Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest Post by Karen at Baking In A Tornado


Can I have the microphone turned on? And the spotlight over here please? (squinting) Thank you. Hello? Hello? Can everyone hear me now? Oh, good.

I know my voice is a little shaky, but I’m really nervous. This is the big leagues and today is opening day. I’m visiting here on Peanut Layne and I want to do my friend proud. At the very least, I hope to do no harm.

OK, introduction: my name is Karen and I blog over at www.BakingInATornado.com. Let me start off by apologizing. I know it’s disappointing to expect to see the Star and end up with the Understudy, but lucky for me you didn’t buy your ticket so I won’t be responsible for your refund.

So Peanut Layne is out of commission for a while (no, I did not hurt her to get a spot on her blog). In her place, I’m offering you a smorgasbord of posts and bloggers. We’ll try to hold down the fort until she returns. Stick with us I’m just the opening act, warming up the audience, as it were. It’ll get better, I promise.

Peanut usually tells you about the goings on in her home, which are always hilarious. My kids are now teenagers, and as much as I love embarrassing them in their current life forms, the story I’m sharing today is from years ago.

Let me start by telling you that we live nowhere near any family. We’re from the East Coast, but my husband was recruited by a company in the Midwest, so ten days after we got married, and on the promise that it would be only for two years, I packed up two years worth of make-up (in case you can’t buy make-up in the Midwest) and moved. Two years is now around 20, but that’s a whole other story.

Ever since moving here, family visits went from the Saturday afternoon barbecues of my youth to a two week stay . . . in my home. It’s an adjustment. When YOUR family comes, you sort of know what to expect because, well, you’ve lived with them before. When the in-laws come, that’s a whole different can of . . . something. What I learned is that when my in-laws were here, it was a good idea to have something scheduled for my husband and father-in-law to do to keep them busy.

When my kids were a baby and a toddler, my Mom bought them their first swing set. It was right before my in-laws were due for a visit and I couldn’t have been happier. My mother-in-law would help with the baby and my husband and his father could build the swing set.
It was a metal swing set and had all the bells and whistles. Each day the men would go out back. My father-in-law would squint at the directions, my husband would search through 7 billion pieces that looked nothing like the pictures of enclosed parts, and my toddler would grab hammers and wrenches and take turns banging on the metal, banging on his father’s toes and banging on his grandfather’s kneecaps.

For five long days my mother-in-law and I watched out the window, laughing till we cried, as the older men tried to get that thing standing and the little one tried to kill them. 
And on the fifth day, the sun rose in the East, and as it set in the West, 3 tired men approached bearing gifts. OK, it was the leftover bolts they couldn’t figure out what to do with, but the swing set was up. And it was a beauty. They were so darn proud of themselves.

The next morning while admiring our beautiful new swing set, we noticed over the back fence, the neighbor and his Dad putting up a swing set. The exact same one. Two hours, three tops. I bet there were no pieces left over, either.

So that’s it for today. Please come back often to see who’ll be filling in next. And if you’re still looking for a refund for today, I’ll get Peanut Layne’s address for you . . .


34 comments:

  1. At least they squinted at the directions! It's a matter of stubborn pride here...he will not even open up the instructions until all other hope is lost. I hate to admit it, but he (and my daughter!) can usually look at a billion pieces and somehow just understand how they go together.

    And seriously, I believe that at the end of every assembly line is a person whose job it is to toss in a few extra pieces.

    Nice job, Karen!

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    1. I think you're right about that last person in line, Lorinda. Now so much makes sense.

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  2. Bahahahaha when my husband, his father and his best friend were constructing the swing set for my girls, Lena learned some very colorful new words! I would have enjoyed it SO much more if I wasn't due to give birth at any second.

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    1. Amazing how many people have similar stories, isn't it?

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  3. AWESOME job filling in, Karen!!!!
    Don't you just love when they have parts leftover?? *insert eyeroll*

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    1. Thanks, I enjoyed being a guest here, it was fun.

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  4. LOL! I had an ex-boyfriend that tried for 2 days to put the swing set together. Finally, me and the 5 year old went out and threw it together in a matter of hours. Could be why he's an ex now. :)

    Great job on covering for a friend. You are awesomesauce and peppergasm all in one!

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  5. Great job!
    I live in the midwest too....for the past 20 years in Chicago and cannot wait to "get out" in five years.

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    1. I agree with you, I'm looking forward to going back home too.

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  6. Thanks for your hospitality. Enjoyed being your Understudy. Get well soon, can't wait to hear what the Star has to say!

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  7. Wish I lived closer or I'd send my husband over. He's like an idiot savant when it comes to putting things together...WITHOUT instructions. I'm always amazed that we don't have a bag full of nuts 'n' bolts leftover after he's done. I can't relate to living away from family. They all live within 20 minutes of us. I know my husband can, though. He moved here from the midwest for a job before he met me. Let's just say that I won on the location of our residence. I freeze when it's 65 degrees out. I wouldn't last in the midwest!

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    1. So you're the one who got the one man on the planet who can put things together without instructions. I was wondering who got him!

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  8. I loved this. I am also from the Midwest.....in the mitten. Sometimes finding our niche means that we have to learn what isn't our niche....LOL

    Irish Carter
    www.dedicated2life.com

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    1. Can't argue with that, if at first you don't succeed . . .

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  9. It's NEVER a good sign when there are leftover parts!! Did you bite your nails for days afterwards while you watched your kids on the swing? Did it stay in one piece over the years? Inquiring minds want to know! Lol! Great blog post--Peanut will be proud!

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    1. It did stay together. Eventually the kids outgrew it and we got them a wooden one . . .and paid to have it put together.

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  10. hehheheh! So very entertaining for everyone else but the hapless two!! :D

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    1. Well, they were VERY proud of themselves for one night!

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  11. You did a fantastic job Karen filling in ... I wish my darling (yes, I know her name and am still not giving it up!) well and a I hope she feels better soon!!

    xoxo
    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. Thank you, Lanaya. It was my pleasure filling in!

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  12. You know you really wanted a guest blogger spot! Just admit it! lol
    A few years back, my kids got a swing set as well. Oh the hilarity of watching it be put together. Not sure if it was done the right way, but it held up pretty nicely!

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    1. Oh yeah, I wanted a shot at such a popular blog, you bet I did!

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  13. Hum swing sets, I remember those days. Some bad words uttered by men, when putting them together, but the kids used it for years.
    thanks for letting me visit. I love the polka dots.
    Susan
    http://amazingcouponanddiscountdeals.blogspot.com

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    1. I think the most important part is that the kids used it for years. So whatever it took to get it up was worthwhile. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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  14. You've done your gal pal proud, Karen! This was the perfect mix of giggles and heartfelt memories :) I'm definitely coming back!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind compliments. Yes, please, come back often!

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  15. Very cute post! I loved it and we're all here supporting you! Love you!

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  16. Very cute post! I loved it and we're all here supporting you! Love you!

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  17. I know how that is. I miss having family near by. I love this post, you her proud.

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    1. Thanks, Becca. It's really strange to live near family your whole life and then move away. I still miss home.

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  18. Great post, Karen! Funny! We have many such moments especially with my father in law who thinks he can fix anything! (NOT!!!) I admire what you're doing for Peanut lane! You're a true friend! That's rare these days!

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