Saturday, August 26, 2006

Be Back Soon

Okay. So my laptop has failed me yet again. It is not working and I have to take it somewhere to be serviced. My husband is going out of town on business and will be taking his laptop with him. I will be out of touch with the world wide web until at least Wednesday, possibly longer.

This will give me more time to pack, clean and tile the kitchen countertop.

So ta ta for now until we meet again! I will miss everyone.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thirteen Thursday 4

Thirteen Things I Hate About the Post Office

1. Long lines

2. Ebay people who come in at 4:45 with 100 packages to be mailed. I did ebay at one time and when I started having a lot of packages, I bought a scale and used paypal to print out my own postage. It was great!

3. Post office workers who think they are God. This is not the case for all. Most of my experiences with postal workers have been very good.

4. My one very bad experience at the post office, Going Postal!

5. There aren't any pens at the tables at our post office anymore because people were stealing them. Now you have to wait in line just to ask for a pen.

6. Longer lines.

7. The smell. I don't know if it's cardboard, ink, packaging or just the fact that most post offices are in older buildings. There is a certain smell that I don't like.

8. The smallest roll of tape cost $3.29.

9. They stopped providing priority mail tape to the public. This really made me angry. Priority mail rates went up. Ebay kicked priority mail into high gear. They stopped supplying the tape to pack the boxes. Go figure.

10. If anything makes you angry, it's not like you can say, "Fine, I'll never use your service again!" They have you trapped. I have definately scaled down my use of the post office. When I do sell on ebay, I use UPS but I still have to send mail out sometimes.

11. A personal home mailbox is considered federal government property but you have to purchase it for them. The postal service should have to provide a standard mailbox. If someone doesn't like that one then they could go buy a nicer one.

12. It's so quiet. They should have muzak or something. I think silence makes the wait seem longer.

13. Did I mention the longest lines ever?

Sorry this was late but my days have been full of packing and today we started showing the house to prospective buyers. Fun Fun!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Going Postal!

Until Tuesday, I had never had someone call the cops on me. Now I know I have you hooked and you must read on.

I decided to be a nice wife and take my husband's business mail to the post office to be mailed. One was an express mail envelope and one was a priority mail envelope. I got to the post office at 4:45pm. The line was long and there was only one person working. There were also several eBay sellers in line that had, what seemed like, the never ending mail carton of envelopes and packages to send out.

It was twenty five minutes in line before I got my turn. The guy behind the counter started processing my mail. He wrote down that the express mail was guaranteed two days later and I asked why not overnight. He said there cut off was 2pm. I then said I should probably send it priority to save money and he said whatever you want to do. I got my cell phone out and dialed my husband to see what he wanted me to do. Everything seems to be going fine at this point but here is where everything started going wrong.

My fat fingers hit the wrong contact and I got my brother in law. It took us about 30 seconds to realize who each other was talking to. At this point I went to dial my husband again and the clerk said to me in an irritated voice, "You need to hurry this up." Now this was the wrong thing to say to someone who had just patiently waited (wasted) 25 minutes of my life to get to the counter. I replied in an irritated voice, "I just stood here in line for 25 minutes. You can wait one minute while I find out exactly what my husband wants done with his mail."

I realize that my reply was snotty. I was extremely irritated and fed up with the whole situation as was everyone else in line. Keep in mind that I was only up at the counter for 2 minutes when this exchange took place. He stunned me with his next words. He handed both envelopes to me and said, "You can take your mail elsewhere." What? You made me wait here until 10 minutes after closing and now you are going to tell me to take my mail elsewhere? I told him to just mail them out as they were. He refused. He would not mail them. I told him I would not leave the counter until he processed my mail and slammed the envelopes down on the counter. He then called 911 on me and told the dispatcher he had an irate customer that would not leave.

I was snotty yes, irritated yes, but not irate until he called the police on me. I've never had anyone call the police on me. I am a church going, volunteering, PTA mom. Who is this little man who decided to raise an angry fist in the air at someone who voiced a complaint about how long he made me wait in line? I didn't know that was a crime. I do know that I was completely and utterly humiliated. I do know that I cried and think I even slammed the door as hard as I could when I left.

I waited around for the police because I didn't want the story to be one sided (which it was anyway). The little man wouldn't even come out of the post office. He told the police that I used a particular four letter word and that he felt threatened by me. Whatever. He had a bad day and took it out on me. I hope he felt mighty and powerful for those couple of minutes because there will be repercussions.

I have made a formal complaint to the post office. He wouldn't take my mail for what reason? He processed other people's mail after me. He also lied to the police officer. This particular police officer attends the same church as me. I have about 2 weeks to attend this church before we move. I don't want everyone to remember me as the "woman who got kicked out of the post office for cussing out that little man who works at the post office."

I have requested a face to face apology. If I don't get it I am requesting to see the security tape. He made a mistake when he decided to lie and discredit me to someone who attends my church! Arrrggggh!

We didn't get any mail on Wednesday. This has not happened in a year. Between my husband's business, bills and all the junk mail, we get mail everyday. Today, Thursday, we got an armload of mail. Maybe they realized it was a bad idea to mess with us like that when they were holding onto so much mail.

I know that one day I will laugh about this. My friends are already laughing their butts off. They think it is the most hilarious thing that has ever happened. I went to the post office on Wednesday, (thank God there are two of them in my town) and mailed those letters out. As I went out the door, my loving husband reminded me to not be "irate". I stomped off.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Great Box Hunt

Be verwy verwy quiet. I'm hunting boxes. Ha Ha Ha.

The local grocery store has a little alcove that is located right by the door. That is where they throw all their boxes. The public can go there anytime during store hours and pick the boxes they want without bothering the employees of the store. This is a nice thing for all of us that are moving this month (and any other month). This also saves them time and money because they have about 1/4 of the boxes they would normally have.

The box alcove can be a scary place as you get closer to the end of the month. I am one of those people who absolutely refuse to buy boxes for moving. I would end up paying hundreds of dollars to box up all the "junk" I've accumulated over the years. Every morning I get myself ready for the mad dash to the box alcove. Yesterday morning I was a little too late as I saw the woman in a SUV loading all the best boxes into her vehicle. I went in anyway to see if she left anything. There were some medium size boxes and smaller boxes. I gathered all the mediums, put them in a pile and continued looking. Another woman came in and immediately grabbed my boxes. I don't know what came over me, but I'd say that a growl came out of me. "Those are mine, I had my hands on them first, put them down." She dropped them as if they had burned her hands. I must've been very scary. I think I scared myself.

The day before that a family got to the box alcove before me and blocked the entrance. They wouldn't even let me in the room. There were two at the doorway blocking while two were inside scavenging boxes. That was scary for me so I turned and walked away.

I got so desperate for boxes, that yesterday evening I went to all the places of business in the area that I thought might have boxes. Most have cardboard compactors. The rest have cardboard only dumpsters. Yep. That was me with my butt in the air, hanging into cardboard dumpsters to get the best moving boxes.

I was so embarrassed to be doing this but several thoughts were going through my head:

1. I need to be 90% packed by Monday morning. I don't have time to go out for boxes every morning.

2. I don't want to move without boxes and just throw everything in the truck without them.

3. Don't make eye contact with ANYONE.

4. If you do make eye contact by mistake, don't worry, you're moving out of town anyway.

5. Why do some businesses lock their cardboard dumpsters when boxes are meant to be recycled anyway?

6. That woman in the McD's uniform keeps looking at my van. Is she writing my license plate down and calling the police?

7. Can you be arrested for taking boxes out of a dumpster? Fellow Prisoner, "What are you in for?" Me, "Dumpster diving for cardboard boxes."

8. That group of people waiting outside of Friendly's until a table comes available are staring at me. Who cares, anyone that would actually wait for a table at Friendly's has no right to pass judgment on me, even if I am hanging into a dumpster to get the coveted napkin box.

After I couldn't get another box into the van, I went to the store and bought $19.00 in packing tape. As I was buying it I thought to myself, "How many of these am I going to lose in my mess of a house before I get packed?"

It was quite a journey, but I came home with a pile of broken down boxes just waiting to be taped and filled. Now all I have to do is pack!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Light at the End of the Tunnel

We are preparing for a big move and a new start. My husband and his brother are doing so well with their business, that Chris has to be there more rather than just working from home. We are moving to a new town and Monica will have to change her school district one last time. The pictures above are the house we are buying. It needs some work (such as the handrails, spindles and steps on the porch were taken down and need to be stripped, painted and put back up). The whole exterior of the house needs to be painted. The bathroom upstairs needs to be completed.

The gentleman that we are buying it from bought it as a HUD house. He gutted it and put new walls up. He did keep all the original woodwork, stripped it down and put it back up. Other great things about this house are new roof, new boiler, new baseboard for heating, original hardwood floors are sanded down, pocket doors separate each room downstairs, a completely remodeled kitchen, did I mention the woodwork? The list goes on forever. We fell in love with this house as soon as we walked in and knew we were buying it before we walked out. The house was not even on the market for twenty four hours!

Now to get my feet to touch the ground again. I hate moving. I hate packing. I hate moving day. We have moved enough in the last twelve years for me to know exactly how I feel about this whole process.

Yesterday and today were spent packing and throwing junk and stuff to the curb. I completely hoed out Monica's room. Oh my, what a little packrat. Getting her to throw anything out is a chore. We did completely and successfully pack her room though.

We are now working on the Alexandra's and Lucianna's room. It's a very small room with a lot of toys in it. They will be moving to a very large room with few toys in it. The house is a four bedroom but while the two are so young, they can share a room. The extra room is going to be a playroom / TV room.

We are also dealing with the stress of not only getting packed but getting this house ready to sell. We've done a lot of work but there are a few projects left unfinished. These things need to be done before people start looking at the house. At least we are fortunate enough not to have to sell our house in order to close on the house we are buying. I think the stress of coordinating the two closings on the same day would send me right over the edge.

Anyway, we are stressed, we are excited and we are anxious. I cannot get Monica registered in her new school until we close on the house. It will be before school starts on September 6th. I have to find a new preschool for Alexandra. I have to find a new church. I have to learn my way around this new town. There are so many things to do. My head is spinning and I'm sure you will hear more about this in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thirteen Thursday # 3

Thirteen Things My Children Do That Make Me Smile

1. Lucianna - everytime anyone looks at her and smiles, she smiles back

2. Lucianna - When I know she's hungry even though shes not fussing i get ready to nurse. She sees my breast and gives me this great big "thank you for thinking of me before I get fussy" smile
3. Lucianna - she doesn't cry at all...if she does wake up at night she sucks her thumb.
4. Lucianna - she talks to the tv when it's on....cooing complete conversations

5. Alexandra - when she wants something she says "peaze" and puts her hands together and interlocks her fingers as if she's praying
6. Alexandra - if she doen't get what she wants she will sniffle and wipe pretend tears from her eyes
7. Alexandra - she is like a cartoon character - full of life and constantly striving to make people laugh....if she sees you laugh then she will do whatever it is she was doing with even more intensity.
8. Alexandra - she is almost completely potty trained. Now when she follows me to the bathroom and I pee, she claps her hands and cheers for me!

9. Monica - she is compassionate, gentle and loving
10. Monica - she loves to read and reads way above her grade level
11. Monica - she gets the highest grades possible and loves school
12. Monica - she makes it easy for me to have girl talks with her, she trusts me with information she wouldn't trust anyone else with and keeps our line of communication open

13. All three of my beautiful girls still love to cuddle and be held.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wordless Wednesday 3 - Maryland Zoo

A Defiant Day

Originally uploaded by kdp771.
We are closing on a new house on August 22nd. The stress of it all is almost unbearable. I have promised my oldest daughter that she will start in her new school on the first day of school. So far, that will happen.

This morning my husband called to let me know a realtor would be calling me to sign a contract to list our house. I had already had errands to run and I had promised Monica that I would go to the mall and start buying school clothes.

The realtor called and wanted to come to my house to take pictures and go over the paperwork. This was completely unacceptable considering that we just got home from vacation, packing is in progress and my vacuum cleaner has needed a new belt but the local Kmart is out of stock on the particular belt that I need. With three children, my house is a MESS right now. I agreed to go to her office to fill out paperwork and sign a contract. I gathered all the little Indians, piled them into the mini van, and headed out for our 12:30 appointment.

The office was a nice office and had nice conference rooms for closings, meetings and such. Alexandra was in a defying mood today. I had to tell her "Don't touch the laptop on the table," and "Leave the pens and the markers alone," and "Oh, Alex, why do you have highlighter all over you?" At one point Alexandra was laying on the floor, shoes off with her feet on the wall. I told her to get her feet off the wall. She listened. Smiling, she promptly moved her feet less than one inch from the wall and held them there. I hate it when I'm trying to correct her and she makes me laugh.

Alexandra interrupted our meeting by saying "I gotta pee!" The realtor showed us the bathroom. I asked Monica to stay with her and show come back to the room when they were done. Monica came back to the room. She peeked in and said, "Mommy, Alex is sitting IN the toilet and I can't get her to come out. I mean she's actually IN the toilet not on it." I sighed, got up and went to the bathroom where my naked daughter was dancing around. I went back to the room, got my keys, apologized over and over again to the realtor for taking so much of her time, went to the van, got a pullup, realized I didn't have a change of clothes and went back to the bathroom. I put my naked two year old back into the clothes she was wearing. She had toilet water about 3 inches up the back of her shirt. How embarrassed was I???!!!! VERY!

After getting back to the conference room and talking with the realtor, it turns out she has 4 children, all boys. She was very understanding and probably has had something like this happen to her at some time or another. She was so nice. I'm sure it will be a good business relationship. Had this happened with a realtor who didn't have children, they may not have had such compassion. They may not have taken me as a serious seller. Maybe they would have dreaded working with me. I hope she wasn't just putting on a "happy face" and the real truth is that she really does dread working with me.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
16 And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."
18 I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.

19 Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.
20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

Sometimes part of a scripture comes to my mind and I have to look it up so that I can get the whole context. I kept thinking of the first part of this chapter and realized that I needed to quote the whole chapter.

I run into people who are Christians that let the troubles in the world consume them. They are miserable and it shows. Instead of focusing on the joys of Christianity they are focused on the worldly happenings around them. I find this happening to myself as well. I have to constantly remind myself that no matter what happens in this world, God has a plan.

Basically, it comes down to this, if we always expect the world to be a happy place, we will be disappointed. If we are always disappointed, how can we witness and do what God intended?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vacation Almost Over

Well, every vacation must come to an end. This one is almost over. I have to say that we have had a wonderful time but I'm glad we are going home tomorrow. I can tell that the baby misses her crib. My husband is tired of driving (although when I offer to drive he won't let me). Monica has been carsick a few times and Alexandra is downright restless. It will be nice to go home.

We hit every place we could possibly cram into a 4 day 3 night stay in Baltimore. It was an AWESOME family vacation. We came to the hotel every evening and crashed just to get up the next morning and do it all over again.

I'm so sorry I couldn't post on a daily basis, but the hotel that said they had wifi in every room really did not. We couldn't connect anywhere but the lobby and I really didn't feel safe down there at night. Our hotel wasn't in the greatest part of town. We did expect that considering the deal we got. We decided to do it that way and spend more money on the fun stuff. And fun we did have!

Day 1 we went to Port Discovery Children's Museum and the Top of the World Observation. I wish we had more time in the museum for the children. It is an awesome, interactive, hands on adventure for all ages. Top of the World is the Baltimore Trade Center's 27th floor which overlooks the entire city. It was quite a site and the skies were clear so everything was visible.

Day 2 we went to the National Aquarium. It was just as awesome as I remember and even more. It's very pricy but I felt like it was worth it. It ended up being an all day affair. My husband and I did draw the line in the cafeteria though. We refused to pay $3.50 for the 20 oz bottle of soda. It was water fountains for us.

Day 3 we went to the U.S.S. Constellation and the Maryland Science Center. We had a great time at both and toured the harbour on the water taxi this day as well.

Day 4 we went to Fort McHenry and the Maryland Zoo. Another great day. We were done at 4:30 pm and raced out of town to beat rush hour traffic on the beltway.

We ate at places like Phillips Seafood Buffet at Harborplace and Captain James Landing and Crabhouse. We also ate at places like Chik Filet and Pizza Delight. We had one nice meal and one cheaper one each day.

I will have plenty of pics to post throughout the week!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What I Love about Blogging

When I saw this week's theme, my mind immediately made a list of all the great things that I love about blogging. I don't really have a great story in mind. My history of blogging isn't really that long. All I know is that I have found a great community to be a part of, no matter where I am at any time.

For the past few years I have been searching for a hobby that would fulfil the need to create something, be a part of something, be proud of my work and share the work that I have created. Blogging has fulfilled those needs. I love so many things about blogging. Here are just a few.

I love that I can blog morning, noon, evening, night or all of the above.

I love that I have found many friends that I would not have found without blogging.

I love that I can brag about my children without anyone rolling their eyes.

I love that if I say something that you don't like, you don't have to read on.

I love that I can edit my words if I feel as though I have inserted my foot into my mouth before anyone hears (reads) them.

I love that if you say something I don't like, I don't have to read on.

I love being a part of the meme's, carnivals and blogrolls.

I love that I can be myself without anyone judging me (and if you are judging me I don't care because I don't know about it)

I love that, in my mind, blogging is an alternative to housework. Good thing the theme is what I love about blogging, not what's good about blogging.

I love that I can be a Christian Women Online, Thirteen Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, Family Friendly, Blogging Chick, Christian Blogger!

I love that my children will be able to look back on this as a chronicle of their lives.

I love that this is not only a diary of words but of photos and pictures that touch my heart.

I would like to say thank you to the blogging community that has welcomed me with open arms so quickly.

Our Plan Worked!

We decided to leave our house at about 9:00pm last night rather than 5:00am this morning to start out our vacation. We had hoped the children slept through the 5 hour trip. Our plan worked. Not only did the children sleep the entire trip, but because we did not have all the usual stops, we turned a 5 hour trip into a 4 hour trip to my grandmothers house.

This house is full of life and energy with the children and my mother's dog. We will then go down to Baltimore for 4 days and 3 nights. Then we will stop by here again for a day then head back home. My mother said the dog will probably sleep the whole time we are gone after playing with Alexandra for two days. I don't think they have stopped since waking up this morning.

Well my posts may not be as regular as before, but I will be on and off the computer. I just can't stay away too long!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thirteen # 2

Thirteen Things about what we would like to do on our trip to Maryland next week
I know this is a little late but I have to use my husbands laptop until tomorrow because my power cord has a major short in it and I had to order a new one!

1. The Maryland Zoo. We have a family pass at our little dinky zoo and the Baltimore Zoo is a reciprocal zoo for that pass. Yeah. A freebie!

2. The National Aquarium. I haven't been there since the first year it was open and that was an elementary school field trip.

3. The Maryland Science Center. I was there the same day as the aquarium. I wonder if I will still be in awe as I was that day in my young life?

4. Edgar Allen Poe's House.

5. Edgar Allen Poe's Grave. Right down the street from his house.

6. Top of the World Observation Level -- Tallest building in Baltimore overlooking the city. Went there on that one field trip as well. Wow!

7. U.S.S. Constellation -- the last all sail warship built by the Navy. Now it's a museum open to the public in the Inner Harbor.

8. Dundalk, MD -- this is the community that I grew up in til age 10. I know it has changed a lot but I'd like to see the house I lived in as a child and the house my grandparents owned.

9. Ross's Crab House and as many more crab houses as I can go to-- I am going to eat steamed crabs from the time I get down there til I have to leave. Ross's is still open (I googled them) and I remember getting the best steamed Chesapeake bay blues there. My mom doesn't and never has liked seafood so I also remember that they have one heck of a steak sub!

10. A drive by my old elementary school to see if it's still there. I think my nine yr old would love to look into my past.

11. Port Discovery -- the children's museum.

12. My husband has specifically requested that we ride the ducks. That is where you ride an amphibious vehicle through historic neighborhoods and waters. I think we will all enjoy!

13. Lexington Market. A historic marketplace with over 140 vendors. It was established in 1782. I've never been there but I guess they have every kind of food imaginable. That is right up my alley!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wordless Wednesday # 2