Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ten Things I Like About Christmas

Mikulas004

  1. Christmas carols
  2. Movies
  3. The smell of a real tree
  4. The decorations
  5. Driving around looking at the lights
  6. My kids opening their presents
  7. Baking cookies
  8. The ham
  9. Ham gravy
  10. Christmas vacation

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hectic = Forgetful

christmas_graphics_05

When I’m in a rush, I forget things. I think that’s something that happens to everyone occasionally.

Last night, the oldest child had what is for her, the final band performance at her school. Since we’re moving, she won’t have any more performances at this school. One of her very good friends wanted to go so I agreed to pick her up at the last minute. While I was out picking up said friend, (luckily, we live in a small town) and running red lights doing it, the oldest was home taking a shower. Why she waited until the eleventh hour to get in the shower is beyond me. Also, the Mister was doing his best to rush home so he would make it too. It was madness. I get home with the friend long enough to run in the house to pee and then we all ran out and piled in the car to go to the school. Her band instructor is a beast and very strict. We got the oldest to the school one minute late, heheh, but she didn’t get into trouble.

In all my rushing, I forgot the camera. Big :( I had it sitting on the mantel and  had even charged up some batteries for it but walked out the door without it. I’m totally bummed. Her last performance at this school and I don’t have any pictures or video. Again :(

Afterwards, we took the lot of us out for some Arby’s. We had dinner at 8:30 last night, heheh. Even without the camera, it was a good night. All three classes, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands, played Christmas songs so it was a good way to get in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Guess This Is Something Else I Shouldn’t Have Said

We had a bit of a thing happen today. I’ll explain.

Last year when we took our OBX vacation, I wrote a letter of explanation to the oldest child’s school two weeks beforehand to let them know she would be absent and to request that her work be sent home with her so she could do it while we were gone. They didn’t give her her homework but let her do it when we got back. Whatever. But when we did get back, I fielded a couple calls from the school explaining to me the importance of students attending school. I was miffed but I let it go. I take my kids’ educations very seriously and don’t just arbitrarily let them miss school. Besides, we visited a lot of historic places which provided a hands on learning experience AND the kids only missed 4 days of school because of Veteran’s Day.

This year, I was better informed having read the student handbook that the kids get from the school district. Turns out that if you take your kids on an trip which has “educational opportunities” that the absence is excused as long as you send in your letter five days prior to the absence. I did so this year and even quoted the paragraph out of the handbook to cover my butt, not wanting a repeat of last year’s phone calls. Again. They did not send the oldest child’s school work with her but I didn’t receive any phone calls this year. I figured everything was good.

Yesterday, the oldest brought home her 4 1/2 week grades. NOT GOOD! She was missing a lot of assignments. She is now grounded. GROUNDED. She tried blaming our vacation on the missed work but I wasn’t buying it. One of her progress reports (they are sent separately from each of her teachers) had a hand written note at the bottom that said that it’s necessary for her to attend school in order to maintain her grades. That was it. The final straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m sick and tired of them riding their high horse and judging me because I choose to take my child on a family vacation. This year, she only missed 3 1/2 days because of the weather and Veteran’s Day. If they had sent her work with us, I can guarantee you it would have been completed and turned in when we got back. So, I write this teacher a letter explaining how I followed procedure according to the handbook, blah, blah, blah. My tone was a bit snarky but not overtly disrespectful. I was careful. I signed it with both my phone number and e-mail address at the bottom. She replied by e-mail, cleared things up, and the oldest is still VERY GROUNDED.

However, we find out that her teacher, upon reading my letter, yelled at her in front of the entire class. Maybe I was snarkier than I remember being. I am not happy about it though. She shouldn’t have taken out whatever feelings she had about my letter on the oldest let alone in front of the entire class. It’s immature and unprofessional. Sometimes I just really don’t get people.

Oh well. Only three months to go and I’ll get to deal with a whole new school, new teachers, and new snarkiness.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Random Floating Thoughts

I have all this stuff floating around in my head so I’m gonna write about it and get it all out.

The other night, the Mister and I were going to bed and we were locking up the house for the night. We turned  out all the lights in the living room and were walking to our bedroom in the dark. Weird thing about is that while I was walking in complete, pitch black dark, the Mister said he could see well enough from the light coming in the windows to make out shadows of where stuff was. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how very bad my night vision is. I knew it wasn’t 100% but I didn’t know it was that bad. I guess it’s no wonder why I hate driving at  night.

The oldest child had a dance performance at her school last night. She did really great!! I am, of course, the proud parent. I’m going to put up video on my other blog which is private. I’m not comfortable putting video of my kids and other people’s kids on the Internet for all to see. If you’d like to view the video, leave a comment and let me know. I will need your e-mail address to send you an invite.

Something else I just realized is that we will be moving, actually on the road moving, in just over three months. The movers will be here around the 1st of March. I’m not sleeping again and since I’m not worried about anything else, I can only guess that I’m worrying about moving. I’ve also had the worst indigestion. Yes, yes. I know I’ve moved before and will make it through this one, but moving cross country with such little time to get ready is, I think, a perfectly legitimate reason to be stressed out. I’ve also never moved when I was both working and going to school. I’m also concerned about where we will live in California. I think it’s the thought of having to move back into base housing after living like regular people for six years that has me worried the most.

Another realization…I’m getting burned out on social networking. Maybe it’s just a phase and I’ll get back into it.

I’m tired of hearing about Tiger Woods. Move on. Next subject.

Yesterday, it was in the 50’s, today it’s in the 70’s (as I type it’s 72 with a heat index of 77) and tomorrow’s highs will only be in the 50’s again. Totally weird weather.

I’m still rereading the In Death books. Not counting the novellas, I’m on book 20 of 28. The last book, Kindred in Death just came out last month and I haven’t read it yet. I’m excited to get to it. I annoy myself though. Having reread the series as many times as I have, I can pick out a lot of mistakes that Robb made in the story line. Why do I have to be so nitpicky?

Finals on Monday were a nightmare. I took 17th and 18th Century British Literature and Concepts in Marketing this semester. I enjoyed both classes and learned a lot. I don’t know why my exams kicked me this year. I don’t have my grades yet. I probably won’t be posting about them either, lol.

I feel much better now. Don’t forget to let me know if you want to see the dance video and click on through to see my new blog template if you haven’t already!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New Layout/Theme/Template

Whatever you want to call it. Not sure what I think yet. I always need to give new templates a few days before I decide whether or not I like them. And besides. Let’s face it and be honest…How many people actually visit blogs rather than read them in a feed reader these days? Still, if you’re curious to see the changes that I’ve made, feel free to click over and check it out and leave me a comment with your opinion.

The whole reason that I changed was that I wanted to find something more Christmas-y or at least find a template where I could make the header more Christmas-y. I missed the mark there, lol, but I like that this template is brighter than my old one. I was seriously getting tired of the dark brown.

Anywho, dinner is in the oven and I’m cramming for finals tomorrow. Gotta run.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Good Moods vs. Bad Moods

christmas_comment_graphic_08

My blog has certainly evolved, or de-evolved depending on your point of view, since I first started it back in 2003. What started out as a simple and easy way of updating family on our move to Vermont turned out to be the only thing that kept me sane during our time in Vermont. A theme has never been seen around here either. I’m not a mom blogger even though I’m a mom who blogs. I’m not a book blogger even though I love to read and occasionally talk about what I’ve read or am reading. I’m currently rereading J.D. Robb’s In Death series in case you were wondering. I’m not a thinly disguised money-making blog. I’ve never earned one red cent by blogging. I’m not even sure how you’d categorize my blog other than to call it a personal, not professional, blog. Blah blah.

What I have learned through the years of blogging is that it is much easier to find things to write about when I am in a bad mood. Ranting, raving, complaining, and just plain bitching are things at which I excel. Idiot drivers, lousy neighbors, family, the Mister’s job, money or the lack thereof, cleaning house, my kids, other people’s kids, and I could go on and on. These are just some of my favorite subjects that I like to blather on about.

Lately, I’ve been in a really good mood. I seriously can’t figure out what’s gotten into me. I’m usually an up and down kinda person. Holidays usually make my moods worse. This year, I just can’t get enough of Christmas. Maybe it’s because I don’t have sucky renters trying to make me go insane this year like I did last year. Or maybe it’s because the Marine Corps isn’t being a major PITA!! like they were in 2006 at Christmastime. Who knows? All I know is that I’ve been in an exceptionally good mood lately which makes it so that I don’t have anything much to say. At least nothing new to say anyway.

I seem to be alone in my joyfulness. I’ve been reading around Facebook and blogs how people aren’t in the Christmas spirit this year. Stop it!! Put out your decorations, bake some cookies, put on some Christmas music or a movie, adopt a reindeer, burn a pine scented candle, whatever it takes!! And hurry it up! My good mood surely won’t last for much longer. ;)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Last Thanksgiving in NC

We had a pretty decent Thanksgiving this year. For the first time ever, we  had a fresh turkey instead of a frozen bird. I didn’t think there would be very much difference between the two but I was way wrong. A fresh turkey is juicier and tastier. Honestly. Fresh birds only from now on. The only thing was that we got a 12 pound bird which was big enough for dinner but didn’t leave enough leftovers. Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is to make a turkey potpie with the leftovers. We had to go out and buy a turkey breast in order to have our potpie! And it did NOT taste like turkey at all. I heard on  some Thanksgiving Day special on TV that it’s the dark meat that gives turkey its flavor. I’m guessing that explains why the turkey breast didn’t taste like a normal turkey. Still, the potpie was good and it made leftovers in and of itself!

This year, the Mister and I did some Black Friday shopping. I do believe this is the first time we’ve gone shopping like that since 1995 or 1996. It was fun and other than a few odds and ends, I’m pretty much done with my Christmas shopping. Woohoo!!!!! I’m pretty proud of myself being done so early. Basically, I just have to figure out what I’m getting the Mister for Christmas. He is absolutely the hardest person in the world to shop for. If I was only going to get  him PS3 games, I’d be set but I like variety and PS3 games are pretty much expected. Too bad I don’t have the money to buy him the airplane he’s always wanted.

We have most of our indoor Christmas decorations up. Kinda. We buy fresh trees so we’re waiting a week or two before we get one so it’ll last until New Years. We have two smaller artificial trees up though. One we bought this year that’s pre-lit and the other is older than dirt but still looks nice on my grandmother’s table. My mantle is done up real nice too. I bought a cranberry garland to go across the front and we also bought some really nice stocking hangers. Today, we’re starting on the outside decorations. It’s about 70 degrees here today so it’s perfect weather to put up outside stuff. I just need the stuff, lol. I tried out my lights and all but one long and two short strands are broken. I have no idea what happened to them. They worked last year. I’m too impatient to figure out what’s wrong with them so I trashed them and I’m going out later today to buy new. I can’t wait. I also need to buy my Christmas cards. Yep. I’m sending them out this year. I hope I have everyone’s correct mailing address!!

Still loving the holiday season!!!!!! We bought Andrea Bocelli’s new Christmas CD on iTunes (It’s really good!) and I’ve watched The Santa Clause about 3 or 4 times already, hehehe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Odd Behavior

I don’t know what’s gotten into me this year, but I’m so excited about the holidays. Usually, I’m a real bah humbugger about holidays. I don’t know what’s gotten into me!

We have all of our Turkey Day food ready to go. We’re not having anyone over this year but that’s okay. Not to be inhospitable, but I enjoy the time with just my family. Maybe next year will be different though. ;)

I’m also totally into Christmas already. I’m itching to put out my decorations. I saw someone yesterday with their yard already done up and it was nice to see. I also stop to listen to commercials with Christmas music in them. Hmm.

Maybe I’m in a good mood about the holidays because things are so good for us right now. With San Diego on the horizon, I’ve been taking things in stride a lot more than I usually do. There was a freakazoid in the carpool lane at the oldest’s school last week and instead of flipping my lid, I laughed at them instead. I only have to deal with that craziness for 4 1/2 more months. Yep, yep!

Well, I gotta meeting in five minutes, so I’ll stop my blathering now. I hope all of you are in the holiday spirit this year too!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Don’t Work Weekends

It was another slow weekend at our house. Friday the Mister and I did a bit of Christmas shopping. We also bought snack food for the Ohio State v. Michigan game on Saturday. We picked up pizza for dinner that night too. Real exciting, right?

Saturday we watched Ohio State beat Michigan for the sixth year in a row. Michigan fans want their coach fired, hehehe. The Mister wore his fuzzy buckeye hat and weirded out the neighborhood kids, lol. I think I’ve posted a picture of it before, but just in case, this is his hat:

Buckeye Hat

I bought it for him for Christmas forever ago. He wore it to the grocery store one year in California. I did not go with him, lol.

Saturday night, the oldest child was invited to a birthday party. We didn’t let her go. It was for our neighbor who turned 14. She had a party that started at 8 and ended at midnight. The Mister and I don’t feel she’s mature enough (even though she’ll be 14 herself in July) to attend such a party. Funnily enough, she wasn’t even mad or upset. I don’t think she wanted to go anyway. This girl doesn’t go to the oldest’s school so she wouldn’t have known any of the kids there anyway.

Sunday, the Mister and I went to the commissary for the first time in about two months, maybe longer. We had been doing our grocery shopping out in town, but with all the Thanksgiving food we needed, we decided to hit the commissary, save some money, and stock up. It was a freaking madhouse. They didn’t have any eggs, chicken broth, allspice, and a couple other things. It’s annoying having to go two places for stuff. Add that to the crowds, the drive, and having to tip the baggers, is it really any wonder why we opt to shop out in town??

We also did some more Christmas shopping on Sunday. This is the earliest head start I’ve ever gotten on Christmas shopping. We are always very last minute usually. We’re also doing a red and silver theme on our Christmas tree this year and picked up these really neat LED lights for our tree. I can’t wait to try them out. I’m totally excited about Christmas this year. I’m really in the Christmas spirit and I’m looking forward to getting out my Christmas decorations and putting away my harvest decorations on Friday. Yay!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kitchen Gadgetry

The Mister and I made a run to the grocery store last night for a few groceries. Our cupboards are really bare. We haven’t gone grocery shopping since before we went to the Outer Banks, lol. I wish I could figure out why I hate grocery shopping so much.

While we were in the store, we walked past the refrigerator section of coffee creamers. All the pretty bottles!! Outside of a caramel frappacino from Starbucks, I’m not a big coffee drinker. I prefer green or white teas. I’ve tried regular brewed flavored coffees and find them too bitter. For some reason though, I had gotten it into my head that I wanted to try the flavored coffee creamers. We bought a caramel apple flavor and a cinnamon bun flavor and a bag of Green Mountain coffee. Side note:

My Favorite Things From Vermont:

  1. Cabot Cheese
  2. Vermont Teddy Bears
  3. Green Mountain Coffee

We have a coffee maker for guests but the vacation house had this really neat coffee maker that we wanted to get. Considering that our coffee maker gets used about once a year, this is really just indulging our love of kitchen gadgets. This is what we were after:

Brew Station

This is what we got:

Keurig

I love it!!! It’s so cute sitting on my counter. It brews a cup of coffee in three minutes. We also got one of these to go with it:

Carousel

When you register your brewer online, Keurig gives you two free boxes of K-Cups when you buy two boxes plus 10% off your total purchase and free shipping. So, we ordered a variety box of Green Mountain flavored coffees, a box of the Doughnut House Collection by Green Mountain in the Chocolate Glazed Doughnut flavor, a box of hot chocolate for the girls, and a variety box of Gloria Jean’s teas. It was a really good deal and I’ll be able to fill up my carousel. We also bought a reusable filter so that we can use other coffee that doesn’t come in a K-Cup and for loose teas. I love oolong tea thanks to Jennifer.

It’s silly how much I like this thing, lol. I also can’t wait to organize our K-Cups on the carousel. I think I need a life, hehehe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beginning Our Newest Journey

Now that we are home from vacation, leisure time is a thing of the past. At least until after we move and settle in in San Diego.

Yesterday I began cleaning out our garage. I suppose compared to other people’s garages, it’s not too terrible. At least I can fit my tiny little car into it, lol. However, it’s getting to the point where I can fit my car in, but getting in and out of the car is starting to be a challenge. We have empty boxes, some broken down and some not, stacked almost to the ceiling on one side. They tend to topple over from time to time. On the other side, we have boxes and Rubber Maid totes full of things we didn’t unpack from when we moved into this house. That is where I began cleaning yesterday.

I turned four totes of the girls’ toys into one tote of trash, two totes that are full of toys going to charity, and one tote of toys that I allowed to come back into the house. The kids whined a bit but I explained to them that these toys had been in the garage for a year. If they hadn’t been played with in all that time, they couldn’t be that important and I didn’t want to hear arguments about it!!

I also found water in the garage and a big pile of sand next to the side door. I can only assume that it rained so much here from Nor’Ida that the side yard flooded and came into the garage. I have no other guesses as to where the water and sand could have some from. Only one box got wet (a box full of my books, CRY!!) and our rolled up area rug. Now the rug smells and I think I’m just going to throw it away. The box of books, I’m too scared to look and will take care of it in California.

Today, my legs and back are sore from all the lifting. It’s a good sore though because I did a lot of work and it was necessary work. I feel good about it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

OBX Vaca 2009: The Pictures

Dogs, Kids, OBX 077

Cotton field on the way to the OBX.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 085

The living room/kitchen at the house. This is the 3rd floor.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 086

Living room/nook. 3rd floor.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 089

View off of the 3rd floor balcony.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 093

1st floor rec room with the pool table, Captain Hook, and the foos ball table is behind me.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 094

Bridge out to Cape Hatteras

Dogs, Kids, OBX 106

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Dogs, Kids, OBX 110

The original site of the lighthouse before it was moved in 1999.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 116

A crab that came up to our front door.

Dogs, Kids, OBX 117 

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Dogs, Kids, OBX 125

A Great Blue Heron that I caught on film fishing. Cool!

Nor’Ida

After one of the most quiet hurricane seasons that I can remember, we manage to vacation in the worst storm of the year. You might think that being in the middle of a Nor’Easter would ruin a vacation, but you’d be wrong.

This was the beach before the storm;

OBX, Nov 2009

OBX, Nov 2009

If you’ll notice in the above pictures, the ocean is relatively calm, and you can see how far back the waves are from the dunes. The top pic was taken the day we arrived and the second one was taken Tuesday. It was overcast but not windy yet.

Conditions Wednesday to Friday were pretty bad. The wind and rain were so constant that it made it hard to remember what quiet was like. The wind gusts were strong enough that they shook our house. We could hear the roar of the ocean over the wind and rain and inside the house with all the windows and doors shut. It was eerie to say the least.

This was the beach on Thursday when we walked over to see what was what:

Nor'Ida 006

The waves were clear up, and sometimes over, the dunes at this point. The sea foam would fly up and over the dunes clear to our house and it looked like clumps of snow at times. I had never seen anything like it before.

Nor'Ida 008

This was our walkway down to the beach. If you’ll notice, there are no stairs anymore. We actually saw several sets of stairs be swept by as we stood there. Lots of walkways were lost to the storm.

Nor'Ida 012

Here you can see more foam and get an idea of how high up the wave were beating on the dunes. You can also see where the dunes were already being eroded. At this point in the storm, we hadn’t even reached the worst of the series of high tides that were expected.

Here’s a video:

I think it was Wednesday night that the main road into town was flooded cutting off our way out. Thankfully, the little area where our house was located was almost directly across the street from a Harris Teeter so we had food and supplies the entire time we were stranded. Two of the streets that were in our neighborhood flooded too but were still passable. I’m pretty sure this is the only time I’ve ever been truly stranded anywhere. The road that our house was off of, NC 12 ended at the beach when you drive north on it. Literally. The pavement ends in sand. You can keep driving if you have 4WD or an ORV but I’m sure it’s not recommended during a storm. So the only way out was to drive south on NC 12 back to US 158, or the Bypass as it’s known, but NC 12 was flooded and closed between Corolla and Duck. You can Google Map it if you want.

Another video:

Anyway, we passed the time by playing Apples to Apples, doing crafts, and playing pool and foos ball. It was nice actually. We were all cozied up in the house with plenty of food, lots of things to do, and each other. Here are some more pictures:

Nor'Ida 025

Stairs and other debris floating by.

Nor'Ida 030

DSC00824

DSC00840

What was left of the stairs to the beach. Also, about half of the bulk of the dunes were gone. We estimated about 5 feet of the width was washed away. You can also see that the ocean had receded back away from the dunes.

DSC00842

This was the road next to our house. Our side yards flooded but that was it. Our house was actually ideally situated because we had very little standing water whereas most of the neighboring houses had much more.

On the drive home Saturday, we saw lots of flooded yards and roads still had standing water on them. Nags Head seemed to be the hardest hit in the Outer Banks. Many roads off of US 158 to the beach were still flooded and blocked off by the city. Some people also lost their homes in Nags Head. I saw footage of Rodanthe on the news and The Serendipity House, which was the house in the movie, was in the ocean. It was still standing at that point and I haven’t heard if it made it through the storm.

I hear so many people say how they don’t understand how people can live so close to the ocean. But you know what? I also hear people say how they don’t understand how people can live in California with earthquakes and fires or in the north with all the cold and snow. Is there any place on earth that is completely untouched by Mother Nature’s rage? When you take into account all the places that have oceanic storms, earthquakes, forest fires, landslides, avalanches, tornadoes, flooding, and droughts, there really isn’t anywhere that is 100% safe. You take the good with the bad. That’s life. The Outer Banks is gorgeous most of the year and rich in history. I guess it’s the bad that sticks out most in people’s minds though.

So, I’m Out

Looks like I’m out of the running for NaBloPoMo. It totally wasn’t my fault. We lost our Internet connection at our beach house. Seeing as how we were in the middle of Nor’Ida, there was no getting it fixed. We were stranded for two or three days. That’s why no blog updates on our vacation. It sucked, not being able to blog, let me tell you. Now, to catch up.

After our day at Cape Hatteras, the weather deteriorated pretty quick like. The next day, we drove into Corolla and went to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse again. It was close and we wanted to do a little something before it started raining. The lighthouse hadn’t changed since last year, BUT, this year the youngest was brave enough to climb it with the Mister and the oldest. We were pretty proud of her. I didn’t climb it again. Honestly, I’ve climbed several lighthouses in my day and they all look pretty much the same from the inside. For me, it’s enough just being there and taking pictures from the outside.

That was Tuesday. Wednesday, it was raining and the wind was blowing like mad. We decided to drive to Duck to go shopping, hehehe. We got some souvenirs and I got some more jewelry at The Mystic Jewel. I love that store. I’ll still be able to shop online when we move, but it’s really not the same as being able to go into the store and peruse all the many glittery cases. Last year I got a moonstone pendant (mine is a moonstone in this setting) and a blue lace agate (mine doesn’t look exactly like this one, but you can get the idea.) pendant. This year I got a charoite pendant (my pendant actually looks like these earrings but as a pendant, not earrings.) and an opal dragonfly pendant. They’re pretty and fun and easy to wear. I’m not a really fancy kinda person and jewelry from The Mystic Jewel fits my personality.

That brings us up to the heart of the stormy weather. For that, I’m going to write a new post.

Monday, November 09, 2009

OBX Vaca 2009, Day 3

Today was a pretty great day. We got up, not so bright and early, to drive down to Cape Hatteras. In the previous years we’ve been to the Outer Banks, we have never been to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It was quite a drive; about 65 miles or so.

We went through Rodanthe but I didn’t take any pictures. Frankly, it wasn’t all that impressive to me and since I have never seen nor read Nights in Rodanthe, I didn’t know what Nicholas Sparks thought was so special about the town.

We also drove through Milo Beach. Milo Beach was scary, at least to me. The beach was too…EVERYWHERE! There was sand on the roads and you could see where people had shoveled sand just so that they could get to their houses. The ocean was just a little too close for comfort in my opinion.

Our final destination was, of course, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It was really beautiful and majestic. It’s closed for climbing this time of year but I just enjoyed being there and taking pictures. Also, it was about 73 degrees and beautiful today. Perfect for walking outdoors.

On the way out, we stopped at the original lighthouse site and walked on the beach for a bit. All in all, a great day.

Again, tomorrow’s plans are up in the air. We’re being very casual while we’re here this year. I just want to enjoy being at the beach and not worry about cramming activities into every spare moment.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 9 of 30.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Outer Banks Vaca 2009, Day 2

The Mister ran his marathon today and cut 1/2 an hour off of his old time. Yay!! While I was waiting for his shuttle to drop him off at the local Walmart, I watched several bus loads of runners limp their way off the buses. It was pretty entertaining.

Afterwards, we went back to the house and relaxed on the balcony. The weather today has been beautiful. The girls and I walked to the beach while the Mister was running and the sand was warm on our toes. I am in heaven I’m telling you. The beach is my Paradise.

Tomorrow, we’re not sure what we’re going to do. It depends on how sore the Mister is and what the weather is like. I know that I promised pictures but I wasn’t thinking. The software for the camera is on my PC and not my laptop. Pictures will have to wait till we get home.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 8 of 30.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

OBX Vaca 2009, Day 1

We made it safe and sound to the Outer Banks. We always overestimate how long it takes to get here. Check in wasn’t until 4 pm and we got here at 2 pm. We had two hours to kill which isn’t a big deal except that we had the dogs with us which makes it hard to do things since we can’t leave them in the car for very long.

The first thing we did was stop at this deli that we ate at last year. They make a to-die-for crab cake sandwich. YUM! Alas! They closed early for the season this year. :( Big bummer. Instead of eating, we checked out some of the shops that were in the same little shopping area. We were about to leave when this guy flagged down the Mister who was wearing an Ohio State t-shirt. The guy told the Mister that he had something in his store that we just had to see. We followed him back to his very nice, outdoor-type clothing store. He goes behind the counter and hauls out this really long necklace made out of buckeyes! It was so funny. He was like, “Do people really wear these? Even men???” Growing up in Ohio, I remember making similar necklaces in elementary school for the Ohio State v. Michigan game. And yes, everyone wears them, even men. He was amused and still a little skeptical but put on the necklace anyway explaining that a friend of his had sent it to him, heheh.

Anyway, he was a very nice man and told us that if we donated $5 to the Wounded Warriors that he would give us a 20% discount. The oldest child has had her eye on a North Face jacket for the longest time and she didn’t have a “winter” coat yet so we figured that it would be the perfect time to get her one. It turns out that the 20% of coupon is good for a year and that we can use it online or call and talk to Betsy in the store and still get the discount. PLUS free shipping. Woot! He was hosting the donation drive and had homemade cookies and hot apple cider which we enjoyed while shopping. The cider was wonderful! Like apple pie in a cup.

It was finally time to check in after our little shopping excursion so we headed to the check in office. We picked up our keys in Duck and drove to the house in Corolla. This house is massive!! It’s three stories and I’m not sure how many bedrooms and bathrooms, lol. Seriously. I can’t remember. I know that it has four master bedrooms and I can remember seeing at least three other bedrooms. The 3rd floor has a huge open floor plan with a sitting area, dining area, and beautiful kitchen. We were going to eat out tonight but once we saw the kitchen with the huge granite topped island, lots of additional counter space, and Italian tile floors, we decided to cook tonight. It was great.

The house isn’t directly on the beach but the walkway to the beach is right across the street and you can see and hear the ocean from our house. I’ll take pictures tomorrow when we have sunlight.

The Mister will be running in the 4th Annual OBX Marathon bright and early tomorrow. We picked up his race packet while waiting to check in so he’s all set to go.

Oh. One funny thing before I go for the night. There is a life sized pirate statue next to the door right when you come in the house. I knew it was there because of the pictures I had seen of the house online. The Mister, however, didn’t and it scared the crap out of him when we walked in!! It was so funny. There is also a life sized chef statue in the kitchen (Why? I don’t know. It’s the ultimate in tacky decorations.). Hannah couldn’t figure that thing out and kept standing up to it and whining. She seriously cracked us up. We also have weird mermaids coming out of the walls. But I’ll show you all that tomorrow. Laters.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 7 of 30.

Friday, November 06, 2009

On Moving

We got word earlier this week that we’re moving! Yay! I’m so excited. After our neighbor drama, frankly, I can’t wait to get out of here. Wanna know where we’re going? Okay! I’ll tell you!! San Diego baby!! I’m very excited. I already said that. But I am. I can’t wait and with only five months until we move, I don’t have to wait very long.

A lot of things are up in the air right now…

  • How will our soap endeavor transfer?
  • Will we still homeschool?
  • Where will we live?
  • How will I say goodbye to the A-Hole Neighbors and their sidekick, The Old Bat?
  • Should we register for classes for the spring semester?
  • How much of our furniture will I convince the Mister to let me get rid of before we move so that I can have new on the other end?

Ahhh. So many things to think about and decide.

As a couple, and by couple I mean the times we have lived together, not the times we have been separated due to training, this will be our 8th move in 12 years. I’ve been asked by civilians quite a bit, “How can you stand to move so much?” And I have to wonder in return, “How can you be content to live in the same place your whole life?” I have lived so many place, travelled many miles, seen many different cities and people, and met people from all over the U.S, as well as different countries. I have had life experiences that most people only read about or watch on TV. It’s had its ups and downs to be sure, but even the crappy stuff I wouldn’t take back because it’s all been a learning experience. I honestly can’t imagine what life would be like living in the same house, same city, same state, year after year after year. How mundane. That being said, San Diego is probably going to be our last move. We loved our time there and have missed it terribly. It would be a great city to retire in. Plus, the kids are getting older. I would like them, at the very least, to attend only one high school. Between the two of them, they have attended nine different schools. The oldest alone has been in seven different schools and she’s in the 7th grade. I think we have reached our limit of schools, lol.

So, for the next five months, you’re going to see a very crazed person on this blog. Not only will I be working two jobs, attending college half time, and homeschooling the youngest, I will now be organizing and getting ready to move. It makes my head spin just thinking about it.

All the craziness will totally be worth it in the end though! I’ll be living a mere two hours from Jennifer!! We haven’t lived that close to each other since 2002 or 2003. Or was it 2001? It’s been TOO LONG! And one of the ladies that I work with lives in the San Diego area and I’ll finally get to meet her face to face. So many great things to anticipate!

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 6 of 30

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Post of Randomness

Right now my life is consumed with getting ready for our vacation. It really leaves little else for me to talk about.

Yesterday, the odometer on my car rolled over on 17,000 miles. I was impressed that I even noticed, heheh.

I have a sty or something wrong with my eye. It’s red, swollen, itchy, and painful. I’m hoping it gets better soon.

The other day, Hannah plowed into me while she was playing. I have a bruise on my foot so big that it hurts to wear tennis shoes. I’ve been wearing sandals with outfits that they don’t go with because that’s all that I can wear that doesn’t hurt. I’m hoping it gets better soon too.

That’s all I can think of to say. HOWEVER!!! I have a big announcement that will be posted on FRIDAY! BIG!!! ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Be sure and visit me on Friday.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 5 of 30.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The 1960’s

I am a big fan of the show Mad Men. If you haven’t seen it, you should start watching. Of course, you’d have to start on season 1 though. If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, the show is about an advertising firm set in the 1960’s. It takes a look at the relationships between men and women, their places in the home and work environments, and the politics and current events of the time. The sets and wardrobe are just fantastic. It truly takes you back in time and lets you see how different our country was 40 years ago.

This week’s episode took place when President Kennedy was assassinated. The way the show handled it was brilliant. As someone who wasn’t alive when President Kennedy was killed, watching the news broadcasts through the eyes of the characters made me feel what it must have been like to hear the tragic news first hand. Of course, I’ve heard stories over the years from my parents and grandparents, but watching it the way the people on Mad Men watched it was a totally different experience.

Mad Men is so smart, ingenious really. It makes you think and immerses you in 1960’s American culture. I’m telling you, if you don’t watch, you’re missing out.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 4 of 30

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A-Hole Neighbors Update

Nothing happened but I thought some of you might want to know what I found out.

I talked to our HOA president, not to tell her what happened, but to ask about the areas behind and between fences. She said that is, in fact, private property. The reason I, some of my other neighbors, were confused is that the HOA pays to have those areas maintained so it was assumed that it was common area. It’s not. Where property lines are drawn, however, are still unknown. In the middle I guess which isn’t totally accurate because some people don’t have a fence at all and some have moved their fences to the ditch.

ANYWAY, I can admit my part in this whole drama:  I let my kids play in an unoccupied ditch that turned out to be someone’s unused property. My bad. So, I have told my kids to stay out and have threatened them with their freedom if they disobey me.

I don’t want to fight with these people on a regular basis over something so stupid, and as Dana said, completely asinine. I have better things to do and frankly, I really don’t have the time.

Neighbors are the epitome of evil. Just my opinion. ;)

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 3 of 30

Monday, November 02, 2009

OBX Vacation Countdown

We leave for the Outer Banks on Saturday. The kids started packing last week they’re so excited, lol. I have the carpet cleaners coming tomorrow and then my own marathon of house cleaning, getting two weeks worth of homework done in one week, and packing will be on. I have my major marketing project due the day we’re supposed to get back from vacation and I don’t want it hanging over my head while we’re there. I’m going to do my best to get it done this week. I have to come up with a marketing plan for a product or company. After much indecision, I have my product picked out and just have to do a bit of research. Considering all of the consumer goods and services out there, it was hard to decide.

Anyway, I have tons of work to catch up on today and school work to get done and homeschooling to conduct. I’m grabbing breakfast for some energy and hitting the grindstone.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 2 of 30.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

After my rather eventful Friday, laying low for the rest of the weekend seemed to be in order.

Halloween was nice. The oldest dressed as a dead bride and the youngest was a clown. We had more trick or treaters than last year but still had left over candy. The major drama of the night was the mosquitoes. It was almost 80 degrees when the kids were out and the mosquitoes were out in full force as well. My favorite costume of the night was a car wreck. A girl came by in a bloodied and ripped dress, lacerations on her face, neck, and arms, and she was just a general mess. It looked very realistic and while disturbing, I thought she did a great job with her makeup and costume.

Today, was a big ol’ nothing. It’s been rainy and overcast and the only time our door opened was when the Mister went out to grab us breakfast. It’s nice to turtle in your house every once in a while especially when the weather’s nasty.

NaBloPoMo 2009, post 1 of 30.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dog Puke and Neighbor Drama (Loooong Post)

I had a bad day yesterday. All kinds of bad. Be forewarned, there is foul language in this post and it’s long. But kinda funny.

It started out with a knock on my bedroom door when I thought I was home by myself. It scared the holy living crap out of me which isn’t a fun way to wake up. Turns out it was the oldest child. She had spent the night next door and let herself in our house thru the garage which is what I told her to do so it wasn’t her fault. She came in to ask if it was alright if she went to Jacksonville with her friend. I told her it was and went back to bed.

Then, I’m hearing voices and I’m like, “What the heck?” So I get up to see what’s going on and it’s my daughter and the girls from next door and they’re cleaning up dog puke. Since my daughter voluntarily cleaned up the dog puke herself I figured it was one small spot and told them to hurry up and go back next door.

THEN, the youngest knocks on my bedroom door with her friend that she had spent the night with. Oh. Did I mention that there was no school here on Friday? I was totally looking forward to sleeping in on Friday which didn’t happen at all. So, at this point, I have five girls in my house and I’m losing my patience. I told the oldest and her two friends to go back next door and the youngest to go play then I tried going back to bed again. I realized my mistake right away when I’m hearing complete silence. The youngest took my direction to mean to go outside and play which I didn’t want her doing alone and when I was in bed. So I get up to tell her to come back inside and this is when I finally vive up on sleeping in. Oh well.

I walk into the living room to a vomit smell and puke stains EVERY freaking where. What I thought was one spot was at least ten different spots, one of which I suspect was diarrhea because of the nightmarish odor it had to it. I could do nothing but stare in horror at my carpet which I had just had cleaned a month or two ago. I have totally lost my mind at this point. I opened the front door, told the youngest to get inside and all the rest of the neighborhood to get off my porch (including my oldest) and the youngest had her own meltdown on the street which got her sent to her room. So now I have a pissed off oldest daughter, a bawling youngest daughter, two sick dogs, puke everywhere, and I am still in my pajamas. But I’m not crying. Yet.

I grabbed my steam cleaner out of the garage, mixed up some cleaning solution, and went to work on the carpets. Some of it came out but from where the oldest had tried to clean it, not very much of it was coming out at all. This is when I start crying. I went through two tanks of cleaning solution before I gave up. I called our carpet cleaners to see if they made emergency house calls to find out that they don’t and they can’t fit me in until TUESDAY. Meanwhile, I have stains setting in and the puke/diarrhea smell is horrible. I’m crying over the phone too which is humiliating but at this point, I can’t seem to stop myself.

I resigned myself to waiting until Tuesday, Febreezed the hell out of my house, and went to hide in my bedroom and cry for a few hours. I was truly sad and pathetic. Oh. And the oldest didn’t go to Jacksonville with the neighbors because they took two hours to get ready to go and I guess they started bickering with each other. She came home and she and her sister were very quiet while they watched me warily for the rest of the afternoon.

After I had had my self-pity fest, I came out of my room around 2’ish for lunch and the kids decided to get out while the gettin’ was good and went outside to play. My day is finally looking up, right?

The oldest comes in the house about 20 minutes later to tell me that a baby squirrel was being extremely friendly and was letting her and her friend pet it on our front porch. Wow, right? I told her to be careful because they can bite and went about my business. The Mister had come home from work somewhere in the middle of the day so we were upstairs when the oldest comes in crying and saying that the neighbors had yelled at her again. These are the neighbors that live behind us, not the ones with the kids she plays with. Now for a little back story.

These neighbors live on the cul-de-sac behind ours and their yard is directly behind ours. We’ve never talked to these people and they are the only people my dogs have EVER barked at. And I mean out of all the three different neighborhoods they’ve lived in, they’ve never barked at people. Other dogs, yes. People, no. But they bark like mad every time these people go in their backyard even if my dogs are inside. Also, last year on Halloween, they yelled at my kids and a few others to “get the eff out of their yard” when they were running around the neighborhood for trick or treat. I let that go and just told the kids to stay away from them. Then, I started noticing that someone or several someones in that house stand in their back door and stare into my house. I know. Sounds paranoid, but it’s all the time and once I caught them looking into my kitchen with binoculars. By now, I’m pretty weirded out by these people but I have solar screens on my windows so its pretty hard for them to see much and I started keeping my blinds on the backside of my house shut. They’ve also periodically yelled at my kids (and other’s kids) to stay out of their yard over the past year. What the dispute is, is that we have space between our respective fences and the neighborhood kids like to play back there in the ditch. Not the cleanest but I didn’t figure they were hurting anything. That’s where my daughter was when they yelled at her yesterday. There’s a tree back there with tons of acorns and she was watching two baby squirrels eat when they came out and yelled at her to get the eff off their fence and out of their yard.

They picked a gosh freaking bad day to send my kid home crying over freaking acorns I’m telling you. The Mister and I decided that enough was enough and went out to see what the heck was going on. I’ll admit, I was spoiling for a fight. I’d had a bad day and I was sick of these people yelling at my kids and making such a case over a freaking ditch for pete’s sake. So, the Mister starts out real nice and asks them what’s going on. They said something about how they were tired of our kids playing on their fence. I asked them what was the harm? They said that I wouldn’t like it if they were on my fence. First off all, I probably wouldn’t even notice as it’s a 5 ft tall privacy fence and secondly, as long as they weren’t peeking over it into my house, defacing it, or digging it up, why should I care? This went on for a bit with the woman talking in this reasonable, “we’re nice people and you’re horrible neighbors” kind of voice and I am really starting to lose my cool. I mean really. The Mister is still talking to them in a reasonable sort of manner and my voice is slowing rising with each thing that I say. I don’t even remember what was said at this point. All I remember is her holier than thou voice and that she kept talking over me and interrupting me. I finally lose it and say something about how they are being unreasonable and that I can’t talk to people like them and to stop looking in my effing house. She’s all, “Excuse me?” And I’m like, “You heard me (I’m yelling pretty loud. She heard me and the people in the surrounding houses with their doors shut probably heard me too). Stop looking in my effing house! You people are the worst neighbors ever and you’re complete assholes! You’re asshole neighbors!!” I’m totally screaming at this point and I’m not sure if that’s exactly what I said but I know I used the “f” word at least once and assholes twice. Then I slammed into my house and went across the street to the neighbor whose son plays with my kids behind our house to tell her to tell him that they can’t play back there anymore because I can’t take the fact that these people are assholes and just looking for a reason to start crap with me. I told her what happened and she was pretty unhappy too because they have yelled and cursed at her kids too. She said we should go the HOA president and let them know what was going on but I don’t see how that would help anything and declined. She also told me how they shine laser lights into her windows at night. So, it’s not just us that have been having problems with these weirdoes.

Img_0146

Img_0147

Pictures from two different angles. Click on them to make them bigger.

I completely admit that I could have handled the situation better and that if I hadn’t been wading through dog puke all morning, I would have had a cooler head. But this has been building up for a year now. If they have a problem with my kids, they should come to me, not scream at them and cuss at them until they come home crying. Yesterday wasn’t the first time they had come home crying because of them. Not even the first time this week. Earlier this week, they had been playing with one of those rubber balls, you know the size of basketball but they’re lighter and colorful? Well, the wind took it and blew it into the neighbor’s yard. Not the peeping toms but the house next door to them. This house belongs to an old bat that hates kids I guess. It was my daughter’s ball and she refused to give it back. How mature is that? She also took my strainer that the kids were playing with in the backyard too. The point of that? I don’t know. She was in her backyard putting in her two cents during the confrontation too. I’m sorry. But if you live in a neighborhood with kids, you have to put up with them. They annoy me too on occasion but I certainly don’t cuss at them and steal their toys. This is a young neighborhood where young couples would buy their first house kinda thing. Not a retirement neighborhood. Get a freaking grip.

The peepers also told the Mister (this was after I had left the scene) that instead of worrying about what they are doing that we should be paying more attention to the oldest sneaking out of her bedroom window. Now, I’m not naive enough to think my kids are never going to sneak out at night. I was about this age when I snuck out for the first time. However, I didn’t have to go through two screens to do it. It would be impossible for her to put on the solar screen from inside the house and our doors cause the alarm system to beep every time they’re opened. I’d hear it. And since we always get up before she does, I would have noticed her running out to the backyard to put the screen back on. Sure, she could sneak out but I don’t see how she’d do it unnoticed. At least out of her window anyway. She’d have better luck disarming the alarm system and walking out the front door.

I hate them and hope they rot in hell. Yes. That’s evil but it’s how I feel and I’m not sorry for it. The next time they yell at my kids, I don’t care if they’re throwing rocks through their windows, it’s ON! She probably has 30 pounds on me but I have righteous anger on my side. Their son, who is maybe 18 or 19 invited the Mister over for a fight yesterday too, lmao. Stupid kid.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my day. Drama filled and puke filled. I’ve always said that neighbors suck. I’ve kept myself to myself for a year now and look what happens. I put up wiht a lot from those people, the peeping and the verbal abuse of my kids and didn’t say anything for the sake of peace and look where it got me. Maybe I need to move to Montana where you can buy lots of land and live in the middle of nowhere by yourself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reminiscing

I had to have our old electric company from Vermont send me a copy of some of our old bills today. It really sucked looking at them because one month of electric out there in NOVEMBER and DECEMBER is a third, literally, of what our electric costs us here in North Carolina. A THIRD! The cost of electric here sucks out loud. It’s ridiculous that it costs more to heat a house in North Carolina than it does to heat a house in VERMONT in the WINTER. Am I wrong here?

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Bust of a Weekend

(This has nothing to do with this post, but do you know how many posts I type up and then delete?)

I figured I would recap our weekend. For us, it was pretty eventful.

Friday, the oldest attended a school dance. It wasn’t her first but it was the first one this year. She had a good time and then ended up spending the night at a friend’s house. To occupy the youngest while her sister was gone, we invited her friend to spend the night at our house. This little girl is a neighbor and she’s 7 to our daughter’s 10. They get along like two peas in a pod. We’ve had her over before and of all of our daughters’ friends, she’s among our favorites. I just love kids who are polite but join in on our teasing and stuff. She gives as good as she takes.

Saturday, we had to chauffer kids to and from places and then we spent the rest of the night IN. What’s so funny about Saturday is that my sister called in a panic. Why? I turned my phone off Saturday morning after all the kids were in their own houses. So, when my sister called all of two times and my phone went straight to voicemail, she thought something was wrong. Talk about jumping to conclusions, lol. She called the oldest on her phone (like she would ever turn her phone off and risk missing one of a thousand texts she gets in a day.) to get a hold of me. What can I say? I’m on the phone ALL week with work and kids and stuff and the weekends, I just don’t want to hear it. Plus, it picks up my e-mail from three different accounts so not only does it ring when someone calls, but it makes various noises for incoming texts and e-mails. On the weekends, I enjoy a bit of silence. Sue me.

Sunday, we took the kids out for their Halloween pumpkins, We found two rather nice pumpkins and bought decorating kits for them. This year, we’re doing lights. We try and decorate the pumpkins a little different each year. We also bought candy to give out to the two trick or treaters that we get. When you live in a development that consists of two cul-de-sacs, you don’t get a lot of thru traffic. We’ll have a handful of kids that live in our neighborhood and that will be it. They make out pretty good at our house though cuz I give out handfuls of candy instead of just one or two pieces to get rid of it all. I don’t want to indulge myself in leftover candy, heheh.

Oh. And on Saturday we had an issue with our smoke detectors and our alarm system. See? Our smoke detectors are wired in such a way that the alarm system monitors them. So, if they go off, it alerts the fire department and if the battery(s) are low, the control panel beeps and lets us know. Well, for some reason it was detecting that the battery was low in the detector in the hallway. So, the smoke detector was beeping and the alarm system was beeping too. Thing is, we had just replaced every smoke detector battery last week for the same reason. Not knowing what else to do, we went to Lowes to buy MORE batteries. We went around and replaced them all again but the beeping didn’t stop. I called the alarm system company to see what to do because at this point, the Mister was having a minor breakdown (and a major overreaction)  over the situation. The alarm guy could look and see that it was the hall detector causing the problem. I explained to him that we had changed the batteries in the detectors twice in a week’s time and that didn’t help. He had no solution for me. I’m sorry, but what an idiot. At this point, I was ready to rip the thing out of the ceiling and be done with it. What we ended up doing was disconnecting the alarm system from both the house power and the backup battery and that worked. Still, we listened to incessant beeping from two sources for four hours before we got it to shut the eff up. It was a very long four hours.

And I think that sums up our weekend. It was a mover and a shaker compared to what we usual do which is nothing, lol.

12 days to go until we leave for the Outer Banks! Woot!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hosting a Giveaway

IMG_0137

The Mister and I are hosting a giveaway to celebrate the grand opening of Coastal Natural Soap. We are very excited and hope to get a good response.

If you go to our website you can read the rules on how to enter. It’s actually a series of giveaways. This first one started today and ends on Friday at noon eastern time. The second one will start Monday and end at noon on Wednesday which is when the third one starts and it’ll end the following Friday. So three lucky winners will be getting a sampler four pack of our soap to try out for themselves.

Please tell all your friends (real and imaginary), your family, (whether you can stand them or not),  and your pets (they need baths too)  about the giveaway. The more the merrier.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Barnes and Noble’s Nook

As if the decision to go digital hasn’t been hard enough already.

You may or may not be aware that Barnes and Noble has been developing an eBook reader to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s eBook reader. I just received an e-mail tonight inviting me to preorder the Nook, Barnes and Nobles “world’s most advanced eBook reader”.

image

I’ve been debating for months on whether or not I was going to get an eBook reader of any kind. After trying out Kindle’s app on my iPod Touch, I had pretty much decided to choose that reader over Sony’s if I was going to get one at all. After all, I have already purchased something like 35 Kindle books and I also have a few free ones that I downloaded too. Just when I had thought that I had finally made up my mind, the Nook comes out. What’s a girl geek to do?

The Nook has many cool features such as an expandable memory slot to store up to 17,500 books. Whoa! You can lend your eBooks to others!! It even has a built in dictionary so you can read complicated books and look up words you don’t know. Yeah! AND, it’s competitively priced at $259.00. What to do, what to do.

Now I don’t know whether to be glad that I waited to get an eBook reader because now I have more choices and the Nook looks pretty darn cool. Plus, I like the name. Or whether or not I should be irritated that I waited so long to get one because now I have more choices and I won’t be able to decide between a Kindle and a Nook.Oh well. We’ll see. I’m not much for preordering new technology that hasn’t been tried out yet so I have, at the very earliest, until November 30 to make up my mind. That’s enough time, right?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Open for Business

Soothing Lavender Product

If you’re like me, you were probably thinking that this would never happen. Guess what? The day is finally here!!

The Mister and I talked about starting a soap business about a year ago. We talked and talked and talked. Then, the Mister and I started doing TONS of research into starting a home based business and how to make cold process soap. Then we started buying supplies and ingredients.

After experimenting with a few recipes, we came up with three that we really liked and sent our baby bars out into the world to be tried out by friends and family. We got mainly positive reviews and used that feedback to refine those three recipes and create one more. Now, we have four varieties of soap that are FOR SALE as of today.

For the longest time we procrastinated about getting our business off the ground. The largest obstacle wasn’t capital or ideas but fear. Fear of failure and fear of success if you can believe that. On the one hand we were afraid that we’d open shop and completely bomb. On the other, we were afraid that people would like our stuff and then not be able to keep up with the demand. I spoke to an actual life coach about this (Not professionally. She’s someone I know from work.). Laurie told me that I have a glass half empty mentality and that I needed to stop using various excuses (we kept saying that the website wasn’t ready, lol) and own up to the fear and GET OVER IT. She said that the holiday season is here and that we needed to get our virtual doors open. So, I hired someone to finish up the website and now we’re officially OPEN! And what’s more, we have our first order! Gosh! It’s exciting, lol.

We still have the fear but it’s not overpowering like it was in the beginning. After all, life is about taking chances, right?

Head on over to Coastal Natural Soap and check us out. The site is not 100% (there’s tasks that I need to take care of still) but the important part is there:  the shopping cart, heheh. We’re only able to accept PayPal at the moment unless I know you IRL. PLEASE use the contact form and leave me feedback. We’re still tweaking stuff so if something doesn’t work, is confusing, is just plain ugly, TELL ME. I want to hear it and I actually mean that.

I’m going to be running a contest sometime this week and will be giving away a sample pack of all four soaps to a lucky winner! Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter @trishaj or follow the business on Twitter @soapmakers or subscribe to my feed here or our feed on www.coastalnaturalsoap.com for more info!! 

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Are WEIRD!!

I know that we are new to the homeschooling thing. I don't, by any means, shape, form, or dream, claim to be an expert on homeschooling. However, for the record, I resent anybody making the JUDGMENT that homeschooled kids are weird. Screw you. And just so you know, our kid was weird before we started homeschooling not that it's any of your damn business. ;)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Bookish Post…Sort Of

Considering the book that I’m about to talk about, it’s kind of insulting to book bloggers to call this a “bookish” post. Since I have absolutely no time to read these days, this is the best I can do.

I recently started reading Tucker Max’s book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell41778618The title caught our eye when we were checking out and the Mister and I figured we’d read it together. It’s basically a compilation of Tucker Max’s nefarious stories about drinking and debauchery while he was in grad school and interning. That’s really putting it in very nice terms. What it really is, is an insult to every woman, near and far, on the face of the Earth. Also what it is, is freaking hilarious. I’m ashamed to admit it, but the first story I read in the book, I read on the way home from the bookstore (the Mister was driving) and I about peed myself laughing. I suppose I have somewhat of a sick and twisted sense of humor. I certainly don’t take my womanhood very seriously, lmao.

You can read Tucker’s stories on his website at www.tuckermax.com and his book is also coming out soon as a movie. The movie, I will not watch. I can’t imagine that it would be any good and I think only immature men will find it funny. Still, I’m reading the book and trying to do it as slowly as possible so that the Mister can keep up. It’s funny. Sick and disgusting, but funny.

I have no idea who I would recommend this book to. Maybe our friend Josh or my brother but I can’t think of any of my girlfriends that would like this book. If you’d like to give it a shot, read, “The Famous ‘Sushi Pants’ Story” at Tucker’s website. It’s the first one in the book and the one about peed myself over, heheh.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I’ve Got Stuff to Say!

I’m excited. I have stuff that I want to say on my blog. Woot! It’s a lot and I don’t feel like dividing it up into multiple posts so hang on to your panties and keep up.

First of all, have I mentioned yet that we’ve rented our beach house and have November 7th circled on the calendar? Yup. We’re headed back to the Outer Banks again this year so that the Mister can run in the OBX Marathon. This is the second year we’re going and the closest thing we have to a tradition, lol. No word on whether or not anyone is coming with us though.

Also!!! The Mister found out today that U2, (You know, the music group??) was in our town last night and ate at the same BBQ place that we love to eat at. How cool is that? They weren't in town for a concert or anything (::snort:: Like U2 would come to my town for a concert.)

And you know how people are advertising to buy gold jewelry all over the place? Well, I did that today and it was great. Not because I made a lot of money but because I got rid of some things that had bad memories attached to them or jewelry that was broken or bent but that I couldn’t make myself throw away. Instead, I sold it to a jewelry store nearby and got enough money to pay for a new watch battery and to have my favorite ring repaired. Two things that I had put off doing for about three years. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it was for some reason.

Another thing…I made chili for dinner tonight. It’s a cold weather dish and it’s not cold here yet but I was totally craving it so I made it anyway. It was GOOOOD!

The oldest child’s punihsment for breaking the garbage disposal has been completed. As a result, I have a spotless kitchen from top to bottom. I made her clean out the cabinets and put everything back in an organized manner. I made her wipe down the outside of all the cabinets, clean out the fridge, clean out the microwave, and mop the floor. It took her two days. Plus she was grounded to her room when she wasn’t cleaning. She’s been an angel for the past few days, heheheh.


Both the Mister’s Twitter account and mine were hacked. He had to make an all new account (caseyj7760) and I just had to change my password. Makes me wonder if anything else was hacked of which we are unaware.

I LOVE my marketing class. I’m learning a lot and it’s just fun.

I cleaned out my bedroom closet yesterday and decided to reorganize it and my dressers. 60 hangers later and it’s complete. It’s much better and I found clothes that I forgot that I had. How nifty is that?

If you’ve ever thought of joining www.bagborroworsteal.com I would really appreciate it if you would use me for a referral. Just so you know, I love my membership. My newest rental is a Fendi bag and it’s FABULOUS!!

NaBloPoMo is right around the corner and I have no idea how I’ll do it this year. Should I even try?

Ok. It’s time for bed. I have other stuff but I’ll get to it another time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Posts in One Day

We had another household mishap. They’re starting to become routine which is scary. To refresh your memories before I tell you about the newest breakdown, our washer is still acting up and my retarded Dyson Animal is still broken. The newest thing? Our garbage disposal is broken. Let me tell you why.

I have a lazy teenager. Her only chore in our house is to unload and reload the dishwasher. For a normal person, this would take 20 minutes a day at the most. For her, it can take upwards of four or five hours depending on how much I yell and badger. Last night we had spaghetti for dinner. It took her about an hour to not clean all of the dirty dishes and to shove all of the unused spaghetti noodles down the sink which totally packed in the pipes and clogged them. Then, she neglected to tell us that she had clogged the sink up. I discovered this at about 10:45 last night when I was trying to wash my hands and the water didn’t go down the sink. I turned the garbage disposal on because 99% of the time, that’s all it takes. Nope. All this did was cause noodle water to explode out of the other side of the sink. I tell the Mister and he grabbed the plunger and tried clearing the drain that way. He plunged and all this did was pull more noodles up the drain. Then we tried running the disposal again and that’s when we had a massive geyser. Noodles and noodle water everywhere when the pipe burst its seal under the sink. By now it’s after 11 and we’re picking noodles off of ourselves and there’s nasty water all over my kitchen. The Mister took the pipes apart and snaked the drain with a wire hanger (we don’t have an actual plumber’s snake.) After some snaking and more plunging, he cleared the pipes. He put everything back together but when I tested the garbage disposal, more water started coming out of it. It blew some sort of seal on the inside of it. We know NOTHING about garbage disposals but I’m assuming it’s going to have to be replaced.

We didn’t get to bed until after midnight because we both needed showers. I literally had to pick noodles off of the Mister’s back. We were a mess. I am so not happy with my child that she should be entirely grateful that I don’t beat kids. In her roots, she’s a good kid but this laziness of hers is becoming an epidemic. And yes, I know. What else is a teen supposed to be but lazy? But GEEZ! That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Considering the punishment and grounding I have in mind for her, my house is going to be the most un-fun place to be for the next week or so. Calgon take me away!

An Award!

kreativ_blog

Pam over at 30 Something gave me this award today. Considering how much I blog as of late, it was very generous of her to think of me. Thanks Pam!!!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.


7 things you may not know about me.

  1. Coming up with seven unknown facts about me at this point in the game that I’m willing to share is a hard thing to do!
  2. I feel more exposed opening up our soap business than I ever have in the six years that I’ve been blogging.
  3. I got my carpet cleaned last week and it really gave me a feeling of contentment knowing that it was clean. How sad is that?
  4. I don’t have time to read very much these days. This includes blogs, articles, and books that I read for leisure.
  5. I think I’m a little addicted to Bag, Borrow, or Steal. I’ve spent a little bit of money there recently, hehehe.
  6. I’m tired of living in Small Town, U.S.A. I need more.
  7. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time it took me to make this list.

Now I’m supposed to nominate seven blogs for this award. Sadly, I’ve fallen behind in my blog writing and reading and I have no idea which blogs to nominate that haven’t already been nominated. :( I suck.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If I Didn’t Have Bad Luck…

After our infamous trip to Ohio, we arrived home to discover that our washing machine wasn’t working right. It was making noises like it was going to run a regular cycle but the lid wouldn’t lock and it wouldn’t fill with water. You can picture me with steam coming out of my ears. The ding dong machine isn’t even three years old yet.

So, I do a bit of research online and find a message board about my washing machine with people posting about similar problems. Their machines had the computer board go out on it which is about $200 just for the board to replace. This isn’t including a service charge or labor. Again, me, steam, ears. I have the worst luck with washing machines. My old machine had the shocks go out on it and that was $250 to fix.

Anywho, we get back from Ohio and we’re pretty broke. We are able to get our machine to work if we unplug it and reset the computer EVERY TIME WE RUN A NEW LOAD so this is what we’ve been doing. I finally was able to get a repairman out today and the DING DONG MACHINE WORKED FINE FOR HIM!!!! WTF?!?! I had to pay him $59 for a service call for him to tell me the freaking thing was fine. In addition to feeling like a complete and total idiot, this repair call is occurring right in the middle of a phone conference for which I have to keep muting myself so I can talk to the guy. SHEESH!!

He did tell me that it probably is the computer board going out and I could go ahead and have him replace it if I wanted him to. I opted to wait even though I’m fearful that the board will crap out on me in the middle of a cycle and leave me with a washer full of wet, drippy, soapy clothes. It just seemed kind of silly to pay to fix something that was working.

Oh. And my wonderful Dyson Animal is broken too and the nearest repair shop for that is an hour away. I’m telling ya, bad luck. If I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I’ve Come To Realize

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size…
is good enough for me. On the small size but at least I don’t have to worry about being able finding the right bra and I can wear pretty lacy bras too.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job…

is something to be envious of. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how can they find work from home jobs.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving…
I obsess too much over how other drivers suck. It makes driving something that I don’t enjoy doing in the least.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need…

more self control. Oh. And a vacation.

5. I’ve come to realize that I have lost…

touch with too many good friends.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when…

Mondays roll around and completely cherish weekends and holidays.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk…
It’s not as much fun as it used to be when I was younger. Now it kinda makes me feel stupid and immature.

8. I’ve come to realize that money…

is a necessary evil and I am happier when I have it than when I don’t.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people…

need to call more often while other certain people need to bite me.

10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always …
be a realist and judgmental and an over-protective parent and a good listener and techno-geek and a homebody.

11. I’ve come to realize that my siblings…

Will always be a source of wonder for me. Both of them can be pretty weird.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom…

and I will never be as close as we once were.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone…
is both my lifeline and the thing that weighs me down.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning…

the banging I was hearing wasn’t my dogs in the trash but the next door neighbors taking their trash out.

15. I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep…

I stayed up too late watching the season finale of True Blood on my DVR. I still haven’t decided if it was worth it or not. That episode was just weird.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking…
I have a ton of stuff to do that doesn’t involve blogging. I need to get to homeschooling, reading my assigned reading for the week, and I have client work to do too.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad…
is one of the most intelligent people that I know and that I get my temper from him.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook…
I have a hard time figuring out what is so much fun about it.

19. I’ve come to realize that today…
is a beautiful day outside for a change. The sun has been shining since daybreak.

20. I’ve come to realize that tonight…
Is my night to cook. I’m making spaghetti with homemade red sauce, garlic bread, and a salad. Not very imaginative but it’ll be great.

21. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow…
is just another day. I have nothing special planned.

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to…

Take a vacation.

23. I’ve come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost this is…
nobody I know, heheh. You should though if you’re reading this. It’s kinda therapeutic.

24. I’ve come to realize that life…
is gonna happen no matter what you do. So take those lemons and throw them at someone.

25. I’ve come to realize that this weekend…
will hopefully be fun for reasons that I can’t disclose.

26. I’ve come to realize that marriage…
is what you put into it. It’s ups and downs. It’s not perfect. And still, it’s warm and fuzzy.

27. I’ve come to realize that my friends…

are TOO FAR AWAY!!!

28. I’ve come to realize that this year…

Wasn’t a banner year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that next year will be better.

29. I’ve come to realize that my ex is…

I don’t have an ex significant enough to talk about.

30. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should…

get lunch and stop being so lazy. Oh. I should probably also answer some of the work emails that have been coming in over the weekend and today.

31. I’ve come to realize that I love…

my life. I love my kids, my husband, my dogs, my job, going to school. I love it and consider myself lucky even though I’ve been saying I need a vacation. Everyone needs a break every once in a while.

32. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand…

People who blindly trust. People that have to follow the crowd just because it’s trendy. I don’t understand violence against children.The list goes on. There’s a lot about this world and the people in it that I will never understand.

33. I’ve come to realize my past…
has gotten me to where I’m at today and it’s made me the person, wife, and parent that I am today. Overall, I don’t think I’m such a bad person.

34. I’ve come to realize that parties…

make me nervous. I can’t relax in the midst of a bunch of people. And it gets worse the older that I get. The thought of actually hosting a party makes me sweat.

35. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified…
of something happening to my kids or my husband.