January 31, 2011

"INTENT" Update

Well folks, time for the INTENT update!

I have successfully managed to de-clutter, organize, purge and clean 3 of the 4 major closets in my house! Pictures to come soon, although I will warn you now that I forgot to take some of the before pics.....

I have also managed to organize the book shelf. This was a major task because it was FULL of crap!

I hauled out 1 large Rubbermaid tote full of recycle, 1 large Hefty sack full of garbage and have several small boxes of "goodies" to send to the garage sale items for PIA. She is fund raising for a trip to Europe! If you are local, garage sale happens in April, so send over all your stuff! The boxes are still sitting in the living room waiting for me to deliver to CHB's house.........

Hopefully I will post the pics for you tomorrow. I am sure you can hardly wait.

January 28, 2011

One More Book............

This book was sooooo good it deserved it's OWN post........


Book Summary:
What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn's new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

My Review:
R.E.A.D. I.T. Ok? So good. The author, Kathryn Stockett, paints such a clear and vivid picture of what life was like in 1962 for not just one, but many black women. I could NOT put this book down. It was a great story and I was literally cheering along each character in the book. Insert Jersey Shore style fist pumping here :)

Let me know if you like it.

January 25, 2011

Drama with a capitol "D"

Ok first things first: update from THIS post last week:

I want to be clear that I whole hearted-ly support the children going to church and youth group if that is what they choose to be involved in. HOWEVER, school comes first during the week, and that was the main point I was trying to drive home.

Since last week the children have both brought their grades up a FULL letter each and are working hard at making continued progress. I am very proud of them! I let them off the hook Friday night to have a little fun and we have hit the books hard again every day since Saturday and they are responding soooooo much better to a much needed break. Huzah!

Now on to this week:
Let me be V-E-R-Y clear: I am a divorced woman. Ok? I no longer want to BE with my ex-husband. Ok? What do I want then you ask? To not be fazed out of my children's lives.

In 2 weeks the annual Father-Daughter dance is coming up. Doodle has gone every year and we have a few traditions. I take her dress shopping, I order the corsage, I get her ready for the dance. HeeHaw gets the dance tickets, takes her to the dance and then out to dinner afterwards. He also is in charge of taking pictures at the dance.

2 years ago, right before the divorce, I did all the above. LAST YEAR when we were divorced I did all the above. This year? Yup, you guessed it. No more. Now that LL is in town, HeeHaw would like her to get Doodle ready for the dance.

Now, this may come as a shock to some of you, but this has been a working arrangement, even though HeeHaw and I are no longer together. I know most divorced people don't work this way. I see that. But it came as a upper cut to the jaw from left field when the verdict was delivered from JAMF yesterday.

I. AM. HURT.   I. AM. DISSAPOINTED. I feel like HeeHaw is fazing me out my children's lives and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I feel that for all the major events in their lives, my kidlets will remember whatever girlfriend/flavor of the month/fiance/wife was around at the time, and wonder where their mother was in all of it, or why she wasn't there.

HeeHaw told me he would talk to LL about it because she, and I quote, "doesn't want to step over the boundaries or hurt my feeling." Well, since she is not a mother she can not KNOW what it feels like. The pure and simple fact is that HeeHaw is more than happy to ask LL to be involved without a SINGLE SOLITARY thought to how I would feel. JAMF thinks that since LL is there that automatically negates my job as the mother of my children. And I guess if you look at it from his narrow minded holier than thou perspective, he is right. I was never a good enough mom/wife/caretaker to suit him anyway........

This is just another classic example of HeeHaw's selfishness. Do you think JAMF bothered to think what Doodle would feel about this? Do you think JAMF stopped to consider how he would feel if I asked PB to take Doodle to the Father-Daughter dance?

I may not be married to HeeHaw anymore (thank God!), I don't have to like him, I don't have to tolerate his antics and I most certainly do not allow him the power to run over me anymore. I think I harbor some SERIOUS hate towards him actually. But even with all that considered? I have NEVER ONCE asked some other M-A-N to step in to a role or job that most certainly belongs to HeeHaw as the children's FATHER. I am not sure why I would even consider asking him to show me the same courtesy.

I have missed out on Doodle's first period, a major hair cut (10 inches cut off) and now this. I am sure there is more to come and I should get used to it. Doesn't make it hurt any less.

So my role has been reduced to dress shopping only. Well, until LL takes that away too. Not holding my breath. The other shoe WILL drop on that next year I'm sure.

January 24, 2011

Late 2010 Book Reviews

Well, I didn't do too well on the rest of my summer reading folks. Although, not for lack of trying! Life has just been super busy! Isn't that what we all say?

I had down that I wanted to read:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
CUNT
Water for Elephants
The One That I Want

In the last review, I had just finished reading The Last Song, and wanted to see the movie.

Two words: tear. jerker. Watch with an entire box of Kleenex. Seriously. Good good stuff. I cried when I read the book but the movie was worse....... see it.
Here is how the rest of the list went.......

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Book Summary:
Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman.
My Review:
yeah. Tried 3 times to get in to this book with no luck. Tabled until further notice.

cunt
Book Summary:
Somewhere between Valerie Solanas's bitter SCUM Manifesto and Eve Ensler's fanciful The Vagina Monologues lies this self-indulgent exercise in feminist reclamation. Striving to remove the negative connotations from a word usually used as a scathing insult, Muscio traces the history of the term "cunt" and asserts that it was once a term of respect before the patriarchy turned it into a profane, misogynistic epithet. This transformation, she insists, occurred as part of a conspiracy to make women feel a sense of self-loathing and uncleanness; only by reconnecting with love for their genitalia can women achieve personal and political power. Muscio muddles her work with rambling digressions, including those about utilizing sea sponges instead of tampons during menstruation, using herbal tea and visualization in order to miscarry an unwanted fetus and identifying with Imelda Marcos. What insights the book does provide must be discerned beneath Musico's jarring prose, which fluctuates between the academic and the colloquial, sometimes in the same paragraph. On responses to her manuscript, she writes, "Reactions to a book called Cunt always lead to an intense grilling. Ain't never encountered ambivalence." Although this work may constitute a move toward women's acceptance of themselves and their bodies, it is a very small step.

My Review:
I am all about female empowerment but this book was not for me. Needless to say after 2 chapters I discreetly returned it to the library.

Water For Elephants
HAVEN'T got to it yet! It's on the short list though.........

The One That I Want
Book Summary:
In the latest from Scotch (Time of My Life), a clich├ęd story of a baby-craving 30-something, gives way to an aching, honest look into the death and rebirth of relationships. Tilly Farmer is a high school guidance counselor who married her high school sweetheart, has never left her hometown of Westlake, Wash., and is sure that the key to her happiness is getting pregnant. When an unexpected encounter with an old grade school friend (now a psychic) leaves Tilly with the ability to see the future, what she foresees is not a baby but losing her husband to a job in Seattle. Though the far-fetched plot device feels tired, Scotch combines the fallout of Tilly's visions with the burdens of an alcoholic father, angry younger sister, and deceased mother to bring her character into focus. Scotch answers hard questions about the nature of personal identity and overwhelming loss with a wise, absorbing narrative.

My Review:
Great great book! Not at all how I expected it to go, which was a nice twist for me. Great winter time read.

Next up in the queue:


Eat Pray Love
I am in the third and final "chapter" of this book. PB Bought it for me for Christmas. I refused to watch it with him until I read the book first. Tee hee :) I really like it and can not wait to see the movie!

 Savor the Moment
This was also a gift from PB for Christmas. I am a tried and true Nora Roberts junkie, and can whip through a book of hers so fast it would make your head spin! Looking forward to book 3 in the set!

One for The Money 

This series I am interested to try. I think there are 17(?) so far. It is about detective Stephanie Plum..... I do like a mystery and I hear Janet Evanovich is a great writer.

So, that is where I am at. I also do some beta reading for a writer friend of mine and I enjoy all of her stuff as well. Check her out at http://www.shellistevens.com/

What did you read this summer, and what is up next on your list?

January 21, 2011

That is all for now........

Today's public service announcement brought to you by: the letters H, J, A, M, F, and the number 8. Which stands for HeeHaw/JAMF/Henry the 8th.

I am the Q-U-E-E-N of my castle/domain/living quarters. I decide who, what, when, where and why ANYTHING happens under MY roof. When the kidlets are with me, guess what? I am in charge. I say when to go to bed, when to get up, what chores to do, what I'm fixing for dinner and so on, and so forth.

Do not call me and tell me your expectations of how things should happen at my house. I am very good about not telling YOU what to do with the children when they are with YOU so BACK OFF! You don't get to control me or my time. You don't get to impose your rules/thoughts/feelings on me. If you want things to be a certain way, YOU can make that happen when the children are with you. End of story. Got it?

umkay. I'm done now. I have stepped off the soap box and have forced my claws to retract. Mama Bear has quit baring her fangs for everyone to see. I think. The day is still young yet.

January 20, 2011

My heart stopped beating for 2 minutes, I swear

I am seeing R-E-D. I have had it up to my eyeballs yesterday and today with HeeHaw/Henry the 8th/JAMF and any other name in the book I can think to call him!

Here is what currently is chapping my ass:

1. ANYTHING church comes before any other activity the kids have committed to. Sports, Girl Scouts, school. It completely pisses me off. I told HeeHaw that the commitment to school is first, and then comes girl scouts and then sports(basketball, since we signed up for that first) THEN church. He is like, "well since Doodle is only missing one basketball practice I didn't think it was a big deal". Are you kidding me? If that was baseball that would be COMPLETELY unacceptable! Doodle has a science project that was due today that she has done NOTHING on yet she is going to youth group again tonight! Isn't her homework more important???? HeeHaw says that he is committed to being there every week. I told him he can always ask me and I would be glad to take Doodle to practice.



2. EVERY day I hear from Lil C how mean HeeHaw is to him. Now I know this is coming from a 14 year old, but seriously? Every day? Lil C told me that HeeHaw drug him out of the store this past weekend by his neck for asking a question about his phone...... the latest I heard was that he made Lil C go with him last night to his men's meeting and that he made Lil C work the whole time. (Lil C is currently grounded per HeeHaw because he has a D in 2 classes. All phone, XBOX, computer and tv privileges have been revoked until he has a C or better in those classes) Last week Lil C got to stay home and not get dragged along to this meeting. That was before HeeHaw found out about the grades......... Lil C told me Sunday and again today how happy he is to be coming to my house to get away from HeeHaw. How sad is that?


3. This is nothing new but still makes me frustrated: the kids are both complaining about LL constantly correcting them. I just tell them to bite their tongues and to respect her since she is an adult. What else can I do?
 
4. I got a call from Doodle last night super upset with her father. She can't W-A-I-T for me to come and get her. This just breaks my heart........ 
 
I know I just have to support my kiddos and open my arms to them with love. I am just struggling because even though I have little to no tolerance for HeeHaw and his narrow minded antics, I don't wish the children to have a bad relationship with him.
 
I think I am done venting for now........ thanks. I feel better just getting that off my chest and passing along the bad ju-ju to someone else.

January 13, 2011

Resolutions, Organization and De-cluttering

Everybody makes a New Years Resolution. Now, whether or not we follow through on them is a WHOLE different thing. Last year, here were my 2010 resolutions. I followed through with all of them except one; the number 1 thing on my list......

Hence, the same resolution is in place this year, although I am taking aversion to the word resolution. Defined as:

res·o·lu·tion 

–noun
1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

So, in place of the word resolution, I am going to use intent.

-noun

1. something that is intended; purpose; design; intention: The original intent of the committee was to raise funds.
2. the act or fact of intending, as to do something:
3. Law . the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.
4. meaning or significance.

I like this MUCH better.

So here is my INTENT: De-clutter my house. Why must I hold on to stuff I do not use? Is there a reason why I can't get rid of the paper/bills/junk mail/school stuff as soon as it comes in the front door? I can certainly do better.

This task is daunting. I have an entire book shelf of papers I need to get rid of........ but I know I will feel a TON better once it is done.

Next on the list will be to clean out the closets in my house. I have a lot of storage in my place, and I swear I have it filled to the gills with crap. I don't need all this stuff, I just get lazy and don't recycle/pass along or throw away this stuff.

So, every weekend for the next month, I am going to tackle these projects. I don't need all this stuff. I might put my shredder in to overdrive, my car may groan under the weight of items I will be hauling to the Goodwill and my shoulders and back may protest; but I know, as soon as I'm done? I'm going to feel lighter and my house is going to look amazing!

I promise to take before and after pictures. Because really? Who doesn't want to see the inside of my closets?

January 10, 2011

The King's Ransom

Has been paid! Nutty has been returned to his rightful owner after several ransom requests...........



About this time, I could see PB was starting to loose interest in my little game, so I posted one final note:

So, after the ransom was paid, Nutty was returned to his rightful place. Guarding the hearth of the home. Standing tall against any intruders.

PB said he knew it was me all along. He just couldn't figure out where I hid Nutty. Poop. I thought I was so clever. Oh, well. There is always next time.

Tapers, Gauges, Earrings, OH MY!

Lil C has decided he wants to get his ears pierced. Yep, you read that correctly. My first born. My 14 year old son. My little man. Oi.

Have you fallen off your chair yet? He asked myself and HeeHaw for this to begin with:
  
O.M.G. Are you kidding me? Of course I pictured Lil C would come home looking like this:


Then I get, "well mom, I want to get these. See, aren't these cool mom?"

I started to calm down once I saw these were faux tapers. It is essentially a regular ear piercing hole that LOOKS like a taper. Whew. Now, to convince HeeHaw.

Lil C thought about it for a few days, wondering what the best way to approach his dad would be. He came to me on Christmas Eve, as Grammie, Doodle and I were sitting around the kitchen table.

"Mom, I don't understand why I can't get my ear pierced if Doodle can do it. That's sexist, and unfair."

Now, you have to admit that is a very compelling argument. I was very proud of him for really taking the time to think about it, and consider what points he wanted to make.

Lil C asked if I would talk to HeeHaw as well if things didn't go well. You can imagine how THAT conversation went.......

I talked with HeeHaw and we came up with a compromise. We would both agree to let Lil C get the faux tapers, under a couple of conditions. Lil C would need to sign the following contract:



To Whom It May Concern:







On this 31st day of December, 2010



I, Lil C, agree to the following as conditions of my getting my ears pierced:



1. Maintain a “C” average at school. (Not “C-“, must be a “C” or better)


2. Agree to not increase the “hole” size of piercing.


3. Agree to not get gauges in my ears



If either of the following is disregarded, I, Lil C, agree to having my ability to get a driver’s license, or take drivers education delayed by a period of one year.


This contract is to allow me, Lil C, to get both of my ears pierced. I may get the “taper” earrings, however this is with the intention of not increasing the size of the hole.




______________________________________


HeeHaw




______________________________________


Banjo




______________________________________


Lil C

All of us, Lil C, HeeHaw and myself were in agreement about this. Now, he would already have these beauties in his ears, if it wasn't for the "accident" that happened New Years Eve.

Lil C was riding around in PB's golf cart with his friend Richie. Lil C was passenger and dropped his phone out of the cart, Richie couldn't stop in time, and ran over Lil C's phone, cracking the front. Lil C is currently collecting money to pay for a new phone. So, once the deed is done, I will "show" you his ears, in all their glory. I am sure you can hardly wait.