collecting unemployment, in this economy it is hard to know just when he will be working again.  Let alone what kind of position he will be able to get with so much fierce competition out there.  So, of course, the most rational way to be cautious about our expenses is scale back on Christmas.

Suffice it to say, this topic is easily answered.  If it were totally up to me (and money was not a factor), I would have to buy a bigger house to fit all of the presents I would be giving people.

I would start by purchasing every item on my sister’s baby registry, so that my niece will have everything she could need and want when she arrives in January.

I would buy my mom a new stove, and probably the other kitchen appliances to match.  Then I would make sure my dad had top of the line cookware so he could prepare an amazing prime rib in his new kitchen (this Christmas dinner could be his gift to me).

I would have every pointless plastic object that Zoey doesn’t need, but oh-so-badly wants.  Plastic computers, plastic musical instruments, and maybe even a plastic pony to “ride” around the house.

Maya would have a brand new Gap Baby and Gymboree  wardrobe, instead of her sister’s hand-me-downs.

And most importantly, I would have the perfect gift for my husband.  I don’t know what that gift would be.  Even with all of the money in the world, he wouldn’t ask for much.  So I would have a gift for him that lets him know how happy he makes me, what a wonderful father he is, and how honored I am to be his wife.

I would finish the day by watching It’s a Wonderful Life by the fire, with my husband and my two beautiful girls by my side.  The best part of Christmas is enjoying the day with the people you love the most. And that is something we will do.  Because for the most important things, money is never a factor.