Monday, December 21, 2009

Piggie Fun!

I am super excited about tomorrow! I'm a person who doesn't like "routine", so I really don't hold fast to traditions. I can't stand it when someone freaks out because "we always do it this way...." I'm really easy going and I don't really mind when things change, or happen differently than they used to. But tomorrow.....

Tomorrow we are going to do some fun stuff that we try to do with our kids every year during the holidays. Things that just make our holiday so much more fun, and I can't imagine not getting to do them every year!! First we are going to ride the PINK PIG! Granted, my legs go numb from being crammed into the ultra small seats, but the Pink Pig is an Atlanta legend and it's in a big tent outside of Macy's and they project pink lights everywhere and it is just a Pepto Bismol explosion of awesome!! After the Pink Pig, we will be spending the night downtown and then we will go to The Fabulous Fox Theatre to see The Nutcracker, performed by the Atlanta Ballet. Nothing puts me in the mood of Christmas quite like watching the Nutcracker!

I'm really looking forward to getting away from the house (even if only for one night) and just having FUN! I had visions of taking my little girl to the Nutcracker before she was even conceived, and now that we have TWO girls (though they aren't ballerinas, or even very girlie) this is such a fun thing to look forward to every year. I hope they will look back someday, when they have their own little girls, and have wonderful memories of this "tradition" with their not so traditional mom (and dad)!

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your kid annoys me...

I have kids. Like most parents, I think my kids are pretty amazing. There is a distinct difference in me and many parents (that I encounter) - I live in REALITY. You see, even though I think my kids are pretty amazing, I also think that my kids can be really annoying. Every kid on earth has the opportunity to be really annoying, on many levels, on many occasions and it is up to me, and others as parents, to STOP THAT SHIT, immediately.

We went to see Santa last night. This year, the mall did this wonderful new trick where they no longer take reservations to see Santa - you just have to wait in line, for an hour and a half. With no benches. No wi-fi. No fountain to drown yourself in......


We had the option to go see a different Santa, however, THIS is OUR Santa. We've sat on this man's lap for the past 12 years, there was no chance I wanted to find a new Santa. It would totally mess up our entire photo collection. So, we waited.


Hunk offered to let me take the kids to dinner and he would hold our spot. I didn't take him up on that offer because I feared for the kid behind us. In the 1 and a half minutes that they had been behind us in line, the kid had bumped, rammed or otherwise touched me 5 times. I DO NOT like to be touched. I was on the verge of losing my cool, and let's just say that when it comes to obnoxious kids I am about 8 million times more patient than Hunk. I stayed for the safety of that kid.

When I get in a line, I strategically stop well before I get close to the folks in front of me. I don't like to be crowed, I don't like to be touched by strangers and I have limited patience for ignoramous people. I compensate for my known issues and I leave a buffer zone. The people behind us were reasonably buffered, for about 10 minutes, then they began to "inch". I have no earthly idea why people in a line must "inch" - especially when the line is NOT moving. See, Santa was away on his dinner break so we were just standing there, and yet people continued to "inch" forward as if it were going to help them get to Santa faster. By the time we reached the 45 minute mark the people behind us were literally rubbing up against me with every breath they took. I was seriously on the verge of a break down. But, I had my buffer in the front. I saved at least 3 feet between me and the people before me......so I scooted up a little. They CONTINUED to "inch". There was no escaping these people behind me and their obnoxious kid.

And it wasn't just them - it was a myriad of obnoxious kids. I don't understand how people let their children act so utterly annoying in public. There was a kiosk next to use where you could print off a coupon for your photos, well since there wasn't any entertainment for those kids waiting in line lots of kids thought the kiosk was a great thing to play with. In an hour and a half we waited there were about 6-8 kids who managed to print off about 856 coupons, and only to leave them in a pile on the floor. WTH? I realize that little kids need to be occupied, but here's a newsflash - you are going to WAIT IN LINE for Santa, what part of that shit does a parent not understand? Hello?! Bring a bag of tricks, a DS, a book, WHATEVER it takes. There has never been a Santa without a line, do you people not watch movies??????? Have you ever been to see Santa?????? There is ALWAYS a line!

The icing on the cake is that the obnoxious kids have such pathetic parents. It literally makes me ill to hear a parent giving their child exactly what they want when the kid is being a total douche. I want to kick the parents in the shins who have no balls to tell their kid to cool it.

But, hey, we got to see Santa. And the 30 seconds we spent with him were totally worth the 90 minutes of excruciating agony spent with your annoying kid shoving his face in my crack. And then we were treated to a wallet assassination by the photo people. MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alive and Kicking

We had a successful thanksgiving dinner at my house last week, we had 13 people to feed and I hardly had enough leftovers to send a plate over to my grandmother's house (she hates people and won't come over).


Prior to everyone coming over we did the usual scrubbing of the house. I don't really know why, but I feel like we have to do this crazy cleaning ritual before having a party. Are people really going to look in the closets? After the house was sparkling I decided to work on the outdoor entry area. I had the typical fall decorations up, but it had been awhile since I had refreshed the flower bed mulch. It was looking faded and thin. I typically pay someone to deliver truckloads of cypress mulch, or pecan shells (yes, they work great!) to spread around our many beds. This gets pretty pricey since it really should be refreshed twice a year. I've gone a full year before adding to them, but they look really ragged if I wait.


I was walking around the property admiring the trees, etc. and just taking note that we have eleventy four bazillion pine trees around, which are constantly dropping pine needles on every surface around. In fact, I had spent Monday of last week blowing off the yard and driveway only to find on Thanksgiving Thursday that everything was completely recovered as if I had not lifted a finger! Anyway, on Monday I figured if I was blowing and piling all this pinestraw I should try to put it to use. In a matter of minutes I had filled the entire back of our truck with clean pinestraw. It took 2-3 truckloads to fill all our beds, but this was EASY. The pinestraw was mostly clean (a few leaves to pick out) and it was in abundance all along our driveway. I basically just drove up and down the driveway and piled it into the truck. We have a REALLY long drive so I was able to get enough pinestraw to cover ALL of our beds and it took me a grand total of about an hour to gather it all. It was much easier to spread than mulch because pinestraw weighs practically nothing.


So, for the past 1o years I've spent countless amounts of money on mulch, plus delivery when I could have just spent a few hours time and gotten it all done for free!
Unrelated, but pertaining to pinestraw.....we got two hermit crabs in November of 2008, FINALLY they both kicked the bucket last week. One of them was clearly dead and halfway out of his shell, the other was tucked really far down inside and was unresponsive. My daughter took them outside and buried them under pinestraw, not in a hole. This was because she wanted to go back and see what happened after a few days. I sent her out to take a look and Mr. Crab #2 was GONE!! Apparently, he was not dead after all and had been prancing around our yard for 4 days. She found him not far from the 'grave' and he was alive and kicking. He has since been returned to the cage (and warmth). I am amazed that he did not freeze to death out there. But it also gives a new appreciation to the reason that folks used to hold 'wakes', in case someone thought to be dead were to wake up! It happens!!!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Struggle

I've been struggling for weeks with something exciting to write about. Turns out, my life is just.that.dull. and I really have nothing.

The regular mundane things are going on around here, everyone is sort of healthy, mildly happy and getting ready for a week of vacation. We are having a STAYcation, as in, we are not going to the beach for Thanksgiving this year. Boo. It was my choice, and I figured we could all use some down time. I'm GLAD I don't have to stress about going away and the logistics and THE LAUNDRY.....but I'm kinda sad, too. I LOVE the beach, especially in the winter.

The funniest thing that happened this week was that my 8 year old fell off of her top bunk in the middle of the night (ok, maybe not funny....) and she completely busted up her face, but instead of waking up anyone she got back in the bed and went to sleep. She woke up the next morning and started telling me about it and got all upset about it and was just bawling. Which is sad, but kinda funny when it all happened like HOURS ago..... And just to prove that I'm not evil, I let her skip school - partially so I could watch her closely and make sure she didn't get all wonky from wacking her head. We did not go for an x-ray because she seems to have great movement, etc. She says her neck hurts, but she already had a pulled muscle there. I have noticed that her nose looks different. Maybe I'm over scrutinizing it, maybe I never really studied her nose? Nothing looks wrong with her nose, but it just looks different. If it keeps nagging me I'm gonna get her head examined.

I am really excited that I get to see Dave2 tomorrow. I'm not a very exciting person to hang out with, but he doesn't seem to mind. For now I'm off to serve lunch to Hunk who is fighting a battle in the trenches, risking his life against the enemy, working very hard........on the Playstation.

Get well Anissa!! Thinking of you often....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Suck It, Dude

I'm a parent who volunteers. Sometimes, I wish I were one of the parents who just drop their kids off and screech out of the parking lot to the nearest Starbucks. But I'm not. I play the roll of coach, leader, etc.... There are very few activities that my kids are involved in that I don't play some sort of roll as a volunteer.

I volunteer because I like to see what my kids are up to and I enjoy being a part of their interests. I usually have a great time, get to do fun things with my kids and see who they are hanging out with. I am currently volunteering for my daughter's drama production. While I signed up for several very specific areas, I was mostly interested in set production and I've shown up for 2 weekends to build a set. It is driving me crazy that there is no "plan" in place here! We show up and the theater kids are spending their time socializing, not working. Not to mention that the adults are helpless without direction. When a job finally becomes apparent, there are so many bored people that jump in to assist that it becomes annoying. Does it really take 3 people to screw in 6 screws? No, but there is not a job list, there is not a direction, there is not a vision and it is driving me batty! The drama director has it all locked up in his head and by the time he tries to show you what he wants, he has basically done it for himself. BAHHHH!!

I'm appalled by the lack of architectural integrity that is going into this project - things are unstable (which I've pointed out several areas of concern) and the work is shoddy. I realize that we are all just trying to pull something together with a very little amount of money, but the reality is that if the project had some real planning and thought it could be spectacular - and stable! The director has asked me to come in on 2 occasions to do some paperwork for him, and both times I have shown up he was not ready for me. An email or phone call could have saved me a trip!!

I'm wasting my time left and right with this guy and I want to tell him exactly what I think of him, but I don't. I'm often reluctant to voice my opinions to teachers in fear of my child becoming a 'target'. I would never hold my thoughts on any serious matter, but the fact that I think this guy is a total disorganized, pathetic leader is something that I hold my tongue on. I want to scream at him that he pales to invisibility when compared to his predecessor, I want to shout at him that he has no business leading a group of 30+ preteen girls and how he has absolutely not one frickin' clue on how to handle the real 'drama' that these girls are going through just because of their age. But, for now and for the sake of saving my child the embarrassment, I must keep my mouth shut and continue to waste my time piddling around this prick's idea of production!! The show must go on!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I hate Doctors

Please don't take this personally if you are a medical doctor, but if you are, I hate you. Which in itself is kind of funny. When I met Hunk, he was a Pre Med student well on his path to Physicianhood. Is that a word? I almost MARRIED a doctor, and I hate them!!

My grandmother always told me I should marry a doctor because I'm so independent. She honestly felt like I would never be able to conform to any sort of committed relationship, but if I insisted she said it must be a doctor - because they are never at home and I would pretty much be on my own! Ha!

Why do I hate doctors? I don't know!! I really do not hate them, I just seriously dislike going to see them. I have a bit of a phobia I suppose. I will wait until the grim reaper is knocking on my door before I will schedule a doctor's appt. I will only see a doctor if I have come to a firm conclusion that whatever I have is not going to go away without a prescription. Luckily, I have been relatively healthy and have not had too much of a need for medical intervention. Pregnancy and birth for my two children were, by far, the most traumatic experiences of my life - and it was all due to the fact that I had to go to a doctor's office so often!! Forget the vomit, forget the stretchmarks, forget the tearing of flesh and excruciating pain - I frickin' HATED the doctor's office visits, every month, then every two weeks, then every week!!! OHHHH the horror......

I am telling you all of this because I am not feeling so healthy at the moment. I haven't felt really good in quite a while, and yet, I don't want to go to the doctor. Yeah, I know it's stupid. I know that I am anemic in a really bad way. I take iron supplements (when I remember), but I am still just soooo tired ALL the time. I'm so drained and I wonder sometimes if I'm depressed. Some days I feel like a robot, somedays it's a challenge to just move around. I don't feel sad, but I just don't feel like doing anything. I'd be really happy to just put up a hammock under a tree and stay in it all day (with a fully charged iPhone....). Probably, I'm just overly busy. We do a lot of stuff around here and I never feel like I'm caught up on the laundry, the bills, the food, the menus, the homework, the volunteer positions, the sports, the charities, the business, the, the, the.....I could go on for days. I think I'm feeling the weight of the world, and it's draining the life out of me. I should probably see a doctor about that....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Celebrate

I love a good party, so I volunteered to have a Disney Celebration in my home from the Mickey Moms Club. They sent me a big red box full of fun things to have any sort of celebration I wished.





The first order of business was to decide what we should celebrate. My first thought was Halloween, since that is the closest holiday, but we decided against it since it was still two weeks out. We had a Celebration of Girls. Basically, we got out all the princess stuff, fluff and paint and celebrated that we are girls! I put out princess dresses for modeling and we had a princess cake - which is really easy! Bake your cake in a bowl, turn it upside down and shove a doll in it.








The Mickey Moms Club sent games, activities and goodie bags to give away, so that was all taken care of. We watched the Disney vacation DVD and dreamed about our next getaway to the Kingdom - a girls trip, no doubt! Everyone left really excited....and ready for a trip!








Friday, October 16, 2009

Camp Out

I was lucky enough to go camping this past weekend. The weather turned out to be pretty good, not near as much rain as we expected and the temperature was just right the entire time.

This camping trip was for Girl Scouts and we ended up taking 21 girls. About half of them had never camped before and I must say that they all did SO good. We slept in Platform Tents, which if you don't know what that is - ummm, ICK! I am a big fan of the ZIP UP tent. I can control what is coming in and out of my tent. Platforms are basically wood decks with a canvas tent around it. The front, back and corners are all just tied together with ropes. It's like a flap tent that never fully closes. Upon our arrival, which was in the dark (we had to wait until school was over to leave, then a long drive, bad GPS, etc) I went to my platform and scoped it out with my flashlight - spiders in every corner, leaves and a ROACH! I can handle a lot of things, but roaches are not one of them. I 'almost' put up my hammock and just slept outside. But I plowed through and acted big for the girls. We have two Army issue mosquito nets which I always use for platform camping. The thing is that this was the first trip that I had BOTH of my girls and each one of them wanted a bug net. This left me out in the cold. I tried to share one of the nets with my littlest girl, but it was just shy of being big enough. I spent most of the two nights wondering if something was crawling on me.

The age range of the girls was 7 - 13, the little ones were SO EXCITED. I decided to split up the ages and do separate things with them and, by far, the most fun was the Canoeing for the little ones. Many of them had never canoe'd before and they did fantastic and they learned so much. And got SO WET! It was the best!

I had to push past the fact that half of me did not want to be there, at all. Hunk had been away for the week and I had to leave for this trip as soon as he got home. We weren't on bad terms while he was away, but it was just off and things were just empty for me. I didn't want to leave, but I had to so it was another 3 days of separation. It was hard to put on the happy face all weekend, but I did.

We finally got our "time" on Sunday - late - but it was good to finally just be together and figure out why I was feeling so apart. Things are fine now, but it would just be so much easier if I could just SAY what I'm always feeling. I don't want to do that, I want him to read my mind and figure it all out, it just feels like it's not as genuine if I have to TELL YOU. Yanno?

Anyhoo, all is well now. And I'm ready for another camping adventure, this one just wet my whistle. Unfortunately, our weekends are chock full until the cold weather will appear, so I think I'm going to have to wait until spring. Boo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HP Premium Touchsmart Web Printer

I was the lucky winner of an HP Printer from the blog of Anissa Mayhew. Somehow, Anissa has convinced HP to drink her kool-aid, she has printers to give and they even have her set up to host parties with her Aiming Low friends in swanky towns like Boston and New York. So, if you ever get the pleasure of meeting Anissa, note that she is a lovely person, a wonderful mother and friend and that she has a stash of HP SWAG - so make her share!!

My totally FREE printer arrived directly from HP via the super hot FedEx man. I wasn't expecting it, and I thought he was delivering my new hearing aid. I was working in the yard when he pulled up and he asked if he could carry it to the house for me. And, I'm like, dude, it's a hearing aid it can't be that heavy. And he's all, no m'am, it's BIG, upon which I peeked inside his truck and saw the glorious HP logo and I screamed. Just a little bit. Which made him think I was a little bit wonky.


So, it had arrived! Hunk was out of town and so I texted him that "IT's HERE"! Which proceeded to make him very jealous because he loves to open boxes that contain new gadgets/electronics. Since I was preparing to leave town myself I didn't have time to open my new printer right away. I had a crazy schedule which I was trying to accomplish a list a mile long and basically, Hunk was to arrive home, just in time to give me a high five on my way out of town. Since I wanted to be the one to open MY printer, I had to wake up an hour earlier the next day so that I could fit in time to piddle with it. At the crack of dark o'thirty, I was opening up my new box. And I took pictures because I was so excited. Dude, the thing was FREEEE!


My first view is of all the cables, which are neatly packed into a reusable bag - I thought that was super cool. THEN, oh then, I found that the ENTIRE printer was packed in a bigger reusable bag! The bag is amazingly large and I promptly filled it with stuff and took it out of town with me! So the entire printer was packaged in like 90% reusable/recyclable product. There were only two pieces of styrofoam and virtually no plastic. I have to say, this makes me happy.




I have only one complaint with the print cartridges. Instead of just having a tape across the well there is a piece of orange plastic that must be twisted off before they can be installed. It seems like a waste of a lot of plastic, they are pretty bulky. Additionally, on one of them I twisted it off and it left some remnants as it wasn't a clean break. I wondered if it would still sit properly in the ink carriage (so far it seems okay).

The printer was a breeze to set up, basically you just plug it in and then hit the button to search for wireless, put in your password and watch the magic happen. I then put the CD in my PC and let it do it's thing and I was ready to print in no time, which was good because I had a zillion pounds of paperwork to finish before leaving for my trip. So, my first use of the printer was for plain jane printing. I was racing against the clock and so once it was set up I just started cranking out the paperwork that I needed. And did I mention that it's wireless, so I was able to put the printer in the office and still be able to work from the kitchen.

Flash forward to today, this has been my first opportunity to play with the web applications on the printer. They are very cool. There are things like school papers, which isn't an entirely new concept for an HP Printer, but nonetheless it is an important app. I've found that I can check the weather - or have my kids check it before getting ready for school. My younger daughter has apparently figured out the Nickalodeon & Disney fun pages because I keep finding little projects all around the house. She is happy to print and entertain herself, which is cool that she doesn't have to log onto a website to print fun stuff. I also don't have to worry that she might make a typo and end up somewhere other than Disney or Nick. Believe me, with kids, the typos happen and they can see stuff that kids should not see.

I can log onto my snapfish.com albums without using my PC at all, the printer can access my account and allow me to print photos right there. I've found that I can print my own tabbloid to read - it will pull from websites like Jezebel, Engadget, The Big Picture, etc. and you can decide how many pages you want to read. Since I use my iPhone so much, I'm not likely to use tabbloid, but it is interesting and who knows... I can print from my iPhone which is all kinds of awesome. And there are recipes and coupons and games, and and and and....the possibilities are endless. I imagine the choices for apps will grow, much like the iPhone apps until I can do virtually anything directly from my printer.

I have no complaints for the printer itself, it is sleek and extrememly functional. It has all the features of most printers with the fax, copy, scan, but with the addition of the Web Apps it is quite a step further into convenience. Our household has 3 laptops, but we still manage to end up with someone needing a PC when there isn't one available and this printer can help with that. Hopefully the app developers will take this printer to even more amazing levels! I am waiting patiently for the app that will print out the missing sock.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

A new addition

We have a new addition to our family. Oh God NO, I am not pregnant - people I am old and my eggs are shriveled, if I had a baby it would look like Benjamin Button!


Anyhoo, we have a new cat, sort of. We've had her since August 16 I just haven't talked about her. With good reason.


One week prior to getting "new cat" was the day that my cat "Ashley" disappeared. I was devastated, and so was my other cat "Emmie". Some friends of ours thought that it would ease our pain to give us this kitten(ish) that they found while camping the weekend of the 16th. So, they brought her home, and with all of the best intentions, gave her to us. We found her to be about 8 months old, full of ear mites and very hungry and scared. I agreed to keep her and thought it might be a good distraction for "Emmie" to have a little cat to boss around. "New Cat" looks A LOT like "Emmie" and so my kids, who are extremely creative and thoughtful, named her "Emma". Yeaahhh, that took a ton of brain power........



Now that "Emmie" is gone as well (and we do have a theory on that one)....."Emma" is our cat, sort of. She lives here, but she doesn't really like us. I'm trying really hard to like her, but I feel guilty that she is here - I'd rather have Ashley and Emmie back. I never wanted to replace them, and this is what it feels like. I think that if they are looking down on us, they see that they were replaced swiftly and thoughtlessly. This is the farthest from the truth.


"Emma" needed a home, and I am happy to give her one. We still have a long way to go in building a relationship though. She is not cuddly in the least, will never be held and if you sit near her, she gets up and moves away. In short, she is a snob. She has come out of her shell in the playful department, she really enjoys biting and attacking us - along with anything else that dares to move which is to be expected with such a young cat. It's a transition for me, and for her. I'm hoping it works out for the best, she can be really cute, but it passes very quickly.


As far as the fate of "Emmie", my mom reported that we have a coyote hanging around. This leaves me with all sorts of grisly thoughts about my poor kitty, but I can hope that it was fast and painless if that was his match. It's hard to gain closure when you never really know. My hearts goes out to anyone with a missing child, I can not even fathom the daily struggle and torture of the wondering.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's not FAIR!

I'm usually pretty easy going, I don't get too rattled about stuff - except within my own house, and then crap will fly if you leave a wet towel on the floor, or look at me sideways. Anyway, in the big world I don't typically sweat the small stuff, and many of my friends would say that I am pretty laid back. I don't lose my head if things go awry at school, work, sports, etc. I'm typically fine to be along for the ride and if you screw something up, I'm trying to downplay it so that you don't feel so bad.

But some things, just make me mad. And they are so stupid, and so petty and I feel like such a moron for it. Mostly these things are when people who are super shitty seemingly spend their lives walking on beds of roses. Now, I know that everyone has their demons, their problems and their hidden woes - nothing is all how it seems on the outside. I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't like to see these people succeed, in anything. Yeah, like I said, PETTY. I'm being it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not walking around wishing the plague on anyone. I don't hope they contract horrible diseases, or die a fiery death. But I just can't be happy for certain people when things go their way. When I hear good news, or stories of success, about someone that I know is a total douche it just pisses me off. I hate this about myself, because I don't want to walk around loathing certain people, but if you are a bottom feeder, I prefer to see you staying at the bottom.

Of course, the universe doesn't exist so that all the happy, fun people can get ahead. I don't know WHY the universe exists, but that's not it. The universe is perfectly happy to see the backstabbers and the manipulators get ahead. What I have to realize is the DEFINITION of "ahead". Maybe, what I see as their success is covering a much deeper problem (I can HOPE!). Maybe, I need to quit thinking that "ahead" means this, this and this.....

I just feel like a loser, because someone I know is reporting all kinds of happiness, bunnies and unicorns in her life. And in my heart, I know that she is a total wanker, and I don't like her. And to hear of her success, just pisses me off. I'm stamping my foot and screaming in my head that it just isn't FAIR!

Think me shallow, much?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Round Two


I posted a month ago about my cat Ashley and how she disappeared. It seems that the loss was too much for my other cat, Emmie to take. He sat on the front porch and waited and watched for just over a month and now he is gone. I think he was heartbroken. I know I was, now I'm double.

This cat took more shit from my kids, and kept on purring. While Ashley made it clear that we belonged to her, Emmie was the total opposite. He BELONGED to us, he loved us so unconditionally and so fully. Emmie did not know how to be a snob, he was the best cat I've ever had, in my life and I've had A LOT of cats. He will be a tough act to follow.
RIP Emmie, I'll miss you.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trapped

While on my trip last week, I got trapped in the bathroom of my hotel room. I thought I'd share a bit more of the details.


We stayed at a Hilton in San Francisco, just a standard businessy hotel, with an executive level room. We had a fabulous view of the Bay and the room was just as we usually expect from a Hilton. The one thing that I hated was the bathroom door. I hated it from day one. Instead of a standard swinging door, it was a wooden door on a sliding track. I can see how this creates tons of floor space and it seems much less cramped than a door that opens up either into the small bathroom, or out into the entry way of the room. I get it. But this was not a pocket door, it was an attempt to be "like" a built in pocket door. The problem was that since this was added to a door that used to be a standard swinging door, the track rested on the outside of the wall. A typical pocket door disappears into the wall - also, when it is closed there are no gaps.

The door at the Hilton had gaps. BIG gaps. The door would slide in front of the bathroom opening, however it was not flush against the wall (if it was, it would not slide easily). Granted they designed the sliding door to be wider than the opening to the bathroom, but still, it did not lay against the wall, so if you are standing near the door you can pretty much see in the bathroom. Catch the gap at an angle and you can look right into the shower.

Nakedness is no secret between married folk, but there are some things are just better left 'unHEARD'. And believe me, if there is a gap there is NOT a sound barrier. This bathroom offered very little privacy and I was constantly wondering if Hunk was playing peeping tom through the gaps. Though I am a delicate flower, sometimes flowers have to poop, or toot, or a combination of both. This lovely door left a gap that allowed all sights, sounds and smells their freedom to run amuck. I HATED this bathroom door.

Apparently, it hated me, too. I was in the room alone in the afternoon and decided to shower. Was expecting Hunk to be back in two hours to go to an event. So, I bolted the hotel room door with the swinging bolty thing. I went into the bathroom and slid the door closed. I heard it click because I slid it a bit too far and left a crack, who cares, I'm alone. After my shower, I tried to slide the door open and it would not budge. I had wet hair and was in a towel trying to move a solid wood door that was HEAVY. It had fallen out of the track. It fell when I slid it too far, and only the part that slid out fell - meaning it was at an angle and it was jammed into the carpet. I tried and tried and could not move the thing. It is definately an odd thing to be flexing and lifting and groaning - while naked. At least if you are trying to move a door.

I eventually tried getting some leverage at the bottom of the door by using a hairbrush. It helped a bit, but then broke under the weight/pressure of the door. I managed to push the bottom of the door outward so that I could at least reach the bolt on the room door and unlock it to let management in to help me. I was twittering and getting advice on what to do. I figured it was pointless (in the beginning) to call the hotel because the room door had the slider bolt on - they could not get in the room. And, hello, I was also in a towel. Once I got an opening large enough to reach the slider I called for help. Before help arrived, I was able to continue to push the bottom of the door until I created an opening large enough for me to climb out.
I ended up breaking the header thing across the top of the door by pushing it out. When the hotel staff finally arrived, the guy was all confused as to what I had exactly done to the door. He had to rehang it and get the header repaired. I tried to explain that I had been trapped in the bathroom, but honestly, he didn't care. Just fix it and move on.

I took a photo of the door after I got out. It was the weirdest experience I've had in a while. I was in no danger, but just the dilemma of calling for help while naked, or waiting it out a couple hours and hoping that Hunk could save me. Luckily, I used my skills to get out on my own and thankfully I had my phone with me so I could call for help if needed. And no, I don't normally take my phone with me to the bathroom, but I was hoping to get a call from my daughter and I didn't want to miss it. It's hard to connect when your kids are on the opposite coast and have busy schedules!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Define Homeless

Yesterday, MSN had an article about a young blogger. The title was something like, Homeless Blogger lands great job at Elle Magazine. Intrigued, I clicked through and read the story.

Apparently this young woman, while homeless, wrote a letter to the editor of Elle about her search for a job and pulled some heartstrings. She mentioned her blog about being homeless and Elle took notice. The magazine ended up giving her a small job, and then in the end it has turned into a paid blogging gig. They are branding her as "the new face of the homeless" - meaning that homeless people aren't all dirty and uneducated, they can be tecnologically ept and have electronics to boot. I can agree with this, to an extent.

The thing about this girl is that I don't think that she was technically "homeless". She was living in an RV in a Walmart parking lot. She spent her days in Starbucks using free wifi and refills while she was job hunting and blogging. Correct me if I'm wrong, but an RV has a roof, walls, floor and BED, not to mention a bathroom/sink/shower.

I would not want to be in this girl's situation, however, walking down the streets of almost any major metropolis area can give you a completely different definition to the word homeless. There are people who have nothing, no where to go, no where to sleep and nothing to eat. Generally, I don't pity the homeless, I see many shelters and agencies that are willing to help them get back on their feet. Many of them just have no desire to do more with themselves. It is a choice that some of them have made to stay homeless - whether it be depression, drugs, alcohol, whatever. But the fact of the matter is, the girl in the article was FAR from homeless. Not only did she have an RV, she had an option to live with her mother, which she choose not to do. She had SOMEWHERE to live, she just didn't want to live there. She took to living in her RV at a free parking spot at Walmart by choice. But, still, the RV was her home. She had somewhere dry and secure to go every night. People on the street don't have that luxury - if the shelters are full, they are out of luck. The people on the street literally have only what is on their backs. They can't claim any property or structure as their own. To me, that is a much better definition of homeless.

So, this girl didn't have a job and (probably) got pissed at her mom, she choose to live on her own in a free RV in a free parking space and blog off the kindness of Starbucks wifi on a computer that she owned. But OH MY, let's all see this as a heart warming story of the saving of the homeless!!

While I hate to see so many people in bad financial situations due to job loss or economic strain, this just doesn't strike me as a great story. She got lucky by being the first person to use this spin on her situation, but to many people who are truly homeless, the girl had it made. I feel for her being in the situation she was in, but just because you don't live in a brick and mortar structure does not automatically drop you into the homeless category in my book. Kudos to her for landing a job, but call it what it is - and it isn't homeless.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pimping Out Anissa

Anissa is giving away a free printer, so go check out her blog and get all the details.


But don't win, because I totally need this printer for my living room, so I can hide in my bedroom with the door locked and print out directives to my children. Wireless is a wonderful thing......


Monday, August 24, 2009

And today, I pack....

I'm going to San Francisco next week, therefore I must begin packing now. I LOVE to pack. Packing is like a zen fest for me - as long as I'm not being hurried. I like to pack and prepare for trips weeks in advance.

We went on a cruise a few years ago, the first cruise with kids. We were travelling with 3 other families on a Caribbean adventure and we all got together and planned our big excursion 6 months in advance, and yes, 6 months in advance was when I began packing for that trip.

I don't like to overpack, so it would seem that packing so far in advance would lend me time to accumulate too much stuff, but it works the opposite for me. If I have enough time I can plan out every possible scenario and then plan the easiest, most compact way to deal with it. This is the part that I love so much, trying to think of everything, and then trying to be prepared for it. It sounds OCD, but I'm really not. I like to be in control, but I'm not obsessive about it - most of the time. It is more of a challenge to have everything I need, or to know exactly where the closest retailer is, so that I might purchase the item of necessity.

I think this stems a lot from being a mother. I absofuckinglutely hate to see a kid having a melt down or throwing a tantrum. I do NOT agree with giving a kid a reward in such a behavior, so NO, I'm not packing cookies for my screaming child. I fully believe that my kids fear my tantrum & wrath much worse than their own, therefore they learned to behave. BUT, I did always have things on hand to be prepared to steer around situations which could lead to a meltdown. Most kids go nuts because someone waited too long to let them rest, eat or be comfortable. And then some kids are just spoiled rotten piss heads. I can't remember a time when I had to deal with either of my kids for a public meltdown. We had a few at home, but that was mostly due to me ignoring requests for help (mom of the year!!). We are WAY past those years now, but I look back and have memories of my extrememly well behaved children. And I do not look at the world through rose colored lenses, so I'm pretty sure my memories are accurate. My kids are well behaved and polite, and anyone who knows them will agree......*cracks the whip*. I also suffer back pain from the back of tricks I constantly carried around. :) My oldest daughter loves to proclaim that I am the most prepared woman on earth. I like her the most.

I remember the days when I carried diaper bags. I had a different diaper bag for every occasion and the sole reason was so that I could rePACK a damn bag every.single.day. I got so much joy from neatly tucking little things in pockets and flaps. I special ordered several bags because of their compartmental attraction. I had everything that my baby could possible need. I was prepared!

So, I'm beginning to pack today, and I actually feel a little behind because I'm leaving in 5 days. I'm usually farther along by now!

Anyone in San Francisco? I'll be solo for most of my journey as Hunk will be working and entertaining. I'm so very excited to be going, if I didn't have a fear of earthquakes I would move to SF tomorrow. Of course, can you imagine how FUN it would be to pack an earthquake preparedness kit. OMG!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Missing Cat



My cat is gone. The cat I got when I first got married (our first child!), Ashley. She was a lovely little Russian Blue with beautiful gray hair. She has been a daily part of my life for the past 16 years and 2 months. Ashley was an indoor cat up until June of this year. She had no interest in stepping outside of the house, but suddenly she was streaking out of the house every time there was a crack in the door. She would push her way through and leap out into the yard. It was all really weird, but after a week of trying to discourage her she became an outdoor cat. She would come to the back door and bang the screen door to get my attention. She would act all frantic as if she were a starving orphan (when she ate not 20 minutes prior) I would open the door and she would race through the house to the front door (where the food was) and persistently exclaim that she was HUNGRY! And she did not want to eat inside the house, she demanded that her food be served on the front porch. Weirdo.




I brought her in the house every chance I got and she would claw her way back outside. She simply decided that she was now an outdoor cat. And her personality changed completely. Our other cat (Emmie) goes in and out of the house as he pleases. He has been the ruler of the universe for many, many moons. But as Ashley gained her new independance she became very fiesty. Ashley used to watch Emmie steal her treats and sit quietly by, but outside she became the Queen of Everything and suddenly Emmie was taking a backseat. I watched in astonishment as Ashley would literally push Emmie away from the food as she took the lion's share of whatever she wanted. It was like Bizarro Cat World. Everything was totally backwards and opposite.




Until Saturday, August 8. Hunk was awake at 4 am, not sure why. He said Ashley was at the back door. Nothing unusual, she was waiting for breakfast. When I awoke around 7 am and went to feed her, she was not there. She hasn't been back since. I have worried and searched for that cat everyday since then. I have come to the realization that she is probably not coming back.




I've made flyers, visited Animal Control, etc. I know that no one would let her stay inside their house because she shits everywhere (she is old and had lost a lot of control), also her insistance to be outdoors. We had our house carpeted in puppy pads for her problems, so when she decided to take it outside I admit we were a bit happy. I have a hard time believing that she was just old and died in her sleep, because of the tenacity she was showing the day prior to her disappearance. I would like to think that she just died of old age, but I have visions of her meeting a coyote, or getting hit by a car (not TOO likely, we live in the sticks) and it just haunts me. I HATE HATE HATE to think she might've suffered, or needed help and felt all alone. But she is an animal, she was equipped to handle herself (she had her claws) and she WANTED to be outside.




At times I feel irresponsible for letting her go outside, but then again, I feel like it is the right thing to do to let her be where she truly wanted to be. We have a LOT of land, and while I can't control the animals I feel that she was completely safe from any man-made dangers. I felt better that Emmie decided to stay outside once she was out there - they were fierce friends and I felt that *maybe* they would look out for each other. Emmie continues to look for her everyday, he is lost without her and he has not left the front porch since she has been missing. He absolutely will not come inside the house - I guess he thinks he might miss her if she returns. He is no doubt a sad cat.




I just miss her. Not knowing is just the WORST part. I keep looking at the back door, expecting to see her little gray face getting all frantic as if she hadn't eaten in months. I'm longing for the way she got underfoot to swirl between my legs to let me know that I was indeed "her person". I'm just sad.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I went to Davelanta and all I got was a lousy VIRUS!

OK, not really a virus, though there was a lot of touching and sharing and such. Really, my computer pissed out on me and therefore I have been unable to post my wonderful experiences. It wasn't a virus, but more of a short circuit - which, in retrospect, fits the bill for my point that Davelanta was a mind altering experience.
I am sure you have all been there, seen that with the photos, but I do have one with the Almighty Dave and my Hunk, so I look like a ham sandwich. Not a bad place to be, except we had all been baking in Atlanta for the better part of the day. I even took the boys through Dillard's and encouraged them to be complimentarily (is that a word?) sprayed with Versace', but they didn't, they are boys. And I stand my ground, boys are weird. And I live with one. By choice.
They also did not choose to get their hair freshened up at the flat iron cart, but can you see how nice and smooth my hair is? Take THAT Atlanta humidity!! I am a very curly girl (think Monica in Barbados).
I really did have a great time and even met some new people. I'm a rather quiet girl, so while I should have jumped out of my shell and made some rounds at the table, I stayed in my seat like a loser and didn't get a lot of quality face time with some people. There were some wonderful people there, like Heather and Diana (who will soon be admitted into the Saints Hall of Fame for her selflessness), Anissa, Kim, Val, Muskrat & the Mrs. (who I hear may have fabric?, hello, I'm a total fabric hoarder, call me!) and Julie. Realistically, I had two pink lemonades of the alcoholic sort and I really could not get off of my stool, I'm not a total tool. I just can't hold my alcohol.
I'm still amazed that I ever agreed to meet up with total strangers, I'm more than a rather quiet girl, I'm ass backwards shy. But sometimes, it is so totally worth it to step out of your box!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pioneer

I've been working on de-cluttering my life. We simply have TOO.MUCH.STUFF. And the thing is, I'm not really a "stuff" kind of person. The problem is that after 16 years we have just accumulated a lot, and failed to go 'out with the old and in with the new'(er). I donate a ton to Goodwill, especially the kids clothes and old toys. But we have tons of other things that I have a hard time sending out the door, which turns into piles of stuff. I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to things that my belong to my kids. I think this comes from having a bad memory - and I really do have a bad memory. I used to have an excellent memory and could tell you dates and events without batting an eye, but I've had WAY TOO MANY Diet Cokes in the past 20 years and I truly, honestly believe that Diet Coke has robbed me of my brain cells. Or at least the Aspartame (?). I don't have vivid memories like I used to have. I remember stuff, but if I have a tangible item it really does spark a memory, so I tend to hold onto "stuff". I'm also of the mindset that "this could be useful at some point", which causes me to hang onto things that could be better off sent to Goodwill (or the trash!). It also invariably happens that the moment I donate something, within a month I am wishing that I had it for (fill in the blank).

Anyway, my point - I'm cleaning in my basement. Half of the basement is finished, but we have some unfinished storage, too. And a basement garage. Both of those areas tend to get spidery, which freaks me out completely. So upon cleaning in those areas, I'm sucking up webs and debris (shudders) and finding things to recycle, or trash. I found some jackets, towels, gloves and just general items of clothing that for one reason or another were stored away. And these are items that we can still use (when winter rolls around) so I now need to wash them and rid them of could be spiders (eeeek!). My problem is that I have a nice, new, fancy washing machine and the thought of putting these items in my new machine gives me the total heebie jeebies.

Speaking of hanging onto STUFF - guess what is sitting in my garage? My OLD washing machine. STILL. My intention is to put it on Craigslist or donate it to someone in need, but I have done neither. The machine still works great and it is just sitting there. A pity.

So, I decide that I will do the 'could be' spider laundry in the old machine, which I rolled out onto the patio and hooked up to the outdoor hose for a water supply. See, I am a bit ingenious. And now, I am doing laundry outside. Honestly, it is like I am a Pioneer woman. Really, we live in the woods and I'm washing clothes out here with Mother Nature - except that I have electricity. And running water. And laundry detergent. And a washing machine.

Ahem.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TOUR

I feel as though I have been on a tour of the South East in the past two weeks!


We had a quick, unexpected trip to Memphis, TN for a family funeral July 7. We ended up being there for a few days and I took the opportunity to take my kids to Beale Street in downtown Memphis.


Note: There's not a lot for a person on Beale Street who is not allowed to drink beer! The street performers were interesting to watch, but the street is bar, after bar, after bar, after bar..... My kids were not as enthralled as I'd imagined. There were a TON of awesome musicians, like on every corner. The music was surrounding us from every direction - if you could get to an area to single out one musician, many of them were pretty amazing.
As soon as we returned from Memphis, we hopped on a plane to Houston, TX. We met my family there to tour the Johnson Space Center - it was nothing like I had expected! It was like an attraction, there was a ton of stuff for the kids to do. We did go on a tour, but it was bare bones at best. The behind the scenes tours are only for those over the age of 14, which puts my kids out. Therefore, we could not participate in that - bummer. We were at the space center just two hours prior to launch so we were able to watch live feed of the happenings of preparing for blast off. Yes, you can watch it on TV, but it was fun to "be there".
There was a George Lucas exhibit as well - a nice displaying of costumes, scripts, props, etc. There was a handwritten script from Star Wars as well (which one? ask my nerd....)
We left Houston to go to Dallas, where my family lives. While in Dallas we visited the Forth Worth stockyards and saw a real herd of longhorns walking down Exchange street. It is amazing how large those animals really are, and the horns(!), whoa!
I'm glad to be home. We were visiting my brother and his wife, we had never been to their house before this trip. My kids stayed with them (their kids are the same ages), but Hunk and I stayed at a hotel. While they had space for us in the house, it wasn't a bedroom - it was a media room with a futon and a bathroom to be shared with 4 little girls. I thought that our decision to sleep in a real bed for 5 nights was a good one, but apparently we offended my sister in law. My brother made several comments about us staying offsite, but whatever. I'm so done with my SIL, I have never met a person who is so self absorbed in my life. I could write a book about all the incidences from the past week, but that is for another day.....I am SOOOOOO glad to be home!
Now, I have Dave to look forward to with DAVELANTA just around the corner. YEEEHAW!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stuck




We had a long holiday weekend and so we decided to take the family to Stone Mountain. We go there a few times a year since it is only about 45 minutes from our house. We typically purchase an annual park pass so that we can do the attractions as well as just enjoy the nature aspect of the park.

The park offers a tram ride to the top of Stone Mountain. (You can see the cable towers in the photo above). The tram car carries up to 82 people per car and runs every 15 minutes or so. We've been to the top many times, but it never gets old, so away we went - it was about 5pm. The top of the mountain is a large area with a fence around the steep sides and then on one side the mountain slopes off so there is a trail you can walk down. The trail down the mountain is about a mile, but it is pretty steep and it is not smooth walking. There are boulders to step off and around and just general mountainy stuff. It is recommended that you wear proper hiking shoes for the trail.
When we were done enjoying the view from above, we noticed that the top of the mountain was basically deserted and we were alone. GREAT! There would be no line for the tram ride down. WRONG! We went in to the mountain top lobby to find that they had closed the tram ride down to the bottom due to a storm looming on the horizon. They had the weather channel on and we could see that there was indeed a very large storm coming in from Alabama. The park ranger suggested that once it hits, we could be waiting for a few hours for it to pass over. Basically, we were stuck on the top of the mountain - at the mercy of mother nature. Knowing that I was not dressed for hiking, nor were my kids, nor was Hunk, we thought we should wait it out. By now it was 6pm and we were ready for dinner. We decided to go to the mountain top snack shop and bite the bullet to purchase overpriced, low quality food. The alternative was to start walking, or wait it out and get really hungry. The problem with waiting it out was that 1) my kids get really irritating when they are overly hungry. 2) Hunk puts on an ASSHAT quicker than a bee to honey when he is not fed on a regular schedule. I was not in any mood to deal with either of these so $8 hotdogs was fine with me!!
PROBLEM! When they close the tram ride, they close THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN!? So the snack shop became CLOSED for our wait. Now, I'm no marketing genius, but to me this is the.worst.idea.ever. We were captive and hungry, I was willing to pay out the ass for crap - this should be a retailers dream. With this, we decided that the waiting idea was out.
The storm was not yet on us, no rain, only clouds on the horizon. We decided to start walking despite our attire. It wasn't really all that bad, but it makes me wonder what the protocol is if we had brought Grandma along. Seeing as how the tram was to close for the night at 8:30, what is the deal if this big storm comes in and last for hours!!?? At what point, and how, do they finally get folks to the bottom of the mountain? It took us about 40 minutes to walk down, we were going pretty slow due to fact that two of us were wearing shoes that slide rather easily. It did make my knees scream (still are hurting), but it was fun and we saw lots of carvings on the way down. The mountain has been visited by people for many years and there were carvings dated back to 1814 - probably some were even older, but that is what we saw. Pretty amazing that they are still there!!
So, we survived the trek and we promptly went out to dinner. Did you know? Stone Mountain is an un-erupted volcano?? That is your history for the day, my friend.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Size Matters

I love that my little girls have dolls, I have a small obsession with all things miniature (well, almost all things....). I love that we can get doll accessories that are near perfect replicas of everything we have - I just think they are so cute! Often times, we will find something that is not designed for a doll, but it will click in my mind that it would be the perfect size for the doll to use. For example I found some Snapple chapstick in a mini Snapple bottle which I immediately purchased 4 of them to use with their dolls. They were the perfect size for a doll!!









In other news, I went to a Pure Romance party that a friend hosted. It was a night of women learning all about sex toys, lubes, etc. We ended up tasting flavored lubes, body oils, etc. There was a balm that was made to "heat up" your lips or could be used on nipples. We were to try it as a lip balm (for the mouth!!) just to see how it feels and how it heats up. We were each given a little disposable applicator so we didn't share any germs. The little applicator was red and made out of a penis mold. I had to bring mine home to show Hunk, because you just had to see it to believe it!



I was explaining to him some of the products they offered and that they had quite a few dildos to pass around the group. In order to give him a better idea of one of the products I pulled out my little red penis applicator to give him a visual. And then. It hit me. A miniature dildo.

I know, ewwwww. But OMG. I just could not resist. The sizing is just perfect. Good thing my kids are out of town with Grandma!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

40 hours

I only have 40 hours until I leave for vacation! Kidless vacation! Yaaaaahoooo!

We went to see UP this weekend, so that my kids would not have to wait until we returned to see it. I had NO idea it would be such a romantic story. I was crying before the lights were all the way out!! I'm not a cryer, either. I can usually control my urge to cry, but tears were POURING in the first 15 minutes. Perhaps I was particularly in tune to the romanticism due to our anniversary being this week - we've been looking at "old" photos and reminiscing about our past together. I still like Toy Story the best, but UP was remarkable. I really loved it.

In order to curb my guilt for ditching my kids, today we just returned from the Children's Museum of Atlanta. We spent 3 hours playing with stuff and learning about trees. In reality, my youngest daughter is on the very edge of being too old for this museum, but we have been there before and they still think it is a fun place to go. I had different ideas, but I let them decide where we would go for fun today. You do get to paint on the walls there, which I have to admit is a fun thing to do...

We then went to The Varsity for lunch. I got my standard "FO" and a slaw dog. My older daughter got fries, which I normally LOVE the fries at the Varsity, but today they were all limp and really greasy. This is not a bad thing for someone who shouldn't be eating fries - I certainly was not tempted by them today. We ate in the car (they have car jockeys) because the place was PACKED inside. I was done with dealing with crowds and rude people (from the museum) so the car was the best choice for my sanity. Besides, the car jockeys are cute mostly older gentlemen who are always fun to talk to.

Now, I'm off to try and get all the work done that needs to be finished before leaving town, not to mention the packing. Oh yeah, and the kids - even though they are not going I still have to pack for them to stay with their grandparents. It's actually HARDER to pack for kids staying behind, because I have to think of every.single.possible.occurance that could happen where I would not be there to just know what to do. When my kids are with me, I can make anything work for what they need.....when someone else is there they may not know how to interpret, therefore I feel like I should prepare. I always over prepare. This is what makes me insane, yet I continue to do it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I look good

Today is a good day - my 8 year old looked at my driver's license and said, "You look really good in this picture!"

I said, "Whaat?" because I was half reading an email. And she said, "I mean, you always look good, but that's a good picture of you, Mommy."

Can you say.....FAVORITE CHILD?????? :)

In other news, we are volunteering at a community camp this week - I'm running the food portion and I'm working with the same volunteer from last year that gives me the willies. She is still giving me the vibe, and it is more so this year. I'm feeling a bit less uncomfortable about it because I have HUNK with me, but still. There is just something about this person that I just don't get.

Once this week is over my oldest daughter will be working on her camp counselor training. She is working with 3 camps this summer, helping as an assistant counselor and she is super excited. I'm helping her get her get ready to teach a class next week to a group of 20 younger girls. She has them for 3 hours and gets to teach them about Geocaching. We think this is going to be fun to do - hopefully they will all "get it"!!

THEN, the following week I am OFF. We are going to Key West for our anniversary. I can.not.WAIT!! I can feel the salty air, I can picture myself by the pool (the whitest person there, no doubt). I can literally taste the Sex On The Beach...... Oh wait, is that a drink, or a suggestion? Anyway, I am already there, mentally. So bear with me in my absence of mind for the next 12 days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Released!

Wheeee - today is the last day of schooooooool! School's out for Summer! School's out Forever! (I wish!, well, somedays....)

Anyhoo, I sent my kids packing for the last day, no more alarm clocks, yipee!!

I am the editor of the memory book at my kids school. I create quite a book for the kids - compared to the books of the schools surrounding us, I can confidently say that our book is the frickin' bomb! I have a few others who submit pages here and there, but 90% of the book is layed out by yours truly. I have to say that I was very pleased with our book and got many compliments on how great it was.

Besides one person. This person purchased a personalized page for their child, which I did not design. One of the volunteers did this page as this was a child she knew and wanted to do her recognition page. The page was very cute, just as described by the parent EXCEPT there were two errors that I did not catch. The wording was altered - meaning that one word was replaced with another word - both words mean the same thing, for some reason the mom designing it got it wrong. "Pleased" became "delighted". Then there was an extra letter in the spelling of the signature line......ex. " Love, Mom, Dad & Jenna". Only Jenna should've had one "n", not two.

In this case, my first reaction is to immediately refund them their money, as a gesture of good faith. It's an honest mistake, we are just moms trying to make a cute book, and we are not professionals. Hell, I got the other 200 recognitions correct.... It is unfortunate that is was a mistake, but we are in elementary school and in all honesty, don't sweat the small stuff. The photos were fabulous and the overall message was intact, still take the money since we didn't get it just right.

But some people can surprise you. This person was one of them. This has become an outright TRAGEDY for this family. I have been called names, accused of doing this purposefully and the mom who did the page was verbally attacked by the mom of the kid. The parent wants the entire project re-done with corrections and wants compensation for their grief. WTF??

These kids are 11 years old. This is meant to be a memory book, and a fundraiser for the school. Are you really THAT consumed with yourself? I agree that it is an unfortunate mistake, but no one was hurt, the recognition made sense and just......WTF!! The amount of anger that these people have spent on this is INSANE!

I am proud of myself, though. In the past I would have let this really bother me. I really do like to please people and I will run myself to the ground if I screw up. But not this time. These people had a choice - they took the low road and I will not let it ruin my day, my week or the accomplishment of a volunteer job well done. I guess I am accepting the fact that there are people who just SUCK ASS out there. I can't understand how you raise a child to become a person of society who is so completely unaware of those around them. The real tragedy in this situation is these people, and how everyone around them is looking at them with total disgust because of their behavior. These people, who are teaching their child to be just as pathetic as they are. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round......eh?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just out of the woods....

My Mother's Day was spent in the woods. My oldest daughter's Girl Scout troop wanted to camp and wouldn't you know that the ONLY weekend we could include ALL girls would be Mother's Day!! Not really my idea of a pampering experience, but I did want to take them camping and if this was the only way, then so be it.

The girls decided that since it was Mother's Day myself and my co-leads would "sleep in" while they all cooked us up a big breakfast. It was a good theory.

I woke up at 6 am, had to pee - I passed one of the girl tents and heard talking so I'm thinking this is good, I may get to eat before lunchtime!! I did my business and climbed back in the sleeping bag.

After an hour, I couldn't lay there any longer so I got out of the tent expecting to find a flurry of girls preparing food. NADA. Not a one of them were out of their tents! I grabbed a Diet Coke and set myself up to 'nap' in my hammock.

The girls finally got moving about 7:30, they spent about 45 minutes trying to get a fire going (perhaps we should re-visit the firebuilding technique?). I was getting LOTS of questions about what to do, so it ended up that the leaders did a lot of the cooking - the girls really were not ready for this big of a meal on their own (maybe in a kitchen, but not over a fire). They were also all really bickering A LOT about who got to do which station. Aye yi yi! So, I'd say that the whole Mother's Day breakfast was a bit of a bust. They also did a really crappy job at cleaning up after the meal! I wasn't in the mood to be a bitch about it (I'm usually the one to enforce the chores in the group) so I let it go - something I have NEVER done!! Hope I haven't ruined my reputation there! I did not do the cleaning though, I got back in my hammock. One of the other leaders who REALLY does not let the girls take lead cleaned up the whole shooting match. I think this is the WORST possible thing she could do for these kids, but like I said, I was not in the mood to be The Enforcer.

Though the breakfast didn't happen, the rest of the day was really good. The girls wrote a play and acted it all out for us. They worked on it all weekend and did a lot of practicing. It was actually a very clever play - one of the girls wrote the entire script (three scenes) and then she did all of the directing. It was very funny and the entire group worked together on it, and HAPPILY!! I was very proud of them for coming together - something we have had a lot of issue with. I can say that the one girl who causes a lot of strife had left early - I realized how much the group dynamic changed without her there.

I then introduced them all to Geocaching. They loved it! We went on a hunt for two cache boxes and were successful at finding both of them. Both of the boxes were filled with swag and they happily swapped some stuff and we found a Geocoin to boot. It turned out to be much more exciting for them than I ever imagined!

When I got home, Hunk made lasagna for my dinner and I dropped I was so exhausted from the trip. The girls wore me out!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Caught in the Act

Suppose you went to a party hosted by a business acquaintance. Suppose your 'date' had a lot to drink and was feeling frisky. Suppose he suggests that you have a rendezvous in the restroom on the yacht of your business acquaintance. Suppose you give in and say, yes.......

Now, imagine that while you are in the middle of being frisky, that you hear a KNOCK. Ok, he calmly says, "just a second" and the abbreviated ending ensues. KNOCKING, more persistent, "just oonnnne second", in a breathy tone. Then you hear a voice, it's the owner of the boat, "I need to get in there!", more KNOCKING. Trying to wrap things up rather quickly, now.

OF COURSE, there is only one way out. OF COURSE, the owner is waiting on the other side of the closed door and there are TWO people in one restroom. OF COURSE, this is not a person that you know that well. OF COURSE, there are 3 other restrooms on the boat and this is the one that he comes to, AT THIS EXACT MOMENT.

Sigh.

Exiting the restroom, rather quickly, eyes averted.

Suppose you probably won't be invited to the next cruise.......

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zilch to blog

I've got nothing.

I'm literally just surviving these last 3 weeks of school. I can.not.wait to be freed from the school schedule!! I really don't have a problem getting up early in the morning, unless I am FORCED to. It is then that it becomes a chore that I loathe. I just can't get myself moving. I'm seriously thinking of home-schooling my kids, just so I don't have to be somewhere at a certain time every single day of the week. How pathetic is that?

I'm so against doing the same thing over and over. I have never been a good conformer to routine. I like to get things done and then do something new altogether. Luckily, this didn't hit me until a few years after college. I used to be a school teacher and had my life laid out on a schedule all the way to when I could pee. Once we moved and I was forced to get a 'different' job in the interim I realized that I HATE SCHEDULES! Therefore, I never went back to teaching. I kept my office job which allowed me to do all sorts of different and fun projects. I was also able to stay home one day a week. This completely spoiled me and I have not been the same since.

So, I've got nothing to blog, except that I am living for May 23. A day where I will likely wake up at 6 am, but I won't HAVE to. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Really?!

I barely caught the tail end of a commercial yesterday. The most important part that I glanced up and noticed was a web address. I then realized I was hearing a commercial advertising prunes as a snack. The web site is

popaprune.com

Really?! NO one in marketing gave any thought to the geriatric porn references here? I'm surprised the address was available, especially given to the weirdos in the world that consider things like donkey porn to be acceptable. I'll admit I have a sense of humor, but my mind is not nearly as far into the gutter as other folks around and it took me all of two seconds to see this address and say...."ewwww". If I noticed it could be taken out of context, then SURELY a marketing executive making WAY MORE MONEY THAN ME could have considered this possibility. Perhaps I have missed my career calling.....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Deal!

Kapgar motivated me to post about our great GameStop deal last week....


Since it was Easter, and we have children we were trying to think of something fun to put in the Easter baskets. Typically, I try to keep Easter low key. A lot of folks we know make Easter a second Christmas as far as gifts for the kids. I *kind of* fell into that category this year. Ahem.


Since I'm married to a Hunk of a Nerd, the new Nintendo DSi has been a hot topic around this house. We tossed around the idea of getting the kids DSi's for Easter. The new DSi costs $169. That, times two. Uhhh, no, not for Easter. Sigh.


Then, my coupon loving, deal finding Hunk realized that GameStop was offering an exceptional trade in value for the DSLite (we have two). Normally, you get $40 for a trade and they were offering an additional $30 for a $7o trade in value!! Not bad, considering a DSLite costs $129 new. We've had them for at least 2 years and gotten TONS of use out of them. So, Hunk looked through his Xbox, Playstation, Wii games and found a few that were old, unused or just no longer appealing, coupled with two DSLites and he headed off to make a deal.


The result is that he got two DSi's for $150. Now, that is a deal!! It is still more than I would have preferred to put in an Easter basket, but Hunk has had just as much fun, if not MORE FUN, than the girls playing with the new DSi's. They do so much more than just games!!


The rest of the Easter basket was candy, however I did get my youngest daughter a Darth Vader holding jellybeans. I mean, really, could anyone pass him up?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Break!!!!

My kids are on Spring Break this week!! Whooo Hoooo!

We leave tomorrow to go camping - I'm happy we are going, but it is supposed to rain on Friday and after our last camping trip in the pouring rain.....well, I'm not really looking forward to the wetness. I'm hoping that the forecaster will be dead wrong and it will all just blow over.

Today, we went bowling. We went to our local bowling center at 10:30 a.m. and the guy said we had to come back at 1:30p.m upon which we would be placed on a waiting list. So basically, we should wait 2.5 hours, come back and then wait for an indefinate amount of time for a lane?? No thanks. My other option was to reserve a lane for $15 - but that amount is not credited for any games or anything, soo.... we hopped in the car and went to the next town over (15 minute drive) and we walked right in and got a lane for as long as we wished!! The $15 would not have been a problem, but the entire bowling alley was EMPTY as he stood there and delivered this information. Apparently, a plethora of folks had called in and paid the $15 reservation fee for all the morning hours, but NO ONE was there. It just pissed me off that the whole place was quiet, yet we could not walk in and get a lane. The bowling alley we went to works on first come, first served basis - I liked that idea much better, at least for today!!

I didn't blog on April 1, however I did manage to get my kids really good for April Fool's.....at dinnertime I put some "mashed potatoes" on their plates with their dinner - which was vanilla ice cream I had softened and mushed around.....THEY TOTALLY FELL FOR IT! As a matter of fact, my oldest daughter covered hers in salt and pepper!! I didn't think it looked all that convincing, but apparently it did because they both got the surprise of their lives when they took that first bite....... I like April Fool's when the joke is not on me.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thieves

There is an empty lot at the end of our country road. There was an old farmhouse there, once. It burned to the ground about 7 years ago. There's no concrete slab, or basement walls to note that there was a house there at one time. The house was old, probably from the early 1900's, before slabs and basements were thought of. What does remain are the flowers. A long time ago, someone planted flowers in the yard of the old house. Bright yellow daffodils and deep purple Phlox (or Thrift?).

This lot sits alone on a busy road, it has a For Sale sign on it, but it hasn't been touched in years. Every once in a while someone will take it upon themselves to park a car "For Sale" - on a lot that doesn't belong to them. About a month ago, as I turned into my road I noticed a car parked on the lot, with the doors open. I then saw a man with a shovel, digging up the blooming flowers! I drove on.

When I came back by later, where there was once a few long rows of pretty yellow flowers, there was dirt. A few broken flowers were tossed around and there was one small patch of flowers left. The purple flowers were undisturbed.

The next day, a different car was in the same spot, this time it was a woman. And a shovel. She took ALL of the remaining yellow flowers. Apparently, she had seen the man taking flowers, and thought they were free game so she came back for the leftovers.

Today, a new car, a new woman and a new shovel. She dug up the entire back row of the purple Thrift.

I won't be surprised if her thievery causes someone else to take the rest tomorrow. The lot will be nothing but overturned dirt and overgrown shrubs.

So, just because someone else is doing it, it must be okay? In this world, all property belongs to someone. There is no unclaimed land. What gives people the right to steal these flowers? Just because no one is there to tell them 'NO', they have taken it upon themselves to decide that the flowers are out for the taking.

What I find interesting is that it took one person to 'go first'. Then the rest just followed and probably justified themselves by the fact that 'he did it first, so we thought it was okay'.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Minus One Appendix

We spent our weekend and the first part of this week in the Children's hospital. My oldest had to have her appendix removed....of course, unplanned!! Does anyone have a planned apendectomy?

Today was her first day back at school, and she only went in at 11:00 a.m. I've already gotten a call from her that she needs pain medication and it is currently 1:15!! I have strong reservations that the doctor should've given her more time to recover. He suggested that she attend school on Wednesday this week, but I didn't send her - we are all exhausted from trying to live in a hospital room and keep up with our younger child, so we needed a day off. Plus, it was her BIRTHDAY!! I figured the kid deserved a day off after having been sliced open right before her birthday!!

In retrospect, we were pretty lucky that we were only in the hospital from Saturday evening until Tuesday. There were so many people around us that were in there for much longer periods of time and for much more serious ailments. The thing that made me so sad was a little boy who was on our floor, he was all alone most of the time. His parents had to be at work and so he spent his days alone, playing Nintendo or hanging out at the nurse's station. We were lucky enough to be able to have one parent with our child at all times. I can't even imagine how crushing it would be to have to leave your 6 year old all alone at a hospital. Knowing that if you don't go to work, you could lose your job and insurance, knowing that healthcare can cause you to be in financial ruin. Knowing that you had to make a choice to be with your child, or to secure your group insurance. Ugh. It is just not right.

But we are home now, and my child is doing better. I'm still trying to catch up on the sleep that was lost, a hospital is no place to get any rest!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Money and Movie

The latest update on our money is that WE GOT IT ALL BACK! Paypal completed their investigation and we got a full refund. Yahoo!! The thing that I'm dying to know are all the details!! I have no idea if they found the jeweler to be a part of the whole case, or if they got a credit for the cost of the diamond. It just grates on my nerves when I don't have details!! I'll get past it though, since I have my moolah back!

Speaking of money, last night I dropped a nice chunk of change on my daughter's birthday party. I try not to spend tons of money on birthday parties, I don't rent out the jumpy houses for $400, we don't hire zoos, mascots, etc. But I do like to have a fun party. Our ill-planned party (due to my lack of planning ahead) went off really well......it just cost more than I ever thought it would. We met at Chick Fil A where I purchased a nugget tray and fruit cups - instead of getting everyone a single meal. This turned out to be about the same price, but at least we were able to forgo the french fries. While I knew the kids were going to eat a lot of candy, I tried to sneak in some better choices...i.e. fruit cups. After dinner we walked over to the candy store and I allowed each of them to get the equivalent of one scoop of candy. Silly me, I thought this would amount to about $3 per child, but since I could not police them - they were going batshit crazy - some of them filled their bags with more than the allotted amount. I gave too much credit to other people's kids, I fully expect my kids to follow direction and not act like an animal in public. Other people, apparently, do not teach their children these policies. Not to mention that these girls were all 11 or 12 years old, they SHOULD have some level of responsibility and grace. Eh. What I expected to cost $30 ended up being $60! Yes, I purchased $60 worth of CANDY. That makes me want to hurl. But once you scoop it out, you can't really put it back, so we were kind of stuck with it. I definately learned NOT to turn a kid loose in a candy store......heh.

Our next stop was to see Race to Witch Mountain. I have fond memories of watching Witch Mountain movies when I was a kid, so I was excited for my kids to share the fun. It was okay, but it was not as much about the kids having powers as it was about car chases/crashes. My 7 year old was not impressed with it at all - she got in my lap and tried to sleep. It was shaky filming which I can not stand and it just wasn't all that interesting. The older girls seemed to like it, but I thought the kid actors were weird. Maybe my memory is all messed up, but Tia didn't act like a frickin' robot in Escape to Witch Mountain. The classic movies featured the kids having fun, but this release gave them virtually no personality whatsoever. They were all sad in the end when leaving "The Rock" (Dwayne), and don't get me wrong, I would be sad to leave that man behind, but as the movie went, I didn't really see them make a familial connection to him since they had really no emotion at all. So, either the movie was just okay, or I'm just ass old. Probably a little bit of both! By the way, both of the child actors from the original movies had small parts in this release - I thought that was cool.

One last thing about money is that when one of the mom's dropped off her daughter (I do not know this family), the mom pulled me aside and stated that her child had picked out the gift on her own. The mom thought that the daughter did not spend enough money on the gift, so she wanted me to know that she dropped a $20 down in the gift bag so her daughter wouldn't look cheap. HUH? First of all, how did the daughter go shopping without an adult? Second of all, the little girl gave my daughter 2 new tops, both of which were very cute. ?? I'm not sure where this mom was coming from and how much she feels you should spend on a gift for a kid's birthday - a kid that is just a casual friend from school. Unless it is a really special occasion I see birthday gifts as gestures of kindness, not to be measured by worth. Maybe I am the cheap one? The funny thing is that my daughter just went to this girl's birthday a few weeks ago - I suppose she thought we sent a cheap gift because I let my child pick out the gift. She chose to give the girl a set of colored art pencils because the girl really loves to draw. The set was $9.99, we threw in a cheap sketch book and that was it! She chose something she thought the girl would really love based on her interests, not by price! I wasn't sure how to take that comment! How do you measure what is appropriate to spend on a birthday gift?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No News

No news is not necessarily good news, or bad - it is ANNOYING! We've got no information on our Paypal/Ebay issue. I've talked to two different people at Paypal. The first one I talked to was mildly reassuring, but she didn't offer much information. She basically said that Paypal protects us and to wait up to 10 days for a decision. Pardon me, but a 'decision' means that I may or may not get my money back (in my opinion). I called again, to try to get an update, and I talked with another representative who was VERY reassuring. She asked a TON of questions, made some major restrictions on our account to prevent any further fraud (which should have been done IMMEDIATELY on my first call!), she seemed very interested in this investigation and wanted to gather as much information as possible. She states that Paypal will cover our money, AND they will pay the seller of the diamond if they had already shipped it. I suppose they would then use law enforcement to try and track the actual offender. I have hope, but I will believe it when I see it in the form of $$$$.

It's very frustrating to wait for information. On my end it seems as though nothing is happening and I'm the type of person that likes to make stuff happen. I hate to wait, on anything. The waiting is just killing me. I am also obsessed with having lots of information about stuff. I think I'm more focused on the fact that I need more information about this crime than the money itself. Well, maybe..... :)

In other news, I'm hosting a baby shower at my house next weekend. I'm getting kind of freaked out about it because I feel like my house is not 'show ready'. I also don't have a lot of time between now and the shower, sooooo... I'm a little irritated.

I have no window treatments in my living room. Not a real issue, but there were window treatments at one time, so now there are holes where the hardware once was. It needs filling, sanding and painting. Oh yeah, I don't have that paint anymore, either. The bathroom that is most likely to be used by guests also needs a paint job along with the hallway attached to it. I watched my friends kids a week or so ago and they ended up coloring all over the walls. Sounds like I did a fantastic job watching them, huh? I was actually getting their dinner together and they were playing nicely in the next room - or so I thought. I tried using a magic eraser to remove most of the coloring - it does work, but I can 'see' where I've erased. And not all of it will come off. Hey, they are aspiring artists and they used different mediums of coloring tools! There were crayons, markers and pencils.

There are a lot of other little things that I would like to have done before having a mulititude of people sticking their noses in every corner of my house, but I think I'm just going to have to get past it. There are not enough hours in the day. What is it with people coming over that they have to go on a 'tour' of the whole house and look behind every door!? I'm really letting just one person get to me about this whole house thing. I have a relative who will be attending that loves to point out things that they could do so much better!

I should just let it go, much like my obsession with our claim. It will all happen the way it was meant to happen. I will do what I can to make the shower nice, and I will do what I can to find the prick who took my money, but in the end no amount of my worry will change an outcome.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shaft

I've been using online service, vendors, banking, etc. since the beginning of 'internet' time. It must have been more than 10 years. I've had very few 'problems' aside from the occasional suckbucket on ebay. None of my problems have ever amounted to much. Until today.

When logging on to my online banking this morning I noticed that Paypal has taken a nice chunk of my money. A $2,649.99 chunk, to be exact. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (this is the amount of silence it took before what was happening sunk in). Fu#@#^^&*%$###$***$#@!!!!!!!!! began the line of obsenities that spewed from my mouth. In my kitchen. Where my kids were eating chocolate chip waffles. I'll probably get a call from the principal today when my 7 year old asks her teacher what "you fucking fucker douchebag shit" means.

Apparently, someone has captured the password of my Hunk's ebay and paypal account. Upon which they decided they wanted to purchase a $2,649.99 loose diamond. They changed the confirmed shipping address on the paypal account and did an instant transfer from our bank account. For $2,649.99. ahem. Apparently, I have moved to El Paso, TX where I will be receiving my loose diamond via US Postal service any day now.

So, Paypal will investigate this claim, but it takes 10 days. My bank will let me file an unauthorized form of some sort, which takes 5 days to process. I doubt I have a leg to stand on with the bank. Paypal.....we shall see. I've heard a lot of bad stories, but I'll hold my judgement until it is considered a closed deal. My hope is that Paypal will indeed protect this purchase.

I checked out the auction that Hunk supposedly won, a brilliant loose diamond. Not only am I missing money, it was lost to something that I don't like AT ALL, jewelry. I don't wear any jewelry other than my wedding rings. I don't have any desire to wear jewelry. Anyhoo, I called the number of the "Seller". They have a website - a strange address, though (no www). I dialed the 877 number and a man answered, possibly having been awakened by the phone. He was clearly NOT at a jewelry store. I asked him if he could refund my purchase, he said yes, but he needed to call his partner. "Has the item been shipped?" Yes, I was assured that the diamond was shipped to El Paso yesterday. "A Tracking Number, please". He didn't have it at the moment and he really needed to call his partner to figure this all out. His partner happened to have just left for Israel. Hmmmm.

I then followed up my dispute with a call to Paypal to see what leg I have to stand on, especially if they say this item has shipped. According to Paypal, they have not yet released the money to the seller (thank GOD if that is true). Which brings me back to the seller - why would they ship a diamond supposedly valued at $6,500 (I really got a bargain!! ha) if they haven't received their $2.649.99???

There's a lot of fishy going on here. At first I thought that perhaps both the seller and myself had been duped. But with the reaction I'm getting from the seller, I'm wondering if they are not a part of the scam? Whatever the case, if the seller is legit, and they shipped this diamond then someone in El Paso is going out for a steak dinner and doing a happy dance.

A good lesson learned here, is that I should be logging on to my online banking DAILY. Paypal 'says' that there is a 3-4 day waiting period before they would have actually released the money. If I had not happened to have checked, the money would have DEFINATELY been gone and I would have no grounds at all. I'm in my account a lot, but if I set up all my billpay info, I can go a week or so without logging in.

I've made all the appropriate changes to passwords, etc., but it doesn't replace the fact that I'm out of $2,649.99 in CASH, and I may never see it again. I honestly do not see how people can live with themselves by taking things from other people. What kind of a mind do you have to have to feel as though you deserve something that I worked for? It really is amazing how people can be so different, so unfeeling, so self righteous. I wonder if I would be a different person if I weren't as blessed as I am. I don't want for food, or clothing. I have a nice place to live. If I didn't have these things would it alter my compassion for others?