Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Timing is Everything

Today is an auspicious day here at TAOBC.  This post is #400.  Yep, after 400 posts you would think I would have gotten blog writing down down to a science, wouldn't you?   You would be wrong.

Case in point, you might of noticed the absence of my Friday Weird news roundup last week.  I actually had some things going on that didn't allow me to sit and while away (waste) hours at the computer. I hear you asking "what would be more important than blogging?"  Here's what happened.

Thought Number One....Fun (**sarcasm**) Things Happen When Husbands Are Out of Town

Every "wife of a traveling man" will agree with me that if their husband travels extensively,  these two things will happen.

1.  When they are IN town, life will hum along easy-breezy and hubby will secretly wonder what you do with your time. (Actually there are a few that have been known to actually say out loud, "Don't you ever get bored?"  Some of those men learned that question isn't met with a favorable response.)
Hubby is in Paris so I can't blame him.

2.  BUT...when husbands are OUT of town, something BIG will break, someone will get sick or a natural disaster will strike. Sometimes all three will happen simultaneously...this is more likely if the traveling  husband is not able to be reached by phone.

 As far as last week goes and the reason for the missing post is....

Wait....make that  the  REASONS  for the missing post are:

A. Poor time management
B. Lack of inspiration
C. Preparing for my trip to Europe
D. Leaves plaguing me with their messy and time consuming cleanup
E.  Mother Nature is a mother-sumthin-sumthin
F.  All of the Above

Some of you might remember a post I did quite awhile ago called  Spitting in the Wind  [link]  in which my darling husband attempted to repair a sprinkler head in our irrigation system which resulted in an emergency call to the company that installed it. (sorry, honey, but those little keys that come with Hunter irrigation systems are Kryptonite to your Superman ...you know it, I know it and the Hunter repair guys know it.)

While my house isn't exactly Tara, the water spout is pretty accurate.

  Luckily for him but unluckily for me, the very same sprinkler system, didn't respond favorably to the unseasonably cold temperatures that went from 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 17 degrees  in the time span of less than 24 hours. I didn't get "wind" of this until I was picking up my grandson from school and my cell phone rang.  A very concerned neighbor wondered if I was home.   WELL...let me just say IF I was home, I might of noticed the geyser in the front yard that was shooting higher than the second story gable of my house.  What to do?  It's past 5 PM so the irrigation company is closed and the city water department is closed and my neighbors are watching the equivalent of  Old Faithful. The big difference is my geyser is  causing a frozen mess.

Did I happen to mention that just a few days prior to the big break, I had a new patio poured and there was new sod put in?  Of course, because trying to figure out how to shut off an irrigation valve isn't stressful enough without adding the component of  freezing a yard of  freshly laid  fescue sod.

Never fear, I made my way home to a crowd of onlookers that were audibly "oohing and ahhing" over how pretty iced trees look and inaudibly thanking their lucky stars it was my house and not theirs.

I paged an emergency number to both the city and the irrigation company and in slightly less than two hours, I got a response. I might mention here that two hours with two little boys watching the pretty water show along with a group of  "plumbing-challenged"  neighbors feels more like an eternity.

BTW...I don't fault either company for a slow response,  as there were irrigation system backflow valves all over town exploding. This freezing temperatures are unheard of  for this time of year and no one had winterized their irrigation systems. To enforce the lesson to take care of that earlier next year,  the city guy did mention, that I am probably going to be getting a hell of a water bill.  Evidently geysers go through a lot of water.

Thought Number Two:   Where to Go From Here

So, anyway...those were some of my excuses reasons for the Friday post being MIA.

On the occasion of this 400th post,  I just wanted to  say to all my readers how appreciative I am of you.  I know a lot of you have been here from the beginning and endured the "learning as I go" process that went with TAOBC.  You were here with inspiration and support even when the reader count didn't warrant me to continue.  I thank you for you readership and comments.  Both of those things make me very happy.

Also, a big THANK YOU to the bloggers that have always been supportive of me and have become good friends. (This is especially true of the Blogdumps group that have been here from the very first months of TAOBC.)

AND to some of the newest blog readers and blog writers that have more recently connected with me (or is it Crabby Pants that you are reaching out to?)  I am creatively renewed when I see new people visiting.

As for the future of The Art of Being Conflicted...I hate to say it but for the next month or so, my posts may be scattered and irregular.    Seems a bit disingenuous on my part to thank you for you loyal readership and then tell you that I am probably going to be sporadic in my writing for awhile...just know that I am terribly conflicted about that.

Fair warning...

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Just Keepin' It Real folks said...

Congrats on your 400th post. That is quite an accomplishment. WOW, I can't imagine dealing with that frozen geyser other than pouring myself a stiff one and hoping that would dull the pain.

Cheryl P. said...

There are days that the inability to drink alcohol greatly impacts my life. I guess from my daughter's point of view it might be a good thing knowing that at least I am sober when I am exposing her little guys to sub-zero temps while letting them get soaked.

Wendy said...

I actually like raking leaves, and often did it as a way to make money when I was younger. To this day, I walk in piles of leaves, scuffing them up in memory. Wish I could be there to help you pile them up! I am amazed at 400 blog writings, but you forgot to mention the imaginative art work that accompanies each way,they are always amazing. The art is part of what makes your blog so unique, gives it that extra' oomp'. Congrats on that.
While you could have told us that your posts may be a bit sporadic as you are off to adventurous places abroad for a short while, but, I rather LOVE the way you've informed us. What a classic way Art of Being Conflict wind-up, to remain conflicted, 'cause, you got that down as an art. Hope Crabby Pants has all her warm clothing packed, or...are you leaving her here with the blogging?

L.C. Griffith said...

Enjoy your trip abroad. I expect to see photos of you and hubby standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. I love your blog and will miss your words, but you deserve a huge break, so have fun and try not to imagine any disasters on the home front. My best!!

babs (beetle) said...

I'm glad we don't have those things in our gardens. We only have an outside tap that we connect up to when we need to. As the piping is inside the house, it generally doesn't get frozen up. Aside from the expense, I bet it looked pretty :)

Hope you have a great holiday!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Re: Missed blog post on Friday Nov 15, 2013
You are forgiven but don't let it happen again.
P.S. -- Seriously, congrats on post # 400 and OMG what a sprinkler system disaster! Or perhaps I should say "ooh la la" instead, given your impending travel to Paris, you lucky girl.

Linda R. said...

Cheryl, I understand all about what can happen when husbands travel (or even a normal day at the office an hour's drive away). One time I was using the front outside water faucet, when it suddenly detached itself from the house and water was pouring out. I learned quickly where the shutoff valve was. Fortunately I didn't have old faithful in my front yard. I hope your new grass wasn't ruined..

Hubby's most recent travels took him away for 3 weeks, during which time Rosie made his transition (passed away) so I had to deal with the middle of the night emergency vet visit alone.

I agree with you. Sometimes the travel happens at the worst possible times. My blogging and visits have been sporadic here too, but I keep trying to get back on track.

Linda R. said...

Oh, congrats on 400 posts. That is indeed a milestone. :)

meleahrebeccah said...

Congrats on your 400th post!! And don't feel bad - I've written 1,253 posts - and I still don't have it down to a science!

"unluckily for me, the very same sprinkler system, didn't respond favorably to the unseasonably cold temperatures that went from 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 17 degrees in the time span of less than 24 hours." - OMG. YIKES!

"I might mention here that two hours with two little boys watching the pretty water show along with a group of "plumbing-challenged" neighbors feels more like an eternity." - I can only imagine!!

I have loved reading ALL Of your posts. And I look forward to reading the next 400 posts - even if they are scattered and irregular!

Robyn Engel said...

Oh, my, I'm sorry Cheryl. Sounds like a nightmare.
On the other hand, big-time congrats on post 400! You put a lot into these posts, and they're always entertaining.
Be well. Stay dry.

Chubby Chatterbox said...

Four hundred posts is quite an achievement. But don't be too erratic with your visits. I can't go long without my dose of Crabby Pants.

Jo-Anne said...

It doesn't rain but it shoots water out of the ground............oh right that isn't how the saying goes............but hey 400 posts is no mean feet.............hang on is that how you spell feat.............feet............lol Oh I give up..............I have a baby wanting my attention...........

Cheryl P. said...

I probably should change my cartoon to "Wendy said that." but as I am lazy and that would take some effort, it stays as it is. I applaud you for you industrious ways, especially as a child. I find raking thankless. Today, I make another attempt to get more leaves raked up so the yard waste pickup truck could take them away tomorrow. I had my yard clear for all of 15 minutes before the wind carried a new batch and dumped them back into my yard. The overall effect appeared as I had never raked at all.

Thank you so much Wendy for the comment about the artwork. I so enjoy that part of my blog. It's nearly like playing paper dolls getting to dress my little characters.

As for Crabby Pants..she will be coming along on the trip. I could never trust her to be in charge of the blog. She swears like a drunken sailor.

Cheryl P. said...

My husband was at the Eiffel Tower yesterday so I am not sure is we are heading back that way or not. I have hotel reservations in several cities in Germany and the Netherlands but additional cities will be dependent on my time.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing will break, burn or blow away while I am gone.

Cheryl P. said...

During the hot weather, I am thrilled that it takes care of all the needed water but going into cold weather, it becomes a bit of a maintenance issue. I have never had it freeze but typically we don't get hard freezes before late December or even January. The weather here is crazy. We never have tornadoes in the fall/winter either, yet last week there were 50+ over the central U.S.

You are right about the trees and bushes looking pretty. Ice covered branches are quite pretty but it is less appreciated when a broken pipe is doing the honors. Oh, well...it got fixed and life goes on.

Cheryl P. said...

Debra, you are a funny one! I will be curious to see what my wifi connections will be in Europe. I might be limited just to the time I am in the hotel rooms at night.

Thanks...I should be seeing lots of water there. Our first hotel (German guesthouse, really) is on the Rhine but I doubt that any of the water I see comes in the form of a geyser.

Cheryl P. said...

Isn't that the way that thinks break when husbands aren't home. Initially I was hopeful that the main water shut off in the house might stem the tide of the water but the irrigation water shut off is under a grate at the street. It takes a special key that both the sprinkler companies and the city has access to. I would of been less concerned if it was normal business hours and daylight.

I am not sure about the grass yet. Looks like total crud right now but I hope it recovers in the spring.

So sad about Rosie. I can't imagine a more sad time to be by yourself. Our two cats are both old now, and I worry how I will handle it if something happens when it's just me here. Hubby has been over in Europe 6 weeks but he might be there as long as 12-16 weeks. We should know more in the next week or so.

babs (beetle) said...

We don't have them, because we don't get the lovely hot weather you have and there is no need for them. We usually get enough rain in the uk ;)

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Linda! It feels like a long time...I suspect it doesn't seem like much to long time bloggers that post every day or so. Still for me it's a lot.

Cheryl P. said...

You are one of my "mostest" special blog readers, Meleah. You have been following a long time and you are always the most supportive, upbeat person EVAH. I sooooo appreciate you. I feel the same about your blog. I can't imagine not following you or reading your FB posts. You have become a good friend.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you so much, Robyn.

I have every intention of not repeating that episode...although my neighbors and grandsons all thought is was a great source of entertainment. Turns out I like my showers NOT in 17 degree weather.

Cheryl P. said...

You probably are way past that at this point...doesn't it seem like we have been at this quite awhile.

Did you blog when you were traveling? Or did you wait until you got back?
I may try to put on a few short posts but not sure about my time constraints yet.

Crabby Pants says thanks...it's nice to be appreciated.

Cheryl P. said...

You are funny! I think it's feat, isn't it???? Who knows but I know what you mean, anyway. Have fun with the baby and I will catch up with you in comments before I leave.

Wendy said...

I also rather liked the excellent photo of the sun shining through the iced trees. In happy hindsight (because it is over now), just think what a memory that is going to be for your Grandsons!

Paper dolls hum. Amazingly, you can still purchase them.
Crabby Pants I'm sure is multi-lingual so she will lots of fun in those German pubs. My son told me All about them! We'll all get our collective consciousness together and hope nothing happens while you're gone, so you come back to your home safe and sound. Just tape Crabby Pants mouth when you come back into the US, so she doesn't mouth off to the the duty or security at the airport.....

meleahrebeccah said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! I love you, woman!!

Cheryl P. said...

I wonder how much our grandsons will remember. They see us so often, maybe it all becomes routine enough that nothing stands out.
Yes, I see paper dolls in the stores and I don't have any little girls in my life to do those with. Maybe today's little girls would think them too old fashion. They would rather be on the IPad.
Yes, Crabby Pants is going to keep her lips zipped at the airport. I don't want to see us on the 6:00 news.

Cheryl P. said...

Yes, when I see how lush and green parts of the UK are, I drool. Here our summers are very hot and dry...plus the Plain states are often plagued with wind that has even more of a drying effect. The irrigation systems keep our flowers and lawns pretty.

oldereyes said...

Again, we have a strange inter-galactic connection, you with your sprinkler problems and me with my computer crash. Glad you made it today ... with the misbehaving CAPTCHA code, I thought I was alone. Blogging is never science, Cheryl, it's art. By the way I have a Hunter system but the danger is never freezing pipes (but melting is a possibility). Have fun in Europe.

Cheryl P. said...

I am not entirely sure (as neither unfortunate instances are desired) but I think I would rather be doused by huge amounts of water in 17 degree weather than have computer problems. You might be the winner for this week's aggravation.

That was a shame about the CAPTCHA code. I always like getting together with Blogdumps group. The group is getting very small though.

Olathe is the only city in Johnson County that have specific backflow device rules and one of those rules requires that the device is 12 inches higher than your lowest sprinkler head. Which in my case, means the device has to be 12 inches above ground because my lot it flat. Exposed PVC sticking up out of the ground when it's 17 doesn't fare well. Normally, when it gets that cold I have already winterized the system. Talk about bad timing, my winterization was scheduled for the following morning. Ahhh, so close.

oldereyes said...

This was indeed the mother of all disc crashes. The only benefit is I learned a lot about recovering data and acquired some very useful software. The question is will I remember what I learned the next time I need it? :)

Cat said...

Boy, does this bring back memories... Dad would have to go out to do repairs in another part of the state, and we would stay home. That would absolutely mean chaos. It had been raining for several days in spring, so the plants were just starting to grow well, about maybe ankle to knee high. Dad had to leave, and so I was sitting down to eat breakfast, when I saw a cow in the garden. Mom grabbed her boots, I grabbed mine, and the chase was on. The cow had jumped the fence, and was eating anything and everything in sight. Catching wind of us, it then panicked, and was running, not OUT of the garden, but in circles IN the garden, to find how to get back in with the other cows. I opened the gate, Mom tried to chase the cow in, whereupon her boot became stuck in the mud. And didn't come unstuck. So, Mom ended up chasing the cow back, with one boot and one very swamped mud (among other things) stocking.
That was the best cow we ever ate. (Oh, and it tore down 3 of the top wires of the fence, too...)
Somehow, I still think we had it better than dealing with ice geysers... Eeep.

Cheryl P. said...

I have every confidence that you will remember everything you learned, I on the other hand would forget all of it 15 minutes after I had things running again. (not that that would ever happen) I tend to not remember things that I don't enjoy.

Cheryl P. said...

Oh, Cat...that is a great story. That is one way to teach that ole cow a lesson. Turn it into steaks and burgers.
When we lived in St. Louis, our house backed to a farm that pastured cows. Several times we would look out into our back yard and see a wayward cow. Never had to chase it though. I called the farmer to ask him to retrieve his bovine. I didn't have a vegetable garden so I didn't lose anything. We did have a swimming pool though so we stood a chance of having a cow doing the doggie paddle.

lisleman said...

I don't have an irrigation system but I'm surprised it doesn't have a shut off value inside the house somewhere. Is that your ice covered bush/tree? Nice pic.
Hopefully no damage and the neighbors were entertained.

Cheryl P. said...

Sadly, irrigation systems don't have a shut off in the house as the water source in coming from the city water supply before it reaches the interior of the house. I have heard of some systems that don't work like this but our last 3 houses all had the turnoff valve out in the front yard near the street. In Dallas,I could of probably popped the grate off and figured out how to turn it off but here it takes a key to turn the shut off valve. The blackflow device has a shut off but that is the piece that broke on mine.
Yes, it make for a petty display with the water freezing on the bushes and trees and the neighbors seemed to enjoy the excitement.

Riot Kitty said...

Yeow! I'm glad they showed up - sorry, I am laughing my ass off at the "inaudibly thanking their lucky stars it was my house and not theirs."

Gorgeous pic, but I'm guessing you don't want any more Kodak moments.

Cheryl P. said...

I love that you find humor in my little jabs. You are right about not needing more pics dealing with any chaos in my life. I would love to get some pictures of other peoples dumb stuff though. It's so much more fun to be the one in the audience thanking my lucky stars it's them and not me.

abeerfortheshower said...

Congratulations! 400 posts is amazing. We've been doing this for almost 3 years and are still in the mid 300s.

Also, ouch on the geyser. My parents' backyard sprinklers burst and left them an above ground pool about 4 months ago. Didn't take much to fix the pipes, but their water bill was like $1,000.

Crystal Colleir said...

400! Whew! The sprinkler system was jealous. It wanted all the attention you'd get for reaching this awesome milestone. ;) Congrats!

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Crystal, so nice to see a new name here!!! Yay!!! Let me know if you have a blog and I will come by to visit you as well.
As for my misbehaving sprinkler system....Haha, it did make a spectacle out of itself. What an attention hog!

Cheryl P. said...

Perhaps, you guys have a life. Actually, I am finding it hard to do as many posts as I did in the early days because of my cartoons keep getting more complicated. If I had the ability to do your cartoons, I would only be doing one post a month. I don't get how you post that often with that much art work AND it's very cool cartoons to boot.
Yeah, I hate to think what the water bill is going to be. I left the house around 1 PM and got the call from the neighbor when she was getting home from work at 4. The fix-it guys came around 6. By that time the street was "flowing" with water....I single handedly created a new stream in suburban Olathe, KS. Now, no doubt I get to pay for it.

Crystal Colleir said...

*palm to forehead* I guess Disqus doesn't embed the url link, eh? YES, come visit me: http://crystalcollier.blogspot.com

Cheryl P. said...

I thought Disqus used to link your name to any blogs you might have but several times I have tried to track back to read people's blogs and couldn't track them down. Anyway...I will be over for a visit.

Agent 54 said...

Howdy! I'm feeling better. Thank you for your concern.

Sporadically. That's life. I try to post with regularity too but, life happens.

I'm very proud of what I wrote and published on Friday because it came out so funny and I was sick when I wrote it. I just forced it out. Today I wrote something for Sunday that I like even more but, I wasn't sick. It was almost like I had an unfair advantage today.

Congrats on # 400

Agent 54 said...

Love the cartoons. They're worth the work.