Thursday, September 30, 2010

Being random on a Thursday...

Life is actually "normal" right now.  Strange, right?  Frank actually has some work, Michael is getting ready to start back to school next week and Nick is...Nick.  No drama, no fighting, it's actually been quiet around here - which is why I haven't had a whole lot to say.   Well, here's what's been going on that is NOT normal...

Clearly I should STOP trying to do anything to maintain my looks because the beauty industry just sucks.  Why?  Okay, first there was the whole Dominican Salon thing.  So I went to another local salon and the first time I went for an eyebrow waxing, it took the girl 20 minutes because she would only wax like 3 hairs at a time.  Not fun.  The second time I went, I got a different girl and she nearly broke my neck with the force she held me down in while she ripped off the wax.  Seriously, I had to use a heating pad when I got home!  So I go BACK there (because clearly I am a glutton for punishment) and wanted to get a haircut.  Three employees, no customers.  One girl is on the phone, the other two are sitting and talking.  One gets up to help me but the other loud mouth just kept shouting questions to me from across the salon in a tone that CLEARLY told me that I was bothering her.  Then she changed the price of the haircut THREE times before I finally walked out!  Crazy bitch.

I have been doing some tutoring lately and the other day the kid's mom was 25 minutes late for picking him up!  Seriously?  She didn't answer her cell phone so now I'm thinking that maybe she was in an accident or something and I had an appointment to get to but I couldn't leave because she wasn't here!  So the kid and I sit and talk.  He has no idea how else to get in touch with her, he doesn't know his dad's work number, I was crazy.  So she finally shows up, the kid leaves, I leave 3 minutes later to get to the appointment.  I did not yell at this kid, I thought we had a nice conversation.  Well the mom e-mails me later on to first, apologize, but then to go on to tell me that he son told her how UPSET I was!  WTF????  First of all, concerned, not upset and secondly, GET BACK HERE ON FREAKIN" TIME!!!

I finally DID get a haircut - at Great Clips.  Seriously?  Have I sunken so low that I have to resort to Great Clips for a hair cut?  Apparently.  So I go, get the cut and it's okay, I guess.  It's a little bit shorter than what I wanted but I know it will grow fast.  So then I decided that I had had enough of my hair color.  I had gotten fabulous high lights back right before graduation and I've been maintaining them and just doing my roots but the color was just looking a bit blah so I went back to my normal hair color last night - solid, no high lights.


I'm not happy with it.  It's dark.  So now, just to re-cap my hair is shorter than I want and darker than I want.  Great.

So there's my drama for this week...the things that make my life what it is.  Crazy...


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OMG...another Disney trip??

Okay, so the Disney store did NOT call me for a job and I have to admit, I'm a little peeved about that.  Not enough so that I would have any ill-will towards the Disney company but they could have at LEAST asked me in for an interview!

We are thinking of hitting Magic Kingdom for a day in November.  We'll be visiting my in-laws at some point and I think that we are going to try and do a day at Disney.  The only thing I am unsure about is whether to do a full day (at $85 per person) or just get tickets for the Christmas Party which gives you seven hours at night in Magic Kingdom for only $48 per person.  I've done both and they are fun but I am so not a night-owl that I fear that I won't feel the joy so much if I am dying to go to sleep.

THEN...because that's not exciting enough for me, my sister and I are trying to plan a trip for March of 2011 for just the two of us.  It's been a while since we've done that and it is TIME!  We have the greatest trips when it is just us and I truly treasure those times together.  So we are looking at prices and trying to find deals so I am SO EXCITED!!!

Let the planning and countdown begin!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Amazing Race is Back!!!

I am almost counting down the minutes until 8:30 Eastern Standard Time.  I have to admit, lately I have been all about the TV but really, life has sucked otherwise and this has been a nice diversion.  

So tonight "The Amazing Race" starts back up.  I don't understand these "new" seasons that seem to be all the rage where shows run in 12 week intervals.  I find it confusing and I hate that they don't do re-runs at all on them so if you miss an episode, you're screwed.  Not fun.  But "The Amazing Race" is truly a great show because I do find geography interesting and so not only are the challenges realistic (unlike those on "Survivor") but you truly get a glimpse in to the culture of the country they are in.  As a family, we enjoy the show.  

In order to kill time today I have (since getting home from church earlier):  Gone to Super Target, eaten lunch, done dishes, called my in-laws, entered in about a dozen books to swap on Paperback Swap, made Frank lunch and DRIVEN it 20 miles away to where he is working today, drove back, called my dad and spoke to him for like 30 minutes, mixed up a batch of dough for Artisan bread, shaped said dough (after 2 hours of rising) in to 16 individual rolls, played about a dozen games on Facebook, and written this blog.

And it's only 4:30.

Time is CRAWLING...

Friday, September 24, 2010

HGTV...I may need an intervention

I am not a huge fan of TV, but I do have some favorite shows that I won't miss:  How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Psych, 30 time shows, once a week, no big deal.  But, oh, HGTV....

Even when our finances were at rock bottom this summer and I had to quit my memberships to the YMCA and Weight Watchers, the next logical step was to get rid of the cable.  But I couldn't.  I mean, we don't have the super-deluxe package, just the basic stuff, 100 channels.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it because then I would miss the ENTIRE HGTV network!  Seriously, when all else fails, I can turn to good ole channel 59 and there they are:  all my shows.  I LOVE House Hunters, Income Property...I have to admit, I have a secret crush (well maybe not so secret now) on the host of Income Property.  He's a little hottie and I do so enjoy his Canadian accent.  

I didn't think that my habit had gotten too bad but I'm starting to notice that Michael knows WAY more about home features than a ten year old should after being forced to watch House Hunters with me and while Frank was on the phone tonight with a friend, completely oblivious to what was on the TV, until I switched on HGTV.  Then all of a sudden he's like "Oh, THIS channel again?"  Really?  I have had to sit through WAY too many Turner Classic Movies and boo-coos of documentaries and I'm getting grief on sitting through 30 minutes of good, clean real estate searching fun?

God help the poor real estate agent we'd get should we ever be able to buy a house.  Now that I've watched all these people doing it on HGTV, I know all of the questions to ask, and what to look for and all that and now...well, I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous...Scary indeed...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crappy Thursday...

Okay so let's take a running tally of all that I did NOT get today...

1.  I did NOT win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes
2.  I did NOT become Susan Mallery's BFF
3.  I did NOT find the miracle cure of this sinus infection/head cold
4.  I did NOT manage to stop at only 4 Double Stuff Oreos
5.  I did NOT save my Won Ton soup for lunch tomorrow AND finally
6.  I did NOT do one thing around my house today and am surrounded by dirty dishes, dirty laundry, chaos and ickiness.

Happy Thursday...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OMG...LOL...BFF's...and Facebook

I know, I know...I spend WAY too much time on Facebook but finally I feel like it is paying off.  Yes, I've gotten all of the high scores on some of my favorite games.  Yes, I have gotten in touch with people I never thought I'd see or speak to again.  And yes, I have surpassed Nick in the number of friends I have.  All of these are great accomplishments but today...TODAY...well, here it is...

OMG...One of my all-time favorite authors (Susan Mallery) has a Facebook page that I, of course, "liked".  I have had the opportunity to write on her wall and actually have her answer me.  For a book nerd like me, this is HUGE!

LOL...She's actually quite funny.  She makes me smile daily with her little blurbs and things that she posts.  I was already on her newsletter list from her main website but it seems a bit more personal on Facebook.  Weird, I know.

BFF's...Susan has a new book coming out on September 28th "The Best of Friends" and so today she asked on Facebook "Why should we be BFF's?" and we had to post a picture of ourselves along with an answer on her page.  So of COURSE, I had to do it.  The winner of the BFF thing will get their picture Photoshopped with Susan doing all kinds of fun things that BFF's do.  Silly, yes, but it would still be cool.

If you are a reader of contemporary chick-lit, check Susan out.  "Finding Perfect" came out earlier this month and is the third in a trilogy that is amazingly good.  "The Best of Friends" comes out next week and I'm sure it will be a huge hit, too.  If memory serves, she has over 100 titles to choose from and is a New York Times Best Seller.  Sweet!

All I can say is that I know to some people it may seem lame or ridiculous, but it is kind of a thrill to interact, even through Facebook, with someone whose work I adore.  As I told her in my BFF bio, I would consider it a huge honor to have my name even once listed in the same author category as her.  I bow to the master...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big step to bring me THISMUCH closer to the dream...

Out of sheer boredom today we went to the mall.  Let me just say that I LOATHE the mall.  I have worked retail for most of my life and back in the day most of that work was done at a mall and I hated it.  I don't enjoy shopping at the mall for any reason whatsoever.

Kind of...

So we're at the mall mainly because it's a Sunday and we needed something to do and Michael has been asking to go to the Lego store that is at the mall.  Honestly, I think I could have found a thousand other things to do but we caved and went.  Now it just so happens that at this particular mall there is a Disney Store right across from the Lego store and so while the boys went wild for Lego's, I went wild at the Disney Store AND...wait for an application for a job!  WOO-HOO! 

Now here's the thing:  first, this is a DREAM of mine - to work for Disney.  The mall is about 30 minutes away so it would not be convenient by any stretch of the imagination but it would be so much fun.  Second, the pay would have to be more than I am getting from unemployment otherwise it's just not worth it.  And third, how freakin awesome would it be for ME to work at the Disney Store and get some employee discounts to go to Disney?  


So I filled out the application and now I wait and see if they actually call.  

Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Random...and bored

So life is somewhat returning to normal.  Frank has some work (praise the LORD!) finally and I am able to breathe a bit again.  It's going to take quite a long time before we are out of the financial hole that his unemployment put us in but I think I see a hint of light at the end of the tunnel.

Michael is tracked out of school right now.  It's the first of our three-week breaks that go with year-round school.  If things had been better financially, we'd be having a ball.  As it is we are pretty much hanging out at home.  The cool thing is that because Nick is out of town, Michael has decided to fill in some of the gaps and actually started doing some chores that he's never done before - like the dishes!  I mean, the boy just went in to the kitchen WILLINGLY and started washing dishes!  I was blown away.  And you know the best part?  I didn't have to RE-wash them!  Awesome!

Life is still tense around here regarding the landlord.  Although he and I made peace, Frank is still pretty bitter.  As it turned out, he DID file a claim against us in small claims court and even though he said that he wasn't going to go, Frank and I still did.  That was a pretty hard thing to do because while I am all like "It's okay, it's over, it's done" Frank was like "I'm here because he screwed us".  Not a fun way to spend an afternoon, let me tell you!  So we are looking at other houses to rent but really, I am afraid to make the move because of our finances and yet I cannot see making my husband stay someplace where he is so miserable and constantly full of hate and rage.  

We were blessed with a new dryer last week.  Well, not "new" new, but new for us since ours died and we were facing the cost of having to buy one.  Some friends of our had found out about our need and invited us over to dinner and gave us a dryer.  We offered them money for it but they declined.  It's not in pristine shape - there are some rust spots - but it dries WAY better than our other one.  We put the old one out at the curb and literally, 5 minutes later someone came and picked it up.  It looked like the truck from "Sanford and Son" but hey, at least it's not in front of my house anymore!

Frank is at a Tom Petty/ZZ Top concert tonight while Michael and I are hanging out at home.  I am feeling so dang lazy that I am almost ashamed of myself.  I have been playing games on Facebook all night.  No, not Farmville or Mafia Wars; I'm totally in to the Solitaire games.  There's this girl from high school that I am Facebook friends with and she is forever beating me at games and so my goal tonight was to take back my top spot.  Petty, yes, but I'm bored.  

Maybe I should find something more productive to do with my time...Nah, I'm off to play Algerian Patience Solitaire!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seriously, 600 miles away isn't far enough...

Nick is up in NY right now visiting the family.  He made the plans without me.  He worked it all out and really, at 18, I didn't need to be involved.  He is an adult; he can make his own plans.

Or so one would think...

I had a couple of calls before he left from relatives that wanted to see him.  "Call him" I told them because really, I was not involved in any of this.  He made the calls, plans were tentatively made.  Until it all hit the fan today.  Majorly.  

He called me this morning just to chat.  There has been an on-going debate as to whether or not to go to a particular concert while he was up there.  He's going, he's not going, he's going, he's not...on and on and on it went until I thought my ears would bleed.  So last I had heard, he wasn't going to the show and he was going to his grandmother's for dinner.  

Or so one would think...

He tells me that he thinks he is going to the show tonight.  I'm like "Did you talk to your grandmother?"  He yammers on about a conversation that was had the night before and she kind of knows what's going on, blah, blah, blah.  So I'm like "Please, please, PLEASE call Nana and let her know that you aren't coming".  This went on through most of the day.  Some time around 3:00, I'm on the phone with my mom and she is describing all of the wonderful things she is making for Nick's visit tonight.

Insert awkward silence here...

So I cautiously tell her that I thought he was going to the show tonight.  This sparks much outrage and she hangs up to call my sister.  Within minutes, she's back on the phone with me (my cell phone).  While we are talking, my house phone rings.  My sister.  I tell her I'll call her back in a few minutes.  Thirty seconds later, the house phone rings again and it is Nick.  I let that go to the machine and he is like "Whatever aunt Karen says, don't believe her!" and hangs up.  So I finish talking to mom, attempt to call my sister, she doesn't answer so now I get the boy on the phone and SCREAM at him for making such a mess out of this whole situation.  We argued, he denied doing anything "really" wrong and I had had enough.  I talked to my sister, we laughed, we plotted ways to make the boy pay for all of this and in the end, he DID go to his grandmother's home for dinner and skipped the concert.

Here's the thing, and it may be a girl thing but I'm just sayin... you know, I can remember being 18 and hanging out with my grandparents was not a top priority.  As a matter of fact, I can remember times when I skipped out on it or cut a visit super short.  Now?  I would give ANYTHING to have a day with them again.  Will Nick feel that way twenty years from now?  Who knows?  But I know that I miss my grandparents more than I ever thought possible and I feel like he doesn't see them all that much as it is so when the opportunity arises, he should take advantage of it because they won't be here forever.  So yeah, maybe it's a girl thing but that's my advice on the subject...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From diamonds to silly bandz...

I grew up in New York.  Long Island.  If you watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey or the Jersey Shore or even Jerseylicious, THAT is what we looked like back in the 80's.  Seriously.  Big hair, obnoxious clothes and TONS of jewelry.  I was draped in it always.

When we moved to NC, I noticed that not all people looked that way.  Honestly, I tired of the jewelry and didn't wear all that much.  But things were tight after the move and so I ended up selling most of my gold.  It didn't make me sad to do it.  I had only one piece of jewelry left (other than my engagement ring and wedding band) that was real gold with real diamond (albeit small ones) and I decided to get rid of that one, too.  I took it to the local pawn shop and was pleased to make a little bit of money.  Actually, I am trying to put money aside so that we can visit my in-laws down in Florida this year and being that we had so many months of Frank being out of work and then getting screwed on this bathroom renovation, we had spent what little we had put aside for the trip.  So little by little I am selling off some things in hopes of raising the money.

But I after I left the pawn shop (and can I just say, with my NY accent, people still think I am saying "Porn" shop) I was driving away and I looked at my hands on the steering wheel.  On my left hand is my wedding band and engagement ring - which I love.  On my left wrist is a Mickey Mouse silly band.  On my right hand is a silly ring in the shape of a heart (a red one) that Michael gave me last week and on my right wrist is my Mickey Mouse watch that I got at Walmart for $10 two years ago that plays the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club.  

As a former Italian princess from Long Island, that is saying a LOT.  But you know what?  These little items on my hands and wrists mean more to me than all of the gold that I had in my life.  I don't miss the gold.  I don't miss the diamonds.  I'll miss the day when my little boy doesn't have time to give me a silly band that he knows I'll love or won't wake me up to place a heart on my finger.  So for now, I will treasure them...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes it pays to open your mouth...

So I ended up making the call to the Xbox people yesterday.  Nick got home and was so frustrated and so I was like "I'll call!" and I did.  

Two things come to mind.  One:  These people are idiots.  I mean, I followed like 27 prompts on the phone, they clearly knew who we were, had us on the big computer screen along with all of our info and then when I finally get a LIVE person on the line, I have to repeat it all again.  Fun.  So after explaining everything to this guy Dwayne, he tells me that he has to transfer me to an account specialist.  Of course you do.  Then, he comes BACK on the line with what I'm sure he thought was an "AH-HA!" moment and was like "Well, it looks like your system was returned to you because it's out of warranty".  

Deep cleansing breaths...


Awkward silence...

Hold please...

Now, I am transferred to not only an accounts specialist but then an escalation specialist.  Clearly they could tell that my patience level had ESCALATED from having to deal with a bunch of idiots!  Twenty minutes and much venting of my frustration and reminding them of how unacceptable all this was, I am soon to be the proud owner of a brand spanking new Xbox, with an Xbox Live membership.

We'll see...

Today's endeavor came in the form of a response to a complaint that I sent to Staples when a super nasty little girl behind the counter made me want to reach over the counter and slap her two weeks ago.  Everyone has a bad day; I know that, I get it.  But sometimes the way that they express that to the customer is just more than unnecessary...this was one of those times.  So I wrote a complaint to the store about it and today I was sent a $20 coupon for my next purchase.  Did I do this in hopes of getting a "reward"?  No.  I did this because I have worked in retail for most of my life and you know what?  You have to have some self control and no matter what you have to at least TRY and be pleasant.  This girl was rude before I even got to the register and that is not acceptable.

Manager's beware...I guess I'm a not-so-secret-shopper...and I've got some time on my hands...

Monday, September 13, 2010

I take it back...XBOX SUCKS!!!

Companies of the world take note:  When I like you and you do right by me, I will praise you and recommend you to anyone who will listen, but when you do me wrong?  WATCH OUT because I will use every media possible to let the WORLD know that you suck!

A couple of weeks ago I was praising Nick because he had this broken Xbox and he had sent it in to be fixed, PAID $100 to have it fixed, and Xbox sent him back a still broken game system.  He called them, they apologized, the told him that for his inconvenience they would fix the system AND give him a gold membership to Xbox Live AND a new game.  Well guess what came in the mail today?  A STILL BROKEN XBOX!!  Now...I am mad.

Nick is at work at the moment otherwise I would TOTALLY be on the phone with these idiots and tell them EXACTLY what I think of them.  But Nick has all of their correspondence stuff and really, he needs to be the one to follow through with them and make this right.  I am practically sitting on my own hands to stop myself from calling them.  

So basically we went to the website, filled out a repair request, PAID THEM since the system was no longer under warranty, and TWICE they have sent it back to us un-fixed.  Does that seem right to anyone?  Does that seem like it is acceptable to take one's money and NOT do what you were paid to do?  I DON'T THINK SO!

Should they not make this right IMMEDIATELY, be prepared for a barrage of XBOX SUCKS comments to be randomly posted anywhere and everywhere I can get them.  It will be my Facebook status, it will be in blogs, e-mails... I will contact any television station with a troubleshooter, I'll contact shows like Dateline and 20/20.  I take this stuff seriously.

Many years ago I had a similar issue with HP.  We bought a computer, I called them with a problem (the computer was 48 hours old) and their customer service person blanked out my hard drive and therefore deleted all of the programs that I had just paid Best Buy to install.  Then they hung up on me!  After DAYS of calling and complaining, I wrote to the president of HP (actually, I emailed their corporate office) and told them that I was now starting my campaign of news media to tell the world how HP treats their customers.  

I got a brand new computer less than a week later.

I don't think that people should gripe just for the sake of griping but when you have been screwed by a multi-billion-dollar company, by all means gripe and gripe loudly!  

I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - A different kind of tribute

If you are reading this post then you can remember that horrible day when it seemed like the world was coming to an end.  I was at a bible study meeting.  Michael was a baby.  Nick was at school.  Frank was at work.  I came home and my sister called and told me to turn on the TV.  Even without all of the media coverage that is showing today, I can still remember it all so clearly.

Families lost loved ones.  People lost friends and co-workers.  American's lost their feeling of security.  

One of my oldest and dearest friends - I'm talking friends since birth practically - has a birthday on September 11th.  There is no joy in celebrating anymore for her because it is a day that is shrouded in sadness.  There is no escaping the "looking back" footage that is all over the TV.  I always felt bad about that and I'm sure that there are some people that would be like "Well, in the grand scheme of things she didn't lose anything".  But she did.  

Is it small when compared to the loss of so many lives?  Absolutely.  Is it small compared to the families whose lives will never be the same?  Yes.  But to her, and to those who love her (like me), you almost feel bad sending a cheery "Happy Birthday" message because all that this day represents.  It's almost as if you feel bad celebrating something that is happy when there are these constant and blazing reminders of all that we lost on September 11th.  

 I've sat in front of the TV for most of the morning watching as the History Channel played documentary after documentary.  I cried.  My heart ached.  I cannot even begin to imagine how those directly affected by that day, who lost loved ones, are coping.  To see the images replayed over and over must be overwhelming.  Every time I see an image of someone who jumped from one of the towers, and it is more than a blur, I have to remember that that PERSON is someone's family.  Somewhere there is someone seeing their loved one in the last ten seconds of their life!  That is the final image that they have and it is heartbreaking and devastating!  I don't think I'd want to see that and I certainly wouldn't want my children or my husband to have to see that.

So the TV is off.  My prayers have been said.  I am here to focus on something happy.  I am choosing to focus on something good.  Someone good.  Someone sweet, someone who has been my friend, my sister, my family for as long as I have memory.  Lisa, I wish you a Happy Birthday.  I wish for you a day that we can celebrate you being born for if it wasn't for you, a lot of my most treasured childhood memories would not be.  If not for you on this day I would not have had an escape from some of my most difficult family times.  Your family always welcomed me and treated me as if I belonged.  It may be years since we've seen each other but you are always in my heart.

Happy Birthday, my friend.  I love you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sooo...this is new...

If you were to ask my husband he would tell you that I am the QUEEN of strange ailments.  It's true.  Ever hear of a pregnant woman's jaw locking open from yawning?  That's me.  Ever step on something microscopic and have your toe turn black?  That, too, was me.  I am forever getting sick with things that just don't make sense.

Yesterday I was sitting here at home and my back hurt.  Not the muscles, but my skin.  It felt as if I had a bad sunburn; there was stinging and itching - the kind that comes when the sunburn is fading.  The only problem was that I had not been out in the sun and there was no sunburn.  Just the pain.  So I had poor Frank GENTLY scratching my back to get rid of the itch but was almost in tears because even the slightest of touches made me want to cry.  What in the world???  

Getting dressed today was painful.  Putting on a bra brought tears to my eyes.  I have no idea what this is...even lying down on cool sheets was a reason to twitch.  And don't even ask how it felt in the shower.  So for now I continue to sit and feel discomfort.  It's not as bad as it was last night but there is still definitely something going on.

Here's the weird thing:  I had to stop using my bath scrunchies (which I get rid of RELIGIOUSLY every two weeks) because it used to cause me to break out and itch all over my shins.  I had actually not used one in months and got a new one the other day and used it in the shower guessed it, wash my back.  Coincidence?  Is there something toxic in the bath scrunchie?  Who knows!  I would be curious to hear if anyone else ever had such a problem...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All I want is a good night's sleep...dang it!

I've heard that it isn't a good thing to let yourself sleep late on the weekends to make up for having to get up early during the week for work or school.  Honestly, I just want a good night's sleep.

My brain goes a million miles an hour when I try to go to sleep.  I am a very deep sleeper until around three in the morning.  Then?  All bets are off.  Pretty much the slightest noise will wake me up and keep me up because then, my brain starts going again. 

I have a night-time cocktail that helps me go to sleep.  Two Melatonin, three Advil and one Benedryl.  I should pretty much be in a coma for a good eight hours, but am I?  heck no!  If Frank is snoring, I am awake.  My fan which is usually my savior to block out the noise, now is making weird noises of it's own that keep me awake.  

What is it like to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep without any assistance?  This is what I want to know.   Once, I was staying at my sister's and told her I was having trouble sleeping.  She gave me an Ambien.  It took TWO HOURS for it to kick in and when it did?  No lie, I was sitting on the couch having a bowl of vanilla ice cream and I literally fell off the couch on to my face!  Luckily Frank was sitting next to me and grabbed the ice cream before it hit the floor too.  Priorities, people. 

Two years later, I'm with my sister again and the topic of sleep comes up again and she's like "Okay, take the Ambien and we'll watch a movie.  This way you know you have some time before it's going to hit."  Good plan, right?  Wrong.  THAT time it hit in less than ten minutes!  We were sitting and watching the Sex and the City movie and I didn't even make it through the opening credits!  She and my mom had to CARRY ME to bed!  Now there's a picture for you!

So I'm off to pop my nighty-night meds so that i can sleep for around four hours.  I am so NOT living the dream!

Monday, September 6, 2010

House Hunters: Stace Edition

One of my all-time favorite shows on HGTV is "House Hunters".  I'm not a big fan of the International version, but the regular one is a must-see for me.

After all of our bathroom drama, we are seriously in the moving frame of mind.  You know, Frank and I sort of sit here and watch it with our own wish list of what we would want in a "new" house.  You know, a mortgage right now is out of the question:  you know with both of us essentially being unemployed.  But what I would love is to find a place that is a rent with the option to buy.  It is amazing to me that you hear all about how people cannot sell their houses and yet they won't consider this option.  

I guess  I can understand this; I mean, not everyone takes care of their rental homes like we do.  In the fifteen years that we have been in this home, we have treated it as our own.  During that time, we have put in cabinets, painted everything, replaced all of the overhead lighting, did major landscaping outside and then, of course, there is the bathroom.  Most of the stuff that we've done was never compensated by the landlord and you know what?  We didn't mind because this is our home and we wanted it to be someplace that we loved living in.  

So what's on our wish list?  At least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dishwasher and insulation!  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bunchy underwear, mom jeans and Victoria's Secret...what a night!

The other night a friend and I went out for dinner and a little mall walking.  I'm not a big mall shopper at all; I enjoy my Target and Walmart, thank you.  So we cruised some stores and then went to dinner and ate WAY too much.  Totally worth it, BTW.

The first store we hit AFTER dinner was Victoria's Secret.  Now I am by no means delusional and think that I am going to look like one of the models in the picture but for crying out loud couldn't there be at least ONE thing in the store that I could have fit in to with a little dignity??  Back when Frank and I were dating and even newly married, I could go in there and get a little something to feel pretty and sexy and be okay.  Now?  Just the thought of TRYING to squeeze in to even the most modest of items in the store was mortifying.  I'm down 25 pounds - and I know I could easily stand to lose 20 more - and I was still too big for the store.  NOT a good feeling after eating way too much at dinner.  Hmmm...could one have to do with the other?  I'd rather not know.  

Walking out of the store in a fit of giggles, we get in to a discussion about underwear in general.  We both admitted that yes, comfort is what matters most but occasionally will wear something a little slinkier for our hubby's.  TMI?  Sorry.  So along THAT line we discuss how difficult it has become with today's fashions to actually WEAR the darn comfortable underwear because jeans today are cut a little low and if you are wearing the comfortable underwear, you almost have to stuff it down (or bunch it, as you will) in order for it not to be seen if you bend over and have it scream "Grandma Alert"!   You know, just because I'm 40, does not mean that I don't want to wear fashionable clothes!  Mom jeans are just not fashionable no matter what you say.  

We exhausted the world of fashion and headed over to Barnes and Noble - a favorite place of mine.  Now, I am an aspiring writer and although I am not as diligent as I should be about getting published, I am still amazed at the CRAP that is out there that actually DID get published!  I mean, really?  The Kama POO-tra?  All about going to the bathroom gets published but I can't??  It just doesn't seem right.  

Oh, the humanity of it all!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Step away from the hot wax!

About three years ago, a hair salon went in to the strip of stores on the corner of my street.  At first I was excited (even though I had a salon that I was VERY happy with) and then when all of the signs went up, it said that it was a Dominican salon.  Now, I am not saying anything negative but do you see the picture of me here on the blog?  I am as white as white can be.  All of the pictures in the window were of women of all ethnic background - but none were Caucasian.  So, I figured no harm, no foul, this just isn't a salon for me.

Then my stylist moved.  Dang her!  Then we had budget issues so getting my eyebrows waxed was a luxury that had to wait.  Well, two weeks ago I finally walked in to the salon next door.  Actually, the woman who owns it is married to the guy who did the plumbing on our bathroom and so I felt like some sort of ice was broken and I felt a little more at ease with going over.  

It was short lived...

His wife is very nice.  She is half Spanish, half black.  She is very exotic looking, beautiful, really, and has a very thick accent.  She has traveled the world and lived in some fascinating places and we were chatting (actually, I think I was babbling) and she had me in the chair with a hot wax ready to go on my brow and she's like "So...three years I am here and you wait until after you meet my husband to come in".

You could have heard a pin drop...

I apologized.  I had no excuse.  I didn't want to offend her by saying that I didn't think that her clientele included white women, blah, blah, blah, I yammered on and on, all the while praying that she wasn't going to wax some funky design in to my face!

After that things were fine.  She did a beautiful job and so we ended the appointment laughing and now, when I call, they tell me they are OUT OF WAX!

Should I be offended??? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another day, another miracle...God is good

Today was a weird day.  I was doing my thing, being kind of lazy and I had this overwhelming urge to call a specific friend.  We don't talk on the phone much and we hadn't seen each other in a while but I felt strongly about having to call her RIGHTNOW!

So I call, we talk, I share with her all that's been going on and by the time we were done, I felt like I had some direction.  She is a very Godly woman and I mean, she said a LOT of stuff, too much to write here, but let's just say that she said EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

I showered, got dressed, went food shopping (had a NASTY encounter with a deli lady), came home and was just doing my thing.  There was nothing remarkable about any of it.  

Then I got a call from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

I had e-mailed them about our situation and basically it all came down to this:  Legally, we cannot withhold rent even though the landlord owed us money.  I knew it, but I didn't WANT to know it.  We still had a great case that would go in our favor and I know we could win in court.  When Frank got home, I told him what I'd learned and we agreed to pay the rent today - thanks to the money we were blessed with yesterday.  He did NOT want to go down and deal with the landlord again so I said that I would.

Well, I was shaking like WILD on the 30 second drive over.  I rang the bell several times before he answered.  He invited me in and we...talked.  Well, actually, we yelled a LOT for the first 20 minutes and then...God gave me an amazing sense of peace.  We both calmed down, we talked, we cried, we asked each other for forgiveness.

Bottom line, he paid more than he wanted to and we accepted less than we wanted and now, the slate is clean.  There have been many misunderstandings over the years and we cleared the air on all of it.  As I was leaving, I actually hugged him and told him how I felt like for the first time in 15 years, we actually talked and got to know one another. 

We shared our faith and actually it was one of the most spiritual moments of my life!  I felt like I was flying when I left.  I didn't realize how much tension and stress I was carrying with me!  You know, I've had people say that in certain situations they have felt a super-natural kind of peace and the God gave them the words.  I truly felt that today.

So God is not only a God of the heavens and the earth, he is also a God in petty disagreements between tenants and landlords; he is the God of peace and love.  This was an amazing lesson and I am just offering my praise to Him for it.