There are some days...or entire weekends...that you just need to focus on the silver lining. Or really try to find the silver lining...
...for example, if you learn only after you plop an armload of books on the counter that the bookstore you are in is not having an educator's discount (and then later realize that it wasn't that big bookstore chain beginning with a B it was the other big bookstore chain beginning with a B - all too confusing for somebody who usually shops at the big online bookstore chain beginning with an A), you can at least be happy that you have that portion of your Christmas shopping done. I suppose I could have walked out without buying the books, but that would have meant an entire hour of my life wasted.
Thank goodness, they didn't have any of the books or CDs my husband has on his wish list. Big bookstore A will definitely continue to profit from this household.
And the other good thing about this whole experience is that it served to remind me why I usually disregard any email that requires me to act within a certain period of time or one that requires me to leave my house. This one required both, and I should have known better.
Now finding the silver lining to situation two was a bit more difficult, but I think I've managed. When you and your entire family (even the dog) go to the park for a half hour and you leave the burner on under a pan where you are browning cubed beef for chili and you return to a house entirely filled with smoke, it may be tempting to think that there isn't one good thing about it.
As you and your husband go through the house opening every window and door and turning on the A/C, the bathroom exhaust fans, and all the ceiling fans to help facilitate air movement, you may berate yourself for being a complete idiot or you may realize that not one of your smoke detectors is going off and be shocked and horrified as you see how filled with smoke the bedrooms are and realize how your entire family would probably have died of smoke inhalation had you done such a bone-headed thing at bedtime.
And as you test your smoke detectors and hear them do their obligatory beep that lies about how ready they are to detect that stuff that is filling your house, you could get really angry at the private company that just built this military housing and installed what is obviously a defective smoke detection system, or you could be very happy that your family is already scheduled for a field trip to the firehouse on Tuesday where you will be able to discuss with the fire department this extremely dangerous situation and possibly have them intervene on your behalf and on the behalf of the hundreds of families here who live in these new houses with interconnected smoke detectors that don't work.
If you ask the kids, the silver lining is going out to dinner at a sit down restaurant. They behaved well. Proof that there is a God, and He is good.
If anybody has any ideas for saving my pot and getting the smell of smoke out of my house, I'm all ears.