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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here I Am!

Hello, again! I want to thank everyone who had such wonderful comments on my new writing opportunity over at Bukisa. Some of you asked where to find my stuff, so here are some of the links:

Top Ten Attractions at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Transportation - How do we get from here to there?

How to Plan a Disney-themed party

Going it Solo at Disney

Disney's Magical Express: Let the magic begin!

See, I told you I was writing on my favorite stuff! This is about half of what I have out there so far but I didn't want to bore you with all of it! Please check them out - I get paid per page view!! And remember, to check out this opportunity for yourself, go to Bukisa.com.

Dancing Controversy???

Okay, so I missed Monday night's episode of Dancing with the Stars. However, here I sit Tuesday afternoon watching some entertainment show and they are crying out that Donny Osmond is cheating.

Okay, let's just stop right there. First off, don't pick on Donny Osmond!! There's just no reason for that! I have loved Donny since I was a little girl and he's quite possibly one of the nicest guys in show biz, so KNOCK IT OFF!! Secondly, what I find funny is that anyone would accuse that. I mean, the man has been in show business since what, the age of five? He is a musician. He does stage shows. He's got a show in Vegas going on right now where he sings and dances. This is no secret. Of course he has a bit of an advantage over some of the others on the show but not huge! I mean, Lance Bass was on a couple of season's ago and was one of the members of N'Sync which was one of the biggest boy bands in the world who were KNOWN for their choreography! Why was he not attacked? Or how about Mel B. aka Scary Spice of the Spice Girls? Another group known for their choreography...why pick on Donny? He's made it no secret that he wanted to be on the show ever since Marie did it. Who wouldn't try and prepare for the show before going on?

I don't know, I think that anyone who excels at this show from the get go gets picked on in one way or another but personally, I think it's a bit excessive to cry out that he's a cheater. Next time someone wants to open their yap on this subject, look at the line up of this show from season's past: Olympic figure skaters (choreography!), Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader (choreography!), boy band dancer/girl band dancer (choreography)...I mean, COME ON!! Use your brain people before you make an accusation...

I'm just saying!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New Writing Opportunity!!

I think we have well established that I love to write. Having this blog has been a lifesaver and with the exception of one freak who caused me to doubt my writings, I think I've done okay. And as much as I love this blog, I want more! I still have so much that I want to write about. My dream, my LIFE-LONG dream has been to be a published author. I have several finished manuscripts that I am shopping around to find an agent but nothing's happened there yet.

Then, in the midst of my unemployment job search, I stumbled upon an ad looking for writers on Craigslist. So I responded to it and a lovely lady named Laura responded and got me set up with Bukisa.com. The beautiful thing about writing for them is that I can write about what I want. There is no list of set topics that I have to choose from and so I have freedom. They do have very general, very broad subjects/overviews that you need to go under but basically they are easy to fit under. The pay scale when you are starting out is small, but I am just thrilled to have my work published out there! Who knows, maybe this will lead to being helpful in finding an agent!

So if you are an aspiring writer who has a lot going on in your head that you want to write about, check out Bukisa.com. I am so glad that I checked it out. Today, I submitted three articles and they should be up and running by tomorrow. I have eight other articles that are already up and published. The fun thing is, that because I can write about what I want and what I know about, I have written a LOT of articles on Disney. LOVE IT!!!

Go and check it out and let me know if you do it!!

A Little Late but...

I didn't write a tribute post on 9/11. As I went about my daily routine of cruising the internet, there were plenty of them out there. I didn't feel like anything that I could write or say could do justice to what we, as a whole, were feeling.

I remember 9/11 quite clearly. I was at a meeting for our women's bible study that morning. When I got home, my sister called me and told me to turn on the TV. She lives up in NY and she sounded weird. I remember seeing the scenes on the news and thinking that it was happening as we spoke. She told me that no, this had all happened earlier. I was just seeing the constant replays of the plane's hitting the towers.

In the days that followed, there was no where you could turn where there wasn't coverage of the horror that happened that day. Besides having the images, soon you were hearing the voices. Yes, the voices of the victims from inside the towers or the planes leaving voice mails for their loved ones to say a final goodbye. To me, this was even more devastated than watching the towers collapse. To hear wives leaving tearful messages to their husbands - where they knew that they were going to die...it still makes me want to cry. In such a time, would you be able to calmly call your spouse and do such a thing? I can still hear one woman's message where she was tearfully telling her husband that she was "trapped in here...and I don't think we're going to get out". I can only hope that having made that call gave her some peace in the end. On that same note, as her husband, would you ever be able to erase that message??

I save most of the voice mails that I get from Frank. Mainly because they are so sweet and I love to hear them over and over. Would it be the same if it were his last and I knew that what followed was so horrific? would that message bring me happiness over hearing his voice one more time or make me want to cry?

I don't know what made me think about this today, but I did. All these years later and it was still so hard to watch all of the memorials. I did not know anyone who was killed that day. We only recently became friends with someone who survived it. They don't talk about it. Ever. I for one am thankful that they did survive and still grieve for those who didn't.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Parental Confusion...Again

In case you were wondering, Nick got home from the mountains last week (Wednesday night to be exact) and life has returned to normal. Unfortunately. He was not home more than 15 minutes when the yelling, the screaming and the crying started. Dinner was strained. I realize that in any group, the dynamic changes when you add/take away someone. I was not quite prepared for the reality of it.

Before the boy left and we were discussing the trip, his responsibilities and all that, he pretty much told us that it is his greatest desire to just be left alone. He really does not want to BE a part of this family. When he is home, he prefers staying in his room away from us. When he cannot have his room to himself (because he shares it with Michael), he goes outside and talks on his phone while wandering around the yard and field or sits in the shed. There is nothing more painful to me, as a mother, than to have your child tell you that for all intents and purposes, he would rather roam a field at night than have to be with you. I hate it. I honestly and truly hated that he felt that way. I mean, he lives here, he does interact with us, he does his chores. We laugh, we joke but the bottom line is that HERE is the last place on Earth that he wants to be. Okay, okay, I DO remember being 17 and I know that he is acting as most teenagers do. He just doesn't need to be quite so vocal about it, you know?

I've learned to accept that he doesn't want to be with us and that he pretty much makes plans to fill up most of his free time. I've stopped holding dinner for him because he'd rather eat at his girlfriend's house. I've stopped waiting to do things (like going out for a family meal) because he so obviously doesn't want to be where we are. I thought I was doing the right thing.

But tonight, it turns out, I found out that I am not. The boy left the house today at 12:30. He did not eat lunch with us. He had no idea what time he'd be home. I made pasta for dinner tonight basically because I was not in the mood to really cook. So I made shells with ricotta with sauce and a spinach salad. And yes, it was yummy. I made enough for the three of us that were home. I hate having left overs in the fridge because they tend to start growing things. So when Nick got home and heard what we have he's like "What the HECK???" Completely confused, I'm like "What?" The rant went like "Why do you make my favorite things as soon as I'm out the door?" "Why do you go out to the Outback whenever I'm not here?" On and on it went. I'm sorry, but I had no idea that we (as in the rest of the family) were no longer allowed to eat the foods that Nick liked or go to places that Nick likes to go to. I mean, had I only KNOWN this rule...well, I would have ignored it like I am now because there is no way that he is going to dictate to us what we can and cannot eat, when we can eat it or even WHERE we can eat it.

I love my child. I truly do but it is just MIND BOGGLING to me the level of audacity that comes with being a teenager. My dad used to tell me that we get back in our children what we did to our parents. I say that we must be getting back something that Frank did because I was so good. LOL! I can only cling to the hope that dad's fact is true and that someday, twenty years from now, Nick will be smacking his head against a wall wondering at the nerve of his own teenager!

My fingers are crossed...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So What's the Big Deal About Weddings?

I'm on the phone with my mom this morning and she is telling me about a wedding that she went to yesterday. I'm not a fan of weddings and I'm really not sure why. I guess my practical mind can't really wrap itself around the concept of spending so much money on one day. I mean, I had a wedding and I got wrapped up in all of the hooplah, but looking back I'm kinda like "Why?"

So this was an upscale New York wedding. The ceremony was at St. Patrick's Cathedral. First let me stop and say that I didn't even realize that they DID weddings there. I mean, I know it's a real church and they do hold mass there and everything but I can not even imagine what it would cost to hold your wedding there. Eighteen years ago Frank and I got married in a neighborhood church and it cost of $500. And believe me, it was NOT like St. Patrick's! Then there was the tourist factor at this wedding yesterday. People off the street were allowed in during the ceremony. They could not walk down the center aisle but they were allowed to mill about on the inside perimeter. Kind of weird if you ask me.

The bride had a professional hair stylist (She does hair for all kinds of TV shows) and a professional make up artist follow her around all day. You know, if my lipstick faded, oh, well. Can you imagine having a team of people at your beck and call all day to make sure your lips are forever glossy??

Our wedding was small in New York standards and at the time my dad gave us the option of having the wedding or getting the cash that he would spend on the wedding. Like two idiots we chose the wedding. I have to be honest with you, there are a LOT of negative memories about that day that had we chose what was behind door number two, we might be happier people today.

I guess here's my question to you: Do you think you have a better marriage today BECAUSE of your wedding? People who spend $100,000 on their weddings, well, doesn't that make the divorce hurt that much more? Our wedding back in 1991 cost about $10,000 total. We planned it quickly (I was pregnant - sorry) and we were unprepared for such expenses - dad did not pay for everything as I thought he would and so we ended up not making any money. You live, you learn. We had only 100 people there - and we hurt a lot of feelings because we had to stick to that number. I was not given control of the list, guess who was? Bottom line, SO NOT WORTH IT!!!

Although, on a cheery note, one of the greatest memories from our wedding was having the entire room sing "American Pie" while we ate. That was amazing. So tell me people, how did your actual wedding affect your marriage? Did it make it for better or for worse?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Someone Get Me A Stick of Dynomite...

I am a get-things-done kind of girl. I don't sit and contemplate for very long. If there's a problem, let's solve it. Now. The rest of my family has to be "mentally prepared" to do anything. Seriously, even the simplest of tasks requires major mental preparation. This is particularly hard on Michael because he does this in school and it frustrates his teachers to no end!

So here we are this morning, it's a rainy Saturday morning and Frank was sitting on the couch and what happens? Bedbug. SON OF A ....!!!!! I mean, REALLY???? It's been over a month with nothing, no sightings and here one comes. That bug bomb stuff said that it worked for 7 months. Um...try less than 7 weeks!!! So I'm like, that's it, call an exterminator because we cannot let this go. That was an hour ago. He's still sitting on the couch.

Um...why the delay? No one knows. I mean, he's not crazy glued to the couch. The yellow pages are five feet away from him. It's not like he has to trek up a mountain to get to them. The phone is six inches from him. Again, there is no major obstacles keeping him from performing these tasks. HE JUST WON'T DO IT!!! I have learned a long time ago that I had a tendency to just step in and do everything and then would get angry because no one did anything around here.

THIS IS WHY!

So now I have to go and yell and scream and carry on like a crazy woman just to get this one thing done.

So much for a peaceful Saturday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Actually, I have to agree with this one...




Your Word is "Love"



You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.

You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The New TV Season Is Here!!!!

Okay, so this was the week I have been waiting all summer for. New TV!!! I get giddy just thinking about it! I didn't realize how bored I'd been until we sat down to watch all-new episodes of our favorite shows Monday night.

First off...How I Met Your Mother. This is one of my favorites. They just stared season 5 and I still find myself laughing out loud. I'm glad that the two female cast members had their babies in real life because the camouflaging of these two was near ridiculous last season. For those of you who watched Monday night, my favorite part was when Marshall gave Ted his back to school gift - the hat and the whip - aka Indiana Jones!

Next up...The Big Bang Theory. We had just finished watching the DVD's of season two so we were well prepared for the premier of season 3. It was awesome!! Nerd humor never gets old. I love on TV shows when there is a scenario or a phrase that comes up once in a while - but is not overdone. So on Monday's premier, when Penny started to sing "Soft Kitty", I have to admit, I think I spit a little bit of my drink out while laughing! Also, the return of Sheldon's mom! Laurie Metcalf is PERFECT for that part! Great casting!

Next
...Dancing With the Stars. Okay, I think a three night premier is a tad-bit excessive. Then there's the fact that the first night it was on at the same time as my above two shows, so basically I watched it during commercials and partially during the one-hour break between those two shows. I don't like the beginning few weeks of DWTS because sometimes it is just painful. I mean, some stars JUST. CAN'T. DANCE. and it's painful to watch. Okay, and here's my other issue with this season...and please excuse my language on this but I can think of no other way to convey my deep annoyance...Media Whores. There, I've said it. I have had just about enough of Jermaine Jackson and LaToya Jackson that I am willing to deal with. Last I checked, neither of them were competing or ever HAVE competed. They hold no real talent of their own and lately, their claim to fame is that their brother (who I believe was forced to support these people) died. So does that mean that we have to see them everywhere because their brother died? How does that make you famous and make us want to have to see you everywhere??? I don't get it! Quit giving these freeloaders camera time and focus on why we are tuned in - the DANCERS!

The Biggest Loser. Okay, technically this started last week bu
t it was still only the SECOND new episode last night and I loved it!! I even managed to NOT eat during this episode and used my hand weights. Yea, me! Michael got in on the action and pulled out the mat and did all kinds of sit ups and push ups (Including one-armed) while we watched. The language was a bit cleaner this week so I was pleased. Plus, I was so impressed that there was no real cattiness with this cast, so far. They all worked together on every challenge and were rewarded with calls to their families and no one got eliminated this week. It was all a very uplifting episode.

The last show that I am super excited about is The Amazing Race. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! I know I've said in the past how I feel but I don't think I could actually ever BE on this show. I mean, I would definitely love to dance on DWTS a
nd I'd love to lose some weight on the biggest loser but there is no way that I am eating some of the things that they make you eat on THIS show. No way. Can't do it. The premier for this is Sunday night and I am just beside myself with glee (which I have not watched). I am curious to see who the teams are this time around and I love trying to figure out who is going to make it through to the end - I'm hardly ever right but it amuses me to try.

So there's my week. What shows are you looking forward to having start up again? Let's hope for an entertaining television season!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cruising the blog world for content....

I stole this one from Jen over at My Kids Are My World. I LOVE her blog and she writes a LOT each day. I love that in a blog - new content every day. Anyway, she titled hers 50 Questions I Stole From From Someone's Blog, Though I Can't Remember Whose.

Thanks, Jen!! I was brain dead on what to write!

1. Where were you three hours ago?

Playing Bejeweled on Facebook

2. Who are you in love with?
my husband, duh!

3. Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Um...no

4. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
Yes, mini sticky note pad

5. When was the last time you went to the mall?
About two weeks ago - went out with Danette and cruised the mall, checked out the Disney store and then had a yummy dinner at the Cheesecake Factory

6. Are you wearing socks right now?
nope

7. Do you have a car worth over $2000?
yes, the bank says so

8. When was the last time you drove out of town?
The same night I went to the mall

9. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
nope

10. Are you hot?
Temperature wise? Yes, always. Attractiveness? Hmmm....

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Chocolate milk (it was breakfast for dinner night!)

12. What are you wearing right now?
Black capris with a teal green tank with a black tank over it

13. Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
When I do break down and do it, it's at the car wash

14. Last food you ate?
Bacon, eggs & english muffin (breakfast for dinner night, remember?)

15. Where were you last week at this time?
Same as now - on the computer while waiting for "The Biggest Loser" to start

16. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
Nope

17. When was the last time you ran?
Um...yesterday during my Walk Away the Pounds workout - roughly for about 30 seconds

18. What was the last sporting event you watched?
I don't watch sports.

19. Your favorite animal?
I don't think I have one

20. Your dream vacation?
Hello???? DISNEY!!!!

21. Last person’s house you were in?
Danette's - and I thank her!!!

22. Worst injury you ever had?
A fractured rib - when Michael was like 18 months old he was having a temper tantrum in the shopping cart and swift-kicked me in the rib! It hurt to BREATHE!

23. Have you been in love?
Yes - and I still am!

24. Do you miss anyone right now?
My grandma

25. Last play you saw?
too long ago to even remember

26. What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?
Secret weapon?? Probably getting the kids out of the house at the same time!

27. What are your plans for tonight?
Dinner with my boy and then watching "The Biggest Loser"

28. Who is the last person to send you a Myspace message or comment?
I don't do MySpace

29. Next trip you are going to take?
None are planned right now but if the half marathon thing goes well, I would like to do the half marathon in Disney January 2011

30. Ever go to camp?
nope.

31. Were you an honor student in school?
No I was not

32. What do you want to know about the future?
That's tricky...if I COULD know anything, I'd like to know when we're going to get out of this stupid house!

33. Are you wearing perfume or cologne?
Right now, neither. I use a body spray - they're a little less obnoxious that perfume and cologne

34. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor’s visit?
Yes, I need my blood checked for my anemia and thyroid

35. Where is your best friend?
Bangin the drums!

36. How is your best friend?
Thrilled that he is out bangin the drum!

37. Do you have a tan?
Nope, I'm as clear as they come!

38. What are you listening to right now?
The Big Bang Theory episode where Penny borrows money from Sheldon

39. Do you collect anything?
No, but I'd like to. The closest I come is picture frames from Disney on each of our trips

40. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
I don't know and if I did, I wouldn't say because THAT would be gossiping!!

41. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
1996

42. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?
Only when we get fast food - I like coke from McDonald's

43. What does your last text message say?
I don't do texting

44. Do you like hot sauce?
Not really

45. Last time you took a shower?
This morning

46. Do you need to do laundry?
I'm in the process of doing it right now

47. What is your heritage?
Heritage? I'm kind of a little bit of a lot of things. I know I'm Italian on my dad's side (hence the loudness and constant flailing of arms when I speak). On my mom's side I think we are English, Scottish and perhaps German.

48. Are you someone’s best friend?
I sure am!

49. Are you rich?
money wise, no, but I am plenty rich in other ways

50. What were you doing at 12 AM last night?
Drooling on my pillow

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Cheer Me Up Award

The lovely Miss LaShan over at A Lil Enchanted sent me this a while ago and I apologize for it taking so long to put up! It made me so happy when I got it!!! You all KNOW that I LOVE getting awards. This one was pretty cool because I had never seen it before. It was created by a fellow blogger named Annie. It's very special to her... and it has a wonderful story behind it. You can read all about it on her blog A Nice Place In The Sun. She is very sweet and has a wonderful blog and great sense of humor... and she loves Lucy! So do go over and read all about it in her own words. Here is a lil more about the award....(by Annie) "The bloggers nominated for the You Cheer Me Up Award are among the best in the blogosphere. Maybe, it's due to the fact that there are so many people communicating in one place, but I'm impressed by the character of so many of the people I've met since I've been blogging.

Therefore, I want to nominate blogger's who are brave enough to open their heart, strong enough to be kind, right enough to care about others, and funny enough to make us laugh.

A person with a combination of those characteristics, would be brave, strong, caring, and kind, with an open heart, and a great sense of humor.

In addition to good character, You Cheer Me Up Award winners are also among the things I hold in the highest regard, such as Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web, a box of Peanut Butter Panic Ice Cream, the image above of Lucy and Ethel, and of course, children, animals, and books, says Annie. As for me, Stace, I would like to add the book "Happiness is a Warm Puppy" by Charles Schultz, a pint of Hagen Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream, and the love of my husband.

I wish I was in the position to give an award to Lucy and Ethel for the whole idea of them on the job at the Candy Company - trying to eat candy as fast as the conveyor belt delivered it...but that dream is simply out of the question...

For that matter, so is the opportunity to award E.B.White, the author of Charlotte's Web, and many other writers, directors, poets, painters, and photographers, who contributed so much to my life, my character, and my choices...

However, I can pass this Award to the blogger’s who make me laugh until my face hurts, and the blogger’s whose writing voice comforts me when I'm feeling lost, teaches me about others, and inspires me to move forward... That I can do...

The plan was to insert a video from "I Love Lucy" here, but blogger just is not cooperating. But for those of you who know and love "I Love Lucy", you remember the candy factory scene...remember it and smile.





Pyzam Glitter Text Maker



Monday, September 21, 2009

Updates and No Worries...

I wanted to thank all of you who commented yesterday on the marriage post and to let you know that you needn't worry: Frank does occassionally read my blog, but everything that was written there yesterday, was already discussed to the point of my ears bleeding all weekend long. Writing it out was just my final way of venting. We ended the weekend with a long talk and are still in love. No worries.

Then there's Nick: He's still up in the mountains but a little less enthralled by it all. He called me after being there for three days and was having MAJOR food withdrawals. You see, he basically lives on pizza, pasta and burgers. All big no-no's at the nutritionist retreat. He's not a big breakfast eater, she's making him eat all kinds of veggie omelet's. He doesn't do vegetables, in general, but he's eating "healthy" burgers wrapped in lettuce leaves. He's crying about eating rabbit food and being willing to kill someone for a Big Mac! That wasn't a good sign on day three!!

We spoke to him again yesterday - TWICE - and he's even more miserable! Don't get me wrong, he is loving being there and socializing and enjoying the scenery, but the food thing is just majorly on his mind. He got his hair cut, he's on dietary supplements to help his acne, I mean, he will be new and improved when he comes home - and makes himself a big, fat, heaping bowl of pasta that will undo nine days of hard work!! He'll be home Wednesday night. It says Tuesday night on MY calendar but apparently, I was wrong. Amazing how much that happens where he is concerned.

As for the housing situation, I have spoken to, I think, EVERYONE in the town hall building and basically there are no laws/codes in effect that say that the landlord has to put in insulation. There WILL BE come the first of the year!! I'm pretty jazzed about that. I've been scouring the paper's and Craigslist looking for a place for us and have found none that I would actually consider living in. You know, you do nothing but hear on the news about people losing their homes and the market being flooded with places! Where are these places??? They're certainly NOT around here! So my search continues.

Six weeks to go until the half marathon. I'm feeling pretty good. I have mastered the five-mile and hour rhythm and now just have to really time myself and actually DO a three-hour walk. I don't see that happening just quite yet. I just really want to get myself disciplined enough to walk consistently. It's not happening right now and I have no excuse for it except laziness.

Oh, and I'm still unemployed.

Sigh.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Mysteries of Marriage...

Okay, so after 18 years of marriage and 20 years together, I have some questions and I ask them with love...

Number one: How did I end up being the family alarm clock? I'm not a morning person! I realize that you are not a morning person, either, my love, but why did I have to assume that role?

Number two: In reference to number one, why then is it okay for you to be cranky, mean and annoyed at having to be up early but I am not allowed to be? I am expected to wake up with a smile and ease everyone in to the day with a big, cheery smile on my face. Please don't be annoyed when it doesn't happen.

Number three: We have two children. One is clearly just like you, the other is clearly like me. Why is it that I have to accept that one is like you but it bothers you that the other is like me? I don't get that!

Number four: Chocolate IS an acceptable breakfast food. No discussion.

Number five: My love of Disney is no more ridiculous than your love of drums. If you can spend hours at a time looking at drums on-line, I can search for all-things Disney while I am on-line. Fair is fair.

Number six: When I am doing an anger-management bible study on how to control my anger, please do not poke at me just to make me angry. Patience, I am doing this for BOTH our sakes!!

Number seven: When you cannot find something? Look for it! Standing still and glancing around will not yield results. Open a drawer, for crying out loud!!

Well, I think that's it. These are the things on my mind about marriage for today. Tomorrow, that may change. It's never dull around here!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Birth Flower Quiz Fun!




What does your birth flower say about you?




My Quiz Result: Narcissus is the birth flower for people who are born in December.
The Narcissus symbolizes success, good wishes, egotism, celebration and wealth.
If your birth flower is Narcissus: You have a very high level of self-confidence. You have strong willpower which helps you in difficult situations. You are more of a family person. You are logical and systematic.



Take more quizzes, myspace quizzes and fun quizzes on personality, love and other topics.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Do You Do???

Okay, so we've been renting this house for 14 years. It is a single-family home. It is a whopping 950 square feet. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom. It was built in 1945. Having said that, let me add that when we first started renting we only paid $500 a month. We are now getting ready to pay $600 - my ever-so-charming landlord told me of the rent-increase on the day that we got robbed. He even felt the need to interrupt my story of the robberty to tell me.

But I digress...

With my new-found need to get out of this house, I've been looking at other rentals and even some that were for sale and I've come to one very clear conclusion...THIS HOUSE IS NO DEAL!!! For what we have been paying in rent, yes. But the utilities on this house have robbed us BLIND. Our utility bill always seemed high to me but I just took it for granted and would just sigh and think "Oh, well, what can I do?" Well I did something. I called the town and got a free energy audit done today. It was quite a pleasant experience. Two very nice gentlemen came here and examined the house from top to bottom. Literally. They were in the attic, they were in the crawl space. They explained to me that my ceiling fans were spinning the wrong way to actually be helpful in the summer months and that I needed to change to the new CFL light bulbs in my lamps to save on electric. The bottom line is that WE (as in the renters who actually LIVE in the home) are doing everything right. Our thermostat is set where it should be, we're not running extension chords all over the place and most of our appliances are less than 5 years old and are energy efficient. So what's the problem?

The house itself.

There is not ONE STITCH of insulation in the whole place. There is newspaper in the walls. Every drop of heat or air that I use is going out the roof, the floors AND the walls!!! We figured out that over 14 years, on average, we have over-paid for our utilities by at least $100 a month (and that's being conservative). So doing the math...(save it, Cathleen!) we figured out that at twelve months in a year times fourteen years times $100 a month comes out to $16,800 that WE had to pay EXTRA because there was no insulation in this house. When we rented it, we were never told that there was no insulation. So where does that leave us? Where do we stand? What are our rights? Seriously, I'm asking because I have no idea!

I know the landlord will not put in the insulation if we ask him to because he is cheap. We have learned over the years to just fix things ourselves ans not even involve him because he is nasty when it comes to repairs and refuses to accept responsibility for a house that is 60 years old. Anything that goes wrong is our fault. When our heating and air unit died, he yelled at me. YELLED! He told me it was MY fault that it died. So when the repair men came, I asked them what I did wrong. They laughed and showed me how the entire unit was RUSTED! Um..Not my fault. When a plumbing line cracked and had to be replaced, we were without a toilet for the better part of two weeks. When we complained, we were told to "use a bucket outside!" Oh, and did I mention it was in the winter? We stayed at a hotel one night because I could not stand it and when we handed the landlord the bill he said he would not pay for more than one night. By LAW, a landlord has to supply plumbing. He did not. We should have fought him more on that one.

So my friends in the blogging world, what do I do? Who do I contact? Before I go to this man and ask for insulation, I need the law behind me. I need to have all of the facts so that I know that I am in the right for what I am asking for. The dream would be to get some compensation for the excessive amount of money we have been forced to spend due to his negligence but again, I don't think that is going to happen. So I am open to suggestions.

Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"The Big Bang Theory" Season Two


If you have not watched this show...you should. "The Big Bang Theory" is on Monday nights at 9:30 on CBS and before it actually came on, the promos intrigued me: Two nerdy, super-intelligent guys living next door to a beautiful girl who is a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory. It's hard to tell which one is more clueless!

The cast on this show is excellent. They are seamless and I find myself flat out rolling on the floor at some of the things that they do! Season two just came out on DVD yesterday and Michael and I were at the store bright and early to get our copy. The boys had bought season one to watch on our trip to Florida this summer and it was great because while we had watched the show, we didn't really get in to it until this season; so season one was all pretty much new to us. Season two doesn't have as much new stuff for me but what has been new has been hysterical!

Season three kicks off Monday night and we cannot wait. There hasn't been much in the last couple of years in the world of sitcom TV that I have enjoyed. This is one of a few. So if you like to laugh and you find intellectually dominant but socially awkward people funny, this is the show for you.

And for you, my friend Cathleen, I quote Sheldon: "Soft kitty, warm kitty...LITTLE BALL OF FUR!!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So I'm Watching "The Biggest Loser" And...

Okay, you guys know how much I LOVE NBC's "The Biggest Loser", right? Well, tonight was the premier and I was so totally psyched. I made sure we were done with dinner early enough that it would be cleared away and I could totally focus when it came on. Everyone cooperated, things got put away and the TV was mine.

Here's the top ten things that went through my mind while I was watching:
1.) I REALLY need to get back on track with my half-marathon training
2.) I found a neat walking trail that Miss D and I could train on...I should
call her and tell her about it
3.) I thought it was really cool that they brought Dan back (he's a local)
4.) I hate challenges that require any movement on the beach (that was
tonight's first challenge)
5.) Look at my little 9 year old boy doing one-armed push ups! Clearly he
doesn't take after me
6.) When did the trainers get such filthy mouths? When did that become
appropriate prime time language even when it's bleeped out?
7.) Do I need new sneakers?
8.) My pedicure is chipped
9.) I could totally do my Walk Away the Pounds routine while watching this
10.) I need more milk to dunk my Milano cookies in

Is everyone seeing the problem here? I'm watching these people who are all 300+ pounds and I'm thinking in my mind "Tsk, tsk, tsk...how could they let themselves go like that?" WHILE I'm eating Milano cookies and milk!!! I'm here confessing it because I feel HORRIBLE that I was doing that! What in the world is wrong with me??

Stupidity, plain and simple.

So while I cheered everyone on and remembered that I SHOULD be working out, I ate. And missed my boy. He arrived safely. He called once from the road and then again once they arrived. I was proud of him.

Seven more days...

The Car Just Left...

So Nick did not leave yesterday for his mountain trip. It was delayed a day. Sure, I did my part and cooked like an old world Nana all day Sunday and we feasted on Italian food until we bursted and then...nothing. Okay, fine. This gave me an extra day to have my boy around.

Except he went out all day.

Sigh.

I did make him go to the graduation meeting and that went very well. The gal who I was worried about was very nice, very cooperative but there was someone else who I SO did not expect a problem from who really just bordered on being nasty with all of her comments. I was a little taken aback by her. But it's okay, I knew it all wouldn't be smooth and easy and I'm looking forward to enforcing the guidelines. Does that sound mean?

Anyway, the delay of Nick's leaving changed some things. If they had left yesterday, they were leaving around 8:30 in the morning. A normal, respectable time. Well, today they decided to get on the road at 6:30 a.m. NOT a good or normal OR respectable time. Frank and I got up with him and watched him get on his way and I have to admit, my heart hurts a little. He left here with instructions to call me when he arrived and to call me at least a couple of times during the week to let me know he's okay. He gave me the typical "Okay, mom" and out the door he went.

And then he came back...just to give me a hug and to tell me he loves me.

Maybe we did do something right after all...

Monday, September 14, 2009

This is Why I Don't Watch Award Shows and Why I Regret It the Next Day!

Okay, I'm old. I'm 40. I don't watch MTV anymore. I have no idea who 99.9999% of the music artists even are anymore so there was little to no appeal to watching the MTV Video Music Awards last night and so I didn't.

Then I woke up this morning and turned on my computer.

What in the WORLD???

The first thing I come across is Janet Jackson's opening number video. I mean, it was okay, I was not blown away. I guess I had something else pictured in my mind. One web-site compared it to a Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole type of thing. She just performed in front of a video of Michael that they did together years ago (she was edited out of the video since she was performing live). Cute but not mind blowing.

Further along in the news was a clip of Madonna's opening of the show where she did a six minute dialogue about Michael Jackson. Although for the first minute or so, it was a comparison of her and him and my first thought was "Really? You're going to make this about you?" But she did finally get to the point and the speech was actually very good. The work on her now smooth face, however, did not look so good. Her face looked rather puffy.

And then the be-all, end-all moment of the night?? Kanye West jumps up on the stage in the middle of sweet little Taylor Swift's VERY emotional acceptance speech for "Best Female Video", takes the mike from her hands and announces that Beyonce had the best female video EVER!! Then he hands the mike back to a now speechless Taylor Swift.

You know, it's not the first time this dirtbag has done something like this. I know it's good publicity for someone but how DARE he ruin someone's moment! How dare he steel the spotlight like that. I mean, she will forever look back on this moment, which she was in the middle of sharing how it was a lifelong dream and as a country singer she never thought she'd actually WIN one of these, and it will be RUINED because of this man. The crazy, Italian, New Yorker in me has a litany of colorful words that I'd like to use here but I will not. I know that the media will take care of shaming this man - if even just a little.

And for all the hooplah, I still bet it would have been better to watch it all happen live....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Because That's What Mom's Do!

Okay, so Nick is leaving on his trip tomorrow. Yes, yes, the trip that I am STILL not happy about. So today, being Sunday, I thought would be a nice family day with us all here together spending time together before he leaves.

You'd think I'd suggested an acid bath.

I had to promise all kinds of things to get him to agree with it. So today after church, my kitchen will be transformed in to a scene from an Italian restaurant. There will be meatballs made from scratch, sauce made from scratch and cooked on the stove not the crock pot (I don't know why this is a big deal to him, but it is), there will be sausage, there will Fusilli with ricotta, there will be Locatelli Romano cheese and there will be garlic bread.

There will be much heartburn for me sometime around 1 a.m.

So while I was out shopping for supplies yesterday with Frank he asked why I was doing all of this. I'm like "Because he's leaving to go away and I wanted to make him a nice dinner." He smirks and I'm like "WHAT??" He tells me "It's not like he's going away for ten months or ten years, it's ten days! Why the fuss?" I informed him that I would do the same for him if he was going away. He still didn't get it. We're in line at the Wal-Mart debating this and finally I just yelled "BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MOM'S DO!!! We LOVE our family and occasionally LIKE to do something NICE!! So SHUT IT!!"

I'm really looking forward to family time today...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to My World...

There is so much going on in our lives right now that my head is spinning. None of it is HUGE, per se, but it's just a lot. For example, Nick leaves for his mountains trip on Monday. Today is Saturday. I am standing back and watching him pack and trying to not get overly mom-like and nag him about what he needs to have with him and the importance of personal hygiene. He's going to be gone for 9 days. I have to admit, for all of my worrying, I'm a little bit giddy at the thought of there might being a night or two that Michael can sleep out and Frank and I could have some time alone! Woo-hoo!

I am heading up the graduation committee for our homeschool group this year. I decided to do this mainly because I want to make sure that my son has an amazing graduation ceremony that he will actually look back on and smile about. I graduated with like 300 people. We sat on a hot football field, I sat next to people that I couldn't stand, you waited for your name to be called, walked across a stage and then sat until the other 299 names were called. I don't have any fond memories of that day...well, I should say that. I do have a great picture of my grandmother from my party later on that day and she was laughing and having a great time and she's wearing my graduation cap. I love that picture!

But here's the thing with the graduation committee...I wanted to make sure that I was actively involved so that this wasn't turned in to some dorky program. One year there was talk of the graduates walking in carrying their families bible verse. I'm sorry, but no. That is not going to happen on my watch. I think that would be sweet at a kindergarten graduation, but not a high school one. So I'm getting the names of the graduates, I've found a facility for us to meet at (I originally wanted it at my home but we had a bigger turnout that I could possibly fit!) and I got the binder with all of the instructions. Here's the fly in my ointment, there is someone that is coming to this meeting with her child who I just do NOT want to work with. I knew there was a chance of having to work with people that we don't click with but this individual just really, REALLY rubs me the wrong way. For you long-time readers of All-Stace you'll remember the boy with the knife at the bookstore? Yea, he and his mom will be on my committee. There he'll be, in all his knife glory and there's not a thing I can do about it. Pray that this goes well. Because if the way she responded to that incident are any indication of how she'll be on a committee, we're all in trouble. That meeting is Monday. Yikes.

Work is still scarce for Frank and I am starting to go in to panic mode. I don't like feeling that way at all but I cannot help it. I want to yell, scream and wail but I know it won't do any good. I, on the other hand, am looking at several options for freelance writing and while I know it won't make me rich, they could pan out to keep our heads above water. I'll give you more details on that as I learn more about it.

Well, I'm off to begin my day. Michael has a birthday party to go to for a new classmate. We've got packing to work on and my laundry pile is starting to look ominous! Wish me luck...

Friday, September 11, 2009

And Then My Head Exploded...

Last night Frank was out jamming with the band and I was hanging out at home with the boys. Michael is tracked out of school right now so bed-time is later. If it were up to me, I probably would have gone to bed right after dinner but I tried to stay up and be a productive parent.

Sometime around 10:30, I'm stumbling around the house looking for my pillow and I see Nick on the computer. He's not on Facebook or on some stupid video game code sight so I ask him what he's doing.

"Looking for train tickets"

Okay, now I'm wide awake.

"Why do you need train tickets?"

"Because we're going to D.C. on Saturday!" (and might I add that his tone was NOT pleasant)

I'm stumped. Where the heck did this all come from? Why are you going to D.C. for the day? Is it not enough that you are going away to the mountains for nine freakin days with your girlfriend? Do you really NEED to go to D.C. too? My mind is racing. He's like "I already talked to dad about this!" (again, NOT in a pleasant tone).

Oh...really? As you can imagine, the first thing I do is FIND the phone and quickly dial Frank's number to confirm that this conversation even took place. Apparently it had. Now I'm not sure who I'm more annoyed with, the boy for thinking that he can gallop the country whenever he pleases or my darling husband who neglected to TELL me of said galloping! I get off the phone with him - no voices were raised - and I decide that I'm too tired to decide who I'm mad at and just crawled in to bed. But this morning? It was on, friends!

We sat down, we talked and basically it was like a dog chasing its tail. The boy had an answer for everything, we are idiots and apparently it's okay to leave me out of the loop because I give "looks". I'm giving one right now and he can't see it!! For all of the time we spent "discussing" this, it turns out that they are not going to go. They were going to D.C. for the big march to protest the whole new Obama health care stuff. I was proud of him for wanting to get involved. I know that I couldn't care less about politics at his age but can we just let me have one parenting crisis at a time? I'm still struggling with the mountains trip, get politically active when you get back, okay?

Please?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WOO-HOO!!! I'm Not Such a Loser!!!

It doesn't take much to make me giddy these days, apparently. I've been struggling a lot lately with our living situation. Maybe it's because the kids have gotten more vocal about it but I think really it's just that I am tired of people knocking on the bathroom door while I am in there.

Anyway, one day last week I'm over at a friends house and she points out to me that a house around the corner from her is for sale. Okay, I am a very realistic person. I know that I am unemployed, Frank's employment status is not great right now either (or ever being that he is self-employed). We don't own anything other than our car and I'm pretty sure that our credit isn't the greatest. But my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to call the Realtor and ask to see the house and then, if the house were suitable for us, ask if the owners would consider a renting option or a rent with the option to buy option.

Well, today was the day. I went, I saw, I was...not that impressed. It was a cute house and all but it didn't solve all of our problems. In fact, it might create a few. So the Realtor, first off, did not impress me because she was 15 minutes late. But after talking with her for a little bit, she told me that the owners would not, in fact, consider the renting angle because they needed the sale of the house for their new home. Okay, fine. I was taking a chance and so I knew going in that things might not go my way and so I was not overly disappointed. She offered to give our information to their lenders and while inwardly snickering at the obserdity of it all, I said sure.

The lender did call me and I gave him all of the necessary information and wished him luck. Well, two hours later it turns out that while we don't make quite enough to qualify for this particular house, our credit is not all that bad! WOO-HOO!!! There are only three things on our credit report that need to be taken care of and even that wasn't all that much. So right now, I'm feeling pretty darn sassy. True, at this moment, I am NOT a homeowner and that's okay. Honestly, I don't WANT to be a homeowner right now - not with our un-certain employment status'. I am smart enough to know that. But I am feeling okay about actively seeking a new rental property.

Think second bathroom, everyone!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the Spirit of the Great Pumpkin...

"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see. "
- Linus "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"


Okay, so I made POP Century's Fried Chicken...

I served Mickey Mouse shaped cheese on some crackers...

I made Asian Deli Sandwiches from the Polynesian Resort...

I baked brownies with Mickey Mouse in marshmallow...


I've created brochures for a "Magical Disney Vacation" workshop...

What more do I have to do??? Where is my Fairy Godmother??? Where is my Pixie Dust to take me away??? Where is my Magical Moment??? Disney can you hear me??? Will you sponsor me for BlogHer 2010??? Will you award my sincerity with a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth???

Please...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Time, It's all about Us...


I got this one from Big Love blog and thought it was adorable and easy to do on this busy Tuesday. Enjoy!

What are your middle names?

John and Beth

How long have you been together?
Twenty years - we dated for two and are married now for 18.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
A few weeks

Who asked whom out?

That's a big debate. He actually asked me out the first time we met but I declined (he was going to a bar and I was underage with no fake I.D). Weeks later, I asked him out.

How old are each of you?

45 & 40 - remember my 80's party?

Whose siblings do you see the most?
It changes from year to year

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

Finances


Did you go to the same school?

Same high school but we didn't know each other.


Are you from the same home town?

Yes - he even worked in the nursing home where my Nana was but we still didn't know each other.


Who is smarter?

We each have our strengths and weaknesses so I'd have to say a tie.

Who is the most sensitive?

TOTALLY me!


Where do you eat out most as a couple?

Outback Steakhouse - there is nothing better!

Who has the craziest exes?

Wow, it's been so long...but I think his ex had to be the craziest.


Who has the worst temper?

Um, that's debatable too. I get madder quicker, but he is definitely louder.

Who does the cooking?

All me, all the time!


Who is the neat-freak?
Neither is a neat-freak per se, but it bothers him more when the house is messy.


Who is more stubborn?

Oh, that's me. Definitely.

Who hogs the bed?

Frank. I get an elbow to the face a LOT.


Who wakes up earlier?
Me. I'm the human alarm clock for the masses around here.

Who is more jealous?

He is.

How long did it take to get serious?

We moved in together in under two months.

Who eats more?

Me. Frank does the whole "I eat to live, not live to eat" thing that makes me want to smack him. Whereas I am a foodie who loves to eat!

Who does the laundry?

Unfortunately, ME!


Who’s better with the computer?

Me - but only because I have WAY too much time on my hands!


Who drives when you are together?

We normally split it up. I drive TO someplace and he drives home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Everybody UP!!

Okay, so it's Labor Day. We're all at home. This week is going to be a wild one so right now I am like a tiny sargeant yelling at everyone to get their butts up off of whatever surface it was resting upon and get moving!!

Tomorrow I have writing class that I am doing for homeschooler's. I only have three - possibly four - students but it's going to be a good thing. Then tomorrow afternoon I am hosting the monthly get-together of all of my Disney fanatic friends. This all started back when I won that Disney-themed party. So tomorrow it is my turn and I am making my Mickey cheese & crackers, Asian Deli Sandwiches from the Polynesian Resort - that's where my Disney themed food ends - then I'm making brownies, jello and putting out some assorted beverages. Tonight, though, I am making a fried chicken recipe from the POP Century Resort. SO in a Disney state of mind! Wednesday morning I have bible study, and then that afternoon after picking Nick up from work, we are going to a friend's house to swim (weather permitting), Thursday Frank has band practice, Friday Nick is working, all the while Michael is tracked out of school and going to be with me EVERYWHERE!! Sigh. And besides that, we have to get Nick ready to go away next week. Yes, I caved and he's going. I've got my fingers crossed that I'm not going to regret this...

So while the troops are running around behind me right now, complaining at the length of my "To Do" list, my butt is comfortably resting.

for now...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

And Now For the Painfully Obvious...

Look, I didn't create the world. I did not choose which gender did what better. All I know is that here are the facts: Men are better at mechanical stuff, women are better at the homemaking/cooking stuff. That's not to say that I don't know men who cook (although most of them aren't very handy) or that I don't know women who know how to do an oil change. It's not a perfect formula but for the most part, each gender has their strengths.

Frank is very mechanical. He can fix anything. Me? I fix nothing. If possible, I break things more than they already are. BUT...I am an absolute WHIZ in the kitchen. I have mastered the dinner dilemma's and what I make tastes good. So this morning, Frank had to go to work. It's a Saturday and that's unusual, but we don't refuse work these days. So I'm here cleaning house because I have a friend coming for lunch and my teenager comes out of the bathroom and announces that something is wrong with the toilet. Okay, get a plunger. No, not that kind of problem...apparently when you push down on the handle to flush, nothing happens. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Okay, I'm stumped and I call Frank. I realize that he is at work but maybe he can DO something over the phone. I told you I'm not handy!

I call, I tell him the problem and he tries to get all MacGuyver on me and tells me how to "rig" this to fix it. I hand the phone to Nick. They "discuss" things and finally Nick comes out of the bathroom mumbling something about idiots and how it can't be done. So I'm feeling a little confident and I'm like, "Okay, tell me what he said and maybe I can do it!"

Um...no.

So I call Frank back and tell him that what he wants done cannot be done because the handle is actually BROKEN. You cannot RIG anything to it because there is nothing there! Here's where it gets funny...so he's like "Okay, take the handle apart and go to..." I didn't even let him finish because I was laughing so hard. I'm like "You want ME to take something apart AND go to a store and get a replacement??? Are you out of your MIND???" He very calmly tried explaining to me that I could do this and I just told him that okay, I'd do it if he came home and cooked a roast for dinner. He's like "I can't cook a roast! Taking that handle apart, well, an idiot can do that!" Well then I guess I am BEYOND being an idiot because I can't. I think that any idiot can cook a roast but you can't do that, can you???

Nick rigged up a chain for us to use until Frank gets home. Now I can pee with confidence and go back to my regularly scheduled program of getting the house cleaned and lunch on the table!

Friday, September 4, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes...

For those of you who are EC droppers, I don't know if you had the same kind of day that I did on Thursday or not, but it was absolute TORTURE to do any dropping all the live-long day!

I started as I usually do around 7:30 in the morning and am done with my 300 drops within two hours. It's great because I get to do some great reading and then I am on with my day. But yesterday...oh...GGRRRRRR!!!!! It was awful! Sites wouldn't load. Drop boxes/widgets would appear but without the word "drop" in them, or then I'd click on it and it wouldn't process! My favorite was when I would click on it, the "drop" line would go clear and never process. Technically, I dropped about 1,000 widgets yesterday!! It took until 8:30 last night (that's 13 hours for anyone caring to count) to get my 300 drops in!!! I was clicking on anything that would load so if I missed some of you - my favorites - yesterday, I apologize. Some of you were just too hard to find and click on!!

Today, clear as can be. Couldn't be smoother. Loading and clicking is a breeze.

Anyone else have a rough day yesterday?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What I Wish I Knew Then...

As the parent of a teenager, you suddenly realize all of the things that you want them to know and be prepared for that you, yourself, were not at their age. As a homeschool mom, I have the opportunity to customize Nick's education to best prepare him for his future to insure some success.

For example, I had no idea about credit cards until I had one, ran up the bill and couldn't pay it. That was NOT a fun lesson to learn. I never understood stocks or investments. I still have no idea what the heck anyone is talking about when they discuss how to get a mortgage - we've always rented.

I wish I had been able to graduate from college. I'm finding now that even the most mundane of jobs require at least a two year college degree. The fact that I have 25 years of work experience under my belt does not matter, a piece of paper does. I might not have quit so easily if I had understood the consequences down the road.

I am glad, however, that I grew up in a broken home. Sounds tragic, doesn't it? But seriously, I grew up as a child of divorce and it just made me realize how hard it can be to make a marriage work and that it takes TWO people to make it work. One of the best examples my parents ever set for me was how NOT to be. I'm sure that doesn't comfort them any, but it's done wonders for me.

I wish I had learned the importance of saving my money and not spending it for immediate gratification. I have a hard time teaching my kids that with any real conviction because A.) I remember what it was like to be in their shoes and see what I want and have the means to buy it right then and there and B.) Because we (the parents) are living paycheck to paycheck, I sometimes regret that we cannot buy them the things that they want. Granted I know that this can just make for spoiled brats but I don't see the harm in a new $7 action figure or a new pair of sneakers once in a while.

I wish I had learned that your first love usually isn't your LAST love and that you should not give everything to a relationship when you are so young. I still have emotional scars from a relationship that happened over 22 years ago that although they made me the woman I am today, there are certain aspects of my life I could do without.

I wish I had spent more time with my grandparents.

I wish I had tried harder to have a better relationship with my sister while we were growing up.

I wish I had learned that people are going to let you down - and sometimes in a big way - and that I should not expect so much or put people on pedestals. We're all human, we make mistakes and that no matter what, you have to forgive.

I wish I had never developed an addiction to Hostess Cupcakes or Coca-Cola. They are my drug of choice.

I wish...I wish I was younger but still with my 40 year old brain!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Hair's in my Head Just Decreased Greatly...

You know, with unemployment, theft and all of the other joys of life lately, there hasn't been as much teen drama to focus on. Well, wait no longer friends, it's BACK (and with a vengeance!).

Let me start with "I love my children". I shall chant that repeatedly for the next couple of hours. The other day, Nick asked if he could go to the mountains for a week with his girlfriend. Um, no. Seriously, that was my first thought. They aren't going alone, they are staying with family but still...no. There was the usual yelling, screaming, weeping and gnashing of teeth - full-fledged drama. After attempts on both of our parts (mine and Nick's) to have a rational discussion I said that we would have to wait and talk to his father. This was met with more whining, weeping, etc. "Why do we have to involve HIM?" Um, probably because he's your DAD and he has the right to be in on such a discussion. Okay, fine.

This morning as I'm driving the boy to work - you know, the one who STILL doesn't have his license? - and he informs me that he spoke to Frank last night while I was sleeping and it was agreed upon that as long as this was all okay with the girlfriends' parents, then we were okay. And the only way we would know this is to have her parents call us and tell us that it was okay - we weren't taking his word for it. Okay, fine.

After work today, Nick gives me the specifics on this trip. It's not a week, it's closer to a week and a half. I'm not fine with this because he has bills to pay, he doesn't get a lot of hours at work and so missing all of this time will most definitely cause a problem.

Insert teenager telling me I'm wrong HERE.

This WON'T effect his income, everything will be absolutely perfect, it's not a week and a half, it's a week and two days (you can see where I would be starting to lose my mind here, right?) My voice escalates, his main comments are "You're wrong" and I find myself hitting new levels of frustration that have me reaching for my head and yanking on my own hair rather than reaching for him and strangling him. You know, I have twenty years experience in retail management. I know that when someone goes on vacation and takes time off, someone else has to fill that place. Should that replacement do a better job, then who do you think will get the preferred hours when the first employee returns? I just don't feel that with the history this store has had with cutting his hours I am just not comfortable with him taking this risk. He tells me that he is responsible and does what he is supposed to do. Okay, let's take a moment here...yes, he does have a job, yes he pays his car insurance. BUT...we have not had his contribution to the cell phone bill in months, he doesn't have a license so he doesn't pay for gas, he spends his money on ridiculous things...I know, perhaps I'm grasping at straws here but, I don't believe that he fully grasps the whole "responsibility" thing. It is not a "sometimes" thing...If you are going to claim that you are a responsible party with such conviction, then you need to BE RESPONSIBLE!!!

After I used the tone only heard by the neighborhood dogs, the boy stormed out and...called Frank. Sure, NOW he wants his dad involved! Frank then called me, talked me down from the ledge as I swept up my now-removed hair, and within the hour the boy apologized for not acting like an adult. Do I feel a little manipulated? Sure. Do I think that he was totally sincere in his apology? I'm not sure.

The jury's still out and I have a headache...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We Were Robbed!!!

Yesterday afternoon, the boys and I went out to run errands. When we got in to the car, my phone charger was on the floor on the driver's side. I thought that was odd but picked it up and put it back in the center console.

This morning, we all got up, we got Michael ready for school, he and Frank left at around 7:20 and I crawled back in to bed. I mean, really, what's the point in staying awake when I have NOTHING to do?? So I'm all snuggled back up in the bed, ready to doze back off when Frank comes home. I knew he had been to school and back because it had been about 30 minutes. He's like "Did you take the TV's out of the car?" We have 7 inch dual DVD players in the car. They are not installed professionally, they wrap around the headrests of the front seats. Now I'm wide awake. "NO! Why??" They're gone.

They're gone.

I jump up out of the bed and get dressed and go out to the car. When I come back in he looks at me and says "Yeah, I kind of noticed that yesterday but forgot to ask you about it."

Deep breaths...count to ten...remember that you LOVE him...

For the next forty-five minutes I was on the phone with first the auto insurance people, then the renter's insurance people, then had a team of police officer's here...I mean, it was wild. Long story short, this theft IS covered but I have a $500 deductible and so being that the set was only $179, I am SOL. I am NOT happy about it.

Was the car damaged? No. Were any of us hurt? No. Do I feel like an idiot for leaving the car unlocked? Um, yes. We RELY on these TV's on long road trips. Granted, we're not planning any for a long time so this shouldn't bother me as much as it does, but I cannot help it. I am skeeved out at the though of someone, some dirty-stinking-thief, rummaging around in my car. It just freaks me out. The cops are like, Yeah, well, it happens...but I want to put a billboard up in my front yard that says "To the Dirtbag Who STOLE From Me...God is watching YOU!!"

OOOHHH...I am just so mad!!! And you know what hurts even more. We had this system for like two years, right? I saved that box under my bed up until a month ago and then I was like "We're never gonna need this, right?"

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I hate people sometimes....

Top EC Droppers for August!

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to my top droppers from EC for the month of August. You guys rock, as always!

1. Symphony of Love
2. Computer Aid
3. The Way I See It
4. Positive Men
5. Juliana's Lair
6. PJ's Prose
7. Photography by KML
8. Beyond Left Field
9. Mutual Love
10. In This Life of Ours

If you have time today, click over to their sites and check them out!