Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seriously, I'm Done...

Okay, so FOURTH trip to the DMV for the third road test. I have NOTHING good to say and even wrote a nasty letter to the DMV because the officer who took him praised all of his driving and told me that he did great.


On their way back to the DMV, after the three-point-turn, he told Nick to stop and drive in reverse up the block!!!


He made him drive something like over a hundred feet in reverse. They did not do that the other two times and so he swerved in to the middle of this ONE LANE EMPTY ROAD and he failed him.

Seriously, it is a good thing that I do not have a license to carry a weapon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Madness!

You know, I had such high hopes for the day. I really should stop doing that. Whenever I have high hopes, things go down hill fast.

It started out as a typical Monday - got Michael ready for school, sent him on his way. When Frank got back from driving the boy, we discovered that he had no work for the day. Sigh. I so HATE when that happens. So, okay, he's home. Wandering around. In my face everywhere that I am. I do love him; really I do. It's just that I have a...routine of sorts for my mornings and when someone is continually blocking your path or yammering at you, well, it gets a wee-bit annoying. I found him some "chores" to do while I did my 4-mile walk. Yea, me! A task that should have kept him occupied during my entire one-hour workout apparently needed to be broken up in to ten-minute intervals where he would have to walk right through the middle of the living room where I was walking away the pounds. I think at one point I hit him with a weight and while I did apologize, the snarky party of me was like "Well, that's what you get for walking through my workout!"

Really, I honestly DO love him!

I got through the workout and then had to deal with a series of e-mails from an acquaintance that just...well, I don't want to get in to it too deeply but...this person wanted to come over and talk to me at great length and I had to tell her no but she just would not give me the information that I apparently NEEDED and so we kept going back and forth on e-mail. Trust me, when I get a handle on what THAT is all about, I'll let you know. Let's just say that it just about had me losing my mind and pulling my hair out of my head for about an hour.

I finally get out of the house and head over to my friend Donna's house for our 2 hour water aerobics session and 45 minutes in to that I get a call from Michael's school saying that he has a very bad bloody nose and they will NOT put him on the bus (it was 15 minutes until dismissal) and I had to come and get him.


Now, I am about 25 minutes away from the school, in my bathing suit and now have to run to get him. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to have to go and pick your child up from school while wearing a Mickey Mouse bathing suit with a mesh cover-up over it??? Well, let me tell you, it's PRETTY DARN EMBARRASSING!! I walked in and was trying to hide behind potted plants and whatnot just to not be seen! Oh, and my boy? Completely FINE by the time I got there!

We get home, we relax and now Nick wants to go driving. For those of you keeping count, tomorrow will make road test number THREE! I told a friend earlier that if I were still a Catholic, I'd be lighting candles right now! So we go to the bank and to the supermarket to food shop, run home to unload the groceries and then headed back out to the SuperTarget to pick up my thyroid medicine. 99% of his driving was fine. The last minute and a half of the drive had me screaming at him - all the while he's looking at me like I've completely lost my mind!

I don't have high hopes for the morning, people. Honestly, I don't.

Once home again, we start up dinner and light the grill but two minutes in, it runs out of gas. Sigh. So Frank went and filled up the tank came back, hooked it all up again and within minutes we were back in business. That is until one of the lines on the far left side of the grill CRACKED and we had flames reaching up to the roof. I was grilling some sausages and I do like them a little crispy. Not ten-foot-high-flame, crispy! We got the fire put out and sometime around 7:30 we actually GOT to eat dinner.

Thank the LORD that the day is coming to an end. Think of us in the morning, everyone! Pray for an understanding DMV instructor who will take pity on us so that they can cancel the plaque that surely they are preparing to mark my own private parking spot and chair!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father/Son Camping

Yesterday Michael came up with the idea of camping out with Frank. They are the outdoorsy ones in the family. Last night there was a chance of thunderstorms so they put it off until tonight.

It has truly been sweet to watch.

They set up the tent in the yard. They dug up a small spot in the lawn and made a fire pit. They packed up all of the necessities: bug spray, blankets, pillows, marshmallows, drinks and double stuff Oreo's. Seriously, my son is just beside himself with joy at being able to do this with his dad.

Yet another reason why I love my husband...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fantastic, Frantic, Frustrating Friday!

Okay, so right now I really want to be in my jammies and in my new bed, but I had to write first. True dedication, right?

The day was going to be crazy; I already knew that. Nick had to be to work by seven, Michael had field day, Frank wasn't working and I was expecting an aunt, uncle and cousin that I had not seen in over 20 years for lunch!! EEK!!! I was pretty psyched about that last one. BUT I am a procrastinator...meaning they were due here at noon and I really went in to prep mode at 10:30. Plus, I am a food snob (having grown up in the food/deli/catering business) and so wanted everything to be made fresh and yummy.

I stuck with the basics: tuna salad, egg salad, and chicken salad. I make an AWESOME chicken salad! I had fresh rolls, white and whole wheat bread. I made a tortellini salad, put out chips and salsa, cheese and crackers and grapes. I had a wide variety of beverages.

All this for four people.

I'm not well.

I was so nervous to see them again because I don't remember interacting much with them except as a child. Well, I worried for nothing because they were absolutely WONDERFUL! I hated that they had to leave! I already can't wait to see them again! Plus, thanks to them, my house is clean!

I didn't go and swim today because by the time everyone left, I was kind of wiped out from all of the cleaning and prepping and was kind of enjoying just lounging. Luckily, Miss Donna understood and so the boys and I will go and swim tomorrow. Nick came with me yesterday and I beat him in two relays! Score one for the old chick!

Now, on top of all of this, I'm in still in a Jackson 5 funk. I listened to one of their CD's while I cleaned and it just ...well, listening to the Jackson 5 always makes me smile. But I'm sad at the same time. THEN I went on to You Tube and found episodes of the old Jackson Five cartoon!!! I used to LOVE to watch that. Total trip down memory lane and totally worth it.

We had another issue that we learned about today and well, let's just say that I want to encourage ALL of you parents out there that it is OKAY to upset your children! Especially if it means saving their lives!! We have some friends that are just NOT engaging with their troubled child and I am fearing the worst. The situation is out of hand and again, I encourage you to GET INVOLVED!!!

Nick says that since I've become unemployed I'm around too much. I kind of feel like I've been on the go. I am blessed that, while he makes me crazy, he is a good kid. After seeing what our friends are going through, I just give all the glory to God for my boy.

Hug your kids, friends.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Sad Day for Our Generation...

When I have quiet time, it's really not quiet. I like to put on my headphones and turn on my MP3 player and listen to music. I don't like any of the music that is popular now, I'm still an 80's rock girl with a little bit of Motown thrown in. The Jackson 5 were always a favorite. Whenever the kids would make fun of me for it, I would just say "You just have to smile when listening to the Jackson 5!"

Today the Jackson 5 were silenced.

I am just so, so sad...I cannot even believe that it happened. I mean, I KNOW that people die. Celebrities are no exception. It's just that fact that, was so unexpected! Earlier in the day, Farrah Fawcett died. That was a horrible thing, too, but we've been watching her very public struggle with cancer. It was kind of devastating to watch someone who was so iconic in her beauty wither away so horribly. I think that she was very brave to let the public see such a private struggle. But when the news came out this morning, it was very upsetting but expected. I hate for her that the spotlight - even in death - was taken away by the news of Michael Jackson's death. While she was news all day, she is now a teeny-tiny by-line. Although in all fairness, both ABC News and NBC News are doing hour-long special reports on both of them tonight.

For my generation, both of these people were MAJOR celebrities - although for different things. I don't want to remember Michael Jackson as someone accused of child molestation. I want to remember him as the young child in the Jackson 5 who sang some of my all-time favorite songs. Farrah Fawcett will forever be emblazened in my mind as one of Charlie's Angels.

Rest in Peace to you both...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The New Bed is Coming! The New Bed is Coming!

Yeah, I know. I said that back in February but now it is really, really TRUE! I went to the mattress place today and paid the balance and set a delivery time up for tomorrow!! I'm so totally excited!!!

We thought that we were going to have to give up the dream of a new bed after we faced my unemployment and also, the feds just happened to give us $600 less in our refund - which was the exact amount of the bed. Go figure. So we huffed and we whined and we complained every morning with our sore back and all that and were resigned and defeated.

Brace yourselves for a little TMI...

Last night I am in bed and I start itching. Not just a little, but a lot. I get up, I turn on a light and I have welts up and down my arms! Now I'm freaked out. So I go out in to the living room, near tears, and show Frank. He goes in to the bedroom and what do we see?

A bedbug!

A little, creepy, crawly bedbug!!

I have no idea where it came from but I am telling you what, he was not long for this world! Needless to say I did NOT go back to sleep and today I practically RAN to the mattress store to put the order through. Tonight I have been cleaning, vacuuming, disinfecting, you name it, I'm doing it! I still don't want to sleep in the bed tonight but I've got mattress bags on the mattress and box spring and I have sprayed the whole thing with an insecticide. It did NOT smell good.

Hopefully tonight will be the last of it. First thing in the morning, we are tossing out the old mattresses and totally going wild with spraying and vacuuming the room again.

It's not easy being me, people. It really, really isn't.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reality TV Blues...

A few weeks back, Nick came home all excited about the premier of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight". I'm like, really?? Granted, the show had been in the news a LOT at that point in time so I figured it was just curiosity.

Then last night...the big announcement. The boy tuned in. Frank and I kind of did too. I mean, you KNEW what was coming but couldn't help but watch. Seriously, it was very anticlimactic. "We're living apart..." No kidding. I'm sure that show had it's highest ratings to date.

Okay, now here's my gripe with the whole thing: Have we, as a society, learned NOTHING about couples who have their own reality TV show??? Nick and Jessica? Brittney and Kevin? Hulk and Linda Hogan? I'm sure there are more but now we can add Jon and Kate to the ever-growing list.

In the real world, marriage is hard enough without a daggone camera crew following your every move. Heck, sometimes it's annoying having the kids follow my every move! Sometimes we're stupid, sometimes we're lazy, sometimes we fight...all of this is normal. But what is NOT normal is the whole darn world witnessing it all! I get paranoid if Frank and I have a disagreement in front of our families, forget about how I'd feel if 8 million people were watching!

I guess to some people it's worth the risk. I mean, Kate got a tummy tuck, make-over, and a hair cut that is as talked about as the "Rachel" was back when Friends first came on TV. You know, I might consider a camera crew living with me if I got the Extreme Makeover: Stace Edition treatment. Then I would REMEMBER all of the marriages that have FAILED during such and endeavor and wake up! But I guess, if I had to defend them (and by them, I mean Jon and Kate), they have a LOT of kids. We have a hard time raising two kids, I can't even imagine the financial hardship of raising eight. So I guess at $75,000 and episode at an average of 20 episodes a season, they were able to maybe set up college funds for their kids and probably have been able to keep them clothes fashionably.

On the down side, these kids have NO IDEA what normal is! There was a skit on Saturday Night Live this season where Zac Ephron hosted. He was making fun of his High School Musical role and was addressing the graduating class of that fictional high school as an alumni. He had to break it to them all that people really don't go around breaking in to song and dance! It was pretty funny. But it makes me wonder if these kids are going to be able to understand when, sometime in the future, there are no cameramen stationed around their house catching their every move. I'd say "Do they go to other people's houses and wonder why nobody's filming it" but right now, they are being filmed everywhere they go! That would seriously grate on my nerves after a very short time.

I was chatting on line with a dear friend today and even she said that she was sad about this whole break-up. I think you can't help but feel bad for those kids. They did not CHOSE this lifestyle. As much as Jon and Kate say that they did this for the kids, they can't really say that for sure, can they? If given the opportunity, would the kids have preferred the bigger house or to have their parents stay together?

I never watched the show, to be honest. The most I ever saw of it was on the E! channel's show "The Soup". They would show clips of it every week and honestly, well...let's just say that Kate did not at all seem like a nice person. You can almost understand why Jon is leaving.

But what about the kids?

What about the kids....

I am a Horrible Mother...

Third times a charm, right? Apparently not in my world!! We went back to the DMV this morning. Both Nick and I were a little on edge but the boy really and truly seemed confident. We reviewed everything that he needed and when we went inside, I had peace.

Why? No one knows.

Ten minutes later he is back and the DMV officer calls me outside. I mean, OUTSIDE!! He didn't even want to cushion the blow in the A/C. So I go outside and he gives me the reasons why the boy FAILED the test again and I was just so darn angry!!!

Angry with the DMV?


Angry with the boy?


I mean, most people get BETTER with their driving, not worse! He went in to a ditch on the three point turn, he looked over BOTH shoulders when changing lanes which meant his eyes were off the road for too long...I mean COME ON!!! Clearly he is just not ready for this and it is pissing me off. When we are out driving around town, he is near perfect. Get him on a road test and freakin Mr. Magoo does better than him!

So we get in the car and I'm like "What happened?" and the boy had the nerve to blame the...wait for it...the CAR! It was the CAR'S fault! Seriously, hair is just falling out of my head even as I type. I'm like "Are you kidding me?" It is a small, four-cylinder car. You have to PRESS on the gas pedal. He claims that the car wouldn't move and when he pressed harder on the gas pedal, THAT is what caused him to go in to the ditch. Funny, in all of the years that Grandma drove the car, we never had to get her out of a ditch. On the 600 mile drive home when Frank drove the car, not once did he go in the ditch. But the car, acting of it's own free will, KNOWING that the boy was on his road test, decided to go in to a ditch.

It may only be 9:40 in the morning, but I am ready for a fistful of Advil PM and heading back to bed.

Seven more days until the next DMV encounter.

Monday, June 22, 2009

DMV Rant!

Okay, so Nick went for his road test last week and failed, remember? So when the drill sargent who drove with him sat us down after the test, he gave me a sheet of paper telling us WHY Nick failed and the date that he could come and take the test again.


June 22nd.

Anytime between 8 am and 11:30 am.

So, up we were at the crack of dawn, got ourselves ready and did the 23 mile trek to the DMV. The sun was shining. Birds were singing. We arrive, we sign in, we waited maybe ten minutes and were called. Different guy today so we were optimistic. We gave him our insurance form and both of our ID's and...

"You're a day early," he said.


Excuse me? We so are NOT! I told him exactly what we were told and he just stared me down and said "Nope, you're a day early." He could not be swayed and unfortunately, I had not brought the piece of paper with me that had the date written on it. We leave, we come home, we are both majorly PISSED OFF and I find the paper with the date and CALL the DMV.

"Well I guess the officer just wrote the wrong date."

Gee, why is it okay for THEM to make a mistake that cost me time and money??? Why do they get a free pass for screwing up? There is something seriously wrong with our world today. I am just livid right now. Nick is devastated. I mean, it just...


If I had a punching bag right now, it would be extremely helpful!!! So tomorrow, once again, we will be up at the crack of dawn. We will do the twenty three mile trek and you can be DAMN SURE that I will bring that piece of paper with me and let each and every officer sitting in that DMV KNOW that their mistake is NOT acceptable!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why So Difficult?

You know, I don't rant about my husband often. I love him dearly and after twenty years together, I well and truly understand him. There are just times when...


That was me, screaming. Today I asked him to sit down with me to look at hotels in Florida by my dad's. We are paying for one night, dad is paying for the other two. I'm looking for deals to keep everything as inexpensive as possible and I thought that having a hotel to escape to was a big plus for this trip. One minute we were browsing pictures, the next the man is completely losing his mind screaming about this trip! It was all "I don't want to go!" "I'm not going to pretend that I like these people!" "I'm not going to go and make any effort for this party!" "I'm not wearing dress clothes for this!" On and on and on it went and I'm sitting here thinking "How did a picture of a fountain by a pool trigger this rage?"

No one knows.

Then...THEN...he wanted to throw at me how we did not go on his parents 50th anniversary cruise extravaganza so why should we go to my dad's 65th birthday party? Now I have to speak up. First off, you cannot compare a $5000 cruise to a $79 hotel bill. Sorry, you just can't. Secondly, I am busting my HUMP to keep him away from my family as much as humanly possible and he STILL is making a fuss. Thirdly, we are not only seeing my family on this trip, we are also going to see his parents - who everyone LOVES! Seriously, these people are just plain likable and we always have a good time with them.

So I am stumped. I mean, I gave him the option to just not go. I am not going to be tortured - YET AGAIN - over another trip that involves seeing people that I am related to. He did this on our last trip up to New York, even though, he spent most of the time visiting with his friends. It's like the man just CAN NOT unclench long enough to just relax. He is always tense before a trip. Any trip. Actually, any time we go ANY WHERE he seems to have issues. We are never on time to go to anyone's house. Why? Because HE has issues. He has an aunt and uncle that live 90 minutes away who no longer invite us over. Why? Because HE has issues. Seriously, they stopped inviting us over because they got tired of us declining. Why did we decline? Because HE has issues.

If it were up to Frank, we would not go anywhere. Ever. I make all of our vacation arrangements because if I didn't, we'd never leave home. And I'm sorry, but I just refuse to sit in this stupid teeny, tiny house for the rest of my natural born life! Not gonna happen!!

Should I be used to his travel tantrums by now? Yes. Am I? No. Like I said earlier, I gave him the option to just not go. It's a long, long drive but hopefully Nick will have his license and he can help. Coming home I will have Nick and my nephew to help with the driving. So really, I'm okay. But Frank does not want me driving alone. "It's too much driving," he tells me. No kidding, Einstein! I know that, but I would rather drive alone CROSS COUNTRY than deal with this nonsense.

Please be praying for me, friends. The trip is in three weeks and I just KNOW he is going to make each and every minute of it miserable and that's not including the 15 hours I'll be forced to listen to him while driving in the car!

Seriously, I look good in a hat!

Okay, it is...the infamous hat. Nick finally conceded today that I do look good in it, and not in a sarcastic "like Taylor Swift" tone. Frank thought it looked good too. Do you think it's easy fitting all of this 80's "big hair" under any kind of a hat?

Anyway, long story short, I like the hat, I'm going to continue to wear the hat, and y'all will just have to deal with it!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Customer? Cashier? Still Bored...

This afternoon I went to pick Nick up from work at his riveting job at the local supermarket. He comes out, hops in the car with a huff and I ask how his day was. Sometimes that is a loaded question but hey, concerned parent that I am, I always ask.

The morning was slow, the afternoon busy, blah, blah, blah. He then goes on to tell me that during the quiet time he was reading some of the magazines that were up at the register. Funny ,I do that too when I'm waiting in line! Weird! He gives me some random facts about Jon & Kate (I never watch the show but he seems to have a weird fascination with it). Okay, good info on to other topics.

I had several errands to run - had to pay the car tax, stop by the post office, go to the bank, go to DMV to renew my registration and then get the car inspected. Noticing a trend here? I ignored my car and now had to make up for it all. While we're driving around the boy is throwing out random entertainment news and finally I was like "How slow was it in there today?" Apparently, very slow. Needless to say, I do NOT have to watch Entertainment Tonight tonight. Thanks, son.

And the whole car thing? We have three cars. Mine is the newest. In the last week we have had all three of them inspected. Guess whose was the only one to fail.


Un-freakin-believable!!! Now I have to figure out what the problem is (a sensor) and our dear friend, Joe, who is the mechanic who actually did the inspection, will help us get it taken care of. So not fair!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lazy Much?

Week three...unemployment...laziness has set in. Not by choice, mind you, but because...well...there just isn't much to do. Especially when it is raining all the daggone time!

Today I got up and got Michael ready for school. Once he and Frank were out the door, I literally crawled back into bed and slept for another THREE HOURS!!! How much of a slug am I? The answer? A HUGE ONE! I finally got mobile and dragged myself over to the computer to check e-mails and whatnot and eventually had some lunch and somewhere around 1:30 made it to the shower. Even that didn't quite revive me.

At around 3:30 we left the house and went to the library, grabbed about a half dozen books to read - I LOVE to read - and then headed over to the Super Target just to browse. This was not a good thing. I needed hair spray and blush and somehow ended up looking at clothes and purses and hats and well...I bought myself a hat. I have always wanted a cool, straw hat. Always. I don't know why but I just have. So I found one that I liked, it looked good on me, I used the logic of how I was going to NEED a hat while down in Florida because I am so fair-skinned and it will be July and so really, I have to protect myself and therefore NEED the hat! So I was pretty happy with myself and when we were checking out and I showed it to the boys, they mocked me! Totally, loudly, mocked me! Nick was like "Hey, Taylor Swift!" Now, in his 17 year-old mind, he is insulting me. But what my somewhat cluttered 40-year old brain heard was "Hey, mom looks like some hot, blonde, 19-year old!" There are worse things I could look like, right?

You know, had he said "Hey, Troll!" or maybe "Hey, Uggo", I would have been offended. I mean, I'm not a FAN of Taylor Swift, but she's adorable! So HA! my son, you thought you were insulting me but all you've managed to do it boost my ego!

And yet still all I want to do is take a nap!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get Out of My Head!!!

Okay, so you know I'm supposed to go on this trip to Florida next month for my dad's birthday. You also know by now that I am clearly not comfortable with the whole thing. A couple of weeks ago, I removed some posts from the blog because my dad's wife saw them and they made her upset so that's why I've maintained a low-dad profile lately.

So here's my problem. I am a neurotic mess. I see the bad in everything where my family is concerned. Truth be told, they're probably not as evil as I believe them to be but considering all of the things that have gone on in the past, it makes it hard for me to look at any interaction as a good thing. I thought I was okay with going and our plans were moving along, and then a friend told me that she did not have a good feeling about this trip. She is a very good, Christian woman who prays a LOT and she advised me to get together with Frank and to truly pray about whether or not we should go on this trip and wait to hear what God tells us.

Okay, that is all good and wonderful advice but honestly, there are like WAY too many things going on in my brain and I can't seem to fully "listen" or "hear" what God is trying to say. It's a little frustrating to say the least. There have been many, many times in my Christian walk where God has spoken quite clearly to me but this time around I think I am just too squirrelly with the subject and can't seem to get it straight.

I've prayed and prayed and talked to Frank - who, FYI, is of no help on this topic. He does not like my family because of the things they have done to me in the past and the way he has been treated and if it were up to him, we wouldn't visit anyone. Ever. He is going purely to support me and to make sure that I do not get upset. Is he great, or what??

The thing is, deep down I really want to go. My dad is really, really trying to make up for the past, he's excited about seeing the boys and even went shopping to get them things. I want to go to the nursing home to see Collette because she is now on hospice with a stage 4 bedsore and they don't think she will live much longer. I want to be able to go and say goodbye. My friend says that that is for my benefit and not Collette's but it is something that I still want to do. I want to meet my father's new wife because she seems very nice and sincere and I believe that we SHOULD know her and meet her face to face. Plus, we are going to see my in-laws and my godson is planning on coming home with us and visiting for a few days. That in itself should be funny because he is totally convinced that we are Amish. If I could, I would totally pack away all of our TV's and electronic equipment just to see the look on his face when we get home!

So, I will continue to sit and wait to hear God's voice above the chatter that is going on in my brain. Honestly, I was praying while on my way to writing class this morning and all of a sudden it was like "And Lord...maybe I should make pasta the first night we get back...should I food shop for it all before the trip or on that Wednesday? Do meatballs freeze well? Sorry, Lord, I pray that I...hmmm...have I ever froze my sauce and meatballs? No, I don't think so. Who do I know with an air mattress? FATHER...forgive me...oohh, look, something shiney..."

See? I'm not right. Scary little brain....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Turn Your Head and .... drive!

At 7:45 this morning, we left on an adventure. The teen's road test!

Dah, dah, dah!!

It was monsooning out, we were tired, and the DMV was 23 miles away. Off we go! His driving there was near perfect. There were a couple of times where I had to remind him to not ride the white line, but other than that he did great. He had only driven in the rain once before and that was a two-minute drive so I was even more impressed with him.

We arrived at the DMV at 8:20, walked in, signed our names and never even had to sit down because the took him immediately. We handed the drill sargeant...I mean, DMV worker our licenses and proof of insurance form and before I knew it, my boy was being whisked out the door - clutching his chest! He's like "I'm not ready for this!" but I knew that he was.

He was outside for less than 30 seconds and came running back to me yelling "Where are the inspection papers? What did you do with them? I didn't touch them?" Deep breaths, son. They were in the glove compartment and off he went. I was so nervous for him, especially since the instructor was hugely intimidating. Five minutes later, they were back.

He failed.

My heart actually hurt for him. I failed my first road test and so I knew exactly how he felt. Deflated. Why did he fail? Because he did not turn his head when he was changing lanes. Yes, this is something that I tell him repeatedly when he is driving. He is so afraid to take his eyes off of the road in front of him that he pays no attention to what in the world is going on around him. The menacing militant actually said that the rest of his driving was perfect, he just did not turn his head that ONE TIME!

Needless to say, Nick was not amused. He is stomping around here like a child who had his candy taken away and to be honest, we are no longer amused. I get it, he's upset, he's disappointed, he's bummed...MESSAGE RECEIVED!! He cannot take the test again for another five days. I'm okay with that. Him? Not so much. He's being a little demanding right now and is currently pouting in his room.

Fun times to be at home...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Update and Getting Old...

Okay so the whole bank issue was settled, right? Well, tonight we tried once again to order this stuff for Frank and again, the transaction was denied. So we were getting ready to call the toll free number when our phone rang. It was the bank. Apparently there was "suspicious action" on our card. Guess what it was?

Our transaction actually going through FOUR TIMES!!!

So, we had to deny the charges, they blocked out my card, are sending me a new one and advised us to call the drum place and get it straightened out with them. We called them several times and I think, I THINK it is all fixed. Meanwhile, there were several minutes of heart palpitations while the bank lady was explaining all of the action on our card! Yikes!

After dinner I took Nick out driving. He is going for his road test tomorrow. I'm not getting overly excited about it because a lot of kids fail their first time out. I'm trying to be positive for his sake but I'm not holding my breath, you know? So we're out driving all over town ,parking, doing three-point-turns and I'm sitting there thinking "God am I old!" I mean, my child could quite possibly have his license tomorrow. He is a senior in high school. He is planning on marrying his girlfriend. I'm sorry but...I'm just too damn young for all of this! Someone make it stop!!

So we get home and I'm calming down and one of my oldest and dearest friends from back home calls me. We laugh like a bunch of loons whenever we're on the phone. Well, she was calling to tell me that at the end of the month, she has to have a hysterectomy. I was blown away. I mean, once again, we are too damn young for this! She was in good spirits and we talked about all of the ways that this is going to be a good thing, but the reality is that 40 is just too young to be thinking about menopause!

So if this whole stupid drum transaction isn't the death of me, apparently being 40 will! Oh, to be young once again!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'll Sleep Easier Tonight...

Late last night, Frank decided to go on-line and order the pieces for his drum set that he wanted. This is going to be his Father's Day present. He is somewhat computer illiterate and so I had to be near by.

Twenty minutes in to this endeavor he is ready for my help. Over I go with the Visa check card and enter in all of our billing/shipping information. Next I get to the payment screen and enter in the credit card info and submit.


Okay, no big deal, perhaps I entered something wrong. I go through the entire process again.


Okay, now I'm starting to freak. I know that at this moment in time, there is a LOT more money in our account than we are trying to spend here and I cannot understand why we are being denied. So I try one last time.


Clearly there is a problem with the site. I play it calm and cool for Frank's benefit, all the while praying that I have not made some sort of fatal banking error somewhere and all our money is gone. So I go to bed and all night long I dream about being overdrawn, having our identity stolen along with all of our money, I mean, it was a rough night.

As soon as I got up this morning, I went to our bank's site and did a balance check and just I had thought, there was plenty-o-money in the account and therefore the problem was with the music store's site.


But...we still can't get the site to process our order. Will Frank get drums for Father's Day? No one knows....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Year Without a Santa Claus...

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning to get ready for a big curriculum sale slash flea market that our homeschool group was participating in. I shared a spot with my friend Cathleen and we were there and set up by 7:30. It was already like eighty degrees out.


The sale was okay, I made some money but I came home totally drained. The only thing getting me through was a much needed nap and the promise that Frank was taking me out to dinner tonight. We are simple people, we know what we like and never tire of going to the same place for dinner - The Outback. I could eat there every week and never get tired of it.

So we go, with Michael (Nick was at work), we get seated right away and all was well. Michael is going through the kids menu, playing some of the games when suddenly he closes the menu and very solemnly says "That's it, I am never using this thing again".


What? Was the maze not good enough? Was the word search not challenging? No, the problem was that someone - in beautiful adult handwriting - had written in the middle of the book "Your parents are Santa Claus. Tell them to stop lying to you."

Are you freakin' kidding me??

So Frank grabs the menu and jumps up from the table and I have to admit, I was little bit scared. Frank is not a big man but he most certainly is intimidating when something pisses him off.

This pissed him off.

He goes to the manager and tells him (and I'll word this nicer than he did!) that someone on his staff is a complete ________. And then proceeded to show him what was in the book. The manager was truly mortified and apologized profusely. Five minutes later Frank returned to the table and he was still simmering a bit. Then our Bloomin Onion was delayed. The poor manager had to deliver it to us and apologize again. After that we might as well have offered him a seat with us because he pretty much hovered for the remainder of the meal and THEN covered the whole thing for us.

Sure, the one night we were conservative!

So, all in all we were satisfied with the way that he handled it. We know it wasn't his fault but maybe someone should check these things before handing them to the kids! I had a yummy dinner, though. Mmmm...steak....

As for Michael, he bounced back. He is easily distracted. He'll definitely remember this but he is nine and maybe the whole Santa thing isn't a big deal. We never made a big deal about it. He only sat on Santa's lap once in the last nine years and that was Christmas of 2007! The thing is, if anyone were going to break that news to him, I would have preferred to have it done by either myself or Frank.

Warning to all parents, look through your children's menus before handing them over to them. You never know what you'll find inside!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Didn't Think This Was Supposed to be Fun...

So I'm concluding week two of being unemployed. I thought I'd be depressed and stressed out but I gotta tell ya...I'm so totally not. I am all over the place and loving it!

I've had lunch with friends, I've driven around with Nick, I've gotten caught up with some things around the house, I've gone swimming, I've gotten sunburn...okay, that last one is totally NOT fun but hey - at least I am outside!

Today I did a three mile walk and then did water aerobics at my friend Donna's house for like two hours! Even though I had on the SPF 50 sunblock, I got burned. Mostly on the spots that I clearly missed but you know, after two hours in direct sunlight, what was I expecting?

Tomorrow I am participating in a curriculum sale/yard sale with the homeschool group. I have to be out there at like 7:15 in the morning, but I'll be out there with friends! God is so good!! My Florida trip is getting closer and I am having less and less anxiety. This is HUGE! I think it's because I am finally de-stressing in the rest of my life. Frank and I have had some alone time - as a matter of fact, I may convince him to take me out on a date sometime over the weekend. We'll see if it actually happens!

So I wish all of you some fun and friendship time. It is a beautiful thing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'll Take a Big Mac, a Coke, and a Side Order of Tears...

Okay, so today Nick and I drove around doing a lot of errands. He did all of the driving. We hit the bank, the post office, the eye doctor and then finally, the drive-thru at McDonalds.

It was like driving graduation day.

Next week he is going to be eligible to take his road test. I knew this day was coming - I'm actually looking forward to it. It was just, was one of those moments where the reality of our switching our positions really hit me. We were waiting on the drive thru line to pick up the food and when the girl at the window handed it to him, and then he handed it to me he said "There! Now you have to hold the food!" It was such a stupid statement and yet it just made me sad.

Stupid, right?

He drove so well and I can honestly say that I was only scared THREE TIMES. Trust me, that is a big improvement! Later on in the day we drove to Target and to Game Stop and home. We were on highways, merging, parking...I mean, it was a full blown driving experience!

My boy did good...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Diet Update

Okay, so we're in to week two of the diet and I got on the scale today and lost four whole pounds and 2 1/4 inches. Not too shabby! Actually, I was thrilled because I have not been exactly "on", if you know what I mean.

There was the Milky Way bar on Sunday night (Thank you, Michelle!), the four Hershey Kisses a day due to hormones, then there was the butter on the salmon last night...I mean, I have not been very strict with myself. BUT I still got results.

Today I went and swam for an hour with my friend Donna. And I use the term "swim" loosely. We do water aerobics - for the out of shape. There are times when I feel like I should be in a scene from "Cocoon"! I move slowly, I do the length of the pool, we use inflatable tubes, I mean, I am not going to be racing Michael Phelps any time soon. But believe it or not, the workout is really doing a lot of good. I mean, I am sore after it. It's a lot of kicking, my legs are continually in motion...I so wish that I had a pool of my own because this is a workout that I enjoy.

I'm still treadmilling but that's a really sweaty workout. The pool? Very cooling. It's nice to have options. So keep thinking thin for me. Four weeks to go!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Extreme Makeover - Nick Edition!

My boy is adorable. Always has been, always will be. He was a beautiful baby with the biggest brown eyes...He just makes me smile.

About two years ago he started going through this "phase" where basically I hated every single article of clothing he wore. I know, I know, this is a normal thing for a teen. The thing is, they just made him look...icky. They were all dark - in color and meaning - and to be honest, it just didn't seem like him. Although I don't know many mom's that would be like "Hey, you know what would make that outfit even better? More chains!"

So today, much to my surprise, we went to get his haircut. Yes, that was the Hallelujah chorus you all heard around 1:00 today. Then he went over to a friends house where he...wait for it...worked out. I KNOW! His friend is a total athlete and was teaching him the finer ways of weight lifting. Seriously, I am BEAMING with pride right now. Then, as if that weren't wonderful enough, when he came home tonight...he was wearing normal clothes. Honest to goodness normal clothes. Some might even call them preppy.


Sometimes, life just doesn't seem to be any sweeter.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why So Secretive???

I love to write. As if you couldn't tell! Seriously, I used to write short stories in elementary school. Became an avid reader in middle school. And wrote my first full-length novel (by hand!) in high school. I have been writing ever since. I have about twenty-six "works in progress" right now as well as four fully completed novels.

This blog is my only published work.

Sad, right?

Okay what is up with published authors? Seriously? If you are a writer who has ever spoken to a published author, you may know what I am talking about. They won't tell you squat about how they got published. Well, that's not entirely true. Some will give you maybe a little bit of info but for the most part they will be very generic about it but will never give you a name or a contact. They won't offer to help you.

Now I know, I know, they did it on their own so why shouldn't I? I get that. Honestly I do. But why be so secretive? If you are published you are clearly LIGHT YEARS ahead of me. I don't see myself as a threat to anyone. I would just LOVE to be published. Sure, me and about ten million other would-be writers.

Tonight I'm talking with a gal who just happens to drop in to our conversation about how she has an e-book out there that is being published in installments - like one chapter at a time. She will not tell me where to see it. She will not tell me what site it is through. Hell, she wouldn't even tell me her pen-name! Believe me, if I am ever blessed enough to get published, I will WANT people to read my work! Whether they want to or not, I'd still tell them where to find it!

So if any of you wonderful people out there know of such a site, please, please, PLEASE pass the info on to me. I would greatly appreciate it.

Oh, and FYI regarding my previous post: They are no longer on a break.


Taking a Break...

Those of you who know me know that I am a HUGE fan of the the show "Friends". I am currently the proud owner of all ten seasons on DVD. Nick and I can quote those episodes like pros.

Too much time on our hands?

Anyway, for those of you who followed the show, you'll remember the whole "We were on a break" thing between Ross and Rachel. It always makes me laugh thinking of all of the times that line was used throughout the series. Well, we have a "break" happening right now and I don't find it amusing. I know he will not appreciate my blogging about this but I was just so impressed with his maturity that I'm doing it anyway.

The teen and his girlfriend are on a break.

There, I've said it. There doesn't seem to be any anger about it, they've just come to the decision that a couple of weeks apart is a good thing. I agree. They spent a LOT of time together. There were days that they were together for 12 hours at a time. Hell, I'm married and there are times that Frank and I don't want to be together for 12 hours at a time!

The good thing is that she is going away with her family for a few weeks so this will be their "break" time. The boy is making plans with friends and when he told us about all of this this morning, he was fine with it. We were so proud of him. I have to admit, I was fearful of this day coming and having him be devastated. But since this seems to be a mutual thing, all seems to be well. There is a part of me that is proud of them both - it takes great maturity to realize that sometimes you need a break from one another. Then there is the mom in me that wants to hug him and pamper him and make sure he is okay. Frank then reminds me that he is a BOY and therefore probably does NOT want his mom hanging all over him. And then finally, I want to go and hug her. We love her. She is part of our family and has been for a year and a half and we will miss seeing her around.

So here I sit, silently praying that this will be a temporary thing and being thankful that they have continually proved themselves to be responsible, mature people who have respected one another. I'd like to take some credit for that as the parent but he has by far blown me away in this department. At 17, I was no where's near this responsible.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Oh, the Humanity!

Today, day six of the South Beach Diet, day one of my period and what do I have to do?

I get stationed at the cake table at the graduation and it was my job to cut and serve cake to over 100 people.

The good news is that I did not eat ANY of the cake.

The bad news is that I was very crabby and wanted to throw it at people.

But I didn't.


So Weird...

So I'm going to a graduation ceremony today. The local homeschool support group that I belong to is having their celebration today and I am going because next year, I will have a graduate.

How weird is that?

I wanted to go to see how it's all done and see what sort of things I need to start thinking about. I can't even believe the time is here because I still look at Nick as if he is still young! And I think of myself along those same lines! How is it even possible that I have a child who will be graduating next year??

Excuse me, now. I have to go lie down and have a breakdown...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

That'll Be $165 and Your Dignity...

So I had an appointment at the eye doctor today. I wear contacts and was almost done with my last pair. I had waited long enough and now had to go for my yearly eye exam. It's a small, local office. Five minutes from my house.

I get there, check in and they give me my history to review and ask for any changes. So I tell them that I am now unemployed and they cross my work address and phone number off the sheet. The first woman to see me who does a small series of tests comments on my loss of a job. She seemed sincere. I give her my glasses - which are about ten years old - and she's like "Oh, you'll have to go over to the other side when we're done and pick out new ones because these are just old."


Um, excuse me. Did we NOT just cover the whole NOT employed thing. And doesn't it state on my chart that I have no insurance?? What planet are these people from? So I remind her of my status and tell her that I will NOT be picking out new glasses because I am unemployed, with no insurance, and even today's appointment is going to be tough on me.

So we're done and head to the next exam room. The doctor comes in and immediately comments on my recent misfortune of being unemployed. She checks my eyes, we chat, they do NOT have my prescription on site and so I will have to wait up to five days for them. She checks out my glasses, too, and comments on how I should check out their selection.

Is NOBODY paying attention here?

We get done, I go to check out, I pay the obscene $165 (for the whopping ten minutes I was there!) and lady number one comes over and reminds me that my glasses could use to be tightened and someone could take care of that for me. I'm about to walk away to take her advice when the receptionist offers her sympathy on my unemployment.

Now I go over to the eyeglass side and hand a new person my glasses and she's like "Oh, my! These are old! I'm almost afraid to touch them! You should look at new ones."

Sigh. Just tighten my damn glasses so I can get out of here! She does and as she's handing me my glasses she says "You know, you should really get some insurance. Then you should come back and get some new glasses."

If I were in a K-Mart, there would have been an announcement over the intercom, "Attention customers, the lady slinking out of the office is currently unemployed without any insurance but really should have some so that she can get some new glasses in aisle five!"

I wanted to crawl out of there and die. Hey, you know what would have been more helpful that constantly reminding me of my unemployment and un-insured status? Maybe taking some money off of your over-inflated rate! That would have been useful and greatly appreciated.

And insurance? Gee, why didn't I ever think of that!

And Send Them Off With a Good Breakfast...

Okay, so today was day one of the EOG's (end of grade testing) at Michael's school. You know, I can remember being in school and they were called FINALS. We took FINALS. There were no weeks of review to prepare for the EOG's, you just knew the dates and went in and took the darn test.

We had lists of instructions, books that we could purchase, you name it, all in the name of the EOG's. Correct me if I'm wrong but if these teacher's taught well, then wouldn't the children BE ready for these tests? I mean, we've gotten progress reports throughout the year that have told us that our child is intelligent and learning so why this obsession with these tests? It was even required that we (The Parents) send in letters of encouragement to our children to read BEFORE taking the test!

I'm sorry, but this just seems a little bizarre for me. These are tests. He is in the third grade. I'm sure that there is some weird rule that states the better a school does on their testing, then the more funding they get doing all of this obsessive preparation in the weeks leading up to the test, to me, that doesn't qualify you for doing a good job! We all know that cramming for a test is the LAZY WAY of preparing for it. My teenager makes me crazy when he does that. He could go for weeks without looking at the material - mention that he's having a test and then he would cram for it. And lo and behold, he'd do great. But I'm pretty sure that the normal way of doing this is just LEARNING the darn material when it is taught.

Maybe I'm being unrealistic. Personally, I just find it crazy that all learning has stopped in the last couple of weeks in order to prepare for these tests. He had no homework this week. Why? Because they are not learning anything new. They are preparing for the test. My list of instructions for testing days were: make sure he got a good night's sleep, feed him a good breakfast (the school is even offering FREE BREAKFASTS so that those students who can't get a good breakfast at home won't miss out), send in his letter of encouragement, encourage him at home, keep his stress level at a minimum, and make sure he is on time for school. Hell, why don't THEY just keep the kids for a week to make sure that they are programmed well enough for the darn test. Just let them camp out at the school, have tapes playing over-night to reinforce the things that they should have learned all year long, slip them all an Ambien to ensure that they actually sleep and send them home to us when they are done.

Good night's sleep?
Letter of Encouragement?
Good breakfast?
Did he actually learn anything this year before this cram session?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

iPod and Nintendo Wii Giveaway! Ends Soon!

Hey, everyone! Just wanted to let you know that Christian PF is giving away a Nintendo Wii and an iPod. But the catch is that the contest ends June 4th! So hurry on over there and check it out.

Good luck!

Remember When...

When I was growing up, we always had a pool. Well, until I was around ten years old we did, anyway. But I can remember that during the summer we were in the pool all day long. It was TORTURE to have to get out.

We swam in the morning. We swam all afternoon, and well in to the night. As a matter of fact, it was an extra treat to be able to swim at night. I swam laps like a fish. I would jump off the diving board and swim the length of the pool underwater in a flash.

Swimming Stace of today?

Today I was in the pool for a little over an hour, in a large tube, just doing slow laps from one end of the pool to another just using my legs.

And I was tired.

Sure I got a great lower body workout but when we climbed the steps to get out of the pool? Well, let's just say that I was a little less than graceful! I long for the days of childhood when I had the stamina to actually SWIM! Well, maybe if I did I wouldn't NEED the exercise, I'd just be doing it for the fun of it.

Oh, the glory of youth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss? Shut It!

You know, I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was not blessed with a high metabolism or anything like that. I am not wealthy and so I don't have a personal chef or a personal trainer. Jenny Craig and the like are not seeking me out to do any endorsements and PAY me to use their products.

Sad, right?

What I am getting SO.......tired of is seeing B-list celebrities on the cover of magazines in their bikini's like they've discovered the cure for obesity. Um, no. We all watched Kirstie Alley and her yo-yo journey with Jenny Craig. And I'm sorry, but when she did her bikini walk on Oprah, well, let's just say that she shouldn't have. There was nothing pretty about it. Just because you lose 50 pounds, does NOT guarantee you a bikini body.

Then you had Valerie Bertinelli. At the beginning of her very public Jenny Craig weight loss encounter, she actually did an interview where she said that she would never go on the cover of a magazine in a bikini. But lo and behold, looking freshly spray-tanned, there she was on the cover of People magazine. Give me a break!

This week's celebrity is Melissa Joan Hart of the TV show "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch". It was a cute show, in it's day, but how relevant is it that she lost weight and why do we have to see her on the cover of a magazine? In a bikini?

You know what, I'm sure that if I were a former TV/movie star, I'd have some financial padding where I could afford the daggone personal trainer and all that goes with it to help me lose weight. What these women did is not amazing or even something that we should be glorifying them for! They achieved these things with the help of a TEAM of people! Anyone can lose weight with a team of people! Or with cash being thrown at them! I know I would!

You know that I am a fan of "The Biggest Loser" show, right? Well, every once in a while you will see updates on of "Where are they now?" with former contestants. And you know what the reality is? That a large percentage of these people put the weight back on once the show is over! It is only a very small amount that go on to have endorsement deals and stay slim. Why? Because for most people, they NEED A TEAM OF PEOPLE to help them! Sure, anyone can lose weight if your food intake is being monitored by professionals and you have a personal trainer guiding your exercise every day, eight hours a day, seven days a week. The average person, such as myself, is cooking for myself, working, maintaining a home, raising children and does not have a fully equiped gym in my home.

So celebrities, I cannot speak for everyone but as for me, I really don't CARE that you can wear a bikini. Airbrushing is a wonderful thing, I am sure. Personally, I chose NOT to buy the magazine with your bikini-clad image on the cover because I think you are full of it. I'm not impressed. I'd rather see the articles of REAL people who are overcoming their weight struggles thanks to their OWN hard work and perseverance. I like it when People magazine runs those stories.

Fear not, friends, you will not be seeing me in any weight loss ads any time soon nor will you be subjected to me in a bikini either on a magazine cover or anyplace else for that matter any time soon - no matter how much weight I lose! You can all rest easy now!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What a Nice Way to Kick Off The Week...

So today was the "official" first day of my unemployment. Not much of a difference - I was still up at 6:15, got Michael up and ready for school, in the shower at 8:00 and out the door at 9:00. Although, to be honest, I'm normally out the door on a work day at 8:35. So woo-hoo! Twenty five extra minutes, baby!

Nick had to turn in his Algebra 2 final so we had to go and do that, I had to meet someone who was buying some of my old curriculum, we hit the bank, the bagel shop, the post office AND the supermarket, and we were home by 11:15. But the fun part was that I was going to lunch at a friend's house.

I met this woman through the bookstore and she insisted on having me over on my first real day off. I have to admit, it was nice to sit and have conversations without the distraction of customers and the phone ringing! We ate, we talked and we made plans to get together over the next month for me to swim with her. Since we are both desperately trying to lose weight, I'm all about buddying up. My friend Cathleen has also offered me the use of her pool so I will be swimming away the pounds as well as doing the treadmill. One can only hope that with all of this activity that I can actually drop a pound or two over the next month. The goal is ten, but we'll see what happens.

So I was home here by 3:15, did a thirty minute walk on the treadmill (I'm doing MUCH better than I was a week ago, praise the LORD!), and now I am waiting for Frank to come home so that we can grill up some steaks. Yummy!

Life is good, friends.