Thursday, August 30, 2007


The sign at a pet store in our area features the following message:

Jesus is Coming!
Free Guinea Pigs & Turtles
Good to know, I guess?

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm on to you Dude...

I've been working a lot of hours at the shop this week so yesterday I left a 'To Do List' for my kids. It's a rare event to get a 'To Do List' from me because I'm used to doing all of the household chores myself... Some say it's because I'm a 'Control Freak'... Okay, I'll own it... I'd much rather things get accomplished quickly and efficiently than having to tell someone to do something seven times before it gets done and then cringing when it's not to my standard... Ya, I'm a 'Control Freak'.

Anyway, so I leave a list and last night as we enjoyed dinner out at a local eaterie I asked my son, "Did you remember to take your clothes out of the dryer, fold and put them away?" He answered with, "Yes, I did... In fact, I'm the best darn clothes folder you ever saw!"...

tic, tic, tic...

"I mean, NO, NO... Actually, I totally suck at folding clothes. You wouldn't believe the mess I made, in fact, as I folded one of the shirts I ripped it right in half... I'm absolutely sure you'll never want me folding clothes EVER AGAIN!"

Um, Too Late!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Raining All Over My Parade...

First let me make this perfectly clear... I've been a 'Homemaker' aka 'Domestic Goddess' well over 18 yrs. now with little or no personal income... Well, there was that 8 1/2 yrs. of teaching scrapbooking classes, but most every penny I made from that went directly back into building the business or buying more scrapbooking toys for my customers and myself. I never really had enough to call 'disposable income.'

So here I am, ready to collect on my decorating job and greedily rubbing my hands together, imagining ALL of the wonderful things I can buy, when my husband says, "Don't forget to subtract from your total the taxes we're going to have to pay." Wha? Huh?

I mean yeah, I knew we were going to have to pay taxes on my decorating pay, but I didn't think it was going to have to come out of MY mad money... Isn't that something WE can just have deducted from our return?

I know, I'm being greedy and it's horrible of me to think that I shouldn't immediately own up to my responsibility but holy crap! 40%!!! That's like almost half of my money! (My math genius shows, doesn't it?) Is that really what WE pay in taxes? Half of our income? Or very nearly half? Oh the pain and angst this is causing me... Makes me want to wail and gnash my teeth.

Back in the olden days when I worked my 8-4pm photo-typesetting gig, my taxes were taken directly out of my paycheck. I made it a habit never to look at the deductions side of my pay stub. It's far to painful to know what I've lost, only what I've gained... And now, here I am face to face with the ugly reality and it's biting me in the butt REALLY hard! OUCH!

I've already downgraded my lust for a laptop to settling for a flat panel screen monitor and my husbands unused computer since the 'Company' furnished him with a laptop of his very own. I purchased a desk and a new chair for the main floor of our house so I could have a pleasant retreat in which to pay bills and peruse the net instead of always having to resort to my little dark corner in the basement. I've also rearranged all the furniture to accomodate said desk and chair... But I want to buy a sleek flat panel screen t.v. too-ooo-oooooo! I'm spoiled and I'm selfish and I just want all the money to be mine, Mine, MINE! And it's not like I'm buying it JUST for me, but for the family! It's something that will not only look nice in the room, because it'll be mounted to the wall with a kick-ass adjustable bracket but it'll also make movie time SPECTACULAR! I ask you, is that selfish or even greedy?

So go ahead, shame me into feeling guilty about not stepping up to the plate and offering to pay my taxes with a happy heart. I SO hate it when my husband gets immense pleasure out of teaching me these stinking lessons in economics!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

And then I just stuck my head in a hole and prayed to die...

Have I completed that office project yet?

No but until I fired up the iron today in order to press the curtains for the reception area window, I thought I could see the finish line. Then something along the lines of THIS happened:

Image shown, not actual curtain

I really couldn't add insult to injury by using my wonderful new camera to photograph such a heinous mistake. I did find it astounding thoug, how many times I'm capable of using the 'F-word' in one very long run-on sentence.

You see, while there have been many aspects of this job that have raked my self-esteem over the coals I'd have to say that this particular window treatment has been the bane of my existence. First, the curtain rod didn't fit because the excessive molding left no room for the brackets. The solution of which meant careful consideration and the eventual decision to notch out the molding (thanks, dear husband!)... Second, a miscalculation on length due to the rod needing to be placed higher than expected due to said molding and admittedly, mis-measurements, resulted in the drape panel being 8 freaking inches too short!... Third, a desperate search to find fabric to, if not match, at least compliment, an additional panel added to the drape (It only took 2 trips to the fabric store.) Lastly, begging one of the best friends and seamstresses I know to work her magic and using pay out of my own pocket to compensate her, I finally had the problem panels well in hand. That is until I hit the micro-fiber suede with the iron set on high for linen.

At this point there's only one thing I have to be grateful for... Well two actually... Enough material to sew another extension on to the curtain panel... AND A friend who's willing to sew it! While she's busy doing that I'll just be over here in my corner...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Because I didn't get to post much while on vacation and also because this made me snort out loud...

Lifted From:

Titles From Dr. Seuss's Brief Foray Into Realism.
- - - -
One Fish, Two Fish, Catfish, Grouper
Scrambled Eggs and Ham
Hop on a Trampoline While Pop Watches
There's Some Spare Change in My Pocket!
The one that made me snort!
Oh, the Places You'll Wish You'd Gone When You're Old and Dying!
The Cat in the Litter Box


Heat, Broken Boats, Wasp Stings, Tourist Traps & The E.R.... Join us for a re-cap of our Summer Vacation!

Okay, I'm gonna try to make this upbeat for the sake of family members who read this blog... They say I'm too negative but I'll let you all be the judge.

Lake Norman, NC

Family Vacation 2007 has come to a close and all I can say is, it's good to be home! We began our vacation at beautiful Lake Norman, NC. Where my sister-in-law and her husband own a condo. The plan was to spend time on their pontoon boat enjoying sight-seeing on the lake. Unfortunately their boat missed being properly winterized and it broke before we ever saw it, which I guess is a good thing since the picture of us sitting under the metal canopy of a pontoon boat in the heat we encountered would have likened us to white bread in a toaster oven... Not a pretty picture. After a few days of hunkering down in the condo or running from air conditioned facility to air conditioned facility we made our way to Charlotte, NC. Where my sister-in-law and her husband live when they're not visiting the lake. My daughter and I went shopping with my sister-in-law and enjoyed seeing some really great stores and if it weren't for Dante's Inferno raging outside every shop door we might've enjoyed it all the more.

The best part of our vacation took place while we were in Charlotte. We went to see 'The Lion King' at the Blumenthal Theatre downtown and it was fantastic! Our seats were perfect and the show was everything we'd hoped it would be and more. Take it from someone who knows 'The Lion King' as my daughter who is now 14 yrs. old, watched Simba bop his head to 'Hakuna Matata' at least 2,567 times along side her stuffed Simba we purchased at The Disney Store. It was a hell of a hot night to walk from the parking garage to the theatre and back again, 94 degrees at 11:15 pm... But once again, it was totally worth it!

Following our stay in Charlotte, we drove to Seagrove, NC... Home of all the pottery you can imagine! There are in the order of 100 potteries scattered throughout the Seagrove area and it would be impossible for someone one their own to see even half of them but for a family with a 17 yr. old boy who really did try to hold onto some sense of mild enthusiasm, it's not easy to see more than 5 pottery studios. Especially when said boy gets stung by a wasp, then it becomes downright impossible to do much of anything except find any way possible to help relieve his seering pain and fear of any door or window of the van being open even a milimeter despite the interminable heat. We were told at the pottery where he was stung that tobacco would help take the sting out. I wasn't about to break the bank for a pack of cigarettes so I could put the tobacco from one stick on his throbbing finger... But I did spring for a 99 cent tin of chewing tobacco. Lesson learned, Tobacco does absolutely nothing to remove the pain of a wasp sting. Eventually, after much freaking out, we found a pharmacy and the awesome pharmacist on hand recommended a stick of something called (I think?) 'Sting B Gone'... He even gave us an ice pack from his freezer (for FREE, Thank-You AWESOME Pharmacist, you are our Dudley Doo-Right!)

With the wasp incident well in hand the guys made there way to our hotel for the night in nearby Asheboro. Though they did manage to get lost so what would've taken 15 min. actually took 45. We ladies, my daughter, my sister-in-law and I took in a little more pottery but somehow the real joy had kinda been diminished so I had to buy a couple of pieces to try to salvage my formerly good mood... Spending money always seems to have a positive effect on me, much to my husbands dismay.

We took a few hours the next day at my daughters request, much to my surprise, to visit a few more potteries but left the boy child with my sister-in-law and her friend in Asheboro. My son wasn't going to take any chances with that wasp in Seagrove as he might've gathered together his waspy friends and formed an all out attack! I spent a little more money which served to make me even happier than the day before and then we were off onto new adventures.

We traveled from Asheboro, NC on our way to Harrisonburg, VA... It was about this point that my son pointed out his finger that had been inflicted with the wasp sting was beginning to ache, was swelling and turning a bit red. We gave him some more Benadryl and made a note of it. At some point we decided to take a route over The Blue Ridge Mountains that would take us right past 'Natural Bridge'.... Hmmmm, what a lovely thing it would be, to see the 'Natural Bridge'... I'd seen it in pictures but I had my new camera handy and wanted to snap some shots of my own. Ahhh, 'Natural Bridge'... Carved away after millions of years of being shaped by the hands of nature.... Only to have a visitors center plunked down 1/4 mile from its beauty so some bastard could charge you $12 a head to shlep down a hillside to take in it's 'Natural Beauty'... Add a little more to your ticket price and you can see a renactment of 'The Creation' and the 'Wax Museum' next door! Needless to say, I was pissed! For the obvious reason that no one has the right to lay claim on the viewing of nature... But these people had it landlocked and unless you paid your $12 bucks you could kiss your photo of 'Natural Bridge' goodbye! (this photo obviously not mine, just borrowed from the web.) So I did, I kissed it goodbye and good ridance! If ONLY we'd seen the sign for this place sooner,

we definitly would've stopped. Unfortunately it wasn't visable until we rounded the bend at a good clip and were too far past it before we made the connection as to what it was. Then to later find out on the internet it was totally FREE, we're just hanging our heads in despair at the missed opportunity! You've gotta check out this website to find out how really awesome the guy is who created such magnificence! Mark my words, we WILL be planning another trip along the Blue Ridge and we WILL see 'Foamhenge.'

Oh well, missed opportunities behind us we made our way to Harrisonburg, had a great steak dinner and watched our sons finger continue to swell and redden. Next morning when he awakened he winced in pain and said, "My finger is so swollen I can't bend it." it was, and he couldn't. We got the name of a place called, 'Emergicare' from the hotel front desk but noted that it didn't open until 10:00 which seriously cut into our getting to 'Luray Caverns' time... But you gotta do, what you gotta do, right? Come 9:59 am we pulled into the 'Emergicare' parking lot, walked into the office building, in which it was located, only to find ourselves 9 people deep in waiting for the place to open. 'Round about 10:15 they finally unlocked the doors and we filed into the office in a surpisingly orderly fashion. Shortly thereafter, the nurse informed us that the doctor had just called and was stuck in traffic on the interstate and probably wouldn't be arriving until around 11:00... It's my guess he was really just waking up from last nights bender. The nurse then added that if anyone had a serious problem they should head to the ER. She began taking everyones name and info... And it was no surprise I was behind the latino couple who had their 10 yr. old daughter interpreting for them. When we at last approached the woman behind the desk and explained our plight I was informed that they didn't accept our insurance but if I paid up front and filled out mine, my husbands and my sons life history on a clip board, our insurance would most likely reimburse us. I almost accepted the clip board, when I stopped and said one of the wiser quotes from our vacation, "Wait, You said that if anyone needed to, they should go to the ER... Do you think they'll take our insurance?" She replied, "Yes, they take everything." So we beat a hasty retreat out of 'Emergicare' (good riddance!) and drove right down the street to the area hospital where we were treated promptly and most likely even before the 'Emergicare' doctor arrived at his post. After a bathroom break and a mildly annoying wait at the CVS Pharmacy we were back on the road again.

Luray Caverns - Luray, VA.

The Luray Caverns were beautiful and how could we have known to tour the place on the anniversary of its founding? Dumb luck I guess? Another plus, we somehow missed the majority of crowds who arrived sometime during our visit underground. The caverns were aglow with candelight, which only takes place on this one special day out of the year... Hey, something had to go right! The kids thought it was pretty awesome too... Even the boy with the swollen finger had to admit that this particular vacation event was a winner. My husband and I did the Garden Maze, created out of 8 ft. high hedges. We knew there wasn't a chance in hell that our son would be even remotely interested in this particular activity... Just the thought of him caught in a maze with a errant wasp strikes horror even in our minds... It would make for a hilarious video on You Tube though.

Ornamental Garden Maze - Luray, VA. (Image from the web)
So here we are, safe and sound (finger intact, swelling greatly reduced), home at last and a month away from our annual family beach vacation. Gee, I wonder what kind of adventures that's going to bring?

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