Summer Cereal Wars

We're currently getting the back deck and wood trim painted, which is one of those homeowneryship things that costs like, ALL of your money and leaves you with...well, everything pretty much looking exactly the same as before. (They're also power washing the siding, which has grown slightly greenish since we moved in, so we at least get to Make Yellow House Yellow AgainTM.) It's a very unsexy unfun home improvement, and it's taking forever because every day it starts raining right after the crew shows up. (That has got to be one of the All Time Top 10 Most Exciting Paragraphs I have ever written in the history of this blog, no? Perhaps later I shall set up a live video feed of the freshly painted window trim so we can all watch it dry together.) This morning they asked me to remove all the window screens, which I did, while the cats looked on in escapist glee. I of course managed to injure my fingers not once, but twice in the process, and drop one screen down the side of the house. ("HEADS UP!" I yelled to absolutely no one below, for no discernible reason.) Then I grumbled and... Read more →


It, Chapter Storch

A couple weeks ago, Jason ordered a life-size Pennywise cutout to prank Noah with. It's HORRIBLE. Truly the devil's own work in laser-cut novelty cardboard. I mean, look at this shit: First Jason hid it in Noah's room -- and then hid himself around the hallway corner, phone in hand and set to record. Noah's initial reaction was actually unimpressive. A quick GAH!! and a door slam, and then a wise-and-exasperated DA-A-AAAD. The next morning the stupid thing was positioned directly outside MY bedroom door, and the kids were treated to a much more hilarious OH SWEET JESUS CHRIST reaction from me. It now lurks around every corner and doorway. Ezra and Ike claim to hate it, yet are thoroughly delighted with the ongoing game of "startle the grown-ups out of their wits" by moving it around the house. Walking in from the garage? Doing laundry? Stepping out of the bathroom? THAT'S NICEEEEEEE. (I admit that I regularly put it right in the garage entryway to scare Jason because I am a petty child. He always blames Noah, and thus restarts the Great Jumpscare War all over again. It's the cirrrrrrcle of Storch.) One time I caught Noah in the... Read more →


Everything That Happens When Your Significant Other Joins An Amateur Ping Pong League

1. First, they will attempt to convince you to also join an amateur ping pong league, as their team needs three more people. 2. You will tell them NO. Never in a million years will you join an amateur ping pong league, because you are terrible at ping pong and even more terrible at losing. 3. They will text all your friends to see if THEY want to join an amateur ping pong league. 4. Your friends all respond with their personal favorite variation of a WAIT WHAT? gif and then politely change the subject. 5. The league will manage to sign up three other teamless/friendless losers and complete the team. 6. They will volunteer to be team captain because "nobody else wanted to." 7. They will be lying. And also a little giddy. 8. It's actually kind of cute! 9. A very specific, very fancy ping pong paddle will arrive in an Amazon box. You will laugh at the fancy box and ask them if they actually plan to carry the paddle around in the fancy box. They will say no. 10. They will be lying. A specialty paddle care and cleaning kit will show up along the way... Read more →


Ghosts of Nonsense Past

Would you like to use the bathroom? Check out the guest room, perhaps? OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIEEEEE???? "The basement's not a mess, is it guys?" "NO MOM IT'S FINE ALL CLEAN ALL GOOD. " (Please tell me someone else has a child with this particularly distinctive play style, better known as the "pull everything out until I have barricaded myself into a six-square-inch square of free floor space within a deep murky swamp of every toy I own.") And yes, those are the same Thomas tracks and trains from oh, so long ago. And yes, I've made oh, so many attempts at giving them away over the years. And yet they remain, much like the zombie toddler-sized socks that I keep finding and throwing out, finding and throwing out, over and over again, while also being haunted by much larger poltergeist child who keeps leaving his dirty socks on the dining room table. Because none of my living children will own up to being the dining room dirty sock leaver, oh nooooo Mom, it definitely wasn't meeeeee, those aren't myyyyyy socks, and there is no spoooooooooon. Anyway, looks like Infrastructure Week is going great! But. Wait. Is that...no.... Read more →


Vignettes In Search of Coherence

Apologies in advance for this random assortment of stories with no real point or connection; I am simply too beyond obsessed with the Entitled Rich People With Kids Who Don't SAT Good College Cheating Scandal story that I cannot go a 10 full minutes without refreshing my news feed. It's like the universe knew I was fresh out of Fyre Festival and Theranos documentaries/podcasts/memes and gave me a little gift of righteous schadenfreude, with an extra topping of fraud and Influencers and A GODDAMN DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE. *** For the first time (....in forever) (gaaaahhhhh nooo what have I done) (I'm sorry, I could delete that and spare you but I refuse to suffer alone), I was NOT awoken by Noah's godforsaken foghorn of an alarm clock. Instead, I woke up to the blindingly bright flashlight on Jason's phone shining directly in my eyes at 6 a.m. while he frantically whispered: Blood. There's so much blood. He was running around pointing the light at the floor, at tiny drops of red near his side of the bed, out into the hallway and then to an alarmingly large puddle on the stairs. "I don't know whose blood this is!" he said. "But... Read more →


Things That Do Not Work, Part Two

(Here is Part One. We figured out how to turn off the second mystery alarm AND change the time for Daylight Savings, but it is still waking up everyone else in the house except for the person it is intended to wake up.) Laundry hampers. We have a lot of them! And yet. They Do Not Work. This is the hamper I share with my husband in our master bathroom. I bought it at Target a million years ago and it definitely used To Work. It's made up of three separate laundry bags so you can sort everything into separate loads of whites/darks/delicates/whathaveyou. Each bag has handles so you can carry them individually to the washer when full. It is right next to our shower and perhaps 10 steps from our closet, where most of our dressing and undressing happen. THEREFORE, it should work. But every since we moved to this house, my husband developed a weird quirk where he consistently tossed his clothes in a random floor pile JUST OUTSIDE the bathroom door. Sometimes I would watch him come OUTSIDE the bathroom to do this, despite the hamper being THERE! IT'S RIGHT THERE! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? After... Read more →


Things That Do Not Work, Part One

Hello and welcome to the first installment of a series I just made up about things that Do Not Work in my home/life/general existence. You know what Does Not Work? This alarm clock Does Not Work. This is the Sonic Bomb Extra-Loud Dual Alarm Clock with Red Flashing Alert Lights and a Powerful Bed Shaker, which we bought for a certain 13 year old who needs to get his ass out of bed in the morning but who lo, does not get his ass out of bed in the morning. We tried several different alarms before this one -- an alarm directly next to his head paired with another one placed on the floor on the other side of his room. A different and slightly louder alarm tucked away on the top shelf of his closet. Even our own screeching voices yelling at him through the Echo Dot he keeps tucked under his pillow. He slept through all of them, or worse, would make the journey down from his bunk bed while still asleep, turn the alarm(s) off, and then climb right back in bed with absolutely zero memory of doing so when I showed up at his door 20... Read more →


Solo: A Storch Wars Story

Jason's been on a business trip all week so I've been trying my best to hold things together on my own. Nobody tell him I've been soaking the dinner pots since Monday. Poppy jumped over the fence to chase a squirrel, Beau escaped out an open garage door, and Jake found and consumed an entire package of English muffins. Packaging included, save for a single twist tie. Oh, and Rey got her head stuck in a package of seaweed snack while Finn followed after her trying to clean her butt. . It's like, when getting all these dogs, I looked back on the semi-impossible toddler days of yore and was like, yes. Let's absolutely do that all over again. On the other hand, the human children are no longer toddlers or semi-impossible. Noah was so excited to see sandwiches for dinner he didn't even care that they were technically full of vegetables. Then last night Ike ate two full servings of chicken and was the first one to finish, so he ordered me to text J and report on this truly STUNNING development. He gave me a huge hug this morning and said, "Remember how great I was at dinner... Read more →


The Branch of Watches Past

Last March, a wind storm snapped a large branch off one the willow trees in our backyard. (Well, actually many, many branches, as seen here.) But one particular branch got...stuck...on its way down. Like so: Being the responsible and capable homeowners that you know we sometimes seriously think about attempting to be, we saw two possible solutions: 1) Hire a tree company to come deal with it. 2) #BRANCHWATCH So the branch has been stuck there for since last March. When we're outside on the deck we might stare at it, discuss the physics and trajectory that got it wedged where it is, and what it might take for it to finally fall down. It'd make good firewood, we'll say for the hundredth time, if we could just get it down from there. Sometimes we just complain about it, as it's especially noticeable and ugly and dead in the spring and summer because the willows are too spindly and sparse to camouflage it. The kids throw rocks and soccer balls at it from time to time. We all poke our heads outside after every subsequent snow or rain or wind storm to see if it's finally been rattled loose. But... Read more →


Florence Nightingdog

Several New Things I Learned About Dogs This Month: 1) If you don't neuter a male dog, some very bad and unpleasant things can happen to him later in life! And to your house! 2) You know those monthly heartworm pills your vet is always up in your grill about? They are very super important! 3) Dogs can get their very own special form of the Zombie Pinkeye. Poor Foster Dog, man. After getting the break of a lifetime last month, he has not really caught another one since. So, to recap: Jake is about 10 years old and was never neutered. He still isn't, because he is currently heartworm positive and cannot go under anesthesia until he tests negative. He also cannot be listed as available for adoption until he's both negative AND neutered. We knew all of these things when we accepted the foster placement, and we specifically requested a senior dog with treatable medical needs who otherwise didn't have a shot in hell at adoption from a shelter. So this isn't a post complaining about us having to deal with any of this shit -- but I just need to point out that FAT HOT HAM THIS... Read more →