I’m back home again and in case you were wondering, my pillow was as fabulous as I remembered it. 

Burglars did not invade my house, even though the blinds remained closed.

However, despite the Wild Boar’s best efforts to keep the pool blue and sparkly clean while we were away…

This is what happens when it’s a bazillion degrees outside and no one is brushing the pool every day.  Lovely shade of green don’t you think?

Sadly the chlorine levels in the pool are high and it still happened.  So is this chlorine-resistant algae?  That can’t be good.

Whatever it is, the pool is currently being drained and will get a lovely scrubbing of the walls.  Truthfully, the Wild Boar has been wanting to do this since we moved here so I think he’s secretly glad it happened.

This is one of the laundry piles that is as high as my waist, the other is to my knees.  Ugh.

This little guy decided to enter into a relationship with a permanent marker…yeah whatever and why.

It’s 108 degrees here with very smoke filled air from all the fires burning.  This is slightly different than the mild temperatures we experienced in Northern Oregon.

I have my air conditioning set to 75 degrees upstairs and down, however the thermostats are reading 90 and 86 degrees.  Ummm, Houston, I think we have a problem.

I made homemade pizza, which made the kitchen even hotter, but we couldn’t bare to eat out again.  That was really intelligent.

It’s 11:45 PM and my oldest hooligan is still awake because it’s so dang hot upstairs and he can’t sleep.  I just put his blanket in the freezer for a while and gave it back to him.  We’ll see if that works.

I need a vacation…sigh.

And Potato Ho entries, let’s work on that.

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  1. Philly 1

    Green is the new blue, havent you heard?


  2. Erin 2

    My laundry looks like that and I haven’t been gone.

    For some reason I thought that would make you feel better. LOL.

  3. Ugh. I always hate the laundry piles after a trip.

    Your son is adorable, even with marker on his face. Why do kids do that?

  4. Oh you poor dears…glad all is well at home. Except for the pool…we have a salt pool…you should think about it. It makes its own clorine, and is much better for humans, the environment, etc. Anyway, at least the Old Boar has a nice project;)

  5. Diani 5

    Sorry about the wildfires, the heat and the laundry, but that’s one cute hooligan ya got there. Dimples…how adorable! The other hooligan is very handsome, too.

  6. Glad you made it home safely. I’ve always thought the best part of a long vacation is the coming home, until I actually get home- then I want to leave again.

    That picture of you hooligan is precious!

  7. Stephanie 7

    Wow, sounds like you ARE down here in Houston. Except for the fires, thankfully we haven’t gotten those yet. I see those fires and I worry for my friends and family that are out there, of which I will say are most of my family and a great deal of friends. So stay safe (I know the fires are far enough way) and hopefully that pool will be clean and full of sparkling blue water soon!

  8. Ahhh….home sweet home.

    Don’t we all really need a vacation from our vacation upon returning home?

    Welcome home!

  9. I forgot about my ho entry. Just stopping by to say hello and tell you I appreciate you.

    Sorry about the laundry and the heat!

  10. Welcome home! Isn’t it so nice to get home after a long trip somewhere? The smell of home when you walk through that front door, exhausted and spent, is such a comforting feeling. I loved it!

    link to

  11. Poor thing! The heat is horrible. The ac not working. And no pool to cool off in. I say, go back to Oregon and try again.
    I’ve had the hardest time with algae this year. Is that due to global warming, too?

  12. Steph 12

    I know the feeling, I hate coming home from vacation and realizing everything that needs to be done. I always just want to leave again and make it all go away! At the same time, it’s always good to be home.

  13. You realize that laundry pile just triggered my PTSD?

  14. Penny 14

    Glad to hear that most was well when you returned!
    Yes, it is hot!!! The smoke makes it seem even hotter!
    Realized from your blog a few days ago that I drove right by your place while visiting in Oregon. Hope I will be back there soon!

  15. sharon 15

    Is there a person hiding in all that laundry? well, glad you made it home safe & sound. Your hooligan’s smile should make it all better. :)

  16. Cathy C 16

    Welcome home….

    I feel your pain on the heat – Here in Mayberry it is running about the same and when I came upstairs the other day I looked at the temp on the ac and it said a cool 90!! Yikes…. I love the blanket in the freezer trick that one I will have to try – wish the whole bed would fit in there :)

  17. dawn 17

    oh dear that laundry made my breath stop. Girl I feel your pain. Lordy.

  18. Marcy 18

    We keep our thermostat at 77 and it consistnetly reads 78-79. We start trying to cool it down around 8pm and never get below 73.
    I laughed when I saw the pile of laundry – the blue /yellowish plaid shorts right in front toward the bottom? I think they r just like a pair myhubby has! he loves them:))
    Glad your pillow was all that you remembered it to be!

  19. Ugh! I had a very similar experience recently w/ our pool (ours was cloudy, not green)–we didn’t have to drain it though–just keep cleaning and clearing the filter until it fixed itself.

    I hope you can get your a/c fixed ASAP!

    Welcome home!!

  20. Claudia 20

    Um, yeah, I am going to pass on your pool. It looks like even the mermaids might pass on that greenish hue of yuckiness, LOL!

  21. Misty 21

    Ugh, I am so sorry about the nasty hot weather. I hope it cools down for you guys soon! I am glad to hear your pillow was great…there is nothing quite like your own pillow & bed!

  22. Trisha 22

    Oh my! What a HUGE pile of laundry! Good luck with that!

    What was the little one trying to draw on his face with the marker?

  23. My whole family in California keeps telling me how hot, smokey and just generally gross it is out there. My mother took pictures of all the smoke that is in the air where she lives along with a shot of her patio covered with ash from the fires. It all makes me glad that I live in a place where nothing is on fire and the high temp for the day is going to be 88 degrees.

    Hope things get better for you all real soon…

  24. lots of great stories from the road…thanks!!!
    Totally understand the laundry thing…going to a old friend’s house today for lunch and will use hers whilst on my journey to find the perfect w & d for our new home…
    Just like college and I have a pile like yours of just my stuff….YIKES
    Welcome home!!!

  25. My laundry pile always looks like that.

    Good luck with the pool!

  26. We live in a two story house too. I got so sick of trying to cool down the upstairs that we put tinting on the upstairs windows (which helped quite a bit) and then we bought one of the small ac units that the exhaust hose goes out the window through a plate that adjusts to any window – BEST THING EVER – seriously.

    We now have one in our bedroom and one in our office. In the afternoon, I go up there and turn them on to cool down the rooms and by bedtime we can open the windows again and have it comfortable enough to sleep peacefully. One was $500 (has a drainage hose so you don’t ever have to empty a tank and also has a heater) the other was $299 at Home Depot (you have to empty the tank on that one). This is the third summer we’ve had the one in our bedroom (the more expensive one) and the second for the smaller unit. It has also helped keep our electric bill down because we don’t need to bring the temp downstairs to freezing to cool off the upstairs.

    :: working on the HoDown entry tomorrow morning with Cathy ::

  27. Good luck recovering from your vacation!! :)

  28. ALF 28

    I am so jealous that you have a pool. Even though it’s green.

    Don’t worry about the laundry – it’s not going anywhere. Mine never does.

    I have never thought to put a blanket in the freezer. Did it help?

  29. What is it with kids and markers?

    That laundry pile made me wince – that’s always the worst part about coming home…

  30. Jules 30

    Laundry is scary, isn’t it? You leave one thing in the bin….. for say 30 seconds…… in a dark room…… all on its own……. and look away……… just for 30 seconds, mind you……. and POOF!……. it turns into a pile that would rival MT. Everest.

    Um…… not that I would know anything about that, of course.

    Just saying.

  31. Alisa 31

    I always hate re-entry. Always. Glad you made it home safely, glad your house withstood the threat of burglars and here’s hoping the laundry takes care of itself.

  32. mitchsmom 32

    We have discovered that if plant matter gets into the pool, when it starts breaking down it releases phosphates which allow the pool to turn green, even if there is enough chlorine.

    Hope the AC is working! I would be dying!

  33. Erica 33

    That’s a lot of laundry. My family has a place in the Willamette Valley, near wine country. Your adventures are making me excited to go tasting this summer!

  34. Baked a PIZZA in this heat?!?!?!?!? Girlfriend, you do need a vacation!!

    Put your son’s blanket in the freezer??? Now that’s clever and certainly something I never thought of. Oh wait, we paid EXTRA for our fridge to get less depth so that it would look great and flush with the counter … but, alas, I have a teeny (or should I say “slim”)freezer which couldn’t hold a blanket even when empty (which it is not)!

  35. Lori 35

    I’m glad you made it back safe and sound. And I hope the weather improves for you soon! :)

  36. pam 36

    Oh man, I hate it when a big dose of bad reality slaps you in the face! It’s especially painful after a vacation!

  37. Cathy,

    you should assign house work to your kids. Chores are so beneficial for children. Being responsible for doing chores teaches children many important skills such as cooperation and responsibility. Chores also teach children about fairness and commitment. And it is good to start at their early age. I had my kid cousin helping with chores in exchange for time to play video games, ice cream or movie. And they love it.

    And keep the permanent marker out their reach. One of my friend’s girl used permanent marker drawing stuffs on her bedroom wall, living room, and her own room (all happened while my friend were cooking for everyone). It was nightmare for her and her husband. They had to repaint the walls.

    And you don’t want your kid to draw something on your face while sleeping. I once traveled to Malaysia by train with my rugby team. We drew one of our friend face, his back, his tummy, arms and legs. It was fullbody drawing. He woke up and walked through the next cabin full of himself thinking at girls smiling at him because of his good look. Until he saw himself in the mirror. So he pull his T shirt up to cover his face without knowing that his back and stomach written with funny messages. And we had that picture on his profile page of our year book. Those drawing lasted for a few day too :)

    If I have a child as cute as your son, I would be willing to be the slave to my own child.

    You are blessed, very blessed.

  38. Chinya 38

    Yeah, did the blanket in the freezer work?

  39. Flea 39

    My youngest had a confrontation with a Sharpie awhile back. On a school night. He managed to get it all (when I say all, I mean a mustache, goatee, scar, unibrow, etc)off in five minutes. His face was beet red from scrubbing, but it was clean.

    Hope all is well with your AC. Change the filters!

  40. Now I’m glad we don’t have a pool. Never thought of the work that goes with it.
    Never thought of putting a blanket in the freezer but it sounds like a good idea.Get the air conditioning looked at.

  41. It’s so hot and humid here, I’d jump in the green water anyway.

  42. Lex the mom 42

    Green is the new blue- I heard that, too! I agree with whoever mentioned that the Wild Boar can feel useful about getting the pool looking sparkly blue again!

    It seems I have some catching up to do here…you were good about keeping us updated during your vacation – while I’m not so good at that. I had to take my break. ;)

    We had AC problems this year, too – it turned out that some contacts needed cleaning & all was good again. I hope it’s that simple for you.

    I have personally had experience with permanent marker. It’s a good thing that it’s really not so permanent on human skin. I like the design on his face (he’s much cuter without it ;) ). It can be tatooed, you know.

  43. Y 43

    Aieee! That laundry pile!Nothing like the sights that greet you when you return home!

  44. Your sons are sooo cute! :)

  45. Ugh on the laundry. Do you have one of those places that will charge you by the pound instead of doing it all yourself. (Also, I am lazy and you can pay me no mind.)

    Also, your kids kill me with their cuteness. Your 95 degree house, however does not. I’ve heard you can grill your pizza. Maybe for next time. ;)

  46. medstudentwife 46

    YA know… no matter what you come back to when traveling.. its still home.

    I love to travel – the excitement & the change of pace and freedom…

    But home is still home, even with all the crap resultant by being away.

    The marker thing…. just thinking tattoos *lol*

    Tho Fidel & I aren’t going to do the SoCal to Oregon route this time we are heading to his “home” (native LA guy & we’re heading over to pick up his stuff as he starts his rotations in Ill.)…. was there a place on your trip that you ate at and would recommend for next time we do the route ?

  47. Leslie 47

    Where are those laundry faries when you need em????

  48. Now THAT’S a stack of dirty laundry!!! Great to be home, huh?

  49. Lo 49

    Isn’t it grande to be home?
    Thank goodness the pillow feels right, or I’m sure you’d be tempted to escape right back to Oregon. Hooligan sticks and all.

    Wishing you algae fairies to go along with your laundry fairies… and praying they do your bidding.

  50. Daisy 50

    You’ve convinced me. Tell you’re boss I said it was okay. You need a day off. If your boss is your laundry and the pool, tell the Wild Boar that the Fluff ‘n’ Fold and Mr. Pool Man would be on the credit card this month.

  51. grace 51

    heaps of laundry. you know you love it. :)
    with the heat being what it is for ya’ll, i don’t think a little algae would deter me from taking a dip in the pool…

  52. HoneyB 52

    There is no place like home, eh Cathy? Even when it means heat, exhaustion, dirty laundry,dirty pool (I had to say that) and little “too hot” hooligans with crazy ideas! :)

  53. Yummm my Sicilian grandparents were always drinking Limoncellos. Back then I was too young to drink them. Since I can legally partake, I might have to whip me up a batch!

  54. Tipper 54

    Glad your back home safe and sound-except for the pool issue and the heat.

  55. Egghead 55

    Our pump broke down last year in the hottest part of the summer and our pool turned the most brilliant green you have ever seen while we were waiting for the repair. If we drain our pool it would run our rural well dry trying to fill it up but I am always threatening to do it just to paint it. It is that old (around 32 years). However, a pool guy came and got the water cleared up and the pool cleaned up within a few days. He had to shock it but it worked. I am going to check into the salt pool like Mental Pause Mama was talking about. I have never heard of it. Hope you have cooled off by now and the laundry pile has lowered.

  56. Magic Eraser! oh wait, it’s his face. It should grow off in a few months…
    Welcome back to paradise! My paradise is currently fighting, so the fact that you got a coherent comment from me is a miracle.

  57. Paula 57

    Ah, the inevitable vacation laundry mound. Maybe it will appear to decrease in size faster if you sip on one of those Limoncellos! You left Oregon just in time … there is a heat warning today for today and tomorrow! Love the blanket in the freezer bit … I’ll have to give that a try!

  58. Rayrena 58

    Your boys are so adorable! For the face, there’s stuff called Tend Skin that I use for after waxing. It kinda takes off the top layer of dead skin cells so you don’t get ingrown hairs. You have to be careful with it but it might work in removing the marker. I uses it on my husband when he gets grease marks on his legs from his bike gears.

    The freezer tricks sounds good. We usually use a spray bottle to occassionally spritz ourselves under the ceiling fan. It seems to help keep in cooling off.

    Pizza sounds good! Perhaps next time you can throw the stone on the grill grates and cook it outside (hopefully Gore won’t hunt you down for contributing to warming the environment) But then you might get a swarm of hungry neighbors beating down your door.

    The last time we had fires near us our electricity went out. So we went out in the backyard and threw a log in the fire pit and hung out. Yeah, it did feel wrong to start a fire while one was burning 10 miles away…

  59. Maria 59

    I have 2 pet rats, and they are hating the weather at the moment. Someone gave me a good idea. Freeze bottled water, and then put one in their cage so they can lie next to it to cool off. I really worry about my pets in extreme weather.

  60. omygosh~you are so bold! thank you for sharing your ONE/FIRST laundry pile LOL~I am laughing to myself right now because YES there is more than ONE laundry pile @ my house + I am too embarssd!

    Man~the concept of laundry can be a whole blog in itself…..

  61. Yuck…what a site to come home to. I have vivid memories of this from years gone by.
    The laundry – I can’t tell you how happy I am that it’s not me and I’m happy for you that the marker is on the face and not the walls.

    Welcome home!


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