Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life Lessons learned from Captain Kangaroo

Did you ever watch Captain Kangaroo as a child ? and Mr. Green Jeans ?

I did. And I remember very clearly a book that I was introduced to by the Captain that has stayed with me over the years. It was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

In case you didn't watch the Captain OR you are not familiar with the book, let me recap the story for you. It starts out with this.....

"Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in his hair. And it got worse... His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!" And his solution was "I think I will move to Australia."

Well, around our house, we had Debra and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad WEEK! And I thought about life and Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans and being a small child, sitting in front of the tv, listening to the Captain read this book and I wondered "Can I move to Australia??"

So, you ask, what happened ? Well, the week started with having the pleasure of helping a friend by keeping her two children while she did her civic duty. You can read about her experience on her blog It was interesting, to say the least. Her post is a good start to our week. I think she might have been thinking about Australia at the end of her first day of civic duty :).

Tuesday, Jason and I left early for an appointment only to receive a text message from Giann to tell me that nothing in the refrigerator was cold and the ice cream in the freezer was mush! Great, I thought. We are either in for a hefty repair bill or a new refrigerator purchase. Neither were on my list for the week. Giann, being the organizer she is, had moved the perishable things to the small refrigerator we have in the basement and the stuff that had not thawed to the deep freeze. I just had to take care of the rest of the stuff and call the repair man.

The repairman came and was a Louisiana guy that had been displaced due to Katrina (I guess that was a blessing in the midst of it all) as he told me he would do everything he could to get my refrigerator back working. Well, well, well, the part wasn't on his truck. Wouldn't you know it ?

Repairman leaves, supper is cooking, and Craig and I begin to look for Jason. We are calling him on his walkie-talkie and not getting an answer. Not even static. Very uncharacteristic for Jason. He ALWAYS answers his walkie-talkie. Craig rides around the neighborhood calling him but not getting a response. He is with a friend and the other mother hasn't seen or heard from them either in a few hours. The older brother then tells us that they had gone to the tunnel that connects the nature trail creek to the other creek on the other side of Hwy 280 ! Craig and the brother go to the nature trail and the tunnel, Craig crawls through it and cannot find them. He is calling them and still no answer. It is now 6:30 and we are very concerned. I called a personal friend who is also involved with fire and police and he was finishing a city council meeting and happened to be sitting with the Fire Chief and the next thing I knew, here came Search and Rescue,etc. Needless to say, it was tense. About 45 minutes later, the boys came out of the woods on the other side of the neighborhood, at the other child's house. Praise God they were okay. They had no idea that we had been looking for them. The walkie-talkie - had been dropped and gotten wet, thus, it was not working properly. communication. Then we had to deal with the Sheriff's Deputy....that will have to wait for another post or just leave it to your imagination.

Hmmm....Debra and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week was just getting started......Australia was looking more like a good solution........

Wednesday comes around and the repair company informs us that the part is out by the airport and that they would not be able to fix the refrigerator until Thursday morning. My inital response was "no". The lady was speechless. I replied with "I appreciate how far that is for you but I want my refrigerator repaired today". I just couldn't take it. I had two ice chests full of food, the ice was melting, I had had a horrible Tuesday, we are still trying to finish school work, etc. etc. You know what it is like. It just was not acceptable to me that just because the part was by the airport, I was going to have to wait another 24-36 hours for it. Please! (And note....I was very nice to her. I just wasn't willing to schedule the repair on Thursday so we were at a stalemate.)

Funny how things happen when you state your need in a nice manner. She finally said "if you will put a deposit on a credit card, I will make sure someone repairs it this afternoon." My reply was "I will put the whole amount on the credit card if you will guarantee someone will be out here by mid-afternoon!" She did. And they were. By 2:00 pm. Amazing! I began to think the week would get better. You know...thinking CAN get you in trouble at times.

Thursday morning arrives and we are working on finishing up those last pieces to call it a school year. However, I awoke with this very sharp pain in my back that was like no other I had had before. Great. Now what have I done ? I had a rib that had slid out of place. Once it was manipulated back into place, all the pain subsided. So, again.....I am contemplating that the week has to just get better..... either that, or I need a Australia.....

Friday....we start our day like normal to discover that Buddy, our dog, had an inflamed snout. His snout is raw and bleeding from having been scratched and he is just plain miserable. Plus, the hair on his snout has fallen out. Then, accidentially, we overdosed him on benedryl. But, we have discovered that it really didn't matter because it did nothing to him. He didn't even get woozy. We gave him 150 mg of benedryl (he weighs 60 lbs) and he acted normal. Can you believe that? We had to make an emergency trip to the vet only to discover that the dog has intensive environmental allergies (vs. food allergies) and he was the third dog in there that morning with the same profile (it was just 9:45 am). One shot and 3 prescriptions later, we returned home. Do they have allergies in Australia ?

Hmm.....maybe Alexander had a good idea....maybe things will look better in Australia.

I don't know but Craig and I will have the opportunity to find out.

You see, he was awarded a trip to Australia for all his hard work this past year.

We leave June 20.....maybe, just maybe, there won't be any terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days while we are gone........


  1. I think YOU earned your trip this week, too!

  2. Thank you for watching my kiddos while I did my civic duty... one of the most horrific jury duty experiences I can imagine, and I can come up with some doozies!

    I have to tell you that the tale of Alexander's No Good, Very Bad Day is one of my super favorite children's books of all time!!! And, when you told me you were going to Australia the other day, I almost mentioned the book, but then thought - NAH!

    Great minds do think alike!!

    Enjoy Australia!

  3. I loved Captain Kangaroo, and I love Alexander! I can still hear the Captain's voice in my head whenever I read Alexander or any of the "Frances" books, among others! So sorry about your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, but enjoy Australia! :)


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