(I know. I KNOW. I'm a broken record. But this is the last week. Strangerville Live is THIS FRIDAY. Please come. Meg is telling an embarrassing story. And I'm telling a story I've been meaning to tell on the stage for four years but I couldn't quite figure out how to do it until recently. Plus there will be balloons and candy (if you bring them). Get your tickets at THIS LINK. Seriously. Go do it right now. We'll wait for you to come back before we start gossiping about The Suzzzzzz and her new face tattoo.)

When Skylar talks to "The Alexa," as she is known in our home, he enunciates and speaks in a formality usually only reserved for an audience with the queen.

Skylar finds talking to The Alexa very overwhelming. If he pauses for too long while initiating a command, she gives up and starts asking him questions, which makes him lose his concentration and start yelling, which makes The Alexa more confused, which makes him yell even more. Basically I'm saying Skylar and Alexa need couple's counseling.

I can't really blame him for the frustrations. We currently have a set of lights in the house called "Christmas" on The Alexa because we had them set up last December and we used their associated devices for the Christmas tree and other Christmas lights. We've been too lazy to change the name of these things (and I frankly don't even know how to do it) so now when we want to turn on the lamps that are plugged into these devices or use these bulbs we have to ask The Alexa to "turn on Christmas." This would work fine if she didn't get confused nearly 50% of the time and start playing Christmas music on volume 10.

This actually happened last night and as a result I've had Jackson Five's I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus stuck in my head for nearly a day.

I would say that this is the only Christmasy thing about our lives right now, but that would be a lie. Just the other evening I finally decided it was time to put this away:

There's a spot on our landing area by the back door where we routinely place things that need to go downstairs. It seems easier to just set them there, with the expectation that we'll grab it the next time we walk down to the basement. The problem is, we never remember to grab the thing on our nearly daily trip to the basement, even though it's sitting there waiting for us.

Such was the case with Frosty, who has sat on that landing since December 26. Finally the other night I decided that enough was enough. And so, on June 26th, I finally took care of business.

And so, there I was, marching a Christmas decoration down the stairs as The Alexa up above was screeching some Christmas music, Skylar and Duncan were just returning from a walk in the park, a stack of dishes sat next to the sink, which we've both been too busy to put away for some months.

It all felt perfect. Like a perfect mess.

Please enjoy some Strangerville:

This time in Strangerville, Meg explains the proper drive-through food ordering protocol and Eli defends Pioneer Day. Also, a woman tells her heartbreaking story of a traumatic journey she went through with her adult son.

Story:(Repeat) Not Always What You Want, by La Donna Keaton (Music by Jared Bird)

Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger