Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And now onto the school pictures…

On Monday, Grace started second grade and Hannah started kindergarten (ACK!!!)! Both of them (thankfully) were excited to go, so they were both up at 4:30 in the morning, raring to go. Zzzzz….

Anyway, here are some pictures from that morning, while they were waiting for the school bus. :)

First Day of Kindergarten

Funny Girl



First Day of School


Waiting for the Bus

I can’t believe I have two school-aged kids! I feel so old! LOL! I’m happy to report though, that they both LOVED their first day, and today went well too. :)

And with that, I’m off to bed with one last beer and a good book. Ahhhh….

I honestly don’t know where to begin…

So much has happened in the past few days! The pig roast… the kids started school… etc. So we’re going to do multiple posts here. And I’m going to be completely lazy and just copy/paste portions of stuff I’ve already written about each “event” on other message boards, sites, in emails, etc. So some of you have already read this word for word. For that, I apologize. But it’s midnight and I’m tired, so you’re just going to have to deal. LOL!

So here goes. First, we’ll discuss the pig roast. It was our 5th one and I must say, our best so far. We had a TON of new people show up, which was awesome!

The days leading up to it are always busier and more stressful then the day itself. However, it's also when I take more pictures. LOL!

The girls got dirty while Steve built things and I took pictures. LOL!


Dirty Girl

Building the Tent

Building the Tent

Building the Tent

Building the Tent

The day of, we woke up and it was non-stop ALL DAY LONG until people started showing up. Here's Steve pulling the meat off the pig about an hour before the people started arriving. Pork Puller

Here's about a quarter of the people that were there that day. The rest were either in the garage, playing volleyball, playing horseshoes, etc. Pig Roast Gang

And here's Jason. We LOVE Jason. We hired him to sing, but he became more of a friend before the pig roast. Here he is showing us what a freak he is. LOL!

Pig Roast Freak

That was one of the last pictures I took that day. LOL! Because right after I took this, Jason started playing. The girls watched him play 3 or 4 songs and were beat, so my parents took them home for the night. That's when I immediately whipped out the beer pong table and started getting my drinking groove on. The next few hours are a blur.

I played a billion games of beer pong, taught two rather old guys how to play beer pong, did shots, almost puked, held it in, told my FIL and step-FIL at one point that I think Steve's brother & the wife only have sex once a month (DOH! LOL!), yelled at the couple that I KNOW had sex in the port-a-potty (Ewwwww!) while also high-fiving them, played Flip Cup, taught another old guy how to play Flip Cup, received a Longaberger tote bag as a hostess gift (YAY for cool guests! LOL!), said a bunch of stupid things, talked to Rory's ex-boyfriend for a good hour asking him what the HELL he was thinking dating her (LOL!), and apparently told everyone that Steve and I are having another baby (although that part is hazy to me). LOL! Oy.

Seriously though, all in all, we had a freakin' BLAST! It's soooo much work, but I think this year it was actually worth it for a change. :)

I will say that I think, after 5 years, Steve and I have finally fallen into a "groove" with our pig roast. We had about 30 or 40 new-comers this year and they all had an absolute blast! I even had my gay hairdresser and his boyfriend here. LOL! If I would've heard one more person say, "There's so much FOOD!" I might have goen ballistic. LOL!

We had the pig (in various different sauces and one with sauerkraut), 3 deep-fried turkeys, potato bacon soup, hot wing dip, pierogies, baked ziti, meatballs, parsley potatoes, a HUGE Caesar salad, about 60 sandwiches on rolls, red beet eggs, brownies, ambrosia, cakes, a huge apple pie on a cookie sheet, macaroni salad, sauerkraut salad, 2 different pasta salads, macaroni and cheese, and about 20 other different foods. It was seriously insane. And what's REALLY insane is that the next day, ALL we had left was some brownies, about 10 sandwiches, and one freezer Ziplock bag of pork. Just crazy. (And no, Steve and I didn't make all that food, but definitely over half of it.)

We kicked 3.5 kegs of beer (halves... not quarters) and lots of people weren't even drinking the beer!

All of Steve's aunt and uncles (some that hadn't come before) were just amazed at what was here. People were showing up with 5 or 6 friends and family members that we didn't even know. And those people left here asking us when next year's is. Steve's one aunt and uncle kept telling Steve's mom afterwards that next year, she's making sure ALL of her (adult) kids come. And how she had no idea how much better it's gotten since 2 years ago (the last time she was at one).

It was just SO much fun! And my god, there is no WAY anyone left here hungry. LOL! I'm glad it was a good one though, because Steve and I were just about ready to call it quits after this one. It is so, so, SO much work to get everything ready. (People seriously have no idea how much time and effort we (especially Steve) put into it.) And people would be shocked to find out how much money we spend on it every year (although this year, quite a few people asked us outright. LOL!). We charged $5.00 a head for the first time this year and still ONLY made enough to cover the pig and the rental of the roaster. Everything else was all on us. And that's fine. But we weren't sure if we were going to do it again.

Now we KNOW we're going to do it again. Because we had so, so many people tell us since this past weekend that they're already lining up babysitters for next year, that we think there would be a riot if we decided not to have it. LOL!

I’m sure other random stories will come to me here and there over the next few days… but that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Oh, and Tink, I expect to see your ass in these pictures next year! Third Saturday in August. Book now. ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Words cannot describe…

…how tired I am right now. This pig roast preparation kicks our ass every year. And I swear, every year, I wonder WHY the hell we do it. But soooo many people tell us they look forward to it, that we keep doing it. We get help here and there from the same people every year, but for the most part, it’s all me and Steve. And we’re exhausted.

And come 3:00 (or so) tomorrow, 150+ people will mill into our backyard and have fun. They don’t realize how much work was put into them having “fun”. And we still have soooo much to do tomorrow before 3:00 that my mind is spinning just thinking about it. So I think I need to go to bed now. Because if I don’t, I’ll be asleep before anyone even shows up tomorrow. Sigh.

Photos and a post at some point after the pig roast…

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I came home from work today to find several new voice mail and email messages…

Steve’s Cousin, Trish: “Hey guys! It’s Trish! We’re so excited about the pig roast on Saturday! I just wanted to let you guys know that there will be six of us definitely coming, but possibly 8 or 10 of us! See you then!” (We encourage people to bring friends BTW….)

My friend, Danette (whom we didn’t invite until this year): “Hey Allison! Carlin and I will be coming, but it probably won’t be until around 7:00!”

Joy and Tom: “Hey guys! We’ll be there! Call and let us know if you need anything!” <—This woman used to work with my mom at the daycare, was at one point, both of my girls’ teacher, and can drink like a champ. Her and her husband are my mom’s age, are always one of the last to leave every year,  and she loves Jello shots and we had her doing beer bongs one year. I ADORE this woman. LOL!

Jason (the guy we hired to sing that we’ve become friends with): “Hey, I’m bringing the guy I’m sort of dating and I also invited 3 or 4 other friends. We’re excited! See you Saturday!”

Even our gay hair dresser and his boyfriend are coming. Seriously. This thing has spiraled out of control this year. This is both good and bad. Good, because just based on RSVP’s and new people this year, we’re probably looking at close to 150-200 people in our backyard that day. Bad because the pressure is now on to make it that much better.

Shit. Shit. Shit. I think I need to call the beer distributor in the morning and add another few kegs onto our order. [shaking head] What the hell is happening? LOL! All in all, I’m excited. I think it’s going to be SO much fun!

We’ve heard through the grapevine that our hairdresser has questioned what one wears to a pig roast. Steve & I both have haircut appointments on Friday morning. We’ve decided we’ll tell him that all guests show up in pig costumes. ROFLMAO! Seriously…. how fucking funny would that be? LOL!

Tink, if you’re serious about coming up for this thing next year, then you may have planned it perfectly. Because we’ve got a good 60 new comers this year, and if THEY all bring other people next year, etc. you could be looking at one hell of a good time. I’m bummed you’re not here this year, mind you, but hopefully, enough people will have fun this year that they all come back again. (And you & Hoop WILL stay with us here at the house if you come up. OMG! We’ll have so much freakin’ fun! LOL!)

OK. I need to get to bed.  I HAVE to make an effort to actually work tomorrow, since Friday will be shot to hell with the pig roast preparation. Tomorrow I’ll give my predictions on what I think my sister-in-law will wear that day. Later guys…

PS: I discovered tonight how stupid I really am, but I’ll get into that during tomorrow’s post. Right now, my pillow is begging for my head to hit it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things change…

So I had planned on coming here and copy/pasting a long ass email that I sent to my friends earlier today. It outlined the mini panic attacks I’m having today because of the HUGE list of things we need to do/clean/buy in the next 3 days before the pig roast. It ain’t pretty people. It really isn’t. Sigh.

But instead, we’re going to talk about something fun because y’all don’t give a shit about my pig roast stress I’m a fun kind of person. I asked for some song suggestions on one of my daily message boards to make mix CDs for the pig roast. We hired a guy to sing (that we’ve become really good friends with), but he’s only singing for 3 hours or so and the pig roast is WAY longer than that. So I wanted to make some mixes with all sorts of music on them. Well, the suggestions started pouring in. And those suggestions made me think of other songs/artists. Oh my. I’m taking a HUGE trip down Memory Lane tonight.

Some of the songs I downloaded are downright ridiculous, some are cool, some are just plain fun, and some are hilarious. Tonight, I’m listening to them while I burn the CDs. I’ve got everything from:

  • Skid Row (“18 and Life” and "I Remember You" bay-beeee!)
  • My Humps by Black Eyed Peas (Because you can’t hear that song and NOT shake your ass obnoxiously)
  • “Bye Bye Bye” by N’Sync (Because if I get Steve drunk enough, he might do the dance for us all.)
  • Some Blues Traveler (Because they just kick serious ass.)
  • “Oh Mickey” (Because I hate cheerleaders and that video always made me cringe, and I'm all about self-punishment.)
  • “The Day the Music Died” (I’m imagining a big sing-along when that one plays.)
  • “Little Red Corvette” (Because it’s the best Prince song ever recorded.)
  • “Footloose” (Wouldn’t it be cool if the whole pig roast broke into a choreographed dance?)
  • “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (fitting for most of the guests)
  • “Back in Black” by AC/DC and “Cum on Feel the Noise” by Quiet Riot (Oh, how I miss the mullets.)
  • “Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • A bunch by Lynard Skynard songs (Who the hell spelled their name anyway? It’s ridiculous.)
  • Whitesnake (I’m totally going to throw myself on the hood of a car when that one plays and grind around like a whore.)
  • “Right Now” by Van Halen (Because Sammy Hagar was WAY cooler than that first dude.)
  • A few by Firehouse (Because I want everyone to just randomly start making out.)
  • “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice and “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer (because I still remember EVERY step of the dances we made up for my senior year talent show, it’s how I got my nickname “Alli-Ho” at the time. And because, frankly, I’m 2 Legit 2 Quit)
  • Counting Crows (Because the lead singer was/is HOT.)
  • “Baby Got Back (I Like Big Butts)” by Sir Mix Alot (No explanation needed. And because I plan to play it over and over again until my kids learn every word. Because that would just be funny.)

And then a ton of um, “cooler” and more current ones… Green Day, Kid Rock, Taylor Swift, Sara Barellis (I can never spell her last name, so that’s probably wrong), Smash Mouth, Guns N Roses, Tom Petty, Bowling for Soup, The Black Crowes, Rob Thomas, Rage Against the Machine, Van Morrison, The Steve Miller Band, etc.

And I know half of you who haven’t thought of some of these songs in decades years are clicking over right now to go download them. (Well, except maybe for Tink, because she’s too young to remember half of them… LOL!)

But PLEASE feel free to comment here and throw out your suggestions. I’ll take them all... 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, now, Motown, pop, rock, rap, dance, country, alternative, funny, cool, dorky, etc. I need more songs, people!! MORE!!! So help me out, OK?

And with that, I’m off to bed with a book and my newly loaded MP3 player. Later guys…

(PS: Thank you to the 70% of you that think I should have/can handle another kid. -- To the 7% of you that voted for a puppy… you obviously don’t know me well. I greatly dislike don’t like dogs much. However, I don’t want to deprive my kids of a puppy at some point of their childhood, so I imagine that at some point it’ll happen. – To the 22% of you that think I shouldn’t do either for whatever reason… um, fuck you? Thank you? Hmmmm….)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend (and Monday) Recap

I’m all about bulleted lists. It’s the tech writer in me. It makes things easier to read… keeps readers more interested… Etc. So we’re going to do it all again folks. Sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy the ride…

* Got a ton of stuff done on Saturday. Some inside the house… Some outside for the pig roast this weekend. It’s really happening, my friends. (I HATE the week leading up to it. There’s WAY too much to do!)

* Ordered the port-a-potty for the event. Because there’s no way in hell I’m letting 100+ people (most of them trashed off their asses) traipse in and out of my home to use our toilet. Nuh uh.

* Am a little bummed that none of my Internet friends are flying in for the roast this year, because that’s always fun. But also a little bit excited that I can just get drunk and act like a total ass with  my real-life friends and Steve’s family, who seriously are the best damn people in the world.

* Not that I can’t act like an ass in front of my Internet friends, mind you. But they can all go home and post on message boards and blogs what an ass I really was. No one in my town is smart enough to have figured out the Internet yet (except me), so I think I’m safe.

* I’m SHOCKED at how many new-comers we have coming this year. Some we hadn’t invited before so it’s there first time because it’s their first opportunity. Some just couldn’t make it the other 4 years and finally can. But seriously, over 40 of the guests that RSVP’ed (and I’m sure a bunch that didn’t) are pig roast virgins. Although I think that’s cool, it also adds a bit of pressure to make it “that much better” this year. Dammit.

* We’re pretty sure this is going to be our biggest turnout yet. This is both cool and stressful in many, many ways. I seriously wish I could clone myself (twice… maybe thrice) to help me get done what needs to get done in the next 4 days. ACK! People have NO clue how much preparation goes into this thing. And for the most part, it’s just Steve and I doing it, with a few friends thrown in here and there occasionally helping, and in addition to our jobs, the kids, events, life, etc. WHY do we do this again? Someone remind me…

* “Thrice” is SUCH a dumb, stupid, made up sounding word.

* Hannah had kindergarten orientation tonight and she is SO excited to start kindergarten on Monday! Her teacher seems awesome and I know some of the parents of the kids in her class, so it should be a good year.

* Laughed my ASS off (actually, that would probably be a good thing. It’s a damn shame we can’t really do that, huh?) when Steve’s aunt called me out of the blue today, asking if “I heard their big news!” She sounded so excited that I assumed her daughter (Steve’s cousin) got engaged or someone was pregnant or something. But nope. She was calling just to tell me that her son and his totally psychotic wife are getting a divorce after less than a year. This is a GOOD thing. But the woman has never called me a day in her life. And then she called to tell me about her son’s divorce and I could just HEAR the woman smiling. LOL! Steve's family rules.

* We’re pretty sure Alien Baby #3 is going to occur. (Or at least be attempted.) What the FUCK is wrong with me? I must be seriously insane… Sigh.

OK. Off to do Internet searches on party canopies/tents. Because, you know, waiting until 4 days before the actual event is to take place is always the smart thing to do. (Goddammit, Steve!!! Grumble grumble.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Total Drive-By

The past few days have been nuts. Just busy. Pig roast stuff… work stuff… normal kid/family stuff… etc. So this is a quick post. Steve’s aunt and uncle from Florida (whom I adore), as well as their kids and Steve’s grandmother came up from Florida for the week. Tonight, we all met up at Steve’s dad’s house. In the span of just 4 hours I managed to:

* Find out my sister-in-law (yes, that one) has started drinking every night. (You GO girl! Maybe that’s why she’s been tolerable the last few times I’ve been around her. LOL!)

* Get my period suddenly, resulting in me having to “steal” a tampon from my FIL’s girlfriend’s daughter.

* Hear about a bunch of other people coming to the pig roast this year. (Cool!)

* Tell my father-in-law that Steve is his mini-me, which is both good and very bad in many, many ways (but which made my FIL happy, so I guess that part is good.)

* Show off my belly piercing to various family members, telling them all that the best way to overcome a mid-life crises is to get something pierced.

* Finally get my poor kids home and in bed by 11:00 tonight, which is way, WAY past their normal bedtime.

* Talk to my SIL (in a round-about way) about sex and how over half of our married friends complain about only getting it once a month. I’m sorry, but if you’re seriously only having sex 12 times a year, something’s wrong with the marriage. Period.

* In that same conversation, I noticed that both BIL and SIL didn’t seem to agree with me or indicate that they’re having it more often than that, so now I, of course, am convinced that their sex life sucks, which, for reasons that are beyond my ability to explain, has made me rather glib and gloaty. <--- Totally just made that word up.

* Have decided that a third Alien baby is just what this world needs. Don’t you think? Hannah and Grace could really use a younger brother or sister as far as I’m concerned. Either that or a puppy. Feel free to comment on which you think would benefit the world more. Puppies can be cute and all. But another child that could possibly support/care for us when we’re old and gray would certainly benefit us more. Thoughts? Vote in the poll over there in my sidebar. Seriously. I’m the type that would make a life-altering decision like that based on what random people on the internet thing. Go nuts.

(P.S. – If I plan it right, the third child would also be born in June (like the first two) and we could still have the pig roast next summer and I could still be the reining champion of beer pong. Tink SWEARS her and Hoop are coming up next year, so I can't be pregnant and not drinking should that happen. So it’s all good.) ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not much time to blog…

I’d like to, but unfortunately, my job, my messy house, stacks of laundry, and all sorts of other stuff are preventing me from doing that right now. Sigh.

But here’s a layout I whipped up last night. It’s Hannah in her ducky towel. I’ll be back later. :)


Credits: Background Paper & Frame: Emily Merritt… Orange & Yellow Papers: Bren Boone… Alpha: Jen Wilson… Tag: Misty Cato

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Busy Day Ahead

Well, it’s Saturday. Around here, that usually means a busy day for us. Sometimes, we just have lots of places to go. Others, we have no where to go, but then we’re home, which means cleaning, getting things done, etc.

Last Saturday, I busted some serious ass in our downstairs, going through all of the toys, steam cleaning the carpets, etc. This Saturday, I’m going to attempt to tackle the upstairs. This will be no easy task, which you would know if you could see the girls’ bedrooms. Just trust me. It won’t be fun. So after I post this, I’m heading up to put laundry away, pick things off the floor, go through old clothing, and finally, god willing, steam clean the carpets up there too. Should be fun. Not.

Anyway, I had a chance to work on some photos yesterday that I had taken over the past week. Um, enjoy? LOL!

This is Hannah in her ducky towel. Hannah doing this cracked Grace up for a good hour. LOL!

Just Ducky


Grace, daydreaming about something…



The girls decided to get their umbrellas out to play in the sprinklers. Weird kids I have…

Umbrellas and Sunshine 2

Umbrellas and Sunshine


Steve, working on grinding the rust and old paint off of the old coal stoker we’ll be putting in our basement to replace the oil furnace we have. (He’s using paint thinner and other chemicals, which explains the gas mask. LOL!)

Hard Working Man


Hannah putting her rubber boots on to go play in our stream.

Hannah and Her Boots

Hannah and Her Boots

Hannah and Her Boots


And finally, a shot of my girls’ boots. It makes me sad they won’t be able to fit in them much longer. They grow up so fast.

My Daughters' Boots

Enjoy your Saturday everyone! I’ll be back later! :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

An Odd Day

My friend’s viewing was tonight. It was incredibly sad, and yet amazing at the same time. My parents, my sister, and I got there literally an hour and 15 minutes after the viewing had started and we still stood in line (in the pouring rain at times) for over an hour just to get into the funeral home. And when we did finally get in, there was still a line behind us with the back of it being where we had been when we first got there. EVERYONE loved this girl. And I mean everyone.

They had pictures of her everywhere you turned inside the funeral home. They had one album filled with pictures of her in high school and I was in quite a few of them. Although I was honored to have been a part of her life at one point, it also made me sad that I didn't keep in touch with her after that. But I know it happens, so what can you do? I could beat myself up over it, but at this point, what good would that do?

Her mom didn't recognize me at first (I really do look completely different from high school) and after I hugged her, she said, "Oh, did you work with her?" I laughed and said, "It's Allison L-------- (maiden name)!" She started laughing, yelled, "Oh for Cripes' sake! Come here! Did you see your pictures out there?" and gave me a huge hug. It was so sweet, and actually kind of funny. I saw almost everyone I knew from high school. And I mean everyone. From every class year before and after us, and from every social group. It was nice seeing some of them, since I haven't seen them since 1991 or so, but also kind of weird. Most of them don't look any different. And I mean AT ALL. Even my sister said after we left that I was the only one that looked even remotely different (not in a bad or good way... just different).

I saw some of our old gang (that used to hang out with Missy), so that was nice. It was just... weird. Really, really weird. It was awesome to see that so many people loved Missy so much. But at the same time, so sad that someone who was SO loved had to die.

It turns out that the autopsy revealed that she had almost complete blockages of her heart... 80%, 80%, and 90%. Just last month she hiked 10 miles in the Grand Canyon with no problems, and her and her boyfriend just built a house together. She woke up the other morning and didn't feel right. She told her boyfriend she had really bad indigestion and was going to lie down a for a bit before work. He got in the shower and when he got out, he thought she was sleeping. When he went to kiss her goodbye, he realized she wasn't breathing. Can you even imagine? And the fact that she had no symptoms up until then just boggles my mind and, frankly, scares the living shit out of me, if you want me to be honest.

Anyway, I'm glad it's over. The bottom line is that it sucked, but at the same time, made me feel glad to have had her in my life, even if just for a few years, ya know? And it reminded me (once again) to cherish every day you’re given and don’t take them for granted. You have no clue when your life is going to end, so spending it being angry, or bitter, or miserable, or unhappy just isn’t worth it. Appreciate your friends… appreciate your family… and appreciate that you still get to wake up every morning. Because that could all change tomorrow.

(And on that note, I promise that there will be no depressing post tomorrow. In fact, I think I’m going to dig out some old high school photos and post them here. Trust me people. You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh really, really hard.)

I’m Getting There…

OK. I promise this post won’t be all sad and stuff. My friend’s death just really put me in a weird place yesterday. I’m still in that place, but I’m OK with being in that place for now. My parents and I are going to her viewing tomorrow night, and I know it’s going to be insanely sad and difficult and depressing and life-altering. But, at the very least, it will help me realize (yet again) that life is short and I should do what I can with it while I still have it. So, I’ll move on…

The first round of pig roast invitations went out today. The second round will go out tomorrow after I look up about 8 billion more addresses. And I have a good 60 or 70 to send out via email (which is WAY easier than this snail mail shit). I can’t believe it’s in only a few weeks. We’re so screwed. We always have soooo much to do to prepare for it, and once you throw in my deadlines at work and the fact that I need to start getting the girls geared up for school (starting 2 days after the pig roast), and I’m up a shit crick (<—this is where Tracey laughs because NO ONE around here says “creek.” It’s “crick.” And this amuses her in ways I didn’t think were possible). But somehow, we’ll pull it out of our asses and do what we have to do to get everything ready.

I’m pretty pumped about it this year. We’ve got a lot of new-comers coming this year. People that were never here before that I hope will have fun. And between the guy we hired to sing, my hairdresser and his boyfriend, and the guy I work with and his boyfriend, it could turn into a Gay Pride festival. But it’s all good. We own lots of guns, so if any of the local rednecks give them trouble, we’ll just dig into our stash and start blasting buckshot into their asses, while the rest of us do shots and wave our rainbow flags. As long as everyone’s drunk, it’s a good night, right?

I hooked up with a bunch of old college friends on Facebook today. That was cool. I haven’t talked to most (any?) of them since graduation, and judging by their photos and the messages they've written on my Wall, they really haven’t changed much at all, which is cool. It’s funny, because whenever I get an “invitation” from one of those sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), my mind immediately flashes to a funny incident I had with that person… Like the HUGE argument I got into with Bob, the real-life incarnation of Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties. We were seriously ready to swing at each other, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what the hell we were pissed about. LOL!… And Lee, who I went home to Connecticut with during one college break and met her hilarious friend. We went bowling, and her friend typed “Asswipe” in as her name. When questioned, she said it was pronounced “Ass-WE-pay”, with a French accent. I almost pissed myself laughing… And how Gary absolutely ADORED Madonna and did the best impersonation of her from that video where she wore the big cone boob thing. Ahhh… the good ol’ days. I’d love if I could get the whole gang of us (and there were a lot of us) back together again and just shoot the shit. It would be awesome.

But let’s not dwell on the past. Let’s look ahead to the future. For example, let’s take a look at a rather small portion of my To Do list for tomorrow:

* Email Cay and make up an excuse for why we can’t come visit her (90 miles away) on Sunday.

* Finish the online help system for work.

* Call Steve’s insurance company and have them fax Steve’s business Proof of Insurance to various contractors.

* Find some new songs to download. I’m sick of the ones I have. <— (This one is time-permitting.)

* Run to WalMart and print out another 50 pig roast invitations.

* Look up a shitload of address so I can mail the aforementioned invitations.

* Affix address labels to the shitload of invitations.

* Run to the post office to grab another 60 postcard stamps to put on the shitload of invitations.

* Compose and send an email (with the pig roast invitation attached) to anyone with addresses in my Gmail Contacts folder.

* Laundry. Dear god, the laundry… [shaking head]

* Clean the entire upstairs so I can steam clean the carpets up there before my sister asks for demands her steam cleaner back.

* Drive the 15 miles to Hannah’s doctor so I can have them fill out the physical form she’s required to have to start kindergarten, and of which I knew nothing about.

* Drop off pig roast invitations at the hair salon for my hair dresser and two women that work there.

* Attend a viewing for a girl who was WAY too young to die. :(

And on that note, I’m outta here.Sigh. I think I should go to bed. Later gang.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Make it stop. Please?

The past few days have truly sucked. They weren’t complete suckage of course because there are always those moments every day that bring you some joy and make you smile. But seriously, what the hell is going on?

I found out today that one of my good (at the time) high school friends died two nights ago. In high school, we were pretty close, but we grew apart after graduation and I honestly haven’t seen or spoken to her since our 10-year class reunion in 2001. But she was awesome. And two nights ago, she went to bed with some mild chest pains and never woke up. She was born literally 5 days before I was, and frankly, her death is freaking me out. I’ve had friends die before, but that was back in high school and they were all people that chose to take their own lives. This is the first person I know that's my age that died because of some freakish medical issue that, from what I've gathered, she probably didn't even know about.

It's made me think about a lot of things today. I've had a flood of emails, phone calls, and MySpace messages from other high school friends asking if I had heard the news. Some of these people I literally haven't talked to since high school. And although it's a horrible situation that spawned it, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of peace that those of us that went to school together still feel comfortable enough to talk to each other 17 years after we were all friends. (Small towns really do rule.)

And it made me look at my kids differently tonight, making me wonder what night in the future I'll go to bed and not wake up.

And it made me re-evaluate my own habits. And although I know (and have known) that I NEED to change a lot of my daily life, I don't know if I have the drive and will-power to do it.

And I questioned why it always seems to be "the good people" that lose their lives. My friend was a total class clown, loved everyone, was friends with everyone, was always smiling and laughing, had the best laugh I've ever heard, and there were probably very few people on this earth that had a problem with her. And now she's gone. And I'm having a rough time dealing with that.

And it made me think back to high school when I had no real responsibilities and everything was grand and we had no clue what life really was. I laughed my ass off on a daily basis, and truly enjoyed life. I still enjoy every day of my life now, but it was just a "different" kind of joy, ya know? That ignorant joy that we, as adults, often long for.

I probably wouldn't have been quite this affected by her death if other stuff wasn't going on right now.

Tommie (my nephew) has another severe infection in his colon. They're doing some crazy, strong treatments on him right now, but if that doesn't work, he may lose his entire colon and have a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. The bag he has now was supposed to be temporary, so I know he's pretty sad and scared right now. The doctors have no clue why he keeps getting these infections and if they can't stop it, I can't even say what could happen to him, and the doctor hinted, but I can't even bring myself to think about that. No 17-year-old kid deserves that, ya know?

Other than that, it's just a lot of life's little bullshit stuff... crazy deadlines at work... Steve not having any more worked lined up after next week and possibly needing to find a temporary job this winter, the girls starting school in a few weeks and me not having them even remotely prepared in terms of clothing, supplies, etc... my FIL's girlfriend needing chemo treatments again after beating ovarian cancer 2 years ago... and all that other life shit that all seems to dump on you at once. Life just really isn't fair sometimes, ya know?

So sorry to anyone who came here tonight, hoping for a funny anecdote about Hannah and her amazing talent of

(LOL! Dudes, I just read this today and realized that I fell asleep at my computer last night, and apparently hit Post while halfway through a sentence. Ah well... I was almost done anyway. LOL!)

Monday, August 04, 2008

My Little, um... Model?

So yesterday, I was cleaning the house like it’s never been cleaned before. Steve spent the entire day down in the garage, grinding the rust off of a coal stoker we’re going to install before the winter (oil is too expensive anymore).

So at one point, the girls decided they wanted to go hang out "down back" with Daddy. Awesome. We told them that if they had any plans to go into the stream, that they needed to wear their fishing boots. I also told Hannah she had to change her clothing, since she was wearing good stuff.

So off she goes upstairs and came down about 15 minutes later (clothing decisions are always hard for her... LOL!). She looked, um, interesting? {shaking head} The kid kills me. Here's her attire for a day in the yard...

Interesting Outfit

After I took this first photo, she told me she wanted to "pose." No shock there. The kid LOVES the camera and works it like it's her job.

Pose 2

Pose 1

Um, I need to work with her on what constitutes a "cool" pose I think, no? LOL!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And the Mother of the Year Award goes to...

... um, someone other than me? LOL! Now granted, this isn't really my fault. And I didn't really do anything wrong. But Hannah's new favorite song is "Fat Bottomed Girls." The Kid Rock version. I didn't think anything of it at first, except she seems to be stuck on one line. The one that goes, "She was such a naughty nanny." She sings it over... and over... and over... and over...

What makes it really funny is that she sings it like she's some sort of middle-aged, slimy pimp or something. She gets a coy look on her face, kind of looks at you out of the corner of her eyes and sings it in a gravely voice... "She was such a naughty nanny..."

Great. Hey, at least she's listening to cool music, right? Sigh.

Is it wrong for a grown woman to cry?

Because I would like to right now. I woke up this morning, looked around my house, and decided I either had to do something about its condition or burn it to the ground while laughing maniacally. I opted for the former choice and so began my day of hell, of which I'm in the midst of right now.

You see, I haven't thrown away a single toy since Grace was born 7 years ago. Not one, unless it was broken or damaged or something. I've got exersaucers, rattles, pull toys, walking toys, every stupid piece of plastic crap they got at fast food restaurants or in birthday party goody bags. Every last effing one of 'em.

Well, since I started this morning, I've filled two entire garbage bags with the crap mentioned above. And I'm not even half done yet. And now, my entire downstairs AND the playroom in the basement are totally trashed, so I couldn't stop now even if I wanted to. I'm screwed.

It DOES feel good to start seeing some floor space. And it's my own fault for letting it get to this point. But that doesn't make it any more fun. I'm sweating, I'm hungry, I'm tired, and I'm in a bad mood. LOL!

I finally (now) had to sit down to take a break. I cracked a beer and decided to catch up on some blogs. Don't worry, I won't have another beer until later tonight. But I kind of needed it right now as that last little boost of fuel to help me finish before my kids are graduating from high school. I really only have one more big pile in a corner of the downstairs playroom to do... And go through all Hannah's dolls clothing that's currently in about 8 different over-stuffed bags and baskets... And go through the 8 million crayons, pencils and notebooks the girls have... And dig through the two thousand purses the girls have, filled to the top with little crap and play makeup... And mop the floors I haven't seen for years... And vacuum the rugs... And...

Crap. Maybe I will have that second beer. LOL! If you don't hear from me tonight, it's because I got to the point where I decided my earlier idea of burning down the house was easier. If that's the case, I'll make sure to remove my computer before setting the blaze, so I can check in here and there from the Red Cross shelter...

Got my free ArtsCow photo book today…

And I couldn't be happier. They are literally identical to Shutterfly's photo books, except ArtsCow's standard is 30 pages (which is more than Shutterfly's) and they're cheaper.

Shutterfly's books are normally $29.99 for the first 20 pages and $1.00 for each additional page. ArtsCow's are normally $15.99 for 30 pages. Shipping at ArtsCow is a bit more ($11.99) because they come from Japan, but that's still less total than Shutterfly. They do take a little longer to receive (2 weeks from the day I ordered until the day it arrived), but as long as you plan ahead and aren't in a hurry, it's well worth it in my opinion.

If you register at ArtsCow, you get a free photo book (you pay the $11.99 shipping) plus a TON of other free credits. Here are some photos. Any discoloration you see is completely because my white balance was off in my camera and I didn't take the time to edit these photos much at all.

And I was just about to post photos of the outside cover, but I realized that our last name is on it and I’m too lazy to go blur it out right now (it’s 1:15 AM), so I’ll post those tomorrow.

If anyone signed up the first time I mentioned it and your free 8x8” photo book credit expired, I have 10 codes here to get another free one. Well, technically, they say it’s $11.99 and the shipping’s free. But shipping is normally $11.99, so it’s easier to say that the photo book is free. :D

(And the codes came with my photo book, so no, I am not affiliated in any way with ArtsCow. ;)

Anyway, if anyone wants a code, post a comment here and I’ll hook you up with one. :)

ArtsCow Photo Book

ArtsCow Photo Book

ArtsCow Photo Book

ArtsCow Photo Book

Also, if you process your photos in Photoshop or Elements, etc. or if you're ordering a photo book of your layouts, MAKE SURE to turn off image enhancements. Click on the Print Options link in the main menu on the left-hand side and deselect the Image Enhancement box. That's also where you select matte or glossy as your default for prints.

Attention Blog Owners!!!!

After an hour my poor friend spent trying to help me fix my IE issue, I just found this post online:

It's been happening to EVERYONE today and it's happening on blogs that have a Site Meter installed on their blog. That link up there will explain it all. There IS a work around apparently:

"To fix IE7: Click on the menu Tools -> Internet Options. Click on the tab Security. Click on the icon Restricted Sites. Click on the button Sites. Type the text '*' (without quotes). Click the Add button. That will fix the problem."

But may I personally suggest that you get the hell out of Internet Explorer as fast as you can!!! I switched to Firefox awhile ago and won't ever look back. Ever. Firefox RULES!

Anyway, so if anyone else out there has a Site Meter running on their blog, you may want to disable it for now. Or lots of people may not be able to read your blog.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Favor Please!

If ANYONE out there is reading this in Internet Explorer with no problems, can you PLEASE comment and let me know you can read this? Because if you can, then my friend Carrie and I have other issues to deal with. LOL! Thanks!


Apparently people in IE can't see my blog anymore. I have to try to fix it. So if my template starts changing randomly in the next few hours, don't be alarmed. You're not drunk or tripping on acid. (Well, maybe you are, but that has nothing to do with me.) Hopefully, I'll have it fixed in a bit.