Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

A Proper Temper Tantrum


[Warning:  Gratuitous swearing and whining]


So, yeah, I threw a proper temper tantrum last night. I wasn’t mad at anybody in particular.  I was pretty much pissed right off at everything.

Why, you might ask?

Because the push mower wouldn’t start.

Oh, no.  That wasn’t the first of it.  That was just the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

You see, TheBrit’s family is coming on the 12th for a nearly three week visit.  They’ve never been to America.  In fact, his parents have never been on an airplane.    I’m really excited about it.  His mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, and his niece will all be residents at our abode.

In preparation for their coming, though, I had planned all sorts of things.  The house needed pressure washing.  The house needs cleaning.  The yards need doing.  We have sleeping arrangements to prepare, linens to buy(because with just the two of us we really just operate on enough for us), and accomodations to make for his aged father.

We’ve known about this for months.

Every single time I think I’ll have some extra funds to do any of that with something else sucks it up like a giant black hole.

First my surgery in February.  Even with good insurance it cost us almost $5,000 out-of-pocket.

Then in May TheBrit hurt his back.  He was out of work for five weeks.  Without pay.  That hit hard enough, but he had to have exrays, MRI’s, steroid epidural injections and before we knew it, we’d met his out-of-pocket as well.  Another five grand.

Then, with his family to arrive in just a couple of weeks, our swimming pool which they are looking forward to dipping into since it’s so.damn.hot. sprung a leak.  So we’ve had to empty the pool, scrape out the caulking and are waiting on the super duper fast cure marine caulk to arrive. With less than exactly one week to go before they arrive the cement pond is bone ass dry.

Then my modem breaks.  That’s another hundred bucks.

Then, and yes this is our(probably MY) fault, Dottie ate the expensive ass remote control.

We both work full time jobs so all these little(and big) odd jobs have to be done in the afternoon and on weekends.  And he’s not even fully recovered from his back injury.  He works out in the heat all day.  When he comes home the last thing he wants to be bothered with is pressure washing and pool painting and yard work.  Not to mention the fact that he’s had blood work done and is having a sleep study scheduled because he is suffering from some extreme fatigue that has jumped on him like white on rice.

I hired the pressure washing done.

Then my brother-in-law who is an amateur carpenter at best – but because they bought a house and he’s doing most of the repair work himself thinks he knows everything – came over the other day for a family dinner and walked around our house looking at things.  We didn’t even ask for this.  He’s annoying as hell and even if I could afford to do any work right now I would be hiring it out to someone…professional.  He finds the ONE window sill that needs repainting and starts flaking the paint off.  “You’re going to have to take this whole window out and replace the sill.  It’s soft.”

I knew that it was soft.  A little soft.  The top layer of wood maybe six or eight inches long.  I already had a plan to have it fixed but as I wasn’t quite ready to do that was going to leave it until after our guests had left(so, yes, Roughseas, I’ll be sending those pictures very soon).  Now it looks really bad because, well, paint flaked off half of the window sill!  I didn’t effing ask you to do that!  He was so perplexed by my less than jovial expression.

I was going to do some of the outside stuff just because I know TheBrit doesn’t have all the time in the world and could use a little help.  I asked him if he’d get the push mower out for me.  “I can do that much.  I’ll just mow up close to the house,” I said.  Nothing would do him, though, but to do it himself because he thinks I already do too much.  I really like to push mow, though.  Still, nothing would do but for him to do it, even though he was tired and he isn’t the one who wants it done.

He gets the mower out and it won’t crank.  He tries a few mechanicy things he knows to try.  He tries for a good forty-five minutes.  It still won’t crank.  He calls me outside for some help.  “I need you to pull the cord while I hold the choke.”  I pull and pull.  It’s probably flooded now, but I don’t mention that.

I give up and go back inside to finish cooking dinner because by this time I’m proper pissed.

He keeps trying to no avail.  He pushes it back into the shed and comes inside.  “I couldn’t get it to crank, babe.  We’ll have to take it to the repair shop.”

So after just shy of three years of marriage TheBrit got to see me throw a hissy fit.

“Okay, I’m not mad at you, but if another fucking thing at this fucking house breaks I’m going to lose my fucking mind!”  Then I pout for another hour.  I may or may not have slammed cabinets and drawers.

Then I take a deep breath(actually lots of them, I thought I was going to pass out) and decide whatever will be will be.  If this place is ready when they get here it’s ready.  If it ain’t, it ain’t.

55 thoughts on “A Proper Temper Tantrum

  1. “If this place is ready when they get here it’s ready. If it ain’t, it ain’t.”

    Best attitude to have, IMO.

    *hug* ❤

    Liked by 7 people

  2. “If you’re speaking of love, you really must include the element of uncertainty – and perhaps it’s best approached as the art of constant maintenance.”

    – Twyla Tharp


  3. Very sorry to read what you’ve been through, Ruth. But I must say I “like” your last sentence. I’m sure your guests will enjoy their holidays in spite of slightly imperfect lawns or an unpainted window sill. So I wish you a pleasant three weeks, with water in the pool and, above all, without health problems!


    • No worries, Federico. I really am very fortunate to have all these things that break. Really, I am. I mean it. Sincerely.

      My guests will have a great time, regardless. My main concern is the pool. If we can just get that done, they’ll be just fine. If not, Hotel de’ Ruthie just went bust. Oh well. They’ll have to settle for yard games.

      The health problems, on the other hand, I’m very concerned about. My health is good. It’s TheBrit I’m worried about.


  4. Ouch on the doctors bills. That’s a huge dent. Living in Canada, it makes me happy we have universal healthcare.

    I hope you find the time and cash to get that stuff done but if not, the ‘what will be will be’ attitude sounds like the way to go.


    • You’re not kidding. I can completely understand why medical expenses is the number one reason Americans file bankruptcy. I’m not at that point, but I definitely did not have ten thousand dollars just lying around.

      Do you know where I can sell a kidney? I pretty much resigned myself to the que sera, sera attitude. I don’t really see another option. Unless I want to walk around angry and irritable. Somehow that doesn’t sound so good. An hour was enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your brother-in-law sounds about as useful as a tits on a bull. I hope things go smoother for you in the coming weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ouch! No doggone fun at all. Sorry for your woes.

    The demand for the perfect is the enemy of enjoying the good. That is a whole lot of unpleasant stuff, and I can’t say that little smug sentence would help me either with so much going wrong. Except … last Sept my brother in law was diagnosed with leukemia – he is already gone – perspective on how bad bad can be.

    I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that a sincere effort to make things pleasant for your guests and some explanation to them of why things aren’t just like you would want them to be for them, will be lovingly understood and your efforts appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ugh. Now I feel guilty for having my little tantrum. I’m so sorry about your brother.

      The truth is I know other people have bigger problems. I mean, this stuff is just regular stuff that people have to deal with on a regular basis. For some reason, when crappy things happen they happen at the most inopportune times. And when it rains it pours. But I don’t have it nearly as bad as a lot of other people.

      As long as my guests have a comfortable place to sleep and food on the table they’ll be perfectly happy. It’s not them who is demanding perfection. That smug little sentence might not help anyone’s feelings but it certainly is true. So I had my evening of being a whiny poo poo head. I’m done with it. If I let it eat at me I won’t have a good time while they’re here. That’s not about to happen. I’ve got my big girl britches on now.


  7. It can be really stressful when people come to visit, and all the extra weight of wanting the whole thing to be perfect falls on your shoulders. How long has it been since they’ve seen you both? If they’re decent people, they’ll be happier about that than whether or not the sill has a fresh coat of paint.

    By the way, if one of my siblings had done that with the paint, I would have treated it as volunteering to paint it. If he tries to give you his free opinion again, remind him that any free damage to the house needs to be met with free repairs to *your* expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure I made too much of the whole thing. Wanting everything to be perfect at what cost? And are they even going to notice any of that stuff? Besides the pool, I mean. That’s kind of hard to miss. It’s a big empty hole in the ground. But other than that, are they going to notice any of that stuff? I doubt it. It’s the perfectionist in me. Thankfully I don’t have it to an obsessive compulsive degree. We haven’t seen them in about three years. I keep reminding myself they’re coming to see us, not our stuff.

      The paint was cracking. I think the source of the whole thing is a sprinkler head that sprays water onto that window. Anyhow, it was cracking but not so terribly noticeable until said relative started peeling it off. He’s my brother-in-law. He did offer to come help TheBrit pull the window out and replace the sill when they’re done working on theirs. I just wouldn’t have ever walked up and started peeling at someone’s paint like that. Not even at my sister’s house.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That was interesting. It was like reading someone else. A proper hissy fit indeed, and perfectly understandable. Just doesn’t seem Ruth-ish! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is pretty unRuth-like. I usually take things in stride, even under pressure. And I’m fairly patient with people. Things? Not so much. They’re supposed to work.


  9. If nothing else it’s good to know we are not alone. In the immortal words of Roseanne Roseannadanna “Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”


  10. Understandable frustrations. Good conclusion.

    I hope you enjoy their visit!

    Tell TheBrit to hurry up and injure himself again sometime this year, so you can take advantage of that maxed out OOP. ;p


    • I’m sure we’re going to have a fabulous time.

      About the OOP: I know, right? I’ve already told him if there’s anything he needs to have tested, poked, or peered into he needs to hurry it up and do it in this calendar year. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ruth, I must be sick but I laughed at that . . .oh, my. Frickin’ lawn mowers!! And the nit-picking relative – I think there’s one in every family.
    I’m betting things’ll be ship-shape by the time the visitors arrive and that you’ll be getting tons of compliments about your hospitality. ..they’ll love you and your home; I know it!
    After all, you and the Brit ROCK, Ruth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My outbursts are always humorous. There’s nothing scary about them. I say words I don’t normally say and people laugh because it sounds so strange coming out of my face. I get animated and people laugh because…well, what the hell is that? In my past I was the one who did most repairs and/or household projects. The Demon Deacon and I had moved into a new house and I was installing a ceiling fan in our bedroom which had no air conditioning. It was hot. I can’t think when I’m hot. I lose all patience when I’m hot. I was trying to hoist that stupid ball thingy into the ceiling bracket and the wires kept getting in the way and I couldn’t see what I was doing. I’d stripped down to nearly nothing. So there I am, standing on the bed, trying to thread the eye of a needle with a ball joint, half naked, cussing that ceiling fan for all it was worth. Was I taken seriously? No. I was laughed at and that ceiling fan was thereafter known as “The Son-of-a-bitch.”

      I’m sure it will all be just fine. Thanks, carmen!


  12. Ruth I know this was a very serious post, but I laughed at how you put it down.
    That brother in law needed some ass kicking.
    Hope all will be done by the time the guests arrive. Don’t sweat it too much. In fact, you can just leave some out for them to do. I am sure some may actually find doing such things fun

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you could be amused by my misery. 😛

      J/k This was actually supposed to be a humorous post. I wasn’t looking for people to feel sorry for me, just laugh along with me because this really has gotten to the point of comical.

      I have no doubt that if they’re the “working vacation” type they will have a blast!


  13. I am so sorry Ruth….that is a huge string of stress, bad news, and resource draining stuff. Letting off some steam in such a way is hardly uncalled for, and probably helped in the long run. Everybody has different ways of letting out that kind of frustration, some better and some worse. A tantrum is probably neutral. lol

    I agree with the sentiment that ultimately they will (or at least should) just enjoy the pleasure of your company and hospitality, and getting to know family. A friend of mine once told me to never own a house. “You’ll be sorry. Who cares about the fact that you’ll own real estate that might gain monetary value? The amount of money and time you’ll spend maintaining that house, will only make you feel poorer than richer and most likely you’ll lose money in the long haul.” There is some truth to that, although I like having a place that you can call your own. Something you rent never feels like that. And you can be removed at the end of your lease, and with a house, as long as you are making your payments nobody can touch you. But there are days when roofs need replacing, water heaters break down, furnaces are too old, wiring no longer meets current standards, etc that you think to yourself…how great it would be for this to be someone else’s problem? lol Here in PA, the landlords even mowed the yard for you where we had lived. I was like…this isn’t too bad. lol

    Having family in Europe too, we are experiencing our own stresses because everybody expects us to come visit them. Now with a baby, it is no easy or cheap trip. I don’t know that our combined income is that much greater either, but its sort of like they think we can just make this trip every year. And I know when her parents come and visit, we feel stressed about making it as awesome as possible because we aren’t New York City or Los Angeles, so we better have some perks. But it’s frustrating, because I feel like we’re perks, and we cook good food and are intelligent and interesting people who like to have fun. And Pittsburgh may not be well known to the average person but we do have things to see. Now I’m venting…sorry. lol But in the end it is always enjoyable, and I am sure it will be too. You want perfection for the time of your visit perhaps even more because things have been so imperfect lately. I think that’s a reasonable feeling. You feel like in this short window that when everything isn’t perfect it’s a reflection on you. I am sure though they have had similar experiences in life, and if there is good love, there is understanding. Everything will work out fine Ruth. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if a tantrum is neutral or not, but it did make me feel better. 😀 The next morning I did apologize to TheBrit for acting like a brat. The only thing missing was throwing myself on the floor and kicking. Hahaha

      When we “own” (I don’t really own this yet, the bank does) there is always something that needs maintenance. This is what happens when we don’t pay attention and take care of things that need maintenance along and along. Suddenly, when you have company coming and you want it all to be perfect you realize just how much crap needs to be done. O_o Most of the time I love having my house and being able to put my own mark on it. At times like this I just want a match and some gasoline(this is just a joke, if my house goes up in smoke I DID NOT DO IT). lol

      Fortunately his family doesn’t expect a visit every year. Not even every couple of years. And they’re just super duper excited to be coming as this is all of their first trip to America so they probably won’t even notice the little junk I’m worried about(well, except for the big hole in the ground). I can’t even imagine the pressure of them thinking we’d be making a trip every year. That can get quite costly and it’s such a long trip for big people, I can’t even make my mind want to think about doing it with a little one.

      We will have good food and fellowship and it will all be amazing, I’m sure.

      Thanks for the hugs, I’ll take ’em anytime. Hugs right back at you.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Ruth. Guess who this is? Guess who can relate to ALL OF THIS F*CKING NON-SENSE NO-GOOD SHIT that always or eventually breaks? Yep… so I drink, wine, margaritas, Dos Equis, and laugh right back at that SOB Murphy! 😀

    Sophistication and “status” are HIGHLY over-rated! These last 5 years I have joyfully learned the wisdom of SIMPLIFYING! No, not just simple simplifying… I mean a comprehensive simplifying of all things in my life. HOLY FRICKIN’ LOLLIPOPS BATMAN… the blood-pressure is down, the anxiety is down, and I notice the little delightful things in life and imperfectly beautiful people, friends, and lovers! ❤

    You'll make it Dear. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Professor! Have you been enjoying your time off from the blogging circuit?

      I don’t know how much status or sophistication I have. That’s certainly not why we bought the place, anyway. Most of the time I enjoy having it and don’t mind doing the work involved. I think that I’m probably just putting way too much pressure on myself to get it all done for guests. I’m just taking it in stride now and what gets done gets done. It’s certainly not the end of the world.

      Having said all that, and even enjoying owning my own place, there are times when I think I’d like to sell it all, buy and RV and park it at the nearest KOA. Paring down seems awfully attractive. One day, if I ever get to retire, that’s probably what we’ll do.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ruth, selling lock, stock, and barrel and downsizing/simplifying is at LEAST worth the experience of learning & distinguishing better what’s truly worth it and what is “fat” and only energy-sapping. I most definitely recommend it if you & hubby get the chance!

        The flip-side of doing it, however, should be a consideration though. Tiny-living — as the Eco-friendly Movement is often called — is unconventional and sometimes socially polarizing despite becoming increasingly popular among America's 30-somethings tired of being overburdened (enslaved?) to perpetual debt. It CERTAINLY is not a traditional American lifestyle. LOL! 😛


  15. Confession? I enjoyed this post so much that after lunch when Biker Dude and I sat down to check our computers I told him about your post and asked him if he’d like me to read it to him. He put his computer away and listened. He clarified, Your friend in Georgia? Yes, Ruth. 🙂

    Not so long ago we had new doors put in. Unfortunately, (and I didn’t realize this to be the case) one of the doors required a boat-load of caulking to be inserted all around it because we have field stone (irregular edges) that the door jam fit into. I have chemical sensitivities. Serious ones. I was up at 3:30 a.m. the next morning sitting by the open patio window and downing an over-dose of Vitamin C coping with the fumes from out-gasing. Then a little after 5 a.m. I went outside and sat on the porch step. I was so tired I eventually went downstairs to escape the fumes. Then I went back outside about 7 a.m. & didn’t come back in (except to pee & get food) until 7 p.m. We had the Hepa-filter running full blast, fans running, windows open. It was a nightmare. I drank so much water trying to flush out what for me was quite toxic. When this type of thing happens I get so irritable. (Understatement.) It doesn’t help when Biker Dude says: I can’t smell anything. OMFG I know already! Sorry! I do!

    I sat in my lawn chair outside forcing myself to look at the garden, to occupy my mind which was about to split a gasket. He slowly approached with his own chair and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I told him I didn’t think it was safe for him to come near me. It wasn’t in his best interest. He said he knew that but wondered if there was something that he could do to help. I told him he could call the fuckin’ door installers and tell them to come back and take the fuckin’ door and caulking out! Either that or he could get me a fuckin’ sledge hammer. I then leapt into a fuckin’ diatribe that may or may not have included saying the F word 50 times in 60 seconds. That may or may not be an exaggeration.

    Anyway, I shared your post with him so he’d know it’s just not me. :mrgreen:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! We can commiserate! What a thing to bond over….

      I’m so glad I don’t have chemical sensitivities like that. That must be really fuckin’ awful. :mrgreen:

      I was far better off just having my little hissy fit and then launching into the rest of my create language tirade in my mind. I’m sure for however many times I actually said the F word I thought it times 100.

      No, it’s not just you. I don’t think it’s just us, either. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh my, Ruth. You must have been sinning REALLY bad for all this to happen. I mean, what in-the-world else can you attribute such catastrophes? I mean … really! Gawd must have been very upset with you for your lack of holiness and prayer. *grimace*

    Seriously, I feel for you. It’s bad enough when one or two — or even three — things don’t work as they should, but you got a whole basket full! In any case, I agree with the others. Your company will be so happy to be in AMERICA and be able to visit with family, they’ll never notice a thing (except, perhaps, that hole in the ground). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m such a bad ol’ sinny sinner. I’ve done a whole lot of soul searching over it to see what cherished sin I’ve been holding onto. I can’t come up with anything. So the purpose of all this turmoil must be that Gawd is trying to get my attention. Y’know, make me fall to my knees and realize that without him I am nothing and I can do nothing. *shudder*

      Yep, that used to be my thought process. I’d pray and pray about it, have a ‘come to Jesus’, and cleanse my soul. Then I’d make a plan, and then get on with the repairs because somehow it always still seemed to require me to, y’know, actually do them. Now I just skip all that crap and get right on with the repairs. They get done a lot quicker that way. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I hope you don’t mind me responding with a joke:

    One day a pastor was walking through his neighborhood when he passed a young boy selling lawnmower. It so happened that the pastor needed a lawnmower so he asked the young boy if the lawnmower was in good working condition. The young boy said, “Sure, it works great. It’s just a bit hard to start. But if you kick it a few times and use a few cuss words, it starts right up”. The pastor said, “Oh my, I don’t think I could do that. I haven’t used a swear word since I was a young man”. The young boy said, “Don’t worry about it. Just try starting it and I’m sure it will come back to you!”

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Hey Ruth, thanks for the (humorous) mention 🙂 But to be serious, what got me were the medical costs. I don’t understand how people are meant to find that sort of money. What’s the point of insurance if you have to fund thousands? Ridiculous system! Barbaric. Every time British politicians start on about looking at the American model, I feel ill at the thought. Doesn’t the Brit find it hard to get used to? Suppose there’s no option.

    Hope you have a wonderful time with his family. Rather you than me though. There are advantages to having a one-bed goat … goat? That should read flat!


    • “But to be serious, what got me were the medical costs. I don’t understand how people are meant to find that sort of money. What’s the point of insurance if you have to fund thousands?”

      It gets worse and worse, really. I can remember a time not that long ago that my deductible, which is the part I’d have to fund before the insurance paid a dime, was $250.00. After that the maximum out of pocket was $2000, but after the $250 deductible was met I’d only have to pay 20% of whatever medical bill up to the $2,000. I never had to pay anything all that much, really. A medical bill would have to be $10,000 for me to meet the out of pocket. These days it’s hard to find a sweet deal like that. Medical costs have skyrocketed along with insurance premiums and co-insurance amounts. We really, really, really need reform. I’m having a difficult enough time. I don’t know how people who make minimum wage deal with it. They can’t afford to pay for insurance with a great deductible and out-of-pocket and they sure can’t afford to lay out high deductibles and out-of-pockets, so they end up filing bankruptcy. It’s a lose-lose. The physicians and medical facilities lose out on payment and the individual is financially burdened or ruined.

      The ten thousand dollars that is our part doesn’t even count the portion that insurance did pay. TheBrit’s 2 epidural shots? They were $6,000 alone. Three thousand dollars each?!?

      He had a trip to the E.R. in an ambulance. They loaded him up on a gurney and drove him two(2) miles. That was $1675.00.

      I’ve managed to negotiate lower amounts with most of the providers. The hospital, to which we owe combined for our treatments $5,000 said they didn’t offer discounts or accept offers in compromise. I’ve allowed it to go to the point of collections through a third party and am attempting an offer in compromise through them. I’m offering a very fair settlement. I’m not trying to rip them off. The last person I spoke to said it was a fair offer and thought they might accept it. We’ll see. Like I told him, they can’t get blood from a turnip and if they won’t negotiate they might well end up with nothing. Something would be better than nothing, no?


    • Oh, and if you have a one-bed goat you might be able to cash in on that thing. A goat with a bed? That’d be better than a talking dog!


  19. Why would God want to give you trouble? The world, the flesh and the devil are providing you with about as much as you can handle. I see your support group is still with you. Did any of them send money? Am I sending money? Sorry for the cynicism. I now going to write another person who I hope is more open to a better, and eternal, life than you are.
    P.S. I do think of you often and hope for a better life for you. Please contact me via email should you ever want to hear about it.


    • Gee, Ruth – wasn’t THAT a warm fuzzy?? I feel like breaking into a chorus of, “They’ll know we are christians by our looooove”, don’t you?? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Shaking your sandals off, walt?

      I don’t think God would want to give me trouble, especially since I don’t think there is one. And I don’t think it’s the devil either, since I also do not think there is one of those either. It’s life. Everybody goes through these kinds of things. Unless they don’t. And then they can count themselves among some very fortunate people. Fortunate. There are loads of “godly” people who have all sorts of troubles way worse than mine. I’m sorry you didn’t come to this post with your usual sense of humor.

      I don’t have a donate button and certainly didn’t expect anyone to come to my financial aid. I’m a big girl. TheBrit and I will handle our finances. Is that what you got out of this? That I was asking for help? From people I only know online? *shrug*

      Thanks for your concern but if you really want to help I can send you the email address to make a paypal contribuiton(I’m only kidding).


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