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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shopping: The Good, the Bad and the Unfortunate

I have GOT to get back on track with food shopping only once a week. Right now I feel like I am forever going to the store for something. Friday, for example, we headed over to the new Lowe's Foods because I needed something to make with the chicken I had out for dinner. Fifty-five dollars later, I leave. But that's not even the bad part. The bad part was that I went through the self-check lane, paid with a $100 bill and FORGOT TO GRAB MY CHANGE!!! I did not realize this until Saturday morning when we were getting ready to leave for the movies. So I called the Lowe's and hoped and prayed and kept my fingers crossed that somebody was honest enough to turn the money in.

No such luck.

But to be perfectly honest, I know that if it were me next in line, I'd pay with cash and just grab my change and stuff it in my purse without counting it and then be pleasantly surprised when I had extra cash a few days later. Am I the only scatter-brained shopper out there? Gosh, I hope not!

Today I went to the new Harris Teeter that opened up this week. I know, lots of new supermarkets here in little Wake Forest. It's very exciting. But I digress...
so we're in the super-new-Harris Teeter, it's opening weekend, there are TONS of free samples to be had and Michael and I are just loving it. We're walking around, shopping, eating, eating, shopping, it was wonderful. I had a $10 off coupon and when I went to check out, I grabbed a magazine and threw it in the cart. I checked out, grabbed my stuff that was bagged for me, and left. When I got home, I realized that my magazine was no where to be found. Now, I know it was only $1.79, but still, I paid for it, and I wanted it. I called the store and got the manager on the phone. He went back to the lane I checked out at, found the magazine and then...wait for it...Offered to deliver it to my home!!!

I KID YOU NOT!!!

Thirty minutes later, I was sitting on the couch reading my new magazine. For those of you in the area, I HIGHLY recommend the new Harris Teeter. They were super friendly, had an AWESOME seafood department and...they deliver!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I feel pretty...oh, so pretty...

Let's just say that if this is how I am after only two days of unemployment, we're all in trouble!

Today I was scanning through Woman's World magazine and found a little teeny-tiny blurb that said "Hot Website: To Perfect your portraits!" Instantly intrigued, I got on line and went to it. Basically it is a free website where you can upload portraits of yourself and they enhance them - fix your makeup, your complexion - you can make any photo of yourself more glamorous by adding makeup, whitening teeth, removing red eye, and more!

I'm telling you, I uploaded three pictures so far and after looking at them I was feeling all kinds of sassy! Check it out at www.Makeup.pho.to. If nothing else, it's a good way to kill some time!

Movie Review: "Up"


This afternoon I took Michael and his friend Eric to see the new Disney/Pixar movie, "Up". I had really been looking forward to this one ever since I saw the first preview for it. It's in Disney Digital 3-D and I have yet to see a bad Pixar movie.

Knowing what a big fan of Disney that I am, I've seen most of their animated movies. What always strikes me that these movies are geared for children, but deal with some very serious subjects. In this case the main character, Carl, comes to grips with the fact that he never had the "adventure" that he and his wife/childhood sweetheart dreamed of. As he is about to be forced in to a senior citizen community, he decides to sail his home to South America where he and his wife had always dreamed of going.

The first 15 minutes of the movie detail his entire life in very little dialogue. You see how he met his wife, how they got married and all of the ups and downs of their life up until his beloved Ellie dies. When I looked over at Michael and Eric during those first few minutes, they looked thoroughly bored. I found myself fighting back some tears.

The story is very well written and the 3-D effects are not buffoonish as they sometimes can be. There were high quality effects, beautiful scenery and a truly wonderful story. All of the characters were interesting and all in all, I really enjoyed the whole experience. There were definitely some funny scenes - the talking dog, Dug, is truly a hoot.

This is a great family movie and I was disappointed that Frank and Nick didn't go with me. I know they would have enjoyed it, too. Well, it looks like there will be another Disney DVD to add to our collection!


One Last Rant...

Yes, yes, the bookstore is closed and I'm out of a job and I am very sad. But now that a couple of days have passed I just need to get some things off of my chest so that I can move on...

First off, I was SHOCKED by some of the behavior these last weeks. Everyone is looking for a deal and I get that. I enjoy a good deal too and there were even some things that I purchased that I did not feel good about - especially knowing that the store was taking a loss on them. I don't begrudge anyone that, what I have a problem with is when someone is already getting 50%, 75% or even at the end 90% off of something and they are still looking for something more, FOR FREE. I mean, why not just rip the shirts off of our backs.

On the day before the last day, we had a lot of candy left on the shelves. One of the students who had class that day came up to the desk to get a candy bar. I did a BOGO deal for him. When his mom came to pick him up, she too, was looking for a BOGO deal but really just wanted the free portion. She wanted to pay the eighty cents but get an entire box of candy for free. When I would not budge on giving her the box, she left. Then came BACK on the last day AGAIN looking for the free candy! I was like "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" By that point, we had already divvied up the candy amongst ourselves and sure, we could've sold her some but just the fact that you show up on our last day and try to strip of us of what little we had left was just bad manners.

Then there was the teacher who waited until the very end to pay her rent and whined because her receipt wasn't as itemized as it usually was. REALLY? I was out picking up lunch and so the boss was ringing her up and this woman KNEW it was the boss and how it was the last day and these poor people were losing their business and she wanted to WHINE about how itemized her receipt was? Again, very bad manners.

I guess what upset me the most was the lack of support for my friend. I had students bring me gifts and had people call to offer to bring me lunch but no one did that for Michelle. Only two people actually went out of their way that day to stop in to say goodbye to her. I really felt bad about that. I know she said that it was okay and she kind of preferred not having to have a big emotional goodbye repeated all day long, but it would have been nice if more than two people showed up.

I even had someone e-mail me personally about a store question. Normally I wouldn't care but this person has made a habit lately out of trash talking me (to the extent of having one of her neighbor's pulled out of my class) and the store and the teachers and then expects me to want to give her anything? I don't think she KNOWS what manners even are.

So I'm done. I've ranted all that I will. It feels good to get it off of my chest.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

And So It's Done...


*This plaque was given to me by a friend and former co-worker after I had been with the bookstore for about six months. It says "Employee of the Month, Every Month, Because She is the Pretty One." It has been a prized possession of mine and a fixture in the store ever since - until today.*

Well, it's official...I am unemployed. My sweet little bookstore has closed it's doors for good. I didn't sleep well last night. I just wasn't sure how today was going to pan out. Turns out it was an emotional roller coaster.

I went in with the "business as usual" attitude but as things got dismantled and objects began leaving the building, it hit me - we're done. We're over. There is no tomorrow for the store. It ended here today. Honestly, I was fine until I got home and now I can't seem to stop crying every time I think about it.

I'll write more tomorrow but for now...well, let's just say that we did everything that we could and as a business, we ended well. God has a plan for us all and though none of this makes sense right now, He will provide.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

24 Hours til Unemployment...

You know, as much as you KNOW a day is coming, sometimes you just don't think it's every going to come. When it's something fun like a vacation, time seems to stand still, but when you are waiting for something that is pretty icky to happen, well, time slows down and you just keep hoping that something is going to happen to change the circumstances.

Nothing happened.

Tomorrow is my last day at work.

Four years and now it's over.

Don't get me wrong, I am SO READY for tomorrow to come. This has been a very long good-bye. There was so much to do and I found myself lying awake at night thinking of all of the things that had to get done - and it's not even my store! I'm going to miss seeing my friends on a daily basis. I think it's going to be hard for us to remember to make the time to get together. I'm going to miss the kids - even though there were days that they made me CRAZY!! And you KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

Closing a business is a funny thing - people react weird. We were a small bookstore that dealt with new and used books. So we've stacked all of the used books to give back to their consignor's and on top of each pile is a piece of paper with the consignor's name on it. Do you have any idea how many people have come in and tried to shop out of those piles?? It's like the paper with the name on it isn't even there!! You have people who are still hemming and hawing over books that are 90% off! Really? JUST BUY IT!!! If you get it home and it's NOT what you wanted, you've paid ninety seven cents for it! You can sell it on Craigslist for like $20!

My attitude is really bad right now because I am just ready to be done. Like I said, it's been a long process and it's been depressing. Tomorrow we get to go in for the last time and clean like little tornadoes. Fun, fun, fun. I wonder what it's going to feel like on Monday when I don't have to go to work? I think it will be a novel idea for like a week and then it's all going to hit me - I have no job and no place to go.

Ick, how sad and depressing am I?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Treadmill Diaries - Day One: It's all fun and games until someone falls off the treadmill!

Okay so for you long-time readers of this blog, you probably remember the Disney Diet and how I was rockin' the treadmill everyday in preparation for my trip to Disney. Back then, I remember having that treadmill sit in the corner of my room, mocking me because I could walk no longer than 13 minutes. I when I say I could walk no more, I mean I was gasping for air and praying for death.

Welcome to today.

I was all kinds of confident about getting back on the treadmill. It's been 8 months but if we're being honest, I have been doing the Walk Away the Pounds system and can do a three-mile walk in less than an hour, WHILE TALKING, and not feel all that bad. Sweaty, yes. Bad? No.

So I climbed on to the treadmill this afternoon, put on my headphones and one of my 80's disco-laden CD's and was set to do my sassy walking thing. After three starts and one trip OFF of the treadmill, I finally got my groove on. I'm not proud of it, people, but if I'm going to keep a diary of it, then I might as well be honest about it. I lasted 20 minutes and barely made the mile. I feel like a complete loser. And not a "biggest loser" where you lose all the weight and win the prize, but a real LOSER where I should be pointed and laughed at!

It can only get better from here, right?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Musings....

You know what's even better than taking Codeine? Waking up at 4 a.m and taking some Advil PM. I was in a coma until around noon. It was nice.

Once I got mobile, I've sort of been on the go getting things done. I took care of things around the house, made lunch, made my Sunday phone calls, etc. Then we headed in to Raleigh where I hit Archivers and Frank and Michael hit the music stores. Frank is getting a new drum for Father's Day and he had to go and order it. But lo and behold, no one seemed to know WHAT he was talking about in TWO SEPARATE STORES!!! What in the world? Michael has decided that he wants to be a drummer too and he hung around trying out the electronic drum kits. Fun for him.

Once home, I started dinner, started a new scrapbook, we ate and then the men went to go and see "Star Trek". SO....not my thing. They were excited and I was excited to have everyone out of the house for a few hours. I'm scrapping, I'm cleaning, I'm blogging...I'm a little ADD, I think.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to my friend Dot who has graciously stepped forward and is lending me her treadmill. YIPPEE!!!! We are going to pick it up tomorrow and I cannot wait for my first walk. Actually, I am just as excited about getting out my rockin' walking CD's that I had made last year filled with all kinds of 80's disco.

Oh, I WILL survive....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Updates and blah, blah....

Okay, so I am starting to feel better finally. Not great, but better. I was sitting on the couch watching TV with Frank this afternoon when suddenly it felt like my head weighed like 1000 lbs and I just sort of fell over. I took a lovely two hour nap and revived myself. It was wonderful. I did not have to use the inhaler today and just a few minutes ago took my first dose of codeine for the day. Yeah, me!

I have NOT gotten any offers on the treadmill thing. I wasn't really expecting to, but it would have been nice. I have six weeks to drop ten pounds and I know I can do it with the treadmill. The Walk Away the Pounds is good - when I do it. Which I have not. Often. Really.

For those of you who are local, I had a great deal happen for me today. I shopped at the new Lowes Foods here in town. I had a $20 off any order of $60 or more coupon PLUS if you spend $100 and use your rewards card, you get five cents per gallon off of gas at the new gas station! SO.....I did my food shopping and spend OVER $100 (that added on to the $80 I spent last week) and got TEN CENTS per gallon off PLUS saved $20 on my food bill. I was feeling all kinds of thrifty after that one.

We are going to Florida in July. Yes, that is why I have to lose the ten pounds. I'm just being cautious, people. I have been conversing with dad's wife and she assures me that dad is going to behave but I don't need to hand him any ammunition! So think thin, again, everyone!

As for the wedding dress pictures that caused the cardiac moment yesterday...
Well, Nick assures me that while yes, it was all in good fun, the truth is that the pictures were taken so that they can be posted on Craigslist to try and SELL the wedding gown. We'll see...

I have been cruising the world wide web looking at different blogs and there are a lot out there that are written by stay at home moms. You know, this is the last week of the bookstore and then I am going to be unemployed. I no longer can look at myself as a stay-at-home mom because well...I don't know. The title just doesn't seem to fit me. Maybe I can say that I am an unemployed, stay at home mom? Maybe? I don't know, it's quite a mouthful. We'll see.

Okay, sleepy medicine is kicking in. Night-night!

Friday, May 22, 2009

HELP!!

I need somebody
Help
Not just anybody
Help
You know I need someone
Help....

Okay, so the codeine that I'm taking makes me loopy. We've established that already, right. But loopy or not, you gotta love the Beatles.

But I really do need help. Stop what you are thinking, Michelle and Cathleen!! I need a treadmill. Desperately. We are trying to train for this half marathon and I just can't get in to the groove that I had when I had the treadmill. I'm going crazy! You know how Frank's friend Rob had lent me his and then after the Disney trip I gave it back? Well...I would LOVE to borrow it from him again but he and Frank aren't talking. I'm so desperate that I have contemplated calling the man myself and trying to mend the relationship between the two of them but I just can't make myself interfere.

Stupid Rob.

So if anyone out there has a treadmill that is just sitting in storage (or sitting in your "office" mocking you) please consider lending it out to a poor, pathetic walker who needs to get her butt in gear so that she can do a half marathon and then convince her husband to let her do the Disney half-marathon in 2011.

When I was younger so much younger than today...Sorry, now you'll all have the Beatles on the brain for the rest of the day!

Today's Cardiac Moment....

As I said earlier, I am sick today. I feel a little loopy and just want to sleep. All this medicine is wreaking havoc on me. So I'm bored and playing on the computer and decide to go on to my favorite place, Facebook.

I'm reading and looking and looking and reading and what do I come across but some new pictures of son and his girlfriend. Did I mention that today is their year and a half anniversary? Did you see the Hallmark commercials for it? Anyway, they created a new Facebook album today entitled "Enchanted". My curiosity piqued, I click on it. And what do I see???

Wait for it....

Girlfriend wearing a WEDDING DRESS!!!

Give me a minute while I use my new inhaler...

Yes, a wedding dress. So first I make a comment of "Is there something you want to tell me?" and then refusing to wait for a written response, I call the boy up and ask him that same thing. He laughed. A lot. No, there is nothing that he wants to tell me. They were just joking around.

I guess sense of humor is something else that falls by the wayside when you hit 40. I did not get the humor in it.

Here's the firt clue that you are NOT going to lose weight...

So I am sick right now. I have bronchitis that is verging on walking pneumonia. Not fun. After work yesterday I went home, then to the doctor, to the pharmacy and then to pick up some pictures that I had developed and picked up some other necessities including a magazine.

It was just Michael and I for dinner and I was really feeling horrible so we decided to get McDonald's for dinner. I didn't care what we ate, just as long as I did not have to cook it.

We get home, set up tables in front of the TV, pop in a DVD to watch of "How I Met Your Mother" and start to eat. I had the magazine next to me and starting going through it while eating my Big Mac and what is the title of the article I am reading?

"How to Lose the Jiggly Fat".

Um...how about by NOT eating a Big Mac?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Guess Who's Invisible Again??

I think I've mentioned this in the past but my dad is going to be 65 this summer. He wants to do something with all of his children (meaning, me, sis and our step brother). The first plan was to have a party down by him. He had a friend who owned some sort of club that we could use. Sis and I would fly down for the weekened, he'd be surprised, end of story. Well, the friend's club closed down. Now we're like what to do, what to do.

Right now sis is down in Florida with dad and I get an e-mail from dad's new wife saying that they were discussing the whole birthday hooplah and what about a weekend cruise?

Okay, let me stop right there. For my friends who see me on a daily basis, feel free to stop reading because you've all heard this song and dance before. First of all, we are not wealthy people. In any way, shape or form. When we are able to take vacations, we plan them up to a YEAR in advance so that we can save up and it is normally a "value" vacation. Everyone in my family knows this about me.

Or so I thought.

Why would anyone think that I would be able to pull off a cruise on 6 weeks notice? A cruise that would have to include flying to cruise ship destination, the cruise itself and whatever goes along with that. For FOUR people!!! I didn't go home for my grandmother's memorial and we had four months leading up to that! Here's the other thorn in my side that is really starting to tick me off. I have children. Two of them. They are not heinous people. The behave themselves and know how to act when in public (and in private, for that matter). I realize that no one else has kids that are as young as mine but they are MY children and when we plan "family" events, the children are FAMILY!! Just FYI, relatives, they are related to you too. So the way I see things going down (because when it was the party scenario, only I was going to go because my sister was paying for me to fly down to Florida), they will plan something that I cannot afford. I will back out and tell them all to have fun without me. All the while wishing that the Acme Company would drop and Anvil on them all. They will say "No, no, we want YOU to come!" Emphasis on the YOU. I will be welcomed and included, someone will help me cover the cost of whatever it is and my husband and children will be excluded. Again.

Don't get me wrong, my husband will in no way be offended by this. The less contact he has with my dad, the better. But it's just not right. I would NEVER hold an event and not invite their spouse. I understand that if someone is paying for me, I should be grateful. I am, believe me. But wouldn't it just be nicer to hold a family event that is truly a family event so that everyone could go?

Honestly, I'd rather not have to deal with this kind of nonsense. It gets old. I don't fit in at all in the world that my father and my sister live in. And believe me, I don't want to. It's just insulting time and time again to have them plan things that they KNOW I can't be a part of.

**Update** I got an e-mail from my dad's wife and she is looking in to a location that is closer to me and actually started talking to dad and sis about it. I thought that was really nice of her. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

5 A.M. Musings...

So I woke up extra early again this morning for no apparent reason. Well, if we're being honest, I had to use the bathroom. So I got up, did what I had to do, and crawled back in to bed with the plan of going right back to sleep.

Sigh.

My brain so does NOT want to shut down. Ever. I crawled back in to the bed and my first thought was "I have an hour and fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off". Then it was "I wonder what episode of 'Wings' will be on at 6:30?" That reminds me of an episode where Joe is forced to relive his senior prom with all kinds of disco music which then leads to the Bee Gees playing "Night's on Broadway" in my head. That has me thinking about the SNL skit of "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" which then leads to me thinking of Jimmy Fallon (who plays Barry Gibb in the skit) and how I have not yet watched him on "The Late Show" which he took over for Conan O'Brian who is taking over the tonight show for Jay Leno and there was a commercial for that where Conan is running on the beach which had me thinking of how I might like to get to the beach some time this summer while I am off from work which THEN had me thinking about what I had to DO at work today and who I had to call and who was scheduled to come in today to pick up their books which then led to thinking about the books that I need to mail out for Paperback Swap and how am I going to get time to go to the post office....

Don't even ASK if I ever fell back to sleep!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Facebook = Divorce?

Seriously, this was the topic on one of the early morning radio talk shows this morning while I was driving Michael to school. There apparently is a study out that claims that something like 90% of all couples in councelling say that Facebook and My Space are large contributors to their marital problems.

Really?

I don't know, I guess I can see that as an issue but it just seems funny. The morning crew were giving their input and were saying that anyone over the age of 30 who played around on either of those sites was stupid.

I strongly disagree.

You know, these sites are not without their problems. I had an acquaintance who was on Facebook and she had looked up an ex-boyfriend and every time they talked (and she tried to talk to him a LOT), she seemed to want to talk about their previous relationship. Then she'd flirt and hint at all kinds of "if only" scenarios. Eventually, he had to delete her as a friend because he was uncomfortable with the whole thing and felt like he would be really ticked off if HIS wife were talking to an ex-boyfriend that way. I was impressed with his morals on that one. So I guess things can get out of hand but I find it bizarre that so many people are having these issues.

I have 400 friends on Facebook (a fact that I like to tease Nick about). I really maybe only talk regularly to around 50 of them. The rest are old friends that it was fun to catch up with, but we don't sit around all day talking about "the good ol' days", you know? I have an ex or two on my friend list but we were friends before we dated and we were friends when we broke up. We had our "what have you been doing for the last 20 years" messaging, and we were done. But I guess some people can't leave it at that.

Personally, I LOVE going on to Facebook. Mostly I play games on it now. I love playing Scrabble, I'm number one on Pathwords, and I am getting my butt kicked on Bejeweled Blitz. It's kind of nice to sit down sometimes and just let my mind go numb on these things.

So don't be hating the Facebook or My Space. Don't blame them for crappy marriages. Chances are, the marriage was in trouble already. If Frank asked me to delete someone I would. Why? Because he is my husband and I respect him. So for those of you out there looking to relive the past, DON'T DO IT! Some things end for a reason and looking them up on line is not going to help anything! Go on there and look up old friends or long lost relatives. I have found plenty of them and it's a fun way to keep in touch.

Keep it clean, people. Keep it clean.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Youth is no Longer a Youth...

What the...?

Okay, so tonight Nick went back to youth group for the first time in a very, very long time. After the whole "circle" thing last year, youth group sort of disbanded and just recently started up again. Last week he and Beckah were all set to go back until one of their old group texted to say that the whole gang would be there (aka-the circle). So, not wanting to get caught up in all that nonsense again, they decided not to go.

When Nick came to church with me on Sunday, he saw the youth pastor and talked with him and he encouraged Nick to come back to youth group and made it abundantly clear that any members of "the circle" (believe me, I get tired of writing that) were not going to feel welcome in this new era because they were not going to be allowed to rule the roost, so to speak.

So tonight my boy went to youth group. And tonight my boy decided to never go back again. Why? No, there were no old issues there to deal with. And no, no one there made him feel un-welcome. The truth of the matter is that my 17 year old boy, is really no longer a "youth". Most of the kids there were 11-13 years old - an age where fart jokes and talking about your underwear is still hysterical. He was majorly uncomfortable and was calling me on the phone to make sure that I was ON MY WAY to get him and get him out of there!

While I completely understood why this setting held no appeal to him, it kind of made me sad. I mean, I remember when he was the 11-13 year old who thought saying the word "underwear" was just flat-out funny! Now he's too mature for such things. No respectable 17 year old would tell a fart joke! Please!

Sigh.

I'm getting old but I still think it's funny to watch kids joke about the word "underwear". Hee-hee....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It was the Best Burger!

There is a restaurant up by the local mall called "Ted's Montana Grill". If you have one near you, and have never eaten there, you should. Truly. They specialize in Bison bugers. Yes, you read that right, Bison. I was a little skeptical at first, after all, I LOVE me some steak, but the Bison was just plain tasty.

So the other day I am shopping at my local Super Target and lo and behold, what do I see but a pack of Buffalo sliders (mini burgers). They came ten to a pack and were only $5.99 so I figured, what the heck? Why not? Finding buns for them were another story. But after some digging, I did find some that were the perfect size in the bakery department. I mean, if you're going to SELL mini-hamburgers, shouldn't you have the buns to go with them? I'm just saying...

Tonight it was just me and Michael for dinner so I decided to make the Buffalo sliders. I did them on the grill. Rare. On these wonderful little bakery buns. With cheese. With Clausen pickles (the kosher dill, extra crunchy). A little red onion. And a little ketchup.

Oh...
My...
Gosh...

I mean, I ate FOUR of those little heavenly things and although I am full, I am already planning when I will make them again! We had a tri-color tortellini and spinach salad and just for fun, some BBQ chips. We also treated ourselves to some Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soday. Yea, I know, we're not even going to THINK about the calories. It was totally, totally worth it. So my advice to you is if you should ever SEE Buffalo burgers, grab them! You will not regret it. Or, you know, go to Ted's. Either way, two thumbs up on the Buffalo.

Yummy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Should've Stayed in Bed...

Let me start by saying that I am SO GLAD that this day is coming to an end. I woke up this morning, got Michael up for school (first day back from track-out), woke Frank up and we got on with our morning. I felt icky and wanted nothing more than to vomit, but did not. I sent the father and son team off to drive to school and chilled for a bit. Twenty minutes after they left, the phone rings. It's the school. I'm like "COME ON! He's back in school for like three minutes and already there's a problem???"

Um, yes...and the problem is me.

Why?

There was no school today. Track-out does not end until Wednesday.

Bad mommy moment.

So I call Frank, he goes back to school and I stand in the shower and cry because I am SURE this is going to traumatize the boy for life. Yet another incident that will be discussed on some shrink's couch some day. They get home, I cry some more, make my child so uncomfortable that he actually seems unsure whether or not to come near me. He gave me an awkward hug and then ran for the TV.

I'm beaming with pride right now.

Then it's off to work. I'm PMS-ing, I've traumatized my child, I want to vomit and now...I have to move heavy furniture! Why? Because the church that rents space from us forgot to set the classrooms back up. So now I have to set up 12 tables, 24 chairs, unload two bags of ice and two 12-packs of beverages and start my day with a smile! NOT LIKELY!! I was sweaty and angry and pretty much wanted to cry again. Not a good way to start the day.

The day never got much better. I pulled like 150 books off of the shelves for consignor's to come and pick up. I called like a dozen people to tell them to come and get their stuff. I dealt with obnoxious teens who thought they were funny trying to steal metal chairs. Then in the midst of it all, I had to argue with my OWN teen about WHY he cannot have a pet hamster, gerbil or any other kind of rodent-like pet.

At the end of the work day, I did my three-mile walk, came home, cooked dinner and am just now at 10:04 starting to unwind. One can only hope that Tuesday dawns a little bit brighter.

Please...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Happy Mother's Day To All!

First, Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there! I hope that you are all being pampered and loved on today.

Mother's Day started early for me. Yesterday, after the whole yard sale debacle, Frank took me shopping. This may be a little TMI but, we went bra shopping. I know this may not seem like a big deal to some of you but I never, EVER find a bra that fits right. So my honey took me to a shop that specializes in such things and I had a custom fitting (sure, right on the heels of the whole mammogram trauma) and found a beautiful bra that FIT!! Yea, me! THEN, as if that weren't enough, I got a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. It was glorious!

I woke up this morning, got ready for church and Frank had made me some breakfast. It was yummy. Remember my post from last week about Beckah's birthday and how Nick pick's wild flowers for her? Well, today he picked wild flowers for me and I cried. That meant more to me than I can even put in to words. Then he and Michael made me a card (more like a poster!) and got me all kinds of chocolate goodies - including a YooHoo - and I just felt so loved.

Next we headed off to church. I had debated on whether or not to go because I was feeling a little lazy, but in the end I did the right thing and went. Nick came with me for the first time and it was like I had brought yet ANOTHER celebrity with me (Frank being last week's celebrity). People stopped to talk to him and couldn't believe how big he had gotten and it was just lovely. He talked with his two former youth group pastor's who both just loved on him. To sit with my boy, sing praises with my boy, and just BE with my boy, well, that was an awesome Mother's Day gift. The sermon was wonderful and was delivered by one of the former youth pastor's, Noah. He and his wife are the one's I've been mentioning from their blog Nothing 2 Bring - please keep praying for their little boy, Shepherd. I thought it was cool that with all he has going on in his life and family, that he still had the heart to deliver the sermon on Mother's Day. Afterward, Nick and I were talking with him and telling him how we hoped that when the whole family was home together that we could get together and have dinner together - for my Chicken Parmigiana (which is Noah's favorite) and Noah hugged me and told me that my Chicken Parmigiana would be served in heaven! I have to admit, I gave myself a little pat on the back for that one!

I am just chilling out and relaxing now and later on we are going to go out to eat. My family is just awesome and I love them all so, so much. But I want to take a minute to thank some of the amazing women in my life. I have been blessed with not only a wonderful mom, but many second, third, fourth...and on, mom's. These women shaped the person that I am today and in a perfect world, I would be having lunch with all of them today.

To my mom...I just love you. You were an amazing, hard working woman when I was growing up and I knew that you put your role as mother above all else. You always made sure that we were taken care of and no matter how much was going on that was bad (or due to having a dead-beat dad, at times), you never let me see that. You allowed me to make my own conclusions about things and even though it was harder when the blinders came off, I thank you for letting my childhood be innocent. I missed having you around early in my adulthood and I miss not having you close by now, I know that you are only a phone call away. I'm glad that you have finally found some peace and happiness in your life and I love you.

To my wonderful little Grandma...I miss you so much. It was so hard shopping for Mother's Day cards this year and not picking one up for you. I thank you for all of the late night talks, the lunches, the TIME that you spent with me and the boys. You may not be here with us anymore but the memories of our times together will never be forgotten.

For my stepmother, Collette...I so did not appreciate you the way that I should have. I didn't understand you in the beginning and I know that there were many times that I hurt your feelings with my selfishness. For that I am truly sorry. You saved my son's life and were a wonderful grandmother to him. I know that you are on your way to a better place right now and I regret more than anything that I am not there to hold your hand. I do love you and wish that I could be wishing you a Happy Mother's Day in person.

For my mother-in-law, Dorothy...you were the most wonderful surprise! Not only did I find the man that I love in your family, but I found you, as well. Your love and friendship have been a blessing to me these last twenty years. I used to love to shop with you and just spend time doing things together. Our time together is what I missed the most when we moved away. I always look forward to coming down to Florida to visit with "Grandma-Do" and I appreciate so very much the way that you love my boys. They never miss an opportunity to say how much they want to see you, too, and not just for the golf cart. I love you and even though we just spoke on the phone, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day.

To Steph...you gave me a home when I no longer had one. You opened yours up to me and tried to show me how to grow up and be responsible for my actions. I know that at the time, I took a lot of that for granted. You were a major part of my life and the time that I spent in your home helped make my transition from teen to adult a wonderful thing. I don't think I would have been prepared for what was ahead of me in finding the love of my life had I not learned to stop being a brat. Thank you for all of the honest talks and for taking me for who I was and unselfishly sharing your life with me. Have a blessed Mother's Day.

I know this was a long post for me but I just wanted to reach out to all of the women who so strongly touched my life. There are many, many more and I just want to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Blessed Mother's Day. I encourage all of you to let all of the amazing mom's in your life know how much they mean to you on this day. I hope it's a great one.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Hate Yardsales...

I know, I know...there are many a Saturday morning warrior reading this and gasping at the thought, but seriously, HATE the yard sale. My house is tiny and once a year we try, TRY, and do a yard sale so that we can declutter. Most of the time they are bitter disappointments. But today?

A bitter, bitter, BITTER, heinous disappointment.

I was up sick half the night and finally fell back to sleep 30 minutes before the alarm went off at 5:30. The boys were each manning their own table of stuff and they were up on time and everyone was cheery and I was feeling hopeful. We live in a busy part of town on a corner lot right next to a small shopping center where there is a diner that is only open for breakfast! I mean, how much sweeter of a location can you get?

Apparently, the middle of the Sahara desert probably saw more traffic than we did today. Collectively, we barely made $20. For this I got up at 5:30??? Now I've still got a tiny house full of stuff that I don't want and yet don't want to take to the Goodwill because I feel like they rip people off. I mean, they get the stuff for FREE, why do they jack up the prices so much??

Okay, now I have to admit, I went in to this half-heartedly. I didn't post signs all over town because it was supposed to storm last night. I DID, however, advertise on Craigslist. Stupid Craigslist.

So right now I'm tired, I'm cranky, my cut of the profits was only $10 and that is five hours of my life that I'll never get back! The highlight of the whole thing, though, was Michael. There he was with his little table full of Happy Meal toys and what-not that he was selling for .25 cents each and we had made a sign. Well, he stood on the corner smiling and waving to people, pointing at our house and let me just say that the senior citizens went WILD for him. We had at least a dozen cars stop mainly because of him! Some even gave him a quarter but took nothing! That had Nick's head ready to explode, but that's a story for another time.

I'm going to nap now. Nighty-night.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Open mouth, insert foot...

I guess I'm a little more on edge than I realized. Today...well, let's just say that it WASN'T one of my finer moments...

There was an "incident" today, or so I thought. The store is now closed on Friday's but there was a group that had reserved the room long before we made this decision and so we had to honor it and let them come in today. They were not truly prepared and asked to borrow some pens. So we gave them all that we had with the understanding that we HAD to have them back.

Well, several hours later, I stop in at the store to pick up my check and lo and behold, no pens. Anywhere. Now I'm mad. I'm all yelling at myself like "Like it's not bad enough that we have to close but PLEASE, steal our pens, too!" Michael was with me and ran for cover. So I e-mailed someone from the group and sort of "vented". Those of you who have been reading me for a while, you know what I mean. It just felt like the straw that broke the camel's back.

So I'm at home and my buddy (and co-worker) calls me because she is now at the store to let another group in and she has found the pens. Okay, time to eat some crow. Again, so, so sorry, Beth. I had to retract my last e-mail full of ventage and apologize for jumping the gun.

Yeah, I think I'm going to need a couple of weeks when this is all over and done with and just "medicate" myself to keep me in a happy place.

And again, so sorry, Beth.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Smile and Wave, Boys...Smile and Wave..."

Remember yesterday's post about my son NOT going and getting lunch for me? Yes, yes, I KNOW that I had packed a lunch but I did not WANT that one...but I digress...

Today I am at work and Neil (the guitar teacher) had a break between classes and I asked him if he had eaten lunch. Just making conversation. He said he had and then asked me the same and lo and behold, I had NOT packed a lunch today. I stopped for a bagel on the way in and thought it would hold me over until 2.

It did not.

So Neil, my red-headed-now-favorite-person, went and got me McDonald's. Yes, the boy who is NOT my child, went and got me lunch.

Sigh.

It was totally fattening, totally greasy, totally salty and the coke was WAY fizzy (just like I like it). Life was good. Then I got home tonight and the boys asked what was for dinner. Frank is working out of town and was not going to be home for dinner and I had taken out some very large pork chops to make. They both claimed that they were not in the mood for pork chops and would PREFER McDonald's. Nick even went so far as to give me five bucks towards it.

So I smiled.

I waved.

I kept the five bucks.

And made pork chops for dinner!

And they were fabulous!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All of a Sudden, I'm 16 (and not in a good way!)...

I woke up this morning and got ready for work. I made sure that everyone had what they needed for the day and packed up lunches (Michael was coming to work with me today). As we were getting in to the car, I turned to Nick and told him that I needed him to do me a favor today. He's like "What?" I needed him to go to the post office for me and drop off some Mother's Day cards that I had to get out plus a book for Paperback Swap. The cards were stamped, the book had to be weighed. I told him that I would treat him and Beckah to McDonald's for doing me the favor. He's like "No, problem and you don't have to get us lunch."

Cool.

When it was time for them to go, I explain all that needs to happen, give him money for postage for the book and as he's walking out the door I'm like "You gonna pick up lunch?" to which he replies "You already HAVE lunch" and walks out the door. Um, excuse me...I KNOW I have lunch but maybe, just maybe, I didn't WANT that lunch and was thinking that perhaps he had changed his mind about my buying lunch to thank them for running this errand for me. So okay, no McDonald's (stupid Healthy Choice lunch was okay) but I have to admit, his attitude miffed me a bit.

Enter 16 year old Stace...

So I go on Facebook (my cyber home away from home) and make my status: Stace if very annoyed that her son would NOT (refused to) get her lunch. I thought it was funny. I got some sympathy from my friends, I had a good laugh. Well, then a little later on, his girlfriend puts her status as "She is tired of being taken advantage of".

???

Now I am CONVINCED this is about me. I start to freak. Because clearly, EVERYTHING is about me, right? So I call Frank and make him talk me down from the ledge. "What if she's really mad at me?" God love my husband, he just sighed patiently and let me vent and then very calmly told me to call Nick and straighten it out.

Do I do that?

No.

First, I go BACK on to Facebook and apologize to her for making her go to the Post Office for me, tell her I love her, and apologize again. THEN I call Nick - who is of NO help - and still a little snippy! He claims that she is NOT mad at me, she sends me a note on Facebook and everything calmed down.

I think I need an intervention...

It's even good Mexican style!


Remember the Brushetta Chicken recipe from a few days ago? Well, the night that I had made that, I made a double batch of the stuffing. I don't know what I was thinking. But anyway, now I had all this stuffing but didn't want to have the exact same dinner just a few nights later.

What to do...what to do...

Then I had an idea. I do that once in a while and some of them are actually good! Frank and I discussed it and it was decided that we would butterfly the boneless chicken breasts, STUFF them with the stuffing and top it with a mexican-style cheese sauce.

OMG!!! It was SO yummy! I love when we concoct something in the kitchen and it turns out well. I served it with some white corn and we had some chips and guacamole on the side just for fun. Seriously, it was really good. I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One more night of sleep...

Many thanks to all of you who were concerned about me and my lack of sleep yesterday. I am happy to report that after a scrumptious dinner of take out Chinese (try the Triple Delight - I highly recommend it!) while in my jammies, I relaxed, watched "Dancing With the Stars" and "How I Met Your Mother" and crashed around ten. I slept solidly for seven whole hours before I had to use the potty. Yet another "40" perk. Yippy! Poor Frank slept on the couch and was a little grumpy himself this morning and probably did not appreciate how bright eyed and all that I was when I woke up.

Oh, well!

Actually, I will get yet another good night's sleep tonight because Frank is out of town. I will miss him - just not while I'm sleeping. Sorry, baby! Nick is working today too and so it will just be me and Michael for dinner. Since we had take-out last night I thought I'd cook tonight - whatever the boy wanted. Now, he is the child with the "cultured" palate and loves to eat all things good and healthy. What did he request tonight?

Hot dogs.

And french fries.

Sure, the ONE TIME I need him to step up and request something like steak, or pork chops stuffed with spinach and feta cheese and he goes all nine-year-old on me! Is there nothing that I can rely on these days??? So I bought myself some sweet potato french fries in hopes of healthifying this meal (I don't really think it's possible) but my boy is excited so how can I be mad?

My stomach may rebel later and take my good night's sleep but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Guilt Goes a Long Way...

I did manage to get another 45 minutes of actual sleep this morning after my 4:30 am post. Yeah, me. I got up at 7:45, showered and got ready for work. I had to wake Frank up (who at this point is sleeping SOUNDLESSLY and like a baby) and he can't understand why I'm snippy.

So I told him.

I griped and got it all off of my chest and then told him that I loved him and that I knew he wasn't doing it on purpose but it just sucks that at that point I'd already been up for close to 5 hours and I still had an 8 hour day of work ahead of me. There was some sighing for dramatic effect, I admit it. Later in the morning, he called me at work. He said "Don't cook tonight. We'll get take out and you can go to bed early. Alone."

Sigh.

It's 6:20 and I am getting in to my jammies while he and Nick are picking up the Chinese food. A fistful of Tylenol PM and I'll be good to go!

It's 4:30 in the morning!

Seriously, it is 4:30 in the morning and I've been up for an hour. Sigh. I am so miserable right now that I want to cry!

Frank came to bed somewhere around 3 and immediately began to snore. And if that weren't enough, I honestly believe that he has sleep apnea because his breathing was weird and he kept twitching and jumping. I tried waking him in hopes of getting him out of whatever mode he is in but with no luck. So I put ear plugs in. I hate them. They are my equivalent of Frank wearing one of those anti-snoring breathing strips. They are uncomfortable and believe it or not, I can STILL hear him snore. After an hour of pure hate and annoyance, I decided that I would just get up and sleep on the couch. But guess what? Michael is asleep on the couch! Why? NO ONE KNOWS! I could just go and sleep in his bed but the boys room has a certain "smell" to it that just kind of makes me...sick.

So here I sit at 4:42, wishing that I was anyplace else but here. I NEED SLEEP! I have a full day at work! Honestly, I'm going to just go in to the bathroom and cry...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I need to be hit with a happy stick...

You know what stinks about being 40? Other than everything? It seems like I have a LOT more emotional days where I am just like "Why?" Today started out like a good day. I mean, it was a beautiful day weather-wise, Frank came to church with me, we visited with old friends...I mean, it was a GOOD day.

Then I came home. It was all down hill after that.

Now, I know people who actually HAVE a reason to be emotional right now - our friends Noah and Stephanie's little boy is still in the hospital and still facing a long battle ahead; a dear friend was admitted to the hospital this week to have a pace-maker put in (totally NOT planned). Kind of cool story though, I mean, he had no idea that there was really a problem but his heart was in really bad shape and basically, it was GOD who was beating his heart! My best friend, my beeg, she's losing her business. So I mean, THERE are people with a right to be emotional.

Me? Today was Grandma's memorial service up in NY. Obviously I did not go home for it. It's not like I truly WANTED to go, but I kind of felt some guilt about it. I know that it was for the best because there was a lot of nonsense leading up to this day that would have just ticked me off if I had to witness it face to face, but I kind of longed to be able to hug my mom and share some memories of Grandma.

Then I called my dad.

Sigh.

I had the weird opportunity of having his wife answer the phone. He has a cell, he's usually the only one that ever answers it so it was a little odd to have a woman answer the phone. We had a nice conversation and the more I spoke to her, the sadder I got! I mean, she seems like a very nice woman. Very sincere. She seems the complete opposite of my dad. But for a large portion of the conversation she talked about all of the time that they spend with my step brother's daughter. I know, I KNOW!!! Clearly, I have issues. I'm even jealous of a five year old. But really, it is because the man has NEVER shown that kind of an interest in my children. I've mentioned that to him a time or two and he says it's because I moved away. I get that. We're not there so how can he bond with the kids but you know, he only actually speaks to them on Christmas. Christmas! Once a year!!! He never just calls and asks to speak to the kids! In all fairness, when he calls and Nick sees the caller i.d., he just lets the answering machine get it.

So I miss my grandma. My dad has indirectly annoyed me again. And I ate like 50 bajillion chips ahoy cookies - with MILK!! I don't feel so well right now. Apparently on top of it all, I'm like lactose intolerant!

Could somebody please send some good news my way???

Another Beautiful Day

So it's Sunday. A couple of days ago I saw on Facebook that some friends of ours who had moved away to Atlanta would be in town today and at church. I was pretty psyched about it and even managed to get Frank excited about it and convinced him to come to church with me.

This is no small feat, let me tell you.

So we arrived at church and while walking through the lobby, we were stopped by different people who were surprised to see Frank with me. We were talking with one particular friend when our head pastor spotted us and came over to say hello. This was a big deal for me because I had been hoping that he'd see me these last couple of weeks and then felt convicted for feeling that way when he preached a sermon on "Who are you here for?" meaning, church. So I didn't want to make a big deal out of my being there and him seeing me because really, I am there to worship God and NOT just be seen by the pastor. But it was still nice to be able to stand and talk with him today.

We weaved our way further through the crowds and finally found our visiting friends. Four of their five kids were with them and it was wild to see how much they had all grown. I loved that not only were these wonderful people here and we were talking with them, but that they were the instrument to get Frank in to church - if even just for the day - in YEARS. As the service started, we migrated back out to the lobby - they had been there for the earlier service - so that we could visit a bit. They were heading home after lunch and although we would have LOVED the opportunity to visit more, it just was not to be this time around.

So have a great day today, everyone. Look up and old friend or two and let them know that you were thinking of them. I can guarantee it will make you smile.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken Bake...Oh, the Yumminess!

I love to cook. I think I'm actually pretty good at it. I HATE to follow recipes. I'm more creative and love to concoct a dinner. The usually turn out great. Well, when I spoke at the MOPS meeting on Tuesday, my thank you gift was a cookbook compiled by its members. I got curious and started reading through it and found some really great recipes. Tonight I tried one - and recommend that you do too. It's THAT good!

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package Stove Top Stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts filleted
1 tsp. dried basil leaves

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

*note: I used the Hunts diced tomatoes with roasted garlic & it was yummy!)*

Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes with their liquid in to a medium sized bowl. Add stuffing mix, water & garlic and stir until just moistened. Place filleted chicken in to a 13x9 inch baking dish (I sprayed mine with Pam first). Sprinkle with basil then the shredded cheese. Top with the stuffing mixture (I also topped that with a little bit more of the mozzarella). Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Makes 6 servings.

The original recipe called for the chicken to be cut in to bite sized pieces but I liked the presentation of putting a whole piece of chicken on each plate - it made it easier to serve, as well. We served this with whole green beans with a butter and garlic sauce and a Caesar salad and it was absolutely wonderful.

This recipe's a keeper!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tech Update...

So I've been ranting lately about my disappointment with my new phone, right? Well, after I sent off a disgruntled e-mail directly to Verizon I got some results. The store manager called me this week and apologized up one side and down the other and told me to come in and she would personally replace my phone battery. I got to set the day and time I would be there and all was well.

Well today was the day and time. I convinced Nick to come with me because he is eligible for a new phone, too, on our plan. He was all psyched. We arrived at the store, I found the manager, she took my phone and did what needed to be done while Nick and I browsed around. In less than thirty-seconds, he had found his dream phone. I think it was love at first sight! Sharlena (the manager) brought me over to one of her assistants and told me that the new battery was in place and that if I had any questions, Dareous was my man. Plus, he could help us get Nick his new phone.

(Sidebar...) Do any of you watch "How I Met Your Mother?" If so, do you remember the episode when Barney's brother comes to visit and is played by Wayne Brady? Well...that was Dareous. Seriously. He told me that my shoes were fabulous. Direct quote. True story. So yes, my shoes WERE fabulous, my pedicure was rockin and I was feeling good with my new (hopefully) working phone. He reviews Nick's phone history and we are set to go except...not. See, I did not understand how exactly our phone plan/contract worked. When I got my phone, I had a $50 credit towards a new phone. So I assumed that all three of us on the plan would get the same credit.

No.

The boy was NOT amused. He looked at me as if I had planned it all. Sure, because you all know how I just LOVE hanging out with an angry teenager. Tons of fun and laughter. Right. You know, if the boy had any money saved, he could have bought HIMSELF the phone. But being that he keeps screwing me on the phone bill, I was not so inclined to purchase it for him. No-can-do. So, I have a new battery, Nick has his same old phone. Like a wise-guy, when he saw Beckah later on he was all like "Hey! Want to see me new phone?" and she was like "Sure" and then he pulled out his same old phone and then glared at me.

Seriously, do all teens believe that we parents actually get any joy from situations like this? Because I'm here to tell you, we don't.