Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Whew!  I am telling you it is so GOOD to be home!!

Let me give you the Reader's Digest version of our trip:  First, Michael got sick last Sunday (before we left).  I kept him home from school on Monday and Monday night he threw up and there was some blood in it.  Yuck.  So on Tuesday we took him to the doctor and lo and behold, he has strep.  In order to make things easy on both him and us, they gave him a shot of Penicillin. By Wednesday morning, he seemed to be doing okay.

Now, during all of this, starting also on Monday night, Michael complained of an itchy eye.  He rubbed it so much that the right eye swelled up.  Actually, it looked as if something bit him under the eye but after a dose of Benedryl and a cold compress, he was fine.  Tuesday afternoon, after the trip to the doctor, it happened again.  Okay, fine, another dose of Benedryl and a cold compress and again, fine.  Two hours later, his OTHER eye looked like it had a bubble on his lid!  I did the cold compress on it and after a little while, it was fine.  We did eye drops and again, he was okay.  

On the road Wednesday, he complained that his eyes were itchy and to be honest, once we hit Florida we were all feeling all kinds of allergy nonsense.  We got to my in-laws and by the time we had dinner, both his eyes were red and puffy.  I ran to Walgreens to see if the Pharmacist could recommend anything and he could not - but suggested getting him to an urgent care.  It was 9:30 on Thanksgiving Eve, no one was open.  I called the pediatrician after-hours hotline and they upped his dose of Benedryl but recommended an urgent care, as well.

Well, when he woke up the next morning, his whole FACE was swollen!  It was so scary!  We put him in the car, tried one urgent care (it was closed) and then hit the ER.  We spent almost FOUR HOURS there to have a doctor say "He's having an allergic reaction to something".  Really?  You think?  They gave him a dose of Prednisone and Benedryl and told us to keep up the Benedryl three times a day for a few days until the swelling goes down.  Can I tell you how MISERABLE and tired he was?  He slept through Thanksgiving dinner and was pretty much cranky the rest of the time.  

Are we having fun yet?

Friday wasn't much better for him.  He was still a bit puffy, still cranky.  Nick and I went shopping in the morning and then I got a massive migraine.  I tried to nap it off but it didn't work out too well.  We took Michael for a follow up and were told that he was going to be fine...who knows why he had a reaction but they don't think it was to the Penicillin.  We went out to dinner Friday night, shopped some more on Saturday and on Sunday...I got to go to Disney!!

We did "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party" and it was amazing!  We shopped and had lunch at Downtown Disney first and then went and saw the life-size ginger bread house at the Grand Floridian and then hit the Magic Kingdom from 4:30-midnight for the Christmas party.  I took about 150 pictures and it felt like we walked about ten miles by the time the day was over!

I could barely walk on Monday and spent most of the day in an exhausted haze.  We left Florida this morning around 10 and got home around 7:30.  It is now around 10:15 and my laundry is drying, we are completely unpacked and the house is in order.  We have school and work in the morning and life is returning to normal.

Life is good...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stop touching me!!!

Back when I was much, much younger, my family took two trips.  They were both to Florida and we drove both times.  From New York to Florida.  Without stopping.  I am 41 years old and that last trip I had to be around 7 and yet I STILL have flashbacks to it.  

As we prepare to make the drive to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving, it is exhausting to think of everything that we will need to make sure that everyone is entertained, no one is touching anyone, and that we have everything that we'll need in case of an emergency.  I'm telling you, I need a vacation from planning and packing for the vacation!

There are multiple suitcases filled with everything that four people will need for five days.  There is a cooler jam packed with sandwiches, drinks and snacks for a ten hour drive so that we don't have to stop for anything.  There are portable DVD players so that there will be something for the boys to watch and not have to talk to one another (or us!).  There are bags of books, magazines and portable electronic devices guaranteed to keep everyone entertained should everything else fail.  

The adults get to...sit and listen to the DVD players that we cannot see, not have radio and generally sit quietly so that the children can hear all of their entertainment.  Well, unless I go out and purchase headphones for them so that maybe we, the weary drivers, can actually be entertained.  

By the time we arrive at our destination, the last thing I want to do is be near anyone or sit anywhere.  My fingers are crossed for a good, safe and friendly trip!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For the Love of Susan Mallery!

I cannot say it enough:  I LOVE Susan Mallery.  I think I am closing in on having read everything that she has written so I can only hope that she has something new coming out soon.  If not, let me take a moment to say: "Write, Susan, Write!!"

Anyway, check out the Fool's Gold Holiday Wishes Magazine from Susan Mallery.  I guarantee you will become a fan.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some simple truths...

Okay, so I totally borrowed this from Comedy Plus...a very funny site.  I hope this makes you all laugh and I guarantee you will be able to relate to at least SOME of them!

  1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
  5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
  7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  10. Bad decisions make good stories.
  11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
  12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
  13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.
  15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? **** it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another NaNoWriMo Update...

Okay, so here we are coming in to the home stretch and I am at...drumroll please...

37,000 words.


It has been such a struggle to get things down on paper or typed up or however you want to say it.  I am not a consistent writer, that's the real problem.  I am easily distracted and ideally, I would not be doing this at home.  This was the week from hell and my writing time was next to none.  

Oh, and did I mention that I don't really HAVE until the 30th to finish?  No, I have until Tuesday night to finish because we leave Wednesday morning for our Thanksgiving trip and I don't think I'll have time to write while we're away and we won't be back until the 30th.  So really, time is certainly NOT on my side.

Oh, and on Sunday I am cooking an early Thanksgiving feast for family and friends, Monday I am helping a friend with a cleaning job, followed by an appointment at human services and then on to the doctor and Tuesday I have a 90 minute class.  PLUS...I have to get our family of four packed and ready to leave.

Can somebody tell me where I'm going to find the time to write 13,000 more words???


Friday, November 19, 2010

I didn't completely go off the deep end...

but it was close.

The good news is that the van now has a brand new alternator and battery.  Frank installed them both and the van is running. there is a squealing sound.


At this point, I don't know what to do with him OR the van.  I'm tired of hearing about it.  As I'm sure most of you are.  But on another note of husband fell asleep on the bed like an hour ago (around 9:30) and he normally stays up until 2 a.m.  Now, I cannot move him or wake him up and cannot get myself in to the bed because he is on top of all the blankets in the MIDDLE of the bed.

Seriously, at any given moment you are either going to be seeing a story about me on the 11:00 news or on America's Most Wanted because I am losing it BIG TIME.

I have a doctor's appointment in the morning with a new practice and when I called them today the "dude" that answered the phone (on speaker phone) was CLEARLY put out by the fact that I wanted an appointment.  If I come to find out that it was the actual DOCTOR with the attitude, it will be my first and LAST visit.

I got to run around and do my own thing today - no errands to mechanics or auto part stores and it felt glorious.  I went to the dry cleaner, the post office, food shopping at two different grocery was nirvana!  I took a friend out for ice cream and I actually got to drive!  It's the little things really that make me happy.  

I got a call from my sister today that she was worried about our dad.  He lost his business and can't find a job and he is full of despair...much like the rest of the country.  As it turns out, Crazy Nancy decided to put her two cents in and contact my sister to voice her concern.  Really?  Now you're concerned, psycho?  How about giving him back all of the money you stole from him?  That might show that you were really concerned.  I mean, how much longer are we going to have to deal with this messed up, jacked up lunatic before she just goes away?

I called dad.  We talked and you know what?  We're all in the same boat and it sucks.  There is no other way to put it.  His situation is a little worse because he's not talking to my stepbrother and so he has no family there for him for the holidays.  I understand.  There were MANY holidays that I wished I had family come and visit...but none did.  Well, that's not true; my grandma was with me for the first four years we were here and my in-laws always came for Thanksgiving and my sister-in-law and her family came for a lot of Easters.  I can't say that I feel bad for him, but I understand his sadness.  Life is just sucky sometimes.

After my appointment with Dr. Personality, I have to power clean the house because we are celebrating an early Thanksgiving with some friends.  I am looking forward to that.  I LOVE cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Strange, right?

Anyone have any fun plans for the holiday?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I need a break!!!

So today officially SUCKED.

I had barely 24 hours of freedom with my own vehicle before the van died.  Frank was kind enough to wake me up at 1 a.m. to inform me of this situation.  Why? No one knows.  I mean, really?  Was I supposed to get up and fix the darn thing?  All he managed to do was to wake me up and make me worry.  Luckily Nick was working today so I just borrowed his car to run my errands.

Oh...the errands.

In a nutshell, follow the craziness...
1.  Went to town hall to pay my electric and water bill.  Dropped them in the drop box.  
2.  Went by the mechanic to see about a battery he was checking on for us.  It was the one that came with the van but didn't work.  It was bad.  This left us in a pinch because when the van died last night, it was battery/alternator related.  Frank told me that I needed to go home and pull the battery out of the van and have it tested.  This battery is from the van that has no transmission and we used the battery from it when we couldn't get the new van running on Monday.  Right, because I am known for my engine repair skills, I'll get right on that.
3.  Went to the auto part store to pick up an alternator

It was all down hill from there.

When I got home, there was a truck parked out front from the town.  They were shutting off our power.  I'm like "WHAT??  I JUST PAID THE BILL!"  Keep in mind that I have lived in this town, in this house for 15 years.  I have paid my electric bill on the 18th for as long as I could remember.  Apparently, they have changed the way that they are doing things (including the billing cycle) and so my due date is no longer my due date and they will no longer be issuing notices to let you know that you are about to be turned off.  So now I have no electricity and no idea when it will be turned back on.  Fabulous.  

I get in the car and call Frank, ready to cry and he's like "I knew you were freakin going to call me about this" (meaning, the battery).  And he had a "tone" that just threw me over the edge.  There was much yelling and venting (on my part) and I reminded him that I am NOT a mechanic and for somebody who cannot do a load of laundry without my holding his hand, how DARE he get pissy about me not being able to remove the dang battery!  I explained all that happened with the electric bill and he's like "So?"  Sure, no big deal for him.  He is somewhere that there is ELECTRICITY!!  We argued about the rules and whatnot and then got back to the battery issue.  I'm like, I am not doing this.  I have no idea what the tools look like that I need and really, his workbench is a mess.  He tells me (quite emphatically) how organized his tools are.  

Really?  That's your argument here, your tools are organized and therefore I should be able to remove the battery.  And you know, just to be clear, it's not that I couldn't do the job, I'm sure that once I found the tools, I could have done it.  It was the arrogance and the demand that I do it that pissed me off.  When I am in crisis, I do not get that kind of quick-service, jump up and "Let me get that for you, honey" like he is demanding from me.  Truth be known, I told him Monday night to get the alternator and put it in.  I had the auto part store on the phone HOLDING one for us.  But no, what do I know?  Now, because of his refusal to listen, we killed a second battery that we had to buy.  That's $100 I'll never see again.  Thanks for listening, sweetheart!

I get home and Nick is like "Well?  Did you pay the bill?" and honestly, I just broke down. I cried like I have not cried in years!  I curled up on the bed in the fetal position and just bawled for a while.

In the meantime, my son, in the ultimate act of generosity, walked outside, called his father and pulled the battery himself.  My hero!  We dropped that battery off at the mechanic, dropped Nick off at work, drove in to Raleigh to Sears to exchange some socket wrench thing that needed to be replaced, drove to where Frank was working because he had my car and I needed my phone charger from it (since I had no freakin electricity, and my phone was about to die, it was my only option), put gas in Nick's car, shopped at Target and then grabbed myself some lunch and was prepared to eat it in the silence of my home.

I got back here, sat down, pulled out the laptop and put a DVD in and after one bite of my chicken sandwich, I saw the guy from the town go by the window to turn the power back on!  YEAH!!  By now the mechanic called to say that battery number two is bad and we'll need another one.  I call five different places to get the best price on a battery, wait for Michael to get home, go pick up the battery (after getting the old one from the mechanic to trade in), head home, work on some freelance articles that I had due today, went shopping for items for our Operation Christmas Child shoe box, picked Nick up from work, came home, finished the freelance articles and ordered Chinese food.

I am mentally whipped.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is it wrong??

Seriously, is it wrong to just want to sleep all day?  It's like I cannot fall asleep before 11:30 which makes me crazy and then when the alarm goes off at 6:15 I am exhausted.  I want a day where I can sleep until...whenever the heck I want!

And you know what?  It is NOT easy to go back to sleep after Michael leaves for school because by that time, I've been up for over an hour.  Then Frank comes back to get ready for work and believe me, he is NOT quiet.  By 9 a.m. the phone will ring at least once and scare me to the point of having a near heart attack and then I will realize that I'm too awake to go back to sleep and want something to eat.  I won't eat, however, because I'm not a fan of breakfast foods so I'll convince myself to wait until lunch.  By 10:30 a.m. I will want to throw up because I am so hungry and then will remember that I forgot to take my thyroid medicine which requires me to wait an hour before eating.  

So by 11:30 I am not feeling the hunger anymore but psychologically I feel like I should eat.  So I will start the hour-long debate of "what do i want for lunch?"  Yes, this debate happens daily because I am one of those people who has to eat something specific, something that I am totally in the mood for and that causes all kinds of grief, anxiety and sometimes crying because there is usually nothing here that I want and so I will have to get in the car and get something. This was a HUGE problem when I had no car.  But that dilemma is over with.  

I'll end up eating somewhere around 1 p.m. and by two, I am sleepy and remembering that I wish I could have slept in earlier and then contemplate a nap.  By the time I argue that with myself, it is too late to nap because Michael will get home at 3:30.  There is the whole getting home from school ritual of talking about his day, discussing homework and whatnot and then before I know it, it's time to start thinking about dinner.

The whole dang day is done and nothing has been accomplished and most of it could have been avoided if I could just sleep the whole dang day away.  Don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Puppy...and other things...

Okay, so back when I was little, I had open heart surgery.  I must have gotten every toy that was on the market.  I had every Weebles playset known to man and a good assortment of dolls.  I can remember my grandparents giving me a small/portable black and white tv for my room at home!  Something my kids would laugh at today.

But somewhere around that time I got a book called "Happiness is a Warm Puppy" by Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts.  Now, I was a HUGE Peanuts fan.  My grandfather called me every time there was a Charlie Brown special on the TV and I have to tell you, that is something that makes me tear up to this day!  My kids never got to experience anything like that so Frank and I make a big deal when these specials come on and I probably blather on with the same "Grandpa used to call me" story until the boys want to throw something heavy at me!

Anyway, a couple of years ago I was sitting in this little ice cream shop that was here in the historic district.  There were many little rooms in it and they held parties and whatnot there but in each room there was a small bookshelf with an assortment of old books.  Lo and behold, what did I find but a copy of the old "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"!  I almost cried!!  I was there with a friend and she went to the owner and shared my story and the woman gave me the book!  I cherish that.  

So the other night I am out with the girls and we are in the Hallmark store in the mall and what do I see but a display of items from the "Happiness..." book!  I had no choice, friends, I HAD to buy the tiny little Snoopy!  He was the very first thing that I learned to draw when I was a little girl and I don't know why, but this tiny little stuffed animal just makes me happy.  

Now for something really snarky that makes me happy.  The post couldn't be too darn sweet, could it?  Okay, so I'm on Facebook the other night and someone sends me a picture of an ex-boyfriend of mine.  This is the guy who pretty much dragged me through the pits of hell with his selfishness and arrogance and I thank GOD every day that my mother stepped in when she did (even though I didn't appreciate it at the time) and forced me to not date him anymore.  But here's the funny thing, he was so cocky and arrogant about his looks.  He actually had a swagger.  His hair was his obsession.  Do you see where I'm heading with this?  Well, as of today he is BALD, not at all attractive, he's got some sort of Foo-Man-Chu mustache going on that looks ridiculous, he's on this third wife (who is much younger) and she is fatter than me.  

CLEARLY I am the winner in that breakup!!

Sure, it's petty and childish but you know what, THAT made me happy too!! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Here! It's Here! It's Here!!

Honestly, this is the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time.  

The van is here!!!

It took a LOT of time and effort to get it in to our driveway, but it is there and right now Frank is outside getting ready to put in a new fuel pump.  Then...I get to wash it (and yes, I actually ASKED to do that) because it is filthy and then, the very best thing gets to happen...

I get my car back.

All mine.

All the time.

But first I'll have to power clean it to get rid of the painter debris that is ALL OVER IT!  

I'm giddy!  This is like the best news I have had in a long, long time!  And you know what?  None of this would not have happened if I did not have people praying for us and one friend in particular who made it all happen - he actually FOUND the van, checked it out for us, helped us get it moved here to the house AND removed the old fuel pump so that Frank could install the new one today.

So to our dear, wonderful, awesome friend are my hero!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vans, Sunday school and stuff...

Okay, so no sitting in the van Saturday night because we could not pick up the van.  I have to admit, I think I was more upset than Frank.  It's like these people are holding the key to my prison cell and they are not willing to let me out!  I know that is not really the case but that's what it feels like.  So the plan is to pick up the van some time today in the afternoon.  I am hoping that it will be while it is still light out so that he can actually get the fuel pump off and just have to put the new on on on Monday morning.  

I'm having Sunday school issues.  I have to be honest, I have been a Christian for almost 15 years and until this last year, I have NEVER gone to Sunday school.  I go to church, I listen to the sermon, I go to a small group once a week...Sunday school is just not my thing.  This time last year, I had signed up for a Sunday School on the book of "Hebrews".  I was excited about it but the teacher was just awful.  I mean, he was a bit condescending and he apparently was used to teaching seminary students because he used a lot of "As we all know..." or "As I'm sure you've memorized..."  You know what?  I did NOT know and I had NOT memorized and he made me feel like an idiot and so I did not go back to the class after the first two.  

This time around I was excited about the class I signed up for and while the topic is great (Tough Questions), the way the class is run is not.  The teacher breaks us up in to discussion groups to go over his outline.  I know this is going to sound stupid and picky, but I do NOT learn well in a discussion setting.  When there is a lot of noise going on around me, I cannot hear what is being said in my group and I get overly confused and end up hearing bits and pieces of everyone's discussion.  I end up getting frustrated and annoyed and just wanting to leave.  

The main problem is that my entire small group goes to this school and I don't want to be the Sunday school drop out but really, I'm at the point where I'm just going to be seen by them.  So do I stay or should I go??  I just don't know!

I haven't written anything for NaNoWriMo in DAYS!

I had a donut from Dunkin Donuts the other night WITH a chocolate milkshake.  Is that wrong?

I have the best friends in the world.  I had an awesome girls night on Friday night and it was just exactly what I needed.

Hopefully, today will go as planned and by Monday, there will be a working van in my driveway and I will be driving my own car again.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The countdown is on...

Brace yourself, people...we might have a van...

I kid you not.  We are supposed to hear from someone tonight after six and possibly go and pick it up!  

Can I just say...WOO-HOO!!!

It is a little bit older than what we wanted but it has a rebuilt engine with very low mileage and it needs a fuel pump.  I am so psyched I can barely stand it!  So I tried to get us ahead of the game today so that Monday morning all we'd have to do is be at the DMV at opening time so that Frank could actually drive the van to work but no such luck.

I went to the auto parts store today - not something that I enjoy - and while they had a fuel pump in, it was not the "complete" kit and unless we knew what specifically we needed, it was not wise to buy the part.  The store is closed tomorrow so even if Frank spent tomorrow getting the fuel pump off and out, there's nothing we can do until the auto part store opens on Monday and we can go and buy the part.  

Dang it!

I tried, I honestly tried.  

So basically if all goes according to plan tonight, we will go and pick up the van and bring it home.  We will both sit in the van and marvel that it is actually here and ours.  We'll clean out the inside and make it look nice.  Tomorrow we will power clean the outside because, honestly, it is filthy.  We went and saw it last night and while it is in great shape, it is covered in dirt.  We'll get the fuel pump off and then wait until Monday to finish the rest.  

The freedom light at the end of the tunnel is near!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Always read the fine print...

So I was up this morning at 6:15.  Like always.

I got Michael up at 6:30.  Like always.

Frank got up at 7:15.  Like always.

I had washed dishes, Michael had taken the trash cans to the curb, I made him breakfast (oatmeal) and tea for both him and Frank.  I made the bed.

At 7:45 the phone rang and it was Michael's friend Eric.  We're like "Why in the world is Eric calling at 7:45 on a school day?"

At 7:46 we realized that it is Veterans Day and that there is NO SCHOOL TODAY!

This is what I get for "scanning" the class weekly newsletter...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Okay, so it was a productive day.  Michael stayed home from school due to bad allergies and so I got to sleep in a little bit.  A nice treat, to be sure. I stayed in my jammies for a good portion of the day and again, it was a nice treat.

I did a LOT of writing today for NaNoWriMo - a total of 7,000 words today which gives me a total of 25,000 words.  I am feeling pretty dang good about it.  While I want nothing more than to edit what I've got, I am refraining and waiting until the very end - which is what they recommend.

Frank hit a snag in his quest for a van.  We found the perfect van; it had everything that he wanted included low mileage.  the price was a little high but we know a guy who knows the owner and we were pretty much guaranteed that the seller would work with us.  

Not so much.

After WEEKS of phone tag, Frank finally met with the seller.  This van has been for sale for 18 MONTHS.  I kid you not.  He is asking almost $2,000 MORE than the Kelly Blue Book value and so when Frank made his offer, which was in between the blue book value and his request, the guy turned him down.  Can I just say GREEDY???  I mean, it must be nice to NOT need the money to the point that you'd rather let this vehicle sit and ROT rather than sell it.  Needless to say my husband is NOT a happy camper right now and to be honest, neither am I.  I was really looking forward to getting my car back.  


Another week, another...well, sucky week.  I'll have to see who I can bum a ride from tomorrow.  

Good times...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update...

I'm not going to lie to you, I started out strong.  Day one, November 1st, I wrote 6200 words.  I was on FIRE. 

It was all down hill after that.

Tuesday hit and I could not think of a single word to put on paper.  Actually, let go back and actually tell you about Monday.  I was psyched.  I was prepared.  I was going to have the house to myself for the most part.

The phone never stopped ringing.  On and on, all the live-long day, the phone kept ringing.  I even took it off the hook at one point but we have two handsets and so for some bizarre reason, the one that I did NOT take off the hook would ring.  And everyone that called was someone that I wanted to talk to and they were all calling with legit reasons to talk.  

Monday was also the first day of Harlequins "So you think you can write" five day challenge so I was getting in on that action to (note to self: waste of time).  By three o'clock I was LIVID.  I had one paragraph - one SHORT paragraph - written and then Frank called.  Poor Frank got all of my frustration vomited on him.  

He wasn't happy about it.

By dinner time, I had finally got in to the groove and could not stop.  It was exhaustion that took me away from the computer some where around ten.  I felt great.  I figured that at that rate, I wouldn't NEED thirty days because I was cranking along, leaving everyone in my dust.

And then Tuesday hit and honestly, I could not form a single though, think of a single word...nothing.  Okay, I'm still ahead of the game, I won't push my luck, I'll start again on Wednesday.  Nothing.  Thursday.  Nothing.  Friday.  Nothing.  Honestly, I did not start writing again until Saturday afternoon BUT...and I amaze myself, I am now up to 15,000 words!  Now here it is Sunday and I've got nothing.  I frustrate the hell out of myself!

Luckily later on today Frank is going out to look at some studio space with the band (I think they're going to cut a demo cool is that?) and Michael will go out to play and I will be alone.  Until six.  Then Nick and Beckah are going to be here for this big Italian feast of a dinner that I am making.  I started the sauce yesterday with meatballs, sausage, Bragiole in it and I'm making Fusilli with ricotta, garlic bread and a salad.  My brain will be numb from all of the eating for sure after that!

So, to recap, 15,000 words down, 35,000 more to go by November 30th.  I'm off!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pampered Chef Yumminess!

So I had a Pampered Chef party tonight and can I tell you how much fun I had?  I mean, I didn't have a lot of people show up but we just laughed and laughed and laughed and then Suzi (my awesome PC consultant) made two of the yummiest things!  The first was a pull-apart antipasto-type thing with artichoke hearts, red peppers, olives and mozzarella and then the dessert was a banana caramel ravioli.

I kid you not.

You use crescent roll dough, sliced bananas, Rollos candies, and caramel sauce.  OH...MY...GOD.  I don't even LIKE bananas and I loved this dessert!  Frank and the boys polished them off after the party and they are definitely something that I would make again.  We were discussing (the girls and I) what other things that we would put inside the ravioli - fun size Snickers, more Rollos, less fruit, topping it with chocolate sauce...the possibilities are endless.

If you've never had a Pampered Chef party, you totally should.  Besides their awesome products, the food is phenomenal!  They've branched out from just cookware to some spices, seasonings and sauces.  They're all good!

But really, the best part of the night, was the time with my friends.  I mean, we just laughed and were downright silly.  I love a night like that.  Girls nights are always fun and this just gave us the opportunity to get together.  So now I am full from the yummy food and feeling good because I had a good night with my friends.

A good night indeed...

Friday, November 5, 2010

When you're not friends with the people you're friends with...

Does that make sense?  And no, it's not a Facebook thing.

I was talking with a friend the other day about her upcoming birthday and the party that she wants to have and the topic came up of how many and who to invite.  She's social; she belongs to several groups as well as her church but she doesn't want a big party so where do you draw the line.

This actually created quite a fascinating conversation!  It was one that I could totally relate to, as well.  I mean, I belong to a fairly large church.  I see a ton of people that I talk with, laugh with, study with...on Sunday's.  When I was homeschooling and part of the homeschool community, there were people that I saw at meetings, talked with, laughed with...once a month.  That's not to say that I don't think of these people at other times or that I don't talk to them when I see them outside of these venues but really, these were our main points of common ground.  When I see them in the store, it is a treat and we stop and chat but if I were to throw a party, there are a lot of people that would not be on the list.  Not because I don't like them but mainly because we are acquaintances and not close friends.  

I don't mean that to sound harsh, I really don't.  I have a smaller group of friends that I am close with.  These are the people that pick up the phone and call me and vice-versa.  These are the people that I have more of a connection with.  

So back to my friend's party.  We talked about it and really, I hope that she doesn't feel pressured in to inviting people that she is not close to just because she knows them.  She's good that way, never wanting to hurt anyone's feelings.  I reminded her of a mutual friend who had a party that NEITHER of us were invited to.  I'm not going to lie to you, I was a little miffed by that snub.  My friend was even more so miffed because she has spent a LOT of time with this other person and to be left out of the party was really...well, it wasn't nice.  

It makes you question the friendship.  I have friends who get together for special events (dinners, concerts, vacations, etc.) and I do not get included.  Am I hurt? Not really.  After all, they are entitled to do things without me.  It's not ALL about me all the time!  But there is something about a "party" that makes it a bit sensitive.  Maybe I'm rambling, I don't know.  All I do know is that sometimes you're not really CLOSE friends with the people that you're friends with and sometimes you have friends who THINK they are closer to you than they really are. 

Communication...that's all I'm sayin.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marriages and stuff...

I have to admit, I have a pretty awesome marriage.  That's not to say that we don't fight or that we don't do things that irritate the snot out of each other but at the end of the day, we are strong together and in love.  I think it took until we were together (including dating) for about six years before we actually started to settle in and get in to the type of place where we were both growing together.

For us, it took moving away from our families for that to happen and starting over fresh in a new state.  I don't recommend this for everyone; we just got lucky.  By the time we moved here, our marriage was a mess and I don't think that we particularly even LIKED each other but we stayed together because that's what you do.  Now, here we are fifteen years AFTER that move, stronger than ever.

But you know what I always find amusing, the way that other marriages work.  It's true.  Think about what works for you and your spouse and think of the advice or stories you get from your friends.  For example, Frank and I are a partnership; there are things that he takes care of and there are things that I take care of.  Occasionally we will confer with one another but her trusts me to make decisions and I trust him.  If it is something major, of course we discuss it.  But I have a friend who discusses EVERY decision with her husband almost down to what to wear that day or how to style her hair.  I don't agree with it, but it works for them.  She prompts me quite often with "Did you ask Frank about...?" and really, the answer is no because he does not WANT to asked about the trivial things.  I know this to be a fact because I tried it for a week.  Everything I did, any extra purchases, every where I wanted to go, I asked him and you know what?  He was MAJORLY annoyed.  

I had to finally confess as to why I was giving him all of this information and he told me that he trusts me to make the right decision because he loves me and I am an adult.  I liked that.  There is courtesy and then there is well...just too much courtesy, I guess.  Either way, what works for my friend's marriage does not fly here.  

I have come to learn that we are not joined at the hip; he can have his friends and I can have mine and we all don't have to hang out together.  Once a week he goes with his friends to play with the band or maybe out someplace and, when finances were a bit better, I went out for a ladies night once a month.  Mine was only once a month because I do things that cost more:  Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, a movie, shopping...the works.  Other than checking with each other about when we are going out, I don't ask "permission" to go or what I am allowed to do and vice-versa.  Again, if that works for you, super.  It does not work here.

And finally, another situation we have run across is that I don't schedule his time.  I do occasionally invite people over for dinner and so that means that Frank will be here (especially if he wants to eat!) but I don't sign him up for events, I don't prompt him on what he should be doing in his spare time, I don't expect my "causes" to be HIS causes.  That's not right.  I know that I would hate it if he filled up MY spare time with things that only were important to him.  OR...along those same lines, if my causes interrupted his spare time.  That's why I try not to hold meetings or get-togethers here in the house because that means that he has to leave.  

A friend told me recently that she had read or heard somewhere that our husbands should be our first ministry.  I am all about that.  But remember, every ministry is DIFFERENT.  What works for you and your husband does not have to work for all of your friends' marriages and don't push your will on them!  

I'll be stepping down from my soapbox now....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sentimental value or stuff?

I don't mean to brag but I am kind of a decluttering queen.  That's right.  I declutter my home like a maniac and there is very little stuff around here anymore that is excess.

It started out at first because we needed money so I would declutter and do a yard sale.  Then it was because the house was small and we didn't have alot of extra room for useless things so if you weren't using it, it had to go.  Now?  it's back to we need the money. 

I have my grandparents china.  It's really nice, it's service for 12, it has platinum going through it.  It is packed up in boxes in my shed.  I don't use it.  I don't have a formal dining room and I rarely have 12 people over for a fancy dinner.  That's not to say that I've never used it.  I can count on one hand the amount of time that I have used it in the last 19 years.  So what do I do with it?  Do I keep it in the shed, collecting dust for sentimental reasons or do I sell it?  Although, here's the funny thing with that, it's a beautiful set, it is practically antique, it has platinum in it, but I cannot find ONE THING about it on the internet to tell me what it is worth.  I mean you can find ANYTHING on the dang internet, but not this china!

I also have an antique tea set that was my grandparents.  It is a lovely set, it's from the 1920''s in my curio cabinet.  Collecting dust.  Here it is:
It is lovely, isn't it?  As much as I love it, I don't use it.  I don't have daughters, my sons are not going to be thrilled about inheriting this.  Their wives MIGHT but it seems like something passed down from your mother-in-law is not always something that you come to treasure.  I guess it depends on the mother in law.  I love mine.  My mother loved my nana (my dad's mom) but I've also heard horror stories of relationships between women and their mother in law.  Gosh, I hope I'm not one of those stories!

Do you save things for sentimental reasons or are you willing to let it go?  Seriously, I'm curious...