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Ho-Hum

I feel like someone unplugged me when September happened. Summer only increased its temperature, school kept going on with afternoon activities, and work got pushed to ‘never a good day’ to go. Did the earth shift? What’s going on? This is the month I typically mellow out, not shut down. I guess if I really look into it I can see the break down. Sleep has become my ‘must do’ and not my ‘get to’. I feel like a toddler being told to go take a nap. “But I’m not done with things I want to do.” This is not to be confused with things I have to do. Now to the temperature. Normally school starts and the cool weather sets in. Ah-ha, you’d be wrong. It’s still a piping 95 degrees in this neck of the woods. And when your car stops compressing the cold air, this fact sucks. I’m dripping when I stop the car to get out to go anywhere. Not to mention my new passenger. Which is my next possibility of the energy deletion. Who knew having a five year old again would be so exhausting? Especially one that doesn’t speak a lick of English and has zero clue of when I say ‘don’t do that’, and instead she does it with gusto. Who knew?

Don’t get me started on the afternoon activities. I lucked out…drew the great straw…none of my kids really wanted to ever do extracurricular activities. Nor did I when I was growing up. Just ring that dismissal bell and let me get the bleep out of there! But no, my lovely daughter has taken up acting. And this requires hours of waiting to go and get her. No, not at a normal time…at dinner time! When I live over an hour round trip from the school. Joy to the world. It’s okay, really. A month and a half more and we get a month break until he next play.

I’m hanging in there. Trying to get used to the new normal. Writing at weird times, singing too many nursery rhymes, and making too many noodles. Still I’m joyful and humble to be able to have a new normal. We choose happy, we choose joy, and I’m tickled by the small things. Um, like the Hallmark movie Christmas lineup being released next week. Not that I’ll see it. I just know it’s coming up. Right after Halloween. And just typing that word makes me smile. I’ve already put out the pumpkins and await the hundreds of dollars I’ll spend on little cute candy bars for my bowl in the kitchen. It’s funny finding the wrappers underneath beds and stuck in the dryer thingy. 🙂

Have a wonderful week, everyone. I’m going to drink an energy drink and look alive!!!

 

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Hair Wars

Raise your hand if you like your hair. Okay, I’m surprised by that number. I love that I have hair, don’t get me wrong. But why did it have to be so thin…so lifeless…so straight, yet not. There is a bit of a wave, but not much. I bought curls from the time I was in middle school through high school when it wasn’t cool anymore. Then I just woke up every morning and took 15 minutes to use the iron. Only to have it die after two hours in the elements outside of my bathroom walls.

When I found out I was having a little girl…finally, (I have 4 boys) all I wanted was for her to have thick hair. Well, I wanted more than that, but this was tall on my list. And wouldn’t you know, my prayer got answered. That girl has hair that could never be accused of as flat and uneventful. It was so kinky, curly when she was little that it sprung to her ear lobes dry and stretched down to her waist when wet. Why couldn’t I get some of that? No, seriously.

This post was just another random thought of mine after seeing a picture of a woman with incredible hair. But I’d like to ask her, “Do you like your hair?” She most likely would have something negative to say about it. Tis life.

I’m off to throw some dye on my thin locks and wait patiently for the appointment to get it shaped up on Wednesday. I love that I have hair. 🙂

That is all.

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Full Price?

Today I needed some much needed retail therapy. Anyone empathize out there? I just needed to look at things…touch them…put a few in my cart and drag them around until I emptied half before making it to the cashier. Cause that’s how I roll. Either that or I take the plunge, buy it, take it home, only to talk myself out of it and return it next week. Why oh why am I programmed this way, I ask. Anyway, I see this picture. Art always gets to me. My mother preached to me that if you see a picture you can’t live without, get it. No questions asked. You’ll never see it again. And yes, I had to have this happen once before I stopped walking past something I didn’t want to live without. Luckily I can’t remember what the picture was, but I remember what it felt like to lose it. I digress. There was this picture today. I touched it, oohed and ahhed and walked past it. There was only one. I did two laps around the store and ended back to the picture. Placing it in the cart, I took a step and then put it back. Ahhh….I grabbed it back. What? Full price? Seriously? I looked for a sign for the discount. This place is known for 40% off. Not today. I steadily walked in the direction of the cash register, all the while thinking how I would either walk it back or return it after getting home and realizing it’s not really that adorable. Then I see the chick in front of me with her little phone and the discount scan code. Hey, I can do that! I fumble quickly to look one up. Bingo! 40% it is. And suddenly I don’t feel 100% horrible; only 60%!! I walked out smiling. And that’s the way it’s done. Retail me not!

But doesn’t it get old? I mean always fighting for the discount? Why can’t they just offer it for the drop-dead best price? Why do I have to search and scratch tickets just to get a buck off? Do I have to belong to a million clubs, carry a wallet designated for member cards? Just give me the best price. For the love of all things on sale. Please. 

I’m handling the college thing okay. Actually my daughter left for a few days this week to go on a retreat. Oh. my. gosh. This house is so uneventful. Three kids? Are you kidding? I went to make dinner and had so many leftovers I had to feed the dog twice. In the same hour. I went from buying books to cooking for two, to traveling weekly to Costco for milk and eggs. How does one go back to cooking on the light side? And the guys who left were the least picky. How many times can one eat tacos and cheesesticks with peanut butter crackers? Will broccoli ever been seen in the produce drawer of the fridge? Will any vegetables ever hang out there? I need to be de-programmed or something.

I’m not sure what temperature it is where you live…but it was like 180 degrees here. Oh yeah, that was just in my car. My broken-air conditioned car. I stared around me at each and every stoplight. Everyone with their windows up and their hair blowing from the cool breeze. As I sit there with the heat rising off my skin like sound waves. “Yeah, I love the heat!”. I wondered why my arm was burned the other night when I got out of the shower. The left one. Not the right one. Heavens no. And the white watch mark sealed the deal. That girl has no a/c. I’m still hoping for a cold snap. LOL

Have a good one, everyone. Stay cool. For me. 🙂

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Worst Party Ever

Yep, the other guy of the house jumped from the nest yesterday. He asks as he leaves me at the side of my car to return home, “does it get any easier?” Uh, no. Well, actually a little. I mean that first time I had to leave him was horrible. It was way worse than that horrid first day at preschool. He screamed so loud, I could hear him from the parking lot. No, this was leaving him in a strange place, 2 hours away from my house. Three years later, it has gotten a smidge easier. It doesn’t clobber me until I get home. And hear the silence, see the empty rooms of where my first little boys have slept for years. One left his bedroom neat; one looks like he left in a hurry and then a robber came in and tossed the furniture and pulled out all the drawers. I love their differences.

So why do we love pity parties? They are the worst. Change is hard. It sometimes has grief woven through it. A few of my kids have come to me and said their legs hurt so bad, they couldn’t sleep. Within a few months, they’ve shot up two inches. Change is painful. It comes with markers–the empty house, the lower electric bills, less food to prepare, lighter laundry baskets. Change is good. At least for some in the equation. For me, I move on in this house with less people that I enjoy their company so much. For them, they flex their wings, step into another world where they call the shots (hopefully the good ones), and experience things needed to prepare them for the next big change.

I’ll survive. I’ll be okay. It’s the sting of the day after that I get most sad. Alas, there are a few others in the nest I have to tend to. For now. When the day comes that my nest is empty….who knows what kind of party that’s going to look like. 🙂

 

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Time moves on

Long time no blog, huh? I’ve been a bit busy. I got back from China! That was huge. I gained a wonderful little being. That was humongous. Now my nest is getting ready to be scattered, again. Drats, that college!

China was busy. And scary. I’d say 1% spoke broken English. That is if you could find her/him. We were on our own most of the time (2 weeks). Which made eating almost impossible. Menus were mostly in Chinese, and we are not the gambling type, seeing that chicken feet were a favorite by many and squid flavored potato chips were at every convenience store. My husband lost 10 pounds and I lost about 6. I lived on Coke and the doughnut and fried egg they gave me each morning. Oh, and Coke at lunch and dinner. Hence only the 6 pounds lost. You are told NOT to drink the water. Brush your teeth with bottled water and not to eat the vegetables. Hmmm….that left watermelon and rice with noodles. I don’t want to see another speck of rice for quite some time.

Our newest family member is amazing. Upon our first meeting, she clung to me and hasn’t changed her mind that I’ll do as her new momma. What a brave little girl. She left all she knows, a language she understood, all-you-can eat rice and noodles, and came to America with a strange woman and her husband to try her tastebuds on mashed potatoes and applesauce. Both of which she despises. Sigh. So I make her rice and noodles anytime she wants. She truly inspires me with how quickly she is adapting. 🙂

My two…yes, two boys leave for college next week. *sniff, sniff* I know they need to go, need to spread their wings. However, I’ll be left to look at their empty rooms and remember all the nonsense and shenanigans they pulled during our time together. Stop me now!! I don’t think I can go and make the exit scene at the dorm rooms, again. I might be busy that day they have to go. LOL

On a more exciting topic…I am about to release my next book. I. AM. So. Excited!! I just read the latest review for it. I get such a high off of reading what someone thinks of my books. Provided they are justifiable. I can’t say too much for the trolls out there. Everybody has a pooper, right? Anyway, so my next book comes out August 23rd! Eep. It’s a summer fling-type one. I got it in right under the ‘summer’ wire. I do hope everyone who reads it likes it. As with all my books, I fall in love with each of the characters. It’s so difficult to choose which I like best.

Well, I’m off to get that last minute school shopping done. Everyone has that one kid, right? The one that constantly reminds me they have nothing on their supply list and school starts Monday. Yeah, yeah. I have three days, don’t I? Oh, how I hate the supply aisles at Wal-Mart and Target. It’s worse than a BOGO at the shoe store. People grabbing glue sticks like Elmer’s is going on strike. And binders that cost a fraction of my car payment lining the shelves. Come on! It’s a binder, people. Three rings. Why is it like ten bucks? And why does every teacher in the free world need two for their class? Don’t get me started on backpacks. Yes, my oldest son has reminded me that he’s had the same one for the past five years. What can I say? That thing has kept its shape and still zips. Well, kind of. I’ll get him a new one. But have you seen the prices? Forty dollars? And that’s a cheap one. Seriously? Times that by like six. It takes a bite out of the old wallet.

Enough of my school supply rant. I mean, is my kid really going to blow their nose through three boxes of tissues? And use 200 Clorox wipes? I think not. Anyway, happy back to school! Let the good times roll for all the moms who can drop their kids and go back home and take it easy. Your summer of ‘Mom, I’m bored’ has officially come to another close.

Cheers!

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I know this about myself

I keep other people’s gifts. All the time. See this little table runner? Yep, that was the thing I stayed up late to finish for my mother’s mother’s day gift. (No, that’s not a typo.) Why is it in this picture? On my table, should you know this is my table. Well, because I ‘tried’ it on. You know, to see what it’d look like. And what do you know? I liked it. It fit amazingly perfect. And what would my mother do with it anyway? It’s not like she has a naked table needing a runner, is it? And just look at those colors…how they accent the paint in my dining room. Yep, it’s now our new table runner. Needless to say, I had to whip up some lavender sachets and go to the store for a flower and hand lotions. The sachets almost landed in my drawers, but alas I can whip up more if needed for my own. 🙂

Okay, on to other things. My son, the almost-graduate, is in Disney World. He left yesterday. Our first time apart for this length of time. That makes me sound like the Goldberg’s mom, right? Although we do NOT snuggle together. But it was sad seeing him leave. Better get used to it, college waits for no one, come August.

On the adoption front….my agency failed me again. Without properly telling me which papers to place with an application for immigration, I was declined. Yep, what do they care. They aren’t in China waiting for their parents to come get them. They aren’t the crazed people who’ve chased papers for a year, had nervous breakdowns, and stalked the mail courier every day. I’m counting the days until I’m in the bathroom throwing up, riddled with anxiety to cross the ocean in a plane, and not understanding properly how to make change in yen. Or yang. What is the currency?

Back to mother’s day. It was great. I didn’t cook a thing. I did eat well, though. French toast in the morning, forget what the lunch was, and then orange chicken for dinner. Homemade. As in Yum-oooooo.

Today I have a confession. As I wish I was writing this post in anonymity, I’ll just say that I had a ‘friend’ who went to the dentist, or should I say back to the dentist, to get a filling or two. And ‘they’ weren’t feeling it. You know, like what the heck did I do to voluntarily come back here? As in, drove my…’her’ car there, parked, and awaited ‘the chair’, ‘the drill’, the stupid way your mouth feels all doped up while you spend the next hour drooling and biting your gum by accident. Yeah, well my friend, after waiting 15 minutes in the waiting room, decided that was long enough. If they didn’t get her in the first five, she wasn’t waiting anymore. So this friend of mine went to the desk, told small white lie, and left. Can you believe it? She felt sort of like she did when she used to ditch classes in high school. Amazing. I believe the song she said she blasted while spinning wheels out of there was something retro. Like in the ‘skipping school’ days of hers.  Yep, that picture pretty much summed up how my friend looked when she pulled out!

Now for ‘don’t you hate it when’…. don’t you hate it when you’re late for work, fly to the iron to flatten out your blouse, and you accidentally don’t take in account it has embroidery all across the front? You end up smelling like a pencil eraser all day so you eat tons of mints to blow into the air so you don’t offend the people around you. Yep, I hate that too.

Now no more white lies. It’s just a piggy toe in length to the ‘real’ lies we might find ourselves telling. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!!

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Seriously Marvel??

Okay…so I write “Searching For Sarah” and leave it on a semi-cliff hanger and I get bombarded with poor reviews and mean mail for why I did this, and we have a multi-million dollar franchise out there doing what they just did and …what? What’s being done about this? I want to know. I sit in a theater for 2.5 hours watching this…this…movie (which is not my genre to watch) and I get this ending? Seriously?????

Let me back up a paragraph and just let you know why I found myself in the throws of such a movie as this. It was my daughter’s birthday. And she loves Marvel. Lord knows why. Oh yeah, it could be she has 4 brothers and there’s little hope for chick flicks ever getting in the way of her vision with them around. Anyway, so she asks me to attend the movie with her. Which by the way, she’s meeting her bestie there, so what am I serving for this? Oh well…anyway, I haven’t seen any of the other movies so I have no idea who does what or why. Then I get into it and find out this is a part one. Uh, what? Now I have to wait for the next one. Are you kidding me? Don’t they make one every two years or something? Oy.

Let’s see, other than the big birthday bash, I went with my college boy to Toys R Us. Another iconic store closing. Can you believe it? I took all my kids on their birthdays to this place. We’d stop by the front desk, pick up their crown and balloon, and get announced on the loud speaker that if anyone saw us to stop and say happy birthday. Whose taking up for this tradition now? Who? I’ll tell you…Amazon. And there is no birthday virtual balloon there…no crown or loud announcement to the universe. Let’s face it, you shop deals now. Whoever can give it to you cheapest and in 2 days, without leaving your little living room and having to drive across town, or in my case 45 minutes. Amazon is replacing everyone. I’m pretty sure they had something to do with the end of Borders, too. Another Oy.

We’re getting warmer weather here so it’s time for the pollen invasion. Each morning my car looks as though it’s cloaked in a green foamy cape. Not good. I think of my lungs when I’m out for an extended amount of time. Is everyone getting this? Is this a Virginia thing? 

Enough about that, I’ve got to get some sleep. I get so cranky when I’m sleepy. It’s like if I don’t eat for two days, no biggie. (well, sort of a biggie) But if I get cheated out of 2 hours of sleep, a mean dog stirs inside and I bite off everyone’s head. Not cool. Now if I could just shut off my mind long enough to catch some z’s. Till next time, my friendly followers! 🙂

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My Planner, My Enemy

Usually this is the case. Yes, I’m that girl. It takes me hours of research, standing in the aisles of hobby stores looking at stickers, to plan for my planner. I’ve gotten very serious about it these past couple of years. For 2 years in a row I couldn’t decide which planner to buy so I bought two. I used one for the first half and the other for the second half. And boy did I hate that. I felt like I was cheating on the first one. And I had to refer back to it all the time. But I couldn’t let those pre-dated pages go wasted on the other one. I had to stick to the plan and plan on the planner. Shesh. And then March came. Yeah, it was all good for the first quarter–I planned, highlighted, stickered everything, then…..I was sick of the accountability. Sick of seeing the boxes unchecked, the blank pages of the journal part mocking me. I closed that sick piece of tailor-made, beautiful thing, all glitzy and glamoured. And we all know, once you fall back two weeks, three weeks, or more, you get soft to it. Who cares that I’m not documenting that dental appointment, or that I have to do this or that and if I don’t write it down I’ll forget it. Say like those graduation pictures I was supposed to buy or those announcements to send with them. It’s only a couple weeks before he walks, I’m hoping Jostens figures this out and does a rush on those babies. Ugh.

I feel like such a rebel having not used my planner for a month. As if I’m irresponsible. Forgetful. Spitting in the wind. It’s scary out here without protection from scheduled items. I hope I survive!

Moving on.. it’s been a week since the dentist. I. hate. flossing. I did it in the past occasionally, but now that I have to (due to the fact she’s re-checking me in 4 weeks) I hate it. It’s a nasty process. And that’s all I’m saying about that. I’m going out tomorrow and finding a water gun for my gums. Anything that keeps me from rubbing dirty string in nooks and crannies. Yuk. 

So now that the planner has been sufficiently hidden, I’ve managed to get things done. A few weeks late. Nonetheless they’re getting done. For instance, I got a bed and sofa moved last night. (not that I would plan that per say, I’d just list it as a goal and then watch as it stayed on the page not getting checked off). I knew it wouldn’t anyway, so I didn’t bother listing it. Alas they got moved. At nine o’clock at night. Because we know that’s how I roll. The later the better. I get my second wind at 7 in the evening. At 3 I feel like I could shut my eyes and go in a coma. Eventually I come around and begin again. My poor kids had to shut their doors to avoid all the vacuuming that was going on next to their rooms. It’s the only time I can work on things like that. Had I had my planner, I’d have sorted time for groceries, had dinner earlier, and avoided the late night banging. Better luck when I bring it back out, I guess.

It rained all day. I would’ve loved snuggling underneath some fleece and catching up on some trashy television. You know, cop shows and maybe a movie or two. Then I would’ve hated myself when evening came and I had nothing to show for my day. But it was raining! Free day for all. 🙂 

Now I’m going to introduce a new segment to my blog…Don’t you hate it when. I’ll start. Don’t you hate it when…you get in the shower and forget to take your razor? Yeah, three weeks of this can cause some problems. 

Have a grand week, all! I’m birthday shopping tomorrow. Don’t you just love shopping? I hope I don’t buy too much for myself. LOL

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Types of Torture

Eight? Yes, exactly eight. Hey, I’m not bragging. I don’t find joy in making that call. Asking for someone to puncture my gums, all the while I’m paying out of pocket for the horrid sensation…the staring at their mask for hours, the cold and agonizing sprits of water spraying all over my damaged gums, and the whacky suction straw. Yet, this is what I did today. For 1 1/2 hours, strapped underneath a paper bib while blood was smeared on it. I imagined them crying inside…my teeth and gums, while each stab came harder and harder, scaling as they termed it. And the whole time I’m thinking, and this is why I won’t come for another eight. 

Unfortunately I have to return. They found a cavity…or two. I’m suddenly on a plan for return visits. Luckily I came home and found my chocolate Easter bunny and that made my gums feel a whole lot better. 🙂

So big news on the adoption front, for those following or who care…China approved our dossier. It was like passing a final exam. I spent all summer on this humongous scavenger hunt for things they wanted, such as physicals of me, my husband, my children, even my dogs needed paperwork submitted! We had to even see a shrink and be listed as ‘not crazy’. We needed a fire exit strategy for the home, proof of locks on the cabinets, fingerprints done not once but twice, and a state and federal clearance. Having a child naturally doesn’t come close to this. After gathering all of this junk, I had to ran them to get state sealed in Richmond…then authenticated in Washington, D.C. because, you know that traveling notary that followed me around everywhere getting everything signed wasn’t enough. So anyway, China liked what they saw and said yes! Travel should be some time in June (fingers crossed). She turns 5 in July. I’m hoping to get her before her birthday. I did some painting on her room tonight. I know I’m going to forget something. So far I’ve thought about socks. I don’t have any of those. Oh, and shoes. Basically because I have no idea of her size. This is something I’ll pick up in China.

I feel like this week went by fast. Faster than today when I sat in the dentist chair. I have no concrete plans for the weekend. My son wants me to volunteer at school Saturday for a triathlon. Um…this involves getting up at 4:30 a.m. And I’m not even the one who is doing the running. I’m not feeling wonderful about this. Probably won’t happen. Whatever it is I’ll make it fun. Have a great one, everyone! And try to floss. That is what I took away from my waterboarding session today. Floss, floss, floss. I told her I did. She gave me that look. Okay, so I do…seldom. It probably wouldn’t have saved me the blood shed on my bib of shame, anyway. The hygienist must’ve been a wronged person in another life. And evidently she thought it was my gums that wronged her.

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Ever Seen A Bald Cake?

Well, I have. I actually made one this past weekend. Did I set out to make a bald-headed cake? No. Did I think for some reason the recipe wouldn’t walk me into a disaster? Yes. So why didn’t I flour the pan, you ask? Simple..I thought the baker who wrote the instructions knew something I didn’t. Don’t you hate when you know something should be done, but trust the print? I shall never again. A lot went into that cake–5 eggs, 3 sticks of butter, 4 zested lemons…and a bunch more stuff. Not to mention time. Then to have the top fall off…to not exit the pan when I flipped it. Come on Ree!

I made 3 recipes from the newest issue of her magazine, The Pioneer Woman. Mom bought it for me at the bookstore. The cake I mentioned was a lemon pound cake. Now it was good…but it was missing its top. I didn’t even bother with making the icing. Why? I called it the ugly cake. 

On to the next recipe I tried. The meatloaf. I’ve not ever wrapped my meatloaf before, so this was something new. It also called for A LOT of carrots. Okay, so 2. But it was enough to get some turned up noses from my vegetable challenged children. How can you possibly hide all these bright colored strings hanging out in each slice? The taste? It was okay. Nothing I swooned about. In fact, I felt I wasted a pound of bacon, as it wasn’t really that good to eat as a garnish. It was floppy and fatty. I like extremely crispy bacon. My grandma would fry me 6 pieces at night when I said I was hungry. I remember getting a stink eye from my mother when I’d say ‘yes, please make it!!’

Then comes the potato casserole. It was a creamy baked one, topped with chives, sort of like au gratin potatoes. But unlike the dehydrated ones found conveniently in a box that you shake the cheese on and bake for 20 minutes, I slivered 5 russets, sautéed the onion garlic and mixed with a block of cream cheese. It baked for 90 minutes!! And yes, I started it after 4:30 on a school day. We ended up eating at almost 7 that night. It was a bit cheesy for me. I’m not into all the cheese. My family claimed they like it, though. Of course they did. They’d waited hours to eat it! Their bellies would’ve liked the peelings at that point! 

So there you have it. I got the book and made 3 recipes within 3 days. Not to mention I grated my finger. Not the cheese, but the finger. And it was on the knuckle. Hard to mend in that area. Especially with washing and bending it. I will survive! And I will make more of her recipes. I’ll just remember to add the flour and hold back on the cheese!