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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding...

So I did not get up at 4 a.m. but I did get up a little after 5.  Yes, I am one of those people who got up early to watch the Royal Wedding.  I watched the first 45 minutes from the comfort of my own bed but then managed to get up and head to the living room where I could watch the rest of it in HD.  I sat curled up on my sofa as William and Harry arrived and was on the edge of my seat in hopes of a glimpse of "the dress".

I'm not going to lie to you, I was a little disappointed.

I understand that she is the future queen and all that and I understand that she is not a flashy person by any stretch of the imagination but really, it was beautifully classic but a little boring.  Kate was flawless, of that there was no doubt.  But I think I had a hard time seeing the adorable couple that I have come to enjoy turn so formal and a little stiff - even for such a formal even.

The official pictures that were released today just lacked their usual cheeriness and I think she's going to look back at some point and think "What?"  All in all, the ceremony was lovely, there were several parts of it that I would love to hear at my own son's wedding (when that happens).  I know formal shots are supposed to be well, formal, but I think for most of us, we also want our personalities to come through even then.  Between this stiff posing and that less-than-thrilling kiss (and second kiss), it would have been nice to see the people that we have always seen.

I think in a time of world unrest, this was a nice break.  I liked watching it.  And then I watched it a second time over lunch with Nick.  Yes, he wanted to see it and it was sweet to watch it with him.  

Overall, here's the rest of my thoughts:  The hats?  Ridiculous.  Fergie's daughter looked like she had antlers on her head (even though it was supposed to be a bow).  I kept having images of a hunting rifle scope in the shot!  There were a lot of very unattractive people there who were trying to be all that with their hats and dresses and failed miserably.  

I thought that Prince Harry was adorable - especially when he turned around when Kate was walking up the aisle.  Pipa's dress was fabulous but from all of the wild stories that I had heard about her, all I could think of was she and Harry hooking up in some cloak room later on in the day!  

It made me cry to see Camilla in the car waving to the crowd when Princess Diana wasn't alive to be doing the same.  It wasn't fair.  Knowing how much she loved her boys, I think she would have just been thrilled to see this day.  Heartbreaking.  

It was a beautiful day and I can only hope that they have a beautiful life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Have you lost yourself?

A friend of ours is getting married.  He's an older gentleman and this will be his second marriage - his first wife died of cancer several years ago.  So in all of the prepping and hooplah that goes with getting ready to get married, households are merging.  This is a very strange phenomenon.

Back in the day, Frank and I moved in together but neither of us had much so really, it wasn't a matter of merging two households it was more like completing one another.  Whatever it was that he didn't have, I did, and vise-versa.  By the time the move in was complete, we didn't have duplicates of anything and all was well.

But now, looking at two people who have lived long lives, maintained families and complete households for 40+ years and you end up with a LOT of stuff.  Even more so when you never throw anything away.  

So we're watching this transition and it borders on hysteria.  They have completely different tastes - she is a little artsy (lots of flowers, candles, nick nacks, pastels, etc) and he is...well, he's a man who is...shall we say... countrified.  Lots of animal heads, tractors and wood.  The combination of the two styles merging together is odd to say the least.

So this had me thinking, when you have something like this happen, who wins?  Who compromises?  Who has to get rid of their stuff (or more of their stuff) and lose themselves?  I know that in most cases the woman wins because guys don't usually care so much about their surroundings but this whole situation is making me a bit sad.  He is definitely losing and I'm not sure I like it.  Not that I just don't like her taste in stuff but I don't like the fact that he is having to get rid of so much stuff.

One funny story about when Frank and I moved in together involves a ceramic chicken.  It was hideous...well, maybe that's over-doing it but lets just say that it was NOT my style.  Well, being that I was moving in to Frank's "bachelor pad" some things did have to go just because...well, blech!  So he allowed me to get rid of the ceramic chicken.  

And I did.

In the trash.

In a way that left no room for it's return.

I still hear about it to this day.

Twenty two years later.

And you know what's funny about that?  Other than the fact that I have earned the title of "ceramic chicken hater", he had no use for that item so there was no reason to save it BUT because it was his, and he'd had it long before I arrived on the scene, there was an attachment.   A stupid, ceramic chicken attachment. 

Ugly pottery aside, how do you make someone get rid of items of sentimental value to make room for sentimental items of your own? I hope I never have to find myself in that position although I am not a hoarder so even if I did, there's not much that I'd have to merge with.  

I think that people should make a few more concessions and let each spouse's personality come through but in a way that doesn't wreak havoc on the senses or hurt the eyes of everyone visiting your home.  For now, this particular couple still has a long way to go before people are going to walk through their house without a sense of unease...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazing Race Outrage!!

Now you know that one of my favorite shows to watch is "The Amazing Race".  I LOVE Sunday nights and it is one of the few shows that I watch all week.

This season's theme has been "Unfinished Business" where the show invited back former contestants to run the race again.  I was a little less than thrilled with most of the teams that were chosen but was happy to see the cowboy's back because they are just fun to watch.

***SPOILER ALERT***If you have not watched this week's show, STOP READING NOW!!***

Okay, so I'm basking in the afterglow that is my Easter Sunday and watching Amazing Race while eating some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  Very yummy.  So in this episode, it's down to 6 teams, one of which is the cowboys, and it seemed like all of the other teams silently agreed that it was time for them to go.  I almost couldn't watch.  Personally, I wanted Gary and Mallory to go because she just irritates me to no end.  And if it wasn't going to be Gary and Mallory then it needed to be the Goth couple because he whines to much!

So by the midway point in the episode, all of the teams shared information with each other so that most of them did not FAIRLY complete the challenge and that left the cowboys doing their share of that challenge LEGITIMATELY.  


In the end, they caught up to the Globetrotters who, because they suck, U-turned them!!!  I was beyond upset.  I almost cried when Phil told them that they had been eliminated.  I realize that it's all a game and you are supposed to try and win at all costs but the cowboys always played fairly and honestly, I don't know if I will watch the remaining episodes because I think that the rest of the teams should have been penalized for cheating.


Goodbye, Cowboys...you will be missed...

Happy Birthday, my teen crush!!

It's an unhealthy obsession, I know...but he's just so lovely!  Happy Birthday, Roger Taylor!!

 

Monday, April 25, 2011

So how was your weekend?

You know, actually, mine was pretty sweet.  

Saturday was such a lazy, relaxing day that even though I was bored silly for a large part of it, it was just wonderful.  I finished all of the food shopping for Easter, concocted something yummy for dinner (and if you have the opportunity, try the new Philly Cooking Cream - you won't be sorry) and just vegged.  

Glorious, simply glorious.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, had me feeling very emotional all day.  Besides the emotion of what Easter is about - the sacrifice that Jesus made for us - I had the opportunity to spend the day with my kids.  All of my kids.  Yes, I know some of you are like "WHAT?  All of her kids??  Doesn't she just have two?"  Well, yes I do BUT...I also have kids in my life who are like my own because I love them so much.

When I went to church yesterday, Michael and I left here and drove to Nick's house.  He lives quite literally right next door to my church.  He hasn't come to church with me (Nick, that is) in years!  He has another church that he goes to with his girlfriend and I really don't mind because at least they go to church together.  But yesterday, he asked if he could come with me.  Moms?  Are you feeling the emotion in that?

So, Michael and I get there and not only is Nick there waiting, but his beautiful girlfriend is there, as well.  I just about cried.  I hugged them and told them how much it meant to me that they would be joining me at church and when we got there, and I got to sit with them (after I was done greeting) and then got to introduce them to my friends afterwards, well, it was just wonderful.

After church, Michael asked if he could hang out at Nick's for a little while and Nick said yes (good big brother move) and so I went home to start prepping for dinner.  Beckah was going to be spending it with her family and she was greatly missed.  At around 4, Alex (Nick's best friend) showed up and was quickly followed by my boys.  Alex and Nick have been best friends since around the age of 5 and he is my third son.  When he walked in and thanked me for inviting him AND told me that I looked nice, well, that had me wanting to cry again!

We ate, we talked, we laughed - the boys all ran around in the yard like they used to when they were little.  They played video games and were so loud that I had to reprimand them - like when they were little!  It was just the BEST day.

So thank you to all my kids for spending Easter with me and making it an amazing memory.  You are all just the best and I love you!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Keep your swaggering to yourself, Bub!

People are awkward.

There, I said it.  

I know, I know, I am awkward too but sometimes it is just painful to witness others awkwardness.  The other day I was sitting and talking with a friend - in person, face to face.  We weren't discussing our marriages or anything of the sort when her husband came in to the room.  No big deal; it was like "hey, how are you?" and he took a seat sort of to the left of his wife but more behind her.  He made all kinds of faces at the things that she was saying and I'm thinking "I can see you, you jerk!"  Occassionally he would interject something in to the conversation to make himself sound smart and then he'd swagger out of the room only to return a few minutes later with the same routine.

Really??

Then there are couples on Facebook.  I'm sorry, but...you're married.  Save some of the, shall we say "magic" for when you are alone and no one has to witness it.  I think it's sweet to see the "I love you"'s that people post on their spouse's walls but when you are just plain letting the world know that you just "did it", please, please, PLEASE...keep it to yourself.

I know I put a lot of stuff out here on the blog about my life and it's normally in a rant format, but believe me when I tell you there is like a million-times more things that I don't share.  Why?  Because they are private.  I would be mortified if my husband was making faces behind my back in front of someone we knew.  I would be disgusted if he posted 'after-glow' talk on Facebook.


Your thoughts?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Put a fork in me, I'm done...

I am exhausted.  I had completely forgotten what it's like to work a 30+ hour week AND take care of a home and family.  Two years of unemployment has made me soft.

I am relieved that the weekend is here and would probably enjoy it more if it weren't a holiday weekend where I still have to be "on" and happy and social.  Really, all I want is to curl up in to a ball in my bed and turn out the light and sleep for a week.

I'm dreaming of a vacation.  If my book sells, I am SO going away for at least a long weekend someplace and you know what?  I don't think it will be Disney related!  TWIST!  I know, shocking, right?  I think I would want to go someplace and just veg for a couple of days.

If only...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How do you read?

A couple of weeks ago I was at the mall with a friend who was looking at a Nook at Barnes and Noble.  I listened to about half of the schpeel that the salesman was giving (just because I was mildly curious) but for the most part, I was browsing around the store.

Do you prefer to hold a book in your hands or an electronic reader?

I am a book girl 100%!  I have downloaded books on to my computer maybe twice and the entire process made me loopy.  I like holding a book in my hands.  I enjoy turning the pages.  I even enjoy folding down the corner of the page to hold my spot.  Scrolling and pointing and clicking and all that does not feel like book reading for me.


Now I understand you can download some books for ninety-nine cents each but you have to pay almost $300 for the e-reader!  By the time this whole thing becomes cost effective, I'm thinking the technology will have moved on and now you will have to spend even MORE money.

So how do you read?  I'm not ready to give up my paper pages yet...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's okay to not be joined at the hip...

For twenty two years, Frank and I have had an odd aspect to our relationship; we don't share friends.  What I mean by that is, we don't attract the same kind of people for our friends and we end up with two very different groups of people and spend a lot of time hanging out with our friends without each other.  This recipe has worked FINE for all these years but lately, Frank has issues.

And it's about the band...

Of course it is...

Okay, let me start by saying that there is nothing really WRONG with these people.  They are nice and they are not hill-billy rednecks like some people that he used to hang out with.  The first time he brought me and Michael around the band was for a BBQ at one of the guy's homes.  We walked in, Frank barely introduced us to anyone and then he left me alone to meet people.  

I was not amused.

Now, I know I'm a grown woman; I usually make friends just fine on my own but it was a little intimidating and I was annoyed that he didn't even spend more than ten minutes at my side before deserting me!  The next time we were all together it was similar.  All of the guys have really young kids - at least 4-5 years YOUNGER than Michael.  So that makes it hard to hang out with them because Michael is at an age where hanging out with "little kids" is not at all appealing.  Add that to the fact that I also have a son who is living on his own and that all equals me having nothing in common with the wives.

I tried having conversations with them but it's like speaking two different languages - I don't speak toddler anymore and they have no idea what a teenager does.  It makes for a great amount of lulls in the conversation.  

Then you have to factor in the annoying 5-year old (who I never, ever, NEVER want to be around again) and it's all just a recipe for disaster.  

So, whenever the band invites us to things, I don't want to go.  Most times it works in my favor because by the time Frank remembers to tell me that they want to get together, I have other plans.  BUT, then he won't go alone!  I go to a LOT of places with people without him - cookouts, church events, Christmas parties, etc. and he doesn't seem to have a problem with making me go alone to these things but it is turning in to a huge issue for him to go with these people without me.

It's becoming a real issue and he's like "I don't understand why we all can't get along?"  I want to hit him on the head with something heavy and remind him that he doesn't get along or even TRY to get along with most of the people that I know and I don't make a fuss over it, so leave me alone!  I did manage to shove him out the door today to hang out with some of the band guys because I had way too much to do and I had warned him of it LONG before any invitation was issued.  

He was still whining about it as he got in his car - "Are you sure you don't want to go?  Do you want me to stay home?"  I mean, it's sweet and all but if I'm going to take time out of my weekend when I have stuff to do, I want it to be to hang out with people that I actually want to be around and that I have stuff to converse about with.  

Am I just being a mean girl?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who will be the Easter host??

He's been out of the house for all of 2 weeks and he thinks he can just swoop in and steal a holiday.  Who?  Nick!  That's right, he wants to have Easter at his house this year!

Sort of.

Basically, he wants all of us (meaning me, Frank, Michael and his girlfriend's family) to come to his house but for US to bring all of the food.  

Really?

Now, I probably wouldn't have a hard time with this if the place was clean and smelled nice.  I reminded him that by having civilized people over would mean he'd have to CLEAN his bathroom and have his roommates CLEAN their rooms, trash would have to be picked up off of the floor and actually put in a trash can AND it could NOT smell like armpit in there!

He's thinking about it.

I understand his excitement and really, I am having a hard time because I'm just not ready to be giving up so much.  Although, it would me that I would NOT have to clean my house.  That is appealing.  BUT...I would STILL have to cook.  

Decisions....decisions....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Power to shower in less than an hour!

Okay, so I'm at church on Sunday and ran in to an old and dear friend.  I am now a greeter for the 10:45 service so I get to chat and be social with EVERYONE!  I love it!  

So we're talking and whatnot and she's like, "I really need an accountability partner and I think you would be awesome".  So I'm intrigued and ask what for and she's like "Eating better and exercising".

Divine intervention...

How ironic because I, too, need an accountability partner who is struggling like I am!  Many, many years ago we did this together and were using the "Power 90" workout.  She was the one who got me hooked on it and when I asked what was so great about it she was like "Well, you can power to shower in less than an hour!" and that totally stayed with me!  I'm hoping that we actually do this and that maybe, just maybe I'll get my big, giant butt off the couch (or office chair being that I'm working all week!) and get moving!

I'll keep you updated on our progress!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scary new week...

So this week I will be working a one-week temp job at the local newspaper.  I have to admit I am terrified of the whole thing.  I went in for training on Thursday and Friday and after the first hour on Thursday, I almost climbed out the bathroom window in tears!

Let me start by saying that I know the owners of the paper and when we talked, I was under the impression that I would just be doing some basic secretarial stuff like typing.  We had no dialogue on what experience I had or what kind of training I had, it was just "hey we need help" and I was like "I have time on my hands".  SO...I arrive at the office and find out that I know NOTHING.  Nada.  Nil.  Zilch.  Zero.  

Did I mention that I knew nothing?

Okay, so first off, they use Macs.  I use a PC.  I have only ever used a PC.  Macs are foreign to me and so even as I type this (on my home PC) I still have no real comprehension of how to use the Mac.  And there is no real typing in this job (there is some, but it is minute comparatively) it is TYPESETTING.  Two very different things.  Essentially, I am having to work on newspaper layout, on a time crunch for publication, in a format that is like Greek to me.

To say that it is intimidating would be an understatement.

So, I start tomorrow and work until Friday.  I'm terrified.  I'm nervous.  I wish I would just get a darn book deal and have to fly to New York immediately!  Is that realistic??

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Letter to the Band...

Dear Band,

First, I would like to say congrats on getting the demo cd going and for organizing a photo shoot.  Most bands don't get the ambition to do these things so kudos to you for getting them done.

However, some issues have arisen in the process that I feel need to be addressed.  First, I don't think that any ONE person should be making appointments/arrangements/agreements for the entire band.  The studio that was chosen was NOT worth the money that was spent and if SOMEONE had taken the time to research a little bit more or maybe if they actually LISTENED to their fellow bandmates concerns, maybe things would have gone smoother.

And also on the studio topic, I don't see why Frank had to contribute ANYTHING to the extra time that had to be paid for on the mixing process when the studio LOST his tracks!  So basically, you three other guys got to tweak your parts in the songs to your hearts content while Frank was left with nothing and has to be happy with whatever happened to be on there for the drums.

I had the opportunity to look at the over 500 pictures that were taken last week at the photo shoot.  I have one question...did the photographer ever LOOK through the camera?  I mean, there were a LOT of pictures that clearly this guy was just clicking without seeing what in the world was going on.  I realize that he is not a  REAL photographer and was doing this to help you guys out but really, that was four hours wasted.

And to the member who decided to "play" with the photos to show the band some "possibilities" of what HE thinks should be done?  GET A CLUE!  You chose the WORST pose in the entire batch of pictures!  AND...on top of that...I don't think your graphics are all that great.  The location that YOU chose was not good in any capacity and really, again, if you LISTENED to anyone else's suggestions then maybe things would go better instead of you continually wasting everyone's time.

And finally, band member (and you know who you are!), do not call my home, or Frank's cell, while he's at work to DEMAND that he meet you to pick up a CD that you burned.  Especially one that no one ASKED you to burn!  We have a life OUTSIDE of the band.  When Frank is working a job that is 45 minutes away from home and you live 30 minutes in the opposite direction of our home, don't give him grief because he can't jump for you and actually wants to come HOME after work and eat dinner and relax after climbing up and down a ladder all day painting an entire exterior of a house while you, CHUBBO, are sitting at a desk photo-shopping BAD pictures!

Grow up, get a life.  This band is not preparing for their North American tour.  You've played in public TWICE.  There is no reason to be making unreasonable demands on people and then pouting and sending nasty text messages when you don't get your way.

Sincerely,

Fed Up Band Wife

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And it's out of my hands...

Okay, so today was a productive day.  I made every attempt to go back to bed after Michael left for school but it just wasn't in the cards so I eventually made myself get UP and start moving around.  

I finished polishing my first three chapters for submission and then did a little research and realized that I needed to hit Staples for better quality paper to print it out on and to get address labels so that everything would look professional.  By the time I did that AND hit Target - because really, it's the law.  If you go to Staples, you have to hit the Target that is right next door.  Then I came home, had a little lunch and THEN sat back down at the computer to do the rest of the work.

The dreaded Synopsis.  

It is a filthy, eight letter word and I HATE it.

This is my downfall with all of my submission, well, that and the query letter stump me pretty good and wouldn't you know it, I took classes on BOTH of those things in the last two months and it was with the same SUCKY teacher who taught me NOTHING.  Thank you, sucky teacher.  I almost feel the need to print your name here so that no one else will take your stupid classes and waste their money.

But I digress...I sat down and stared at the blank screen as if I was in a coma with my eyes open for about two hours.  Then, I reached a decision:  I could type or I could throw up.  I hate to vomit and clearly I hate to do that MORE than the Synopsis so I started to type.  And I sit here now so you know I survived it!

I typed up the cover letter and printed out the first three chapters AND the synopsis, banded it all up in a rubber band (because that is what the publisher asked for) and put it all in a Priority Mail envelope along with a SASE and cruised on over to the post office and let it fly.

Now my friends...we wait.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Post-Pitch Crash...

Okay, so today was THE day.  Pitch day.  It was a very unique experience, to be sure and I am mentally and kind of physically exhausted from the whole thing.

First, we were instructed to be in the online chat room at 1:45.  I went in at 1:37.  I was a little anxious to say the least.  Soon all of the finalists were in there along with two moderators and then eventually the editor.  One of the moderators walked us through the procedure of going from the chat "waiting room" to the room with the editor.  

This was a relatively simple procedure - there was a bright, neon pink bar at the top of the page that said "WAITING ROOM" that you clicked on and a drop down menu came up where you then clicked on "ROOM 1".  Simple, right?  Apparently not.  There was one woman that it took literally 20 minutes to understand this and even after that, she kept leaving the waiting room and going in to room 1 while pitches were going on!!

If I were the moderator, I would have stopped and told that woman that she was too stupid to pitch and made her leave!  But I'm a mean girl and apparently most other people have more patience than I do!  Who knew? 

So we eventually got started and can I just say that it seemed like I was the only American finalist!!  The women were from New Zealand, Queensland, the UK and Canada!  Wild to be chatting on line with women all over the world!  Cool.  

So we're starting and the first woman gets called in to the pitch room and the rest of us were left in the waiting room to "chat".  It was fun and I was the third woman.  I pretty much wanted to vomit at that point and was shaking and hyperventilating.  Thank God it wasn't a visual chat.

The editor asked questions, I typed the answers and it all happened in ten minutes.  that's all you have.  And you know what sucks??  Ten minutes is totally NOT enough time to say all that you want to say when you are trying to tell all of the wonders of your book!  She was very gracious and did her best to put me at ease.  But when it was all over and I went back out in to the waiting room, I felt a great let down!

It was over too fast!  I didn't get to say everything that I wanted to say!  I spent most of the time shaking like a leaf and typing like I only had thumbs!  BUT...at the end of it all...I was asked to submit THREE chapters and a synopsis.  I am beyond thrilled.  I feel so blessed and excited about the whole thing but I have to admit that a teeny-tiny part of me was kind of hoping that they would just love me to death and want to sign me immediately.

Apparently, they don't do that.  

So now I have to polish my work like a mad woman and I would like to just thank fellow author (published) and awesome woman, Emilie Rose, for her support of me and her advice.  Years ago, I had read one of her books and noticed that she lived here in NC and I left her a note on her website telling her that I enjoyed her latest book and she invited me for coffee.  since then, she has answered MULTIPLE questions of mine and today she gave me advice that I desperately needed.  So, thank you, Emilie.  You are a true lady and an amazing writer!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Watch...it's gonna be all the craze!

Okay, so I'm getting back on the bandwagon (again) and working out.  I have my trusty treadmill, I have the original Power 90 DVD workout and I have the Walk Away the Pounds series.  With a little luck, these three things will get my big ol' butt in shape and help me drop some pounds.

So I was talking to a friend today at church who has lost a LOT of pounds and I asked her how she did it and she said walking.  Then she was power walking and now she runs.  I'm never going to be a runner and I'm okay with that.  When I mentioned that I have a treadmill she said how boring she found it and so I told her about my innovative new workout technique with the treadmill that helps me get it done.

Tread-dancing.


Yes, you read that right, TREAD-dancing.  While bee-bopping along on the treadmill to my favorite 80's disco, I have also choreographed some awesome arm-work to go along with it.  All those years on the kickline using the pom-poms has FINALLY paid off!


In all seriousness, I like to do something other than just swinging my arms and this was more fun.  Can you imagine a room full of people on the treadmills at the gym doing this?  And I'm not talking about a routine like those guys who were the YouTube sensation a couple of years ago who choreographed an entire dance routine with 8 treadmills, I'm just talking about arm movements that go with the music (think "Greased Lightning" from "Grease").  It's fun...I'd have to lose about 20 pounds before I'd do it in front of a mirror or other people but it keeps the treadmill workout from getting too boring.


And really, isn't that what exercise is all about???  Look for this at a gym near you in 2012.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I survived middle school orientation...

Thursday night we had middle school orientation for Michael.  Can I just say "Where did the time go???"  And really, haven't I been through enough this week with Nick moving out?  Why is my young son getting big, too??  It's madness, I tell you!

So we go to the school, sat through a 45 minute presentation and then had the um...pleasure (insert sarcastic tone and slight gagging noise) of going on a tour of the school with an 8th grade student representative.  Now for those of you who went to middle school and now have children of your own...let me just ask you to think back to that time in your life and to stretch your memory of the kid in the class who was nerdy as all get out, quiet to the point of painful, had no personality and basically spent most of their time being shoved in a locker.


This was our tour guide.  

I felt bad for him because CLEARLY he did NOT want any part of this whole thing but as a member of the honor society, he donned his gold sash and had to lead our group around the school.  Now, add to that that there were two moms in our group who just would NOT shut up and one of them brought her teenage daughter who felt the need to inform us all of all of her wonders and discoveries of her time in middle school.

Ten minutes in and I was searching for a locker to shove HER in to!

After 30 minutes of the tour guide's mumbling, the teenager girl's trip down memory lane and chatty Kathy never shutting up, we broke away from the group and looked around a bit and then got the heck out of Dodge!  Oh, my gosh it was painful!


The cool thing is that now 6th graders have a section of the school to themselves so that they don't have to worry about being overwhelmed or overpowered by the older upperclassmen.  I like that part a lot.  Plus, the changing of classes for different subjects is much easier because it is contained to one large hallway.  Michael doesn't do well with change and transition so I think he will be able to handle this one much better.

It seemed a bit early to be hosting this event, but he'll be starting the 6th grade in July and I guess that will be here soon enough.  He'll remember nothing of this tour so I'm hoping we'll get another chance to wander around.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'M IN THE TOP FIVE!!!!

OH...MY...GOSH!!!

A couple of weeks ago I found this writers website and decided to join their mailing list.  I don't like to do that too often because sometimes you get WAY to much junk mail.  But I took the chance and BOY OH BOY am I glad I did!

Last week they sent out their monthly newsletter and it mentioned that one of my favorite publishers was hosting an Editor's Pitch Challenge where you get to pitch your manuscript to their editor.  This is HUGE because I am finding that an un-agented, unpublished writer almost never gets to the editor.  The only problem was that it was a Friday and the contest ended on Monday.  I had no time, essentially, to prep, to think, to plan BUT luckily, I had done some on-line workshop with this publisher a couple of months ago and had a two paragraph blurb/pitch filed away.

So...I submitted.  And prayed.  And prayed.  And then prayed some more.  Well, today was the day that the top five were announced and...drumroll please...I AM ONE OF THEM!!!  This NEVER happened to me before and I am a mess right now with joy.  I have jumped, leaped, screeched, screamed and called the few people who knew I was doing this.  I almost gave myself a heart attack.

The next step is the actual PITCH to the editor on the 12th.  THAT is freaking me out.  I am friends on Facebook with several authors who write for this line and I am contemplating writing them and asking for advice.  Is that a good thing??  

I'm just giddy.  What a fabulous way to start the weekend!!!!  YIPPEEEEE!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diet crazes...

I have to admit, I am a magazine junkie and if there is a magazine that has some sort of diet info on the cover (like all of them), I want to buy it and see what the diet is about.  The problem?  

They all suck.

Nuts of any kind make me sick.  There are TONS of diets that require you eat a large quantity of nuts.  I'm not a big fruit eater at all (which makes my husband CRAZY) so all of these fruit-based cleanses and diets are out.  Shakes as meal replacement?  Lactose intolerant.  So what's a girl to do?

Apparently I am expected to learn to eat properly on my own.  WHAT???  I know, crazy, right?  I have to watch what I eat and eat in moderation and exercise.  Bummer.  I want something that is going to show some results FAST.  I want to drop like 20 pounds in a month and have it stay away forever.  


Too unrealistic?  So it would seem.

It's a vicious cycle, really.  See, I've gained the weight which makes me not feel well.  I'm tired and just feel like crap in general so it's hard to exercise.  But I NEED to exercise to start losing the weight.  I like the IDEA of Bob and Jillian from the Biggest Loser to come over but I think I would cry when they yelled at me.  

So anyone got a good-lose-some-weight-FAST diet that doesn't include nuts, fruit of shakes???

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How do you talk to people?

This morning, Frank and I were having a discussion about our landlord.  Yes, it's been a while since I've mentioned him and really it's because he is still ignoring us.  Yesterday he was at the house right next door to us that he owns and STILL did not come to the door to collect the rent.  We had to drive down to his house and drop it in the mail slot. 

Mature.

So anyway, we got to talking about that relationship and really since the very first day we moved in here, the man has talked down to us - like we're two kids playing house or something rather than two married adults.  So this got me thinking, "Why?"  Here's my theory:  Basically, Frank and I are like the total opposite of the general population.  We have no desire to use credit cards and get ourselves in to debt; we don't dream of owning a house because really, our job situation has never been stable; the fact that our job situation is NEVER stable and we always seem to be in need of a little help...I guess to most people we must look like we don't know what the heck we're doing.

Do any of us REALLY know what we're doing?  I mean, in the last ten years or so we have watched business professionals lose their jobs, their homes, their retirement.  We've seen people that we know and love on the verge of suicide because of their circumstances.  I don't speak DOWN to them because of them!  I mean, it shouldn't be about what you have or how you live your life if you're a decent human being and you take care of people around you.  

I have an issue with some people (who shall remain nameless) that call me and only want to talk about themselves no matter WHAT I have going on in my life or what I am trying to say.  Clearly, they feel that they are better and more important.  Personally, I don't give a crap about the stuff going on in their lives sometimes but I always engage in conversation and respond politely...I certainly don't cut them off to talk about myself!  

Maybe that's because I have my blog...and I can talk about me to my hearts content!

Maybe not...
 

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's gonna be a good week...

I think...

Today, Michael went back to school after almost a month off from school.  Frank went back to work and has a full exterior job that should take him a week to two weeks.  Praise the Lord!!  I had the house to myself ALL DAY!!  It was glorious!!

I scrapbooked another 300 pictures and so that is TWO albums done in two days!  Yeah, me!!  THEN...because really, I'm on a roll, I submitted a query to a publisher!  Yes, I finally did it.  It is a submission challenge that Harlequin is doing and so I jumped on board with only 24 hours to spare!  So say a prayer for me!  

I got a temp job for next week with the local newspaper. I'll be typing and whatnot - seems like general office work but I would LOVE to be on staff with them full-time.  We'll see how that pans out.  

Unemployment rates here in NC have gone down, apparently, and because of that all extended benefits will end on April 14th.  ONE MONTH BEFORE I AM DUE TO RUN OUT!!  Can we all just say "HOLY CRAP"???  I mean, does that mean that no more NEW extended benefits will be allowed after April 14th or does that mean that anyone and everyone getting extended benefits is cut off effective that date?  I cannot find a definitive answer to that anywhere!!  It's killing me!!!  Will the unemployment drama ever end?  I mean, I guess, technically, it will end on the 14th, won't it?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm beginning to annoy myself...

Today was a pretty good day.  I got up, went to church, came home, had some lunch, cleaned up a bit and then Frank decided to take Michael to the movies so that I could have a little time alone. 

Um...winning!

So I was pretty psyched but had nothing that HAD to be done and so I decided to tackle my scrapbooking.  I have two shoeboxes that are FILLED with miscellaneous pictures from every time in my life.  So I set it all up in the dining room and went to work.  The first album that I did was of my godchild Justin and I finished it off with my niece, Kyla.  That was about 250 pictures.  Now keep in mind, this is not "pretty" scrapbooking.  At this point my main goal was to just crop the pictures and get them in albums before they got lost or damaged.  I didn't journal anything and while that made me a little bit crazy, I was more focused on getting the pictures secured.

I finished that album before dinnertime and after dinner I went back to work and started on the "me" album.  Essentially, these are all of the crazy pictures of me from high school and the year after graduation.  There was a lot of beer in these pictures and that's funny to me because I don't drink!  Yet amazingly, there was always a drink near by!  Maybe I just liked posing with a drink in my hand?  Sure, that makes sense.

But really, I was annoying myself during the entire process because while I was feeling good today about the whole Nick moving out thing, every picture that I put in my nephew's album made me cry!  I'm not talking a tear or two, I am talking BAWLING!  Like a baby!  Like I can't see because of all of the tears coming out of my eyes!

For the love of it, someone hit me with a box of Kleenex and snap me out of this emotional funk!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So now I'm sad...

My boy moved out today.

He is settled in to his new place.

We helped him move all of his stuff which, surprisingly, took all three of our vehicles to move over.  Who knew?  We got his stuff over to the new house and he did not want our help in setting anything up.  He wanted to do it all himself.  I have to admit, I had a moment where I wanted to cry after he said it.  

I went out with some friends.  It was a great distraction.  Then I went back over there because he forgot some things and needed Frank to hang some shelves for him.  I cleaned up a bit around the place because honestly, it smelled like a sweaty armpit in there.  The other two guys have been living there for almost 3 weeks and it seems like nobody has washed a plate, taken out the trash or washed their clothes.

It was a little gross.

So tonight I'm sitting here, just wanting to cry but not do it in front of Frank.  I cried in the car, the bathroom, while cooking dinner.

All this time I've been joking with him that he's only going to be four minutes up the road and right now it feels a million miles away.

How did 19 years go by so fast?  Where is my little three year old boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine and loved to spend time with me?  Through all of our laughter and tears and arguing and yelling, I thought that this was a good thing; I thought that this was what was supposed to be and all I know right now is that my heart hurts and I want to turn the clock back!  It's too soon!  I'm not ready!

I'm going to to and crawl in to bed and pretend that today didn't happen...