The King and The Badger

Riley, Zuzu and I live in a simple little house full of simple little things. Bright colors and happy corners. Photographs of places we have been and paintings of places we would like to go. Books with broken bindings and mismatched plates. The trees outside our windows look lovely against a thunderstorm sky. Lovely. We are blessed with a little more than enough and we are happy. Sometimes, just sometimes, those blessed with a little more than enough (ahem, us) find themselves wishing to be blessed with just a little more than a little more than enough. Case in point. Our garbage disposal broke last month. The dear thing just cracked nearly in half. It leaked generously when we used the disposal, started the dishwasher or turned on the water. It also seemed to leak anytime anyone walked through the house, spoke or took a breath. Inconvenient. We spent a couple of weeks saving for the replacement. I switched out bowls from under the offending appliance while Riley performed the most extensive garbage disposal consumer research ever undertaken by a single man. Seriously. It was exhausting.

And then it happened. The husbands' research and an ad on KSL joined together in one serendipitous moment. And what a moment it was. Yes. It was true. The king of all garbage disposals, The WasteKing 12000 was being offered NEW at the obscenely low price of $50. The WasteKing is not just some plastic toy pretending at manliness. A little thing just for chopping up the discards from your sissy lunch. No. The WasteKing is the Hercules of sink related accoutrement. It is a sound insulated beast equipped with more horsepower than your car. A silver coated knight just waiting to do battle against anything you put in its path. The WasteKing is much, much, more than enough. And after a drive to Salt Lake, it was ours.

Riley spent four hours trying to tame the King. We called in reinforcements. Our dear friends, Brooke and Jesse, came over. Brooke and I entertained the kids, while the men went to battle. Three hours and a taco dinner later, the truth could no longer be avoided. The WasteKing 12000 was a pretender. A defective, silver plated loser that couldn't lift a lance if you paid it to.

The next day, Riley went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest garbage disposal in the warehouse. The Badger 5. It can chop lettuce and only shudders briefly when faced with day old bread.

Just a little more than enough.

We are still happy.

The Fall of the Queen

Honey, Let's get rich and replace the broken platters with these.

Remember when I wrote that post about walking to Walden? Yes, well I am still on my way. The journey is a bit longer than expected. I suppose I thought it was more of a stroll than a trek. It is like I set out for an afternoon walk equipped with nothing but a little snack and pair of ballet flats. A couple weeks later, I realize that I should have brought hiking boots, changes of clothing and a chuckwagon of preserved foods. In other words, this could take a while.
I am sure a therapist would have a heyday with this sudden need for deliberate simplicity. Something about how I am looking for more than a well run house. That I am seeking the control that can be lost in marriage and motherhood. Maybe that it is an attempt to avoid being lost in the chaos of mortality. A reaction against my raising, or a way to return to my childhood. The explanation would be deep and almost worth the 500 dollars I had spent to get it.
I do not have a therapist to explain away this urge, so I have decided to indulge it. The first wave of Operation:Simplify took place in the kitchen. There was almost a casualty. Pregnancy robs me of some very basic human attributes; these include my sense of smell, the ability to be rational and the very little sense of balance in my possesion. It is the latter that almost led to my downfall (no pun intended). There I was standing on a chair removing large platters from the top of our cabinets. Only five minutes into this whole project and I could already feel it...Triumph. I surveyed my kingdom from the height of my chair. Welcome, commoners. You are in the presence of the Queen of all things Deliberate. It was perfect.

As always seems to be the case, hubris merely proceeds the fall. And fall I did. Right onto our freshly mopped kitchen floor. The platters broke and spread themselves out around my prostrate body. If you ever need an image to illustrate a cautionary tale about the dangers of domesticity, there you have it.

The wind was knocked out of me so I could not get up. Margaret stood at door of the kitchen screaming, "MOMMY FELL!! MOMMY FELL!!" and Riley rushed in ready to say his goodbyes. It was like something out of one of those dark comedies that Showtime is always producing. Basically, hilarious. Eventually, my breath returned, Margaret stopped screaming and Riley was assured of my continued life. By the end of the day, I had a bruise on my head the size of a salad plate (I have a very big head). I also had a kitchen that would make a Spartan mama proud.

Riley says that I am the only person he knows that could incur a concussion while cleaning the kitchen. I say the whole thing went much more smoothly than I could have expected.

Next week: The living room closet.