Thursday, August 30, 2007

Surprise Party....Surprise YOU are the Hostess!

Last Thursday morning phone call from Grandparents (my parents) saying they were coming for a visit on Saturday. They travel so much now that they are retired that we go through Grandparent withdrawal.

Late Thursday night call from Uncle Lewie (my big brother) saying he is traveling with our parents and we will see him Saturday....and many more people are coming. I ask "Is there a holiday I don not know about?" and he responds "We are celebrating Dad's birthday early." Um, big party at my house. Out of state over night guests too. Why was I not given an invitation or at least told about this sooner?

Call Auntie D thinking she knew all about it. She gets upset, yells a bit then says "No way are all of you getting together WITHOUT ME!" Lovely, I have now upset my sister. I don't think she heard that I did not know about the party until just now. I try to console myself by thinking at least I was not the only one who did not know.

I was so looking forward to a relaxing evening at home after a long day at the office. Now I have to get into high gear to prepare for a party. Household chores which are normally left for Saturday are moved up to tonight. Make sure all the guest towels and other such are ready. Figure out where everyone is going to sleep, seating chart, what foods to prepare and Bear proof the house.

I do have a dog but I have to make extra sure to Bear proof the house. Snow White has dozens and dozens of small toys and there are things about the house our dog knows not to touch. Think of it as your own baby in the house and then another Mom brings her baby over who has many allergies and a cronic illness. You just have to be extra careful insuring your house will not have any ill affect on that baby.

All the craft projects must be boxed up and put on a high shelf in the basement. Oh and the laundry room...nothing should be on the floor...nothing! Did I ever mention my laundry room runs the full length of my house? It is the laundry room and the storage area for all sewing, arts, crafts, out of season clothing, important papers, doll house everything, holiday decorations for every holiday, the old computer and sooooo much more.

Ok on with Friday. My sister calls to say she took Monday off and can spend the weekend with us and Bear is coming. His coming is really exciting for us since it will be the first time Bear and Pup will meet! Yeah! Down side is I have to be entertaining all weekend and I was not planning on doing a whole lot this weekend. Plus side is I get to have my sister here in person with me for a whole weekend!

I call a few people to see if they can bring a small dish, soda, cups or anything. It turns out they told Uncle Lewie they would try to come. They expressed how much they truly wanted to come but they had made family weekend plans already. Sheew! That was such a load off my mind! Now it was down to a reasonable number that I could handle for a last minute party.

Friday night ...Auntie D calls to say her yahoo directions are not making sense. The website cannot locate her house or mine but has some really crazy back roads map across three states! I tell her to use Mapquest but she gets the same results. I try my computer but ...Electrical issues make that impossible. Just then I realize it is after 9pm and she has not started her traveling.

She calls me back later from a Walmart store. Her car is packed and she is attempting to purchase a $450 GPS system for her car. The only place open right now is Walmart and they are giving her some sort of run around about matching the price of a competitor. She says she will call me back later. It is now after 10 pm. I am still trying to get the house in pristine order.

Around midnight she calls to say it would have been a blast to come but she is just too worn out and would spend most of her weekend traveling if she did come. I tell her it is quit alright. We will see her for a week during the Thanksgiving holiday. I give up on Bear proofing the house and go to bed.

Birght and early Saturday morning I realize I have forgotten a few VERY important things! I needed to go shopping! I made sure to wait until the local bakery opened and had enough time to put out fresh pumpkin pies. I do not know why but every year my Dad wants pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake. It has been like this all of my life. On my way out the door Uncle Lewie calls to say they are on their way. I know I have approximately 2 hours before they arrive. I pick up the pies, ice cream, sherbert (Dad's favorite!) lunch items and snaks. I now have 1 hour to find a present, shower (yeah eww but I was pressed for time!), lay everything out strategicly so Grandpa (my Dad) is surprised!

My mind is drawing a complete blank as to what to get him for a present! I knew exactly what I wanted to get him but I thought I had a lot more time. Thinking about his new house and how he said he wants his "office " to look...Navy/Nuatical theme. I remember needing a boat photo for my blog and where I found it (A.C. Moores crafts store). I picked up a wooden framed mirror in the shape of a boat and wooden shelf in the shape of a boat. He would love it and I needed something quick.

I knew I had blue and white paint at home since I had just pained a my little wooden boat. I rush home before the ice cream and sherbert melted in to puddles. Took my shower, set up for the party and then painted the mirror and shelf. Since I used acrylic paint I knew it would dry quickly. I had just enough time to wash the bits of paint off of my hands before they arrived. Sheew! I left the mirror and shelf to dry in the family room while we all caught up and then had the party.

Crazy Electricity

Friday afternoon I came home for lunch. Before I reached my house I saw two trucks from the electric company parked on either side of the our road. The first thing I did when I entered my house was to check the oven clock and microwave. All was fine, the clocks were not even blinking. I thought nothing of it and went on to tidy up and Bear proof my house.

I returned to work and forgot all about the electric company trucks. Later that evening I turned on the lights over the kitchen counter and something seemed off. The light above the sink did not come on. I dismiss this thinking the light bulbs must have burnt out.

An hour later ManSon asks me to come into the guest bathroom and take a look at the lights. You can see the copper spiral wires in the middle of the bulbs glow just a bit but they were not giving off light. Ok that was weird but I did not have time to think about it as we had just learned there was to be a large party at our house this weekend. A few minutes later he comes to tell me the computer did something strange. It started turning it's self on and off. He unplugged the computer. The lamp on the other side of the room was fine so I thought maybe it was a computer problem which I would deal with later.

A few hours later I tried to turn on the light in the sunroom which is next to the kitchen. The light would not go on but the light above the kitchen sink did! I tried the switchnext to it in an attempt to turn on the ceiling light in the kitchen but that turned on the sunroom light. I turned that switch to off then tried the over the counter lights and they worked fine but still the light above the sink did not come on as it should have. I turned them off but for some reason they stayed on. They were not very bright, just barely glowing. I tried to turn on the ceiling light and that turned off the over the counter lights completely.

At this time I knew something was up so around 10:30 pm I called the electric company who said they would come out to do a check on my meter and the outside lines. About 20 minutes later the service man calls to say he is on his way but wanted to see if my service had been restored. I return to the kitchen and find all is well again. I tried out the bathroom lights and plugged the computer back in. They were both fine as well. He said he would still come out to see if there is anything wrong outside. Everything outside checked out.

Saturday night my electricity decided to revert to the same bad behavior of Friday night with a few added changes. Now when you tried to turn on the hall light or the bathroom lights they would not come on but the light over the kitchen sink would come on! I called the electric company again but this time no one showed up. There had been a sever thunder storm and I imagine they were dealing with complete outages. I am began to think my electrical issue was an internal wiring problem which I will have to deal with Monday morning.

Sunday evening the problem was still occurring and since there was nothing we could do about it until Monday we made a family game out of it. Who could find the most combinations of wrong lights going on when we flipped on the different light switches. At one point the light above the stove and the light above the kitchen sink did a little volley back and forth when one switch was flipped on.

I switched the computer and the lamp table in order for the computer to say on. The lamp does light up in it's new location but it is so dim it does not even light up what is on the little table it stands on. So far the rest of the electricity in the house has not been affected and I am thankful for that. The common factor in this room is that the computer was plugged in to a socket operated by a light switch.

Monday morning I called for an electrician. I either missed him or he had other fish to fry.

Monday night came a new issue… I also need a plumber. I just discovered a pipe from Snow White's bathtub is leaking into the basement. Lucky for me it is right above the floor drain in the laundry room.

Wednesday evening and we are still without an electrician or plumber and the problems are still occurring.


Apparently ManSon made a midnight visit to the bathroom. He rushed to tell me “Hey, the bathroom light is on!” I was so happy I ran to the kitchen to see if the other lights were working properly and ….THEY WERE! The sunroom, kitchen, bathroom and hall lights are all working now. The electrician never showed up but some how the lights are working again. I hope they are still working when I come home from work.

Anyone have any utilities gone wild stories?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mean Girl has Returned

The first day of school brought all kinds of exciting news! “When we have a really good day in class and finish up early we get to DANCE!” I am liking the new teacher. What kid doesn’t like to move to the music? Even if they cannot dance they have fun with it.

Everyone thought her outfit was super cute. I was a little nervous about Snow White’s choice of fashion for the first day of school. Remember we moved from the big city out here to the country. Fashion is pretty much jeans and a tee shirt for most in these parts. Not to say there are not a few fashion savy people out here but there is limited supply of anything fashionalble out here. Last year a few Mean Girls picked on Snow White due to her outfits which would blend right in at the big city school she use to attend. Being the new kid from out of state did not help either.

I was very pleased to hear her classmates were now seeing her choice of style in a positive light. It was very difficult to shop for her wardrobe out here. Finding the simplest item such as knee-high socks and shoes that would match her outfits was especially difficult. There are no knee-high socks in the country for little girls. However, they do have them in my size. How ridiculous is that? Are there really 40 year old mothers who wear knee high socks?

Only two of her friends from last year are in her class this year “American Girl” and “Gymnast”. American Girl sits next to her in class and Gymnast sits across the room. I was so happy to hear these two wonderful girls are in her class. They played together during their two recesses and were joined by a new friend. We will call the new friend “Lunch Girl” for now until I get to know more about her. Why “Lunch Girl”? She and Snow White were in charge of handing out the lunch boxes when their class headed in to the cafeteria for lunch.

I asked what they did during recess and found out they mostly talked. When I said “What did you talk about?” her answer was “You know, life. Her life. My life. Things that are going on in the world.” I had to stifle a chuckle when I heard that last part! “She talked about how she misses her Dad. He works a lot so she doesn’t see him much. I told her I don’t see my Dad either.” She was a little sad about this and I tried to cheer her up. I cannot recall what I said but it did make her laugh. Why Snow White has not seen her Dad is a whole story of it’s own. It will take up pages and pages. Maybe I will write about it later.

After dinner Snow White announced she would be in her room reading for 15 minutes. This was her homework for the night. I checked on her from time to time. She was laying on her bed reading one of the Magic Tree House books. After an hour passed by she came to me and asked if her 15 minutes were up? I told her she had been reading for an hour. Her eyebrows went up and said “Oh, it only takes an hour to read a whole Magic Tree House book? It took you two whole days to read the new Harry Potter book.”

She sat in my lap for a little while. With her head resting on my chest she quietly said “L is in my class this year.” This is one of the Mean Girls who picked on her on and off through out the past year at daycare. Snow White explained that the other Mean Girl changed and was nice to her. “L” never gave up. Even when Snow White walked away from her “L” would whisper some snide remark to those around her which set them off in giggles. I told Snow White to give “L” a chance. “It is a new school year. Let’s try to start her off on a clean slate shall we?” She gave out a heavy sigh but agreed. Then she perked right up and said “Maybe “L’s” life at home has changed. Maybe she doesn’t need to be hateful any more. I sure hope she has changed at least a little.” When “L” started to be a problem at daycare I told Snow White maybe the little girl has some problems and might not have such a happy home life. We know nothing about her home life. It just seemed like a good thing to say at the time. You know the old saying “Misery loves company.”

I am hoping the teacher will keep an eye on “L” and squash all ill communication between them. At least she isn’t sitting next to Snow White. Maybe having the Mean Girl in a classroom setting will keep her on her toes and be more mindful of good manners. Maybe. I really do hope all goes well in the classroom. If not then it will be a growing experience and I will know exactly what book to give “L” for the book exchange…

Mean Girls - Facing your beauty turned beast (available at for $9.99 in paper back) A great book to read with her Mommy.

Mommy Homework - This school has it Going On! They sent home a very neatly printed out form with all the information I gave them last year. Next to each nicely printed out line on the form were two boxes Okay and Change. If you needed to update just one line you did not need to fill out the whole forms all over again! How GREAT is that?!

I did receive a Volunteer form which only asks for parents to participate during school hours. In the big city school Snow White attended before they at least gave working parents the option to help with baked goods or after school functions and sometimes classroom projects at home (lots of paper cutting and a few posters now and then). In our new home town I am the one and only single parent. They have an abundance of Stay At Home Moms (SAHM) to fill the volunteer needs of every school. Not wishing to seem as though I was shrugging off my school parent duties I wrote a note at the bottom of the form stating I work full time but would love to help with baked goods and evening activities.

You may think all my Mommy Homework preparation was in vain but I think not. It is sort of the same scenario as carrying an umbrella with you while you shop. It may be a nuisance but the weather man did say there was an 80% chance of rain. You are almost guaranteed it will not rain while you are out shopping simply because you lugged that umbrella around with you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School with Smiles and Tears

Well today was the first day of school. I am happy to report that everyone survived. I thought about taking the morning off so I could escort Snow White to school on her first day. The more I thought about it the less sense it made. We would wait around the house for at least two hours after we are normally ready in the morning. Then I would drive to the school to wait in a long line of cars just so I could wave at her as she rushed off in to the building.

She would much rather go to the daycare center and hang out with her friends before school than just bide her time at home. Plus she would need to get back in the habit of riding the bus so why put it off another day. When we arrived at the daycare center the parking lot was completely packed! There were a dozen Mommies standing at the entrance but not trying to get inside. They were all holding cameras awaiting the arrival of the school bus.

Apparently they are all Kindergarten Mommies. Aww how cute they all looked (the parents). The children were still inside waiting to line up for the bus when it arrived. I parked next door and lead Snow White inside. She acted like it was just another day but I was full of enough excitement for the both of us. I hugged her, gave her a little kiss on the top of her head and wished her the very best ever first day. Once again I made my way past the Kindergarten Mommies. Some were smiling from ear to ear and others were just about to burst into tears. Aww, the first day of school for kindergartners and their Mommies.

I thought about leaving work early to pick her up on her first day. I came to the conclusion we would run in to the same issues as the morning, friends and the bus again. So instead I think I will ask to leave work an hour or so early and pick her up from daycare. This will give us more time to discuss things before dinner. I might have to leave work early to let an electrician in our house at some point today. I am waiting for that call.


I left work early for the electrician but did not manage to leave until 4:10 pm due to downloading things to take home. I thought I could still make it in time (office 7 minutes from home). No electrician was there so I waited until 5:44 pm. I had to leave in order to pick up my daughter from daycare before I was subjected to late fees and/or dismissal from daycare all together. My thoughts were, I would pick her up and get back within 10 minutes. Surely an electrician would give the curiously of a 10 minute window. No electrician when I returned home. It is now 7:31 pm and still no electrician. I hope he was called away on some important manner and not going to charge me for not being at home.

Anyway, the first day of school went well for my daughter. It never occurred to me that it might go wrong for me. And I didn't even get any of the perks of the first day of school so many other mothers enjoy. Oh well, such is the life of a Work Away from Home Mom(WAHM).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eclipse of Summer and the Moon

Photo courtesy of DHD Multimedia Gallery (free down loads)

Today is the first day of School and the end of summer vacation. The realization of summers end will pass the faces of students today just as a lunar eclipse passes a shadow over the moon. The shadow will pass slowly over the moon and eventually emerge shining brightly. I hope all of our students will come home from their first day back with the same luminous glow.

There will be a lunar eclipse on the 28th so take a break from homework and the normal rush to view it with your children. Check the NASA home page for times and best locations to view.

All of North America will witness some portion of the eclipse, but western observers are favored. The early penumbral or umbral phases will be in progress at moonset for observers in Maritime Canada. From the eastern USA, the Great Lakes region and Ontario, the Moon sets in total eclipse. Only observers to the west of the Rockies (including Alaska) will be treated to the entire event. All phases of the eclipse are also visible from islands of the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand and eastern Australia. Various stages of the eclipse are in progress at moonrise for eastern Asia. No eclipse is visible from Europe, Africa and western Asia.

All Times are Easter Standard Time

4:30 PM Partial Eclipse Begins

5:44 PM Total Eclipse Begins

6:58 PM Total Eclipse Ends

8:00 PM Partial Eclipse Ends

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mommy Homework

I am not looking forward to school starting. I am a single working mom and can no longer take off the summers. The only thing that changes for me when school starts is all the homework. I don’t just mean sitting at the table with Snow White helping her with her homework.

I am talking about all the Mommy Homework. The first day of school always means filling out dozens and dozens of Emergency Forms. Each of these forms must be filled out in triplicate or require a 4th. One is for the main office, one is for the school nurse, one is for the county file and some for the state file. Imagine having to do this for 3 children as I have for the past few years. My first day of Mommy Homework usually takes me about 2-3 hours of writing by hand repetitive information over, and over and over again.

This year I thought I would get a head start on these forms even though they will not be in my hands until after the first day of school. I have come up with a form. My plan is to staple one of my forms to each and every one of their forms. If they must be color coded I have no objection to printing them out of colored paper. Hopefully, this will prevent Mommy Homework writers cramp.

Here is my form so far (I have a saved copy with all the info filled in). Have I left anything off? Does your school forms have something mine is lacking? How do you handle school forms? How long does it take you to fill them all out?

Student Name:

Home Phone:
Cell Phone:
Work Phone:



Emergency Contact if parents cannot be reached:
Name Relationship Phone # Address
To student

People who are authorized by you to pick up your child from school:
Name Relationship Phone # Address
To student


Does not wear glasses or hearing aids.
She is not currently on any subscription medication

For the teacher:
Favorite color: Usually pink, sometimes blue or purple, depends on her mood.
Pets: 2 cats and 1 dog
Bedtime: 8pm
Wakes up: 7am
Siblings: brother 19, sister 17
Grandparents on both sides still alive and kicking it up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hurry Scurry School is Starting!

At the end of the school year this past June I was given I packet of worksheets for Math and English. I meant to get around to them and work through them during the summer. I thought I had so much time! I was wrong. School starts on Monday and we never even started the packages. Bad Mommy.

I had scoured the school web sites trying to find out more on the school supply list. Most of the sites still reflect last years information. The only items on the list are still 1 back pack, 4 pencils and 1 pencil pouch.

School starts in less than a week and I still have no idea who her teacher will be or if there are any other required items. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. My fear is that my daughter will arrive at school on her first day to be laughed at for not having all of her supplies.

When we return home that evening I check the mail box and low and behold there is an envelope from the school! Inside are two letters from her new teacher with very creative and colorful borders. One is addressed to Snow White and the other to me. Apparently the 4 pencils are not needed as they supply pencils through out the year. Also, the teacher requests one very cute baby photo of Snow White and one of something she did over the summer.

The teacher also wrote about how long she has been teaching over all and at this school (10 and 6). She hopes this year will be the best ever and a bit more pleasantries. She also included a magnet with her name, email address, phone numbers and a bit more information.

I scour the albums I have finally completed for this one particular baby photo but cannot locate it. I know exactly how it looks but cannot lay my hands on it (Pooh Bear snow suit). I have only this weekend to find that photo!

Snow White tells me which photo she would like. She also knows exactly what it looks like and I know exactly where it is but she was so tiny then.

I start to read more into what the baby photo project will be about and want to use a photo of her where she is at least of sitting up age. That leaves us the itty bitty baby photo or the sitting up baby at a national baseball game wearing a tiny replica of the teams uniform in cheerleader fashion.

YE GADS! I found another box of photos to sort which will require reorganizing all the photos in many of the albums! Well, I found my-scurry-find-the-impossible-before-school-starts project...even though it does not involve shopping.

Insane Doctor's Office

Imagine taking your 10 year old child to a routine doctor’s visit one morning. Later on you are at work and the phone rings. "Mrs. ______ your child has cancer and there is no hope. Please bring him back in so we can get it all over with. We can take care of everything today and by tonight it will be all over. Remember we close at 5 pm."

You would panic, your life would flash before your eyes. You reach for your car keys and some how head out of the office toward the parking lot. You do not remember how you got from your desk to your child. You hold your child and weep. Then anger sets in and you do not want to give up without a fight. You call another doctor and make an emergency appointment with their specialist.

This happened to my sister last November, the day before Thanksgiving. When I first answered my phone I couldn’t tell who was on the other end. I heard lots of screaming, mumbled words and sobbing. I look at the number and realize it is my sister. She was absolutely hysterical. Any one of us would be!

She went to the other doctor for a second opinion and they gave her hope. Bear was given medication and had surgery a few months later. He has been given 6 more years.

Can you believe the actions of the first doctor? How freakin’ callous can you get?!! Your baby is dying lets just get it over with tonight…how soon can you get here? The man who called was just so ‘matter a fact’ about the whole thing. You don’t shock the crap out of someone and then expect them to drive safely or even be coherent. You tell them they need to come in for a consultation or make up some excuse to get them calmly to the office.

Well, the months went by. Needless to say she never took her baby back to that freaking insane doctor’s office again. She and I had put them completely out of our thoughts…until yesterday.

Years ago my sister had signed up for a special health plan for Bear which gave him a few perks like so many free dental cleanings per year and I think a few shots. Anyway, this special health plan was with the insane doctor’s office. My sister’s thinking was ok, I will keep up with the free dental cleanings since she was paid up for the whole year. They couldn’t possibly screw that up right?


That evil-cold-hearted-matter-of-fact man called her yesterday to say her Bear needed to come in to update a shot. She politely explained she has another doctor now and since Bear has cancer he will no longer take the shots. The man is rude and yells at her “..but Mrs.____, it is required by law that he have his shots up to date!” Mmm Mr. Ice Cold has a hot temper. Then he goes on to say that there is no proof Bear has cancer! What the H*@! THIS is the same insane man who told her to bring Bear in so they could medicate him and do away with him that very day!

He kept arguing and yelling at my sister and then finally he said something so horrid my sister lost her temper and let him have it! What could he say that was worse than anything he had said so far?


I am thinking this man needs to be medicated and put in a freakin’ padded cell! WTH?! He had her so upset …AGAIN! Making her visualize her babies severed head? The man needs to be taken out and horse whipped!

My sister has had it with that man and would like to have him fired! Can you blame her? If I lived in the same state I would have been on my way down to that man’s office and beat the living tar out of him! And then shove that shot, syringe and all right up his arse!

If you have been reading a long while you know who Bear is. If not, he is my sister’s fur baby. She honestly and truly loves him exactly like we love our children. Bear is doing great! When I saw him last he was rushing about with the energy and enthusiasm of a 6 month old pup!

I do not know who to contact to get this man fired. Not only do we want him fired but we want him professionally reprimanded! What is the hierarchy of Veterinarians? Is there a state board to contact? What about calling PetSmart? I think the veterinarian’s office is connected to a PetSmart or right next door. They work in both the vet office and the PetSmart.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Oh and I apologize for all the almost curse words. I am just that ANGRY about the whole thing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don't Curse Like a Sailor In Me Boat

Do you know that old saying…goes something like this…An Englishman and an American row a boat across the river. By the time they reach the opposite shore they both have an English accent. Accents can have a temporary “rub off” affect. Have I ever mentioned how much the people in the UK curse? I mean it is like the F bomb going off every one - two seconds. Imagine if you will, sweet little me on the phone (rowing my preverbal boat) with my cousin for an hour.

And then…

“Snow White what the Bloody H are you doing? Wipe up that F’en paint up off the F’en floor and get cleaned up.”

No, I didn’t really say that but I could almost feel the words coming out. Love my rels but thank goodness we didn’t talk for more than an hour.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Is Wrong With Kids These Days?

This weekend I wanted to take everyone shopping for back to school clothes and supplies. I finally found a supply list and I just could not believe my eyes.

4 sharpened pencils
1 pencil pouch
1 back pack
We (the school) supply the crayons, folders, scissors and everything else.

Really? Do they really truly mean that I do not have to spend over $60 per child for supplies? Not even the $100 scientific calculators? I will believe this after the first few days of school.

When I told everyone to get in the car for Back to School Shopping something shocking happened. No one wanted to go! They each responded with “We don’t need anything for school this year.” Snow White protested that her current wardrobe was super cute and perfect. She showed me the outfits she wants to wear for her first week of school. Yes, they are all cute and look like new. When I told her we still needed to buy cute pencils and a matching pencil pouch she pulled out a really cute pink pencil pouch with a picture of a cute kitten on the front. The pouch had never been used before and it had 3 brand new erasers inside. Then I said we could look for really cute pencils to put in it. She ran over to my desk and pulled out 3 brand new pink pencils and one purple.

The thought of missing out on Back to School shopping was almost bringing me to tears. Weird huh? So, I start to beg “Don’t you want at least one brand new outfit for the first day of school? You know everyone else will have brand new everything.” They all just shrugged their shoulders and went back to what they were doing. I am a bit bummed out but what could I do. They were right. They have everything they need. I guess I just wanted to satisfy my own needs…you know throwing money away.

When I was Snow White’s age the thought of going back to school with brand new clothes was a thrill! Did I need them? Probably not but I wanted them! I did not want to be the only one to show up for the first day of school in an outfit that was not brand spanking new. I suppose my children are not as shallow as I was at their age. My mother would have been thrilled to hear the four of us did not need anything at all for the start of the new school year.

How did everyone else make out with the Back To School Shopping? Did you find any super great deals?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bills Out of Control

I do not know what has been going on this past month but the bills hit me like a ton of bricks! This weekend I will go through each bill and see what can be done to reduce the amount owed next month.

Wow! All that goes on inside the house is far more expensive than the house on a monthly basis! Does this mean after 30 years the house will be all mine and I will own all the utility companies too?

Now for the strategy to get things back to normal

House Gas ($250) - Get on the monthly plan BEFORE winter hits again. (heating & cooking still paying for winter use)

Electric ($71.23) - Maybe go around and unplug everything except the microwave, computer and my alarm clock. But I love my air fresheners so I will keep the fresheners in the bathrooms and the kitchen plugged in.

Phone ($187.29 ) - Apparently I forgot to pay last month's bill and there is a $30 late fee. Make sure never to be late with a payment again. $30 late fee on a $75 bill? That is almost HALF the cost! Go over phone plan to see what can be changed. I still want the "long distance any time, any where plan." What is the deal with Local Long Distance? Shouldn't it be either Local or Long Distance? Not with this area. Apparently you pay for Local, Local Long Distance and Long Distance.

Cable ($154.23) - Will sit the children (teens) down for a long talk about the use of Movies On Demand. There is a channel for FREE Movies On Demand, we have a vast variety of movies on tape and DVD if they get bored with the FMOD channel. We do have cable for-crying-out-loud. There must be SOMETHING on TV to watch, if you must watch TV, with all those bazillion channels we get. If not there are always the board games to play or work around the house to be done.

Cell Phone ($71.23) - I have the everything, everywhere, bells and whistles, tons of minutes, unlimited super-duper plan. My sister and I talk almost every day for two hours or more. I need my cell phone with it's blue tooth capabilities. This allows me to chat with her and continue with the housework, craft project, shopping, yard work or whatever I happen to have planned at that time. I can take my cell phone anywhere with me so our conversations are not interrupted by what activity I am doing at the time. I really should review my plan. Although I use my cell phone to great extent with my sister and family I lost around 2,000 minutes after rolling them over for more than 2 years.

Daycare ($468) - Yeah, school will start and Daycare will go down to $388 due to part time care instead of full time. That will save me $80 per month.

Car Payment ($349) - I am actually going to increase this to at least $600 per month. I will send in a separate check for $251 with "Towards Principal Only" written in the memo section on the check. This should lower the amount of interest owed each month and will pay the car off a lot sooner which will rid me of this monthly bill.

Car Gas ($120) - It is what it is. Last weekend the price of gas went from $2.95 to $2.75 per gallon for Regular Unleaded. This week it dropped down to $2.65 per gallon. It still feels like it costs the same to fill up my tank $51.54 for one tank full. I remember the good old days of 2003 when I could fill up my Lincoln Town Car for only $20. Oh well, at least it isn’t $3.00 per gallon.

Food ($600) - I could clip coupons but that has never really been my thing. I would either leave them on the kitchen counter top at home or in the car. Most of the really good coupons in the Sunday paper are for items I would not normally buy so this does not save me money. I think $600 to feed a family of four with two teenagers is pretty decent.

Well, this is my plan to attack the bills. Are your bills getting the best of you? What do you do to keep them under control?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Beat A Port-A-Potty To Death

Years ago when I started out in this field of work (mostly a man’s world) I was employed by a construction company. Although we were located at an actual construction site my work was performed only in the office trailer. The money was good and the hours were ok so I took the job. Having never worked on a construction site I really had no idea what to expect. I thought of it as just another job in another office. For the first few months it was just like any other office. Things I had to adapt to were small work area, nearest restaurant was miles away and so was the only in door plumbing.

Fall seemed to last only a minute and winter came one morning like an unexpected splash in the face. On my way in to work my car was making an unidentifiable noise. There was no place to pull over so I would have to stay irritated and worried for 50 miles before I could check under the hood. I arrive at work and the noise seems to have disappeared but the damage is done. I am grossly irritated and in a very foul mood.

I can grumble to myself privately very well. In fact any time someone said hello or asked me a question I was the epitome of cheer and pep! No matter how irritated, upset or angry I get somehow I manage to keep up a outward cheerful disposition.

For some reason or other I could not make my daily trip to the in-door plumbing a few miles away. I was forced to use …the port-a-potty. I was extremely grossed out by this but, well, I really needed to…you know. So I put on my coat and reach the plastic door of dread. I open the door and I see this very large, very brightly colored SPIDER!! Have I ever mentioned how terrified I am of any kind of bug? Especially SPIDERS?! This one had very bright colors. If a snake has bright colors that means it could be poisonous right? My thinking was, wouldn’t the same hold true for spiders?

I have to go, I really do. I am resolved to “get over it” and just do it. Sooo, I march back into the office trailer and pull a broom from the closet. I march right back to the door of total grossness and fling it open with one quick swoop. While holding the end of the broom handle I thrust the broom in and out of the port a potty at an extremely rapid pace, jamming it in all the corners and just about beating the potty to death! All the while screaming “DIE! DIE! DIE!”

Just as I am doing this a group of construction workers are passing by …laughing so hard they could hardly walk. They did not know there was a spider in there. All they saw was a frustrated, girly-girl beating a potty to death.

I returned to my desk, grabbed my car keys and heading towards town where they had running water. I never used the port-a-potty, far too gross and scary for this girly-girl.

Oh and that unidentifiable noise my car was making…it was just a rock in my hub cap.

Pinks and Blues is chatting about the Ladies Room.

What is your worst Bathroom or Work conditions story?

Monday, August 13, 2007

You Are Not Dead?

My parents were traveling quite a bit and they were now staying with one of their friends. This weekend their plans included a Military ceremony to remember those who have passed on. I was on my way to see them. I had been driving for hours in an unfamiliar town out of state.

All the other drivers seem to be in a real hurry. Something was up. It was more than just rush hour traffic. There was some kind of panic, the kind you see just before a big storm hits. Everyone trying to get home or out of town.

In my hasty driving I realize I might be lost. Ah, a post office. I pull over and proceed to the counter. Everyone inside is rushing around like crazy. A nice man with his arms full of packages stops his scurrying behind the counter to ask if there was anything he could do for me? “I think I am lost. Can you tell me how to get to route 24?” He places the packages down and very calmly gives me directions. Apparently I am really not lost, I just did not see the route sign at the intersection. He asks me “Since things are getting way out of hand in this town can you do me a favor?” I really wanted to get back on the road but I ask “What’s the favor?” There is this little old lady just up the road and it is on your way out of town. Could you please see that she gets her mail. She has called every day expecting something to come. I think about it for a moment. I really did want to get going on my trip so I could see my parents before night fall. Then again, I could do something nice for someone else and it wasn’t really out of my way or anything. “Sure, I will take her mail to her.”

The man disappears behind the counter for a few moments then returns with a huge box of tied up envelopes, magazines and such. My goodness! How long has this woman gone without mail?! What is going on here that the mail is not getting through. Wow, I really want to get out of this town and quick!

Two men carry the box to my van and I am off to the little old lady’s house. She is not very pleased to see me. She gripes about her garden, the mail service, the thing she has been waiting to receive in the mail and I don’t remember what else. I clumsily lug the box out of my van and carry it up to her house while she grumbles lowly. She tells me she doesn’t want the box in her house. Instead she asked me to place it on her large front porch next to a grand white wicker chair. Glad to not carry the box any further I place the box on the porch. She was still talking and complaining and I wanted to leave. I did not want to be rude so I listened while trying to make my way back to my van. Eventually, she said goodbye and something about angry people and traffic. I hopped into the driver’s seat and away I went, back to route 24. My goodness she is a bitter old lady. Nothing like I expected. Still, hoped that whatever was going on in that town would blow over soon as she showed no signs of wanting to leave.

Ok, now I am back on the road and on my way. Wait a minute. I must have pulled out of her street going in the wrong direction. I am right back at the same intersection going towards the post office. Ugh. It’s alright, I tell myself, since the next intersection is route 24.

Several hours later I think I am in the right neighborhood. Nice houses, all large with two car garages and the greenest grass I have ever seen. One odd thing I saw on a lawn was a white wooden sign with numbers that slide in for ease of changing. It was like a gas station sign for prices but made from wood. Even the numbers squares were made of wood. Apparently these were gas prices and the gas station was an actual house! Where people really lived! A nice house, not some run of the mill old farm house in the middle of no where. The next street over I turn the corner. On the right side of the street is the house of my parent’s friend. Yeah! I made it and it is still day light!

I pull up in the drive way and a man comes out of the house to greet me. He is too young to be one of my father’s old military friends, must be the son. He is a bit shocked to see me but very cheerful. He quickly helps me with my bags and seems to know me. I have no idea who he is but I feebly play along as if I know him. He places my bags inside the door but does not invite me in. Not knowing what to think of this I pause and just look at his face. He shuts the door with both of us still on the front steps and says. “I cannot believe it is really you. Can you imagine how everyone is going to react when they all find out you are alive?” Um what? What did he just say? “Still alive? What do you mean still alive? Who thinks I am …dead?”

Apparently some time shortly after high school people thought something happened to me. I performed some courageous deed which resulted in my death. In actuality, I did perform the “courageous deed". My car was packed to the gills and I was moving out of state. This “courageous deed” happened on my way out of the state. Afterwards people started looking for me and assumed the worst. Believing I must have driven off a cliff or something shortly after doing my good deed they held a memorial service for me. An annual tradition to celebrate the heroic deed and mourn the death of a good Samaritan had started.

Still a bit stunned from hearing I “died” and puzzled as to the circumstance that lead so many people to believe I was dead, I sat down on the steps with the cheerful man. It would be odd to for me to sit down and chat so openly with a strange man but something about this man seemed a little familiar. I suppose we might have gone to high school together. Maybe he was one of the many boys who had a crush on me but we never went out. I would have remembered him if we had dated, wouldn’t I? He, on the other hand, was very comfortable talking to me. It was as if we had been great friends all our lives. Still, I had no idea what his name was or if we were really friends in high school. I decided to make the best of it, pretend I know who he is and just make it through the weekend.

He stands up, helps me to my feet and we enter the house. My parents and his are at the dinning room table eating dinner, laughing and carrying on the way the way old friends do when they haven’t seen each other in a long time. My father notices I have arrived. He wipes his mouth off with a very pretty white napkin and says to me “How does it feel …not being dead and all?” The whole table erupts with laughter and my mother says “You look pretty good for a walking corps!” and I laugh with them. Cheerful Man pulls out a chair for me and we join them. Trying to be funny myself I say "You know what's more remarkable than my coming back from the dead? Apparently the price of gas at your neighbors house is only $2.02" They laugh and explain the neighbor is a little crazy but thankful for the price of his gas.

After dinner the Mother of the house leads me to a bedroom upstairs where Cheerful Man has already brought up my bags. “There are fresh towels in your bathroom, extra blankets and pillows are in the closet over here. If there is anything you need just ask. Oh, feel free to raid the refrigerator if you get hungry in the middle of the night. You can even eat the cake. After all, I was bringing it to the annual service tomorrow…in your honor.” She giggles and then shuts the door.

I try to sleep but the eerie thought of my death and the pending service tomorrow was creeping me out a bit. Who is Cheerful Man? Why can I not remember this family’s last name? I resign telling myself that there is nothing I can do about the service tomorrow. Hopefully no one will have a heart attack when I make my debut from you know, rising from the dead. At some point someone will say Cheerful Man’s name and I will at least have a real name to call him.

When I woke up I felt like I had only slept for about 20 minutes. Due to the amount of daylight streaming in the bedroom window I knew it was late morning. The noises from downstairs sounded like everyone was heading out. I glance out the window to see my parents and our hosts getting into a car. I suppose they had some errands to run before the ceremony. I get dressed and go down stairs. There he is, Cheerful Man, asking me what I would like for breakfast? He made scrambled eggs and I try to slyly coax out of him information of how we know each other. I got no where with this so I would just wait until someone would say his name. It has to happen right? While we were sitting at the table he informs me there was a special visitor at my grave this morning. Great, like I want to hear more about my “death” and all. “It was Neil. You remember Neil right?” "Sorry, I cannot remember any guy named Neil. I remember a girl who’s last name was O’Neal or was it O’Brian?” He continues “No, no, this was Neil. You have to remember Neil. He was always following you around waiting to do any little thing you wanted. You just never asked him to do anything for you.”

Just then we hear a car pull up to the house and we rush outside to see who it is. First I see the Mother of the house (still cannot remember her last name) then a younger woman pops out of the drivers side and runs up to Cheerful Man. They hug and she looks at the Mother of the house who says “See! What did I tell you?!” The young woman looks at me and says “Is it really you?” With a tone of seriousness I say “No, I just came by to haunt the lot of you.” They all laugh and then the young lady says “Why don’t you and my dear brother take a swim in the lake before lunch? You will have plenty of time before the ceremony. Can you imagine the looks on people’s faces when they see you?!” Well, I guess she is Cheerful Man’s sister. Why did she have to call him “my dear brother?” Couldn’t she have just said his name? For that matter why didn’t anyone introduce us? I am now stuck for a whole weekend with four nameless people - Cheerful Man, Mother of the House, her husband and a sister.

Cheerful Man agreed that a dip in the lake would be a great way to pass the time. I put on a bathing suit and off we go to the lake. For some reason I also brought clothes to change into for the ceremony. That is not really odd but swimming with them in a black and white carrying case all the way to the little bit of an island in the lake, that was odd. When Cheerful Man and I reached the little island we collapsed on the shore. It was a long swim from the other side of the lake. I was still tired from lack of sleep the night before and with this long swim I completely exhausted myself. Cheerful Man was talking and I cannot remember what he was talking about but the sound of his voice was very relaxing.

I don’t know how long I was asleep but I woke up to water splashing on my face. It was Cheerful Man, already in the water heading back to real land. He called out “Better get a move on! We don’t want to miss your ceremony!” I pick up the bag with my clothes and start to swim after him. It was obvious I was not going to catch up with him. I was still tired and really I could do without going to this ceremony. My arm was getting tired from holding the bag with the clothes out of the water with one arm. I wasn’t half way across the lake when I decided I was far too tired to go to any darn ceremony. I put my raised arm in the water submerging the bag of clothes. There, now I cannot go because I have nothing with me that will be dry.

Then…I wake up. Yes, it was all a dream.
A dream. That would explain why no one had a real name. Weird though to dream about death and old high school boys I wouldn’t remember even if they had a name ... Neil. Wounder what the dream means? Oh well, I am being very careful today. The image of that headstone was pretty vivid.

Check out more Soap Opera Sundays here

Friday, August 10, 2007

Family Boogie Time!

Being a Single Mom who works out of the house my children and I have a tight schedule. During the week after work we only have a few hours to get together before bedtime.

On our way to school, daycare and work we ALL sing along to one of our favorite CDs or a song that comes up on the radio. Little known fact...I dance in the car while playing my favorite CDs. I try to remember NOT to do this infront of my children's friends. This perks us up for our day. The drive home is always full of chatter about our day and that continues in the kitchen while dinner is made. I have an 8 year old daughter so that means the chattering doesn't stop until bed time.

Music has always been the best motivational tool to get my children moving on their weekend chores. Since my older two were 3 and 5 we have pumped up the music so everyone in the house can hear it while cleaning. We have continued this tradition. It makes cleaning fun and we end up in the family room with made up instruments (tennis racket guitar, empty ceramic pot drum, etc.). We usually end up falling down on the coach in histerical laughter.

Oh my goodness, something for the whole family? An activity that includes fun music? This is something that my whole family would enjoy. When it is raining we could still wiggle in exercise...for ALL of us! Given our limited time in the evenings together a Wii would be a great family activity! Check out the Bloggers Network! I just found out they are having a contest for a Wii Boogie

This post is brought to you in conjunction with the Parent Bloggers Network a family gaming experience. Shake it. Sing it. Create it.

Parent Bloggers Network ( )

Wii-Boogie ( )

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Our Clothing is Multiplying Like Rabbits


Ok, laundry is my least favorite chore. It use to be something I did twice a week then turned into once a week. Sad to say it has been two weeks (almost 3 wks) since I last did the laundry. It is really piling up and that has turned my least favorite chore into a heavy duty job.

What is really amazing is we all still have clean clothes to wear. Where did all these clothes come from? Are they multiplying the way rabbits do? Is this going on in the closets while I am at work? I purge regularly. We have a “Go-Away-Box” that sits in the family room and I toss things in it daily. Two months ago I went through our dressers and closets and filled up a few “Go-Away-Boxes” and dropped them off at the local Goodwill shop. I have filled up many boxes since but still seem to have an enormous amount of clothes. I am not saying we should only have one weeks worth of clothes each but my goodness, two weeks of no laundry and we still have plenty of clothes.

School will be starting here in a few weeks and my normal ritual is to buy a full weeks worth of new clothes for each of my children. Why? Peer pressure. Most of the other kids will have brand spanking new clothes, new backpacks and brand new everything the first week of school. I thought I would save a bit of money this year by purchasing really cute summer sets instead of buying the latest fall fashions all the stores push at the onset of a new school year. The summer sets will be on super sale or clearance. Anyone wearing the new fall fashions the first week of school will be dying from excessive warmth. I was here last year at this time looking for a new house. I remember how hot it was. The radio announced several “Cool Off” shelters were available for those who did not have air-conditioning.

I suppose this weekend I will be dedicating all my time to clothing, washing it, purging it, and purchasing it.

Now passing on some Linky Love….It’s Blog Tipping Time!

She Laughs At The Days: The way this Mom writes the journal of her Mothering life is so calming.

Straddling The Line: D gets through the days any which way she can. Why? Because she is a Mom and that is how we Moms get from one day to the next. She also takes care of little ones who are in between homes.

The Mummy Chronicles: This Mom recently wrote about some of the trials and nuisances Working Moms face such as Maternity Leave, Daycare and other work related issues that women deal with on a daily basis.

Give them a little click and say Momma’s World sent me over to visit with you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Elizabeth Arden Give Away # 3

Tonight we drew a name out of a hat. Those of you who participated I thank you whole heartedly! For those who are new Welcome to Momma's World! If your name was not pulled out of the hat tonight do not fret, I will have more drawings since I love free stuff but cannot justify keeping something if I cannot really use it (I have gobs of E.A. and LOVE it along with so many other things) feel free to check back.

Tonight's drawing was for the Black and Leopard folding Tote Bag, Intervene Pause & Effect Moisture Cream (SPF 15), Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules, Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturing Body Treatment, Execptional Lipstick (Goldmine) and Elizabeth Arden Dediterranean Eau De Parfum.

And the winner is......

LULU!! Lulu I will email you for your address and information to send you the lovely gift package inculding the folding Tote bag and samples. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING THE 3RD WINNER of our Elizabeth Arden Give Away!

Just Because It Is Wednesday

...and I thought what a cute little baby. (That's me!) I was born in Pureto Rico where my Dad was stationed in the Navy. Look at those Great Big Eyes! One day while at the grocery store I was sitting in the shopping cart with my Mother pushing. A few ladies (who did not speak English) ran up to the cart chattering excitedly! My Mother could not understand a word they were saying but thought it must be wonderful given the bright cheerful looks on their faces.

The next thing she knew...those "nice ladies" pulled me out of the cart and ran down the isles with me! My Mother ran after them screaming and yelling "GIVE ME BACK MY BABY!!" As the "nice ladies" raced down the isles they grew in number. They finally stopped in the Ladies Room. All of them! There were more than a dozen women gathered in the grocery store bathroom. One of the "nice ladies" was holding me up so everyone could see me when my Mother and Grandmother burst in! She grabbed her baby and with a sweeping glace gave each and everyone of them a scathing look. Grandmother was ready to beat them off while Mother made her escape then a young woman in the group said “They meant no harm. They just could not believe how beautiful her eyes are and wanted to show the rest of the ladies. We are sorry you were frightened.” My Mother did not care what there reasons were. They were all CRAZY if they thought it was ok to run off with her baby.

Weird story but true.

Don't forget the Elizabeth Arden Give Away will be drawn TONIGHT! If you want to be included in the drawing click here and enter a comment with your name and email address! GOOD LUCK to all!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Good Life

We picked up ManSon from his friends house and brought him home. On our way back to our house ManSon was reminiscing about when he and Oldest Daughter were little tikes. I love it when my children look back on their lives and revel in how wonderful their lives are. He realized his ability to tune into others so quickly was largely due to Oldest Daughter’s acute shyness. Since she used him as her interpreter, shield and protector he could pick up on exactly what she was saying or wanted. Sometimes it was just a look on her face. With this revelation he said “Remind me to thank my sister for teaching me this wonderful trait.”

On our short 15 minute drive back to the house ManSon talked joyfully about many things from when he was little. “It has been a long time since I have seen a new Disney animated movie. I wonder why they haven’t come up with a new one recently? The last Disney animated movie I remember seeing on the big screen was The Lion King. Do you remember we saw it with Auntie D? You even bought me that outrageously expensive Simba at the toy store just outside the movie theater.” We laughed about the stuffed Simba and took turns mimicking the phrases it spouted off when you pushed various parts of his body. When you squeezed his tail he gave out a baby growl “Roaarrr. I’m working on my roar”. After giggling for awhile over the other funny phrases he asked me where Simba is now? I think we gave him away when we were packing up to move. We all gave out a little sigh.

ManSon proclaimed that although we endured many hardships over the years, our lives were pretty great. There were some days full of large and small wonderment. Even during the bad times we resurfaced with something positive.

All of this makes me tear up. Here is my son looking at all that has gone on in our lives and he is grateful. It makes a mother so proud. Maybe I didn’t screw up as much as I thought I had. Over these past 19 years I have had days when I wondered if I was a complete failure as a mother. Most Moms feel this way from time to time. I just wanted to say it is ok to feel like that but don’t let it bring you down. Some day your children will realize what a wonderful life you provided for them.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Back To School

Have you seen Back To School sales flyers yet? I have and I am dreading the school supply list and everything that goes along with Back To School.

ManSon will soon start college and my bank will call saying “Are you alright? Is there a hostage or kidnapping situation? Your withdrawals are no where near normal!” I will simply reply “Back To School supplies.”

Last night during a conversation with Snow White I asked her how her back pack was holding up. The look on her face was absolute horror. In that moment she knew summer would soon be coming to an end. After composing herself she said her back pack was just fine and ran to retrieve it from her room. It was fine, practically brand new! She insisted that a new back pack was not necessary and I agreed.

When Snow White went to bed I looked over at her closet and all the clothes hanging up. She has never worn any of these clothes, they will be too small to wear next year. There are a few boxes of clothes in the basement we never unpacked from our move last fall. So many pretty clothes will have to be transported to the GoodWill, Salvation Army or some other place. I threw away good money on those outfits, outfits she never had the chance to wear.

That brought me to my Back To School shopping resolve. This year I will buy her 5 new sets of clothes for the first week of school. Pretty much everyone else will be wearing brand new clothes. Most will be fall fashions and those children will be dying from the heat by lunch time. My plan is to purchase really cute summer sets one size too big. This way she can have brand new outfits for the first week. They will be on super sale due to the fall line up coming in and she can wear them next summer. I will of course alter them to fit her this year if needed. When the weather changes to fall I will pack up all the summer clothes and bring out the boxes of fall/winter clothing. An assessment of what clothes she has will depend on what if any new clothes will be purchased. As she has a bit of diva in her I know she will want at least a few sets of new clothes. What girl doesn’t like new clothes?!

The local Back To School supply list has yet to come out so I am not sure what will be on Snow White’s school list. Upon receiving the list I will first sort through the crafts, desks and other areas of the house to see if we already have a brand new this or that. I cannot tell you how many times I bought a brand new package of colored pencils, checked them off my shopping list only to find a stack of them at home in someone’s desk.

Here are some staple items always listed on the Back To School Supply list and actually are worn out or used up during the school year….

Pens (high school)
Pencil holder
Pocket Folders
Glue Sticks

Here is a list of items just about every school has asked each parent to provide for communal use (I have purchased these items for 18 years, 10 more to go)

Hand sanitizer
Hand soap

Make sure to take advantage of the Tax-Free Holiday!! Most states offer a weekend or a week in August to shop free of sales tax for Back To School items. Check with your state to see what is covered and what is not. Some states even cover electronic items but remember the acceptable list varies from state to state. Some states are having their Tax-Free Holiday this weekend! Google “Tax-Free Holiday” or “Tax-Free Shopping” plus your state abbreviation to find out the dates for your state.

What is usually on your list every year? Do you have a School supply list yet? Are you excited about the Back To School Shopping? Any tips or tricks you want to pass on?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Elizabeth Arden Gets Wild and You Get it FREE

As promised I have a new FREE Elizabeth Arden Gift Package! Who will the lucky winner be this time?

Take a walk on the wild side with this season’s animal print bag overflowing with the hottest makeup and skincare products…all yours from Elizabeth Arden. Go Wild!
With this Elizabeth Arden Gift Package the winner will receive ..

A beautiful Black Tote Bag with Leopard Print trim The tote folds up very small as pictured with the lipstick. It folds out more than three times the size as seen in the photo above. I love bags like this when I travel! It stows away very compact when I leave for my trip and allows extra room for gifts I bring home to family and friends.

Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Body Treatment - A perffect companion to the original classic and just wat the body needs. Saturates deeply and moisturizes intensely to reverse skin dryness.

Intervene Pause & Effect Moisture Cream SPF 15 - Aims to put a pause on aging signs to help keep sking looking its peak. Slows the visible effects of sun, stress and environmental factors to delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Provides firming boost and deep hydration.

NEW Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules - Intensive Treatment for Face and Throat
**To open capsules Twist tab and smooth contents over cleaned face and neck (had to put this hear so no one thinks it is an oral treatment)

Exceptional Lipstick in Goldmine - Exceptional in every way. Moist lasting color.

NEW Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean Eau de Parfum - Radiant. Sensual. Captivating. A modern expression of sparkling radiance. Snow White used the tester at the store and said “It smells like a visit to the shore on the very best day ever!”

Here is how it works. Enter a comment under this post. If you do not have a blog enter your name and email address so we know what to put on the slip of paper we put in the drawing hat. HURRY! Contest ends Wednesday, August 8th, 2007. I will write each name on a slip of paper and place them in the drawing hat. One of my children will then have the hat placed above their head, will reach in and pull out one slip of paper.

If you have already won you are not eligible to win again. This gives everyone a fair chance to win. Pass it on! You are free to pass on the information regarding the drawing to friends and family if you wish.

Body Image

Lena, Cheeky Lotus, made me think of this today after reading her post. We are adults and should try to see what is on the inside and not focus so much on the outside. I was taught that when I was growing up. Odd that people we are closest to are the ones voicing their not so wonderful opinions about our body image. Too fat, too skinny, too pale, too tan, too this and too that. How can we expect society to change if we cannot get the people around us to just plain back off and accept us just the way we are? Kudos to Lena’s Mom and my Mom for being wonderful no matter what.

My problem was just the opposite. High metabolism rate lead to people constantly accusing me of an eating disorder. These were my friends and some boyfriends who also saw me eat. All. Day. Long. My weight in 6th grade was only 98 pounds. That was still my weight when I was married the first time. It was still my weight three months after my first child was born and my second. Once I was asked why I still had my Lee jeans from 6th grade? Um, Because they still fit and it is a hard size to find. People who constantly said “You need to check into a hospital”, “There is something wrong with you”, some even offered a shoulder. What could I do to convince them there was nothing I could do about it? Every once in awhile all of this would get to me and I was resolved to gain weight! If it killed me I was going to get over the 100 pound mark!!

I made it over the 100 pound mark several times but it was always short lived. Usually after gaining only a few pounds my body would retaliate against me. This would result in my being ill for a week or two with a virus, cold, flu (middle of summer dang it!). When I got sick of being sick I gave up. Let them think what they want! I would rather avoid them than be ill for a week or two.

When I was pregnant with my third child I did not heed the directions of my doctor. He noticed a rapid weight gain and voiced his concerns. This was the same doctor who delivered my first two children. This was the same doctor who saw me go straight back to 98 pounds each time. I was very upset about not keeping some of the weight. My friends were all so thrilled to see me looking “healthy”, meeting their standards. This thrilled me!! For the first month after delivery I could wear real clothes! When I found something I liked I could find more than one stinkin’ pair in my size! Unlike before when I would go shopping the ONE size small or the ONE size 2, and 4 were gone as soon as they hit the rack! (growling at that memory)

I scoffed at the Doctor and my co-workers for telling me I was getting too fat. I would just roll my eyes at them and sometimes explain I have been down this road twice before. This time I was bent on keeping some of this pregnancy weight. I ate everything and anything I could. I ate a whole box of cream puff all by myself!! I went from 98 pounds to 174.5 pounds in just 9 months. I had no chin and no ankles. Just a few days before my C-Section I had pushed the drivers seat of my Crown Victorian back as far as it would go. If I gained one more inch around my pregnant belly I would no longer fit behind the wheel.

After delivery of my third child and my 32nd birthday, my metabolism decided it was going to just give up completely. Not a gradual slow down but all out give up. My youngest is now 8 years old and I am 165 pounds. I could stand to loose weight, as I do look over weight, but I finally feel comfortable. Thank goodness I no longer look like a teenager. Part of that is in my mind regarding my current weight. I think if I lost 30 pounds or so I would go back to looking much younger than I am. You may think that would be great but trust me I lived with that until I reached my current weight. Looking too young had many disadvantages just like being too skinny. For instance I have worked in my current field for years but co-workers did not take me seriously. They did not think I had the experience under my belt based on my looks. All they saw was this hot, petite, little “girl”.

The teens at the mall are not the dark scary creatures some people think they are with their all black attire. Most of the "goth" teens I have chatted with from time to time are the most well read, more so than most adults or college students I know.

I would like to vertually slap those who thought I had an eatting disorder and those who automatically assumed that pretty, thin and smart cannot all be found in one person. Remember Fawn Hall (pictured above - secretary to Oliver North) at the Iran-Contra Affair hearings "And yes, Gentelmen, I can type". I want that type of moment! Glaring down at all those who thought she was a blonde bimbo.

Anyone you want to vertually slap for a wrong assumption baised on your appearance?