Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You know what burns me?

Well, a lot of things.  But at this particular moment it's a group of people who are either in school & scamming money or have recently graduated & want their debt forgiven.

Because gosh, it's hard to pay back money that you so willingly took to use for your own advantage.

Without being too specific there was a post in a FB group where I'm member.  The poster was talking about getting their grant money & how excited they were to be purchasing yarn with it.  Not groceries for their family.  Not paying their mortgage/rent.  Not even buying diapers for their kids.  But yarn.

Now, I'm certainly not going to begrudge anyone a skein of wooly deliciousness, but when you're receiving free money from the government for your education it's not really cool to be buying wooly goodness.  Not when there are families struggling to put their children through college & not when there are families who are living frugally in order to set aside money for their children's education.  Not when there are students working 20-40 hours a week in addition to going to school full time so they can pay for their education themselves.  Yes, it's judgmental but hey, it's my blog.  I can judge if I want to!

There was also an acquaintance (we were pregnant together & on a message board for women due in April '04) who posted that we should all sign a petition for the federal government to forgive student loan debt as it will help the economy.

Um, no.  I'm very sorry but last time I checked you WILLINGLY took on that debt.  You got your degree which was your goal.  Maybe if you found a cure for cancer, then I could see forgiving your student loan debt, but until that happens, then no.  Again, I'm sorry.

This person wasn't amused when I asked where does debt forgiveness end?  My husband is a disabled veteran.  We pay our car loan monthly.   We pay our mortgage monthly.  Sure it would be nice if that were forgiven, but I'm not holding my breath.  Please, our government threatens not to pay us every few months because they can't get their business together.  You think they're going to suddenly announce that all disabled vets have free housing?  Trust me when I say that I'd be living in a beautiful lake front home on Lake Champlain (or Smith Mountain Lake if Hunter had any say) if that were to happen.

But if people who have actually done SOMETHING for their country aren't getting anything forgiven, why should student debt be forgiven?  Have we really raised a generation who expects that everything in life is free & fair?  Lord, help us!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy House-iversary!

Two years ago we closed & moved into our house.  I shudder to think of how many times we went back & forth between our old apt. & the house during moving weekend.  We hired movers to take care of the big & heavy stuff (washer/dryer, kitchen table, living room, bedroom suite, etc) but did the rest ourselves.  Sunshine's room was the first to be set up & I'm proud to say that all boxes were quickly unpacked & things put in their new homes.  

When we moved in we had a to-do list a mile long.  Here's what we wanted to do & what we have done:

replace light –done!

Sunshine's room:
paint --done
replace light w/ ceiling fan --done

Sunshine's bath:
remove wallpaper –done!
paint –done!
remove stuff in bathtub
replace light

Guest room:

touch up paint --done--actually repainted the room & hallway
replace light w/ ceiling fan --done

paint --done

Living room:
paint --done

Dining Room:

remove wallpaper below chair rail, replace with wainscoting

*The dining room is my project for this month---well, the painting.  I'm going to have Hunter install the wainscoting.  Or maybe I'll just paint under the chair rail.


remove wallpaper --Done
paint --Done
finish shelves in cabinets --no need, just needed a good cleaning
new harware on cabinets
replace both lights --Done
replace counter –done!

our room:

paint --Done

master bathroom:

remove wallpaper
paint –done!
replace lights over sink –done!!


tile floor --we're now thinking about putting all-weather carpeting in there 
as it would easier.


pull weeds –done!
prune rosebush & maple in front of dining room window  --done!
remove elephant ears in back yard---done!

So, happy house-iversary little house---we love you so & are so happy to call you our home!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Randomnessy goodness (what? it's a word)

We were planning on going to the Peanut Festival in Plains, GA today but the putterings around the house have overtaken us & after 2 loads of laundry, some cleaning, unloading the dishwasher, playing Barbies & reorganizing a dollhouse, we're finishing lunch & watching some SEC football.

It's Pumpkin Spice Latte season which is really the best season of the year---the weather starts to cool down (by cool I mean 90) & it's football season.  I'm not a huge college football fan but will watch if nothing else is on. And we all know how much I love my Patriots.  The habit of ordering pizza on the day of a 4pm game while Hunter was deployed (lazy mom, much?!) is still alive & well.  So much that I've renamed the order on Papa John's site as "Game Day" because really, let's call a spade a spade.

PTA's still sucking up so much of my time---most of which I don't mind.  Book Fair went well, we're in the midst of selling raffle tickets for Fall Festival & I'm starting to get a little nervous about our class' basket for FF.  No one has gotten back to me.  Parents that is.  I'm going to do a little leg work this week & drop off some donation letters to locally owned restaurants in hopes of getting some donations from them.  I was so spoiled last year by my co-room mom who did everything for the basket.  Next year I'm hoping that I'll have another mom who'll step up & help me out.

My knitting mojo is back!!! I know I'm tempting fate by admitting this, but it's true.  Granted I've done a mess o' dishcloths but still, knitting is knitting!  I also made the neatest scarf--the   Edelweiss Neckwarmer.  I altered the pattern by CO 220 stitches & wound up using 1 1/2 skeins of Noro Colored Crack, I mean,  Silk Garden.  I love this yarn---little twigs & all.  The scarf wound up being around 50" long which is just a little too short for my tastes.  Even with blocking.  But it is gorgeous--Hello! Silk Garden! Duh!  I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter!  I'm thinking I need to try to find another skein so I can make some mittens or mitts to match.   According to Ravelry, I have one more full skein but didn't see it when I was looking at my wool stash.

Speaking of stash, I'm looking to destash some of my yarn.  I just have way too much & have some that I know I'm just not going to use.  I'm offering it up to my knitting group before listing on Ravelry and/or Ebay.  My only complaint w/ R & E is that I'm going to have to either charge shipping or cover it which really stinks.

I'm also making some great headway on Christmas shopping!  So far I have some things for Sunshine, the ILS are done, Mom is done & Hunter's nephew is done.  And I've done Mom's shopping for Sunshine as yesterday I drove to Opelika, AL to their Target as they had the Our Generation Wooden Doll Trunk (armoire) & the jeep.  Our store had both last week but are sold out now.  When I went online to order them I discovered that shipping for the 2 items was $25.  What happened to Target's free shipping on over 500k items??  I guess it's on the items that don't weigh more than 15 lbs.  Grrrrr.

Speaking of the ILS, we're hosting Thanksgiving this year!!  Which means that I have to have all their pressies  by then so they can bring them home with them.  We've already started planning sleeping arrangements,  what china we'll use (My name is Laurie & I am a china-holic.)--we have our china, Hunter's grandparents china (which is really for Sunshine but she won't mind us using it) & Christmas china.  Yeah, I really need a 12 step program for this stuff.  But anyway, sleeping, china, menus & a to do list of what needs to be done before they arrive.   We've been wanting to start using our dining room as an actual dining room rather than using the breakfast nook in the kitchen.  Which means I need to get off my butt & get the wallpaper below the chair rail removed, prep the walls & get painting.  We want to put in a wood floor but that might wait until spring.  Then will come the fun part of moving around furniture---including the realllly heavy kitchen table, the china cabinet & the Pottery Barn Kids style dollhouse/bookcase that Hunter made for Sunshine.  I think there might be room for everything, including the dollhouse for now.  It's such a great piece & Sunshine loves to play with it so it needs to stay.  If only she didn't have that Barbie Dream House in her room.  Hmmm, why do I do this to myself?

I have a PTA Board meeting tomorrow so maybe I do need to get my family moving this afternoon & out of the house. Hmmm, too late to go to Plains.  Maybe we'll head up to Callaway or bring the dogs to the Botanical Garden as it's only 80 out.  Cool enough to enjoy a walk without stroking out due to the heat.

Have a great weekend!!  Get out & do something!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slowly backing away from the crazy

how is it the crazy finds us?  This year, I've made a concerted effort to remove the drama mamas, toppers & the crazy from my life this year.  And it's really nice not having it around me.

But today it found me via a friend & fellow PTA mom.  Why do you ask?  Were we mean girls? Nope.  Were we clique-ish?  Hardly.

It started when PTA mom told another mom that their basket for our upcoming Fall Festival's silent auction needed a different theme as there were already 2 baskets with that same theme.  Okay, pain in the neck if you've never done a basket (some of these babies go for over $500), but really, not a big deal.

Unless you're drinking the crazy kool aid.

Then you get your panties in a bunch and start sending nasty grams.

Which is where I get dragged into the mix.  Only my name isn't Laurie.  She thinks I'm "Kristin".  Because they're so easy to confuse for one another, right?

Pardon the sarcasm, but really.  I can understand Laura, Lauren, Laurel, but Kristin?

Apparently kool aid drinking mom is upset because Kristin (let's play along, shall we?) didn't email her to remind her of the shifts she volunteered to work for Book Fair.

Reread that.  I'll wait.  Yes, you read it right the first time.  Let me add that I don't email anyone to remind them of their shifts.  Neither did the previous Chair.  Why?  Because we're dealing with adults who are parents, who schedule things for their families & generally have not one, but several calendars to remind them of goings on in their homes.

But, darn that Kristin!

So I took the high road & emailed this mom to apologize for not emailing her after working an 8 hour shift at Book Fair, doing Treasurer duties,scheduling volunteers for the school district's clothing bank (it was our school's turn),  taking care of any of my own room mom issues, supervising my daughter's homework, taking care of my home & husband.  And well, managing to take care of myself as well.  Oh, and I knitted a little.

What kills me about this woman's emails wasn't that she was angry that she never received an email.  But that she claims we are discriminating against her.  Discriminating.  As in singling her out.  You want to play the victim, fine.  Play the victim. But check your vocabulary.

And my name ISN'T Kristin.  It's Laurie.  Mrs. C, if you're crazy.  (Sorry, Janet Jackson---it had to be done!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


After much planning, stressing, emailing, phone calling, more stressing, executing & much fretting, we pulled off our Family Night at Book Fair!  The Coca Cola Space Science Center came out  & set up a dome in the school's gym for Stories Under The Stars.

At 5 'til 6 we were a little worried as we usually have a line of people at 5:45pm but tonight there was no line.  But, as they say in Fields of Dreams:  "If you build it, they will come"

Folks, we built it, we laid it out on the table & they came!

Much awesomeness followed, both in the gym & in the library.  We had a great night & raised some good money for our school.

We have 3 more days, including a 7 am opening on Friday for Grandparents Breakfast but luckily, that's not my responsibility.  All I need to do is show up & sell some books.  Then, at 3 pm, it's margarita time!

No stress involved with that!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Saturday

After a short but hectic week, my darling girl and her wonderful daddy let me sleep in today.  I won't tell you what time I finally got out of bed, but suffice to say it was the latest I've slept in years.  

Book Fair's off to a GREAT start!  I'm coming home exhausted and sore from standing in one spot ringing for so long.  But we're bringing in money for our school & that's what counts.  Five more days and then we're done until January when we start the busy work for the Feb. mini-fair, which is good as Fall Festival is 6 weeks from now.  I need to get to work on my donation letters and emails home to the other parents in hopes of them helping out w/ donations an other FF stuff.  

So, I was a lazy bum most of the day---slept in, knitted, played Monopoly on my phone (the cheap properties w/ hotels on them will bankrupt your opponents and it's always a good idea to have at least 3 railroads) and went out for a decaf @ Starbuck's w/ the fam. in the evening.  I finished the ballband cloth in the picture and CO the round cloth while we were at Starbuck's.  I finished it a couple hours later & am thinking I need to make a few more with this pattern.  I found some illusion cloth patterns on Ravelry & am going to make some for my mom as she mentioned she needs more dishcloths when we were home in July.

A friend posted this as her FB status earlier:    The toughest part about tomorrow and FB? Refusing to "repost" and thereby being declared unAmerican. Refusing to make a stupid flag with letters from a keyboard and being deemed a terrorist. I like FB less and less every day.

I won't be reposting anything on FB or here tomorrow.  I'll remember where I was & what I experienced that day.  The fear, the profound sadness & the anxiety.  But I won't be watching any of the coverage.  My prayers go out to those who lost loved ones, those who were first responders & those who didn't survive.  It ends there.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


What is it about carrying a big purse that I find so difficult to give up?  As I was packing up my entire life for 7 days of Book Fair, I realized that it would be so much easier just to carry a little wristlet with my license, credit card, a little cash & maybe a lip gloss rather than my bag which contains my wallet, makeup bag (inhaler, lip balm, 3 lip glosses, 2 lipsticks, tissues, wet wipes, tylenol), extra pens, etc.  I've done it on long road trips & it works wonderfully.  Why can't I do it in my daily life?  The shopping gods tempted me over the weekend when I saw a cute Kate Spade one on sale.  I prided myself on saying "no, I don't need that" & walking away.  Now I'm thinking "if only I'd bought it, I could SO use it now rather than schlepping this monster sized bag"  As I mention this to Hunter, he begins to shake his head.  No, no, no, you don't need it.  You don't need it.  While I'm extoling the virtues of the KS wristlet & practicality of it,  I remember---I have a little bitty Coach bag circa '99 that doubles as a wristlet!  See why I need him around?

Day 1 of Book Fair went off well---I remembered to get cash for the register (and really, here's where the benefits of being PTA Treasurer come into play---I can always dash to the spirit store for change), got the posters hung up (Note to self:  Write up posters when you're doing all the copying for Book Fair that way they can be taped up after set up.) & had the best group of volunteers.  It's been said repeatedly, but our PTA rocks.  We have so many new parents this year who are so happy to get involved.   Two of the moms today volunteered to do more shifts next week!  

And despite wearing comfy sandals, I forgot just how sore I am after standing in one spot for too long.  I try not to sit too much which is probably a mistake.  I had some time to decompress while Sunshine was at Speech & got some knitting done.  And tonight is my secret addiction of the Jersey Shore.  I know, I know.  But I love those dysfunctional, drunk little oompa loompa kids.  And I'm secretly afraid of Snooki.  She may be pint sized, but there's a whole mess o'crazy in that one!

Have a great weekend--looks like this one will be Hurricane & Tropical Storm free for everyone!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We do more before 9 am. . .

Remember the old Army commercials?  Where they bragged about doing more before 9 am than most people did all day?  I swear, that was me before 11 am today.  Here's the breakdown:

745:  Arrived at school.  Walked Sunshine to her classroom, chatted w/ her teacher for a couple minutes, got to the library, chatted w/ super fabulous Kristine & Mrs. B (equally fabulous because she's from Montreal).  Brought teacher wish lists & sign up sheets/schedules to the teachers lounge.  Distributed & hung the former & the latter.  Stopped by the guidance counselor's office to discuss Book Fair volunteers coming from one of our Partners in Education.  Went back to the library, chatted a bit more & declared myself "off" for the rest of the day.  Yeah, right.

8:25:  As I'm leaving school I remember it's the 6th & the 6th is Pumpkin Spice Latte Day at Starbucks!!  I LIVE for this day every year!  The best part?  I went up another star level & had a free drink coupon!  BONUS!

8:35:  Arrive home & start watching last night's DVR'd Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  It's my free time & I'll do what I want.  I start checking email & FB---schedule volunteers for Book Fair & Sara Spano clothing bank.  Multiple emails are exchanged between myself, the PTA President & Room Mom Coordinator.  I make 3 phone calls---one to get my hair cut (tomorrow-check!), one to get Tinkerbell into the groomer (today--check!) & one for Sunshine to be seen for the wart on her foot that we've been treating at home w/ little success (2 weeks from now--check but boo on time we have to wait).  More emails are exchanged.  I finish watching the RHOBH.  And finish my PSL.  So.yum.

10:23:   Drop off Tinky, run next door to Target for new denim jacket for Sunshine as well as a Sharpie 10 pack for my Book Fair notebook (aka "THE Notebook") & Treasurer stuff.  I make a mad dash to the end of the shopping center to Michael's for a fur jacket for Sunshine's doll.  It's a Christmas gift so I get extra points for that.  

11:15:  Arrive home, add one more Book Fair volunteer, tell Hunter I'd love to have lunch with him, bring in the trash can & mail.

And now, at 12:23 I am off to lunch with my handsome hubby.

It's true---with a Diet Coke (630 am) & a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I can get anything done!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to me & more

Today I turn 44.  44 on the 4th.  4 is a big number in our family.  My birthday & Hunter's birthday are both on the 4th.  Our anniversary is on the 4th, Sunshine was born in the 4th month of the 4th year.  Even our sweet puppy Libby was born on a multiple of 4 (2/16/03).  We got Tinkerbell in the 4th month.  So yeah, I'm a big 4 fan!

I started calling my birthday "The Week of Laurie" many years ago when celebrations lasted over the course of a few days.  Now it's sort of a week & half.  My mom usually starts if off as her card arrives before August is even over.  It's from her that I get my sense of urgency when it comes to being on time for things.

I've had a great Week of Laurie so far--cards, calls with early wishes, texts, FB posts.  Thank you all for remembering me!  We're hoping to get to the Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens this evening but the rain that's coming down now may mean we can't.  Sniff.

They say that with age comes wisdom & I've certainly found that to be true.  Mistakes I made in my 20's & 30's, I'd never dream of doing now.  I've also discovered what I'm willing to put up with in my life.  And who I want around me & my little family.  We have wonderful friends here who are caring & who provide tremendous support.  And for them, I am grateful.  There are days when it stinks to live so far away from family, but they help us.

Off to get Sunshine to do a "stop raining" dance so we're able to enjoy our picnic supper tonight under the balloons!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tough Decisions

I apologize in advance for the cryptic post but this is something I just have to get off my chest.  

Yesterday I found myself in a position that I never thought I'd be in and that I never wanted to be in.  One of those "it sucks to be a grown up" type deals.

I made one decision which resulted in the need for another one.  And it wasn't easy.  And many tears were shed.  And last night when I was talking with a friend about it, told her that on one hand I knew I had made the right decision, but on the other, I was still second guessing myself.  Like any decision, there are ramifications.  This one has YOOGE ramifications and I hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the hiney.
A long talk with this friend as well as my mom convinced me that I HAD made the right call & while it was a hard thing to do, it was the right thing to do.  But that nagging feeling remained.  Even at bedtime.  

Friends have offered to pray for my family in regards to this decision & expressed their support, which made me feel better.  A little bit.  Knowing I have such a support system with them means the world to me.  

So, as I sit here this morning I feel slightly better about doing what I've been told is the "right thing".  But that nagging feeling is still there.  I'm hoping a diet coke and the errands that must get done this morning help drive it away.