July 31, 2010

I'm just glad it didn't happen in the middle of the night while I was sleeping

Finally!  Silence. Blessed silence.

The boys have departed for the weekend.  Yippee!  They were supposed to go last weekend, but faked me out at the last minute and stayed home.  Things had come up on the other end, so they opted to wait until this weekend.

They were up and out early, which was fine by me as they were quiet and I didn't really hear them as they prepared to depart.  I was even able to sleep in a bit this morning as it is extremely overcast and gloomy today.  I think I need to invest in some heavy drapes, I am beginning to think the reason I haven't been able to sleep is that it is too bright in there - it's only taken me two and a half years to figure this out.

I decided to take my coffee and paper out on the back porch as I prefer to do as often as possible.  It was all very peaceful and serene.

Upon finishing the paper (am I the only one that actually reads the paper anymore?  I do get some of my news from the Internet, but I simply can't start the day without having a real live newspaper) I went inside to grab the computer and another cup of coffee.  And then I heard it.


I listened.  And heard nothing.  I carried the computer to the back porch and went back in to get the coffee.  And there it was again.


I listened.  And again, heard nothing.  I shrugged, picked up my cup and headed toward the door.


Dammit! I put the coffee down and headed toward the stairs, because it sounded like it was coming from upstairs.  I stood at the bottom of the stairs and listened.


I grabbed the phone and called Hubby to explain the situation.  He informed me that most likely a battery needed to be changed on one of the fire alarms and that I should just remove the battery and the noise would stop.  Fine.  I can do that.

Once upstairs it was brought to my attention again, that I am extremely short and would need assistance to get to the offending fire alarm.  So back downstairs in search of the ladder.  The six foot ladder.  Which is long, unwieldy and not easy to maneuver up the stairs.  But I did it because I am a "can do" kind of gal.

I set up the ladder under what I assumed was the guilty alarm and climbed up to remove the battery.  Yanking the battery out with a great sense of satisfaction, I climbed back down.  Halfway down, I heard it again.


By now I'm getting just a little bit cranky.  I called Hubby back.  He informs me that I should remove the entire alarm from the ceiling.  Fine.  I climb back up the ladder and figure out how to remove the alarm.  Done.  I set it aside and prepare to head back downstairs.


For the love of Mike!  I set out looking for the source.  Guess what I discover?  For this three bedroom house, we have no less than five alarms upstairs.  Five!  Talk about overkill, but I guess better safe than sorry.  So I drag the ladder over to the next one.  Remove the whole thing from the ceiling.  Surely, this is the one?


Apparently, not.  I replace the one I just removed and move on to the next one to repeat the procedure.   And once again....


After repeating this procedure with all the alarms but one (because I can't reach it even with the ladder) the damn Beeping! is still going off about every minute.

Fine.  I then proceed to remove every single one from the ceiling and set them aside.  And still....


I drag the ladder to my room and prepare to do some dangerous acrobatic moves in an attempt to reach that final alarm.  And as I am almost about to climb onto the tippy-top of the ladder (with visions of me falling and breaking something valuable, like a hip, and laying there all weekend until the boys come home on Monday) I hear the Beep! again and realize, that there is no way the noise is coming from this particular alarm.  Breathing a sigh of relief that I won't have to writhe in pain on the floor all weekend with a broken hip while listening to the infernal Beeping! I climb back down.

I stand there listening and thinking.  The damn things are not connected to the wires anymore.  How can they still be Beeping!?  I patrol the entire upstairs to see if I've missed one.  I haven't.  Then I have a thought.  Sure it's a crazy thought but crazy enough that it just might work.

I gather all the alarms together and remove the batteries from the plastic casing and set them aside, far away from the alarms.  And listen.


Success!  Apparently, even when the alarms are removed, if the batteries are still in place the damn thing still works!

So know you know, courtesy of me, you are welcome.

So considering I only have one alarm in place to keep me safe, here's hoping there isn't a fire this weekend.

July 30, 2010

Dealing with the "back to school" issues is even more painful than the actual school year

Here we are about a month away from the start of a new school year and already I’m in a tizzy – while the gents of the house while away the summer days in relative comfort and idleness.  

Here's a small peek at what I've been doing all week: 

  • Struggling to remove Latin from the upcoming schedule?  Mom’s job.  Done, while casting the evil eye at the child who thought that taking Latin on top of Chemistry and Algebra II would be a good idea during this most important year where transcripts will be sent to colleges.
  • Selling last year’s textbooks for the maximum amount of cash in order to pay for next year’s textbooks?  Mom’s job.  Done, while wondering why the hell I’m paying for textbooks for a high school student in the first place – particularly since the school receives an un-godly amount of money from me 11 months out of the year.
  • Haggling with the school over the fact that the schedule has not yet been posted – although it should have been done on Tuesday – so that I can procure the list of textbooks I still need to buy?  Mom’s job.  Done, although upon inspection the schedule still included the Latin class!  Arrgghh!  Back to the drawing board.
  • Finally convincing the school to re-post the schedule sans Latin.  Mom’s job.  Done, only to discover that the textbook list isn’t set to be published until next week.
  • Succeeding in looking like the pushy, overbearing mother to the school staff?  Done.
It’s a wonder I got any actual work done in the course of the week while trying to deal with these kinds of issues – which can only be dealt with during the course of business hours, naturally.  Hmmm, upon reflection, not much else did get done.....sssh, don't tell the boss!
That, of course, is just the short list of things to be done before school starts.  There is still much to be done – like convincing Man-Child to go through his clothes to see what’s needed for the upcoming year (major struggle, as apparently, he has far more important things to do, like sleeping till noon and watching tv).  Actually doing the shopping for said clothes, with Man-Child in tow since I have been informed that my idea of what a teenage boy should be wearing is dated.  Hmmph.  Never mind the fact that basically all he can wear to school is khakis and collared shirts - seriously, how far off the mark could I get?
There are still shoes to buy – which is a totally separate item on the list from clothes shopping.  Because he’s even more picky about shoes than his clothes – hmmmm, wonder where he gets that from……I guess it's true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
School supplies need buying.  Haircut needs to be planned.  Figuring out when to buy the clothes – because OMG he is still growing on a daily basis and we don't need him outgrowing the clothes before school even starts!  Well-Child visit to have sports forms approved needs to be scheduled and dealt with (which, as an aside was done today.  Guess what?  My sweet little, bouncing, baby boy?  Is now 5'9 and weighs in at 219!  How did that happen?!?! I guess lifting weights really will "pump" you up.)

Yeah, I think I'm ready for school to start back now.  Even though that means leaving the house a full hour earlier in the mornings, because that one little hour?  It's much less of a time suck than dealing with all this.....

July 26, 2010

It's the little things.....

.....that can completely and totally drive you crazy in a marriage.

"What could it possibly be, Gigi?" (which is the refrain I hear from friends - who don't live with this man - but somehow think he's perfect - which on some days he is, but on others? Not so much)

My current gripe?

He leaves the pantry door open.  ALL. THE. TIME.

This is a fairly recent affliction because I'd certainly never noticed it before.  And believe me when I say that I do notice these kinds of things. (What? Don't act so shocked. You know it's true.  I have an eye for detail.)

I walk by the pantry, notice the door is open and close it.  I walk by again twenty minutes later and once again, it is open.  So I close it.

This goes on for months.  Finally in a fit of frustration (which I know, this really shouldn't be a big deal, but with the pantry being located where it is - it IS a big deal to me!) I snarl ask sweetly, "Who keeps leaving this damn door open?"

At first there is no reply.  A few days go by - closing the door, opening the door, closing the door, opening the door.  So I ask again (a little more forcefully).  The response from Hubby....

"It gets hot in there."

This one kind of stunned me momentarily because it's a freakin' pantry!  It's not like any of US humans spend any significant amount of time in there.  Which, of course, I quickly pointed out.  His response....

"The food gets hot."

Now, seriously.  I could understand this argument if we were storing perishables in there - like milk, cheese or small children.  But we don't.  We store canned and boxed food in there.  Paper products.  Linens.  You know, the stuff that normal people store in pantries.

So for now?

Now, we have gone back to the quiet routine of me closing the door when I walk by it and him opening the door when he walks by it and so on and so on and so on.

Because sometimes?  You just have to pick your battles, people.

Especially when dealing with bizarre behavior which really isn't hurting anyone.

At least until I walk into that door in the middle of the night.....then?  All bets are off.

July 20, 2010

It's Been (over) A Year?? Really???

I just realized....I missed my "I've Been Blogging For A Year" anniversary.  Apparently, it came and went.  Without a blip on the radar.

Hmmm, how did that happen?

To me?  Miss Super Organized, Efficient, Endless List Maker?

I know it was on my mind not too long ago.  I clearly recall trying to figure out a way to commemorate the occasion.  And then *poof* it was gone.

Kind of like when I look at my gas gauge and think, "Boy, I need to get some gas soon."  and then promptly forget about it again until the little light starts winking manically at me. Only this time, there was no little light to wink at me to remind me that something big was fast approaching.

It can't be that I am getting old(er).  It can't be that my mind must be going (although obviously it is! Because how do you miss something like that?).  It can't be that I've been so crazy, busy that it slipped through the cracks (because I haven't been).

There must be a simple explanation.

Could it be?  Am I *gulp* turning into a . . . . slacker?

One that doesn't care if I miss a few important life events?  And once you let that slide - well, then it all goes to hell in a handbasket then doesn't it?

Next thing you know, I'll quit fixing my hair and quit selecting my outfits based on what shoes I want to wear!  Not acceptable, people.  Not acceptable at all!

No, I think I have just been having far too much fun and making new friends while blogging to notice how quickly time slips by.  Yes.  That is the explanation.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

And many, many thanks and much love to you all - because if it weren't for you . . . . well, I'd probably still be here scribbling away, but I'd be lonely!

July 19, 2010

Best of Friends

Remember way back when I kinda fooled you into thinking I was reading the classics?  And then showed you what I was really in the pile of books I was about to read?

Well, I finally read it. All 615 pages.  I dithered over whether or not to add it to the Books I Love Enough To Tell You About tab.  It is a very good read.  But, was it one of those books where I grab whoever is closest and yell "You MUST read this book RIGHT NOW!" kind of books?

In a fashion, yes it is.  This isn't a grab you by the seat of your pants kind of book.  But it is an introspective look at women, and their friendships.

One of the blurbs compares her to Maeve Binchy - which I totally get.  It's chick-lit at it's finest.

The noticeable difference with this book is that it will have you reaching for the tissues far sooner than you'd think.  And far more often.

This book is set in Ireland and centers around four women and their respective lives and how they intersect.  This book serves as a reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives - we should remember that we have our friends to rely on as we struggle through our own issues and dilemmas; that they are as there for us as we are for them.  It also reminds us, that no matter how hard we fight - sadly, some battles are just not meant to be won.

So although it is a long read - it is a good read.  And one I can honestly say I'd recommend that you carry along with you when you are headed to the beach.  Along with a box of tissues.

Sorry.  I am trying hard not to let this become a "book" blog as I realize that not all of you share my passion for reading, or have the time for it.  But I read A LOT and so it stands to reason that you will hear about some of the ones I really enjoyed....but I'll try to keep it to the ones that I really, really, really enjoyed.  Sound fair?

July 18, 2010

I am NOT a photographer.....so no judging please.....

I've been playing with my camera this evening.  Why?  I dunno.  Because there wasn't anything else to do?

At any rate, I've discovered that my camera does more than "point and shoot".  And have determined that if I actually knew what I was doing this little camera could do some amazing shots.  Although, I'm pretty proud of the ones I did get.

Up close and personal

Just HOW does he do that with his eyebrow??

Intent! (intently ignoring me!)

Hubby, trying to hide from me

Trying to capture the storm that was only pretending to threaten us 

That expression? Impossible to explain, but it's SO Man-Child.

Wow - who knew the camera could do this?

And this is where he stormed me, and took away the camera.

None of these pictures were doctored in any way, shape or form.  It was all the camera - I was amazed.  Who would have thought that this little "point and shoot" could do so much?  Will definitely be playing with it more in the future.  When they aren't looking, of course.  Since apparently they are averse to having their pictures taken.

Oh and by the way?  Sssh! He thinks I deleted all the pictures!  It's our secret!

July 17, 2010

It's been a rainy, dreary day....

That means I've been kind of productive.  When the sun is out I'd much rather go play. Or shop. Or something.  Anything but stay indoors and do chores.  Even though my list is growing quite rapidly, I have been ignoring it; figuring I've got all winter to do them (isn't there a fable about an ant and a grasshopper that follows along this line?)

But today has been non-stop rain.  And not even just drizzle-y rain.  I'm talking all out thunderstorm, pouring down rain.

Since I was stuck in the house for the majority of the day, a lot of chores were completed (and many thanks to Hubby because he pitched in and helped without being asked, nagged or bribed.  AND he did the chore I hate the most-the downstairs floors.  Extra brownie points for him!).  The ones that usually get ignored on fine summer days - until they reach critical mass, or I begin to itch because the fact they aren't done begin to bug me.

After all was said and done the house is hospitable again and actually fit for company, if someone should decide to pop in unexpectedly.

And then I noticed something....

Something so rare and magical.  I had to take a picture to share; because I knew you wouldn't believe me if I told you.  And this is what I saw....

Yes, it's true! I could see the bottom of the laundry basket!  It's a miracle I tell you! A miracle!  I can't even remember the last time I saw the bottom of this basket.

I was euphoric!  Dancing on cloud nine!  The laundry was done.  Washed, folded and put away.  Even the dreaded sheets - which have been known to stay in the dryer until the next time a load of wet washing needed to be dried before they were reluctantly folded and put away.

But alas!  It was short lived.  Because the next time I passed the basket, this is what I saw . . .

Damn it!

But at least I have evidence, photographic evidence, that it is indeed possible to see the bottom of the hamper - if only for a minute.

July 14, 2010

Will being proven right TWICE in one day open Hubby's eyes......

To the possibility that I just MIGHT be correct in most of what I tell him?

Probably not.

But still.....

Since he is not home yet for me to rub his nose in it, I mean  inform him of this I have decided to share it with you first.

Remember a bit ago, I mentioned that I was having to yell at my car because it was giving me fits?  Well, it turned out the car needed a new battery (sheesh, you'd think those things would last forever as big as they are!)

Once the battery was installed and the car was up and running, it kept doing this funny little thing while idling.  It kept acting like it wanted to stall.  This went on for about a day or so.  Hubby was concerned.  I informed him that I was sure that the car and the battery just had to get to know each other.  He laughed and laughed.  The problem went away.  But Hubby was still concerned, so when I scheduled my oil change I mentioned the problem to my guy and while I was at it gave him my diagnosis of the problem.  Well!  According to my guy I was completely correct.  Apparently it takes a while for the battery to understand exactly what the car needs from it.


Moving on.

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby (well, really I) submitted a resume online to a uber-wonderful company as they were looking for someone with Hubby's skill set.  We received an email confirmation.  But we haven't heard a word.  This company still has the posting up and I was getting nervous.  I mean their job description practically matches Hubby's resume word for word.  Why hadn't they at least called?  If the position was filled, why was the posting still up?  Yes, we'd received an email confirmation that the resume had been uploaded, etc. but something just did not feel right.

So I suggested to Hubby that we re-submit directly to the company via snail mail.  He resisted.  I have insisted. Because really, what would it hurt to follow up?  He still resisted.

Today, I was talking this over with a friend of mine and telling her of my concerns.  She informs me that she knows someone who works at this uber-wonderful company (unfortunately not in a position to help him actually get the job, but still) and offered to call her friend to see if the position is, in fact, still open.

Her friend turns out to be a wonderfully helpful person.  She not only determines that the position is still open (yay) but that Hubby's resume has never been received!  She has also suggested that I email the resume directly to her where she will hand deliver the resume to Human Resources.  I've never met this woman, but already I love her.

Hubby - 0
Me - 2

Will he ever learn?

July 11, 2010


Today, you get a two-fer!  Why? Because other than gadding about the state of North Carolina, I spent a lot of time reading (surprise) while on vacation.  And I have just finished Caught by Harlan Coben.

I finished this book in under two days, it was that good.  Come to think of it, most everything I've read by Harlan Coben is that good.  I am guessing the only reason he hasn't been added to the Books I Love Enough To Tell You About tab is because I haven't reviewed/read any of his work since I started doing this.  But now he has!  I'm sure he's very proud of this accomplishment; even more so than his status as a #1 New York Times author.

The story is set in a suburban New Jersey town and begins with a narration from a central character.  From there the book begins with a mother discovering that her 17 year old daughter never came home from the night before.  Every parent's nightmare.

The story also centers on a reporter whose news programs televises sting operations to bring down sexual predators (ala NBC's To Catch a Predator series).  Her latest sting becomes more complicated than she could have ever imagined and much to the surprise of this reader the plot becomes quite twisted so that when you think you know how the story is going, after a few pages you realize you were wrong.

What I also found fascinating was the way viral marketing and blogging was utilized in the story.  Obviously, my mind doesn't work this way so I would have never thought about using the Internet in such a way.  Sorry, I can't say more on the subject because that would give away too much.

It is a story about loss, love, guilt and forgiveness.  It is also a book that reminds us, sometimes there is more to a news story than first meets the eye.

T-Minus 13 hours (give or take) until vacation is over....

Thank you all for your comments on the last post - they were very kind.

We've been busy (obviously, since I haven't posted for 6 days!).  Man-Child and I have been to Carowinds (and amusement park in Charlotte) (not for Hubby - he doesn't "do" crowds or rides)......

We saw the sights and rode the rides ....

Well.....some of them.  Other's we were too chicken for . . . .

But - we had a great time.

We went to the North Carolina Zoo....if you haven't been I recommend that you go - it's fabulous.

We saw elephants....cooling themselves off in the heat....

We saw chimpanzees and gorillas (sorry the actual pictures were distorted by the glass - the gorilla shot would have been amazing too....)

We saw this freaky plant that reminded me of Sleeping Beauty.....I think.  May be getting my Princesses confused.....

We saw Grizzly Bears (which had totally freaked out a small child; her mother (not much more than a child herself) did nothing to comfort her; it made me very sad....)

We saw geysers.....

We saw bison..... (yeah, I only look irritated - was actually having a great time. Not the most flattering picture either; nor the worst - so I'll let it go for the time being....)

Although this sign did irritate me a little....because on the other side? It said the same thing except it referenced Africa.  How could they both be downhill?  Well, unless that was the highest point of the zoo; so never mind.  NC Zoo has about 5 miles of walking trails - and in the heat? Made for very sore legs the next day.

We saw alligators (or is it crocodiles? can never tell them apart).....

Then we went to Hanging Rock State Park.  Had I known how close it was - we'd have been there before (and often).....

The boys (Man-Child and friend) decided to try their hand at rowing.  It's a miracle they didn't capsize themselves.....but totally hilarious to watch whenever they decided to "switch" positions to row.  Rather than just handing over the oars - they actually switched positions.

The waterfalls were truly spectacular.  (emmm, no.  I actually didn't hike the trails to see this beauty - I was laying on the beach at the lake - but still!) (and yes, I had sunscreen on.)

Man-Child at the falls.  (wondering why he won't pose for me when I try to take pictures?)

July 5, 2010

If wishes were horses.......

I was having a discussion with Man-Child about something completely random - apparently so random that I can't even remember what we were talking about - when all of a sudden he pops up with "You keep giving me a hard time about not wanting my picture taken but where are all the pictures of you when you were a kid?" (yeah, apparently he's prone to switching gears mid-conversation.  Kind of like his mom....)

The sad fact of the matter is I don't have any.  I have a few that my aunt sent me after my mom died.  But that's it.  My mother had albums, upon albums, upon albums filled with pictures from before I was even born.

I remember when I flew home - my aunt had called to tell me that my mother was in a coma and that I should probably come.  We didn't exactly know what was wrong.  The nearest we can figure is that she had a stroke.  She never woke up.  She died January 29, 1999.  To be completely honest, I was surprised that she had lived as long as she had considering the way she lived her life.  She was only 55.

Before I left I was given the family bible, her wedding rings and a few pieces of her jewelry - trinkets, really.  Little did I know that was all I would ever get.  Not that I wanted much.  I just wanted the pictures.

My mother, in her infinite wisdom, drew up her own will without the assistance of an attorney.  Let me tell you now - if you don't have a will, or think you can do your own - forget it.  Hire an attorney.

My mother had decided that she would leave the house to my brother and me but if her husband (the bastard) was still alive that he should be able to live there as long as he wanted or until he died.

When I left my brother said he would take care of everything.  I should have known.

Apparently, after I left the husband moved in with some woman.  Almost immediately.  And rented out the house.  My brother, you know the one who was going to take care of everything?  Did nothing.

Apparently, the house has been sold.  I looked it up online - it belongs to someone else now.  And has for quite some time.

So what happened to all my mother's things?  Those pictures that she treasured?  Who knows.

Her last wishes were violated and her children received nothing.  All I have now are the few little things that my aunt insisted I take at the time.  I wish she'd insisted that I take some of those pictures.  I wish I'd thought to pack them up and ship them home.

July 2, 2010

It's better than coffee!

Wanna know what will open your eyes and get your blood pumping in the morning better than coffee??

Finding this:


In your kitchen sink; first thing in the morning.

You can imagine my reaction.  The horror.  The disgust.  The all out gross-ness.  The "how the hell did it get in the house?!" Did I mention the horror?  

All of which I have just relived in order to find a picture to share with you.  You're welcome.

Needless to say, Man-Child disposed of it.

I just hope he didn't have any family and friends living nearby.  I seriously hope he was a loner.  The kind of guy who likes to keep to himself.  

July 1, 2010

Apparently, Thursdays are NOT big online nights.....

As it is increasingly evident that no one is out there tonight.  *tap, tap - is this thing on?*

Today did not start out well, since I woke up gleefully convinced it was Friday.  

It isn't.

The realization of which just crushed me.

The day proceeded along just fine.  For about three minutes, I think.

I have decided that my company should be giving me two paychecks instead of the one.


Because in addition to my regular duties I have apparently become our department's own personal help desk.

Can't figure out how to cut and paste?  Ask Gigi.  Can't figure out how to load the paper in your new printer?  Ask Gigi.  Can't figure out how to recover your 300 page document - that you neglected to save before turning off your computer?  Ask Gigi (and she will pretty much tell you that you are screwed....)

Today it was the printer/copier.  Apparently, because I requested this thing of beauty (which it actually is) I have become the sole owner and maintenance mechanic.

What people consistently fail to do is ask when they need help. No.  Rather than go and ask how to do something - they would rather push buttons randomly until they jam the whole thing up so completely that it is now of no use to anyone - instead of not just working for them. 

Then, and only then, do they think it is prudent to point out - yes, to me - that there is a problem.

So I spent the majority of my day dealing with the copier/printer.  While listening to the injured party go on and on about deadlines.  As an FYI?  Your deadlines are not MY problem.

As miracles do happen - we were able to solve the problem at 4:55 pm. Thank God, because seriously? I couldn't have dealt with it much longer without wine.

My next request to management?  A phone in the area where the copier/printer is located.  Because that would be immensely helpful so that next time maybe - just maybe - people won't just start pushing buttons randomly (which for your information never works).

And that one little button on the control screen?  Apparently needs a sign that says DO NOT PUSH ME!  Because if you do - the whole office comes to a standstill.

So my job for tomorrow?  To make that sign.