That's just what my head feels like.
Summer colds -- no fun.
Sorry I've been somewhat AWOL lately. SM and I have been cranking to get our house ready for a housewarming/birthday fete over the weekend. SM turned 38 on Saturday, so we combined efforts to do a joint celebration -- warm and toasty in August! House warming and toasting his birthday.
Okay, I know that's dorky, but the other line I was using was just as bad -- "SM is turning 38, our house is 58 so let's celebr8!". (Told ya' it was dorky.)
So we busted our butts to get the house in decent shape for Saturday. I mean, we hauled ass and boxes and stuff everywhere. On Saturday morning, our dining room was cluttered with stuff on the floor but nothing on the walls. However, by 4:00 for the BBQ, it was all set up. Floor cleared and art/pictures hung. Ditto the living room and the bedrooms upstairs.
But for a while it looked like SM was going to have to miss his own birthday party because Congress refused to finish their work. Not only late nights all last week to get business done for the August recess, but Saturday session too, with the specter of coming back on Monday if they didn't finish. As it turned out, Congress stayed in session until after midnight on Saturday and then adjourned until after Labor Day.
So, as he was out on Saturday morning shopping for food for the party, SM got a call at 9:00 from his boss, telling him he'd probably have to come in to the office. On the Congressional calendar for the day was the agriculture appropriations bill, FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and the defense spending bill. Because the Congressman had questions and SM's portfolio of legislative issues includes intelligence and defense, it looked like he would have to drop everything, put on a suit and head to work. And our entire day would be turned upside down.
For a number of hours, we were in limbo. We didn't know if he was going to have to scram into the office. Talk about stress! We were both really bummed.
It was touch and go for a while. At first, we thought he'd have to head in immediately. Fortunately, SM was able to prepare the info from home and email what the Congressman needed in to the office. Then, because it's standard protocol for staffers to be in the office and generally be immediately available when his/her legislative issues are on the floor, we thought SM would have to go in when FISA was being debated, which would have been around dinnertime. In the middle of the party. But at least he wouldn't completely miss his own birthday bash.
Then his boss (the Chief of Staff) gave him a huge break. He told SM that he'd cover SM's issues and handle the Congressman's questions, etc. so long as SM was immediately available by phone/email. Between watching the House floor on C-SPAN, checking his email, staying wired all day with his Blackberry and cell phone -- and because his boss was so incredibly generous to stay in the office and handle the work for SM when he really should
have been there -- SM was able to do his work work and the house work from home. And attend his own party.
Thanks to the generosity of SM's boss who was in the office from 9:00 am to after midnight to cover the issues and allow SM to stay home. I am very grateful for that. We both are. It was a fantastic birthday present for SM. Thanks, COS.
Sadly, however, about 10 friends who are also Hill staffers weren't able to attend the party because they too were at work. Including COS. But his wife came, which was nice.
Although the day started out rocky, it ended up being very nice. I think SM enjoyed himself.
And since we knew our house would be clean for the housewarming/birthday bash and that we'd have plenty of food, we invited my family over on Sunday. Grandma had wanted to see the place, so we had them all over too. It was a (much more) relaxing Sunday BBQ.
Phew! Done with the showing, now we can devolve into our usual state of clutter.
Actually, the house is still very neat -- it's only been a few hours since last night's BBQ -- but that state of tidy won't last too too long since we'll have to start pulling things out of their hiding spots as we need them (yes, we were hiding, stashing and doing whatever we could to clear the clutter). But it's all good. The hard push is over, and it was a successful effort.
And to forestall the inevitable chaos, I've invited my mom over next Sunday, so we can't let things slide too much.
It was a lot of work, an exhausting process. I'm tired just writing about it. But it was worth it. We needed a deadline to get our collective act -- and our house -- together. But to top it off, for his birthday, SM gave me his cold (see above haiku). It started getting bad yesterday and kicked in full force this morning. Congestion, sneezying, running nose, headache, puffy face... I've got it. Fun stuff.
But, like I said, it was all worth it.
Labels: DC living, family, friends, haiku, home stuff