One solution, more questions

I don’t know that I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life as I did at the many and varied responses to my double mystery post this weekend. First of all, y’all have some excellent costume ideas (cereal killer! HAAAAA!!) for sure. And a trip to Goodwill yielded a boy-sized… well, it’s not a trenchCOAT, but it is sort of a trenchJACKET, plus it wins the thumbs-up by virtue of having The Right Price, which in this case was $2.30. He desperately wants to wear sunglasses, but I am JUST THINKING that may not work for nighttime trick-or-treating, so the ol’ fake-glasses-and-moustache may be the way to compromise.

(And that will be even MORE fun because everyone knows the only thing cuter than a little boy dressed up as a spy is a little GIRL dressed up as a spy, and Monkey was mistaken for a girl EVERYWHERE we went this weekend. When I asked him if it bothered him, he said, “Nah. People are silly.” And if I could bottle THAT right there, friends, I’d be rich.)

So: Halloween is a go. As for the puddle in the kitchen…

… truly, some of you scared me a little.

I mean, it would be one thing if ONE or TWO people sort of politely hinted that PERHAPS some cleaners contain ammonia and ammonia is a component in the excretions of mammals, you know. But there were LOADS OF YOU who seemed VERY CONCERNED that a rabid weasel broke into my house, peed on the floor, and then I couldn’t figure out that what I was dealing with was a puddle of urine.

Which, um, REALLY?

Unless our standard family joke about having gotten Otto a puppy (although the children are jonesing for a dog, Otto is kindly playing curmudgeon for me and, at this point, refusing to cave) has reached fruition in the form of INVISIBLE DOG, or unless rabid weasel urine smells like the SPRING FLOWERS LYSOL I generally buy… I don’t think so.

But thank you for your concern. Heh.

[You do know that at some point in the future, now, I won’t be able to resist saying, “I found this gigantic smear of red stuff on the floor, but I have no idea what it is. Can you help me?” Well, now that I said that, I guess I won’t. But still. And no, we never did figure out where the cleaner came from, and the kids aren’t fessing up.]

I really think that 1 for 2 is my kind of odds, though, so I thought we’d continue the fun. If you’re up for it, feel free to solve any of these additional mysteries for me:

1) While the monkey curtain rings I purchased for the kids’ bathroom match the jungle shower curtain and make me smile about my OWN resident Monkey, they are also cheaply made and the plastic primates are prone to separating from the metal hooks. When this happens, the hooks (which are sort of S-shaped) fall down. I currently have two fallen hooks and NO MONKEYS. Where are the monkeys I should be gluing back onto the hooks?

2) I have always been under the impression that potatoes can be kept somewhere dark and dry without sprouting. However, lately I have put both white and sweet potatoes into our bread drawer’s secret back compartment only to have them sprout in under a week. Do you think this is due to something I’m doing, or is the rabid flower-peeing weasel using them for litter?

3) My parents are coming to visit this week, and this weekend is the fall carnival thing at my kids’ school. Is it a nice thing to let Grandma and Grandpa come see the children reveling in their natural habitat, or cruel and unusual punishment to make them spend a few hours packed into the school with hundreds of screaming children? Wait, on second thought. Don’t answer that. (Hi, Dad! Looking forward to your visit! We have something REALLY FUN planned for you guys, honest! Bring a flask!)

Okay, I’ve got to go. There’s this huge puddle of something red and sticky on the floor that I should probably clean up. I think it’s barbecue sauce!


  1. Kelly

    Umm..yes, normally you can keep potatoes somewhere dark and dry. But, welcome to the south! There is nowhere dry. Gotta keep them in the frige. Try living in New Orleans – I can’t even leave bread out for more than a day.

  2. bob

    uh, I don’t know about your town, but around here trick-or-treating ends at sunset. so, SUNglasses with fake mustache might just be the ticket.

    don’t forget the fedora.

  3. jennielynn

    I just hate those rabid, incontinent weasels. Apparently, your is a fertile female.

  4. Karen

    maybe the monkeys are running amok in the house, pouring out assorted liquids on the floor.

  5. Headless Mom

    I hear storing an apple with the potatoes will prevent the sprouting. Haven’t tried it though.

  6. Rachel

    1) I agree with Karen, the monkeys are running amok pouring out cleaning liquid.

    2) The potato thing, that’s a mystery in ND too. And we have lots of potato farmers around here. The local college even has “Potato Bowl Week” with french fry feed, parade, football game, fireworks… fun stuff. But my spuds still sprout when kept dark & dry.

    3) Your parents will love the kids school thing, heh. My parents would go & say they had a great time, but I don’t know if I would believe them. Maybe your parents can take them & you can stay home?

  7. Kate

    As the person putting on the fall festival at our kids’ school this weekend, I think they should consider the invitation a joyous gift. I’m putting my ‘rents to work taking the kids while hubs and I work. Mom will probably end up running a game before all is said and done. Just like the last 3 years :)

  8. KD @ A Bit Squirrelly

    I keep my potatoes in the fridge. IDK if that is bad but I do. My son also gets called a girl. ALL. THE. TIME. He doesn’t care because he is two, but someday he might.

  9. The Other Other Dawn

    Yes, I think Karen is onto something. The curtain rod monkeys are responsible for the mystery liquid on the kitchen floor.

    Now you can sleep at night.

    Also, I am now adopting Monkey’s attitude. I may even get it printed on a T-shirt with a slight edit. “Meh. People are stupid.”

  10. Kate G

    as for potatoes – depends on when their internal clocks decide it’s time to start growing. and environment of course, but also depends on where the potatoes were grown as to what season the potatoes think they are still in :) (i mean the ground is dark and dry at times and thats where they grow so…)

    that said, you can still cut the sprouts out and cook them as long as they aren’t green… (i know, so random the information in my brain!)

    i bet wikipedia has better detailed answer though! or some potato farmers…

  11. Jamie AZ

    I do know that you’re not supposed to keep onions and potatoes in the same dark place, but beyond that, no idea. I keep ours on the pantry floor and sometimes I don’t use them fat enough, so they do start to sprout, but it’s not usually within a week.

    The monkeys – did a Monkey or a Chickie toss them in the trash in error?

  12. Jess

    Didn’t you know that weasel urine smells like flowers? ;)

  13. Ani

    I thought potatoes had to be kept in a COOL dark dry spot. Perhaps it is too warm in the kitchen?

  14. Laura

    Maybe you could roll the potatoes in the mystery urine/cleaning liquid and then store them… bet THAT would stop them from sprouting. ‘course, it would also probably cause even more disgusting spots on the floor, so perhaps not.

    Seriously, I had luck with a simple box that my dad made for me. It was a wood frame with narrow-mesh chicken wire walls, which allowed air in. The box was set above the ground so critters couldn’t get in. And it nestled in the narrow space between the fridge and the cabinet. I had lots and lots of good luck storing potatoes in there. We live in the midwest, and during the summer, it can get wicked humid, but my potatoes still kept.

    Good luck

  15. tuney

    I agree that the variable here with the potatoes is the “cool” thing. Root cellars were built underground for the cooler temp, so I vote with the chiller. *raising hand*

    Jennilynn made me have to clean my laptop screen. THANKS.

  16. Kate

    I think Ani’s got it…it needs to be cool. Once upon a time I worked on a vegetable farm, and the potatoes were stored in a 50 degree cooler. I’ve always kept them in the fridge without a problem, myself.

  17. Jenny

    Correlation is not causation, but since it’s a well-established fact that shower-curtain monkey urine smells like “Spring Flowers” Lysol, I think your mystery is solved.

    Just this weekend, I carved sprouts off of some vaguely green-tinged potatoes, cooked them, and ate them. So I’m clearly not your girl on that question.

  18. hollygee

    I know! I know, Mr. Kotter, er, Ms. K!
    The dark and dry and cool is the correct storage for root veg, so Kelly is unfortunately right. In the fridge, and if you have a humidity control, dial to low humidity.

  19. The Other Leanne

    Here’s a mystery for you: my comment disappeared!
    I’ll try again:
    1) Monkeys are very good at hiding in trees; if you wave some bananas around they might show themselves.
    2) Those aren’t sprouts, they are antenna.
    3) Send Grandma and Grandpa to the carnival with the kids while you and Otto sit on the couch with your wine glasses watching a movie. You will think it is the best carnival ever.

  20. Crisanne

    I’m thinking the monkeys are lost bunched up in a towel or clothing in the hamper. I know, so logical and boring. What can I say???

    As for the kitchen liquid, I don’t suppose anyone refilled the jet dry type stuff in the dishwasher over the weekend?

    Just a bundle of laughs over here!

  21. Sheila

    My mother told me JUST YESTERDAY about storing potatoes with an apple to keep them from sprouting. So, two votes for that.

    Incidentally, that’s the same mother of mine who endures Grandparents’ Day festivities (and by ‘festivities’ I mean 400 kids hyped up on ICE! CREAM! SUNDAES! running through the halls on a scavenger hunt) every year, and she keeps returning for more. Your parents should be fine (especially if they heed your advice about the flask).

  22. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck

    I have those exact same monkey curtain rings, and I am missing three. And have actually given up gluing them back together and started just replacing them when they break because I had glued them umpteen million times.

  23. dad

    We’re looking forward to the festivities and the excitement. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a school activity groupie but some things you just never forget how to do. I’m sure we will endure the din either with guile, wine or if all else fails…drugs.

  24. Barbara

    Did you have an animal-coordinated bathroom when you were a kid? However, your son is amazingly pragmatic. Hmmn…genetic or animal-nurturing environment?

    Red stuff and no one yet has suggested blood?! Someone obviously murdered the offending ferret.

    You not being from the south…worse, er, less appealing animals could be at bay….bbq sauce, my southern fanny.

  25. kate c. w.

    My mom keeps potatoes in her garage… not especially convenient, but here in AR, they stay cool and sprout-free for quite awhile. She also just cuts the sprouts off and uses the potatoes anyway.

  26. Pats

    The puddle of red… reminded me of the time in high school when I had a couple friends for a sleepover… we spent the evening chasing a mouse all over the house, until he finally gave up and threw himself into a mousetrap. Just. Couldn’t. Take. Any. More.

    It was a clean kill… which did not satisfy me, after all the chasing. So I poured ketchup on him.

    Dad got up in the morning and found the faux carnage, and cleaned it up so Mom wouldn’t be horrified at the sight. LOL

  27. Flea

    I fall asleep for one freakin’ weekend and LOOK what I miss. Geez. All the fun happens on the weekends. Since when are weasels native to Atlanta?

  28. tori

    My son gets called a girl all the time too. We were at the ER last night (don’t worry, he’s fine now) and the guy checking him in used his name (boy name) and kept saying why don’t you let her… It was pretty funny watching him try to reconcile the name/gender with the hair. The doctor said he looked like a surfer though, and she knew right away he was a boy…which is good because I don’t think I’d let a doctor near my child that couldn’t keep that fact straight in her head.

    Your early commentors used “run amok” which is one of my favorite phrases and always makes me laugh for some reason.

    I think grandparents like that kind of stuff, don’t they? The stuff we consider torture? Isn’t that fun once you don’t have to do it anymore?

  29. getsheila

    1) The weasel took the monkeys. Duh.

    2) Taters need good air circulation. It sounds like your double secret hiding compartment might not have that. Also, somewhere around 45 degrees F is recommended. Or so they say. I bet the weasel would know for sure.

    3) Hm, depends on whether or not they are the kind of grandparents who get your kids all riled up with sugar and presents then give them back to you to deal with when they get out of control.

  30. annette

    I have the same. monkey. rings. What makes it even more fun is having an ADHD son who freaks out yelling everytime it happens, (umm…everyday) like it is the biggest dweal in the world!

  31. Burgh Baby

    Well, if you have told me that the monkeys were on the loose sooner, I would have been able to tell you that they made a bit of a mess when they were hosting the party in the attic and that they spilled the cleaner when they decided they had better hide the evidence. Always blame the monkeys.

  32. Kemi

    “Bring a flask!”


    (I can’t stop giggling.)

  33. Michelle

    We used to think there was this one girl that played soccer on my niece and nephew’s league, and we were like, MAN, she is REALLY GOOD!

    And it turned out it was just another boy prodigy soccer star with beautiful long blonde hair.

  34. susie

    But did you ever solve the mystery of the peeling paint?

  35. Sarah H

    From what I’ve heard about potatoes, they just sprout when they’re ready to be planted- nothing you can do about it. They’re smart little critters.

  36. meghann

    As for the liquid on the floor-I still say gnomes. It would make sense to me that gnome urine would smell like spring flowers.

  37. Kailani

    Yeah, yeah it’s the monkeys!!

  38. Brigitte

    Bwa ha ha haaa! As one of your weasel-theory proponents, I had to laugh out loud. Even though it’s not 6:00 am yet. Too early to formulate any new theories for you!

  39. Jennifer Suarez

    I hear invisible dogs are the hardest to housebreak.

  40. SoMo

    Someone might have said or might not, so in the spirit of the latter, put an apple in with your potatoes and they will last longer. It works I have tried it and I live in New Orleans where everything starts to sprout seconds after you bring it home.

  41. Krisco

    I one time had a drippy pool in the middle of my kitchen floor.

    And I realized it was coming FROM THE LIGHT FIXTURE hanging above it.

    And then I figured out that if you crawl way, way in the back of the crawlspace under the addition over the kitchen, accessible in the stairwell, (it was an old Victorian house), and you were a cat, and you peed in just the right spot, it would indeed drip down the wires, over the light fixture, and onto the kitchen floor.

    Eeeeew. But true.

  42. Krisco

    The upshot is – so look up. It may solve your mystery. Maybe Monkey is missing up there in the bathroom over the kitchen.

  43. rclaret

    On a totally different tangent…, if you watch the movie about witches with Bette Middler, Kathy Najimi & a skinny blonde actress (Rebecca Demornay?), it is the best “running amok” movie line anywhere, when someone complains about witches running amok, the skinny blonde says “amok, amok, amok…” Okay, maybe it’s not so great in the retelling, but I can’t think about running amok without picturing her. So now you can too. :)

  44. Lisa

    I had the same mystery puddle in front of my dishwasher this weekend! 4 inches from the wall, 3 or so inches wide, maybe 8 inches long! No smell. I assumed it was water somehow leaking from the NEW dishwasher. (Ok, month old dishwasher). I wiped it up, it has not reappeared.

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