Category Archives: This Old House

Sofa… So Good.

“The sofa has left the building,” my husband said to me over the phone.

Monty on the couchI jumped up and down. My husband had decided to upgrade his leather office couch, and the reject was coming home to go in our playroom. Until now, the playroom had plenty of room to play, but no place to sit. When they were tired of standing, the kids had sat on beanbag chairs, the floor, and occasionally, in desperation, the dog. We were ALL very excited about this seating upgrade. Especially the dog.

With the help of several burly co-workers, my husband got the sofa into our SUV and drove it home. But once home, it took him, me, both kids, and the dog just to get it out of the car and into the house. OK, the dog didn’t really help. He was just there for moral support.

Still, it was clear that there was no way the four of us were going to be able to get the sofa across the house, down the stairs, and into the basement playroom.

“Can’t we tryyyy?” I begged. I like to set an example for the kids that immediate gratification is something to strive for.

“No way,” said my husband. “It’s too heavy. Someone will get hurt.”

“Hmph,” I pouted. My husband shook his head. The kids shrugged and walked away. Only the dog backed me up.

“When the guys come to finish painting the fence tomorrow, I’ll ask them to move it,” said my husband firmly. “Can you wait 12 hours?”

“Fine,” I sighed, as I plunked down in the leather sofa dumped sideways across my breakfast room floor. “Cuz I’m just loving this six foot sofa in the kitchen, you know?”

The next day I waited anxiously for the workmen to arrive. By noon, it was clear they weren’t coming. By 3pm, I had an alternate plan.

“Come on guys, were going to move the sofa,” I said cheerily to my kids when they got up.

“Mom, we couldn’t move it WITH dad,” protested my son. “How do you think we’re gonna do it without him?”

“Like this,” I said, lifting up one end of the sofa and raising it to the ceiling so that the sofa stood up on the other end. Then I went around to the other side and lowered the ceiling end of the sofa down the other side to the floor. I stood back and grinned. “Ta-da!!”

The kids eyed me skeptically, but then they joined in helping me roll the sofa one end over the other across the house. The dog, of course, followed and offered moral support.

My plan worked perfectly until we got the to the top of the basement stairs. While I had overcome the weight issue, there was one problem I just had not foreseen.

“It doesn’t fit!’ declared my son.

I examined the width of the sofa and then the width of the basement stairs. One was significantly narrower than the other, but not in the way I would have hoped.

I thrust out my lower lip. If I could push an eight pound baby out of my body… twice… I could get a stupid sofa down a narrow flight of stairs.

“We’re going in!” I announced as I barked at the dog to move
and I pushed the sofa on its end to the top of the stairs.

“It’s not gonna fit!” yelled the kids.

“We’re gonna MAKE IT fit!” I yelled back.

I sent the kids down the stairs and shoved the top of the sofa. It slid down the wall and came to a rest just above the stairs.

“ANGLE IT!” I yelled to my son. The two of us turned the wedged sofa slightly on its side. It slid down a little further, and then got stuck midway down the staircase on a ledge on the side of the wall.

I studied the stuck sofa for a few minutes, and then, With the dog at my feet and the wind in my hair, I flew in the air and landed on top of the sofa, knocking it past the ledge and onto the stairs, where I rode it down to the basement floor.

The kids stood back in amazement.

I got up and grinned. “And THAT’S how you get a sofa into the basement!”

“Nice!” exclaimed my daughter.

“One thing,” said my son.

“What’s that?” I asked.

He looked around. “Where’s the dog?”

©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under This Old House, Who Are These Children and Why are they Calling Me Mommy

The Day the Suburbs Stood Still

Poster - Day the Earth Stood Still, The_03

Scene:  In the dark of night, a tiny object plummets invisibly to the earth.  Glowing with the searing heat of the Earth’s atmosphere, it arrives on the planet as a tiny fireball before slamming into the ground in a suburban backyard. It’s flames immediately extinguished by the tiny impact, it’s arrival goes undetected by the slumbering people in the house.  Not even the dog notices the crash and therefore no one sees an amorphous form emerge from the object.  It has no defined shape or manner. It is an almost imperceptible orange gelatinous blob that oozes it’s way over to the nearest shrub, attaches to a branch, and waits.

*       *       *

“What the heck is this?” I said to my husband the next morning as I took a break from weeding the front garden.

The two of us peered at the small orange blob on the Juniper bush.  It looked like some slime that my kids would play with that would stick to the furniture. Or maybe something the dog would throw up on the rug.

I poked at it and quickly withdrew my finger in revulsion at the feel of the spongy, jelly-like substance.

“Ick.  It’s Icky.”

“It’s probably just a bug larva or something,” declared my husband. “Bring it to the garden center and see what they say.”

I went inside to get scissors to cut off the branch and when I got back, I noticed that there were now two blobs.

“I think it’s reproducing,” I said alarmingly.

He shrugged with disinterest.  I guess orange blobs were not high on his list of priorities.

When I looked back down at the bush, there were three blobs.

“Honey, these blobs are multiplying!” I cried.  “If we don’t stop them they are going to take over the whole bush.  I think they’re ALIVE!”

“Maybe they’re mutant alien blobs from outer space,” he joked. He turned to one of the blobs. “ET, go home.”

“It’s not funny,” I exclaimed. “It will start with this bush, then it will ingest the other bushes, and then the house and us in it!”

I had no doubt in my mind that the orange blob was a very, very bad blob.  I knew it was like nothing of this Earth and it definitely did not come in peace. Today my Juniper bush. Tomorrow the world.

Careful not to touch the blob again lest it ingest my finger, I cut off a branch with a blob attached and threw it in a plastic container. I wasn’t sure whether to bring it to Area 51 or my local garden center. Ultimately I chose the garden center since it was closer and I had to be home to pick up the kids from school at 3… assuming the blob hadn’t swallowed my car by then.

Nervously I carried the container into the garden center and flagged down one of the owners.

“This is classified information,” I whispered to him. “You cannot tell anyone what you saw or who showed it to you, agreed?”

He rolled his eyes and nodded.  Apparently I was not the first lunatic customer he’d had to deal with.

I peeled back the lid of the container and then jumped back just in case the alien blob tried to ooze out and swallow my arm.

The garden center owner peered into the container.

“That is Cedar Apple Rust,” he said with little fanfare.  “It’s a fungus.

I blinked. “A fungus?”


“From outer space?” I asked.

“No, from Crab Apple trees,” he responded.

I blinked again. “It’s not going to swallow my shrubs, eat my house and take over the world?” I wondered.


I thought for a minute.

“And you’re not afraid of it?”

“No,” he said.  “But I am a little afraid of you.”

©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

bookbutton-04“Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant. Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs”  makes a great beach read! To get a copy for you or a cool mom you love, CLICK HERE

To become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, Visit me here
To follow me on Twitter, visit me here


Filed under This Old House