Monday, June 27, 2011

How fun is this??

So you all know of my love for author Susan Mallery, right?  Well, she was doing this fun little promo for her upcoming series and so last night, I got animated.  


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Excuse the Profanity, but...

So we listen to the radio at work.  You know, I love to listen to music and my iPod is jam-packed with over 400 songs but I rarely listen to the radio.  This song has been played a lot and so I finally sat down and listened to it without any noise around me or anything and I realized that I really liked it and then I researched the lyrics and I like it even more.
So please don't be offended by the mild profanity but these are the lyrics to Pink's "Perfect"...

Made a wrong turn, once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that's alright
Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss 'No way, it's all good', it didn't slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated
Look, I'm still around

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me!

You're so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred... such a tired game
It's enough! I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same

Oh, pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and it's a waste of my time
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans, they don't get my hair
Exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?

Why do I do that... ?

Yeah, oh, oh baby, pretty baby... !

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
Like you're nothing, you're f*cking perfect to me
You're perfect, you're perfect!
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LIfe is full of changes...

So, one month at the new job and it has been wild.  I have yet to work a full "normal" week.  My hours were supposed to be 12-5, Monday-Friday but I have found myself working some 8-5 days and even a Saturday.  I'm not complaining because we need the money but I am struggling with what normal is anymore.  I feel like I am running in circles trying to keep it all going on and not getting the help that I need in other areas of my life.

I had a revelation of sorts the other day.  This is the first time since 1995 that I have worked in an office environment.  Since that time, I have worked with kids or in a kid-centered environment.  I've done in-home childcare, I've homeschooled, I've taught homeschool kids, I've worked in a homeschool bookstore, I've worked at MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) so really, being back in an environment where there are NO kids and getting to talk to other adults all day has been awesome.

I have made a great new friend who is like my soul-sister - like we were separated at birth.  She has made me laugh and been a true encouragement to me during this transition in to the new job and I thank GOD for her.  She has made me feel less incompetent during this on-going learning process.    

So now it's like I have "work friends" again.  It's weird!  I have my friends, my girls... then there's my homeschool friends, our band friends and now my work friends.  Why I feel the need to categorize, I don't know, but that's what I do.  I'm looking forward to getting to know the girls in the office and doing things with them because it's completely different than going out with the homeschool friends where we talk about the kids.  Honestly, I was about the kids for so long that I really almost cringe when someone mentions theirs.

Bad mom move, I know, but there it is...

It's fun learning about other people's lives and what's going on with a whole fresh start.  I love all of my friends equally, but right now, it's kind of nice to have a clean slate with a new group of people.  It certainly keeps me busy - Friday night I'm going out with work friends, Saturday we're doing stuff with the band, Sunday is church and church friends, Monday night I am doing stuff with my Disney girls, Wednesday I am spending the morning with my girl Danette (who is a class all by herself!) and on and on it goes.

It's nice to know that I'm not too old to make new friends and that I can diversify a bit...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Case of Prejudice...

I am a writer.  I do freelance writing, I blog, I write fiction.  I have taught writing classes to homeschooler's for close to ten years.  I have had parents and students tell me how I have helped them to write better.  I was in the top 5 of an international writing contest.  I think it's safe to say that I don't suck as a writer.  I mean, I may not have a writing contract, but I have proven that I know what I am doing.

Last week a former student of mine forwarded me some information on a writing contest that was open to high school writing teachers.  I have taught creative writing, literary essay writing, research paper writing as well as more specialized writing classes to high schoolers for years.  So I went to the website and started my application.

And didn't finish it.

Why?  Well, they wanted to know what school I taught at.  So, being that I teach in the homeschool community I had to stop the application and I contacted them and asked how I should proceed.  I got a response fairly quickly and they want my writing credentials.  Honestly, I did not go to school for this.  I went to school for art and business.  I started teaching to homeschoolers in a co-op setting and it took off from there.  

I love writing.  I love to teach writing.  I am comfortable with it and I think I am pretty good at it.  Heck, I have been doing it for quite some time.  I don't use any one specific curriculum, I made up my own that works.  The on-line classes that I am teaching right now are of my own making from the things that I have learned over the years.  But because I do not (once again!) have  a piece of paper that says that I sat in a classroom, I am not eligible for the contest.

I'm a little peeved at that.

I understand their reasoning, I really do, but I don't LIKE it.  I work just as hard as a public school or private school teacher but they have the benefit of someone choosing the curriculum and having it all laid out for them and then teaching it again and again year after year.  I never found any one curriculum that I liked so I made my own.  I adjust it with each class because I have to get to know the students and find out what works for them.  

I'm bummed...I probably wouldn't have won the contest but it would have been nice to have been allowed to enter.

Monday, June 20, 2011

On-line class update...

I have to tell you, I am LOVING the on-line class teaching experience.  I mean, I am having a great time creating the lessons and the students have been great!  

I almost had to cancel the class because no one had signed up but suddenly, the morning class was scheduled to begin, I got three students!  It's not much but it was a start.  Since then two more joined so now I have five and it made for a nice supplemental income when things are so tight. 

Basically, they are four-week workshops.  They are $25 each.  I had five for this month's workshop and so far I have three confirmed for next month's.  I still have to get out the reminder for the next one so I am hoping for a few more.  Six would be nice.

I haven't heard back from the RWA chapter on teaching the workshop with them but that would really be a cool thing.  One of my students sent me a link to a writing contest geared to high school writing teachers but because I am a homeschool teacher with no real "school" to associate with, they are unsure if I am eligible.  Kind of sucky considering the fact that I have been teaching writing to homeschoolers for like ten years.  I'm not giving up yet but it doesn't seem good.

Now I am trying to come up with one more workshop idea so that I will have three of them that I can teach in rotation throughout the school year.  The first one was on character development (within a fiction story) and the second one is on dialogue writing.  

Any suggestions??

Sunday, June 19, 2011


*Disclaimer:  All names have been changed to protect the innocent and not embarrass the offender*

Okay, so we're on the way to a friend's house today for a BBQ when my cell phone rings.  "Do you have a minute?" my friend asked.  I really didn't because we were pulling in to the driveway of our BBQ peeps and I had a boatload of stuff to bring in but Frank and Michael stepped up and took care of it because they sensed that something was up.

So okay, I hang back in the driveway until the guys go inside and then go back to my phone conversation.  Long story short, my friend called me because she was planning on surprising her mom this week.  You see, it's her mom's birthday and she was going out of town to celebrate and my friend made reservations at the same place and was going to surprise her mom by being there.  The only problem was that her mother was going with her sister (my friend's aunt) and so just to make sure that she had all of the details of the resort (dates, times, etc) correct, my friend called her aunt and let her in on the surprise.

BIG mistake.

Apparently, the aunt was not on board with the whole thing and essentially told me friend that she was not welcome and not to come!  Now this made me a little mad (and I'm not even directly involved!) because there have been too numerous to count situations where this aunt has brought her daughter to places that no one wanted her and where she was a disruption and made a spectacle of herself and she has the nerve to tell my friend that she can't come!  I was speechless!

So we talk a little and I'm like "Just cancel the reservation" but she can't.  She booked it through some travel site and essentially you have to cancel 7 days out or you lose your money.  Now this wasn't an exceptionally expensive trip but she's still looking at about losing $500!  I know I couldn't afford to lose that kind of money and I know that she can't either!  So I'm like "Call your mother and let her know what's going on" and she doesn't want to because she doesn't want to cause any conflict between her mom and aunt during their trip.  I thought that was mighty nice of her and a lot nicer than I'd be if it was my aunt telling me to take a hike and lose my money.

So what do you do?  How do you fix this situation?  I mean, my friend can still go on the trip and just hide behind potted plants when she sees her mom but that just seems a bit ridiculous.  Or she can just go on with her plans and surprise her mom and pretty much tell her aunt to kiss her butt OR she can lose her money.

What would you do??

Friday, June 17, 2011

We must have done something right...

If you are a parent you know that you really enjoy those brief moments when your kids do something so amazing that you think "He was paying attention".  For all of the misery that was yesterday, basically this has been one of those weeks.  

Starting last Friday, Nick has been in "Ultimate Big Brother Mode" and I have to tell you, I have LOVED it.  When Michael's best friend ruined graduation night, Nick swooped in and saved the day.  Then he went and helped us out by picking Michael up from camp all week and brought him home and had lunch with him every day.  One day, he even treated Michael to McDonald's.  

Then, tonight, when we should have been at a track meet celebrating the last night of camp, Michael decided that he really didn't want to go.  I have learned not to push these things because had we forced him to go, he would have made us all miserable and he would have put in zero effort in any of the events.  So when Nick brought Michael home at lunch time, he walked in first and gave Frank and I a heads up about how Michael was feeling and how he (Michael) was afraid that we were going to be mad.  

Armed with knowledge, we were prepared to talk to him and not force him in to anything that he didn't want to do.  We decided, as a family, to take tonight to just have a nice family night and relax.  I was all for that considering my crazy schedule lately and the fact that I had to work 8-5 today and how I have to be in work at 7 a.m tomorrow - staying in tonight was a blessing.  So at dinner time, Nick came back, armed with the X-box and we had dinner together and just hung out and enjoyed our family time.  After dinner, Beckah joined us and you know what?  It made our family night seem complete.

I feel very blessed indeed to see my son growing up and maturing and putting the needs of his little brother first.  It's a proud parenting moment...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today = Epic Fail

I really should have know late last night that today was going to suck but I had hopes.  High hopes.  

All of which were shot to hell.

As I was crawling in to bed around 11 last night, the phone rang.  It was Frank.  He was jamming with the band and unfortunately, he is in a cluster migraine cycle and one hit him while with the band and he was in a panic.  Now, this is not a new ailment.  He's been dealing with them for close to 35 years.  I am sympathetic to a point.  I cried while I was on the phone with him, not so much because I felt bad for him but because I was not feeling well at all and was crawling in to bed with much pain myself and now I had to handle his, too.  

Woke up at 7 a.m. to the same damn thing and it was downhill all the way after that.  Frank STILL had a headache and I had plans to meet my Disney girls for breakfast.  Now, please keep in mind that I did not wake Frank up, the headache did.  

I just got the blame for waking him up.  


So I got up, showered, dressed, got Michael up and ready, drove him to camp and then went to meet my girls.  It was kind of a depressing get-together for me because up until a week ago, we were ALL going to Disney in September.  Now, I am the only one NOT going.  So I got to sit and listen to their excited comments while I cried on the inside.  

I was quite depressed and having a pity party on the drive home when I called Frank (who should have been at work) and he was still at home.  Sleeping.  Honestly, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I got home, he was getting ready to leave and he could tell that I was upset and when I told him how his behavior earlier was upsetting and then topped with my sadness about my trip he was just like "So you hate me again?"

Yes.  Yes I do.

Then I go to work.  I have to say, I'm really liking my job.  It's challenging and I still don't know a whole lot but today I was feeling kind of confident and sassy and then...

I was heading in to the boss' office because I had a MAJOR screwup.  

Not a good feeling...

By the time we were done talking, and he was VERY nice and VERY fair, I still felt like a colossal failure and wanted to cry.  There was no way to UNDO what I had done and essentially I cost the company about $500.  

Again...not a good feeling.

So now I leave work (phones were ringing but it was 5:01 and I was so DONE) and I get a text from Verizon stating that we are $60 over due to Nick's minute usage.  We have a family plan w/700 minutes because that is all we can afford and he has used so far this month, like 350 of them himself and our cycle doesn't end for another week.  Now I have to figure out with the Verizon guy what in the world I am going to do because I can barely afford the damn cell phone bill as it is!!

I'm driving and I'm driving and I finally get home and...No Michael.  He is not there.  He's supposed to be there, but he is not.  Now I'm like "Listen, Mr. Verizon man, my young son is M.I.A and I have GOT to go.  Send me the details via e-mail..." and I hung up.  I am outside SCREAMING for Michael, looking for any sign of him and there is none!  I freaked out and then I called Nick.  "WHERE IS YOUR BROTHER???"  

Do you see where this is going?  Nick had him.  He was doing a great big brother thing but no one bothered to let me know of the change of plans.  By this time, I am a quivering mass twitching on the floor.  

So let's recap:  Felt crappy and woke up to a crabby husband whose pain was CLEARLY more important than mine.  Was reminded of my canceled dream trip, had to deal with a STILL crabby husband who should have been long-gone to work, screwed up at work, owe Verizon a kidney, nearly lost a child and then got to end my day with cooking dinner, doing dishes and washing clothes for the people who really don't seem to give a damn.

Am I living the dream or what???

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Suddenly it's 1987 and all I want to do is point and laugh...

Okay, I'll admit it, sometimes my inner mean girl comes out in full force and today's edition has me being QUITE childish but hey, it happens and I'm dealing with it.

So, about a year ago on Facebook I had someone friend request me.  We knew each other in high school - she had stolen my boyfriend.  My FIRST boyfriend.  I was devastated, she was a year or two younger and a huge slut.  See, mean girl coming out.  So she stole my boyfriend, and tried all-the-damn-time to be my friend so that she could feel better about the whole thing.  

It didn't work.

My favorite pay-back memory was when she tried out for the kickline and I was one of the judges and my friends had my back (including the coach) and we all just GLARED at her during tryouts.  It would have made for a great scene in a John Hughes movie...but I digress.  I was so devastated by this whole event and the flaunting of their new love that it made for a miserable couple of months of my senior year.  And then I met someone and all was well with the world.

Then the best thing happened...slutty girl broke up with my ex graduation night.  Oh, it made for the BEST graduation present to watch him crying at a party we were all at.  I was like "Serves you right, Jerk!" and I was happy.

So back to slutty girl on she friend requests me and I accept because I have matured and moved on (and that is SO obvious by this post, right?) and since that time, I have noticed that she gets dumped a LOT.  Her status' are either "I'm so in love" or "I can't believe he broke up with me" and the mean girl in me just has a field day with it all, all over again.  I have actually laughed out loud a couple of times.

See?  Mean Girl...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Don't go to the movies if you have PMS...

To do something different today other than sit around the house, we went to the movies as a family.  Michael (in all of his elementary school graduation hooplah!) decided that this was something that he really wanted to do and he'd narrowed his choices down to Kung Fu Panda 2 or Pirates 4.  We went with Kung Fu Panda.


Okay, so we get there, get out tickets, our popcorn and drinks and head in to the assigned theater of the multiplex.  Everyone's comfy, everyone's happy and when exactly did they start showing actual commercials in the dang movie theater??

Anyway, commercials end and previews begin.  Does anyone other than me remember when they did three previews and then let the movie you paid to see begin?  Eight previews later...

Now as you all know, Nick graduated last year and has since moved out of the house.  Michael, my baby, JUST graduated elementary school.  To say I'm having trouble adjusting to all of the growing up around here would be an understatement.  So the very LAST thing I needed (being hormonal on top of it all) was to see coming attractions for...Winnie the Pooh.


If you are a mom, you probably know what I am talking about.  I mean, Winnie the Pooh.  Winnie the freakin adorable cuddly little chubby all stuffed with fluff...Winnie the Pooh.  I found myself smiling through the whole dang preview and thought it was just enchanting and then it hit me...

There is not one single person in my family that will go and see that movie with me.

And with good reason, of course, but hurt.  

Then there was the Kung Fu Panda movie itself.  I won't give it all away but let's just say that Po is wondering about where he came from because, well, his father is a goose and he is a panda so clearly, something's up.  As the movie goes on and you learn that history, as a parent, it just made you cry.  

So I leave the theater some two hours later wanting to just squeeze my children and never let them go, turn back time so that one of them would want to go and see a damn movie about a stuffed bear, my eyes were puffy and red from crying and I felt sick from all of the popcorn and M&M's...

It will be a long time before I opt for a movie on a Sunday afternoon, I can tell you that!

Friday, June 10, 2011

When Friends are Jerks...

Today my sweet little Michael had his last day of elementary school.  It is the end of an era.  My boy is going to middle school.  He is officially a sixth grader.  He is, for all intents and purposes, a pre-teen.  

Back in April I had started planning his graduation party.  I mean, I realize that it's only elementary school graduation but for him, this is a milestone.  So I had made lists, plans and found myself getting excited.  We were going to buy him an X-box and have pizza and ice cream and his best friend was going to sleep over.

Well, with Frank's dry spell at work, not being able to pay most of our bills, all party plans went down the drain but at least we could still splurge on the pizza and his best friend could sleep over.   So all week, Michael has been trying to get said friend on the phone but the kid never seemed to be home.  Today he finally was and there was my boy, totally excited that it was his last day of school and he could have all that he loved the most to celebrate - pizza and his best friend. didn't happen that way.  When Michael extended the invitation, completely full of hope and confident that all of his plans were going to fall in to place, and his friend (who has been his best friend since kindergarten) told  him "No.  I just want to be by myself" and HUNG UP!


Jerk, jerk, jerkity jerk.

My heart broke for my boy.  I mean, here we were unable to give him the celebration that I wanted and now his best friend crapped all over him.  Luckily, my son swooped in and saved the day.  He and HIS best friend Alex came over and played video games and had pizza with us and then - and this is the cool part, even though Nick had plans, Alex invited Michael to come back to their house and play MORE video games.  Quality guy, my adopted son, Alex.  

The little jerk friend could learn a LOT from these two...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In case you've been living under a rock...

Hey, all you wealthy celebrities with every tech gadget available?  Yes, you... um, there was this thing created some time back in the late 80's, early 90's called the Internet.  You may have heard of this.

One of the many wonders of the internet is that people can talk to other people electronically and even send pictures.  Yes, yes, I know, it's incredible.  But did you also know that you can not only send pictures, not just to your friends, but also to EVERYONE on the World Wide Web??


This is some serious stuff, right!  

So when you want to take naked pictures of yourself - whether you are married or dating, do the whole freakin world a favor and DON'T photograph it!  I mean, how many times does this have to happen before you people catch on?  And the outrage?  Really?  If you are stupid enough to take provocative pictures of yourself and then send it electronically to someone else, then you deserve to have the whole flippin world see your stupidity.

Between Facebook, Twitter and just the internet in general, NO ONE should be doing this.  And then you know what happens??  Impressionable little teenagers start doing the same thing and then wonder why they can no longer show their face at school...or why they get suspended.  

What is this world coming to where this is happening with such frequency and no one is seeing that it is a bad idea??? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On line teaching...

I'm breaking in to new territory today and I'm a little bit nervous about it...on line teaching.

Starting today I will be doing a 4-week workshop for young writer's on developing characters for their stories.  I started up a yahoo group by invitation only, we do 3-lessons a week for 4 weeks and the cost is $25.  I figured with the economy the way it is and the cost of gas being so high, the chance to take a class on-line would be beneficial to homeschoolers.  

Then I went and submitted a proposal to a Chapter of Romance Writers of America to teach the workshop to their group!  If they accept, it will be the first time that I will be teaching to adults/peers.  That's pretty exciting, too.

So if you know anyone that might be interested, send them my way.  I mean, I have primarily only taught homeschoolers and in the last few years, only high school aged ones, but I would really like to reach out to adults now and teach to them.  Who knows, this could be an exciting new venture!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Not a creative thought to be found...

My mind is pretty much a blank lately.  I used to be able to multi-task and do all kinds of things while stories were forming in my mind.  Lately?  Not so much.  

Life has been busy.  Friday night after work we went and had pizza with the band.  I was at the homeschool graduation pretty much all day on Saturday.  And by the way, I cannot even BELIEVE that it has been a YEAR since Nick graduated!  Where has the time gone???  Sunday was filled with church, laundry and food shopping so that I was prepared for the week.

And now it's Monday.


When you're back to work, Monday holds a whole new meaning.  I am now amongst the millions of people who are like "Bummer, the weekend is over".  It's funny how fast THAT feeling comes back to you.  

I submitted an on-line workshop proposal to a Chapter of Romance Writers of America.  I'm really hoping to hear back from them.  It's not great money - only $5-$10 per student but it's something.  I still haven't heard anything back from Harlequin.  I mean, I KNOW they said 1-3 months but I really thought that it would be closer to the one.  We're at the 2 month mark.  I mean, if they're not interested, could they PLEASE just let me know so that I can move on??

This is Michael's last week of elementary school.  I'm pretty sad about the whole thing and disappointed because we are so broke that we cannot do anything to celebrate him like we had planned.  The original game plan was to have a big pizza and ice cream party with a bunch of friends and for us to get him an Xbox (since Nick took theirs when he moved out).  Now, it will pretty much just be the four of us and MAYBE some pizza.  I feel like a crappy parent.

Anyway, there is a lot of other seriously bad things going on here in our lives right now that I just don't have the energy to write about.  Suffice it to say that I had a MAJOR mental breakdown yesterday and am slowly recovering.  I hope things are better where you're at...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This is harder than I thought...

Back when Nick was a baby, I was a working mom.  I worked part-time for a while and then eventually went back to full time work.  WITH a baby.  Well, Not "with" like he came to work with me but I'm talking me working 9 hours a day and having him in daycare.  Then I'd come home and cook and clean and food shop and do laundry and all that jazz.

Now, fast forward 19 years and I am spazzing out around the house while working 25 hours a week.  How is that even possible??  Dishes were piled up, laundry is all over the is CHAOS around here!  And you want to know what else makes it bizarre?  Frank has been home for almost a month and it STILL looks like this!

I have got to get a better grip on my time.  I tend to laze around in the morning when I could realistically get my stuff done so that I don't want to cry when I get home at night.  Hmmm...I may have to start doing week.