Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yawn...My Disney Diet

You know, I am SO bored with this diet right now. I want to eat. I want to eat a lot. I want milkshakes from chick-fil-a. I want a chocolate blizzard with oreos from Dairy Queen. I wanted to go through the drive-thru at The Well and get a slab of triple chocolate cake. I haven't stepped on a scale this week nor have I taken out the measuring tape.

I don't know why.

There are only a little more than 6 weeks left and I have 10 pounds to go in order to meet my goal - and to NOT be the fat sister in the pictures. That dream is slowly slipping from my grasp. Michael is tracked out of school for three weeks and so there is no need to get up so early. It's so much nicer to stay in the bed and snuggle up with my husband. Hmmm...treadmill or hubby? Hmmm...what to choose, what to choose. I've gotten up ONCE this week and walked. Granted, when I didn't walk in the morning, I did walk in the afternoon. The bad thing about that is that I used to walk at BOTH times. Now I can barely get up the umph to do it once.

Pray for me, friends. Send exercising good thoughts my way - along with the hope that I can eat that chocolate blizzard tonight and get over this crazy obsession.

Think thin, everyone!

Attention all parents: NO FUN FOR YOU!

As I've been mentioning lately, I am having some fun on facebook. I have met up with many long lost friends but I have also just been chatting with people that I see around town - AND their kids! This has brought great joy into my life. At times, I have laughed until my sides hurt.

Enter my teenager.

"Stop going on facebook!"
"Why?" I ask, clearly confused.
"Why do you have to be on there?" he demands
"Is this because I flaired you?" I asked. (For those of you unfamiliar with the facebook lingo, a flair is like a decorative pin with funny pictures and sayings on them. I find them hysterical and addictive)
"No, but stop sending me so many!"
I've sent him 3.
"Okay, I'll stop flairing you. I won't send you anymore flairs," I say, a little hurt that he is taking some of the fun out of this for me.
"NO! That's not what I said, just don't send them like everyday," he whines.
"But they're funny! C'mon, can't we just have fun?"
By the glare I am getting at this point, the answer is clearly no.
"Like I said, I won't flair you anymore." At this point I return to my own activity.

Later that night, while we are visiting some friends at their home, the topic of facebook comes up and we are all discussing all of the MOMS that have facebooks and once again, Captain Kill-Joy chimes in.
"I'm going to block you," he snips (or whatever the exact lingo is that means I can no longer be his facebook friend).
And before I can even come back with some snappy, sassy reply, one of the other teens in the room says, "If you block her from your facebook, she'll block you from using facebook completely." Gotta love that boy.
Nick's like "DUDE! Why would you even put that out there?"

Why, because that boy has obviously mastered the concept of parent/child. The parent makes the rules, the child OBEYS the rules. It's so simple really. When Nick realized that with 11 people in the room at that point, he was the only one with this opinion, he wisely stopped his rant.

Long story short, I love facebook.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Um, 1987 called and wants to hang out...

My teenager is angry with me. My husband is puzzled. My eight year old cannot even imagine how long ago 1987 even was. Why? Why you ask? I blame the facebook.

That's right, I said it.

I've been chatting with the girls and plans are in motion for a reunion weekend. What was originally going to be a girls weekend, then made an attempt at a full-blown, all-inclusive family vacation to someplace tropical. With the cost of everything these days, we nixed that idea and now are back to a weekend thing but this time with the families. The funny thing is that all of us girls are married with children, the guys that we are now including are mostly single. Hmm...why is that? Actually, the funny thing is that most of us married girls, dated some of these still-single guys and have PLENTY of explanations as to why they are still single. It all just makes me laugh.

Back in high school, my best friend was a guy. Oddly enough, his name was Kerry. Kerry now lives in Colorado and I have not seen him in probably close to 16 years. With all of this talk of a reunion, I HAD to get him on the phone and see if he would make the trip. The result? No. He is part-owner of a very successful steakhouse/micro-brewery and time off is a thing of the past for him. His choice of career always makes me giggle because whenever I think of Kerry, I think of beer. He always had beer. There was always a party at his house and there was always beer. Me...I hate beer. There are pictures out there somewhere of towers of empty beer cans with one or two empty coca-cola cans thrown in. That's how you knew if I was at a party. I am so not a beer drinker but good for Kerry for going out there and finding a career in the thing that he loved the most - beer. We talked for about 30 minutes today and I have to say, it's like not a day has passed. He answered the phone at the brewery and all I had to do was say his name and he's like "Stace?" How cool is that?

This last week has just been a hoot. I have really enjoyed re-connecting with people and seeing what is going on in everyone's lives. I have friends who have kids older than mine and friends who are still having babies. I have friends who have married and made a lot of money, I have friends who are somewhat poor, like me. All in all, sometimes it is just fun to take that trip down memory lane and remember a time in your life when life wasn't so complicated; when your biggest concern was how big you could get your hair for a night out and whether some cheerleader bitch was staring at the guy that you liked.

Ah, good times.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Okay, so I'm up in NY last week and driving around with my sister after our fabulous manicure/pedicure/painful massage appointment. We're in her brand-spanking new catering van. It's all black and it's a beast! I was in awe of how well she drove in it because it is huge. Back at the house is the white version which is several years old. This was her old catering van that she passed on to her son for a mobile car washing business he was starting up. Well, apparently he's not really using it and so, knowing that Frank is in the market for a new work vehicle, she offers the white van to me at a VERY nice price. I readily jump on it and then it is not brought up again.

The awkward part? I don't think she's told her son of this offer and now I can't seem to pin her down on how and when we can finalize this transaction. How do you approach someone and say 'hey, remember when you said you'd sell me this at this extremely generous price? Well, when's that gonna happen?' I mean, I just don't know how to do it and what if my nephew doesn't want to let the van go?

Awkward, awkward, awkward!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Poverty Sucks

We don't really live in poverty but sometimes I just wish that we could do more things and not have to plan so far in advance all the daggone time.

For example, my grandmother's health is failing. I got to see her last weekend when I was up in NY (a trip that my sister paid for) but my kids did not. Nick is very close to her and he wants to go up and see her. That simple request will require major planning to make it happen. With the cost of gas, work schedules, the fact that neither me or Frank get paid vacation time, well, it's just not feasable to pick up and go like that.

A bunch of friends want to do a group vacation next July, a cruise or something fun and all inclusive. Sounds great but we've already planned a beach trip for our family for April/May and so that will be our one and only vacation and we had to start planning it now in order to have enough money to pay for it.

I sometimes envy people who can decide that they want to take a trip and just do it - no plotting and planning. No crazy finagling of budgets. They just book it and go. We don't do credit cards, we refuse to go in to debt for material things. It still doesn't make me feel any better when we can't do the things that we really want to do. I guess at times like this I have to remember my "Myth of More" - I may not have all of the things that I want, but God has provided for all of my needs.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ode to a Day Off

You know, I am off on the weekends but something about having the day off during the week just seems way more spectacular. This morning, I got up and did my usual thing - got Michael ready for school - and then you know what? I went back to bed! That's right, I just shut the bedroom door and crawled right back in to bed and slept til almost 11:00! Then, as if that wasn't enough, at noon I drove to McDonald's to get lunch for me and Nick without any make-up or brushing my hair! Granted, it wasn't a pretty sight, but it was the drive-thru for crying out loud, who cares!

I've had a relaxing time in front of the TV while I ate and before anyone says it out loud, no, McDonald's is NOT on my diet but I do not care on my day off. There are no worries on my day off. There is nothing that particularly concerns me on my day off. I wish my son had someplace to go on my day off.

So I will go and breeze around the house, not doing much of anything, and love every second of it. Life is good when you are off during the week.

Enjoy your day, everyone!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Disney Diet - Day 73


Day 73. Day one of my cycle. I'm sleepy and puffy - the split personality dwarf. I got up and did my normal morning routine except without the walk. That could explain why I'm still sleepy. But I had my good little breakfast, I had a very healthy lunch of grilled tuna and steamed veggies, I drank my water. For a snack I ate my little gluten-free chips with guacamole and salsa - I did have a coke at that point. Dinner will be salmon with steamed veggies and a spinach salad and more water.

I want to take a nap.

I have been bombarded with Disney info this week. I'm all kinds of Disney mailing lists and so I get news from the mouse several times a week but this week had me getting excited. Maybe because the NY trip is over and I can put my focus on the 'world'. Frank was putting change in the change jar this morning and he's quite focused on counting every dime that goes in. Why? Because he wants me to have as much money as possible to spend on what I want on this trip. How sweet is that? Michelle and I are talking about planning a girls trip (no relatives this time) for late 2009/early 2010. I was so in the groove and pumped up and then I got a call from a friend IN Disney right now and you know what? She wasn't having a magical time! Gasp! She was not having a very-Disney-day. Say what? In all of my years going to see the mouse, I have never heard of someon NOT having a good time. Even Frank, who is not a fan of Disney, has fun at Disney! My friend bummed me out. She sunk my spirits a little bit. But do not fear friends! I went to Archiver's today and looked at more scrapbooking stuff and feel refreshed! Silly me getting upset over someone else not having fun with Mickey. I know I will when I go AND I'll be thin doing it!

Did I mention that my new skinny pants are a little loose even on my puffy day? Yea, me! Keep thinking thin, everyone! It's working!

Hello, Pot? This is the Kettle.'re black.

So I'm on the phone yesterday with a friend who called me in distress. She is in the middle of a divorce - which she wanted - and has been separated from her husband for over a year. She is actively dating as is her soon-to-be-ex. Yesterday she finds out that one of her oldest and dearest friends is now sleeping with her soon-to-be-ex.

A little background? The old friend sleeps around A LOT! I mean A LOT and has been since around the ninth grade. What has been amazing is my friend's reaction to this. I mean, it's like an episode of Desperate Housewives. The drama, the tears, the betrayal! She is not even remotely still in love with her ex-husband, as a matter of fact, she hates him. She is dating someone who she says makes her extremely happy. The old, dear friend? They see eachother maybe a couple of times a year.

Was I sympathetic? Sure, a little. There's a line that you just don't cross with your friends and their ex-spouses. But to be honest, I had to bite my own tongue because I was about to remind her of how - many, many years ago - she did this same exact thing to a friend who was going through a divorce. Shoe not so comfortable on that other foot, huh? Seriously, people, isn't this the kind of backstabbing that belongs either on a cheesy night-time soap or back in high school?

Give me a break.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waiting on a Friend - the Facebook Madness Continues

Day two of my journey on Facebook. I am having WAY too much fun. I found an old friend from high school who I probably have not seen since 1988! What a blast I had today talking with her! This is just way too cool.

Nick warned me to not 'friend request' him. Ha! I showed him. Not only did I friend request him but in the initial request, I threatened to ground him for 6 months if he denied me! That's right, I forced him to prove his love for me. And I don't know what he's so uptight about, a bunch of his friends have 'friend requested' me! Yes, I'm that cool.

I have another 10-12 requests out there for people that I found that I want to get in touch with. Several times throughout the day another name would pop in to my head and I would go on to Facebook and search them out. A lot of the people that I would like to find, are MIA. But I can only hope that some of them will show up eventually.

Now, on with the search!

So much for the warm fuzzies...

So I'm on the phone with my sister last night and had our follow-up conversation from the weekend. Remarkably, nothing was said about my comment about not seeing her boyfriend as a 'real' doctor. So I guess all is well there. She had a meeting with her soon-to-be-ex-husband and their lawyers and things are still pretty bitter and nasty there. Not so good.

The interesting part of the conversation came when she mentioned to me that our father is in 'love' with his new girlfriend (who bears a freakishly insane resemblance to wife number 2) and wants to leave Florida and move up to Pennsylvania! When the heck did all this come about? It's news to me! First of all, I had no idea that the relationship was that serious. Well, to be honest, the man hates being alone and I think that he kind of mistakes love for companionship and fear of being alone. Then there's the fact that he has always told me how much he loves living in Boca. It's like his dream destination! Why am I always the last to find out all of these things? I mean, I don't consider myself to be overly judgemental (to their faces) so I just don't get why he would not tell me about something this important. Just when I thought we were bonding and had had a good weekend, I find that I still just don't rate.

Bummer for Stace.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is there a CSI in the house?

When we got home from the airport Saturday night, I could not wait to see the boys. Nick was still bumming because he did not get to go with me, but I knew he'd be glad to see me.

Well, we got home, opened the door and Michael is holding a bloody cup. Eew! "What is going on?" I asked. "My tooth is loose", he replied. Well, the tooth was beyond loose, it was holding on by a thread and bleeding like wild but Michael refused to give it that final yank. "Why the cup?" I asked. "So that I can spit out all the blood." I guess there was decent logic in it but it was still disgusting. I went in to use the bathroom and it seriously looked like a crime scene. There was blood EVERYWHERE. I was ready to let Gil Grissom in with his flashlight. Did anyone think to wipe any of it up? No. Clearly, getting the boy to spit in the cup was easier than cleaning up the mess. I have no stomach for this sort of thing so thankfully Frank went in and took care of it.

After two hours of coaxing and pleading, the boy would not give the tooth up. We convinced him to go to sleep. "What if I bleed in the bed?" "You won't". "What if I swallow my tooth?" "Nick swallowed his when he was your age." "What if..." JUST GO TO BED ALREADY! I'm barely home and I've had to look at more blood than a chainsaw massacre movie! For the love of it, go to bed!

My mother of the year award is being polished as we speak.

My Disney Diet - Day 70

Okay, so happy fun-time is over. I had my first trip to see the family and they all oohed and aahed over the weight I had lost but people, I am not done yet! The trip up to NY was difficult because there are so many of my favorite foods up there that I cannot get here and usually whenever we go up for a visit, it is a massive food-fest. But I had EXTREME self control this time around and although I did not get to do my walk every morning, I did not over-indulge in the eating. I stayed true to what I was doing as much as humanly possible.

Except for the black and white cookies.

Have you ever had one of these? Oh, my word, they are delicious. My sister - who seemed determined to spoil me this trip - bought a box of the mini black and white cookies that I love so much. My first instinct was to eat them all and chase them down with a jumbo glass of milk. But, ever the lady, I refrained and ate two of them a day. Karen even packed the remaining cookies up for me to take home with me and I shared one with the guy sitting next to me on the plane on the way home, then shared some with the kids and even invited a friend over today to help me finish them off. I spread the love (and the calories) around.

Getting up and doing my walk this morning wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I wish I had more time. But after speaking with the nutritionist and realizing that the only way to get my digestive system right was to eat in the morning - and not something on the go - I had to cut back on my walking time in order to have time to eat. Seems odd to cut back on the exercise so that I can eat, but let me tell you, it's working. I have yet to get on the scale this week but I will by the end of it. I'm trying to not agonize over the numbers so much right now and focus on feeling better. Although I will say this, I am down 14 pounds total so far. Not too shabby! I'm thinking that I want to find a way to throw my Power 90 workout back in to the mix. Frank says that he will do the ab workout with me because he thinks he has a gut now. He doesn't but if he wants to sweat along with me, who am I to complain? I have to see how I can make it all happen.

It is 56 days until Disney - eight weeks to go! I'd like to be optimistic and lose 15 pounds in those eight weeks but I'm unsure if that's a realistic goal. Besides the prize of not being the fat sister in the vacation pictures, I also will win a $50 gift certificate to my favorite scrapbooking store for my efforts - I'm in a bit of a competition with a friend and that is our prize if we lose 25 pounds. I'm thinking that the GC will come in real handy with all of my vacation pictures.

Continue to think thin, everyone!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again!

All I can say is WOW! What a trip. I cannot tell you how much I felt the prayers of all of my friends because this trip was - by far - the BEST family visit EVER!

After a three and a half hour flight delay, I finally landed at JFK at around 10:45 pm. My hope of coming off of the plane looking fresh and sassy did not work. I felt rather deflated but my family thought I looked great and could not believe how much weight I had lost. Score one for Stace. Luckily I hadn't checked any bags so we were able to leave immediately and begin the 20 minute walk to the car. Between the walk to the car and the drive to my sister's house, it was an hour later but surprisingly, I was wide awake. We got to the house, we had a little something to eat, I got the tour of their new place (which was absolutely beautiful) and my mom pulled out a box of old pictures that had us laughing in to the wee hours of the morning. I inflated my air mattress (which was a full size, not a twin) and fell in to a deep, wonderous sleep.

We woke up a little before nine on Friday and began the day with coffee (for mom) by the pool. Their yard is magnificent. It was so peaceful and it was just a nice way to start the day. My aunt from Florida was staying with us and she took me over to see my grandmother later that morning. We had such a nice visit but I could tell that grandma's health is fading fast. She spent most of my time with her just watching me. When we said our good-byes, I truly felt as if we were saying good-bye for the last time. It was a bit emotional for me.

After a hair-raising ride with an aunt (NY drivers are CRAZY), we went back to the house for a quick lunch before going for our 'spa time'. You know my feelings on the spa thing, but I went along because my sister was treating me. I had a magnificent pedicure (I think I purred at one point), a lovely manicure, and the most painful massage in the history of massages. I still hurt this morning! After our nails dried, Karen and I went to Posh (her catering business) and picked up the supplies for the party that night and then went back to the house to relax. By this point, STILL nothing bizarre or traumatic has happened and I'm a little shocked. Score two for Stace.

At seven, we began to finish getting ourselves dressed and ready and after an uncomfortable moment where I clearly walked in on my sister having a little 'romantic phone time' with her boyfriend, we began to prepare and set up all of the food. My family is like a well-oiled machine with this kind of thing. The three of us worked together as if we did it every day. The menu? 7-layer mexican dip with chips, artichoke dip with pita chips, a large antipasto platter, jumbo shrimp cocktail, beef satays, a fresh fruit platter, foccacia sticks with some sort of weird dip that I never heard of (and can't remember the name), and then something called 'Tom's Tantallizing Treats' which were these cheesy bread things that while yummy, were a heart attack on toast. I only ate one. Then there was dessert - all fresh pastries from the Bronx. It was amazing. Score three for Stace with some real NY food!

As for the family time, it was so good to see everyone! I nearly cried several times just out of pure joy! My cousin Eddie, his wife Toni and my Aunt Marianne were the first to arrive. I had not seen any of them probably since my wedding! There was so much hugging and kissing and all that goes with it, I was floating. Ten minutes later, my cousin Debbie, her husaband Sal, along with my Uncle Al and Aunt Rose arrived. Again, I had not seen them since my wedding. My aunt grabbed my face and said "Al, look at her, she still looks like our baby!" and I was lost. I love these people dearly. My best childhood memories, involve them. For the next 2 hours, we ate, drank and laughed until we cried. The only sad spot was that my cousin Bobby, Al & Rose's son, was not with us. He was murdered back in 1988 and I still felt his absence. There was a part of me that kept watching the door, waiting for him.

At about 10:30 my dad arrived. His JetBlue plane was late too! He was unaware that all of the relatives were going to be there. I greeted him at the door and he took one look at me, grabbed in a big hug and told me how beautiful I looked. Now I almost cried again! Score four for Stace. Everyone came out and all the hugging and kissing began again. We went back to the eating, the drinking and the laughing, took a ton of pictures and just had an amazing time. At 1:30 am, everyone left. During the course of the night, I got my long awaited family picture with me, Karen and my parents - 26 years it took to get that! The four of us cleaned the kitchen together and I have to admit, it was more icky than sweet to watch my parents kiss goodnight. Some things you just shouldn't have to see.

Still feeling the high of all of the laughing and good times from the night before, I got up and had breakfast with my parents. It was really, really nice. We pulled out yet another box of old photos and shared memories and it was just so....normal. That's not a word that normally goes with anything involving my family. It was just weird. I was packing and getting myself dressed and ready for lunch and realized that not once did I have to deal with my sister's boyfriend and all of THAT awkwardness. She came in to help me pack and I hugged her and thanked her for all that she had done for me to make this trip so incredibly special and for all of the sacrifices she had made for me to be there. The result?

She invited the rat to lunch.

I was pleasant, I said my hello's, I engaged in generic conversation but for the most part kept my distance. I did make one not-so-nice comment, but honestly, it just slipped out. Like, oops, for a minute I let my true-feelings show. Sorry. I said my good-byes and got the heck out of dodge. Actually, that's not completely true, before the good-byes, my dad did take us all out for a wonderful lunch on the water. We ate and laughed some more, THEN went back to the house where I had my moment and then said my good-byes. My mom and one of my aunt's drove me to the airport and I felt like I was leaving at the perfect time. Any longer, and I think everyone would have stopped being so normal and nice. Both my sister and my parents were asking me to change my flight but I held firm. It was worth the two-hour flight delay at JFK to be able to leave on a possitive note.

So I thank all of you that prayed for me this weekend. I thank my sister for getting me up there so that I could be a part of it. And I thank God for giving me my one-perfect weekend with my family.

10 Reasons to never fly JetBlue...

FYI: for anyone who disagrees with this list, that is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This one is mine. My blog, my opinion. And if you go to this website - you will find that 13 out of 22 comments were COMPLAINTS about JetBlue. You can now go and comment to them if you feel the need. At $310 for a round-trip ticket - no discount airfare, by the way, I am entitled to be disgruntled. Oh, and one more little fact, dad sat in the terminal and then on the runway for a grand total of 4 hours extra today on his $300/non-discount ticket JetBlue ticket.

10. Their web-site is useless when it comes to knowing if a flight is on time.

9. They really do not have on hand all of the snacks/drinks that are on the menu

8. They suck

7. They will leave you on the plane (before take off) for hours even after you've
sat in the terminal for hours waiting to take off

6. Their flight attendants? Not so friendly (or helpful)

5. You have to pay for the headphones for their TV's and then lose the signal
half the time

4. They land in the dirtiest, smelliest part of JFK and then put you on a shuttle
to actually GET to the terminal

3. They will not do their food service until you are ready to die

2. Their flight crew/captain never seemed to know exactly what was going on
or even our flight number at times

1. Oh, and again, they suck

Thursday, July 17, 2008

But it's five in the morning...

Clearly I have issues. If I didn't, I'd be asleep right now instead of being awake at 5:39 am. I've actually been up since around 3:30 am. I've woken Frank up to talk and then came out here and made myself some breakfast already. Weird. Why is it on the night's that you desperately NEED to sleep, you can't? What's up with that? I just needed a good night's sleep to get this day going, so that I could relax. Now I'm going to be tired and cranky by the time I touch down at JFK. This is so not fair!

Well, now Michael's up now, too, sneezing his little head off. Poor baby. I hate that he suffers so much with his allergies. But, trooper that he is, he is heading back to sleep for another 45 minutes. I wish I could. I am unprepared to start the day! I want more sleep!

I'm whiney and crabby already. Yikes, not a good sign.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Final Countdown

Okay, this time tomorrow I will be on a JetBlue flight to NY. I will be staring out the window, looking at the clouds and pondering "What are these people going to do to me this time?" Optimistic, aren't I?

I didn't lose all of the weight that I wanted to (another 3-4 pounds would have been nice!). I DID, however, get my hair cut and re-highlighted (to replace the faded 'smokin hot highlights' that I had), I got my eyebrows waxed and my tummy is on the mend. You know what I don't have? Something really, really cute to wear. Now, I know that my sister has a closet FULL of clothes, but I don't think that I am quite thin enough yet to share. Bummer. So Stace will have to go casual among all of the flash. Super bummer.

So to re-cap, still not skinny, but my hair looks great. What was that old Saturday Night Live skit - "It's better to look good, then to feel good." With these people, this will have to be my motto.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Always check the caller I.D. first...

It was one of those 'hey, baby' calls that I just should have ignored. Yesterday, my dad called. He had called earlier in the day according to Nick but never left a message. When he called again late yesterday afternoon, I figured he really must have something to say. The family was double-whammied yesterday. Both of my dad's brothers are in the hospital - one in Vegas, one in Florida. Odd how the pill-popping, boozer is now the healthy one!

Anyway, the uncle in Vegas has just discovered that he has lung cancer. He was in Vegas to visit his son and his family and was disoriented when he got off of the plane and could not breathe. At the hospital, the doctors originally thought that he had pneumonia. After several more tests, they found cancer. The uncle in Florida is recovering from several blocks in his arteries - this is fairly common, not just in our family, but I think common in general. People have this done all of the time.

After dumping all of this news on me, dad demands (yes, demands) that I call my uncles. Now, it is not that I am opposed to calling either of them. Certainly not. But first of all, the Vegas uncle, can't speak! He is so uncomfortable that he honestly cannot speak on the phone! Why would you encourage someone to call and cause pain? Why not wait until he is home or at least at his son's and feeling better? The other uncle I have not spoken to in over 10 years. I have a problem with people coming out of the woodwork when someone gets sick. I think it is hypocritical. It's sort of like seeing someone at a funeral who has had no part of the deceased life for years. I understand the aspect of respect, but ...I don't know. Again, it's like bringing flowers to the grave of someone you ignored in life.

I will eventually make these calls. I think. I just think that for a man that doesn't bother with either of his brothers, who passed on this trait to his daughters, has no right to make demands on us to call anyone. It sounds kind of cold, I know. But know this, friends, I will seriously look at my caller ID next time and think for a moment before answering.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Are you smarter than a 3rd grader?

Apparently not. I'm sitting here listening to Frank do math with Michael and all I can say is THANK GOD that Frank can do math because I am thoroughly confused! I mean, I hear what he's saying and it's truly like listening to the teacher talk on those Peanuts cartoons - wah, wah, wah, wah. Scary.

I am also raising my hands in a prayer of thanks because Michael is understanding what Frank is saying.

Excuse me while I go play with some yarn.

The Truth About Beauty

Yesterday we took Nick over to Beckah's so that he could join them for an extended family dinner. Beckah's aunt was in town who is a rather famous author/nutritionist. When Nick mentioned this to me I was so excited because I have been WANTING to speak to a nutritionist but did not know any. Then I had to realize that this woman was here for a family visit and there was no way that I was going to intrude on it. So I asked Nick to ask her one question for me and on the 15 minute drive there, he completely forgot it!

When we pulled in to the driveway of Beckah's house, her mom came out to say hello and Frank - who is not one to intrude on people AT ALL - asks this woman if we could come in so that I can speak to her sister-in-law about nutrition! If we were sitting at a table instead of the front seat of a car I would have kicked him! Being gracious, Mary invited us in. Feeling a bit stupid, I go in and there was this tiny little woman in the kitchen cooking all kinds of yummy smelling things. She humored me and answered a TON of my questions and even gave me a copy of her book, "The Truth About Beauty". Her name is Kat James. All I can say is WOW. The book, so far, is very insightful and truly hits upon all of the dieting/wellness myths that we are told and what we really should be doing.

When I told her I was doing a low-cal/low-fat diet, she was horrified. When I mentioned that my digestive tract is messed up, she told me that it was because I was on a low-cal/low-fat diet. The body needs fat! Go figure. There is a lot of talk of natural supplements and changing the way that we cook - she was using a lot of coconut flour in her cooking yesterday. AND...the thing that really blew me away was that she got my son to eat all of it! The boy who lives on frozen pizzas, pasta and burgers ate a fennel turkey beanless chili and an all-natural cheesecake made with a coconut flour and assorted nut crust! I was proud of him, don't get me wrong, but at the same time, I wanted to slap him! If I don't buy the cheapy version of his processed herb and butter rice he won't eat it but sure, eat the turkey fennel, see if I care!

For more information on Kat James and how to be a part of her mountain retreat seminars (right here in Asheville, NC) you can go to her web-site at I'm telling you, she was a truly gracious and knowledgeable lady. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...Part 2

Hello! Idiot dieter here. Well, today was the bookfair (aka: Vegas). Michelle and I took over a dozen boxes/crates fully loaded with textbooks and the like to sell at this thing. On the way there, we stopped for breakfast, 280 calories. Got to the building, set up (worked up one heck of a sweat) and then I ate some homemade chocolate chip cookies, 430 calories. For lunch, I made us some Italian "sammies" (like Quizno's - only better) and we chased them down with two small cupcakes AND a can of coke! 1220 calories. We reloaded the remaining books back in the van and unloaded them back at the store (no small feat in the blazing sun!) and I downed 2 bottles of water. For dinner, it was just me and Michael and he wanted a 'date night' at McDonald's. What was I to do, say no? So to McDonald's I went were I ate a quarter pounder with no cheese, half of my fries and a small coke - 750 calories.

So feeling like a big ol' fatty, I jumped on the treadmill for 65 minutes and burned 710 calories and the calories burned from all of the book moving equalled another 200 calories burned and so I just made my 1800 calories a day goal but how stupid am I??? With 5 days to go until NY, I caved in to the peer pressure and ate and had fun with my friend - not usually a bad thing but this close to the time where all of my worst fears are going to be confronted, it was so not a smart move.

Pray for me, my friends. It's going to be a scary next couple of days. Think thin!

Something fishy's goin' on...

Over the last couple of days there has been...shall we say... an odor coming from the boys room. Now, keep in mind that with a teenager, there is an odor most of the time he comes in to a room. Apparently I haven't found a deodorant soap strong enough...but that is another story. Anyway, there was this weird smell in their room that was making its way out in to the house. First we thought that it was coming from the purifier - maybe it was time for a new filter. Then we thought it was just the smell of unwashed clothes that people keep forgetting to put in the hamper. But alas, after doing laundry and a half a bottle of Febreeze, the stench remained.

Today, the teenager could not take it anymore. That must have been one strong smell to make HIM say "Oooh, that stinks!" So while I was out at the bookfair, the room was dismantled and the source of the smell was found in one of Michael's drawers. The culprit?

A fresh water clam.
A fresh water clam from the lake.
A fresh water clam from the lake from our trip TWO WEEKS AGO!!

Excuse me, a little vomit just came up.

So apparently there was much blame throwing as well as possessions that were anywhere NEAR the clam being thrown out all morning. I can confidently say that the clam is indeed gone - the smell, not so much yet.


Friday, July 11, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...

Tomorrow, Michelle and I are working at a used book fair in Clayton. This will be our 4th year doing it. We load up one of our mini-vans with books from the store and do our best to sell as much as possible and bring as little as we can back. Only one year did we sell off half of what we had with us. It is hard, sweaty work loading and un-loading all of these items so we will most definitely get a good workout.

One of the many things that I love about this particular event is the fun that the two of us have with it. The first year that we did it we were both on diets. I was doing South Beach and Michelle was doing Atkins. We had both been doing okay with our diets (no great weight loss, but we were encouraged) but on this particular day, we ate anything that wasn't nailed down! They had chili dogs, chips, snacks, sodas and every baked good known to man AND they had teen volunteers who came to your table to take your order! And the prices were incredible! The hot dog was a dollar, chips and drinks were fifty cents and the baked goods varied anywhere from twenty-five cents to one dollar. We ate like queens the entire live-long day! Our diets never ONCE came in to consideration. As we were packing up at the end of the day we just sort of looked at one another and said "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". With a nod, we both silently agreed to never speak of it again.

As for me tomorrow with 5 days to go until NY, I have to be strong. I am packing up sandwiches for us so that I have a little control over what I am eating but I am sure I will indulge in a sweet or two. Think thin, everyone! Because this time around, what happens in Vegas, will be seen and known in NY!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


As a child, I saw her as this whirlwind with red hair. She was the person who let me bang the pots and pans outside on New Year’s Eve. She was the voice of reason when I wanted to sleep with my shoes on.
She always had Snack Pack pudding on hand.

As a child, she was my grandmother. She clearly had no other role in life except that in my young mind. As I grew older, I realized that she was also somebody’s child; she was a wife, a mother, a sister, a career woman when it was not ‘in’ to be one.
She was a widow.

As a teen, I watched this amazing woman care for her aging mother as well as a handicapped brother. All four of her children came back home to live with her at different points in their lives and she always had room for them (and their children).

As a girl verging on becoming an adult, I forged a relationship with this amazing woman that I never thought possible. In the wee hours of the night when it was just the two of us at home, we would talk – not granddaughter to grandmother, but woman to woman. At a time when I needed a non-judgmental ear, there she was.

As a woman, I watched her red hair fade and various shades of gray emerge. Somehow, it never made her look older. She swam in the pool with my children and was unafraid to be silly and play. My boys cherish their time spent with her because she always made each of them feel special.

As a woman living far away from home, I see her looking frail. Her gait is slower, her pains are greater. She overcame the loss of a husband, the loss of her parents and most of her siblings, but it is the time spent watching the loss of her own life that is the hardest.

As a woman, I cling to the child that I was and the memories of a lifetime being blessed to have this wonder woman in my life.
* The above is my entry to Scribbit's July Write-Away Contest. For more information on this contest (or need to know that you are not alone in your parenting adventures) go to .*

My Disney Diet - Day 59

Okay, so maybe eating the entire box of Hostess Cupcakes was not the way to go. I could be wrong on that one, but I don't think so. I didn't eat the entire box in one sitting, but I did spread it out over 5 days. In all fairness, though, I walked off each and every creamy, chocolatey, cakey bite. The results of this chocolate-induced binge? No weight loss this week. Am I actually surprised? Yes. I never said I was smart.

So here I sit at 8 weeks with a 13-pound weight loss. I should be thrilled. Monday on "Good Morning, America" they did a weight loss story about how people who journal and write down everything they eat (without being on a rigid weight-loss plan) lost an average of 13 pounds in 6 months. So I'm ahead of the curve there BUT I am not where I want to be at this point of the game. I should be 3 pounds further along and I could just kick myself for being so stupid! Damn those chocolate frosted ...cream filled yumminess! To make matters worse, my stomach is an abosolute mess - and not just to look at! I've got some weird pain and bloating (TMI - I know) and it is just killing me! But again, I feel like I did this to myself. Remember my blog a few weeks back where I talked about the bloating and the article I read on how some women cannot digest lo-cal/lo-fat processed food? And remember how I said I was going to avoid it? Well, after fatty-fatterson here got done with her box of Hostess, she loaded up on the processed stuff again and now look where I am? Seriously! Not smart!

But to brag for a moment, I did go out today and get a fabulous pair of pants at Super Target on the clearance rack for only $4.98 AND they were a size 10!!! YEA!!! You know it, baby! I do not see less than a size 12 very often so even with the icky puffiness going on right now, I had some positive results. Could you imagine if I hadn't indulged so stupidly?

So to focus on my still-too-far-away-Disney-trip for a moment, if I can get my act together, I can see how I've learned a valuable lesson. I am now better prepared for all of the walking I will be doing. I am up to 60 minutes and while I most definitely sweat, I don't look quite so much like I'm having cariac arrest anymore. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. I will now be able to hop, skip and zippidy-do-dah my way through all of the magic.

Think thin, everyone!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Me and My Park Avenue Taste

I live in a small home. I drive an older car. My husband drives an even older car. I buy my clothes primarily at Wal-Mart. I shop with coupons and a 'fancy' dinner to me is going to the Outback for their 'Outback Special'. Clearly I am not someone who indulges in much. I am happy (most of the time) with the simple pleasures in life and with our simple existence.

I am going to NY next week as you may remember. I am staying at the home of my mother and sister. Because so many other relatives will be there at the same time and I was the last to jump on board, I am relegated to sleeping on the couch. Not a big deal for me usually - I sleep on the couch when we stay at my sister-in-law's home. The problem with this particular couch is that it is the middle of a madhouse where the front door should be one of those revolving doors. There are people coming and going at all hours of the day and night and it doesn't matter if guests are trying to sleep. Now, I am greatly appreciative of my sister purchasing my plane ticket to get me up there to participate in the madness, but I was starting to freak out about the sleeping arrangements. Not only that, the house does not have central air and only the bedrooms have in-the-window air conditioning. Are any of these bedrooms near the couch so that I could feel a breeze? No. Do I normally sleep with a fan blowing on me 365 days a year along WITH the central A/C in the summer in my own home? Yes. Solution? My mom went out and bought an air mattress for me to sleep on in her bedroom with the built in pump. Can I hear a hallelujah? I was so thrilled that she thought me worthy of such a thing. Granted, it's still an air mattress but when faced with the alternative, I am almost giddy.

My charming sister who drops close to 40G a year on vacations and has a closet full of clothes the size of my bedroom (most still with the tags on that will eventually go to Good Will) took one look at the boxed bed and griped, "What does she need that for? What does she think this is, the Plaza?" Yes because we all know that when you think of the Plaza and all of it's plush comforts, you think twin-sized air mattress on the floor!

Why don't I go home and visit more often? Hmmm...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Those Were the Days...

Remember when you were growing up and you went to the school that was directly IN your neighborhood? Remember how it wasn't a scary thing to be eight years old and walking from the bus stop to your own home - which was only two doors down? Remember how our parents were actually INFORMED of changes going on in school? Well, I'm here to tell you friends that those days are long gone.

Today was Michael's first day of third grade. A momentous occassion to be sure. When we went to open house last week, there was not a single person there who knew what in the world was going on. Even his teacher was brand new - only hired three days earlier. We have a special situation - Michael gets dropped off by the bus directly to the bookstore since that is where I am most afternoons. We made special arrangements directly with the department of transportation. If I were to change that need, I would have to call them, fill out forms and make sure that everyone was notified. I, apparently, do not require that same consideration. We were told just last week that nothing would be changing - same bus, same stop, no problems. Only there was. When Michael got dropped off today, I was thrilled. Ten minutes after arriving at the store, I got a call from the school telling me that we could no longer have that stop because the town had been re-zoned for a new elementary school that went up five miles up the road and now the bookstore is technically in that zone.


So after several angry phone calls that were all met with the most incompetent of people, Michael now has to take a completely new bus directly to our home which requires the teenager to be here and not out and about making goo-goo eyes at his girlfriend (who I LOVE). Frank is breaking that little bit of news to him as we speak. Hee-hee! So, now I have to leave work and hopefully get home in time for the bus twice a week and twice a week it will be up to Nick to handle it. Not a big mess but it was all handled so poorly by the very people who organize it. Did they really not know until 3:00 today that "OOPS, the town was re-zoned!" I don't think so. They could not find my home address on a map and I live off of one of the major roads in town! So these incompetent idiots (yes, I'm in a mood and on a roll now!) are responsible for the safety of our children and they cannot even read a map! When I asked for the nearest bus stop to our home, I was told there was one about 4 blocks away! When I got home and looked at the map myself, I found one two doors down! So knowing me, you know I got on the horn and started writing letters. I wrote a nasty letter to the Department of Transportation, the Wake County Public School system AND

Watch your local listings for my close up!

Friday, July 4, 2008

In Praise of the Hungry Girl

Sometimes you just stumble across a fun web-site quite by accident. That happened to me yesterday while on They had a link to some listing of low-fat goodies and so there I went. is a fun little web site that offers low-cal/low-fat alternatives to some of our favorite foods. Today I found a recipe for a low-cal version of Outback's Bloomin' Onion. One of my all-time favorite foods! I had never tried to make it at home but this recipe on seemed so easy, I just might try it. There are different news columns on new foods out there but for those of us in search of good food that won't make us expand too much, is a fun little addition.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

And then there was moshing...

On Monday, Nick and friends went to a Christian metal concert called "Scream the Prayer". We were a little reluctant about letting him go because Christian metal - although Christian - still involves metal fans who can be rather obnoxious. The boy had been counting down the days until the big event and even after I got over the whole 'metal' aspect of the event, this would also be the first event that he would go to with friends only - no adults. He has an 18 year old friend who was doing the driving and yes, this was cause for great anxiety for me.

Well, Monday came and the boy was just bursting at the seams. He could not wait to get to the show. There were 11 Christian bands playing and all I could imagine was that this was going to go well in to the wee hours of the morning. But to my surprise, he was home BEFORE 11 pm! I was shocked. The boy who walked through the door was literally glowing. "So how was it?" I casually asked - sensing that he was ready to explode. "It was AWESOME!" he replied and then went in to some fast-forward speed talking mode where I literally lived all 7 hours of the concert in 10 minutes. Wild. He met all of his favorite bands, he got autographs, he got pictures and most importantly, he prayed with them. This is a far cry from the metal concerts of my youth - Whitesnake, Poison, Kiss, Def Leppard - to name a few. I never got within 100 FEET of these bands let alone had the chance to hang out with them! I am thrilled for him. I mean, we were nervous about letting him go and God is so good that He made this a once in a lifetime opportunity for Nick. He will dine on the stories of this festival for a long, long time. His MySpace page is filled with the pictures.

I still find it hard to believe that Christian music can involve all of the obnoxious guitar playing and the screaming but hey, they're screaming for Jesus!