FOF Observation #14

The "FOF Observations" are a series of "Perpetual Posts" where I will share with you, my readers, short little "one line" observations that I have made (or will be making) on being the father of a large family. You will be able to access each of the posts in a cohesive list by clicking on the "FOF Observations" link in the "Perpetual Posts" group on the sidebar.

observation14 The Mother of Five:  Oh darn, we are out of milk upstairs.

The Father of Five:  (Said in my best super hero voice) No worries my darling, beautiful, wonderful wife, I will come to the rescue of our family by procuring an additional container of refreshing dairy beverage for all to enjoy!! 

MOF:  Sigh....  Quit the theatrics and bring up another gallon of milk please.

FOF:  (Bowing my head in embarrassing shame) OK.

After reaching the basement pantry refrigerator, and grabbing a gallon of milk...

FOF:  HEY MOF!!  Looks like we are starting to run low on our milk supply again!


Yup... That's after taking one out of the fridge, and having one empty upstairs...  This is our milk supply for between a week and a half to two weeks... 

Forget backyard chickens (sorry AtHomeDaddy), like I said in the previous Observation #8 - perhaps a backyard dairy cow or two would be prudent consideration at this point! 

For some more older "grocery" fun, don't forget to check out Observation #5

Thanks for stopping by!


My dear friends, I am going to take a short break from my normally jovial nonsensical self. Please permit me to take a moment to get serious - and share a moving and important message with you.

This is a message from another father (a mentor of mine if you will), that I wish to help. It is long. PLEASE take the time to read through to the end, and absorb the message.

- - - - - - - -



Click2Live is a promotional campaign dedicated to the undeniable fact that seat belts save lives, and that use of seatbelts can and do prevent tragedies from happening. Tragedies that happen all to often.

BVIt was the morning of January 15, 2006.

16 year old Brianna Vitek was driving to work when she did something most people have done at one or more point in their lives. She took off her seat belt and reached across the seat for something in her car.

That was when Brianna lost control of the vehicle and was involved in a single-car accident that ejected her from the vehicle.

As a result of the accident, Brianna was welcomed back into the loving arms of our Lord in Heaven.

Since the accident, Brianna's father has been an outspoken advocate for the use of seat-belts. He has started a campaign to prevent other families from having to suffer the same unthinkable tragedy that his family has had to endure. It was his desire turn the untimely death of his daughter into something that will make a difference in other's lives.

He was inspired to begin the Click2Live campaign.

I truly believe (through the Vitek's loss as a specific example and through my experience as a 911 dispatcher for more general examples (plural)) that this is a worthwhile cause. Far too many young people (and not-so-young-people) face untimely (and unnecessary) tragedies. Tragedies that can easily be prevented - by simply "Clicking 2 Live"

Parents speak - Mock crash enacted in attempt to warn teens of driving dangers is a link to an article of the same name where Click2Live was involved.

click2liveI am asking all who read this, to help spread the word. To help do your part in preventing another family from having to navigate the long and difficult road the Vitek's have had to.

Who knows, the tragedy you may help prevent may be your own.

Most of my readers are parents. Parents of older (driving) children like the Vitek's, and parents of younger children - infants, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary age, and junior high school aged children - Children who will one day grow to be bright, intelligent, and delightful 16-year olds - much like Brianna. Children who could make the same mistake that Brianna did.

Can YOU imagine loosing your daughter, or your son to an accident that could be survivable had they simply "Clicked 2 Live"?

- - - - - - - -

Now, a little bit of a personal story that relates to the Click2Live campaign...

Back when the Father of Five that you have come to know and love was nothing more than a snot nosed freshman in high school, and bordering on turning to the "dark side" - he heard about a camping trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness sponsored by the Church's Youth Ministry Program.

After expressing an interest in attending this trip with a classmate (who I grew up with - and had older brothers involved in the Youth Group), this friend suggested I come to "Youth Group" to get to know some of the other kids going on the trip.

After that first meeting, I was quickly accepted into the group of teens. and made many friends. I also established a solid friendship with the Youth Minister. This Youth Minister had a way of connecting with the kids in a wonderful way. I am not sure I can put a finger on it - but if I had to explain it - I would say that he had a way of operating both within the group of youth in the program, and as a leader to the youth of the program. He was someone I could turn to as a friend and yet, look up to as a mentor at the same time.

jvdmOver my four (high school) years of involvement in the NYG (our acronym for Nativity Youth Group) my connection with both my friends, and with the Youth Minister strengthened. Many of the friends I made those four years, are friends I still have today. Truly lifelong friendships.

Sadly, the final year of my involvement with NYG was also his final year. It was time that he was moving on, and moving up. By this time, my life was on track, and well on it's way to becoming the man I am today (due in part to his inspiration and motivation). After High School - I moved up and on to college - and lost contact with my former Youth Minister.

Several years ago, his name came up in the local news. His family suffered an unthinkable tragedy. He and his family have been in my thoughts and prayers many times through the years. Through his faith in God, and fortitude as a man, and a father - he has made something good come from of one of the worst things a parent can imagine.

It is on behalf of all that he has done for me over the years, and respect I have for him as a man, as a father, as a friend,and respect for his faith in God that this post is dedicated to him. To his family.

To the loving memory of his daughter - Brianna.

But what can I do FOF?  What can I do to help spread the word?

What you can do, what I am asking, URGING, and PLEADING my readers to do is to please take a minute to join the Click2Live campaign. Help spread the word that tragedies like that of Brianna Vitek can be avoided. 

Click2Live is a facebook page. It can be found by clicking on any of the many CLICK2LIVE links on this post. If you are a facebook user, please help spread the word by becoming a fan of the Click2Live campaign.

By joining Click2Live, you can request a sheet of 25 Click2Live window clings.  1 inch square reminders that cling to the inside of the corners of your windshield - to remind you, to remind your passengers, the importance of Click2Live.

A Click2Live hyperlinked button will be added as a permanent addition to the sidebar here on "The Life of a Father of Five". If you are so inclined, I would be forever grateful to anyone willing to add a button, a link, or post linking to this post, or to the Click2Live facebook page on their blog to help spread the word, and to do your part in helping to prevent even one such tragedy.

If you choose to help by adding a button, link, or post - please, leave me a comment, and I will edit this post to include a link back to your blog - as being one of the many people interested in being part of the solution.

Remember folks. It's simple. Click 2 Live. It's that easy. It's that important.

BLOGS LINKING TO CLICK2LIVE OR THIS POST - (Please consider adding your blog to this list!)

The Life of a Father of Five

The World of Weasles

Back to School (and not like you think).

I have previously mentioned that there are some upcoming good things happening in the life of #1 of 5 (besides my cleaning his dishes) - and (like any good story teller, or mediocre blogger would do) I asked you to stay tuned for further info.

The time has come for me to share the "further info" 

After a two year hiatus (filled with shenanigans, tomfoolery, and hyjinx of all sorts) #1 of 5 has (hopefully) seen the light, and come to the realization that post secondary education IS INDEED a good thing.  As of 8am this morning, he is (supposed to have) STARTED SCHOOL AGAIN!!!

I say "supposed to have" because - I have not heard any confirmation that he has actually went, nor have I heard any evidence to the contrary.  I'm sticking with the whole "no news is good news" theory on this one.. 

Since sometime in his junior / senior year, he has expressed a strong interest in the Culinary Arts.  He finished all the necessary / required classes early, and his whole final quarter was filled with elective classes.  The one he enjoyed the most, was his Culinary Arts class - and for those of you who have not been around for the two (+) years since I wrote about it - check THIS LINK out!

#1 of 5 has been talking about going to school for Culinary Arts for quite some time, but until recently, it has been nothing more than "lip service". 

We did know he went to the school and got some paperwork to fill out - but much like the paperwork he has for many other items...  I figured it would lay around a desk, counter, or table until it was spilled on, and then forgotten and thrown away...

But, I was surprised...  PLEASENTLY SURPRISED, BOARDERING ON SHOCKED when he stopped out to see us last week (he is still "communicationally challenged (i.e.  no telephone)) and told us that he starts school on Monday.

Monday?!  As in four days from now Monday??  As in August 24th Monday??  As in 2009??

Folks, you would not have been able to imagine my surprise (and pride) to hear this.  He did everything independently!!  All on his own.  He registered, was accepted, took placement tests, applied for financial aid, received financial aid, signed up for classes, and was going to start school in FOUR DAYS - and we did not even know about it!!!

Note to #1 of 5... Um, we need to talk man.  We need to talk a bit about keeping your parents "in the loop" with what is going on - especially the good stuff - a bit more often... But, since this is such surprisingly good news - I'll let it slide this time...

Congratulations there big guy!!  We could not be prouder!!

Readers... Keep an eye out for an up and coming star in the world of culinary arts!  Who knows, maybe a show on food network, or his own restaurant...    Heck, if he keeps the kitchen cleaner than he does at home I may have to patronize the place!!  Mmmm... Maybe even some prizes or awards for my readers here on FOF!!

"Free dinner for two at Chez #1 of 5's" for the best idea for a new menu item left for me as a comment - or something like that!

Imagine the possibilities!!

Details FOF... Gimme some Details!

Ok... Details.. 

Here is a link to Hennepin Technical College (the school he is attending).. 

Here is a link to the Culinary Arts Program.  It goes into much more detail about what he will be doing / studying / learning / etc...  (Oh, and by the way... He is setting his goal on the A.A.S degree and not just the certificate!)

And, finally  - a "gratuitous" link back to HIS GRADUATION back in 2007 -  to help provide a little "inspiration" to see this through to the end (and maybe embarrass him just a wee bit).

Seriously though... We could not be happier or prouder of you!  Keep up the forward momentum!!  You have it within you!!


While writing this post, #1 of 5's facebook was updated!  It stated.... "feels good to be done with the first day of college classes time to relax now"

WOO-HOO!!!  HE MADE IT!!!!! 

Forests, Trees, and Public Restrooms

Sometimes, it's difficult to see the forest through the trees - just like how sometimes it's difficult to see the obvious through the anxiety... 

FOF, what are you talking about??  Are you ok?  Did you forget to take your meds again? 

No... I am not going crazy - even though in some ways - maybe - I'm already there...  Take, for instance, a couple of little phobias like Parcopresis, and Paruresis.

Regular visitors are accustomed to reading about these phobias of mine.  If you do not know what they are, please follow the links provided.

Under "normal" circumstances - these are not really a big problem for me.  I have come up with my own "coping" techniques, and for 99% of the time it's not even something I even think about, as it never really "becomes" an issue (thanks to those coping mechanisms I just spoke of). 

Yet, there is still that 1% of the time that coping mechanisms are not effective, or not practical.  Take for example - last week... 

I had my day planned - and so I did not expect to run into any "problems" - but when the day's plans changed, and I had to add a trip to Target, dinner out, and a last minute stop at Sam's Club after I got off duty (without a chance to stop at home) - my struggles with parcopresis reared it's ugly head.

I'll save you all the "details" (don't all thank me at once), but let's take up this story at the point we were at Sam's - when I was telling the Mother of Five that we would not be able to stay long...  No, not long at all.  In fact, we should probably have left about 20 minutes ago (it's a 20 minute drive home). 

In other words... Things are getting pretty bad!

That's when the clouds parted, and a ray of sunshine from the heavens shown down upon me.  It was when the Mother of Five said...  "Why don't you just use the "FAMILY ROOM".  They have one here, and It has a lock on the door".

(Blank stair on my face... Crickets chirping...)

Hmm...  The family room.  I can be alone.  The Doors lock.  Solitude.  Hmmm... Well, maybe...  I'll keep it in the back of my mind it case of an "emergency".

Less than five minutes later - I was making a bee-line for the "Family Room".

When I arrived at the "Family Room", I (thankfully) found it unoccupied.  As I entered, and verified that the door did indeed have a lock on it, I was hit with the instantly recognizable and overbearing odiferous evidence of an eighty-something year old woman who doused herself with an overly heavy layer of "ode-de-grandmother" (or other similarly scented perfume, splash, spray, or powder that is frequently found on the grandmotherly among us).  You know the smell.. the ones that make you INSTANTLY think "Grandma !!")

Which, by the way, sounds like I am referring to it as a "bad thing".  For clarity... I AM NOT.  I both love and miss my grandmothers so very much... It's that reason that makes this scent stand out so much...  It reminds me of my own grandmothers.

I was immediately creepd out by the fact that "Nah-nuh", "Grammy" (or what ever cute pet name her grandchildren called the woman who last used this room) may have left only moments before.  Heck, the seat may still be "warm".  (~shiver~)

I also continued to try and remind myself that the voice in my head that was saying these oddly weird and disturbing ideas was coming from a place that is a bit "out-of-whack". 

From the moment I opened the door, until the the whole ordeal was nothing more than a bad memory - my skin was tingling with anxiety (and not in a good way)...  It almost brought me to tears...  I was actually having a conversation with "that voice", and repeatedly told myself that the "voice" was being irrational, and that everything was going to be o.k.

In the end, I was able to successfully complete the mission (or at least partially), and was able to buy myself enough time until I could relax in the safety of my own bathroom...    

FOF... Seriously... What is the matter with you... I really think there is something wrong with you.  Why would you share this with us?

Well, for a couple reasons...  First and foremost  - after I was able to calm down the "rational" and "healthy" side of my brain kicked in - and I started seeing the humorous side of all of this...  How ridiculous it all is... I even started chuckling to and at myself!  OUT LOUD!  I hope YOU did too!

Secondly...  I wanted to point out that through the anxiety, how I was unable to spot the obvious...  And only through having the Mother of Five point it out to me, did I even consider the possibility that, in the worst of emergencies (and I have been there a few times) there may be a possibility.

Thirdly - I realized that by thinking through this process, I was able to see that IN THE WORST CASES, I am able to triumph over my own psychological struggles.  That even though it's a pretty strange phobia to have, things could be worse...  That I am (maybe) only HALF CRAZY!

Finally - You would be amazed at the number of hits I get here for people searching out parcopresis and paruresis.  Maybe someone will hit on this post - and by my telling this story I can share the compromise that I myself could not see without it being pointed out...  The whole "If this post could help at least ONE person, then the shame, humiliation, and embarrassment of sharing it with the world would all be worthwhile." type of thought...  

A Little Treat

During a particularly long work weekend, I did something that I do not often do... 
I "treated" myself to dinner while at work.
I was working back to back 7am - 7pm shifts (which means that breakfast, lunch and dinner are at work).  Only being allowed one meal break (on a day where I am really eating three meals at work) - I broke down, and last night took my break to go pick up some "take out".
If (and when) I do this (which is pretty infrequently) - it usually involves a quick drive to a "national chain" that offers a drive-though, and something both quick and cheap off a menu often affectionately referred to as the "dollar menu", "value menu", or "super-saver menu"...  These meals are often followed up with a "super-sized" serving of regret, and feeling similar to having a "biggie-sized" rock sitting in my gut. 
Not last night though.  No, I stepped out of the norm a bit, and tried a place I've been meaning to try for quite some time.  A place that I would not normally rush off to.. The FALAFEL KING.
What is a falafel you ask?  A falafel is a fried ball (or sometimes a patty) made from spiced chickpeas and/or fava beans.
And no Agent Starling... I did not add any liver from a census taker, nor were they eaten with a nice chianti... But thanks for asking though... 
Those of you who know me well enough will attest, a vegetarian I am not... So to satisfy the carnivore within me - I went with the Gyro / Falafel Combo.  This way - I got to try the falafel (which I have never had before) with one of my regular favorites... The Gyro!    
In addition to the falafel, and the loose fillings for the Gyro - the combo came with two freshly made (and still warm) pitas (to make the gyros with), a generous portion of hummus, and both tahini and tzatziki sauces.
Both the tahini and tzatziki were WONDERFUL, and the hummus was good too - but I am not overly fond of hummus... A little goes a long way for me.  I put a little bit on - but it was the tahini and tzatziki that really stole the sauce show!
Afterwards, I discovered THIS REVIEW of Falafel King.  I found it to be pretty accurate to my experience.
As delicious as it was, on Monday it's back to "PB & J" for me though... Oh well.. Such is The Life of a Father of Five!!


Posted as a follow up to the previous post titled "Beginning with the Ending"

It was brought to my attention that this post could have been viewed as mean, nasty, embarrassing, and not funny. Just to clear things up here...

For those of you who did not catch it through the writing style... That post was written with exaggerated satire.

Two days after I wrote that post we stopped over to "surprise" #1 of 5 with a "housewarming care package".

We brought him four bags of groceries, kitchen staples, and some fun treats to stock up his kitchen with and his grandparents stopped by with a new "Bed in a Bag" (comforter, sheets, and a pillow cover)... and as you can see by the photos and the video - the place was very clean...

Even cleaner than I left it two days prior.

08-02-09_1920 08-02-09_1919

08-02-09_1922 08-02-09_1921

So, in case there is any question in anyone's mind about how proud I am of #1 of 5 and the accomplishments he has made through the difficulties life has thrown him - LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR...

I have stood up with and by this young man through some very difficult times and some very difficult struggles... Things that have broken more families than have stayed together... Things that I REFUSED to allow to destroy MY family.


There are some impending wonderful things on the horizon for #1 of 5... Many of these things will end up as future posts (when they become reality) - and who knows?? Some may be written with humor or satire...

Regarding the evening I wrote about in "Beginning with the Ending"...

#2 of 5 and I stopped by #1 of 5's new place one evening as we drove past it. We arrived to find the place a little messy. No messier than my (or most folks houses) get from time to time. While I enjoyed watching my boys played video games (and enjoying each other's company) together and I puttered around the apartment - cleaning and straightening. The three of us were all chuckling as I made wisecracks about the things I was straightening. ALL... THREE... OF... US...

The kitchen did contain a couple of days dishes in the sink (and they were gross), but it was no worse than my own sink has gotten from time to time (and I even have a dishwasher).

How I'd love to have had as cool a place as he does at his age! (That is why I keep stopping by and hanging out with him.) I did not move out on my own until I was 23 years old. He is doing a wonderful job establishing himself as an independent individual - and I am very proud of him (regardless of what the post in question may or may not have you believing).

That post was written as an extension of the fun banter that my two oldest boys and I shared the evening before. We had fun joking about it together. I had fun writing it. I hoped that folks had fun reading it.

In NO WAY should anyone take what they read in that post as complete reality.

That's how I view life, and (like the title of the blog states) "The Life of a Father of Five" (as viewed through MY eyes.)

I'll leave you with this final thought about that post, and my sometimes exaggerated, sarcastic, satirical way of viewing life.... (and I am disabling comments for this post).

Just as how "one person's trash is another person's treasure" - one person's version of fun and humor may not always be another's.

And I am thankful for that...

Tomahawk 2009 - Part 1

We are off!! #2 and #3 of 5 and I are all leaving for Tomahawk 2009!
I'll wont be back for 4 days...

In the mean time, enjoy these posts about previous Tomahawk trips!

Tomahawk 2007

Tomahawk 2008

One of Life's Simple Pleasures #3

Simple Pleasures:

A series of posts where I share some of the little things that make a HUGE (positive) difference in the Life of a Father of Five!

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Today's Simple Pleasure is brought to you courtesy of #5 of 5, our five year old daughter, and our youngest...

As I laid in bed this morning (between the snooze bar activations) around 5:30am - I noticed that #5 of 5 had crawled into bed between the Mother of Five and I some time during the night.
I discovered this because I could hear her GIGGLING...
I mean out loud GIGGLING. I turned to ask her what was so funny, when I noticed she was still sound asleep... Eyes closed, heavy breathing, sound asleep... How cute was that?

I sure wish I knew what she was dreaming about... I could use some of that!

Beginning with the Ending

My vacation is over… I am back to work as of today.

Well FOF, how was your vacation?

Let me begin with the ending.

On the last evening of my vacation (while shopping for the boys’ Scout camping trip) I happened to be driving by #1 of 5’s new “Bachelor Pad”. It is a small one bedroom efficiency apartment. Since we had not heard from him in over a week because his cel phone was disconnected, we decided to pull in and see if he was around.

Disconnected?? Why?? Well, depending on whom you ask it’s for either not paying the bill -or- because he no longer wanted to stay with the same carrier, and decided to stop paying the bill as a way to “cancel” his month to month agreement.

I’ll let you decide.  Either way - we have not way of reaching him, and he has no way of reaching us.

We pulled into the lot, and… Viola! There was #1 of 5’s car! Looks like he is home!

So we went into the apartment, and knocked at the door…. Nothing. We knocked a second time, and sure enough, after a short wait, looking a little disheveled, there was #1 of 5 answering the door.

#1 of 5 is hearing impaired… While it is possible that he did not hear our knocking, he is also “nocturnal”. If left to his own demise, he would sleep all day and be up all night. I suspected the latter, which was later confirmed when he admitted that he had been up until 5am playing video games.

Convinced I was NOT going to get a “HI DAD!” or a “HEY!! SO GLAD TO SEE YOU GUYS!”, I was not too surprised to hear “What are you doing here? I was uh… I was just cleaning the place” – which led me to believe that I was about to step into something that looked a lot less like an efficiency apartment, and more like a back alley dumpster.

I was not disappointed.

I entered the apartment, and as I passed through the hall, and into the living room, I had to step over dirty clothes, socks, and shoes.

Confirming my idea that he was asleep, I spied his chair pulled up to his couch (a couch with an indentation of his body in the cushion on one side) set up “ottoman style” (or was it “feet up, and asleep style”). The controllers for his PS2 were stretched out across the room and sitting on the couch, and there was a bowl of spaghetti sauce still sitting on the couch next to the indentation.

CD’s/DVD’s/Video Games were spread all over the place - on the floor, in on and under the entertainment center, on the TV, and all over the floor (both the loose CD’s and the empty cases). There were some in cases, but if they were, then they were in the wrong cases. Papers, both important, and of the “junk” variety – strewn about, some even mixed together – and then, there was the dirty dishes with dried bits of this and that, on the chair, next to the couch, and on the floor – but all within reaching distance of that same indentation in the couch.

07-31-09_1910aI could go on and on here… but I imagine you get the idea.  I really thought the placed looked horrible, until…

GASP! (Cue the horror movie music)

…until, I saw THE KITCHEN!

The kitchen sink was stacked with what I can only ethically describe as a weeks worth of dishes (with a week’s worth of food still in, on, and around them). The left side of the sink was piled with dishes soaking in water.

“Water” being a term I use loosely here.  It appeared to be more of a semi-translucent gelatinous mass, with chunks of food, grease, vegetables, noodles, and bits of this-and-that suspended within the clear Jelly-like substance.

The other half of the sink was piled high with dishes that appeared to be cemented together with a hardened adhesive that I imagine may have once been food or perhaps condiments…  I was afraid to check.

07-31-09_1911aTrust me when I say that the cellular phone photos I have here do not come close to justifying how horrific it looked...  There was no way I was touching that "science experiment gone wrong"... NO WAY!

Being a little hungry, I peeked into his fridge, only to find… Nothing (or as close to nothing as you can imagine)..

Along with a jar of mayo, mustard, spagetti sauce, and three out of a dozen eggs, there was a loaf of pumpernickel bread, and some margarine in the fridge.  I thought about making myself a little toast – until I noticed the expiration date on the bread said…

April 09 (Folks, It’s August 09)…

The question “Um, #1 of 5, where did you get this loaf of bread” was answered with an “I don’t know, it was here when I moved in”…


07-31-09_1912aIn disgust, I left ground zerothe Petri dish, the kitchen, and proceeded to sit down, and watch my two oldest boys do what older brothers do… (Careful, this news may shock and surprise some of you…) – They started playing video games.

After about fifteen minutes of watching them (and being bored out of my mind) – I got up and started straightening the living room…

I put CD’s in their cases, DVD’s in their cases, Video games in their cases… Cases neatly put away, clothing put in the bedroom, shoes in the closet, papers sorted stacked and filed. Garbage was picked up, furniture returned to its rightful place… All in all, it was looking pretty good even if I do say so myself!

I sat back down and surveyed my moderate success at cleaning the living area of the apartment.  It felt good!

After a few short minutes, the boredom set back in. Reluctantly I got back up – every so carefully inching my way into the kitchen.

I looked around…

Yes, the sink was BAD, and so were the countertops, stove, and microwave.   But, I decided I’d give it the ol’ college try – just to help “inspire” #1 of 5 into cleaning a little further (on his own).

After all, how bad could it be?  At least it did not smell… Right?   Right!

(Cue the even scarier horror movie music.)

07-31-09_2025aThat was until I turned on the water, and the stream of water punched a hole through the skin of the gelatinous mass…

Three instances…

Yes, it was three separate and distinct instances of me turning to the garbage can.  

Three separate and distinct instances of lifting the lid. 

Three separate and distinct instances of involuntary gagging. 

Three separate and distinct instances of  being sure that I was going to vomit into the trash can with the open lid.

After regaining my composure, I started worrying that one of the neighbors would call the Medical Examiner thinking someone had died (about a week ago) in the apartment.

When the Medical Examiner never showed up, I was certain (if nothing else) the paint would peel from the wall above the sink.

I'm almost positive I saw fumes rising from the sink.

07-31-09_2023a Ok... Maybe I'm exaggerating a wee bit here, but folks... That sink stunk, and stunk like there was no tomorrow...

#2 of 5 (not knowing what I was doing) yelled from the other room, "Dad, what is that HORRIBLE smell?"

I rolled up my sleeves and started digging in...  Saving Pulling dishes and silverware from the gelatinous mass - rinsing them off as best as I could, and setting them aside to wash.

Then, I had to clean the SINK.  It was culturing bacteria (bacteria yet to be discovered by man) all over both basins... ("After" photo to the right.

This was the point I discovered #1 of 5 did not have dish soap. 

Sigh... My hands were covered in a greasy, gooey, oily slick, and try as I might - I could not seem to get it off...  It was like hand lotion for ogres... 

I located the next best thing.  Hand soap.  About 1/25 of a bottle of Vanilla scented hand soap, and a bottle of  "therapeutic aromatherapy" bath bubbles (lavender scented to help calm and relax).. 

Thank goodness, because I was needing it by now..

Rinsed dishes then went into the left basin and were soaked (to loosen the petrified food), and washed (in HOT water and vanilla scented hand soap).

Dishes that were rinsed and then washed (in vanilla scented hand soap) were then moved to the right basin and washed AGAIN in HOT aromatheraputic lavender scented (to help calm and relax) soapy water.

Dishes that were rinsed and then washed (in vanilla scented hand soap) then washed AGAIN in HOT aromatheraputic lavender scented (to help calm and relax) soapy water, were set aside, and rinsed one more time.

Finally, dishes that were rinsed and then washed (in vanilla scented hand soap) then washed AGAIN in HOT aromatheraputic lavender scented (to help calm and relax) soapy water, and rinsed one more time - were then moved to an area of the counter that I had previously cleaned, and then dried with a drying towel that I had to capture as it tried to run away from me was less then what I would call clean (or even sanitary).

By this time, it was getting late (and I was starting to look a little "green around the gills"), so #2 of 5 and I needed to leave.  As we left, I reminded #1 of 5 that he would still need to CLEAN his dishes before using them.. 

07-31-09_2024a"Why Dad?"  he asked.  I asked him to "feel" one of the dishes, and tell me if they still felt slippery (greasy). 

"Yeah, so what if they do?"


We are going back in the next day or two with a care package.. (a care package that WILL include dish soap along with some real food)...

My money is that SOME of those "cleaned" dishes (the ones that I "cleaned" and asked #1 of 5 to finish cleaning) will still be in the same place I left them (see photo to the right).  Double or nothing that the ones that are not still there will be piled up in another (new) gelatinous mass in the sink (indicating he used them anyway)...

Anyone want to same some of that action???

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