Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Help! The Armchair ate my sock!

School is starting next week, so I am running out of blog time while I engage in more mundane tasks such as shelling out lots of money on books, sewing buttons on uniforms, and cleaning out the shed in the hopes of finding clothes, shoes and/or books that will save us a little money (no such luck). In the meantime, my bored little girls are coming up with lots of fun, messy, and time consuming ideas to keep me busy (like I can't think of a thousand ways to keep busy on my own). So far they have tried car washing (rummaging around in the shed in search of buckets (leaving the corresponding trail of discarded items on the floor of the shed), dumping out the contents of the wagon (which was full of stuff we should have gotten rid of ages ago but didn't), and asking for soap, sponges, etc. They also decided to plant lentils, chickpeas, and beans just to see what comes up, and littered the patio with soil and watered their seeds before sweeping up the soil, so we had a patio full of mud. Their latest idea was to make play dough with flour and water, so they asked me to look for a recipe, and to keep them away from the t.v. and the DS, I agreed (even though I know the result will be a floor full of flour and food coloring stains all over the kitchen).

Now I'm off to buy a button for Vio's uniform, since one fell into an armchair while I was sewing it. This is one of those old armchairs that doesn't have removable cushions and finding lost items means digging around the sides with my hand. The whole family has tried to find the button, but no button is to be found anywhere inside the chair, and we didn't even get any loose change out of it (what kind of an armchair doesn't have any loose change? I'm seriously thinking of trading it in -after all, if I have to buy a new button, at least I should be able to do it with the lost change that should be in the chair). What did come out of the chair was: A lone sock, a magnet, a broken earring, a pocket mirror, and a plastic starfish. Oh, wait, I lied about not finding any change; there was a 5 peseta coin in there as well (considering the fact that we switched over to the euro in 2002, you can guess how often I check the insides of my armchairs).

About that sock, we now have a sock that doesn't have a mate (actually, we have quite a few, but this is the first that has come out of an armchair). Now, there are lots of theories about missing socks; some say they are sacrificial offerings made by the dryer to the god of socks, or that they breed with ballpoint pens to give birth to closets full of tangled coat hangers, but I believe the truth lies in the black holes we call sofas and armchairs. Recently, I heard that scientists at MIT have found a black hole that has left a dent in space-time, that they compare to the dimple that forms in one's favorite spot on the sofa. My theory is that the dimple in my armchair is a link to that very same black hole discovered by the MIT people, and at this very moment Vio's button and the missing sock must have gone through it to the land of all lost things. We must have caught the other sock in its desperate bid for freedom -maybe I should just leave it on the chair, where it will eventually find its way through the wormhole in the space-time continuum and be able to join its mate. That said, and before you get swallowed up by this black hole-of-a-post, I suggest you delve into own armchairs and see what turns up. Meanwhile, I'll get back to my buttons, and see if I ever find the time to do my next vacation post.

Update, September 9, 2007: Food coloring doesn't exist in Pamplona. Okay, it exists, because our strawberry yogurts are pink (and I don't think there's any real strawberry anywhere in there), but you can't buy it in the supermarket. So it's okay for big food companies to use it, but it must be too dangerous for home use -"Watch out! She's armed with food coloring, and she's not afraid to use it!". This, along with chocolate chips, is just one of those things we had in the U.S. that we can't get here. I guess our play dough will just have to be white (or more accurately, whitish-grey, which is the color it gets after a few minutes in the kids' hands). With all the cheap flights available these days, maybe I should just hop on a plane to the U.S. and come back with a load full of the stuff. Of course I might get stopped on my way through customs for importing an potentially dangerous illegal food-enhancing substance.


  1. First...

    Hey, the orbit called, the kids out there need new shoes too...can you supply?
    Good luck with the button!

  2. I am running out of blog time

    Don't you just HATE when real life interferes with blogging? That's when we lose most of our socks!

  3. Have you ever had it where you have a hole in your jacket pocket, and you make the mistake of putting coins in it, and they end up inside the lining of your jacket, and then you're at the store trying to pay for something and you're like 7 cents short so you have to stand there at the register digging around inside the liner of your jacket while people stare at you? Me neither.

  4. Theresa.....Minka is lucky that Smudge went into orbit last night. He raced under tables and behind sofas, pulling my connection as my finger was about to send your REAL FIRST comment into orbit. Do I get any points for that? How about points for bellowing only ONE swear word as I slammed the lid down?

    If I recall, I told you that I always thought the washing machine had the taste for "sock". Thanks to your tip, I now have somewhere else to look:-) I was very verbose and witty last night. Tonight...not so much.......Judy

  5. Good one! Yep, I know what you mean when kids find things to keep you busy, not them, mind you, but you.
    You can't buy food coloring in Spain?! That's crazy!

  6. I have solved the sock problem. It is a space-time continuum, but it's run by these little buggers who aren't big enough to take human beings down, but like to do little things to make our daily lives more miserable. I use my orphaned socks to dust. Now, whenever I put laundry in the dryer, I say, really loud, "I hope one of my socks goes missing because I need a new dust rag!" and thus con the aliens into thinking I WANT them to take one of my socks. Sock retrieval since implementing this new plan- almost 100%.

  7. WAIT: you found the plastic starfish?

    I lost that thing years ago.

    Shoulda known the likes of you would have had it all along.

    (your post cracks me up...all those ideas the kids have to pass time and be engaged...ultimately, they're just random mess-makers, aren't they?)

  8. Minka: Have old shoe, can send. No luck with the button, so I stuck a different one one -such is the life of a uniform, destined to be made up of unmatching buttons.

    Dan: When the real life consists of buying shoes, books and uniforms, then I do mind. If it's sitting in the garden reading a good book, then the blog can just take a hike (unfortunately, it's usually the former not the latter that needs doing).

    Diesel: Nope, that's never happened to me, but I have gotten stuck behind those people in the line at the supermarket. Usually, it's a little old lady who cuts in line on the pretext of having only one item, and then spends half an hour looking for her change.

    j.d.: Okay, you can tie with Minka, since it's the thought that counts. You have my permission to say all the swear words you like, it can be very good therapy. :)

    Pavel: Yes, I am busy for hours after each new "project" the kids think up, and they usually get tired of it after about 15 minutes. Nope, no food coloring here, it must be an illegal substance, right up there with marihuana.

    Frogster: I'll have to try that new sistem of yours and see if it works for me. Should I address them in English or Spanish since I am in Spain? Maybe they have a Babel Fish and it doesn't matter.

    Joselyn: Yep, here's that starfish. I'll save it for when you come over, that way you'll have an excuse to come to Spain - you can say, "I absolutely must travel to Spain in order to recover a plastic starfish that is vital to my very existence". And, yes, kids are random mess-makers, at least mine are, and they're extremely good at it too. I'm thinking of signing them up for the Olympics of mess-making -at the very least we could take the silver.

  9. i think i found your button underneath MY couch cushion. if i send it to you, will you can help me out with a men's navy sock, featuring burgundy stitching? thanks. ; )

    good luck with all your preparations... been there/done that/always forgot something.

  10. Maybe you can ask at some kind of cake or candy shop where they get it. Of course, that is unless you want it to stay white...

  11. Can you get Koolaid or other drink mix? That should make nice colors in Play Doh, and smell good, too!