Friday, May 31, 2013

OK, Mother Nature... Just Calm Down!



I've been living in my new house for two weeks, now, and the tornado sirens have gone off three days within those two weeks... THREE DAYS!! Well, nights actually.  But, still.  In a matter of two weeks, there have been three sets of tornado warnings issued for our area.

Thankfully, non of the warnings have actually produced tornadoes in our immediate area.... but they have pretty close around us.  Just take a trip a couple of miles down the road and you can see evidence of a tornado touchdown from last week.  That's pretty darn close, too close for my liking.

What I'd like to know is who in the south has royally ticked off Mother Nature?  I mean, it's a day before June and we've hardly had a temp reach in to the upper 80's, and it's been non-stop rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.  She seems to have a major beef with our part of the country... because it wasn't enough to take out almost an entire town in Oklahoma - now she's rearing up to make a return visit later tonight.

That's right.  We're in for yet another evening of severe thunderstorms, tornado watches, flash flood warnings, and possible tornadoes.  The area to the east of us - which includes the OK City area and the town of Moore that got slammed last week - are in for another bought of highly likely tornado activity.  And then it will all move this way.

Last night, I sat in front of my TV as continuous news coverage explained that there was rotation and low forming clouds just a few miles down the road.  I listened to the tornado sirens go off, once again.  I watched the rain and the wind and the continuous lightning hammer the world outside my window.  Thankfully, we didn't lose power or TV signal...so I was able to stay on top of where the storm was and how much danger we were in.  Which, wasn't really that much, but it was still way too close for my liking.  My mom called, worried by what she was seeing on the news that was heading straight for my direction.  I tried to put her at ease, but I'm sure it's not easy to see a major tornado developing storm headed straight for the town your child is living in.

I'm not looking forward to going through it all again tonight.  We're lucky that we have a storm shelter right next door, but just the thought of another night of wondering and worrying is getting a little old.

Someone needs to slip Mother Nature a few happy pills... because this temper tantrum she's having is getting a little old.

What's worse is that you'd think with all this rain, my allergies would taper off a little.  Urm...no.  In fact, they're worse.  Can you believe that?  All this rain, and my allergies are actually worse!!  My eyes are puffy and swollen, my nose is running like a faucet, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep through all of this.  Not exactly the summer I had planned on, is it?

I did manage to get one productive thing done today...and that's make an appointment to have the wisdom tooth pulled that's causing me so much pain. It may end up being all of my wisdom teeth, who knows... but as long as something is done about the one that's causing me so much hassle right now.  I'll only have a week to recover from that before I have to start teaching summer school, but I should be OK by then.  I just hope that by the end of June, when summer school is over, the nice weather has finally come, and my allergies are finally gone.

I'd at least like a couple of weeks during this summer break to not be in pain and to enjoy my new pool.  Is that too much to ask?  I sure hope not.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Irony of Telling My Five Year Old to Watch Where She is Going....



I swear, I can't win for losing.  I finally have some time out of the house where I'm not sneezing and coughing and looking like I've been crying for months and this happens.

But, being that I'm the first person that would admit to laughing my butt off at someone that falls out in public, it's only fair that I share this highly amusing story with you.  Of course, it would have been funnier if you were there to see it in person... so I'll try my best to paint a nice, colorful picture for you.

I told you yesterday that Jelly and I were going out last night to see Scooby Doo Live.  I decided we'd leave nice and early so that we'd have time to go and grab some dinner before the show.  I picked a restaurant that's actually right next to the theater, and I picked it because kids eat free.  Yeah, I'm cheap...so what?

So, Jelly and I head out around 3:15pm and get to the restaurant around 4pm.  Jelly orders some onion rings for our appetizer and is blown away when the HUGE plate of HUGE onion rings arrive.  She eats a couple before her bowl of mac & cheese arrives, and my blue cheese burger.  We eat, we talk, we laugh.  I listen as she shares her opinion on the food, the decor of the restaurant, and the service.  There's blogging in this girl's future, I can feel it!

Anywho, we finish up dinner, and she's ready to head to the theater... but she wants to take her left over onion rings with us, so we have to make a quick trip back to the car in the parking lot across the street to drop them off.

As we walk out of the restaurant, I'm telling her to watch where she's going as we have to walk down a couple of steps.  I'm holding on to a to-go box, her drink, my purse, and trying to hold her hand as we walk down the steps.  Make it down safely.  Then, I'm telling her to watch where she's going as she tripped over a crack in the sidewalk.  She caught herself...and just as I'm about to grab her hand so that we can cross the street, the street goes out from under me I'm heading slow motion towards the ground.

I go down on my right knee pretty hard, and then actually slide a little.  The food box and drink go flying, and poor Jelly is standing next to me panicking.  "Are you OK Mommy?  I've never seen you fall down before!". A van that had stopped at the crosswalk to let us cross had seen the whole thing, and he opened up his window to see if I needed assistance.  I was so embarrassed that I didn't even look at him and just waved him on and thanked him for asking.

As I fumbled around trying to get back up on my feet, I noticed what had caused my fall... it was a handicap friendly sidewalk crossing area.  The kind that has the sloped edges on the sidewalk so that a wheelchair can get across the street.  I hadn't noticed it as I was telling Jelly to watch where she was going and BAM!  It took out my ankle from under me.  I quickly looked around to see how many people had noticed my impression of a killer whale performing Swan Lake.  A parking attendant a little way down the street, and a guy walking towards me that was trying everything in his power to suppress the fits of laughter that wanted to escape from his mouth.  The poor guy had to walk straight past me without a word, cause I just know that had he tried to offer me assistance he would have ended up on the floor himself... in dying fits of hysterical laughter.

I made my way to the car without even looking at what injuries I might have sustained.  I felt a little queezy, and then looked down at my leg.  And then I did what any normal person who just had a nasty fall and was probably suffering from a little shock would do.... I took pictures of my injuries and posted them to Facebook.

Those are the pictures up top.  That's just moments after the fall.  Once I collected myself and was stable enough on my feet to walk across to the theater, Jelly and I took off.  By the time we reached the theater - right across the street - I had quite a bit of blood forming on both scrapes.  I went to the bathroom and cleaned the scrapes up.  I wasn't feeling too much pain... a little soreness in my knee.  I realized that I had basically fallen straight on my knee, and had a feeling that I'd soon be feeling the effects of my large self falling directly on to one knee at quite a force.

The show was great.  Jelly laughed and yelled and danced and sang her way through the entire performance like a kid in Candy Land.  She was totally mesmerized by the lights and sounds and changing of the scenes happening right before her eyes.

Here we are right before the show...the only time I was allowed to use my camera in the theater...




After the show was over, my knee was a little stiff and sore but we made it back to the car A-OK.  The parking attendant that had seen my performance earlier stopped me to ask me if I was OK.  He told me that I had left in such a hurry he didn't think I was in too need of help.  Yeah, yeah, buddy... I know exactly how awkward it is to offer assistance to a person that falls in public... believe me... I know.

Jelly and I stopped off at Sonic for dessert once we got back in to town.  I tell ya, this half price shakes after eight deal at Sonic is going to be the death of me.  Must. Refrain. From. The. Awesomeness.  But, my ego needed a treat...and so did the throbbing that was escaping from my knee.

Sleeping last night was quite the struggle.  Each time I turned over, I was woken up by my knee telling me that it was NOT OK to move around willy nilly with an injury.  And this morning, when I finally got up, the after effects I knew I would receive arrived.  My knee is absolutely killing me.  It's sore and swollen and really hard to bend.  I can bend it, it just hurts a lot when I do.

Here are some pics from this morning...

So swollen, you can't even see where my knee cap should be
My ankle is a little swollen and bruised.. but not that painful

I've been hobbling around all morning... and it's no bueno because I've got stuff to do today!  Peanut is having her first sleepover tonight, and I've got some cleaning and stuff to take care of before I go and pick up her friend.  Oh well, I think it's better if I move it around some anyways....Time to get moving!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Extreme Weight Loss and Scooby Doo!




What do Extreme Weight Loss and Scooby Doo have in common?

Absolutely nothing... except that I'm going to blog about both of them this morning, in the same blog post, and they're both fun to watch.  So, I guess that's actually two things they have in common.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is back, except now it's just called Extreme Weight Loss.  Chris Powell is taking on new challenges by transforming people over the course of a year.  I caught a few episodes of this show last season, but to be honest - I got a little bored with it.  It just seemed like one of those shows where obese people had asked for help to transform, but then cried and whined and complained their way through the transformation process.  In fact, I watched a couple of episodes where Chris actually decided there was no helping the people he'd selected to help and they hardly lost any weight the entire year.

I don't know why, but I get frustrated when I see people like that.  Mostly because I know that there's so many people out there that would kill for the chance to have Chris Powell train them for a year...and then there are some that actually get the chance and throw it back in his face.  As much as I'd love to have Chris Powell or Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper or Dolvett train me, I've never applied and will never apply to be on one of those shows - because I'm not able to do it.  I'm not talking physically, I'm talking I can't be away from my job and my family for that long, I know it.  So, I don't even think about trying out for a spot - because I'd never be one of those people that throw it back in their faces.

But, anywho, I decided to give this season another shot.  Mostly because I actually have a friend who's going to be on this season.  Her name is Rachel, and I knew her a few years ago when we were a part of the same Mommy & Me group.  Then, she moved away to Michigan and we lost touch except for "Likes" on Facebook statuses and reading each other's blog posts.  This season, Chris Powell is going to transform her AND her husband... and I can't wait to see it.  I haven't seen any pictures of her since her reveal...and I am anxious to see how it went for her and her husband, Jason.  I know that Rachel is a fighter, so there's not a doubt in my mind that they both came out victorious and looking fantabulous.

The first episode of the season was pretty good.  It was about two twins who were both extremely obese and wanted to lose weight together.  Chris quickly realized, however, that they were both major factors in the other's inability to lose weight and separated them.  In the end, they had the most success when they weren't together.  They both lost about half of their body weight by the end of the year.  David, the male twin, started off weighing 470 lbs and ended the year out weighing 258 lbs.  Rebecca, the female twin, started off weighing 398 lbs and ended the year out weighing 192 lbs.  Together, they lost 418 lbs!

It was one of those episodes that got me misty eyed and rooting for both of them to succeed.  Now, those are the kinds of episodes I enjoy...and will keep watching.  It also helps ignite little sensors in my brain telling me that I should be doing something to lose weight...again.  It would be so nice if I could perform my own mini Extreme Weight Loss over the summer and walk back in to my classroom about 50lbs lighter.  Doubt that will happen, but it sure would be nice to go back at least a dress size smaller.. or two.  That won't happen as long as I'm wheezing and sneezing through my allergies.  Stupid allergies.

Anywho, in other news, Jelly and I are going out for a special treat this afternoon.  A friend texted me yesterday asking me if I'd like two tickets to go and see a live show of Scooby Doo.  I thought it would be a great thing to do with Jelly.  She loves stuff like that, even though she's never actually been to a theater to watch a live show.  She has, however, watched a lot of live shows on TV.  Not the same, but I'm hoping she'll absolutely love it.  It'll be our own little bonding time.  Dinner and a show.  What a great way to spend a Wednesday evening.

Yesterday, I made it through the entire day without taking any allergy medicine or pain medicine.  I did pretty well.  The girls and I took a drive up to my school town and got Jelly enrolled in kindergarten.  We then stopped off for a quick visit at Peanut's boyfriend's bestfriend's sandwich shop for lunch.  It was nice visiting with his mom.  I was lucky enough to have the youngest son in my class last year, and it was nice to see him too.  Even though we've only been out of school for a week, it's amazing at how much I've missed his little face.

This morning, I wasn't so lucky.  I woke up just fine, but decided to go out and work on cleaning out the pool.  I noticed that there were a large number of box elder bugs coming out from the little spaces around the pool, so I drug out the bug killer.  We bought a natural bug killer so that it wouldn't be harmful to anything but the bugs... unfortunately, it appears it's harmful to me.  The minute I was done spraying, I started a sneezing frenzy, my eyes started watering non-stop, and I had to break down and take an allergy pill.  I'm starting to feel a little better, now.  Which is good, because I don't want to be sitting in that theater tonight sneezing and coughing non-stop.

On the agenda for today, before Jelly and I head out, is more laundry and unpacking.  I've only got a few boxes and bags to empty, and then I have to get my bedroom organized.  I've unpacked almost everything in there, but I haven't managed to put it all away yet.  It's kinda hard to do that when Hubby is in there asleep (he works 3rd shift), but I know I'll get around to it soon.

So, I guess it's that time for me to say goodbye.  I'm starting to think that everyone has disappeared... haven't had a comment in quite a while.  Maybe I'm just boring everyone with the non-stop banter about moving and my allergies.  Oh well, I'm gonna keep on writing, and hopefully I'll start to hear from you all again.

Have a great Wednesday!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Enough is Enough! Truthful Tuesday....



It's been along time since I wrote a Truthful Tuesday post.  And, with the mood that I'm in this morning, I think it's a perfect time to rekindle the fire of this almost forgotten feature.

So here goes...

To be honest... I've been off work for almost a week, now, and my house is still in disarray from the move.  Six days should be MORE than enough time to get everything unpacked and put away... but no, it still sits in piles and boxes in my office area.

To be honest... The reason my house is still not completely finished is because I've spent the last six days doped up on more allergy medications, pain medications, decongestants, and asthma inhalers to last a life time.  None of them have really helped and all they do is make me really sleepy and groggy.  I have no energy when I'm awake, and want to do nothing but sleep.

To be honest... I HATE TAKING MEDICATIONS! With a passion.  Every time I put one of those pills in my mouth, I die a little inside.  I have spent my entire life counting on my body to heal it's self when it gets sick, using natural remedies to treat ailments, and have come out just fine.  But, I just reached a point where I was so desperate to escape the misery that was brought on by my allergies that I had no choice but take medication.  Then I get a sinus infection, which brought on the major headaches and tooth aches, which requires more medications.  UGH!!

To be honest.... I've slept twice as much in the past 35 hours than I've been awake.  I went to bed Sunday night at 11pm, and woke up yesterday morning around 8am.  I was awake until 4pm and then slept until almost 6pm.  Got up and had dinner, was back asleep by 8pm.  Woke up at 10:40pm because of more pain... took more medication, back to sleep by 2am.  Then slept until 10am this morning.  So, since 11pm Sunday night, I've been awake 13 hours and have slept 22 hours.  Totally ridiculous!!

To be honest... I've had enough!  OK, my allergies and my sinus infection suck - but the feelings I get from the medications suck worse.  I can't do it anymore!  This is supposed to be a time for me to enjoy with my family, enjoy my new home, and be happy and carefree.  Not miserable and unhappy and sleeping all of the time.

To be honest... Because of the fact that all the medicines do to relieve my discomfort is make me sleep, I'm going to try and make it through a day without them... just to see how I feel.  I can deal with the sneezing and watery eyes and even the coughing.  My weakness is the toothache that comes from the constant sneezing and sinus pressure.  It's not even a real toothache.  It's just pressure in my gums where I've been slamming my teeth together when I sneeze.  Toothaches are the WORST!

To be honest... I really want to start getting out and walking, jogging, and swimming.  I've had enough of my clothes becoming tighter and tighter, and want to start thinking about exercising again.  Not really planning on jumping on the diet train again, but I think if I get out and start getting more active - the weight will start to fall off.  Being that my teeth are being such a pain right now, I'm not really eating that much anyway.

To be honest... I really need to get off of this computer and start doing some work.  Sitting here complaining about it isn't getting me anywhere.  I have to get this house unpacked... STAT!



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Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy? Memorial Day



Last year, I wrote a blog for Memorial Day that was deep and reflective.  That's kinda the mood I get in to when I think about Memorial Day... a day to remember those that have fallen, sacrificing their lives protecting the freedoms of our country.

That's also why I sat at my computer for a while wondering the best way to word my title.  To me, do I really want to say "Happy Memorial Day" to someone who is spending their day thinking about lost loved ones?  It has always felt weird for me to say that, even though I've seen post after post on Facebook saying it.

Memorial Day is an important day.  I've driven by some graveyards these past couple of days that are just breathtakingly beautiful.  Our new house is just across the street from a pretty large graveyard, and it's nice to see all of the colorful flowers and American flags decorating all of the graves.  For me, that's what Memorial Day is about.  Family coming together, showing that loved ones are never forgotten and are still cared for, and remembering the sacrifices that the fallen soldiers have made for our benefits.

I have already seen news posts about Westboro Baptist Church protesting over Memorial Day or spreading nasty hate about Memorial Day.  Stuff like that makes me so sad.  They get to spew off their hate and dislike for soldiers, when the only reason they are allowed to say all of that nasty stuff is because of the sacrifice and hard work of them same soldiers.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  Those crazy people spew off about their right to the first amendment... but smack the people in the face that protects that freedom.

My personal take is that if a hate group... or any group for that matter... protests the military and the freedoms soldiers protect, they shouldn't be allowed to use them.  Thank God for Dead Soldiers?  OK, you don't need the rights of free speech... no more spewing hate and protesting anything for you!  Immediate ban of Westboro Baptist Church and all of it's members!  When they complain and whine how "unconstitutional" it is... have them take it up with the soldiers that have spent their adult lives protecting the freedoms of the constitution.  Let them explain why they are allowed to hate the military, parade signs around that actually praise the killing of soldiers, but still get to use the soldiers to protect the freedom for them to say that.  Urm... don't think they'd get very far.

It sure is convenient for them to picket and protest and spread hate when they are hiding behind the first amendment.  I don't think it should apply to those people that are using it hypocritically.  And I only think that about groups that hate the military.  I don't think there's anything wrong with disagreeing with political reasons of war.  I don't think there's anything wrong with disagreeing with military tactics or decisions.  Just don't blame the soldiers that aren't making the decisions, but are just carrying out orders.  When our country is in trouble or under attack...it's not the important people that are out there fighting the fight.  It's the soldiers that are making measly pay, leaving family behind, gone for months, and sometimes never coming home.  How on earth can anyone hate those people?

I didn't really plan on going off on a big tangent like that.  I guess it's my roundabout way of saying that I respect and thank all soldiers that have fought or continue to fight for this country.  I may disagree with many political decision.  I may disagree with some of the rights that aren't extended to all groups of people.  I may disagree with some rights that are extended to people that shouldn't be.  But, at the end of the day, I'm allowed to have my opinions and I'm also free to express those opinions thanks to the military personnel that fight to protect those freedoms.

So, today, remember those that have fallen.  Honor them.  Thank them.  Whether it be with a BBQ, swimming, visiting a graveyard, having a family get-together.  Whatever it may be.  You and I have the right to choose how to show your respect.  You and I get to choose how to greet each other.  You and I can sit and ponder what the correct way to extend a well-wish of Memorial Day is.  And all of those things are because of the brave men and women in the military.

Thank you!
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Taking the Day Off

Yeah, I know it's super late in the day for me to be posting my blog post.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that my allergies had me up at 3am this morning, and I just couldn't get back to sleep until 7am.  I was so tired and drained, I slept until noon.  I would say that's what being on summer break is all about - sleeping until noon - but not when you're up most of the night.

Even before my horrible night, I made the decision that today I was going to take the day off.  No unpacking.  No cleaning.  No going anywhere.  Just a day off to relax and recharge.  Of course, I've got about a million loads of laundry that I don't get to put off... but if laundry is all that's on the agenda for today, I'm OK.

I know that Hubby is getting a little upset with the pile of stuff that still needs to be unpacked which is taking up all the room in the office area.  But, that and a few things in my bedroom are all that's left to be unpacked.  Everything else is done, in it's place, and moved in.  I don't think there's any reason it's going to hurt to take a day off and leave the stuff laying around for one more day... especially with how cruddy I'm feeling now.

The pool is ready to use, except for needing a little more chlorine.  Hubby has been playing quite the pool boy by getting up each morning, getting the pump turned on, and skimming and vacuuming it. I feel like I should be doing more to get it ready to use - being that Hubby doesn't swim - but he's beaten me to the punch each day.

Peanut went out to do some mowing this morning.  It's something she's been wanting to do for some exercise.  I admire her... and wish I could do stuff like that.  If I didn't have such bad allergies right now, I'd totally be out there doing some yard work and considering it "day off relaxation".  I love just sitting out on our patio, but I've even had to ration out the amount of time I'm out there... because I start sneezing and coughing.

With the amount of medications I'm currently taking, it's making me feel like a zombie.  I have an allergy pill, a decongestant/ sinus infection pill for my head congestion, and now an inhaler for my seasonal asthma that I have to take twice a day.  That doesn't include the Aleve I'm taking for pain for my headaches.  For a person that doesn't take medication for anything... I'm sure making up for the lack of meds I've used in the past now.  And I hate the feeling they all give me.  My inhaler increases my heart rate and makes me shaky.  My decongestant makes me cloudy.  The pain pills make me sleepy.  And none of them really take care of my allergy symptoms.  They just, basically, take the edge off.  I'm running out of medications to try...and this new medicine I'm taking is supposed to last all day, but only lasts a couple of hours.  I have more luck with the generic allergy pills you can buy at Wal-Mart.  They only last 4 hours, but they work much better.  I think I may just have to go back to using them.  Prescription meds just don't cut it with me.

But, right now, I'm going to throw another load of laundry in the washer and then plant my happy behind firmly on the couch.  And I'm probably going to stay there for the rest of the day - minus bathroom breaks and laundry doing.  I'm hoping some rest will help me feel better.

Fingers Crossed.


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Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Post NOT About My New House


OK, so I'm not really in the market of doing product reviews.  I have been contacted by some companies, and I'm just not that in to turning my blog in to anything more than just a place for me to share my thoughts and daily goings on.  I have agreed to do one product review that will be coming pretty soon - and that's for a NAYAD bathing suit.  I was so intrigued with the design, and I thought it was fate that I was being offered a free bathing suit after buying a house with a pool, that I just couldn't refuse.

But I'm not doing that review until I actually get in my pool and use the suit.

Today, I am going to do a product review.  One that wasn't asked of me.  One that I'm doing totally and completely on my own... because it's just too good of a story to pass up.  And the company I'm going to be reviewing most definitely did not contact me or ask me to provide the review...it's just something that companies run the risk of when dealing with a blogger.

So, anywho... this week we had some pretty harsh storms in our area.  One storm sent a bolt of lightening in to my parents' house taking out one of their TVs and their internet router.  That's it.  Nothing else but those two things.  My mom called the router company - being that it was still under warranty - and they sent her a new one.  No biggie.  The router is a NetGear Work and Play.

The new router arrived yesterday.  My mom went to her computer, hooked it all up, and the router didn't work.  She was able to get internet by hooking the modem directly to her computer, but the router wouldn't connect.  It was connecting to the internet, but not getting the internet to the computer.

So, she did what any person unfamiliar with computers and modems and routers would do... called technical support.

Her first call with NetGear tech support was started at 2:15pm yesterday afternoon.  After spending an hour on the phone with them being asked to turn it off and on again, unplug it and then plug it back in, push the reset button and then turn it on again, and so on... there was still no resolution.  The tech support person then told my mom to contact her internet provider - because the problem had to be with them, even though the internet was working perfectly fine.

The internet provider worked with my mom to try anything that could be internet related, to no avail...and was then told to call NetGear back.

I'm not sure what transpired between that next call and 7pm, accept for that my mom was on and off the phone with NetGear and her internet provider the entire time.  THE ENTIRE TIME!

At 7pm, I arrived at my parents' house greeted by an extremely frustrated and disheveled mother.  She was at her complete wits end... her hair a mess, her breathing fast, and her voice climbing to the point of glass shatteringly high.  I walked in just in time to hear in an almost desperate voice "I've been on this phone since 2:15 this afternoon.  I've called you and called my internet provider.  My internet provider says it's not them, you say it's not you.  My internet is working and my router is not...what does that tell you?"  Followed by "Yes, I'll hold.  Again."  Then, in a voice almost tear inducing "I already know what my connection type is and the username and password for my internet is...why do I have to call my internet provider to get them?"  Silence.  "OK, I'll call them back and find out."

My heart wanted to break for my mother.  For five hours she had been dealing with tech support, not getting a single answer to her problem.  I did what any caring, loving, know a little more than she does about computers daughter would do... I offered to help.

Now, I have worked in technical support before.  I have asked those same "have you turned it off and on again" questions a thousand times.  I know the tricks.  I know the gimmicks.  I know what stuff like ISP, IP Address, and DNS server means.  I know how to run a diagnostic on an internet connection error, and what the error message means.  I don't always know how to fix it... but I can at least get an idea of what the problem is.  I did the check, found out the DNS server wasn't responding.  No problem.  I ran the ipconfig command to find out what the IP address and DNS server code was, and entered them in to the program.  Didn't work.

So, I was faced with the dilemma of having to call the technical support back.  My worst nightmare.  Except for the fact that I knew how to run a computer, I knew when I was being played, and I also knew what the problem was and just needed someone to help fix it.

I started my call with NetGear technical support at 8pm.

For 45 minutes, the tech support guy had me shutting stuff down, turning it back on, restarting, resetting, unplugging, and plugging back in.  No matter how much I told him I'd already done everything he'd asked... and my mom had spent 5 hours prior doing the same stuff, he just wouldn't listen.  He refused to do anything but follow "the protocol".  By 9pm, my patience was on the verge of finished.  It takes a lot to get me mad at any form of customer service or technical support... but this was just downright ridiculous.

Finally he asked to remote in to the computer so that he could look at the configurations and "fix the problem".  REALLY?  You've had me acting like a circus monkey for an hour and NOW you decide to remote in to fix it?  I'm pretty sure smoke was coming out of my ears by this point.

Well, for 30 minutes he moseyed around the computer.  He ran the ipconfig.  He manually entered in the IP address and gateway address and DNS server code.. JUST LIKE I HAD ALREADY DONE!

Finally, at 9:40 I said enough was enough.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I told my mother to get back on the phone, tell them to shove up their rear, and to take the piece of crap back to the store and get a refund.  She then told me that she had her old router in a box (the one before NetGear and the storm) and to see if I could get it to work.  It took me all of 3 minutes to hook it up and it was working.

My mom sat on the phone with NetGear for another 15 minutes before she could get a supervisor to agree to replace the router.  They are going to send her another one...again.  Ridiculous!

Now, I've been looking at my own NetGear router with a different face.  We've had no problems with ours... it works just fine.  But, now I'm having nightmares about something happening to it.  What happens if it stops working?  What kind of torture and agony am I going to go through if we need to contact technical support?

EIGHT HOURS is what my mom spent on the phone with them trying to get them to fix it...and they never did.  Rather than just saying "No biggie, we'll send you a new one" or after about an hour saying "Well, there's nothing more we can do.. we'll send a replacement again", they tortured my mother for EIGHT HOURS!! And the only end was me finally saying ENOUGH!  I'm totally convinced that my poor, stressed out, ready to smash a window mother would still be sitting on the phone with them.

So, NetGear is now getting a completely free product review.  Or should I say NetGear technical support.  As far as I can see, the routers are pretty good.... just pray to all things holy that they never break down on you.  If they do, either take it back to the store and replace it or get your money back.  DO NOT CALL TECHNICAL SUPPORT!! Nobody deserves that kind of torture.

NetGear, you seriously need some technical support for your technical support.  Not good AT ALL!


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Funday


I guess it really doesn't matter much that it's Friday.  Wednesday was my Friday, and my next Monday isn't until June 14th.  That's quite the nice, long weekend.  I'm sorry, it sounds like I'm bragging, doesn't it?  Well, that's because I TOTALLY AM!!! HA!  Just kidding.  Not really.

Today, I've decided that I'm going to get some serious unpacking done.  Pretty much everything is out of the old house, but it's still all boxed up and sitting here staring at me.  It can stare all day long, because it's not getting unpacked until it's all been washed and cleaned and scrubbed.  In order to do that, I have to make a run to the store for more cleaning stuff, laundry stuff, and other miscellaneous stuff that I still need to get.  Which I'm totally going to do after I finish my blog and get myself ready.

I need a morning of shopping to put my mind into the right state in order to tackle the tasks that are before me.  It's so overwhelming having piles of boxes and bags, and no clue what to do with it all.  My bedroom just about killed me yesterday when I actually got to realize how many clothes I have - and how much room I don't have to put them.  I know I will miss having a walk in closet, but it's time to start deciding whether I'm ever going to fit back in to the clothes that I'm so dearly holding on to or find a couple of space saver containers to put it all in.

Good news.  I went with some under the bed space savers.  I had two lying around, and I need another one... but I'm not giving up on the thought that soon I will get back in to all of the cute clothes I bought a couple of years ago.

Which reminds me.  I've really been thinking about what I'm going to do this summer to lose some weight.  My allergies are not being friendly to me right now, but I'm hoping that once the weather is hot enough to use the pool I can start working out in that.  Also, once it gets hot enough to burn off some of this pollen, I should be able to start walking up the street, around the park, and back again.  Now that I'm home, have a plethora of stuff to do to exercise, and absolutely no reason not to take advantage of all of it... it's time.

This morning, it was pretty chilly outside.  Every day this week we've been running the pool pump and cleaning it out, but it's just too darn cold to get in it.  We're getting towards the end of May, and the highs are only getting in to the 70's.  Usually, I'm already complaining that it's too hot..and now I'm complaining that it's too cold.  Weird, huh?

It is good park weather, though.  Once I've got some work done around here, I'm going to take the girls up to the park for a while.  Walking there.  How nice is that?  Having a park within walking distance.  It's like I'm on my own little vacation.  Nice new house, pool, park, shopping.  I can totally get used to this.  Actually, I am going to get used to this.

But first I need to go get my rear in the shower and get ready.  Work first... play later.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ten Things Thursday


1.  I'm officially off work for the summer!  I celebrated by sleeping until 8:40 this morning.  Even though that may not sound very late, it's 4 hours later than what I'm used to getting up.  It was so nice not being woken up by an alarm clock or children or anything but my own eyes opening.  OK, so the cat nudging against me may have had something to do with it... but it was an easy, wake at my own rate situation.  And that I can totally get used to.

2.  I woke up this morning with no headache, toothache, face pressure, runny or stuffed up nose, or wheezing chest.  For the past three days, I've had the most horrible headache.  It felt like someone was inflating my head with air, and any time I stood up it felt like I was being slammed in the skull with a sledgehammer.  No exaggeration.  It was bad.  Thankfully, it seems to be all gone this morning.  I'm pretty sure I was in the midst or beginning to get a sinus infection.  It appears that may be subsiding... fingers crossed!

3. I'm making the last trips to my old house today to completely finish up getting anything out of it we need.  I'm dreading it, because the house has been locked up since Sunday with no AC.  It has also rained butt loads since then, so I'm sure there has been plenty of leaking going on.  That's going to make for one not so pleasant odor being omitted.  I so can't wait to drive away from that house for the final time, and never looking back.  Of course, once I get everything out of the house, I have to go back later with Hubby so that we can get our pet snake.

4.  I'm so excited to spend the next few days finishing up the unpacking in our new home.  I hate packing.  I hate moving.  But, I love unpacking and setting up a new house.  Well, I'm loving unpacking and setting up this new house.  There's still a lot of work to be done, but even with boxes laying all over the place and piles of stuff waiting to be placed in new homes - it still feels homier here than I ever felt in that old dump. 

5.  I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of the place when it was completely empty so that I could do some before and after pics.  I don't want to take pictures, now, because there's still a lot of moving in to do.  Once the house is all set up the way I like it, I'll take some pictures so you can see what it looks like.    

6.  Jelly had her last day of preschool on Tuesday.  That also meant the last payment for daycare to be paid by me...ever.  Of course, there will be plenty of expenses that come from going to school - but I get to keep $300 in my pocket each month from now on.  I have picked up the kindergarten enrollment forms for her, and I just can't believe my baby is going to be starting kindergarten.  **SNIFF**

7.  Butter is going to go and spend a few days with my parents today.  I think that Peanut, Jelly, and I will be spending some time at the park - once all of the unpacking is taken care of.  That and possibly getting in to the pool.  Hubby has been working hard the past couple of days to get the pool cleaned out, once again, after all the storms hit.  Now, if the temperature would just get up past 70 outside, it may be warm enough for us to actually use it.

8.  I have a rose bush in my little side garden area that is blooming some beautiful pink roses.  I've decided that I'm going to get a few more rose bushes to put out there and have myself a little rose garden.  It's going to be a while before I can actually get out there and do a lot of work...and I've missed most of the planting season... but I'm determined to make it my little oasis.  I'm thinking white, yellow, and pink roses will do the trick.  Also thinking about planting some wild flowers and maybe a few hanging baskets.  Never thought I'd be one to actually think about working in a flower garden. HA!  

9.  If my allergies will cooperate, I'm going to be doing quite a bit of yard work around here this summer.  Hubby and I picked out a new weed eater, that's ALL MINE!  He's going to take care of the mowing, and I'm going to do the trimming.  I think it's only fair that I do my part, and I want bragging rights when people compliment how nice the place looks.

10.  I've stalled long enough.  I really have to get over to the old house so that I can finally be done with the place.  As much as I'd just like to say to heck with anything else left over there, I can't.  I know that there are several things over there that I need and will miss if I don't get.  But, I'm hoping to be as quick as possible gathering it all.  Ready...Set.... GO!
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Schooool's Out For Summer!


Well.  Kinda.  It is for the kids, anyhow.  I, however, still have to go to work today... but then I'm done for a couple of weeks.

What a bittersweet day it was for me, yesterday.  I cried much more than I thought I would.  The tears started when I had to get up in front of the entire school and hand out my Terrific Tiger award.  Before the first word came out of my mouth, I choked up.  I spluttered my way through a quick story about it being a year since I was offered my job, and that since that time how welcome I'd felt.  I boo-hooed my way through telling my class how much I loved them and appreciated their hard work throughout the year.  I sniffed and sniveled through a thank-you and good luck to the graduating 8th graders that, despite not actually teaching them, I had still gotten to know and love.  EMOTIONAL!

Once the awards ceremony was over, I was able to calm down...until I attended the 8th grade recognition ceremony yesterday afternoon.  I sniffed and sniveled my way through that thing as well.  If I was that emotional with a class of kids I barely know, what on earth is going to happen next year when it's my daughter up there getting recognized and all of her friends that I've gotten to know and love?

The end of day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I teared up when our school song was being played during dismissal, and when each child walked through the door and gave me a hug.  Of course, they thought it was hilarious to see me cry so much.  I'm not a crier, and they've gone all year without so much as a wet eye from me... so to see me cry so much in one day was quite the experience.  One they couldn't stop laughing at.  Oh, how I will miss those little, sweet faces.

Today, I have to attend an end of the year breakfast with the entire school district and then it's back to my classroom to officially lock it up for the summer.  Just as I thought I would, I'm regretting not having more done by now than what is done.  It will take me a good couple of hours to get everything the way it needs to be before I can drive out of the parking lot.  I'm not too worried, though.  I'll throw on some Pandora, shut my door, and organize my way through the bulk of it in no time.  I hope.

I have a lot of paper sorting and organizing that needs to be done, but I'm not doing it today.  I figure that after several weeks off of work, I'll have more desire to sit and sort through paperwork...so I'm waiting until a few weeks before school starts back up to do that.  Until then, it can sit and collect dust or I'll lock it away in my filing cabinet.

I only, actually, get a couple of weeks off before I have to go back to work for two weeks.  I'm teaching the second session of summer school.  It may not be in my own classroom, it won't be with my own written lesson plans, it will be a totally new experience for me.  I'm sure it will be lots of fun, though, and the money is really good.  I'm happy that I'll get a couple of weeks off before I have to do it, though.  I should feel more rested and moved in by then.

The one thing I'm looking forward to is not having to get up at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow morning.  I'm warning every person in this house before I go to bed tonight that I better not get woken up in the morning.  I want to start the tradition that the first day of summer, I get to sleep in as late as I want.  Sure, I can always do that on the weekends - but do you know how often it actually happens on the weekends?  Not often at all.  I'm going to stay up late tonight, watch some TV, and then sleep until I am good and ready to get up in the morning... or afternoon.  HA!

Alright, it's time for me to go and get ready...for the last time this school year.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornados, and Allergies, and Pain, OH MY!

So, we are all safe here in my neck of the woods.  The past 48 hours have been quite the wild ride.  Watching and hearing about devastating tornados taking out entire towns just hours away from us can be pretty scary.

Sunday, the wind was raging on most of the day but the sun was shining.  The wind ended up taking down a tree in our neighbor's yard that ended up destroying a portion of our fence.  It's pretty sad that we ended up with tree damage from a bit of wind.  It was nice to be able to meet our neighbors, but not under those circumstances.  He was friendly enough about it, though, and gave my brother a chainsaw to use to get rid of the tree.  My neighbor has recently had open heart surgery, so he wasn't in any condition to start taking care of a fallen tree.  He said he would take care of the fence, however, and was super nice about the whole ordeal.  

That night we got a bit of rain, but nothing too bad.  I know there were several tornados in Oklahoma, however.  But, I knew that last night was the night to watch out for.

Yesterday, at work, I had the most awful sinus headache from my allergies.  My head felt like it had been inflated with air, and I just needed to jab a needle in it to deflate it a little.  Thankfully, there wasn't a whole lot going on at work yesterday due to there only being two days of school left.  We played some games in the morning and watched movies in the afternoon.  My classroom still doesn't have AC, so the heat didn't help my headache any, but I'd much rather sit in the heat than try and teach with a pounding headache.  

I stayed after school to attend the 8th grade graduation ceremony.  I took the opportunity to start cleaning up my classroom a little, and being that my brother was with me he was able to help.  My head was getting worse and worse as the time went on.  After about an hour, there was an announcement made that due to impending bad weather, the graduation was being cancelled.  I couldn't believe it.  I was so sad for all the kids and the hard work they put in to getting ready for the ceremony, but relieved because I was sure my head wasn't going to withstand much more.

We finally got home around 5:30, and by then I was almost in tears with how much pain I was in.  I knew a doozy of a storm was coming because the pressure and thickness to the air was stifling.  I made my way to the couch in order to try and give myself from relief from the throbbing going on in my head...which didn't help.  I decided to give up about 30 minutes later when the first tornado warning was issued through our TV.  Of course, that sent a mini frenzy through my household with my brother and my kids.  I told them not to panic, and tried to see what was going on.

About 5 minutes later, the tornado sirens went off.  We have a siren right across the street from us, so it was super loud.  I did the one thing I always do when I hear a tornado siren...went outside to see what was going on.  I know, I know... not smart.  It brought back a lot of memories, though, of living in this town before.  The sirens used to go off quite a bit, and I'd always step outside to see if there was anything to worry about.  Thankfully, like many, many times before, there was just a severe storm heading in.  The winds were pretty strong and it was lightening really hard, but other than that.. just a nasty storm.  

The storms lasted all of 20 minutes, maybe.  The news kept saying there was rotation around us, but no tornados actually touched down.  Then, it was just rain and a bit of lightening.  My headache did not let up, however, and I finally had to call it a night and try and get some sleep.

Thankfully, when I woke up this morning, my headache was gone.  I hope it stays that way.. because I don't want another repeat of yesterday.  I have awards ceremonies and graduations and talent shows to attend today.  

It's the last day with my kiddos, and I know it's going to be a tough day.  But, I'm ready...as long as I can enjoy the day minus any allergy problems.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Short Work Week

This is the last Monday I get to write my blog as a first year teacher.  In just a couple of short days, my summer will be officially starting and I'll have two and a half months to get this new house in proper order and start to really enjoy it.  I'm still typing on my iPad simply because I can sit out on my patio and write while enjoying my coffee.

It's so hard to believe that my first year is just about over.  This week, exactly one year ago, I walked in to a school I'd never been to before.  I went in with the thoughts that I had no chance of getting a job there....I hadn't managed to find a job anywhere else.  I met a principal and assistant principal that were enthusiastic and interested in what I had to say, the ideas I had.  I met a 4th grade teacher that welcomed me, showed me around, gave me a taste of what it would be like teaching there.  And, then I got to hear words I never thought I'd get to hear.. I'd basically given up on it... "We'd like to offer you a position".  

It just seems so surreal that so much has happened since this week one year ago.  Moving in to my new classroom, meeting my new students for the first time, wondering when the moment would come where I would panic and cry and overload myself...that never came by the way.  Each day has been a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new experience.  I've made new friends, became part of a team, felt wanted and accepted for who I am.  I made it!

Tonight, I will be attending the 8th grade graduation.  A group of kids that I never got to teach, really haven't had the chance to spend a lot of time with.  Yet, in this past year, I've managed to get to know a few of them.  Exactly one year ago this week, they knew that after the summer they'd be entering their last year as junior high kids before heading off to high school, just as I was realizing I'd be getting my first year in their school.  

As excited as I am for ending this week out strong, I know that it will be so hard on me.  My first group of kiddos are leaving me.  Our time together is almost over.  I wonder if I've had enough time to show them how much they mean to me, how much I care for them.  I wonder if they'll walk out of my classroom knowing the impact they have made on my life.  I wonder if they'll understand why this year has been so special and all the wonderful things they've taught me when I should have been the one teaching them.  

Tomorrow is the end of the year awards ceremony.  I have to get up and hand out my awards.  I know I will cry.  The person that hardly cries for anything will stand in front of the entire school and bawl like a baby.  I just know it.  I plan on saying a few words about how important this year has been for me, how wonderful it's been getting to know all of them...well, I'll try.  

Thankfully, I'll have some support there with me today and tomorrow.  My brother is coming to spend the day with me today and my sister will be there with me tomorrow.  They've been dying to see where I teach, where the kids go to school, and what's so great about our school.  I can't wait to show them.   It will be so nice to finally let them see why I talk non stop about my job and our school and all of the wonderfulness that comes from it. 

But, right now, I need to go and get ready.  It's that time.  It's going to be a long day, but I'm ready for it.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Almost There

I'm posting from my iPad again today because I haven't gotten my computer set up yet.  Plus, I can sit on my patio with my cup of coffee and my iPad to write.  I tell ya, I can definitely get used to doing this every morning.  Listen to the birds chirping, the leaves rustling in the wind....nice writing atmosphere.

We've pretty much got everything moved in.  There are still several small items at the old house that need to be pilfered through.  I hate pilfering.  I'd much rather just say forget it all and just start over, but I just know that a couple of months down the road I'll be looking for something that I left behind.  Plus, there are several pairs of my shoes still over there....they definitely can't get left behind.

The unpacking process has gone really well.  Most of the boxes have been unpacked as they arrive, and my room is the main room to still be done.  That's only because I need storage tubs to put some of my clothes in.  I've had to give up my walk-in closet for a standard his/her closet.  I have my own closet, it's just not big enough to hold all of my clothes.  That means that I'm going to have to start hanging seasonal clothes in the closet and storing the rest.

Yesterday, my parents came over.  My dad and brother helped Hubby move all of the remaining big stuff like the refrigerator, washer, dryer, all of the book shelves, my computer desk, and so on.  There were two truck loads of big stuff to haul.  I went out and did some shopping with my mom and bought some new rugs and towels.  I felt a little guilty that while the men were doing all of the heavy lifting, I was shopping... but they were better off without the women folk hanging around.  Once they were done, the whole family loaded up in our cars and went out for a family meal.  Minus Hubby.  He stayed home to finish unpacking the trailer and getting stuff set up.  We didn't get home until after 10pm, so after they left I was ready for bed.

Today, it's just going to be Hubby and I..plus my brother who's staying with me until Wednesday.  Peanut is with my parents, and Butter and Jelly are going on a skating trip with church so they'll be gone until later this afternoon.  We are going to take the opportunity to go out and pick up a few more things that we need around the house and then come back and do some unpacking and arranging.  My computer will definitely be set up today.

I still need to go over to the old house this week and get the rest of the stuff out of there.  I might do it this afternoon, I might do it after school this week.  Not sure.  Depends on how I feel.  It's been pretty hot the past couple of days, so the old house is like a furnace.  I'd much rather be in my cool, new home than over there.  There's also supposed to be some nasty storms rolling in the next few days..so that should be interesting, too.

Right now, gots to get ready....so much to do!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Back Online

Don't worry, I'm still here.  Just been off the grid with the moving from one place to another.  I either had a computer and no internet or internet and no computer.  Now, I have internet and my iPad.  My computer is finally here at the new house, but it's not hooked up yet because my desk is still at the old house.  The internet though?  WOW!!  We finally have high speed cable internet instead of DSL, and I'm still awing over how fast it really is.

My iPad had 50 app updates to do.  At my old house, that would have taken about 3 hours.  Here, it only took about 5 minutes!  Pulling 26 MBPS is unbelievable.  We clocked about 2 - if we were lucky - at the old house.

We've been staying in our home since Wednesday night.  Hubby and my brother spent Wednesday moving all of the beds and mattresses so that we didn't have to spend one more second trying to sleep in the furnace that is our old place.  It's been heavenly.  We had TV service on Thursday, so we only had to go one night without it...not that we cared, there hasn't been much time to just sit and watch TV.

Here in a few, Hubby and I are heading over to the old place to open up all the windows and air it out a little before my family come over to help us move.  Peanut and I went over there last night to do some work, but it was SOOOO hot.  We didn't end up staying long.  Not just that, but the smell from it being all closed up for a couple of days in the heat is unbelievable.  That's horrible for me to admit... but OH EM GEE does that house stink.  The mold and dampness from the last round of rain has really done a number in there.  I'm going to hate having to have people in there today moving stuff.  It's a total embarrassment.  Luckily, they'll have this nice house to come back to.

Well, that's it for me for right now.  I really have to get up and start working.  I just wanted to check in and let you all know what was going on.  I have tons to tell you all, but it has to wait until the work is finished.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Feeling a Little Helpless

No post yesterday, because once again someone (me) forgot to set their alarm clock or turned their alarm clock off instead of hitting snooze when it went off.  Not sure which one it was...all I know is that I didn't wake up until 6:38 yesterday morning.  Being that I usually leave my house at 6:30, it was quite the mad rush to get up and get around yesterday.  Thankfully, I was still able to get to school before 7:30, so I wasn't late.

That's twice in the past month or so that I've done that.  Which is two times more than I've done it in the past couple of years.  When I move, I'm dusting off my old alarm clock instead of using my phone.  It's just not loud enough to wake me up when I'm really tired.  It works fine most nights... but here lately, I've been EXHAUSTED!

Hubby and I were at the house the night last before messing with the pool.  We couldn't really do much else, because we've got to the point now where it's mostly big stuff that needs to be moved.  Well, I say that, it's mostly all big stuff and all of my stuff that I haven't packed yet that still has to be moved.  Because the pool pump hasn't been run as regularly as it should, we're starting to notice a green tint to the water.  That's not good.  I don't want algae appearing in the water, so we ran the pump for a couple of hours and cleaned out the pool the best we could.  My dad came over last night to look at the pump and clean it up a bit.  Hubby said it's working better, so it will run again today for a while...and hopefully we'll have a much cleaner pool by this weekend.

You remember how I've told you all before about how bad of a procrastinator I am, right?  Well, now it's really biting me in the behind.  My half of the office still hasn't been touched.  My desk is piled high with stuff, the book shelves are all still full of my teaching books, and until I get it all boxed up - my desk can't be moved.

Last night, I didn't get home until almost 9pm because of the spring concert at school.  The last thing I wanted to do when I got home was start packing.  I'll have to tonight, though.  Hubby now has the truck and the trailer from both of our parents - so it's go time.  My brother came over yesterday to help him move today.  They are going to pick up our furniture and they are moving all of the beds.  If I want my office moved and set up tomorrow, I'm going to have to pack it tonight.  Regardless of how tired I am after coming home from a day at work.

I'm really excited that tonight may be the first night we sleep in our new home... but I feel a little helpless at the fact that all of the moving is going on when I'm at work.  I feel like I'm not being much of a help.  My stuff is still needing to be packed, I still have stuff that I need to sort and make sure I'm not taking stuff with us that we don't need, and I just wish that we were getting out of school this week so that I could have the time to focus on the house.  But I don't and I can't.  So I just have to do what I can...and wait until the weekend, if I have to, to get the rest of my stuff taken care of.  As long as the stuff we need right now is taken care of, I guess that's all that really matters.

My poor little cat is a little restless right now.  It's like she knows something is going on, but she can't figure out what it is.  She's stayed pretty close to me the past few days.  I'm convinced that she thinks we're going to leave her behind when we move.  But, she has to be the last thing we move... because I don't want to leave her in strange new place without me.

The other thing that is suffering is my classroom.  I should be staying after school each night getting it packed up and ready for the summer.  But, I'm not.  Even last night, when I was at the school until 5 without any kids, I didn't even touch it.  That's mostly because I have no AC in my classroom at the moment, and it's freakin' HOT!  I figure that today and tomorrow, I'll start doing little stuff here and there...and then next Wednesday, when I'm at the school alone, it will get done and I can then be free to enjoy my summer.

As you can see, I'm a little flustered right now.  I know everything will all work out and fall in to place, but it doesn't help my nerves or stress all that much.  Even though it took a couple of months to close on my house, it seemed like everything happened so fast.  We knew we were going to move...we just didn't know when.  Then when we did know, it happened in a matter of a couple of days.  My goal was to be packed and ready the minute we closed.  That didn't happen.  Sure, we had a lot of stuff packed... but not near enough.  Now, I'm paying the price and it's causing me to feel pretty overwhelmed.  But, it's also a good overwhelmed.  I'm excited and ready to get out of this house...and I know it's going to take a little hard work and sweat to get it done.  No big deal.  It will get done.

Until then, I have a classroom full of excited kids counting down to the last day of school...and it's taking all of my energy just to keep them contained.

Just five more school days left.  I can do this!


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Monday, May 13, 2013

Furniture's Taken Care Of... Kinda.


That's kinda sorta what my new furniture looks like.  It's the same style, but I picked a gray color instead of the beige.  And I also picked out an over-sized love seat and over-sized chair to go with it.  I spent a whole lot more than I meant to on furniture, but it means a lot to me to finally have furniture that all matches.  It's simple, but comfortable.  

Unfortunately we don't actually have the furniture yet, though, and probably won't until next weekend.  Hubby, the kids, and I spent most of the day driving around in the most beautiful weather visiting different furniture stores.  Of course, the minute we buy our furniture and make arrangements for my sister to bring my dad's truck to us so that we can haul it home - dark black rain clouds start making their way over us.  I wasn't about to risk getting our brand new furniture wet, even with a tarp.  So, now it will have to sit and wait until we can get the truck over there to bring it home.  I'm not going to pay $125 for them to deliver it to me when I just forked out the kind of money I did to buy the furniture in the first place.  It can wait.

We also ordered our new entertainment center that should be here early next week.  It looks like this:
The book shelves are separate from the main TV stand, so we can either set it up like this or use the bookshelves in the room a different way.  It will depend on space, and what I decide when I actually have it in front of me.

Hubby and I have also decided to give up our crappy old bed and go with a bed frame for now until we find something we like - and can afford.  The bed we have now is HUGE.  It's an old waterbed, but we have a regular king sized mattress in it.  It has a head board that's about 6" deep, and it's full of shelves...which is really uncomfortable and awkward to lean back on.  There's some nice storage underneath, but the drawers sit back about a foot under where the bed hangs out, so they are awkward to get to.  I'll be so glad that we don't have to try and move that monster, and we'll just throw our king sized mattress on a bed frame and throw some storage drawers under the bed.  We managed to find a king sized bed frame at Sam's for less than $40 - so that's all taken care of.

I know that reading about buying furniture isn't the most exciting thing in the world to read about, but this is all such a new experience for me.  I have never had brand new furniture.  Funny, huh?  Every couch, chair, love seat, sectional, and bed I've ever owned has been handed down to me by a family member or purchased used.  Wait, that's not true.  I did buy a brand new futon when I lived in my old apartment once, but that's about it.

Every time my parents have bought new furniture, I've inherited their old furniture.  When a friend of mine moved, she let me have her sectional sofa that I've loved ever since she inherited it from her aunt.  The thing is over 30 years old, looks like it's been through a few tornadoes, but it's comfortable.  But, it's time to say goodbye to that old gem.  And as soon as we get situated enough to start buying a few more pieces, all of the old dressers the whole family have will be gone.  But, they have to go with us for now...all the furniture money has been used up...and then some.

I guess that's the best thing about buying a house, though.  We'll take little steps here and there to get it to way we like it.  I'm teaching summer school so that we can have a little extra to buy paint and some other small items, I don't have to pay for daycare anymore so we can put a little bit back each month for bigger items, and even if it takes a few years - we'll eventually get everything we want.

I've realized this new sense of pride I have about our new house.  It was OK to have old stuff in our old house, because it's just a place to eat, sleep, and get ready for work.  From the moment we moved in seven years ago, it's been a temporary dwelling.  I knew we wouldn't be here forever.  But now?  It's important for me to respect my new home by not taking the old and rundown with us.  It's a brand new start for my family, so a brand new start it will be.

Kids will no longer eat in the living room.  We will sit at the dining room table and eat our meals.  Clothes will no longer be strewn around the house wherever they fall.  They will be placed in hampers in each bedroom or bathroom.  Toys will no longer be stepped on or kicked while making the walk from the living room to the kitchen.  Each child will have their own room for their own stuff, and that's where it will stay.  Clutter will no longer start collecting in every corner.  Everything will have a place and a purpose - and if it doesn't?  We don't need it.  Cleaning will no longer be a dreaded chore that I put off because I know it's a waste of time.  It will now be a weekly ritual that's done with excitement in refreshing and maintaining beauty.

Can you sense my excitement?  I sure hope so...because it's coursing through my veins.  In just a few more short days we will finally be able to move in.  I will say goodbye and good riddance to the past, and my family will begin our future that we've waited so long for.

I know I'm not alone...cause I'm gonna make this place our home.


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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Let's Not Forget it's Mother's Day!


OK, my bad.  I wrote my blog post this morning totally oblivious to the fact that it was Mother's Day.  Don't judge...that also means that two of my own children that are at the house did not wish me Happy Mother's Day.  I remembered only when I received a wonderful message from Peanut on Facebook, cause she's currently at my parents' house.  So, that means you get two posts in one day... you're welcome.

That beautiful woman in the picture is my mother.  You've seen her before because I've written about her here and there on my blog over the years.  Would you believe that picture was taken on her 50th birthday?  Which was last year.  She hasn't changed a bit since that pic...she has some magical anti-aging potion that she's keeping from me, I just know it.  I just pray that I have her aging genes and that I look that wonderful at 50!

There's not really much I can say about my mom that I haven't already said many times over.  She's an amazing mother.  She's an amazing grandmother.  Now that all of her children are older and most of them have moved out and started their own families, she's opened up her home to children that need the love and support she gives as a foster mother.  She is without a doubt my best friend and my go-to person for everything.  Sure, she can drive me nuts sometimes, but she can make me laugh harder than anyone I know.

After having six children, none of which were perfect or have treated her the way she should have been treated, she still somehow manged to continue loving children enough to want more....if not biologically.  To become a foster mother after the torment my siblings and I have put her through over the years makes this woman deserve a true Mother of the Year award.

At all times there are at least two small children in her house, more often there's four or five of them....that's not including the two teenagers that are still living with her.  How that woman has the strength to put up with that many kids is beyond me... I struggle with my three.  HA!  But she does, and will, I'm sure, for many years to come.

Women like my mother really is what Mother's Day is all about.  I just hope that the siblings that are still in her home, as well as the small children, and my own child that is there right now are making her day special.  I can't be there, but this is my way of expressing my love for her... the best way I know how... with my words.

There isn't a lavish gift I could buy for my mother that would come close to matching the amount of love I have for this woman.  I don't have near enough money to even buy her a comparable gift.  I just hope that my words are enough to express the admiration, respect, and love I have for her.  

I love you Mom, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

But, I'm not done.  Even though I only have one mother, I also have another person that deserves some recognition today.  That person is P-Momma.


Trying to find a picture of her is tough!  She does not like having her picture taken, and she'll probably kill me when she sees that I've actually used a picture of her.

That beautiful woman is my pseudo mother-in-law, aka P-Momma.  She has been in my life for as long as Hubby's been in my life, and has treated me like a daughter every day of it.  The support, kindness, and love that this woman has shown me over the years is tremendous.  No woman could ever fill the shoes of my mother, but she ranks right up there.  Anyone she's ever introduced me to has known me as her daughter, even with some funny looks when people know full well that she only has one son.  My children are her grandchildren.  Hubby is her other son.  There's not a holiday, birthday, or special occasion that goes by that I don't hear from P-Momma so that we can get together and celebrate as a family.

P-Momma is someone I can turn to for anything, and know that she'd give me the shirt off of her back if it would help.  The generosity and kindness that this woman has shown to my family over the years is indescribable.  But that's not really what makes her special.  What makes her truly special, and like another mother to me is the love that she shows to me and my family.  We are a part of her family - no blood needed.

She offers advice when I need it, words of wisdom, and the non-sugar coated words I need to hear when I need to hear them.  They say that friends will tell you stuff to make you feel better, but true friends tell you what you need to hear regardless of how it makes you feel.  That's P-Momma.  And that's why I love her so much.

I love you, P-Momma.  HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

I don't know what I've done throughout my life that has caused me to be blessed by two such wonderful women in my life.  My own mother and my pseudo mother.  Both provide love, support, and guidance.  Both amazing women that have sacrificed and put themselves to the side for their families.  Both models that I take my own parenting skills, nurturing skills, and commitment to my family from.

On this day, Mother's Day, I get the chance to realize how truly lucky I am.  And to tell them both, cause Lord knows I don't do it enough.  

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the mothers out there!

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So Much To Do...So Little Time


Yesterday was a busy day of moving.  We got our first load in the car and headed to the house, and when we got there we discovered this little guy in our pool.  I named him Walter.  He was happily swimming around enjoying the nice weather and the cool water.  I just didn't have the heart to evict him straight away, so he got to enjoy the pool for most of the day until it was time to start cleaning it.

Hubby eventually got out the electric pool cleaner that the sellers had so graciously left for us.  It took us a while to figure it out, but once we did we set it loose on the bottom of the pool.  I tell you what, for the pool being uncovered for almost a month without anything being done to it except for the pool filter running a couple of hours a day, it looks pretty clean.  Sure, there were some leaves and dirt that had collected in the bottom, but our electric cleaner soon took care of that.  Apparently, the pool is one of our top priorities, because come on - after a busy weekend of moving the huge stuff next week, we want to be able to dive right in!

To make sure Walter wasn't the victim of a nasty severing from the pool filter, I scooped him up with the pool net and dropped him carefully over the fence.  Jelly then proceeded to catch him, play with him for a while, and then delivered him across the neighbor's fence which leads to a very nice mini lake.  Hopefully, he found a nice home there.

Which reminds me.  Do you remember a little while back when I wrote the blog post about my dream home destination?  I wrote all about not really having a set place I wanted to live, but I wanted to live near something.  And that would be water.  Preferably a lake.  Well, guess what?  Across the back fence of my property is a mini-lake.  A very large pond is probably more the best description.  But, it's water.  That I can see from my privacy deck outside my bedroom.  That means, each morning I can grab a cup of coffee and either sit on the outside patio or my back deck and look out over the water.  Could this house be any more perfect?

P-Momma came over to see the house yesterday, my parents saw it the night before, and my brother and sister came yesterday afternoon.  All were very impressed and thought our house was wonderful.  P-Momma got to hang out with us for a while, and we just sat on the patio and visited.  I'm already entertaining without anything moved in!  I have to say, the feeling of welcoming people to my new home and feeling proud to show it to them was a feeling I've never had before.  For years, I've tried to keep visitors away because I was so ashamed of the house we were living in.  Now?  I want people to come... I want to entertain and give tours and show off the one thing I've waited so long to have.

My brother and sister brought over my dad's truck so that we could get a nice big load of stuff to move over there.  Even though we couldn't really move any big stuff, we managed to move most of Jelly's toys, all of the boxes that we'd packed prior, and the dining room table and chairs.  All that's really left, now, is the stuff we've needed and haven't packed yet and the big stuff:  TV's, beds, washer, dryer, desks, dressers, stuff like that.  We plan on moving all of that stuff next weekend - when we make our final move.

It's going to kill me not being in the house until then.  Each night, I'm still going to have to come home to the old house and long to be laying in my new house.  But, it's just a week...and I'm sure that each afternoon once I get off work I'll be driving HOME and unpacking some stuff.

Ahhh, to call a place home.  What an amazing feeling.  I've never really done that since living in the old house.  It's always just been "the house".  We're on our way back to the "the house".  We have to go the "the house" first.  Are you going to come to "the house" to pick up the kids?  After next week, I will proudly declare the trip HOME each night.

Today, I've got some packing and sorting to do and then we are going to take a trip out to look at some furniture.  One good thing is that none of our old furniture is going with us.  We get to buy all new furniture!  New couch, new entertainment center, new bed for us... fun, fun!

But, I really have to pack some more if I want to go out shopping.

Toodles!
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Here it is... THE BIG REVEAL!



Here it is... the day I'm sure you've all been waiting for with anticipation just as much as I have.  The day I get to reveal the news I've been hiding for several weeks..months even.

So, take a look at the picture...look through the door way and wonder what it is I could have been hiding all of this time.  Many of you have had guesses....lots and lots of guesses.  Many of you have had some pretty outrageous guesses.  Many of you have had the right guess, but I didn't want to let you know that easy.  Many of you have probably decided that you're bored with waiting and just done.  And I understand, I got to that point, too.

But, wait no longer.

The picture you see above is a very special entry way.  It is the entry way to....

MY NEW HOUSE!!

Yep.  My new house....as in Hubby and I bought a house.  We own a house.  Not just any house, either, but we found our dream home.

Back in February, you all might remember how unhappy I was about the house I'm living in right now.  I made it my goal...no, my mission to find a house this year so that I could move out of the ramshackle piece of crap I'm living in now.  I spoke to a banker and got pre-approved quite easily for a home loan.  And yes...you'll see the constant "I", because I started the process off alone.  I realized that unless I started pushing Hubby, nothing was ever going to happen.

After receiving my pre-approval letter, I went and found a realtor.  I sat down with an extremely nice lady and she asked me for my "must-haves" (just like they do on House Hunter).  I told her we had to have 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, had to be move in ready, large back yard, and preferably out of the center of town...country would be best.  She then asked me how much I wanted to spend.  When I told her no more than $130,000... I'm pretty sure she thought I was crazy.  She told me it would be extremely hard to find what I wanted, but she'd do her best to try.  And so the search began.

After some serious arm twisting of Hubby, I got him to agree to look at some houses.  He really didn't believe we would be able to afford what we wanted, and was worried I'd fall in love with a house way above our price range or a fixer upper that was just as bad as what we were living in.  We looked at a total of 6 houses in a range of about a month.  One had the space, but was too run down.  The next was beautifully updated, but way too small.  The next offered space, an extremely low price because it was a foreclosure, but way too much work needed.  After that, we had the space and some of the updates and was a maybe.  Then, I walked in to a house and knew right then it was the one.  We'll get to that in just a sec.. but the last house we looked at was right after THE house and even though it was gorgeous, I didn't feel the same connection as I'd had just a few minutes prior.

We went home after looking at those last two houses, and I begged and pleaded with Hubby to put in an offer.  It took some nagging, and sitting down and crunching all of our numbers before I was able to convince him that the house of our dreams wasn't that much more than what we are currently paying for the dump we live in.  We made an offer two days later, it was accepted March 14th, and we've been going through the loan process ever since.

We closed yesterday morning...and the house is now ours!

Let's take a tour, shall we?  At the moment, I only have the pictures from the listing because I haven't had a chance to take any pictures at the house yet... but the pictures I'm going to share with you are ultimately the reason I knew the house was going to be our home.  When my realtor emailed them to me and told me that the house had been drastically dropped in price, I just knew that it was the one before I ever set foot in it.  And I was right.

The house we managed to get for $127,000.  It is 2376 sq ft.  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.  It has been completely remodeled and renovated with new hot water tank, roof, and AC unit.  It has brand new laminate floors in the living areas, tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, and carpets in the bedrooms.  It has a huge fenced in back yard, a large front yard, a small private side yard...and a bonus room attached to the carport.

Here we go...
The formal living room and formal dining room (the new couch stayed)
The den/ informal dining room (the pellet stove went, and now we just have a regular fire place)
The kitchen...lots of cabinet space!

The master bedroom... with privacy deck
Peanut's room, that no longer has brown carpet..because they put brand new blue/gray carpet it in for her
Butter's room
Kids' bathroom/ guest bathroom
Outside covered patio area that's attached to the huge carport

Side yard...that I've claimed as my own retreat area
Huge fenced in back yard..that is a lot more green now, and bigger than this picture portrays
And then, there's the added bonus....

OH YEA!! An inground pool..completely fenced in!

With pool house separate from the house
The house looks a lot different, and bigger now that it's empty.  I'll be sure to get some pictures today when we go over there.  I just couldn't be happier with it.  It has everything I asked for...and then some.  And even the realtor just couldn't believe how much house we were getting for the price.

Before closing, we met with the sellers to do one last walk through.  They were so nice to us.  They explained how they'd changed the carpet in Peanut's room, they didn't want the new couch they had purchased just a few months before - because it was too big for their new house and wanted us to have first dibs on it before they sold it or gave it to someone else, they bought a new motor for the pool pump because they were nervous the old motor was going out, they left a bucket of pool chemicals, the pool electronic self cleaner, and all the tools to go with the pool, and even bought us a small gift to welcome them to the home... a set of lavender candles.

Today is our first day to go and start moving in, and I'm so excited.

I know that most of you had already figured out what my secret is, and I hope that those of you that didn't aren't disappointed.  I had to wait, because I wanted to make sure the house was officially ours before I said anything.

Now, I have to run so I can go spend some time in my new home.  Oh, how I've waited so long to call a place HOME.

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