Monday, August 31, 2009

It IS a Manic Monday...I think

Okay, so let's re-cap a couple of things. First off, my brain never shuts down and so I take Melatonin to help me sleep at night. Here's a note to self...when you take said Melatonin and wake up two hours later coughing up a lung, do NOT take a shot of Nyquil. The result is that you will be in a coma for at least another 12-16 hours. NOT a good feeling.

I'm still unemployed. I'm trying not to get too down about this because so is a large portion of the population. I am not alone. Although, it is sort of a kick in the rear when I have 20 years of retail management experience and cannot get a job bagging groceries!! But it's okay. It's all in God's hands and when the time is right for me to work, He will provide.

I'm in homeschool mom mode this morning and was all set to pull out a can of whup-ass on my boy for being in his room playing his guitar when I had asked him to do his consumer math and wouldn't you know it, he was done with the whole daggone chapter already!! Go Nick!

Speaking of him playing the guitar, I'm sitting here kind of feeling like that dad in the old Twisted Sister video to "We're Not Gonna Take It" where he just yells at his son "You sit around here all day playing that sick, repulsive, electric twanger!! What do you want to DO with your life????" That can't be a good thing.

I did another explosive food shopping yesterday and saved $111 in coupons and store sales. You know, some people want to get their same amount of food for less, I want to spend the same amount of money and get more. When we're trying to save money, I'm not so sure that's the way to go. But my cabinets are very full - there's even lobster tails in the freezer because they were dirt cheap and...well, I like lobster and never get to have it. Again, probably not the smartest choice when trying to save money.

Frank and I went out to dinner alone Friday night because the kids were both sleeping out - miracle of miracles. We went to a steakhouse here in town that we both really enjoy and while the food was awesome, the service was not. So I wrote a letter to the company via their web-site and guess what? We get dinner on the house one night this week! See? It pays to speak up sometimes! Now, had it just been one thing about the service that we didn't like, I would have done nothing. But repeatedly throughout our meal, things went wrong and our waiter was never around! So we'll get to go out again this week. I'm unsure if we'll take the kids or not. Hee, hee.

It's raining.

I miss hanging out with my friends. We need a girls night out soon, ladies!!

All this planning for the Disney talk in October makes me want to go right now!

Now I have to go and beat someone with an electric guitar...have a good day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Computer Craziness!!!!

It has been well-established that I am not very tech-savvy. I know just enough to be dangerous. Yesterday my computer was just being annoying. It was slow beyond belief, it kept whirring at some high pitch that would slow it down even more, I mean, it was just plain crazy.

Now, I may not know a lot, but I know that there are some things I can do to try and help. First, I do a disc clean up. A basic one. While doing this, I realize that you can do a more in-depth clean by getting rid of programs that you do not use. Okay, great. I do that. Then I use the Advanced Windows Care to optimize my system and then did a disc defragmenting. I am advised to restart the computer from all of the adjustments I made so that they can take effect. All in all, I've been at it almost an hour. I start up the computer again and things are running beautifully. Until...

There is only one real program that Frank uses on the computer other than the internet, and that is Spider Solitaire. Well, it's gone. I mean G-O-N-E. I did a file/disc search and it's gone. Somehow when I did the more in-depth disc cleanup, that went bye-bye. Okay, I can fix this. I know I can. I do a System Restore and get the computer back to where it was TWO days ago (just to play it safe) and sit back with my fingers crossed. I wait, I sign back in, wait for everything to load and...

It's gone.


I'm freaking out more than Frank is at this point. I don't understand how this can be and I don't know enough to do anything about it. AND on top of all that, the computer is running like crap again because I put it back the way it was. So NOW I have to do it all AGAIN!! Feeling cocky, I decide to do a security sweep too and get rid of any viruses or spyware that's lingering around and that took two hours to do!

And in the end...still no Spider Solitaire. If anyone cares to come over and find it and get it back on my computer, I would LOVE to cook you a meal. Call me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

And They All Lived Together On...

My sister totally cracks me up sometimes. She has a theory that most dead celebrities are not really dead, they are merely on what she has dubbed "Elvis Island". Although we've never really discussed this, it would seem that this idea had to originate with Elvis' death and those celebrities of huge stature that have passed on since then.

Now, when Elvis died, the whole world was in shock in disbelief. There was no way that someone larger than life like Elvis could die like the rest of us. Then of course there were all those Elvis sightings. The impersonator's did NOTHING to help this theory along! So who else is on Elvis Island? Well, there's Elvis, Princess Diana, John Lennon, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain (although, I saw the crime scene photo from his death and it would be amazing if he truly were alive on the Island). You'll note that I am only using celebrities that have "died" since Elvis - otherwise the Island would be hugely over-populated.

Who else, who else...John Kennedy Jr. and his wife Caroline, John Belushi, Sam Kinison, and now of course, Michael Jackson. There is a video out there on the internet that supposedly shows Michael getting out of the Coroner's van! I had to check this out for myself and I have to admit, I raised an eyebrow. For about a second.

While yes, this is rather morbid humor and just plain wrong, I guess sometimes we like to think that our movie idols or music idols really are bigger than life and can overcome anything. We don't look at them as human because they don't live like the rest of us do! Surely with all that fame, power and wealth there has to be more. It has to be better. You simply can't DIE!

But sadly, they do. I like the theory of Elvis Island. I would find it truly amazing if one of those celebrities actually pulled it off and disappeared when the rest of the world and the papparazzi would not leave them alone, only to have them reappear some twenty years later. Remember the movie "Eddie and the Cruisers"?

It could happen...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie..."

Sorry, but that title is a quote from a very funny episode of "Just Shoot Me". Nick reminded me of it yesterday while I cooked a couple of meals for a friend. Actually, I used to do a little catering on the side and this gal approached me about making meals for her family while she was going to be out of the country for two weeks. I readily agreed and yesterday found me chained to the kitchen - but in a good way.

I pretty much got right to it as soon as the alarm went off in the morning. I had to make sauce because I was going to be making baked ziti and I was also making chicken pot pie. Both of these meals had to feed 8 people. Now, being Italian, I make Italian food a lot, so there was no way that I was going to make extra of that for us for dinner. That left the pot pie.


It was so darn good!! I had completely forgotten how much I LOVE a pot pie. I used part of the pot pie recipe that I had gotten off of a Bisquick box years ago - just for the crust. The filling is all mine and it was so good. Seriously, so good that it healed Frank's persistent headache and made my PMS symptom's leave for a while. So it's magical, too!

What makes it so yummy? What can I possibly do that makes it magical? No, I'm not going to say the secret ingredient is love (even though it is), but I will give you the recipe.

1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast
1 Bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1 Cup of shredded Monterey Jack & Colby Cheese
2 Cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion finely minced (use the food processor)
1 Heaping tablespoon of minced or chopped garlic
1 Cup of flour seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground red pepper
2 Cups of Bisquick Mix
1 Cup of Milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter

Okay, cut your chicken in to 1-2 inch squares and coat with the seasoned flour. Melt the butter in a deep skillet with the minced garlic and onion until they start to brown, then add the chicken. Cook chicken until all pieces are browned and cooked almost completely through.

In a large bowl, put the mixed vegetables, cheddar cheese and cream of mushroom soup. When the chicken is done, add it to the bowl and mix together well so that the cream of mushroom soup has coated everything. Pour mixture in to a well greased 9x13 baking dish.

In another bowl mix together the Bisquick, milk and eggs and pour over the chicken and vegetable mixture. Bake on 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is firm and browned.

Serve and enjoy. This is actually even better in the winter time but I'll tell you what, I hate left overs and I ate this today for lunch too! So, so good...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And Now for the News...

I have a ritual on weekday mornings. The alarm goes off at 6:15, I groan, I mumble, I swear that I am going to start homeschooling Michael so that I won't have to get up at such and un-Godly hour, stumble out of bed and shut off the alarm. As I collapse back on to the bed, I click on the TV with the remote and start watching the early morning local news.

Early morning news seems a little less formal than any other newscast and for that reason alone, I enjoy it. I'm not a political person, I'm not one to get in to great debates about what is going on in the world but there are few things happening out there right now that I just ...well, I just cannot believe.

Here's the top five news stories that have me riled up:
1. Michael Jackson Homicide. You know, it's all very, very sad. The world has lost a great musical icon. But this just shows you that no matter how much money you have, you are no better off. I mean, it took tons of medication just for this man to be able to sleep and just because of who he was, doctors were willing to risk their careers, their licenses, to give him what he wanted. "He demanded the medication" someone said. Um, excuse me, the man weighed like 100 pounds fully clothed, I don't think he was a real threat to anyone who said no. So who's to blame? I think there are a slew of doctors to blame and I think each and every one of them should be held accountable. For murder? No. For homicide? I'm not sure. But they sure need to answer to an ethics committee of some sort and have their licenses taken away.

2. The President's on vacation. Um, it must be nice after putting us in even greater debt as a country than we already were to go on vacation to a house that cost $30,000 a WEEK!! Yes, a week. So while I'm sitting here unable to find a damn job and my husband is out of work and I'm watching friends in the same position and some of them LOSING their homes, our leader is jetting off to the Vineyard. Oh, but wait...the $30,000? Well, he's paying for their share of the house. What exactly does that even mean?? I'm sorry but if you are so concerned for our country and for leading us, how about leading by example and not flaunting the extravagant lifestyle? On Saturday when that hurricane was barreling the coast, people were DYING! And you know what the real hurricane story was? The president's vacation had to be delayed. Boo-freakin-hoo.

3. Lockerbie bomber set free. I will never, ever, ever understand the judicial system. It is not set up, it seems, anywhere to protect the VICTIMS. It is set up to protect and coddle the criminals. This person served a total of what? Eight years? Wouldn't it be nice if all of those people who got blown up on that Pan Am flight got to come back and join their families after eight years? No one seems to take that in to consideration. This man is dying of cancer and got a compassionate release/transfer, whatever. Where was the compassion for those people on that plane? Oh, wait, there was none.

4. Jon and Kate. Oh-My-Gosh...if I have to hear yet another story about Jon and Kate and how he is out partying, dating, lying, cheating, I mean really? Who cares?

5. The Fiore/Jenkins case. This is just absolutely horrible. I mean, disgustingly horrible. Two lives completely wasted; each ended in horrible circumstances and quite possibly by the same hand - his. I was reading out there on another blog - and I'm sorry I can't remember whose - but basically she was saying that you have to be pretty darn angry and psychotic to not only kill your spouse but do rip out their teeth!! I mean, CRAZY. But I think what really bothers me the most about these two people and this case is that they were brought together because of completely shallow and superficial reasons! She wanted a millionaire and he wanted a model. Yikes! I can understand this marriage heading for a quickie divorce but it just seems bizarre that it had to end this heinously. Very, very sad.

I'm hoping to try and focus on some good news for the remainder of the week. Or perhaps I'll just skip the morning news and move on to something more checking my e-mails. There hasn't been anything bizarre there for at least a couple of weeks!

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker


There is a weird phenomenon that keeps reoccurring in life around here. If I am shopping somewhere, I could be in a line of 100 people, the cashier will be nasty to ME. No one else, just me. It happens mostly in mall-type stores. I can deal with the Target or Walmart cashiers and for the most part, they're friendly.

If there are 100 cars driving down the road with multiple violations happening, Frank will be the one pulled over. It's almost unreal how it happens. He's even been pulled over while parked!! I think some cop at some point must have put a tracking device on his car that sends out signals for when cops need to hit their ticket quota for the month - Frank is the go-to guy! What I find weird about that is that it is never for anything major! Seriously, it's the no inspection thing, or tail light is out, you swerved to miss a's endless.

Today's "Cops" moment came in the form of the drive to school. Michael is in year-round school and has been back in session for 7 weeks now. Today was back to school day for the masses in traditional calendar schools. We have a route that we drive that doesn't put us on any main roads and for the most part it is a quick and uneventful drive.

Until today.

They opened up a new high school today. This is taking place of the old high school that is right around the corner from us that is undergoing renovations. So basically what this has done is shifted traffic from one side of town to the other. My husband was not aware of this. So off he goes on his cranky...I mean, merry way, and I was starting to get alarmed when 45 minutes went by and he wasn't home. The trip takes 30 minutes TOPS. Well, I finally hear the car door - SLAM! Then came the front door - SLAM!! I was actually curled back up in the bed with a backache but I figured all hope of rest just ended.

"What's the matter?" I asked. Sometimes I need to remember to just play dead and hope that the danger goes away! He starts pacing and waving his arms and goes in to detail about how the traffic was backed up for three miles on that quiet little back road and how they were only going like ten miles an hour, bumper to bumper, he needs to find a new route. Oh, and did I mention the cop that was in front of him? So, in bumper to bumper traffic, this cop, a female cop no less, puts her car in park, flips on the lights and gets out to confront my husband!

"Do you think you're going to move me along any faster?" she asked.


I'm sorry, but if all of the cars are driving BUMPER TO BUMPER what exactly would you recommend he do? Our son was fifteen minutes late for school, traffic was moving at a snails pace and she gets out of the car to confront Frank? So Frank explains that he's just moving along with the flow of traffic and she says "This is your final warning. Next time you'll get a ticket!"

Um, Final Warning? Wouldn't that constitute that there were previous warnings? Now I know my husband. I know that in these types of traffic scenarios he's borderline obnoxious with the tailgating. But for this woman to put the car in park and get out when there is a CLEAR delay all around them, to me, was a bit ridiculous. Frank said that he witnessed her waving her arms around in the cop car during most of the ride like she was as frustrated as the rest of them. But should this person who is so clearly easily agitated be allowed to ride around - with a gun - if a traffic jam gets her this worked up?

Yet another banner morning in Stace's world.

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Super Sunday Savings...

So it's Sunday and it was food shopping day. I mentioned not too long ago that I'm getting all back in to couponing and all that and so after four hours of work yesterday, my coupons are sorted and organized in a big binder. Who knew that it was going to be such a production!!

I went through all of the sales fliers, went on line to the two stores I would be going to and made the list of all of the things that they had that I wanted, I checked with Instasave and E-Vic to get my extra saving. For those of you who are big on discounting and all of that, brace yourselves. I quit the Grocery Game. I know, I know. I may regret it somewhere down the line. But I was three weeks in to my four week trial and not once did I find anything that I use on there that I hadn't already found myself. So I'm saving the $5-$10 a month and doing the legwork myself.

I left home with my binder, lists and calculator. I felt like such a nerd! I hit store number one - Harris Teeter. They had a TON of BOGO's on stuff that I actually use so this was a great time to stock up. Keep in mind, we are a family of four - essencially three adults and one child who eats as much as, if not more than the adults. On weeks that I purchase cleaning products and everything along with the food, I spend close to $200 and I STILL end up back in the store at some point during the week!

I get through HT in about 35 minutes and paid a total of $106 BUT I had SAVED $127!!! I was so psyched!! On to store number two - Lowes Foods. Not as many BOGO's but still some great sales plus I get my gas points there. So I go and breeze through the store in 30 minutes, fill up my cart and paid a total of $101 and saved $66!!

When I got home I had to rearrange the ENTIRE kitchen because I now essentially have two weeks worth of food for the same amount of money I spend on one week!! How cool is that?

I wonder if there's anything to eat?

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Quest for Disney Continues

I think I've mentioned that a good friend and I are doing a Disney-talk at our church's annual Women's Day in October. The theme is how to plan a great Disney vacation for less. We are both absolute fanatics about The World and so this is right up our alley.

So we started plotting and planning a little over a month ago and split the topics up between us and got the whole shebang under way. That was where my map dilemma came in and the Disney Company saved the day by offering us some free lithographs. They are adorable.

So feeling spunky and successful in that quest, I contacted my friend Ric over at the Magic for Less Travel (he ALWAYS gets me the best vacation deals) and asked if they would be willing to send us some promotional stuff for the talk. And they are. Thank you, Ric!

Okay, so now I'm just about bursting at the seams at all of the information we will be able to give these ladies and how we might now have to invest in gift bags, we decide to take a field trip to the Disney Store. I know, weird to think of it that way but we brought the kids along and so it made it seem like a little adventure. So we go, we look around and see what kinds of brochures and pamphlets they have to offer and we finally get to speak to a manager who was very, very nice. He gave us a bundle of brochures and told us that there was a planning guide that was coming in in three weeks and that he would put 50 aside for us. Bless you, kind little Disney man!!

Now I'm feeling out and out bold and ask it they have any old posters or displays that were getting ready to be thrown away that we could have. Hey, at this point in the planning process our motto has become "You have not, because you ask not". So I asked. It turns out (and this is just BIZARRE to me!) that he - as the manager of the store - is contractually obligated to DESTROY any and all promotional displays when they are done with them. Not even the employees get to have them. Two people have to go to the dumpster/compactor and DESTROY these things!!! I'm sorry, but I think that Disney would make a FORTUNE on selling these items. I know I would have bought a thing or two! If that spinning Mickey Mouse or Peter Pan sitting up there near the ceiling were for sale, they would SO be in my house right now! I just thought it was all a little extreme.

We meet again on Monday to plot, plan and discuss all-things-Disney. It's going to be the BEST day.

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!

You know how every once in a while you're having a conversation and a line from a movie comes to mind that would just go right there perfectly? I had such an instance tonight.

There are the popular movie lines that people use like "I'll be back!" from the Terminator or "ET Phone Home!" from E.T. There are classic lines like "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone with the Wind or "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" from The Wizard of Oz.

But tonight, tonight...I pulled something rather obscure from the air and it fit so totally perfectly in to the conversation that Frank and I laughed heartily while the kids just looked at us like we had gone insane. I love that look!

We're finishing up dinner and talking to Nick about his college entrance exam that he is taking in the morning. We were talking about nerves and how nervous he gets and I compared it to his first day of work. This led to a lengthy discussion of what "technically" was his first day of work. After about ten minutes of tenseness - orientation wasn't the first day, the first day at the register was his first day, according to him - Frank put his fork down and looked at me and said...
"It's Astounding!"

(Hee-hee, here's where my random thought process from Wednesday morning kicked in. Teens of the late 70's and 80's sing along!)

So I then looked him right back in the eyes and in all seriousness said - "Time is fleeting...Madness takes its toll...But listen closely...Not for very much longer...I've got to keep control" and at that point we just broke out laughing!

I mean, the the boy's argument was astounding, time truly WAS fleeting and I wanted to get up! But the discussion wasn't ending any time soon which was when madness was beginning to take it's toll on me, and OH! how I wish he would listen closely!! I knew the conversation couldn't go much longer and that, as the rational adult in the conversation, I had to keep my cool!

So here's to you Rocky Horror Picture Show!! I thank you for 29 years later, STILL bringing laughter and song in to my home!! For those of you still unsure of what I'm referring to, those are the introductory lyrics to "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror.

Ah, good times...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weird Things in my Head at Four in the Morning...

First of all, let me say thank you to all of you who left me comments yesterday about my EC frustrations. They were all greatly appreciated. I found myself dropping a bit differently today and dropping a few more comments. That in itself was kind of nice because I usually just, you know, glance, at other sites, but this morning I actually stopped and read.

The fact that I was wide awake at 4:30 in the morning with nothing but time on my hands didn't hurt either!

So while I was cruising, I came to one of my faves, "Look it's Megryansmom"
and was reading her post when she asked who used to say "really big shoe". Amazingly enough, my brain was working and I said Ed Sullivan. Talk about before my time but I always remember people who imitated Ed Sullivan using that quote. Weird what kind of stuff lingers around in my brain. I can't remember to pay the phone bill but I can remember a tag line from the Ed Sullivan Show! Anyway, if you get a chance, go and check out her blog. She's really quite comical and always makes me smile.

And why was I awake at 4:30 in the morning? No, I don't enjoy getting up before the sun but honestly, there was no fighting it this morning. Remember two months back when we had the whole bed bug thing? Well, we thought it was solved - at least in our room it was. Not too long ago, Nick mentioned getting a bite or two and lately Frank says he's getting bites while on the couch. Okay, let me just stop right there and SCREAM!! We are not dirty people!! Honestly!! This is freaking me out. So we bombed the house with an actual bed bug bomb. It took almost two hours to take apart everything and dismantle to get ready to bomb, we had to be out of the house for two and a half hours and then it took another three hours to put it all back together!! It was a wild day! We took all of the bedding and stuff to the laundromat to wash and dry it while we had to be out of the house.

We came home, did what we had to do and breathed a huge (slightly foggy) sigh of relief. At 4:15 this morning, Frank came to bed. I rolled over, grunted at him for breathing and waking me up, got up to pee and when I crawled back in to bed I asked him if he'd been awake all this time. Yes. Why? I asked.

He had a bug on his arm while on the couch.

Son of a.....!!!

Now I start to itch all over and can't go back to sleep. Okay, deep cleansing breaths. Now I have to sneeze. This makes me realize that in all of the cleaning hooplah, I never dusted our room. This makes me think of the silk flower arrangement not far from the bed and I wonder what is the best way to clean it? Which then leads to me thinking about where I got most of those flowers in the arrangement and remember that they are from my bridal bouquet that a very nice young florist did for me who was referred to me by my step-mother who is on Hospice in a nursing home and not expected to live much longer and then I wonder who will speak at her memorial and I think of some of the things I would share with people - like how she saved Nick's life when he was a baby. This brings me to Nick who has to work early this morning and I'm the one who has to drive him to work and I wonder, did he take a shower before going to bed? Now I'm thinking shower, thinking bathroom, and realize that I need to pee again.

So I'm up and mobile and figure that my brain is just not going to shut down so I come out here to the computer and remember that Ed Sullivan used to say "Really big shoe".

I need a nap...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Monday, August 17, 2009

Annoying Conversation #822

Okay, so there was a short span of time between annoying conversations but all good things come to an end, I guess.

So tonight we're all just hanging around the house - Michael's in his room playing the X-Box while Frank, Nick and I are in the living room just talking. I remind Frank that Michael needs to shower. This is a big "to-do" in our house because it is yet another thing that Michael does not care about and tends to pitch a fit when asked to take one. So we call him in to the room, let him know what is expected, joke with him for a minute and Frank tells him he's got 15 minutes to finish up his game before he has to get in the shower.

The teenager looks at us as if we had just handed the child a shot of Tequila and sent him on his way. So we're like "What?" He sits up a little straighter and was like "When I was a kid, I NEVER got 15 minutes before I had to do something! I had to do everything RIGHT NOW! You never make him do anything right away."


The next few minutes are spent yelling, I mean EXPLAINING (loudly) that A.) It is so not cool to be this petty, B.) It is also ridiculous to be jealous of your nine year old brother, and C.) Um...You are TWO different people, not the same, but DIFFERENT. Deal with it!!

It seems like such a simple concept, right? There are TWO children, not one. We are dealing with TWO very distinct personalities that do not resemble each other at all. Each situation is completely different from one another. He tried telling us that we used to take the video game away from him for a month at a time and we did it TEN TIMES (of this he was most emphatic) by the time he was nine. This is quite hysterical to me because I don't think we even GOT a game system until he was eight. In order for us to punish him this often, he would have been without the game for about 10 months out of the year! You also have to understand that the times that he actually DID get the game taken away it was because he became obsessive about the game and could not live in the real world with the three-dimensional people!

I just did Nick's high school transcripts for him today (remember, we homeschool him) and he's got a GPA of 3.27, so he's not stupid. He IS, however, petty and jealous of his younger brother. It all goes back to him not forgiving us for not letting him stay an only child. Sorry, dude, your brother is NOT going back! I could see if they were closer in age, but this kind of nonsense is just...well, it's nonsense. You cannot punish two different people the exact same way. No two offenses committed by two different people are exactly the same. I am unsure how to get this point across to him but it's just yet another fun-filled, happy day in our house.

Fun freakin times...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Tides They Are A Turnin'!

As you know, I have two sons that are eight years apart. Sometimes it's hard to compare them because there is such an age difference. Nick was always super friendly, very talkative and you could take him anywhere. I GET him.

Michael is not as social, he's more emotional and not so easy to take around with me. There are times that I look at him and just think...??? But Michael, for all of his little quirks, was the snuggler. Oh, how I love the mornings because he would just come in and snuggle and truly want to be there. I knew I should cherish each and every one of those moments because they wouldn't last long. Well, that's what everyone told me but I refused to believe it.

Well I believe it NOW!

Lately, my sweet little snuggler is quite the grouch in the morning - particularly on school mornings. He yells at me and has flat out told me "No" when I asked if he was coming in to snuggle. Now, I know, I know, he's nine and he was bound to outgrow this, but he didn't have to be so nasty about it!

Then there's school. He's never been a big fan of school but he would go and come home and when I would ask how his day was, he's say it was good and that would be it. Now that question is met with a "good...but". Oy. When it's time for homework, it is a MAJOR power struggle with a ton of "I don't CARE about homework!"

Um, where did my sweet little boy go and who let this argumentative little person who resembles my child in?? I have to admit, I'm having a hard time adjusting to this. I know that kids grow up and I remember when Nick went from being a sweet little boy to an argumentative...person, but I thought he was little bit older than nine, like maybe twelve or thirteen.

This is not good...

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Family...

Dear Family,

As many of you now know, I have a blog. It started out as my own personal thing but then it grew. As you all also know, writing has forever been my passion. I've written many books, short stories, newsletter articles, etc. - none of which have been published. This blog is my only published work.

As a member of this family for 40 years now, what I have noticed is that we are a rather volatile bunch. We tick each other off repeatedly, talk behind one another's backs, get angry, stop speaking for periods of time and then finally move on. And through it all, I think that we all always knew that we loved one another.

One of the reasons that I started this blog, besides my love of writing, was so that I could vent my frustrations in the moment. Most of the things that I write about here are MY issues - not yours, but MINE. Something happens, I get upset or whatever and then I write. It is therapeutic to ME. My intention was never to hurt anyone. These were my feelings that were put out there. My joys, my sorrows, my disappointment with situations. Not one word that I wrote was false - they may not have been flattering to anyone or pretty, but they were never false. I mean, I KNOW you guys have issues with me, as well, it's not just a one-sided thing. You chose to talk to each other about me, I chose to write.

Thanks to one individual's actions, you are now ALL aware of this blog and my every emotion that I ever had in the last year and a half about every situation. I mean, this site is public knowledge but for the most part, most of you never paid much attention to it. Until recently. So I am sorry if things that I have written here have offended or upset anyone. I'm not going to take any more posts down. None of them were written to be hateful, they were merely written when I was upset about something. The person who is distributing them is the one that is hateful.

I did not want to have things come to this but being that certain situations aren't going away, I thought it best to put this out there. I really do love you all. I don't understand you sometimes, just like you don't understand me. Like I said, most of the time, things are said behind my back. This blog just sort of put it all out there.

Do with this information what you will. Just know that I love you.

Love, Stace

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Thankful Heart I Give...

Fourteen years ago, I moved away from the only life I had ever known for a chance to start over. I had never lived more than fifteen minutes away from my family and didn't realize how dependent I was on their precence until I moved away. But God had a bigger plan for me and has shown me how wonderful life can be.

I am sitting here a thankful woman today. Why? Because A.) I have a God who loves me. B.) I am married to a wonderful man who loves me for who I am, unconditionally. C.) I have the BEST friends ever. D.) I have a roof over my head and food on the table. E.) I have a place to come (here) where I can vent my hopes, fears, dreams, rants, etc. To say that life is good would be an understatement.

I'm focusing on the positive right now because for the past month there has been a lot of negative in my life and I was starting to let it get the best of me. I am doing my best to overcome that because I refuse to give the victory to someone who has no kindness in their heart. I am chosing to focus on love, not hate. I am chosing to build up, not tear down.

I pray that I hold on to this mantra and don't let the bad stuff get me down. Keeping myself this far away from the negative forces just once again shows me how God knew exactly where I needed to be and why I ended up living here where I do now. How cool is that?

Life is good friends.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A New Week Begins...

So much to do, so, wait, I have nothing BUT time on my hands. And it doesn't feel good anymore.

We've got to get started with Nick's final year of homeschooling, I have GOT to get the boy back to the DMV in hopes of him getting a license sometime before the end of the century, Frank has band practice twice this week, I also have to make sure I am walking every day in preparation for the marathon, a friend's daughter is getting married this weekend and so I am hoping to help out with that, Nick has work to get to and from, Michael has early release from school on Wednesday, we have a "Mouse Club" meeting on Thursday (for the Disney fanatic friends that I have!) and all of the usual stuff. OH! and then there's getting Nick ready to take his college entrance exam next week. OMG!!! Crazy!!

We had some friends over this morning - my Beeg who I have not had quality time with in MONTHS! I got to brag all about the Def Leppard concert that she missed out on!! We would have had a BLAST together! Next time, Beeg, next time! Then Nick and I hit the bank, the post office and the Chinese restaurant for take out. I feel like it should be bed time already. Up at 6:15, did laundry, vacumed the house, made beds, and generally picked up the trash that seems to appear everywhere...I'm exhausted!!!

And the week is just beginning...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Remember Still...

I remember going to bed with my shoes on...

I remember banging pots and pans on New Years Eve...

I remember black and white cookies, Snack Pack Pudding and drinking hot cocoa out of the Ronald McDonald mug you got for me...

I remember funny jokes while we laid in the dark trying to go to sleep...

I remember going on walks with the dog while we talked...

I remember you thinking that leopard print spandex looked "pre

I remember you dancing to my heavy metal music to make me smile...

I remember long talks after midnight...

I remember being relieved when you came to spend time with me while Frank was getting us settled in another state...

I remember being so thankful for you coming to visit when I felt totally alone...

I remember Sunday dinners together and drives...

I remember going shopping at the mall just for fun...

I remember the many McDonald's Happy Meals you ate so Nick could have more of the toys...

I remember my heart breaking when you moved away...

I remember feeling helpless that I wasn't there to hold your hand when you were sick...

I remember being devastated when you were gone...

On this day, your birthday, I remember you, Grandma. I miss you everyday and love you still.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Can Still "Rock, Rock Till I Drop!"

I was on the edge of my seat all day yesterday. Will we or won't we? Can we or can't we? Well the answer was we will and we can and we DID! What did we do?


That's right, last night I was in my 80's big hair glory. Frank and I went to see Cheap Trick, Poison and Def Leppard in concert. It was AWESOME!!! I honestly didn't think we were going to be able to do it because I really only told him about it on Thursday and in order for us to go, well, the planets pretty much needed to align. A lot of things needed to fall in to place and they all did!!

We were out the door at 5:30, grabbed a quick drive-thru meal at Chick-Fil-A, drove in to Raleigh and hit relatively no traffic. When we made the turn in to the complex, the guy directing traffic motioned us where to park and it was basically like ten spots in from the exit to the parking lot - front row - so we knew that leaving was going to be a breeze. Walking to the pavilion? Not too sure. It turns out that at a brisk pace (thank you Walk Away the Pounds!) we were at the gate in five minutes. This is an important fact because we had to turn around and go BACK to the car because they do not allow cameras in and were doing bag searches! I know, I know, stupid of me to think that they'd let it in but I was not alone in my stupidity! And really, the joke is on them anyway because we all have CAMERA PHONES! I actually got some really, well it was really bad, but I do have some video of a couple of songs on my phone. (Insert me sticking out my tongue to the concert people). I mean, it's an outdoor ampitheater and I figured in this day and age, they'd let the cameras through BECAUSE of the whole camera phone thing. Honestly, what's the difference? You can upload pictures and videos from your phone just like you can a camera! Stupid rules make me crazy!

The crowds were light as we walked through the gate at 6:40, we grabbed some bottled water, rented some lawn chairs and found a great spot - not too close, not too far. In the lawn section, you're pretty far back no matter what so we chose accordingly. Cheap Trick hit the stage at 7:00 sharp and put on a very impressive show. It was still light out so they didn't do much in the way of lights or anything like that, but man, they can still perform. I didn't think they needed any big fancy stage show because the music spoke for itself. If they headlined anywhere, Frank and I both agreed that we'd go. "Surrender" was done a big too fast, but I sang my little heart out anyway! As the opening act, their set was pretty short 35-40 minutes, the crowd was small, but it was still impressive. They were who Frank really wanted to see and so I was glad that they were good.

In the last five minutes of their set, this obnoxious couple came and stood DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME, waving their stupid arms to signal for the rest of their group to join them and so I MISSED the end of the set!!! I shot daggers at them for the rest of the night - even AFTER I moved three feet to the right so that I could actually SEE the stage!

Thirty minutes later Poison took the stage. I LOVE these guys. Last time I saw them was in 1988 and I nearly got trampled to death after the show. Not fun. I had no real expectations because they kind of sucked back then live and I figured that they hadn't really improved. Well, guess what? THEY DID! THEY put on an awesome show! It was darker out now so they had better lighting and pyrotechnics and by now the ampitheater is packed! The music was tight, Brett Michaels can still sing and don't worry son, I did not try and find a way on to the Rock of Love bus to get my bra signed!

I couldn't find it...

Around 9:30, Def Leppard took the stage and they were the ones that I really, really wanted to see. Frank and I saw them back in 2004 or 2005 and while they were good, I was disappointed. You see, I saw them back in their hay-day of the Hysteria tour where they played in the round and I saw that tour two or three times and they were AMAZING. Well, last night, it was like 1988 all over again. There wasn't a lot of lazers like back in the day, but they sang all of my favorites and I just about cried! Joe Elliott was my make-believe husband back in my teens and so Frank (kind and loving man that he is) had to keep me grounded in reality by reminding me that he (Joe) really didn't know I was there. It was not me that he was seeking out when looked in to the crowd, it was not ME directly Joe was referring to when he said he loved us all. Way to kill the dream, hon.

Either way, whether Joe Elliott knew I was there or NOT (I chose to believe that he did), the show was amazing. His voice was strong for MOST of the set. To be fair, he used to have a really high voice and I don't think anyone could pull that off after almost 30 years of performing, so I wasn't surprised when he couldn't do all of the old songs quite the same. The band was great, the stage show was awesome and I found myself singing along to every song. Honestly, it was the PERFECT NIGHT!

You know what makes a concert like this great as an adult? Besides the music? Watching all of the idiots around you. I'm telling you, I'm 40 and I know it. I went last night dressed comfortably and stylishly (I couldn't find any leather or leopard print that looked good on me!) but there were people there - all of the female variety - that had me thinking "Does nobody own a mirror?" When you are older (I'm not naming an age) and significantly overweight, wearing lingerie tops without a bra, a denim mini-skirt and cowboy boots is just not attractive. ANYWHERE!!! Then there were the excessive drunks who just were loud and groping all of the people around them in their groups. That was pretty entertaining during the intermissions. There was the woman who danced like Elaine on "Seinfeld" that had Frank and I basically on the floor laughing for a good part of the evening. And then there were the "Woo Girls". You know who you are...and stop it.

All in all it was just darn perfect. I so love my hubby for doing this for me! He hates 80's big hair bands but, God love him, he did it for me. In the light of the next morning, my throat is killing me, my legs and feet are sore. The remnants of my big hair remain even after almost 10 hours of sleep. But it was so totally worth it!!!

Rock on, friends!

**Note** If any of you out there is into any of these bands, particularly Def Leppard, last night during the show Joe Elliott stopped and talked about someone that they used to perform with who died yesterday. The "Woo-Girls" in front of us wooed during his talk and so I missed who he was talking about. If anyone knows who it was, I'm just curious. Thanks!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Irritating conversation #562

The boys and I went to Target today just for funsy sake. Actually, I had some things that I needed but they tagged along just to browse. We weren't there long before I started to not feel well - my head started to hurt and I just plain ol' felt like mud. We get through the checkout and I ask Nick if he has his wallet on him (because that would mean that he has his permit with him and could drive). Of course he does NOT and so I have to force myself to get behind the wheel and focus on the road.

Okay so we're driving and I'm trying to stay focused on the drive and not on the pain and so I decide to start a conversation. Big mistake! The following is the dialogue that ensued:

Me: Hey, how hard is it to get songs from iTunes?
Nick: For everyone, easy, for us, impossible.
Me: Why?
Nick: You remember...the last time we tried it, something about our computer wouldn't let us do it. That's why I hate iTunes.
Me: Really?
Nick: Yes. It's like impossible to do it and it doesn't recognize the card.
Me: have you tried it lately?
Nick: yes.
Me: Wait...what card?
Nick: You know, the iTunes card. The computer won't acknowledge it.
Me: You still have that card?
Nick: No, I gave that to Beckah eons ago.
Me: (Glaring - long pause, deep cleansing breaths) Okay so how much does it cost to download music from iTunes?
Nick: It's stupid. It's like ninety-nine cents per song.
Me: That's what it is on Amazon too.
Nick: Music should be free.
Me: Music cannot be free! How would anyone make any money?
(Brace yourself friends)
Nick: By doing shows. Then when they aren't touring, they would work real jobs. Imagine if these guys worked in regular places when they weren't on tour.

(Note: Yes, my head is ready to explode at this point and not because of the headache. Continue...)

Me: WHAT??
Nick: No, seriously, imagine how much money they'd bring in to these places by working there when they weren't on tour! Like, say when Eddie Van Halen wasn't on tour, he worked at a Dominos?
Me: (White knuckled grip on the steering wheel, slowly counting to ten) Are you an idiot?? That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! No one would make music anymore if that were the case!!
Nick: Why?
Me: WHY? WHY??? Because if there were no money in it and they had to keep at job at DOMINOS to support themselves when they weren't on tour, there'd be no point in it!!

We stopped talking at that point. I think I moaned. He thought it was because of the ailment, it was really because of him. Beware parents...beware when engaging in conversations with your teens. You just never know what kind of nonsense is going to be spewed at you.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Technology for the Elderly...I Guess

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but I am not particularly tech-savvy. Sure, I get around okay on the computer and have actually FIXED the darn thing when it gets floopy, but for the most part, current technology is a mystery to me. Yes, I still have a Walkman and a portable CD player. There is still a VCR in my home.

But the one piece of technology that I thought I was "cool" with was having an MP3 player. That's right, a 2G MP3 player. Insert your "oohs and aahhs" here. So there I was, feeling all kinds of sassy with my little gadget that was the size of a cigarette lighter - it's red and very cool - and my teenager referred to it as a "ghetto MP3" player. Nice. Charming boy, really. Meanwhile, he's got a 30G iPod with video capacity and pretty much snickering at me each and every time he sees me playing my music. Okay, smart-guy, I KNOW it's not the greatest MP3 player on the market, but it was cheap and it does the job!

Except, that stupid, shiny, high-capacity iPod was just mocking me. Seriously, seriously mocking me with all it's functions. So I mention this to the boy and I'm like "You know, I would really LOVE an iPod. I just can't afford it." And then, sometimes the child just blows me away by how he listens to the small things, he FOUND me an iPod that his friend was selling. And it was only $30. Granted, it's not a 30G, it's still only a 2G but I was like "Look at me! I've got an iPod!! I am so totally rocking this decade!" I loaded it with all of my favorite 80's music and some current stuff to help maintain the hipness of my new technology and was on my way.

Kind of.

There was a lot of fast-talking instructions on how to actually USE said iPod and I was thoroughly confused and began asking myself "When did Nick start speaking Greek?" So in a very condesending way, my child informed me that he would explain. it. all. to. me. again. later. I should get an award for not smacking him in the head but I think I was still confused and thinking about how to make a playlist for his tone to truly be comprehended at that moment.

A couple of days went by and I really wanted to do some editing of my music and Nick was out at a friend's house so I called him and asked him what to do. Well, I didn't understand what he was saying, he didn't understand my questions and so he turns to his friend and he's like "Dude, your mom has a 2G iPod too, right?" WHAT? Is the 2G iPod like the official "Mom" iPod? And I still can't figure it out?? I showed some other kids my iPod and they were like "um, yeah, I had that one like three years ago. Now I have a 72 Flobbityjillion G iPod."

So I guess I'm NOT of this decade. My iPod is like some relic - some stupid, lame, "only losers who don't know anything" iPod. I was so happy when I got, so happy...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And Not Just From the Blogging World...

You know, the last couple of days have been filled with love from the blogging world and I love all of you for it. Yesterday I celebrated the love of my life. I know, I know, I've been bragging on Frank lately but I still cannot believe that we've been together for TWENTY years and yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary! Where does the time go?

Here's the thing that I love most about us - we are just simple people. There was no big fan-fare, no hooplah. We didn't need it. Saturday night both of the kids were out of the house and so we chose that night to make ourselves an awesome dinner by candlelight. It was wonderful. After twenty years together - and we've lived together all but five months of that time - I still fee
l like a young girl when he looks in to my eyes. We sat and ate and talked, but there were moments of just silent "gazing". How corny are we???

Even though we had our romantic anniversary dinner Saturday night, our actual anniversary was yesterday. Frank went to work, I did what I normally do (not much of anything), I made us a nice dinner and then we each had our favorite desserts - Frank, a Napoleon, me - Hagen Daaz Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream. And you know what? It was perfect. Frank felt bad that there were no flowers and no cards but you know what? That really doesn't mean much to me anyway. I mean, sure they're nice but flowers die, cards get thrown out or stuffed in a drawer. It was nice to just be able to sit and talk with one another and still be able to share our hopes, our dreams, our concerns...

I don't begrudge anyone who wants all of the fan-fare and hooplah, but to me that just distracts from the person who made it all possible. So I love you, baby! Thank you for a wonderfully intimate anniversary weekend. You are the best!

Now it's back to the real world, maybe a little less love - laundry is going, turkey chili is simmering and I'm off to do a five mile walk. Have a great day friends!