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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Personally, I am not a fan of Halloween AT ALL but apparently my kids are.  So I struggle to get through it - even all of the candy doesn't thrill me.  I'd gladly buy them giant bags of candy if they'd stay home!  But if this is a holiday that you enjoy, then have fun and enjoy it!
 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!!

It is that time of year again...thirty day, 50,000 words...it is just way too exciting!  That's right, November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo and I am totally psyched to get started!!!

I'm not as prepared as I was last year but more prepared than I was the year before.  Does that make sense??  So my plan is to bang out a brief outline of what I want to write about and sort of ease in to it this coming week and then next weekend, when I am at my writing retreat, to just right like a fiend.  Again, so EXCITING!!

The website is up and running, although it is still flipping out with the amount of traffic it is seeing.  I am hoping they get all the bugs out by Tuesday because it's quite annoying when you can't get on the site to do what you want to do.  

My work is untitled, my characters are sketchy at best but I am just so looking forward to just having a goal like this that I just can't even describe it!  You know, it's kind of stupid that I wait for November to do this because really, I can do it on my own at any time - you know, give myself the same goal and then do it but there is something about going to that darn website and getting caught up in all of the frenzy that motivates me.  Crazy, right?

Either way, if you don't see me around here much in November, it's is because I am using all of my words and typing skills to get to the 50,000 word finish line.  Woo-hoo!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Watching the end of a life..

So Nick got a job working in a nursing home.  You know, it all seemed like a good idea at the time - more money, more hours, close to home, all of the things that are important when looking for a job.

His first full day on the job was a bit of a shock to him.  First of all, we've not spent a lot of time in nursing homes.  He's only been to one maybe four times and that was down in Florida when we visited my step-mother.  I mean, maybe three hours MAX.  He came for dinner and was like "Did you know...?" and the list of topics was endless.  He had no idea that patients could not, shall we say, "care" for themselves to that degree.  He was not prepared for the fact that many patients wear adult diapers and go in the bed.

The smell was a big obstacle for him to overcome.  He is basically a janitor in charge of the floors and so he is all over the place cleaning.  There is one patient in the Alzheimer's ward who has taken an interest in him.  She's a large, 80 year old woman and she has cornered him in a closet more than once.  He's been called a "dirty Mexican" even though he does not look Hispanic and he has witnessed very sad scenes of loneliness - patients holding dolls and calling them their babies.

He works the third shift and for the first month there, if anyone passed, it happened when he was not there.  Well, the other night he was there and one of the patients asked him if he could please get a nurse and he asked if she was okay and she said "No...I'm dying".  She was very calm, he said, and so he ran and got the nurse and when they got back to the room, the woman was taking her last breaths.  He was profoundly moved by this.

This was not something that I thought about when we talked about him taking this job.  There was another patient who he had called his adopted grandma and she passed away one day when he wasn't there.  That's a lot of death to deal with in such a short time.  


I've dealt with a lot of death in my life - grandparents, aunts, uncles and a cousin, but there was time between these events.  My boor boy is having this happen in a very short amount of time and I just hope that it doesn't toughen him to the point that death or losing someone doesn't mean anything to him.  


Touch life lessons...

Friday, October 28, 2011

It all started with a forgotten key...

So I'm at work the other day and Michael calls me.  I was shocked because I always WANT him to call when he gets home from school, but he never does.  So I answer the phone, happy to hear his voice and he tells me that he forgot his key and so he is locked out of the house.  It is 3:50 in the afternoon.  

Okay, fine, I can do this.  I go to my boss, explain the situation and I'm like "It's gonna be about 25-30 minutes round trip to get there and back" and she's like "You can just go home for the day".  Part of me was like YIPPEE! while the other part of me was agonizing over losing the hour of work.  But I left.

I get home, there's my boy sitting on the porch and as I walk to the door, I happen to look back at my car and notice that my front tire is really low.  I mean REALLY low as in almost flat.  I panicked because I noticed it was low the other day and Frank had put air in but now it looks like it's more than a slow leak.  

So we go inside, Michael has a snack and I realize that we have yet to get a pumpkin.  When he was done eating, we left, put air in the tire and went in search of a pumpkin.  It was actually a very short search because we found a good one right away at the local supermarket.  This leads me to go in to grab a few things.  Okay, so we're back in the car with our loot and I think about the tire again and remember that there is this stuff called Fix-a-Flat.  

Now we're on the way to Target.  Okay, fine, groceries in the car, it will have to be a quick trip to Target.  Frank calls and I'm telling him all that is going on and he's like "Hey, you know that new road that was being built...?"  Let me interject here.  When he is working, he tends to work in Raleigh.  I almost NEVER go to Raleigh, particularly the part of Raleigh that he is speaking of.  I think the last time I was on the road he was asking about was six months ago.  So he wants to know where this new road leads to.  Really?  And I'm the first person you think of to ask?  Why not just DRIVE on the new road?  I mean, you're right there!  

Apparently, he did not appreciate my observation and hangs up in a snit.  

We get the Fix-a-Flat (and some more things because we're in Target) and head home to start dinner.  Michael had a nightmare of a homework assignment and after HOURS of arguing about it, we finally just decide that he'll have to talk to the teacher and I will send a note (which I will later forget to do).

Next morning, I get up early to go to a once-a-month cleaning gig that I do with a friend to find, surprise, surprise, a flat tire!  Frank had yelled the night before because I put air in the tire BEFORE the Fix-a-Flat but really, my first priority had been to put air in the damn tire!  So now, he can use the Fix-a-Flat because that tire is FLAT!

So, Fix-a-Flat in and now I have to drive it for a couple of miles and top off the air.  Okay, I can do that and STILL get to the cleaning gig with minimal delays.  I drive, I go to a gas station, wait on the line for AIR (go figure) and I turn off the car.  When I go to start it again, it's dead.

I kid you not.

Now, I'm stuck at the gas station.  Perfect.  I call Frank and I'm like "I'm dead at the gas station" he's like "What do you mean?"  

SIGH...

I repeat myself and he's like "I'm not following you..."  I'm like "THE CAR HAS DIED AND WON'T START!"  There may have been a nasty name added to that statement, but for the sake of the story, we'll leave that out.  So he's like, "What am I supposed to do?"  Um...how about come and help me??  Michael had just left for the bus and he wanted to make sure he got on it before coming to the gas station.  Okay, fine, I'll wait and in the meantime, I'll call our dear mechanic friend and see if he can help.

After listening to me make car noises (it wasn't fun) we decided it's quite possibly the battery.  Frank jumps the car, I drive it to the mechanic (who I LOVE!) and he takes care of it and tells me there is a nail in my tire.  That is clearly going to have to wait because the battery is the more important repair at the moment and the Fix-a-Flat seems to be doing an okay job.  In the meantime, I have to go to the cleaning gig, clean like a fiend and then go home and shower, change, eat lunch and then go to my real job.  By this point, I am beyond ready to call it a day.  

I work until five, go home, grab Michael and then meet Frank in Raleigh for dinner because I had a coupon for one free dinner at Outback that was about to expire.  We eat, we hang out, then he leaves to go to the band and Michael and I hit the mall.  I had a Bath & Body Works coupon on the verge of expiration, too, and needed some Sea Island Cotton scrub!  It's a weakness, so sue me! 

I did not walk in the door to my house until 8:00.  I had left it at 7:00 in the morning.  I do not want another day like this EVER!!!  And to top it off, "Modern Family" was a repeat and I forgot to watch "Psych"!  Clearly, I just needed to go to bed...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who knew happiness was a crime??

I know you haven't been able to tell it too much around here lately, but basically I am a happy person.  I love to laugh, I love to have fun, I love making other people laugh with me.  

This, apparently, is a very bad thing to some people.

When I first started my job, I was pretty psyched to be there and trying to make friends and everyone was like "Are you this happy all the time?" and I was like "Yes" and they were like "Crap".  As time has gone on, I still try to not let what is going on at home spill over in to the office - so I go in with a smile on my face, I laugh and joke on the phone with our customers and STILL people are annoyed with me about it.

I don't get it...I get annoyed when people are in pissy moods and nasty, I never thought of getting annoyed with people for being pleasant and happy and laughing.  What is up with that???  

So now I'm in an awkward position - I have no idea how to behave.  I cannot help who I am; I like to laugh and I laugh easily with people.  Several customers have told me that they love when I answer the phone because I make them happy.  Do I stop laughing so that my co-workers aren't annoyed?  I just don't know and really, what a stupid problem to have!  

Just what I need, more stupidity in my life!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Playing in the Hurrican Booth...

Have you seen these things?  it's a booth that you go in to and pay $2.00 to experience hurricane force winds for like two minutes.  

So tonight we're at the mall and Michael sees the booth and he's like "OH MY GOD!!!  I HAVE $2!!"  So we put him in the booth, put in our two buck and all of a sudden, the wind kicked up and there was my curly headed boy, giggling up a storm with...wait for it...straight hair!!!  It was great!  I wish I had my camera with me because it's not often these days that my eleven year old just gets silly.

Best use of $2 EVER!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Vision Board...

This whole concept completely cracked me up.  If you can get beyond some of the crude comments, it's actually quite funny.  And you knows what's even funnier?  I actually thought of making one...just so that I have something positive to look at and dream of!!!


Crazy!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Looking like a rock star...

At the show last weekend, there was a photographer there taking pictures of the band and this was one that he got of Frank.  Pretty cool, right?  His name is Scott Chmelar and he is a pretty amazing photographer here in Raleigh.  Thanks for the great photos, Scott!

Photo by Scott Chmelar

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I wanna quit the bank!

Okay, so my situation is a little bit different but I really think that I want to quit my bank.  They just changed names and they are doing things differently and after 16 years of great service, I don't think I like the "new" bank.  Free checking will no longer be free, their emails are annoying and quite frankly, for all of the notices that they bombarded me with for months alerting me to the big change, do I have my new debit/atm card?  No.


I wanna quit the bank!  Ah, classic Chandler.  I miss "Friends"...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Game intervention...

You know, it's gotten to the point where I really don't read anyone's status or catch up with anyone on Facebook anymore, it's all about the games.  

I have like 11 current games of Scrabble going, two Words with Friends and then there are the games that I just play solo - who knew there were so many different and addictive versions of Solitaire out there??  

Either way, my day starts out with games and normally ends with them too.  It keeps my brain from working too hard and also helps me to keep my thoughts off of how sucky things have been around here.  So that can't be wrong, can it?

I won't do anything crazy again like that restaurant/cooking game that I did for a while on Facebook where you had to keep making the virtual food all the damn time.  That was too much.  But some mindless games just for funsy sake is a good thing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

How do you stay happy and engaged while working?

This question was recently raised by BlogHer and I have to admit, it intrigued me.  Why?  Because, for the most part, I don't usually put "work" and "happy" in the same sentence.  It's not that I don't like my job, I do, it's just that most days, it's a struggle to do the whole working mom/wife/juggling thing.

So what do I do?  After some thought I realized that there are some things that I do to maintain that whole happy/engaged thing.  For starters, I make it a point to stay in touch with people that mean something to me.  I may not do it in conventional ways (thank you for the 47 games of Scrabble that we keep up, Cathleen!) but even a quick phone call to say hello to a friend helps keep my spirits up.

I take about 15 minutes after work to just have "me" time.  Whether I lock myself in the bathroom with a book or put on my iPod, I take that time to just let the day roll off of me so that I can put all of my focus back on my husband and kids and have a peaceful night with them.

I do things that make me happy (or try to) in my spare time.  You all know I love to write and so I try to work on that as much as possible in my spare time or pick up a good book (Susan Mallery, anyone?).  I think that if you get to do the things you like in the hours you are not working, you'll have a better attitude for those hours when you are working.

What about you?  Where do you find your balance?  How do you stay happy and engaged while working?  BlogHer has a great article on the subject written by Dr. Aymee called "4 Steps Toward Serenity While Working".  Interesting.  It's definitely worth checking out.  Also, you can enter the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes on BlogHer for a chance to win a $250 Visa giftcard - and wouldn't that help in making you happy???

Share with us here what you do to make you happy and then head over to BlogHer and share it with even more people and remember...happiness is a good thing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can you take the critique?

Okay, so there have been some stumbling blocks on the way to self publication and I decided to not look at them as negative things.  It's not easy.  One of the things that I did was find a critique partner.  

One of the writer's websites that I belong to offers that service.  You sign up that you are looking for a critique partner, list what you write, what kind of stories you like and don't like and then they put out the list like once a month and you can see if there is anyone who matches what you are looking for.  Actually, someone contacted me.  

I was a little hesitant at first because this is where the rubber hits the road.  What if this person reads my work and tells me it stinks?  What if they have all these suggestions and there is no way for me to incorporate them without changing my entire story?  Well, the upside to that is that, really, I don't have to listen.  They are suggestions and as such, I can say "thanks" and just not use them.  But I have to tell you, so far so good.

In return of reading my work, I read theirs.  We are doing this three chapters at a time and I have to tell you, it's challenging.  First because my time is already so limited and secondly because the writing teacher in me came out in full-force when I read their first three chapters that after I sent them back with my suggestions, I felt bad.  I told Frank how I felt and he was like "Well, kiss that gig goodbye.  I doubt you'll hear form them again."

But I did.  We're on to our second set of three chapters and I am looking forward to getting some feedback since I'm trying to bulk up the story by 100 pages - which is no easy task.  This could be the best use of what I thought was negative time.  Who knew?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Motrendus LIVE @ Volume 11 in Raleigh, October 15, 2011

So  Frank's band played Saturday night at a club in downtown Raleigh.  I can't help but say...I really like watching him play!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nope, nothing there...

I used to consider myself to be a fairly creative person.  I could write for hours on end, have multiple stories going on, scrapbook, cook, blog...I mean, it just came easy.  Now?  Not so much.

I am gearing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I cannot focus on any kind of a story.  Oh, and FYI, I even booked my little writing retreat cottage so that I COULD write endlessly without interruption but now I have a feeling I will be curled up in the fetal position eating Chinese food and BBQ potato chips while I cry for an entire weekend.

Where did my creative spark go?  True, I have been just a wee-bit distracted with the horrors that are my life right now but you think that would create some sort of fun world in my head for me to escape to, right?  

Clearly, no.

Even coming up with what to make for dinner makes my brain hurt!  Although, I did concoct some KILLER seafood quesadillas the other night. Seriously, they were so good I almost made myself sick.  I both love and hate when that happens.  That was the most inspired I've been in quite some time and for someone who is a foodie who likes to cook, that's sad.

I long for the days where my brain functioned normally.  And really hope that this, too, isn't one of those pesky signs of aging...that would really suck. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seriously, Entrecard, you're killing me!

You know, I have a love/hate relationship with Entrecard.  I do really well with it for a time and then I get away from it and it seems like when I am hitting my stride and doing great with my drops everyday, they start having technical issues.  

This last week has been one of those times.

I have had my standard hour of drops go closer to two because the widgets won't load or the sites won't load...whatever the issue is, it is killing me!!  I just want to go and do my drops and get on with it but no.  For a site that's been doing this for years, they still can't seem to get themselves together.  

The site gives you the whole "We're sorry...technical difficulties...blah, blah, blah..." but whatever the case, I'm not feeling too kindly towards them right now.  So if I haven't dropped on you in a few days, please don't blame me, put the blame where it belongs...with Entrecard!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seriously, it's NOT a competition!

Hello, my name is Stace and I am poor.

This is not an invitation for you to compete with me on your level of poorness, too.  This is not an opening for you to tell me why you are poorer than me or why your lack of money is worse than mine.  

Remember the days when we all wanted to do BETTER than one another?  What happened to those days??  Why am I ranting about this?  Because recently I had a conversation with someone that I am close to and just sort of shared very briefly what's been going on with us.  I didn't go in to great detail, it was just like "Things are really tough right now and I'm stressed, blah, blah, blah..."

Their response was to tell me about how they returned from a vacation to have two of their utilities shut off and how much they are struggling to keep up with their bills.  Okay, fine.  I sort of felt that it was relatable and we were done.  BUT...I come to find out that it was all a big, fat LIE.  No utilities were shut off, no struggling.  I mean, really?  I get it if you were trying to make me feel better if you were genuinely struggling but this level of competition or "I'm poorer than you" just seems juvenile.  

I don't want anyone to compete with me on this.  It's ridiculous.  I know that there are people in worse condition than we are or who have struggled with the same things, I get it.  Don't create drama and lie so that you can seem relatable!  That's just insane!  

Oy...I just want to have a normal life again...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

She Taxi

So recently I was contacted by this website called "SheTaxi" about advertising here on All Stace and in return they would promote me on their site.  I had never heard of them before and decided to check them out.  After a couple of issues with getting their badge on here (it's here but it doesn't work for some reason), we are a go.

What is SheTaxi?  Well according to their site they are an on-line vehicle taking women through life's journey.  We're your resource for life's tools and conversations that go beyond the "superficial".  SheTaxi is dedicated to helping women thrive.

Pretty cool, right?

So once I got them set up here on the blog, I went to the site to check them out.  You need to create an account - which is no big deal - and then I wen to explore.  There was so much to read, see and do that I think it's going to take a while to navigate.  

Essentially, if you are familiar with Blog Her, it's kind of similar.  They promote women's blogs.  They have communities, you can invite friends, they offer advise.  It's a cool place to check out.  With topics/tabs like SheNess, Motherhood, Daughterhood, Friends, Coupling, Working, Well-Being and SelfHood there is something out there for every woman.


If you have time, click over to SheTaxi and check them out. 

 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lily's Disneyland Surprise!

This was just so dang cute that I had to share it. I mean, this little girl just tugged at my heart. The fact that it's Disney-themed is just an extra perk! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Happy Endings"

You all know that I am not a "sit in front of the TV all night" kind of gal.  I have my select few shows that I like and then I move on.  Well, a little over a week ago I had finished watching "Modern Family" and I was sitting no the couch doing me entrecard drops and was too lazy to change the channel and so I left it where it was and on came "Happy Endings".  

Have you seen this show??  I was cracking up!  It's a familiar premise with the group of friends casting but it just made me laugh like crazy!  Here's the synopsis from the ABC website:


Forget who gets to keep the ring -- when a couple splits, the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple's break-up will complicate all of their friends' lives and make everyone question their choices. When life throws you for a curve, hold on tight to the people you love. Every circle of friends has someone who's the gravitational center. For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they've split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max, Brad, Jane and Penny have to choose sides? Suddenly every event is a negotiation... like, who gets to go on the annual ski trip? There are a lot of big questions to be answered, but this group has been together so long, somehow, little by little, they'll figure out how to hold on, even though their center is split up. It helps that Dave and Alex have agreed to stay friends. But there will definitely be other complications down the road. This show isn't afraid to ask the embarrassing personal questions that inevitably arise in every long-term, close-knit group of friends.

Happy Endings stars Eliza Coupe (Scrubs) as Jane, Elisha Cuthbert (24) as Alex, Zachary Knighton (FlashForward) as Dave, Adam Pally as Max, Damon Wayans, Jr. (The Underground) as Brad and Casey Wilson (Saturday Night Live) as Penny. 

This is actually the second season that has just started and I am anxious to watch the first one and totally get in to the groove of what's going on.  Although, to be honest, I felt completely okay with the whole thing tuning in for the season premier. 

If you are looking for a great comedy and you're already watching "Modern Family", stick around for the following 30 minutes (and then turn to USA to watch "Psych").  Wednesdays are a great night to laugh!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

GO TEAM SPIRIT!!

An unfamiliar phenomenon happened here in my house this week.  My middle schooler asked if he could stay after school and go to the football game.

What the WHAT???

I know, completely bizarre.  No one in this house is a sports fan or participant. Well, we watch hockey but only if the NY Rangers are playing.  But I digress, Michael has always been athletically "gifted" and I say gifted because to the rest of us here in the house, he's a marvel.  But I'm not sporty or outdoorsy, Nick had no interest in team sports whatsoever and Frank just...well, never wanted to do the sports thing.  

So here's my boy, with his money that he's saved, telling us that he has the $4 for his ticket and could he please go to the game.  How could I say no?  We made a plan, he told us which friends he was going with, he had his cell phone and knew the time we were going to pick him up.  When he got home, he was fairly GLOWING.  He had a great time, was psyched about his school's team winning and talked about all of the friends that he saw there...it was amazing.  

I am thinking that this time next year I will be sitting in the bleachers cheering him on, myself.   It's kind of a cool thought...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Work...issues

I have a friend on Facebook who often complains that one of her co-workers sings all the time.  She's not opposed to singing in general, she's opposed to BAD singing that goes on all day, all the time.  I think that would definitely grate on my nerves after a while but what about a co-worker with, shall we say, more offensive habits?

Okay, I work with someone who is well aware that they have digestive "issues" and yet doesn't seem to care that when they eat certain things, their body makes certain sounds that are EXTREMELY offensive to the rest of us.  Yes, I'm talking about burping and farting.  There, I've said it.  It's not a once in a while thing, it is daily.  They apologize, say 'excuse me' but basically, it makes me throw up a little with each sound they make because...and here's the kicker...when they sit down to eat the offensive food, they ADMIT that this is not good for them and they are eating it anyway.

THAT IS WRONG ON EVERY LEVEL!

If you want to eat stuff that makes you...make noise, do it at home!  Have it for dinner!  Why would you do that to the people around you?  We have ALL complained about it and they laugh!  You can't blame cluelessness because we have all said "STOP EATING THAT!" and told them why!  

I've been temped to go to the bosses but what do you say?  How do you, as an adult and without laughing, say that your co-workers digestive problems are becoming a problem for you?  Is there a way to say that without sounding stupid or petty?  I just don't know...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This blog is brought to you by the letter "F"

So I'm on the laptop the other night and I went to log in to my email account.  I signed in and got an error message that my password was incorrect.  Okay, fine, I typed it again.  Still wrong.  This went on or quite a while and I tried not to freak out because Road Runner is sometimes funky.  I put the laptop down and went over to the desktop.

Next day I pick up the laptop and go to sign on and it says that my Windows password is incorrect.  I kid you not.  So now I'm freaking out because there is no way for me to retrieve that password because I cannot find the disc and pretty much was having a nervous breakdown because everything that I've written is on here and I stupidly had never made back up discs.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After much yelling and crying and generally losing my mind I decided to try one more time.  I typed in my password SLOWLY.  I watched as each character appeared on the screen and lo and behold...the F key would not type!  The letter F key is sticking and I cannot get it to unstick!  You have no idea how difficult it was to even type this post!  

Crazy, I tell you...just crazy!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Don't be offended if I put my fingers in my ear and ignore you...

I know, I know...I'm depressing to listen to (or read) these days but seriously things have got to get better eventually.

Deep down, I can be very petty.  I don't believe that to be a good thing but there it is.  I don't basque in others misfortune or anything but I do struggle with listening to all of the good things that are going on in other people's lives when mine is falling apart.  

For example, right now four people I know went on fabulous vacations.  Basically, I do not begrudge them their vacations, but I am having a VERY hard time wanting to sit and talk about them, and hear about them.  Three of the four are most gracious in this way; the fourth?  Not so much.  They want to cram their vacation down my throat.  

You see, it wasn't JUST a vacation, it was a FABULOUS vacation.  It was the BEST vacation.  They had the BEST place to stay and had the BEST food and they spent SO MUCH money and it was TOTALLY worth it.  By the third sentence I wanted to scream.  I mean, I'm sitting here eating canned soup for the third day in a row and so your little "All-you-can-eat-lobster-fest" is really not appealing to me on any level.

Am I wrong?  Am I just overly sensitive?  But would you go to someone who is homeless and brag about your trip to Paris?  Would you walk through the pediatric ward in the hospital and tell the parents there how healthy and wonderful your kids are?  I just think that if we're going to talk about it, have a little sensitivity, you know?  I will politely ask how your trip was (because it's the elephant in the room) but we do not need to spend ENDLESS hours talking about it, do we?

This is where the mean-girl in me fights to come out and just smack somebody.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Amazingly enough, time does NOT stand still...

As a parent,  you have the responsibility of teaching certain life necessities to your children.  How to walk, how to talk, how to have good manners at the table, tie your shoes, tell time, etc.  Then, as your child gets older and goes to school, the teacher then reinforces all of these things.

How is it, then, that I happen to have a child with NO sense of time???  I mean, we have a discussion DAILY on time:  it's time to get up, it's time to get ready for school, it's time to go to the bus stop, it's time to do your homework, it's time for dinner and it's time for bed.  We are fairly routine-oriented people.  Wake up is at 6:30, he leaves for the bus at 7:13, homework is to be started at 5:00, dinner is promptly at 7:00 and bedtime is 10:00.  

It doesn't seem to matter what is going on but whenever I mention the time the response is usually "WHAT?  ALREADY?"  Yes, son, time does not stop because you are sleeping, eating, playing a video game or whatever.  I'm getting kind of tired of the whole darn thing.  I mean, we have clocks in every room - sometimes more than one!  What time it is and what that time signifies should come to no great surprise DAILY.

I think it's time for me but him a timer...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Surprises" in the mail...

A couple of years ago, someone had broken in to my car right here in our driveway.  It kind of ticked me off because the car is parked practically right outside my bedroom window and Frank is a nightowl who stays up until 3-4 in the morning and neither of us had heard anything.

It was a Monday morning when Frank was driving Michael to school when they both "thought" something was missing, but decided to say nothing to me.  The following morning, after driving Michael to school, Frank said "Did you take the DVD players out of the car?"  I had not and so I called the cops.  

Since we didn't know when the actual theft had occurred, the cops took our statement and pretty much told us that there was little to no chance of finding the people responsible and that there had been a rash of car breakins in the area.  Good-bye and good luck.

I was not happy.  They were dual screened portable DVD players and we usually only used them on long car trips but after our last one to wherever, the boys wanted them to stay in the car or were too lazy to take them out, whatever.  They cost $179 and that's not money that we usually have to spare.  I filed a claim with our insurance company but with our deductible, we weren't getting anything.

Yesterday in the mail I get a letter from a lawyer's office.  It scared the crap out of me because with all that's going on lately, I was sure that someone was after me for not paying something.  I open it up and after reading the letter like a half a dozen times it turns out that the car thief was actually CAUGHT, has been in jail and is now getting ready to be released and has been ordered to pay us the $179!  I have no idea if we'll actually ever SEE that money but I find it odd that we were never contacted to be let known that the police had actually caught anyone!

I'm not holding out much hope but it would be nice to get that money back...maybe soon...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If you haven't read it yet, you should!

My time as a cheerleader is coming to an end and I'm kind of sad about the whole thing.   I never quite made it to the top of the list - although I was cheerleader of the week once! - but I had so much fun doing this, you cannot even imagine.

I learned a lot about marketing and publishing that I know is going to help me with my own writing journey.  I think that if you like contemporary fiction and enjoy a good romance, then you should definitely check out Susan Mallery and her Fools Gold series.  "Only His" was a great book with a couple of different stories going on at once and actually had me laughing out loud quite a few times.

So if you're looking for a good read this weekend, check out "Only His"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And as if life wasn't bad enough...

You know, it's really unfair for the universe to kick you when you're down.  With the way things have been, there are very few things that give me joy.  Chocolate is one of them.  Dove dark chocolate in particular.

So I'm food shopping the other day, cruising the aisles with my little calculator to stay within our budget and decided that I could go another week without conditioner so that I could buy the "big" bar of Dove Dark Chocolate.  It was a necessity and I was okay with spending that $1.99.

I came home, but the chocolate in the fridge for a little while - I prefer that it not melt in my hands - and went about my business.  After dinner, I cleaned up, did some things that I needed to do and then went in to grab a couple of squares of chocolate and...it was BAD.  No, not the taste (although I'm sure that wasn't good either) but the SIGHT of it!  I opened the package and what should have been dark chocolate was the color of sand!  The bar looked old and disgusting and I was SOOOOOO disappointed that I wanted to cry.

It was too late to head back to the store (I was lazy and didn't want to seem like a crazy person harassing the customer service clerk over a chocolate bar at ten o'clock at night) so I waited until the next day.  I go, I show them the bar, we laugh, I get a refund and the woman asks if I just want to grab another one.  "Oh, no", I say.  "That kind of scared me off."  

Fifteen minutes later I found myself on line with another one.  I'm not strong, I admit it.

I get home, open it up and...IT WAS BAD TOO!!!  Son of a bitch!!!  

All I needed to feel just a wee bit better about this crap life was a few squares of chocolate and really?  Two bad bars??  What are the odds???  Probably pretty good since I bought them both at the same store like an IDIOT.

Sigh...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Actually, it's kind of depressing...

For those of  you keeping track, Frank is still not working.  We've hit a new level of low and frankly, it sucks.  After the post I wrote last week about having lunch with Yoko, this will all seem ironic but...Frank has been forced to quit the band and we are having to sell his drum equipment.

I.  Feel.  Like.  Crap.

Honestly, there is nothing left of any value in our lives to sell other than the drums and it was his idea.  I totally appreciated the sacrifice because his music means the world to him and I had been struggling with the fact that I was making all of the sacrifices and working my butt off while he did nothing, but now that he's doing it, it makes me sad.  There was nothing else we could do.

I hate this.  I hate that our lives have come to this.  I hate that people we know have hired other painters; I hate that all of the things that we have worked towards are gone.  I'm tired of people asking stupid questions like "Why doesn't he just get a job" when the nations unemployment rate is like 9.1% and here in North Carolina it's 10.1%.  Obviously someone has to be in that stupid percentage and it sucks that it's us.

We also had to post his acoustic/electric guitar for sale and I had to roll up all of our change that I had been saving towards going to see Frank's parents in December.  That's the third trip this year that I've had to cancel - not luxury trips, mind you, just trips in general.

I want to move away and start over where I don't know anyone.  I want to just crawl under the blankets and go to sleep and not wake up.  This is all just too stinkin hard and I don't have the time or energy to keep dealing with stupid people asking stupid questions or making more demands on my time.  I'm exhausted - mentally and physically and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Going through clothes like the Hulk...

Nick went though his growth spurt late.  He was like 13 or 14 and even then, it was a slow process.  Michael is literally ripping and tearing through his clothes at an alarming rate.  We bought him a brand new pair of sneakers right before school started.  He went through nine weeks of school and a three week break to get us where we are right now.  

His sneakers actually split at the seams!  About a month ago.   The sole and sneaker came apart!  I mean, how often does that happen??  We used crazy glue and some sort of bonding stuff that Frank swore would work and...it did not.  

He was a size 12 at the beginning of the school year.  He is now a 14.  At this rate, I have no idea how big he'll be by the end of the school year!  We're not tall people.  I'm barely 5'3 and Frank is about 5'9.  Neither sets of parents/ grandparents are particularly tall so this is all a bit bizarre to me.  I want to put a heavy book on his head and keep him this size for a little bit longer.  Not just because of sentimental reasons but because we just cannot afford to buy him more clothes right now!

Why does time have to fly??? 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall is Finally Here!!!

I know it said on the calendar like a week ago that it was the first day of Autumn, but here in NC it was still quite warm outside.  I realized at that point that I had spent about 98% of the summer indoors.  Why?  I hate the heat.  I honestly and truly hate the heat.

I don't enjoy sitting out in the sun tanning myself (I am fair skinned and burn WAY too easily), I don't like to sweat (I'm not one of those "pretty" sweaters... I like blotchy and disgusting) and honestly, I just enjoy the A/C a whole lot more.
 
While I am sad because this means my days of wearing cute flip flops and showing off my fun pedicure colors are coming to an end, I'm kind of looking forward to wearing a sweater or two.  I'm looking forward to my electric bill going down a little from the continuous use of the A/C.  We put the flannel sheets on the bed the other day and they kind of felt nice.

Summer is most definitely not my favorite season, it really is the Fall.  I'm looking forward to the leaves changing colors and just being able to be outside without being uncomfortable.

Yeah!  It's finally here!!