We are in the process of decluttering our house of 18 years, as we prepare for retirement.
This blog is not about THAT.
We are in no way prepared to get into THAT.
But we are happy to write about the La-Z-Boy.
Because, damn, ya’ll.
A sister here in NZ asked us to store her twin La-Z-Boy recliners a few years ago while she was overseas doing mission work.
They went into our basement (a.k.a. “rumpus room” in New Zealand Speak). Thanks to the huge Sony Brava/sound system from the same sister, our rumpus was turned into into a surround-sound-theater.
That’s the background.
Now, as Paul Harvey would say, this is the rest of the story.
As part of the strategy to declutter, we are selling off about 100 billion items that we’ve accumulated over the last 33-plus years.
Just thinking about this process is like having a 10,000 pound weight placed upon my chest.
So, anyway, we recently used Trade Me, our version of eBay, to auction of the wee Mazda camper van and the Missus’ arsenal of knitting machine stuff.
Good & Bad
The good thing about these auctions is you can get rid of stuff, which, if you will recall, is strategically aligned with our goal of decluttering.
The bad thing is you have to deal with people who seem to base their entire life and income around these auctions.
Like the lady who won the Missus’ Knitting Extravaganza auction, which was clearly marked as PICK-UP only.
So of course this lady wanted us to ship everything several hundred kilometres away (which is well over a billion miles).
This required the Missus to disassemble everything and carefully position all the parts back in the original boxes.
Of course she has the original boxes.
Plus, because the Missus included yarns and books and various knitting attachments that do Lord only knows what, she had to create a HUGE third box from a range of cardboard boxes, including one we had to go out and buy.
So yesterday, in the cloudburst of all winter cloudbursts, I was driving around Auckland trying to find the CORRECT depot for sending original knitting machine boxes (plus the custom-made one that could probably have held a pony).
This was a COLOSSAL waste of time, got me soaked and really pissed me off.
I know this will come as a huge shock to anyone who reads this blog and knows that my normal personality is “rainbows and unicorn happy”.
So anyway, I promise, we are getting to the real point of this story.
Unless I see something shiny and get distracted.
The first “beachhead” for Operation Declutter is the Rumpus.
We decided to get rid of the two La-Z-Boy recliners and a treadmill that I have faithfully used for years to hold my camo pants; the ones that I am supposed to wear when I am spraying killer horror chemicals on the roof.
But it was not that simple.
Since the La-Z-Boys are WAY better than the green recliner that has been in our living room for two decades, we had Junior put on his muscles and lug the green recliner down to the rumpus, and one of the brown La-Z-Boys up to the living room.
This positioned one brown La-Z-Boy, one old green recliner, and one treadmill for pick-up by the auction winners (one of whom will no doubt ask me to wrap a recliner and send it to Guam or some place).
As I walked into the living room last night for prayer time, the Missus was ensconced in the La-Z-Boy.
In fact, she looked as if she, and the *Crack Puppy, had been poured into the La-Z-Boy.
The only movement was the occasional twitch of her tiny house shoes.
“This chair is just so wonderful. I can just sleep like a pig in it. Did you already place the ad for the other one, because…” said the Missus.
So I yanked the La-Z-Boy from the auction and incurred a THREE DOLLAR penalty.
But, honestly, I cannot blame the sleepy Missus.
I took two, count them, two naps yesterday in the La-Z-Boy.
I am not sure what supernatural power they wield, but brothers and sisters, there is something magical about these recliners.
I awoke from the second nap about midnight, just in time to go to bed.
I awakened from one of those dreams that was about as real and complicated as an episode of West Wing.
When I awakened, I realized that I was weightless and purple. Plus invisible and filled with fuzziness.
The nap was just that good.
So I stumbled out of the La-Z-Boy like a drunk.
And off to bed.
Where of course I could not sleep.
Which means that what I really need to auction is the bed and start sleeping in the ***La-Z-Boy.
Because, man oh man, these things are great.
*All up, the Crack Puppy had three world-class naps yesterday in the La-Z-Boy. She has yet to tell me about her dreams
**Pretty sure this dream means that everything will turn out JUST FINE
***We find it ironic that the La-Z-Boy is the same brown color as Gramp’s rocking chair. Our afghan is pretty much the same, too. That says a lot about a lot.
This blog has choice about entering the discussion on Steven Adam’s balls.
First off, let me stress that while Steven and I both have New Zealand citizenship, and both have made *major contributions to the game of basketball world, this blog has no direct relationship with, or knowledge of, Steven’s balls.
Every guy of the male persuasion, with the possible exception of Obama, has an intimate relationship with his family jewels.
And we have immense compassion for a brother when he “takes one in the cods for the team,” as did our Steven in Game 3.
There is no greater pain or sacrifice on the face of the Earth, as we personally experienced many times on Nebraska Street and at Owens Stadium.
This blog is well aware that millions of women readers are at this very moment discharging their pink tasers.
And that they will go on and on and on about the unbelievable amount of excruciating pain caused by childbirth.
Yadda yadda yadda childbirth
The all-grown-up musician son rings at 12.30 a.m.
Which, despite him being all grown up, always makes Dad’s heart miss a beat.
“Dad, there’s this little white dog running around in the street in the rainstorm by the Watercare plant. He has a collar on. What do you think I should do?”
Father and son over the years have had many conversations like this. Pretty much always, we agree that “something has to be done”.
And, usually, we end up doing it, because ain’t nobody else interested.
It’s still summer in New Zealand.
Every now and again, when I have a wander into the primordial jungle out back, I find a locust husk (or shell… what do you call those things they hatch from?).
And every time, my childhood memories come pouring back.
We had a mimosa tree in the front yard, and half a dozen in the back.
Every summer, the locusts would try to suck them dry and, boy, would they sing loud and long while slurping up the sap.
It has to be said that, as young rascals, my neighbor Eddie and I were not especially kind to the *locusts.
There was probably nothing wrong with collecting their old husks from the trees, and feeding them to Lady Dog, our beagle.
She thought they were better’n pork rinds.
But the other uses we had for locusts were not something that make for particularly sanctifying stories during Lent.
(Republishing this vintage blog because it’s Lent, ya’ll!)
In New Zealand, we’ve already begun Lent — 40 days of prayer, fasting and penance leading up to Easter.
Since this is mainly a humor blog, we will begin our Lent by republishing a favorite about two great priests who were incredibly funny in very different ways.
Archimandrite Stephen was bigger than life and perfect for his ministry in media and evangelization. He could PREACH UP A STORM. And he so loved to laugh. Heeheeheehee.
On his generous girth:
“I’m an Archimandrite in the Melkite Greek Catholic tradition. As you can see, we’re rather fluffy. Hahahaha.”
“As you know, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So why would you want a little ol’ prayer chapel when you could have a Grand Basilica with a Rotunda? Hohohoho.”
On being the only Catholic in a Louisiana family renown for producing more than 50 Assembly of God preachers:
“I’m the family black sheep. And I love to tell my cousins that I’m the favorite of our departed relatives because I’m the only one praying to get them out of Purgatory. Heeheeheehee.”
On Catholic teachings (when a New Zealand TV interviewer was beating him up because the Church won’t recognize gay marriages):
“I’ll tell you something even crazier. We won’t marry a man and a woman who are living together in sin unless the stop and go to confession. Can you believe THAT? Heh heh heh heh.”
On being a tad theatrical when speaking to our annual Auckland Eucharistic Convention:
“I need one of those lapel mikes. I want to be able to walk around the stage and show off for your Bishop.”
And then, there was Father Angland, 75, my first Parish Priest in Auckland.
He was half the size of Father Stephen, but equally hilarious in his no-nonsense, Kiwi way.
Once, when he asked me to distribute holy communion at Mass, I declined.
For you see, Catholics believe Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said His Flesh was true food, and His Blood true drink.
“I can’t. I’m not worthy,” I said, prompting Father Angland to respond with his wonderful dry wit:
“Don’t be stupid.
“Of course you’re not worthy.
“But somebody’s got to do it.”
Rest in Peace, Archimandrite Stephen and Father Angland.
And as for ya’ll?
Here’s wishing you the best Lent, ever.
My niece in OKC frequently takes her chillens and their cousins to Lincoln Park Zoo.
Even though they were raised on Harry Potter and Disney World, they love going to the zoo.
I think that’s great, but, really, there is no way a zoo trip can be as awesome to them as it was to us in the Sixties.
I was probably nine years old when we made our first “expedition” all the way from Norman to Lincoln Park Zoo. If memory serves, it was a 9,000 mile journey that took about three months.
I was either with my best friend Steve, or my cousins, or all of them, and possibly a sister or two.
What’s clear is that we were all psyched.
For years, we had been watching *Bob Jenni doing guest spots on Foreman Scotty.
He was always handling snakes and gila monsters and other animals that would kill you dead if you messed up.
We boys were GLUED to the television when Bob was on, quietly rooting for the snake to get lose and maybe bite somebody, just a little bit.
So when we went to the zoo, we were hoping to see some seriously dangerous critters, running wild and eating kids, if we were lucky.
My memories of the zoo are a bit faded and may not live up to the **99.99% accuracy that that blog has maintained for the last five years, but here we go.
I recall the Mothers or Aunties were dead keen on this being an EDUCATIONAL trip, so we were all armed with our Friends of the Zoo Key.
I was not much of a joiner at Norman High School.
I played football, and that was about it.
But I was a proud member of two organisations that will go down in infamy: the Grandstand Boozers and Alvan’s Army.
Both involved massive amounts of basketball, testosterone and adult beverages.
Not necessarily in that order.