Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Love Affair With the Bathroom Fan

I love the fans in our bathrooms. And, apparently, I'm not ashamed to say it, although I've never actually said the words to anyone before. Now that I think about that first sentence in today's blog, the more I think maybe I shouldn't write any more. Perhaps this blog will finally prove that I have gone off the deep end. I guess it had to happen some time...Oh well, might as well keep writing and see how deep a hole I get myself into to.

Yes, I love our bathroom fans. The rest of the house is filled with kids, none of whom have developed an "Inside Voice" despite years and years of my trying to teach them to have one. These kids can be loud, and the loudness can happen at any time of the day or night. It is very difficult to get away from the loudness. And dropping everything and moving to Iowa is not an option. Besides, who would want to live in Iowa?

So, I have found that the best way to get away from the din is to go into one of our bathrooms and turn the fan on. Those beautiful spinning blades create the most wonderful whir I have ever heard, only because it completely drowns out any noise that might be coming from outside the bathroom.  That whir creates my own little oasis away from the noise. I can lose myself in there for hours, or at least what seems like hours to the Wife. She is not nearly the fan of our fans that I am...

So, yes, it might seem weird to everyone on the planet, including me, but I love our bathroom fans. I just hope that my other mistress, the lock on our bedroom door, doesn't get jealous...

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Record Deal

We are planning on having a garage sale this spring, if we can get our butts in gear and actually get things priced. We've got lots of stuff to sell, enough that I can see us making at least a billion dollars, but if we don't get things priced it won't happen.

Along with our own stuff, we have started to go through some things at my parents' house. My mom asked if I would try to get rid of a few old 33 RPM record albums for her (If you are a whipper snapper, a record album is the 1970s' equivalent of today's CD, only larger). When I showed up to get them, I could scarcely fit them in my car. And that was just 6 albums! (Those things were big compared to CDs!)

I didn't think old records would sell all that well, so I did some investigating online. Turns out there are still quite a few people who like to listen to their old record players, for whatever reason, so I thought I should try to sell a few on ebay, just to see if anyone would want them.

Out of the piles of records I got from my mom, I chose one from Elvis, a soundtrack type album from the Dukes of Hazzard, and a bunch of Dolly Parton records to start with. The Dolly Parton ones sold within a few hours. I am not sure if that's a sign of a resurgence in listening to albums, or maybe there are people out there who can't afford CD players. Or, more likely, maybe it's just some pervert who likes looking at pictures of Dolly Parton. Whatever it is, I can't believe they sold so fast.

The Dukes of Hazzard record also sold unbelievably quickly. With the success of that soundtrack, I decided the next one to list was going to be a soundtrack of the movie E.T., but to sweeten the deal I threw in a second E.T.-themed record that starred the now-dead Michael Jackson. Apparently, anything with the
Look at those two adorable aliens!
likeness of a strange, off-color being from another planet sells very quickly. And putting him next to E.T. probably didn't hurt, either! (Ba-dump bump!)

Nothing else in the pile of albums seems all that noteworthy, so perhaps the rest will be donated, either to Goodwill or a dumpster. That won't happen for a while, though, so if you're in the market for some old records, send me a note. Whatever kind of music you listen to, there's a chance we might have it. Sorry, all the E.T. records have been sold.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life Lessons With Scott

I have been a father for what seems like an eternity now, and it seems as though I am constantly passing on my wisdom to my kids, either through long, boring lectures, or by making a fool of myself and then telling my kids not to do what daddy just did. Through all of this incessant teaching, my kids will probably grow up and make all the same mistakes that I have made, because it is human nature to not listen to your parents. Well, at least I can say that I tried.

Lately I have been trying to teach our oldest child, the Girl, one of the most painful lessons that I have ever learned. She seems to be listening, yet I am afraid that, even though my stories are frightful and full of passion on my part, she still will probably only really learn it if and when she makes the same mistake that I did, oh so many years ago. My soul cries for her just thinking about it...

In a year or so, I will have to try to teach the Boy this same lesson, and then the Little One a year or so after that. Each time it will hurt a little bit more having to resurrect these horrible memories, but if it can save any or all of my children from experiencing the same heartache that I did, it will all be worth it.

I might as well share this life lesson with you, my faithful readers. If I don't, I may always be haunted by the thoughts that I could have spared you some misery if I had just shared my own misery through my blog. Or, more likely, I will just forget about it all by tomorrow and I will go on to live a happy life. But, right now, as I sit in front of my keyboard, I feel I must teach you this valuable life lesson that I am trying to teach my children. I am about to bare my soul here... Are you grasping the importance of this? Here it goes.

Scott's Life Lesson #1: Always bring at least two fly rods with on every fishing trip! 
I will never forget the last time I didn't follow this rule. It is a day that will be etched on my brain until the day I die. I had driven an hour to one of my favorite trout streams, a beautiful stretch of water that is filled with wonder and joy, and large trouts. I got out of the car and walked down to inspect the beautiful river. Then I wriggled into my chest waders and worked at getting my wading boots on. I wrangled myself into my fishing vest which is loaded with box after box of important flies. I pulled my trusty fly rod out of its protective tube and mounted the reel on it, like I had countless times before. I carefully strung the fly line through the guides and tied just the right fly onto the end of the leader. The anticipation of catching some of the loveliest creatures that swim on God's Earth was palpable, like it always is. Then I remembered something I had forgotten in the trunk, so I leaned my rod up against the side of the car. Barely had I gotten to the back of the car when a huge gust of wind came up and slammed the car door shut right on my $500 fly rod. It wasn't the expensive fly rod that got me, though, since fly rods can always be fixed. It was the fact that I had left all of my other dozen or so fly rods back at home that day that really made me cry. And let me tell you, a beautiful trout stream that is packed with large, eager fish is no place that anyone should be crying. So please, especially if you are one of my children, please listen to me when I say that you should always bring at least two fly rods with on every fishing trip! Thank you for listening to my boring lecture.
I never knew LeBron was a fly fisherman, but this kind of emotion can only come because he broke his favorite fly rod and didn't have another one in the car. I know the feeling...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thank You!

The fanfare and pageantry were at the highest level. There were lights (in the ceiling), cameras (in their respective carrying cases), and paparazzi (actually that was just my sister-in-law's dog). There was a buzz throughout the room that was palpable. Or perhaps it was a palp throughout the room that was buzzable. Whatever that means... Whatever it was, the whole scene meant that only one thing was going on: the Bloggie Award winners were about to be announced!

Once again, this little ol' blog, Chaotic Kids & Clutter, was a finalist at the Bloggie Awards this year. You may remember that last year CK&C was not only a finalist, but also a winner in the category of Best Kept Secret blog. I am not entirely sure what came over the voting public last year, but for some reason this blog won, and I am not about to give back my award any time soon.

I was super excited to find out that we were a finalist once again this year, and in the same category as last year, Best Kept Secret blog. I guess we here at Chaotic Kids & Clutter are really good at keeping secrets, despite our best efforts not to.

This year, like last, we were up against some stiff competition, so I figured it would be a long shot if we defended our title. And, what do you know, I was right! This year's winner was Pocketful of Joules (, a fun lifestyle and fashion blog by, you guessed it, Joules. You should head over and check it out some time...but be sure and come back here when you're done.

So, I have no big win to announce this year, but that's OK. It is definitely a huge honor to be a finalist, and maybe it will make me kick things up a notch in the future so I can get back in the winner's circle next year...nah, I'll just keep writing the same goofy stuff I've always written. If you voted for me this year, Thanks! Next year tell a friend!