Just when I think I’m about to really get stuff done and blaze a new path, something like this happens. Every time.

Yesterday afternoon, while two of my smalls (who are all more in the medium-large range, if I’m being honest) worked on their school work and the other two wondered around aimlessly looking for something to do,  I finally finished and posted a new blog post. It only took two-and-a-half weeks, and won’t win me any awards but hey, I got it done, right? As I sat back in my chair, I turned to look out my office window, which faces our driveway and the road beyond just in time to see a huge eighteen-wheeler rumble past our house. Hmmm. That’s strange. We never have vehicles that big on our street. 

Not two minutes later, one of my kids after another filed into my office. “Power’s out” each said with increasing urgency. It suddenly made sense why the site I was trying to access moments before was still loading. No hydro = no internet. Living up here and not on town services, also means that no hydro = no water. Incidentally, yesterday was the hottest day of the year thus far, coming in at around 31C and humid. Good times. Sigh.

We headed outside to see what might have happened. This is what we saw.

Oh. Right. 

A neighbour was on the cross street and yelled over that an 18-wheeler hit the hydro post. Wonderful. It did not escape my notice that the truck broke the hydro pole clean in half and also that a) was no longer at the scene of the destruction and b) that it broke the same hydro pole that has been broken or knocked over no fewer than three times in the past four years, including this past winter when a snow plow took it out after the first snow of the season. Argh.

Police and HydroOne were called. The intersection was closed off and around six hours later, we had power again, and eleven hours later, our internet was restored. Needless to say, it was a long, crummy afternoon and evening. 

Once the power was back on, I finished making dinner (had been using the oven) and set it aside for tonight’s dinner. I did not allow myself a  moment of mum-guilt as I fed the children chips and salsa, sardines (they love those), grapes, crackers and cereal for dinner. Not one. single. moment.

As it turns out, our midnight internet fix was temporary, as just moments before lunch today, the internet and wifi died again as Rogers does the ‘real life’ repair on the line. On the upside though, we did get to keep our hydro though, so it only bites a little bit.

Oh, and it’s only Wednesday. Oh boy.

P.S. Just as I finished this post, our internet connection was restored once again. Only a two hour outage today. Progress!

P.P.S. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes, I post info, ideas or photos everywhere, and other gems (and duds) only get posted in one place. Some things are totally worth skipping, occasionally there are things well-worth sharing. Either way, I’m happy for the company (as long as we can both stay in our own homes, in our jammies, with no actual face-to-face contact. #IntrovertProblems). Also, please feel free to like, comment on and share any post, for any reason, including blind rage and mockery. I dig it.

When ‘Murphy’ Comes to Visit – How to Kick Him in the Nuts, Stand Your Ground and Win

* Murphy’s law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.

Who hasn’t had a visit from that ‘ol bastard Murphy just when things are going well, looking up, or, dare I say it – looking GOOD even?

You can probably guess that Murphy has been an unwelcome house guest in our home and lives, more than once, and it finally occurred to me that like with any unwanted guest, the best defence (other than poisoning the fucker) is to have a plan to thwart his efforts to hang around for long.  It may not be possible to completely eradicate Murph but there are a few things we can do to limit his power over us.

1. Like a good boy scout (have to go with ‘person scout’ here, I’m not down with being a genderist/sexist/scoutist), BE PREPARED.   This is the Grand Poo-Bah All Supreme Tennant of kicking Murphy square in the grapes and standing your ground while he writhes in pain at your feet.

Example ot follow.  Now, obviously I know that we cannot be prepared for EVERYTHING that could happen (I mean, most of us have lives to live and don’t have cement bunkers and the like in our yards), but we can prepare for a lot of possible occurences.

Example:  If you want to do your best to avoid very costly and painful dental work and don’t have the benefits/time/spine/stomach to deal with dental disasters, figure out a way to get yourself to the dentist once a year (even better twice a year, but once is miles better than never) for a check up and cleaning.  Around these parts, it will run you between $200 and $300 (kid dental cleanings are usually half this much) and not require heavy painkillers at the end of the visit.  So, if you budget and save between $20 and $25 every month, per person (less for the little people you house) you’ll be able to pay for an annual cleaning with cash (not credit, so no debt, interest or spirit sucking bills), limit or completely avoid a buttload of pain and suffering, and circumvent that Oxy addiction that’s waiting to sink its claws into your life. And you get the satisfaction of kicking Murphy square in the biscuits and standing your ground.

Yes, I may err on the side of exaggeration, but take it from me, someone who has suffered the consequences of choosing to forgo the small inconvenience and discomforts only to suffer anicent torture techniques in the name of dentistry and keeping my chiclets.  Don’t let Dental Murphy into your life – he’s a rat bastard from hell and you can only pull so many teeth before you look this:

Um, ya. ‘Nuff said.

2.  Build and maintain a small stockpile of food, health and beauty, and other personal care items for those times that Murphy comes and steals your grocery money to buy a new transmission (for a car you hate), or hot water heater (for showers that you love), or a kidney (that they say you need), well, you get the gist here.

First of all, just stop it.  I am NOT advocating that you go all ‘Extreme Couponer’ on your family’s ass and start stashing boxes of cereal under their beds, tins of beans in their sock drawers, and toilet paper under the dining room table, but I do think that you will save time, money, gray hair and stress wrinkles if you consider doing this:

Have enough groceries (and yes, toilet paper!) in the house to tide you over for one, two, three or more weeks, believe me, it just makes good sense.  I’ll admit that it may be false economy to have a YEARS supply (not for me, but for some people maybe), but a couple of weeks?  No one can lose on that deal, except Murphy, that is.  Even if you are not budget conscious, oriented, or even aware, you are likely acutely cognizant when you are flat broke and don’t have enough dosh to buy a Hungry Man dinner and a Coke (no matter how much you dig through the couch cushions).  BUT, if you pay attention to store sales (oh, and F.Y.I. the “roll back” Wal-Mart edict is a marketing technique scam – it IS a sale price, so grab it while it’s advertised or get a raincheck!), stock up just a little bit on loss-leaders, put a little bit of thought into how much you/your family/sect/tribe/crew/posse eats and uses up during any given time period, you can damper the effects of visits from Shit-That-Breaks-And-Costs-All-My-Money-Murphy.  By having even just enough for a week of meals, you will be able to stare that STBACAMM Murphy square in the eye while you axe kick him in the nuggets and laugh.  And yes, you will feel good.  And yes, it will still suck to have to spend all your money on that transmission/water heater/ kidney, but at least you will have reduced the trickle down badness and be able to avoid credit to float your groceries.  I mean, Murphy WINS if you spend $2.49 for a loaf of bread but because you buy it using your VISA card, and you can’t pay the bill in full at the end of the month because Murphy took all your money so it ends up costing you $32.59 in interest and fees for that lousy loaf of bread.  And really – it is NOT smart to take 3 years to pay off a loaf of bread – that’s just stupid.  BUT to each her/his/their own.  Should you want to even spend $6 on a loaf of bread, let me know and I’ll bake it for you fresh every week (and it will be gooooood), but I should be honest that I’m strictly a cash-only kind of baker.  Bread for bread, not credit for bread- get it? *insert super cheesy groan here*

So totally NOT suggesting that this is necessary, desirable or possible for every person to have. Unless you really, really like BBQ sauce and Chex Mix, I suppose…

3. Do not turn a blind eye to the pink, g-string wearing, pole dancing pregnant elephant in the room.  Just because you pretend you do not see her gyrating her trunk into a twist over there, does not mean that she is not about to give Murphy the lap dance of his (and your) life.

Make no mistake – if things have gotten to this point, you have some serious damage control in your future. Stop denying and hiding and start kicking some pink elephant fanny.

Simply put – face reality.  Sometimes things happen and we cannot or do not see them coming, thru no fault of our own.  Otherwise known as the Shit Happens mandate.  And no matter how well we prepare, sometimes what will be, will be.  BUT, if we live our lives without EVER paying attention to the obvious, ignoring the impending doom that is coming our way, then we are opening our doors for Murphy to waltz right in and take the best seat in the house.  And why would anyone sign up for that?  So, cut it out.  Take care of the things you own, maintain them, keep them clean and in good repair.  And take care of the body you have, you only get the one (and plastic surgery will just make you look like a pod-person – Jocelyn Wildenstein, anyone?).  And your mind (as warped as it may be), is another one of those you-get-one-kick-at-the-can kind of deals as well.  If you choose to fry it with drugs, alcohol, trans fats, or multiple helmet-free head injuries while trying to get yourself featured on TV’s “Dumbest Stuff on Wheels”, then you will pay the Murphy price tag.  Maybe not immediately, but eventually.  If you cover yourself from head to toe in Snoopy and Beavis tattoos and then wonder why no one cares that you are a bone fide rocket scientist, do not act surprised.  Every action has a consequence.  Every inaction (which is actually an action too, I suppose) has a consequence too.  Doing nothing can bring about just as dire results as doing something.

The fucking terrifying-to-look at Mrs. Jocelyn Wildenstein. Don’t. Just don’t.  There’s no going back.

So, the next time you go down to your basement to grab a package of toilet paper from your stockpile (see how we are coming full circle here?) and you think  that your socks may feel a wee bit damp, DO NOT IGNORE IT.  Tune in, pay attention and investigate.  More likely that not, it is that toerag Murphy, tapping on your door and actually warning you that he is coming to town and will be blowing up your hot water heater, slowly and silently in his wake. And if you ignore him, you’ll be without hot water next time you want to take a shower, bathe a baby or wash a dish.  And more, if you are in your basement and you take a step and your socks are soaking wet instantly, Do Not Panic.  Murphy has just paid you a visit, but if you have been following tips 1 and 2, then it will  be okay.  Stand up straight, steel your resolve, raise your foot, soaking wet sock and all, and haul off and tornado kick Murphy right in the stones.  And then smile wide, showing off all of your dentist-approved teeth, because you win.

Trust me.  I speak of that which I know.  True story.

Now, stand your ground and start kicking!

Has Murphy paid you visit lately?  Didja win or are you still working on it?  What’s your best advice to stave off Murphy-related carnage?