Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busier than a one armed paper hanger...and better looking too!

I am sure most of you have stopped checking my Blog as I haven't posted in so long.  I am still traveling the circuit with work, so in my off time I have been working on doing all of the nominal things like first day of school for my first grader.  My favorite part of this picture is the beautiful green band aid on her leg...

Then we have had cheer practice going on with our first game on the 25th.  We won by a small margin, but our team won.  Go LOBOS!!

This is my daughter (left) with her best friend getting ready for the game.  These two have been friends since they were babies. 

Beyond that, my step-daughter has gone home to her mother's now that summer is over and we are having a partial empty nest syndrome going on.  I really wish we could keep her full time!  Oh well....

Work is going well, but the travel schedule has been pretty hectic.  The FH has kept up his end very well pitching in to drive kids around, feed the dog and not mess up the house!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Give me a C, give me an H, give me a Hernia...

Mini Me is now full swing into her first season of cheer leading.  She is a whopping 6-1/2 and just like the other 6-7 year olds in her group, can't jump.  I guess I never realized that it was a talent to be able to remove your body from the ground.  She jumps, it just isn't high enough for her to even remotely get the kicks in.  There is hope though, the second grade girls that practice part of their time with us are much better jumpers.

So, this means we have been working on jumping 101.  I say jump higher and she says I am jumping high.  I got out the ruler and she didn't even clear the 2" mark...  So, I stood behind her and helped her get the feeling of how high she should be jumping.

Let's just say I now have a hernia and she is jumping a whopping 2-1/4"...


Monday, July 30, 2012

Church with Bonus Daughter...

I had the rare opportunity to take Bonus Daughter to church with me yesterday.  I tried really hard not to stare at her during the pastor’s sermon, but I was trying to gauge her reactions to what he was sharing with us. 

You see, I have asked her several times to join us on Sundays and she has always declined.  She goes to a non-denominational church with her Mom when they go and I think she was worried that maybe she would be cheating on her church by going to another one.  Or maybe that she was being disloyal to her Mom because that was their thing.  I talked with her about it a little bit and tried to make it very open and accepting to her choice to go or not go.  I was truly surprised and excited that she chose to go with us.

Then I got nervous…

I remember how I felt about religion at her age.  Maybe it was the being 11, or maybe it was because I felt like I was getting nothing from the church, but that was a very hard time for my faith.  The Catholic Church was not the kindest to me or my family.  They shunned my mother when my parents divorced and only going every other weekend with my Dad meant we never signed up for any of the children’s teachings.  I never felt like I belonged there.

In my life, I have traveled to many different churches of many different faiths trying to find somewhere that I felt God closely with me while I was there and continued to feel him with me even when I wasn’t there.  When my daughter was just over a year old, I found my current church and just knew it was the right one.

When we sing, I feel my heart swell and my eyes tear up and I feel so loved.  It is like stepping out from a cold building in the middle of summer to feel the heat of the sun shine on your face.  It warms you instantly and continues to warm you as long as you are receiving it.  I feel welcome there.  Nobody cares where I’ve been or what I’ve done, they accept me and my mixed up family with open arms.

Can you tell I’m glad to be back at the church?  After almost a year, I have made it a part of my life again and I feel so much better. 

At the end of the sermon, I asked Bonus Daughter if she understood the message of the day and what she thought about it.  She really got it.  She really heard the message and got it.  I am so proud of her and her desire to have a relationship with God.  I am also thankful that she allowed me to share in this part of her life and can only hope that she will continue to do so. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beauty and the Beast...

One of my friends recently told me that her daughter has been offered a modeling contract.  She's 6.  The daughter, not the mother....  Anyways, the mom worked at the mall and took her daughter to work with her one day when they were doing a modeling promotion for kids.  One of the people working the show prompted mom to sign up - of course - and her daughter won the whole thing. 

On one hand, I am so excited for these people as the mom and the daughter are awesome people.  The daughter is as cute as a bug and certainly very photogenic.  I can totally see why they would select her as the winner.

On the other hand, I am so bothered by this that it has caused me to dig deep into my heart to figure out why I don't want them to have this.  I have discovered the horrible truth...I am jealous.  At first I thought it was jealousy because I wanted my daughter to model, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn't it.  It was even uglier than that.

When I was about 10, I was signed up at a modeling school.  I went with a friend because for that day only it was free.  I guess it was their way to sucker bring in more clients.  They loved me.  Not only did they love me, they decided that I could come back on a scholarship because I couldn't afford their class.  The suckered me in so much that I really felt like maybe I would make it big.  I was certain tall for my age, very blond (naturally back then) and had a great complexion.  I had dreams of how big I would be and even began practicing my red carpet walk.  Hey, I was 10, that's what 10 year old girls do, right?

Then came the utter disappointment, I was out.  Helga or Olga or one of those Swedish names came in the door off the street and stole my scholarship.  Evidently it doesn't matter how cute you are, if you don't pay your dues, you don't go anywhere.  I was left with the wonderment of what might have happened had things been different and I could have paid for the class. 

I do realize that I most likely would have never really been a model.  Not that I'm a dog, but I am not exactly high fashion model pretty.  The point is that they got my hopes up only to dash them into the gutter.  I don't want that for the daughter nor the mom because it really sucks.  I pray that it's nothing but wonderful for them and that I see the daughter on the cover of Vogue one day.  On the up side, I don't recall ever seeing Olga on the cover of anything...  :-D

Monday, July 9, 2012

The craziness continues as usual in my world.  Had a spat with Nonna, shipped off Bonus Daughter for a week and finally got the cable buried in my yard.  Yes, cable, no dead body.  Here's a little more of the details of what I have been doing...

Nonna -
Well, Nonna has been pretty quiet lately. I knew it couldn't last though.  Little by little she has been sending her junk stuff, my way.  I have been diligent in trying to find places for everything she wants to keep, but I informed her that the inn was getting full and she hadn't even sent any of her "real" stuff over yet.  I had to remind her once again that she has two rooms in our house.  Not lots of rooms in our house.  Two.  She keeps spilling out into the general areas and "suggests" how some of her things would look better in specific places where I have proudly put my things.  Nope, not working for me...

Bonus Daughter -
We have had Bonus Daughter living with us since the end of the school year (about June 1st) and things have been going pretty smoothly if you ignore her Momma Drama.  Her mom sold her house and they were not due to move until September.  The new owner sold their house sooner than expected and all of a sudden the move date was the first week of July.  Mom said she wanted us to keep Bonus Daughter and she was going to go live out of town to get herself back together.  After many tears and finally acceptance from Bonus Daughter ("really, we're not that bad" I kept telling her) we were ready to have a full time Daughter.  Only to have her mom change her mind at the last minute, literally, and now Bonus Daughter will be going back to live with her Mom in August. 

Cable -
When you build a new home, the cable company runs a line from their box to your box on the outside of your home.  This line lays exposed on the ground until another crew comes back and buries it.  After over a month of waiting for this to happen, I called the cable company and spoke with a nice man in a third world country somewhere.  After clearly explaining what I needed done, the man sends a repair technician to my home.  This technician politely tells me that he only fixes the cable, he doesn't bury it.  I told him I was sure that I had a shovel he could use.  He didn't even crack a smile.  So I call the cable company again, again I am connected with a person that is not from this country.  After explaining to her several times in several different ways, I am assured that a specialist will be coming to my home to bury my cable. And to not be confused.  What? I'm not confused, you're confused.  Whatever.  So, cable technician #2 is scheduled.  I take time off from work to be there.  That morning I receive a call from the contracting company that actually buries the lines.  The wonderful technician that had originally arrived was evidently impressed enough with my desperation that he contacted someone to finish the job. YEA!  Now I don't have to take time off from work and the cable has been successfully buried.  Little does Technician #2 know that if the contractor hadn't interceded on his behalf, there was definitely a shovel that would have been used...

That's all I have to report for now.  Jet setting off to Phoenix again tomorrow.  I think I have started getting mail there.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dust in the wind...

I was out in Phoenix earlier this week for work and came across an honest to goodness sand storm.  Two days in a row.  The second day I was at the airport, anxiously awaiting my turn to leave and out the window I see this.

Of course in my mind, it really looks like this:

So I start to panic. 

You could tell which people at the airport were from the area and which ones were visiting because about half of the people started milling about with concern while the other half acted like they could care less.

I knew better though, secretly they were worried that we would find out their secrets.  That there in the desert they were hiding this:

Oh wait, that was me this morning after the whole 5 hours of sleep I got...

Monday, June 25, 2012


I've gone crazy mad with Rooster Pox.  At least that's what the hubby thinks.  I found this awesome rustic rooster lamp that is going to go in the showcase part of our entry as well as a rooster night light and rooster canisters.  I never had a thing for roosters until The Bloggess posted about her rooster Beyonce. I loved the story so much and after sharing it with my friends, I got my own Beyonce as a wedding gift.

There were many of my "other" friends that didn't know the story behind Beyonce and really thought maybe I should be friends with people that were so tacky they would give me the best present ever!!

Some people are in love with elephants or turtles, even frogs.  Me, it is the glorious rooster.  Even a chicken is a great second, but roosters are my new favorite.  I have never been one to collect anything, ever.  Now, I am a rooster collector. 


My New Lamp

 The Night Light


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where has the time gone?  It is almost the end of June already and I am not ready for it.  The temps have started soaring and so we will be in the 100's again.  Hopefully not as many as last year's record!

I pretty much feel like I am visiting when I am at home these days.  My job has me traveling a lot and the inside of a hotel room has started to feel like home.  It is a hard balance.  Most of the time I really do love my job and I love the people I work with, but I miss my family and my home when I am not here. 

I keep telling myself that it won't be this way forever and that helps me to get through it.  I just don't want to miss out on anything.  The husband is doing a wonderful job of picking up the slack, but it has been hard on everyone. 

I am thankful to have a job, a home and a family so I continue to press on and do my best.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In 50 Years...

I spent the weekend with my extended family in Florida celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of my mother and father in law.  They married back in 1962 when they were oh so young and in love.  Their actual anniversary was at the end of May, but we chose to celebrate on the 9th so everyone with kids in school could make it.  Little did we know that Joe would pass four days after their actual anniversary. 

You would think that the celebration would have been turned into a funeral, but true to form, his wife took it in stride and continued with the anniversary party.  She wanted to remember the 50 wonderful years they were married with happiness instead of looking upon it in sadness.  She is an amazing woman and I am so very fortunate to be part of her family.

In 50 years, I will be too old to blog, but I sincerely hope that my husband and I can look back at our time together and smile the way that she smiled the entire day.  Everyone shared their memories of how Joe and Donna came out to the baseball games and a million other great times that were had in their presence.

It makes me wonder what people would say about me if I were gone.  Would they say how kind and patient I was, or how organized and clean I was.  As I am pretty sure I know the answer to that, I am definitely going to have to reconsider my OCD tendencies about how clean the house is!  I need to sit back and relax with my family more and worry less about the mess and more about those I adore.  That's my new mantra...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Rules...

My step-daughter is staying with us for two months this summer, so Saturday morning I dutifully laid out the ground rules for the duration.  My husband - her father, sat idly by nodding his head every so often.  Evidently he figured I had this one.

  1. You must bathe - at least once every 48 hours.  With soap...
  2. You must make your own bed - every morning, completely, not half way, not most of the way, all of the way.
  3. If you take it out, put it back when you are finished in the same condition you took it out in... (this rule covers a plethora of things so don't think I didn't provide her with a list of at least 30 situations in which it would apply)
I have added one rule to the list just last night.  After completing your shower, hang up your wet towel.  Do not throw it in the laundry basket to mildew until it can walk itself to the washing machine.  You might think it will lead the other clothes with it, but it will only crawl into your bed and strangle you in your sleep. 

Yes, she thinks I am completely insane...

I think 4 rules is getting off pretty light.  When we were kids, Mom would leave us at home during summer break and give us a list of chores so long, it would take half of the day to get them done.  I know it was her way of thinking we would be too busy to get into trouble, but we could get into a ton of trouble in the other half of the day and before doing all of those chores, we relished in our schemes of how we would complete the tasks without actually doing the work...

Kids today have nothing on us!

Does anyone remember hearing the garage door and frantically shouting "Mom's home..." as you ran around the house completing the tasks on your list that had conveniently been left undone?  We definitely perfected the art of procrastination.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy birthday to the best guy I know...

I had to specify with the best guy that I personally know because I am sure there are a lot of wonderful men out in the world.  Men like Gandhi, Pope John Paul II or heck, even Jesus.  Don't get me wrong, I know Jesus, just not in the same way...

Now that I have secured my own personal spot in hell...

Today is my hubby's birthday.  I started it out with a birthday wish and a card to show that I knew in advance that today is his birthday.  On Sunday, I am willingly let him meet with the geeks technicians from Best Buy so he can design his new media room.  What he doesn't realize is that his gift is the consultation...  At $99 I think that is a heck of a present, don't you?  LOL!

The new washing machine was delivered today and I am sitting at work thinking of all of the laundry I will be running it through tonight.  I wonder if I can sign up with GE to be a field tester?  I would be willing to bet I could make a living out of doing laundry and providing feedback.  Two of my most highly qualified skills!!  Oprah envies my spot removal abilities and congress is considering my most recent feedback of what they can do with their latest decisions.

On to another busy weekend but am so glad none of it will involve packing or unpacking.  YIPPEE!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I finally had a quick minute to put in a post.  I apologize for being such a periodic blogger, but life keeps happening and I don't want to miss the bus.

My daughter's last day of Kindergarten is today.  I keep trying to tell her that after school she will be a first grader, but she isn't buying it.  She gives me a patronizing look and tries to explain to me that 1st grade doesn't start until August and then she will be a 1st grader...  I have given up.

The weather has been crazy here this week.  We have had lots and lots of thunderstorms.  Some with hail, some with just heavy rain, but it has been a lot of everything.  I heard our old neighborhood had quite a bit of damage and I am hoping our new home owner's were able to escape without any.  I remember last year when the hail and straight line winds did a number on us.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Work has been crazy busy.  I have been traveling a lot and have learned that there is a ton more where that came from.  It scares me to think about how much time I may have to be away from home.  It is so hard on my daughter (and me too) whenever I am gone more than a day.  What can I do though?  I love my job and the company I work for.  I am hoping there is another way where I can be home more. 

The new house has finally been put together short of hanging some drapes that I don't have yet.  I think all houses should have the same number and size of windows so that you can take the draperies from house A and move them to house B.  After all, if you buy a pre-existing house B, those drapes are always UGLY!  My first house had pink walls with rose colored drapes.  They were so dark, heavy and dusty I almost had to hire movers just to get them into the trash.  Then it took a really big stick to keep them there...(Shudder)

Yesterday we lost my husband's father.  He had congestive heart failure and diabetes.  Mom and Dad had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last weekend.  We already had a trip schedule to go out there in June for an Anniversary party.  Now we will have to change it to a different kind of celebration.  It will be a celebration of his life rather than a mourning of his passing.

The thing that warms my heart the most is all of the wonderful notes my hubby has gotten from people telling the "I remember when" stories about his dad and how great he was.  Most of the time you get a "Gosh, I'm sorry for your loss", but with Joe we have a bunch of memories of the positive impact he had on the lives of his family.  I had only met him twice, but he was really a special man.  He always had something funny to say and it was never at the expense of others.

I think that just about wraps up what I've been doing lately...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The journey of a million foot steps

I believe the real name of the book is a journey of a thousand foot steps, but I know I took way more steps than that this weekend so I am going to go with a million.

Friday morning - 9:00 a.m. closed on old house - went smoothly without issue
Friday afternoon - left work early for a 2:00 closing on the new house, called on the way only to find out that funding hadn't happened from the first sale yet.  Went ahead to the closing and signed all of the papers. 

3:00 - no funding
3:30 - no funding
4:00 - no funding and I am told it will be Monday at this point...

Panic sets in, movers schedule, utilities scheduled, all of the things you do for a move are freaking scheduled...

Calls go out to the lender on my new home, calls go out to the president of the home builder that we bought are home with, calls go out to the title company for our buyer...  Lots of calls go to people that can help us.

Panic turns to terror...what are we going to do? How will we move on Monday?  Can we move on Monday?  Husband out of town Monday, me out of town the rest of the week, OMG what are we going to do?  I started eyeing the cardboard boxes wondering how long it would take anyone to notice our cardboard, human Habitrail.

5:30 - the phone rings and the lender says he thinks the president will let me have the keys once he can finally reach him.

9:00 - the phone rings again and the saint that is my lender says he finally reached the president and I can have my keys the next morning at 9:30 a.m.

9:01 - the crying starts...tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of stress, basically lots of tears

Saturday 5:30 a.m. - I am up and at 'em.  Boxes are ready, cleaning has been started, I am ready for this move.  9:00 the movers show up, 9:30 I get keys and we are in business...ALL DAY LONG....

Sunday 12:01 a.m. the crying begins again and I count the remaining body parts and can't find any that don't hurt.  I really thought when you hired movers, you didn't have to do any of the heavy lifting.  Evidently, you still do...

I told my husband that we will not be moving from our new home until we are dead...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Winner, Winner, Where's my Chicken Dinner?

Okay, I have never received an award before and I am pretty sure I haven't written anything that deserves one, but I never pass up the opportunity to share the great blogs of other people.  The person that gave me the dubious honor of an award can be found lurking at Crazy World .  Thanks for the vote of confidence Melynda.

Seven things you may or may not want to know about me?  Hmmm....

  1. I have severe OCD in the form of cleanliness to the point that I drive everyone crazy with it. Use a coaster, pick up your trash, put your shoes away - no, I don't care that you are still wearing them...
  2. I have a very hard time accepting help from anyone, but I am getting much better.  My dear husband has found a way to break through my defenses and now I have come to rely on his help
  3. My daughter is the best thing I have ever done.  Even if her dad is a nitwit and she never listens to a word I say, I thank God for her every day.
  4. Sometimes I still feel like I am 16 on the inside.  I want to skip school, play hookie, ditch the babysitter, etc...  I keep wondering when will I ever really feel like a grown up?
  5. I tend to give my opinions even when I am not asked.  I am working on this one as it seems to be a hereditary trait.  Not everyone really wants to know what I think - shocking, I know!
  6. I am a tender heart.  Give me your downtrodden, your broken and your weary and I will wear myself out trying to fix them up.
  7. I am claustrophobic...  I can't even think about being stuck in a small space without having a panic attack
I think that about does it for me.  Want to check out some other great Blogs that I love, love, love?

Connecting with Stephanie
The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom
Surviving Boys

There are more, but I will let you start with these....

Just got a call from my Realtor and the Appraiser has not come by to do the appraisal yet.  She is coming today though.  We close next Friday and it is an FHA Loan for the people buying our house.  What do you think the odds are that this closing won't happened?  AAAGGGHHH!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I feel like today has gone to hell in a handbasket.  I got up feeling fine this morning.  I was even in a good mood.  I woke up my daughter, got her ready for school and headed off to work.  That's when the day went south...

  • My neighbor threw an easel and play set in the trash that I had given them for their kids - I live across the street, if you don't want it, give it back!
  • I sat in traffic for well over an hour - and I even left early
  • I have gotten no less than twenty requests for help from coworkers today, all of which have required me to stop what I am doing to figure out their answer
  • The stuff I am trying to work on, isn't working the way it is supposed to
  • I have gotten a slew of e-mails from the Lender on my new house asking for x, y and z.  Every time I think I am done they come up with something else.  I believe they now know everything about me, even what I had for breakfast this morning.
  • The appraiser for the sale of my current home still hasn't turned in his appraisal which means if it doesn't appraise for the sale price our sale could go through because the new buyers are doing an FHA loan. (This in itself is cause for panic because everything would completely unravel if this falls through!)
  • My water bill is still showing unpaid even though the payment cleared my bank over a week ago...
I could focus on only the bad stuff, but there is good stuff that I am trying to focus on as well.  Otherwise I will become the very thing I loathe the most.  A whiner...

Good stuff...

Good stuff...

Still trying to think of some good stuff...

Okay - here we go.

My daughter bought me donuts yesterday with her own allowance - that is the first time she has ever bought anything for me
I have a job
I have a home
I have a husband whom I love dearly
I have my health (even if my head is still so stopped up from allergies)
My head hasn't exploded...(yet)
We have about 90% of everything packed and the move is just over a week away

Okay, it is almost balanced.  I really hope everyone in reader-land is having a much better day!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This and that...

Not much new to report on this end. Work has been crazy busy and I feel like I have spent more time in the last month away from home than I have spent at home.  The only perk to this is that the Hubby has pretty much finished all of the packing.  YEA!!  He still rocks...

Nonna has continued to decorate our new home in her head and sends me fifty e-mails a day about where I should put everything.  I think I have a few ideas of my own on where I should put that stuff...LOL!

Little by little it is all coming together.  The new house is beautiful.  I think it is happy to finally have owners. Can you see the smile?  I have all of the utilities scheduled to be swapped over and even have my daughter signed up for the after school program this fall.  I didn't want to miss out on that one.  It is usually full before the end of the school year.  I can't even sign her up for the new school until we have our signed contract, but I'm not too worried about that.  What are they going to do, tell me no?

Work continues to go a million miles an hour and most of the time I still love my job.  Some days are easier than others.

Monday, April 30, 2012


We finally found our new house.  With only three weeks to spare until we have to move from our beloved current house.  Sheesh!  I am certainly not one for waiting until the last minute and I think I have had not only a canary about all of this, but a cow as well.

Friday in the Family Room:
Me: Honey, we still don't have a new house yet.  Did you get anything new to look at from the Realtor?
Honey: No, I will go look at some more houses on-line
Me: How do you feel about cardboard?
Honey: What on earth are you talking about?
Me: Well, we do have a few boxes left over and as that is where we will be living, I wanted to make sure you were good with that.
Honey: You know we'll find something, just have faith.
Me:  Aaaagggghhhh....

Saturday, late in the day after window shopping at several existing houses...
Me: We have to go home and regroup
Honey: Let's keep driving around aimlessly... (maybe I am paraphrasing a little here...)
Me:  We can't keep driving up and down the streets of random neighborhoods.  If we do, someone is going to call the police and you know I don't look good in orange.
Honey:  Okay, let's go home...

We went home, regrouped and decided we could go a little further north of our original search area.  We finally found our treasure.  It is five miles further than the furthest point we were willing to drive, but it has everything that everyone wanted in our family.  Finally!!!  Everyone is happy, including me!!  YEA!!!

Now, onto panicking about the financing and closing of two homes on the same day...oh yeah, and moving...UGH!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hurry up and wait...

With our house passing the inspection with a perfect score (can you believe that?) we are now in our hurry up and wait pattern.

Hurry - find another house to live in
Wait - for the Realtor to have time to show all of them to us
Hurry - make a decision on which one you want
Wait - for the bank to say how much money you are approved for
Hurry - make an offer on the new house
Wait - for them to tell you that you are absolutely insane - i.e. the counter offer...

Hubby just changed jobs which gave him the entire week to pack up most of our crap, which is a good thing, but now the mortgage company is saying we might have to wait to close on the new to us house because we have to have 30 days of documented employment on him to qualify.

What I am NOT doing is freaking out. I refuse to freak out anymore.  At the end of the day, we will have somewhere to hang out hats.  Whether that be in a hotel, a friends house or our "new to us" house, it will all work out the way it is supposed to.

The house we selected has an awesome view of the lake from almost every room in the house.  I feel so at peace there.  We pulled up to the house, got out of the car and on queue, the birds started chirping and the sun shone extra bright against a cloudless blue sky I almost felt like I was five years old again and in the back yard of our house.  I had a little flashback I guess...

We walked in the front door and I swear I hear the house sigh "at last, you have come - welcome" and every room we looked in, we saw the good and the potential rather than anything negative.  The other homes did not welcome us in, did not embrace us as we walked through but rather pushed at us and said "Tiny rooms, narrow closets, ugly tile, sagging fences, no, no, NOOOOO!!"

So, maybe this is why I will not freak out anymore, because I know that our new friend is waiting for us and we will be together again soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We did it!

Our house sold yesterday...we finally did it.  The waiting is over, the fish bowl is done.  Now, time to panic.  We have to be out by the 18th of May, which is a full month away; however, we have NO idea where we are going to live.  Originally we were going to build in a community close to my office, but their prices have gone up so much they are now out of our price range.  So then we started entertaining an existing home and have started looking at those.  We are also looking at some new construction in another neighborhood that is closer to our budget.

I am praying that this weekend we find our peace as to what we want to do, old or new.  New has so many benefits, but it also means we have to move twice.  Old we can get a bigger house with more stuff in it, but what about the energy efficiencies and repairs that will have to be made...


Monday, April 9, 2012

Today I did it, I mean boy did I really do it…

You know in a bad relationship with a person, you give them one, maybe two chances and then if you’re smart you toss them out the door like yesterday’s trash?  Why don’t we do that with our family members? 

We let them crap on us for years.  We give them a million chances.  We say, but that’s your dad, cousin, uncle, sister…etc.  What makes it okay for them to treat us badly when they will be the first to tell us that we should not allow others to treat us badly?

My aunt died on Saturday.  She wasn’t my biological aunt, but she and my biological aunt have been room mates for 40+ years.  She has been at every family celebration, she has been a huge part of my life for many years and she was beloved by me.  Nobody told me.

My aunt didn’t call me.

My dad didn’t call me.

Nobody called me to tell me she had passed.

My dad called my brother, my step-mom called my step-sister.  Nobody called me to tell me anything.  I had to find out fourth hand, yes fourth hand from my mother.  The only reason she even knew was because she called my brother to wish him a Happy Easter.

So, I broke up with my family.  I broke up with my dad, my step-mom and my aunt.  I broke up with my brother years ago, so nothing new there.  And, I broke up with my step-sister too.  My other aunt and uncle never call or write anyways, so breaking up with them will go unnoticed I’m sure.

Everyone makes such a big deal about how important family is and how you should do anything and everything to keep you family together, but at what cost?  When do you stop allowing them to beat you down, ignore you, treat you poorly? 

I have had this discussion with my family on several occasions.  Someone is sick, has surgery, gets a house, nobody tells me.  I find out when my letter comes back undeliverable.  What kind of way is that to treat someone?

For years I had hoped that if I kept trying, they would try too.  Nope…

SO…I broke up with all of them except my mother…don’t tell her though, she would be the first to gloat and say “I told you so…”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wad it up...

I think I would like to take today and wad it up into a little ball and then throw it away. 

I got the feedback from the one, lone visitor group that came to our open house on Sunday.  The 8ft ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms are too low.  Really?  I don't know what the color of the sky is in your world buddy, but many homes have lower ceiling heights than that.  Who builds a home under a million dollars now with ceiling heights higher than 8ft on the second floor?

What I think really happened was that they liked the house, but just not enough to buy it.  You know when you find "The One" and this one just wasn't it.  When forced to come up with one thing that made the house "Not The One", they said something stupid about the ceiling heights.  Based on the wording the realtor used to write out my showing card, I would be willing to bet that English is not her first language and that the visitors fled the house in a panic when she started grilling them.

"So, Heir Gvessen, vat vas it zat made zis house not to your likingk?  Tell me, tell me...VAT VAS it? I'm vaiting, give me za answer!" All the while smacking her riding crop into her leather gloved hand...  Then Indian Jones comes swinging through the open door, snatching the couple up and delivering them to safety.  While they were being whooshed away, the wife said "the ceilings are too low upstairs..."  Yep, that's how it happened!!

Okay, I feel better now that I have made light of my situation and entertained myself to no end with the mental image of Indian Jones saving the prospective buyers. I guess I will un-wad the day and march on!

Monday, April 2, 2012

One is the loneliest number...

All of that hard work for the open house and we had one couple visit the home.  Seriously, one.  Everyone says what a beautiful home we have and how easy it should be to sell yet getting those bodies (with check books) in the door is the hardest thing I have ever done.

I even baked cookies...

I made signs about how cool the house was, things like "Gas Ready" for the range.  I have an electric range because upon move in, all of the gas ranges had knobs on the front of the range where my then 3 year old could have easily begun her own campfire in seconds.  Seriously, why in the heck would you put the knobs to a GAS range on the front below the 4ft tall level? 

I also framed our Green Built certificate and left it on the counter next to the cookies so the energy conscious buyer would know we have an energy efficient home.  I think I should frame a copy of our electric bill from July or August of last summer so they can see that even though we were in the middle of a record breaking heatwave, the bills were still low.  I am worried that might be a little much...

Maybe I should get sponsors?  I could put the Folgers can out on the counter and say how great Folgers is and that we drink it daily...  No, probably not a good idea.

I think I have gotten all batty now after all of the work I put into our second open house only to have it fizzle worse than our first open house.  Plus the lovely realtor, not a peep out of her.  Not one word about how it went or where to go from here.  If I didn't have to wait 120 to relist my house, I would fire her in a New York second... or wherever else those seconds are shorter than anywhere else.

So, if you know anyone in the North Texas area that would like an OCD approved showing of a spotless and fabulous home, let me know because I have a feeling if I don't sell it myself, it isn't going to get sold!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We are continuing to do our best to live in the fish bowl.  We have another Open House scheduled for Sunday and are praying hard that someone decides to make us an offer that we can't refuse!  Nonna may be on the unemployment line in a few months as everyone in her department has to apply for other jobs within the company.  Her department is going away.  This is the fifth time she will have been involved in this type of shuffle and let me tell you, working for Corporate America is NOT easy. 

I think we all like to believe that our company values us and our input and when it comes to turning us out to pasture we hope that they will give us dignity and respect as they are escorting us out the door with our things.  Many big companies no longer have any place for this type of courtesy and you get downsized or reorganized out the door when it is too late to get another job.  At almost 64 years old, who is going to give her another chance? 

We did have a horrible case of lice in our home that left me pretty frustrated.  The school knew it was going around and even sent one of the kids in my daughter's class home.  You would think a courtesy letter sent home telling us about it would be the standard procedure, but no, I hear about it from my kid.  Then, the unthinkable, I find the creepy-crawlers in her hair.  (I should mention she has almost waist length hair)

So, off to Walgreen's to buy lice killer, douse the child in pesticides then spend hours and hours combing all of the bugs and nits out of her hair.  Luckily she only had a few bugs, but they were busy laying their super-sticky eggs in my daughter's thick hair.  I was ready to get out the scissors and cut it all off but then she started crying so I patiently kept working.

A week later, I'm out of town in Austin and a call from the school sending her home.  Daddy got the luxury of repeating this process <GIGGLE>.  Not that I would wish that torture on my daughter again, but her dear Daddy was less than sympathetic when I mentioned it to him.  Take that!!!

It has been a week since then and every morning/afternoon/evening we do head checks on everyone - well, everyone except the Hubby because he is bald.  Tee hee...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What does a Realtor really do?

I have come to realize that we pay a Realtor not to sell our home, but for who they know.  The reason I say this is that my Realtor has done nothing beyond list my home.  I have had one open house and that was at my request.  Since then, I have not had one single showing and it has been over two weeks.  She blames it on Spring break.  Heck, I want to go where these people have been for the last two weeks!  I have scheduled another open house for April 1st.  Not sure who is the bigger fool here...

Now we have heard that dear Nonna may be losing her job that she has worked at for 22+ years.  They are reorganizing her department - aka downsizing - and everyone has to reapply for their jobs.  With retirement being just over a year away and her current health history, who would hire her a second time for the job she is already doing?  I think that is such a crock requiring people to reapply for a job they are already doing.  You already know who you want to get rid of, so stop wasting my time.  The good news is if they don't rehire her, she should get a severance package and hopefully qualify to at least apply for COBRA until Medicaid kicks in next year. 

I have started her on the path of filing for disability as her COPD is so bad now that the doctor has instructed her she needs to be on oxygen pretty much full time.  She doesn't want to do it because she is afraid it will make her look bad.  Hello Lady...yes you, the one laying on the floor dying from lack of oxygen, do you think you look good now?  Sorry - Bitter, party of one...

As you can tell I am still frustrated with her denial of how poor her health really is.  It is bad enough that I am in the process of selling my house to accommodate her needs.  I have heard your comments about not doing this, but I am not sure what my other choices are.  We don't have any assisted living facilities in the area that we can afford, so sending her elsewhere isn't an option either.  I honestly think assisted living would be a million times better for everyone, but how could we pay for it?  They want over $1200 per month just for an efficiency at a run down dump that is up the street from my office.  The really nice ones are well over $2000 per month and there is just no way to afford that.

At the end of the day, she is still my mother and my family and you don't turn your back on your family.  Hubby grew up in this type of environment so he knows better what to expect than I do.  I figure she will be another bonus kid and as such will have to be parented by both of us!! 

Other than that, life is moving along slowly but surely.  We are ready for school to be out for the summer so the traffic won't be quite so bad and maybe they will even finish the major road between my house and work?!  That will increase our property values I would think!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 1 Gajillion and 32...

Captain's Log: Star Date 1 Gajillion, 32 - the natives appear to be growing restless.  They have stopped picking up after themselves and the tall one left a dirty plate on the counter.  Not sure how to divert them back to Clean-dom.  May have to resort to using the Phaser - set to stun of course...

Let me just say that selling your house means that you live in a fish bowl.  People may show up at your doorstep with only minutes of notice so it has to be in a virtual state of cleanliness that would make even Mother Teresa throw her hands in the air and cuss.  The husband has been a fantastic sport about this, but little by little his commitment to cleanliness has begun to wane.  Truthfully mine has too, but I am way to OCD to stop now.  I may have to seek therapy when this is all over to ever get back to my previous comfort zone with "things that aren't in their proper places". 

My daughter, fondly remembers what her toys looked like and how cool it was when we used to be able to actually take them out and play with them.  Now she is allowed to take one thing out at a time and it must be put back before another thing can be taken out.  Poor Barbie is in an eternal state of undress because her clothes are in a different bin that the dolls. 

I may have actually risen to a new state of cleanliness for the bathrooms called "Ludicrous Clean".  I swear you could eat off the floor in there now.  And what for?  We haven't seen a soul in almost two weeks.  Four Lookie-Lous, One Open House and then complete silence.  I understand we live halfway to Canada (while still living in Texas of course) and the road construction is a bear, but wait until it is finished and you won't be able to buy a house in our neighborhood for under a cool million...  You can have ours for the low, low price of $XX if you buy today!!!  I should have been in advertising.

Tonight I will rally the troops, pep them up, talk the talk, proclaim the proclamation that somebody, yes somebody just might come look at the house this weekend so pick up your stuff, or else...Zzzzzzap!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In a nutshell...

I'm sorry I can't take your call right now, please leave a message after the tone...Beep!

Well, not really, I'm still here.  Just trying to figure out how to fit 30 hours worth of work into less than 24 hours of day because I really do like my beauty rest!!

Work has been taking me all over the place.  I did a gig in Phoenix, then off to San Antonio, Raleigh, Orlando, etc...  In between I try to remember which clothes are dirty and which ones are clean in my suitcase so I can reload.

The house is still on the market and I am very frustrated as our "Realtor" (I use quotes because I haven't seen her do anything that would strike me as Realtor-ish yet) doesn't seem to have any fire in her to sell our home.  I have had to suggest the Open House, I have asked for some rewording on our listing - still not done and I had to come with her with the suggestion to change the price just a little so we would hit the right demographic.  If she weren't one of Rudy's friends, I would have fired her already.  I had an awesome Realtor that sold my old house in 5 weeks just after the bottom of the market fell out and he was able to negotiate for almost the full asking price. 

Hubby is awesome when I get to see him.  Evidently his boss has the idea that he should really work 30 hours each day instead of just hypothetically working those hours - in my defense, those include parenting hours.  Just because I don't get a paycheck for those hours, doesn't mean it isn't real work!!

The kids are amazingly great.  The daughter comes up with new ways to torment me daily and the Bonus Daughter (yes Julianna, I borrowed your phrase) is just about to hit puberty and is learning to master the sullen response.  I asked her if she made her bed on Saturday, she said yes so of course I had to check it out.  The blanket was hanging 90% off the bed towards the wall leaving almost all of the sheets showing underneath.  The good news is that after demonstrating to her the proper way to make the bed, she got it right without asking on Sunday so there is still hope for me yet.  Of course she is only 11 so I know it goes downhill quickly from here.

Other than that, I am still swimming up stream.  Nonna is about to drive me to excessive drinking and I just can't wait for her to move in with us.  Yesterday she accused her lovely granddaughter of grand theft wallet as she had a couple of dollars go missing from her wallet.  Evidently the co-workers are above suspicion, but one blue eyed, honey haired six year old is a hardened criminal.  Sheesh!!

There, in a nutshell, is what' up with me.  I miss you all and hope to catch up more in the days ahead...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sorry I have been away for so long. Lots of crazy things going on.  We have decided to put our house on the market, I had to go to Phoenix for a few days for work and have been cramming in the hours and working like crazy now that I am back home.

I am going to start this by saying this is a spiritual post.  Not a religious or a fanatical type of post, but about faith, just the same.  Most of the time I pray for healing.  Sick babies, friends going in for surgery, those types of things.  I pray for the healing of the heart, the mind and the body for so many, but when I pray for myself, I start to wonder if that is the right thing to do.  I get lost in the thoughts about all of the mothers praying because they can't feed their children.  All of the children without mothers or fathers trying to feed themselves in the street.  All of the people that are being persecuted, tortured and killed just to say they believe in God.  Then I feel like my prayers are insignificant.  Why should my pitiful prayers be answered?

Of course then I start to evaluate my life.  Are the things I am praying for a solution to a direct result of a fault of my own?  Are the things I am praying for worth listening to? What can I do to answer my own prayers?  Then it hits me.  I do not answer prayers, God answers prayers.  Whether it be for me or through me.  No matter what my heart aches for, it still aches.  No amount of concern for all others that have less than I will alleviate the ache, it only makes it greater. 

This means I will continue to pray.  I will pray for the mothers, the children, my friends and my family, but I will also pray for myself.  God will decide how He answers my prayers, but I will offer them up to Him just as well.  After all, what fun would it be to have a conversation with a friend when all you do is let them talk and don't offer any conversation in return?

As I write this with conviction, I am still waffling back and forth.  Do you save only the big stuff for Him or do you give Him everything?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy birthday Princess...

Six years ago today, I was lounging around in the hospital waiting patiently for my darling girl to make her appearance...

Don't buy that?  Me neither...  I started the day at about 4:00 in the morning taking a shower before heading over to the hospital. I laid around in the hospital bed having to ask a nurse every 15 minutes to unhook me from everything so I could go to the bathroom. I finally gave up around 9:00 and asked for the epidural and the catheter.  Then I got some rest.  The pushing started about 6:00 and at exactly 6:45 p.m. my sweet baby was born.

Since then there has been many smiles, laughs, giggles, tears, shouting and teeth grinding, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it nor a second or millisecond (I think you get my point) to not have every moment I can have with her.  Too soon she will be waving goodbye as she heads off to start her own life and I hope, really hope that she will look back on her childhood and remember how great it was to be together.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's not my responsibilty, but I do it anyways...

Each day I wake up, I am responsible for several things in my life.  I am responsible for myself, my daughter and the dog.  Beyond that, I am technically not responsible for anyone else beyond that.  My husband does a pretty great job of taking care of himself and the things he is required to do.  When he is not working 80 hours a week, he also does a pretty great job of helping me with the shared household duties.

Why is it that at least two other people on this planet think that I am responsible for them?  One is my mother (I would be willing to bet you could have guessed that) and the other is my ex husband (bet you could have guessed that one too).

My mother will soon be facing retirement and as her health continues to deteriorate, it is becoming obvious that soon she will be added to my list of people that I am responsible for.  As she can no longer climb the stairs at my home to reach her room, we are faced with trying to sell our home and buy another that is more accommodating.  That being said, she has been less than gracious about her expectations. 

I have managed to find a 4 bedroom home that will provide a room for her, both kids and even a room for the hubby and I – because we plan to live there too.  She has lamented on and on about the loss of her current space, her things and her privacy.  While I am trying to be caring and compassionate towards her, at this point I want to tell her to shut the hell up and stay where she is if she doesn’t like it.  I am turning not only my life, but the lives of my family upside down to try to care for her and she doesn’t seem to appreciate that.

Then I have the ex who calls me four times a day asking me questions, asking me to do things for him or just to bug me.  I would stop answering his calls, but then he would just show up.  UGH!  I am not responsible for him either.  I try to be helpful and friendly as we do have to share a kid, but I want to tell him to jump in the lake too.  Give him an inch and he will ask for a mile.  Sheesh!

Okay, done ranting!  Now, if I could just get the market to pick back up so I can sell my existing house for at least as much as I paid for it, I would be a happy camper.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stupid Internet Blocker...

At least once a week I have at least one of my favorite blogs that is suddenly blocked thanks to the lovely corporate content blocker we have on the Internet at the office.  I realize that this computer belongs to my company as does the service that I use for the Internet, so I am not mad at them as it turns out that we really do have plenty of people here that really do need to be blocked from spending hours surfing the porn sites.  ;-p

What does make me mad is that one day I can get onto the site just fine, then the next day it is blocked as being a gaming site or worse yet, a pornographic related site.  I scratch my head and wonder how anything posted on the blogs I follow constitutes gaming or porn. I prefer to follow sites that aren't too far out there so it is pretty vanilla on my list, but yet again Elisa Hirsh (The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom) is blocked.  Dang it all to heck - uh oh, I think I just got my blog blocked due to profanity.... SHEESH!

P.S. This time it is a gaming policy and not porn - I figured I had better clarify so Elisa doesn't start blushing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Parents are not equal, at all...

I have decided that God did not make all parents equal. There are some that are better cooks, some that are better at projects and some are superb story tellers.  There are also those parents that are good at absolutely everything and I while I aspire to someday be one of those parents, I have a very long way to go.

Even within the same family, you can have one parent that seems to be able to wade through thigh-high pooh and not get dirty while the other parent is a hot mess all over the place.  While I am not so special that pooh doesn’t stick to me, somehow I have managed to be the apple of my daughter’s eye. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining, but I do feel a tad guilty.  Why?  No idea.  I have put in the hours and effort to be a good parent, but I still feel guilty about how my daughter will eagerly spend 30 minutes with me on the phone when she is with her dad, but when she is with me I can hardly get her to talk to him for 2 minutes.  I know it hurts his feelings and I try to no avail to explain to my daughter that her daddy misses her every day and this is the only time he gets to communicate with her during the week.  Before hanging up the phone I always get an “I love you Mommy” while daddy always says it first and doesn’t always get a response.

I am the one that does the majority of the discipline. I definitely do more yelling.  Why does she like me better?  She does live with me full time so she definitely is more familiar with me, but what is it about me that makes me cooler to her (besides obvious things like my superior intelligence) than her dad?  He is definitely a better cook and has infinitely more patience when it comes to crafting, but yet I am the winner of the chicken dinner (aka my daughter’s unconditional love). 

Now I have to decide how much I should worry about this.  I know she loves her dad, but where is their disconnect?  Is there something I can do to help them have a better relationship?  Is it just his nature that puts her off or is it something more?  He is very self-absorbed, which is a major contributing factor to the demise of our marriage.  His daughter is the only thing he loves more than himself.  Can she sense that?  Does that turn her off of him on a subconscious level? 

I have tried asking her why she doesn’t like to talk to her dad and why sometimes she doesn’t want to go see him.  Even when it has been over a week and they have plans to do something great, there are times she doesn’t want to go.  She always says the same thing – “I want to be with you Mommy”.   Of course then I get the third degree about why I can’t go to her dad’s with her and stay until it is time for her to come home.  How do you explain THAT to a 5 year old?  Gee Honey, you see my current husband doesn’t really want me spending the night at my former husband’s house…Sheesh!

Try as I may, I just can’t figure this one out, so I will just have to set it down and walk away.  I am sure eventually the truth will come out and then I will again be a brilliant deducer of reason…!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Move Over Lady Gaga....

Here is my darling daughter's version of how to properly apply makeup.

This was the watered down version, she came back much later with the full face covered in a zombie like state.  I think she has a bright future in showbiz.  Her friend's mother did a great job of hiding her horror that her daughter's face was a toned down version of the same...EEEK!

I especially love the claws.  She did this pose on her own without any prompting. Did I mention that she is five?  Lord help me to survive her childhood.

Little Chloe also got involved in the fun.

One of our guests arrived in matching leopard print so I had to get a picture of both of them.  Chloe loves her party dress.

Now, back to work...I hope you all have a great day and don't work too hard on all of those new resolutions this year.

Monday, January 2, 2012


I finally unburied my computer long enough to catch up on everyone else's posts and to write one of my own.  We had a pretty great New Year's weekend. Hubby, the girls and I made Gnocchi together for a party and lit off some fireworks. The girls were still running wild at midnight and everyone had their "kissing partner". My stepdaughter is 11 and my daughter is 5 and the conversation they had about why a "kissing partner" was important just about made me pee my pants.  Evidently it is okay to have a pillow to kiss, even a sweatshirt, but not kissing anything at midnight is bad luck.  LOL!

We had some friends over for New Years Day and got to enjoy the Gnocchi we prepared the evening before.  It was delicious and the girls were puffing out there chests telling everyone how "they" made the Gnocchi and we just helped them a little. 

The daughter decided to give herself a makeover upstairs and her first pass resulted in a banded raccoon look. That got some giggles and applause.  Next came the full face makeup.  Looks like Lady Gaga has some competition in the rear view!! She is quite the drama queen as well so I am looking for big things in her future.

Hubby had to work today and daughter was with her dad so stepdaughter and I went for lunch and a movie.  She is a pretty amazing kid and I continue to count my blessings.  I don't have to deal with the "your not my mom" attitude from her and she talks to me like a real person.  She is only 11 so I won't hold my breath that this will stay this way forever, but I will enjoy it for now.