Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I will protect my daughter...from ANYONE!!!

I am literally seeing red right now. On the way home from her grandparent's house after school, my 9 year old daughter told me some of the things that her grandmother said to her this morning after I dropped her off. The outfit she picked this morning was questionable. I told her it didn't go together and she said that's ok and decided to wear it. My mother commented to me when I dropped her off but I ignored her. Dancing Chick wasn't going to a damn fashion show for christ sake. So, come to find out, after I left my mother told DC that she wouldn't go to her school today (there was this seminar on the new reading program that I couldn't go to) because she would be embarrassed if DC waved to her and said "hi Grandma." After she is done telling me this, I tell DC that I am going to have a talk with Grandma because she should never speak to her like that. DC starts crying and says that Grandma will be mean to her if I do. This is not the first time that I have heard this from DC. My mother and I got in a fight over a book of mine that she borrowed. DC make a comment when Grandma was at our house to give me back the book. Come to find out that on their walk down to the lake my mother told DC that it was her fault that my mother and I were fighting. She begged and pleaded with me not to talk to Grandma about it and I didn't, but I can no longer let this slide.

Now my mother did crap like that to me growing up and pretty much took every opportunity to smash my self-esteem, still does but I can ignore it now. She WILL NOT do that to my daughter. There was no one there to protect me from it but I am here and I WILL protect my daughter from it. Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate all that my parents do for me (and my mother will most certainityly throw that in my face tomorrow morning). But that doesn't give her the right to talk to me the way she does (that's a whole different post) and most definately doens't give her the right to talk to my daughter the way she does!

I called her to ask her why she said those things to DC and the $%*&^# bi#$* hung up on me. I called back and my dad answered and said she doesn't want to talk to you. I asked why she felt it was OK to talk to DC the way she did but not discuss it with me and of course my dad says I don't know but she doesn't want to talk to you. So I told him I will have to talk to her tomorrow about it.

If only I made more money I would put poor DC in daycare in a heartbeat. I switched my schedule around so I can leave work at 3:30 so that will really on leave two days a week that she will have to be with Grandma in the afternoon but it will be more time in the morning. My goal is to make sure that DC has everything done when she gets there and only has to sit and watch TV.
OMG I am so friggin pissed right now. I am very close to getting in the Jeep and driving back and asking why the fuck she thinks it's OK to do this to a child!??!?!

Book Club

I started a book club back in August after I convinced all my friends to read the Twilight series (I swore I wouldn't read it. Come on it's for teenagers. But I went into Borders and while waiting for Dancing Chick to pick a book I picked up Twilight. Forty five minutes later I was hooked. And everyone else gave in and read it to shut me up and they were just as addicted!). We loved talking about the books so I thought it would be nice for us all to start reading books together. So, I thought it might be nice to share here what books we are reading to maybe give others looking for a good book (or to help others avoid bad ones) a couple of ideas.



Our August book was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


I give it 5 stars (I can't figure out how to put cool stars in and why can't I hyperlink here???) It's a great story in a very different setting.




September's book was The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne

I give it 4 stars (I really wish I could put cool stars here!)

It's kind of a dark story, messed up childhood and how it affects her adulthood, but a real page turner.




Our October book is Sheer Abandon by Penny Vincenzi





I have not started this yet because homework (well, OK, I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse books and couldn't put the first one down. I told myself I wouldn't read anything other than the book club book and homework due to my lack of reading time but I couldn't help it) and now I'm hearing from the other girls that it really sucks. I keep trying to make myself read it but have only read the list of characters on the first page (what novel has a list of characters on the first page!??!) But, it was a rule that each one of us gets to pick books and we all have to read it. Just wish that one of our members didn't get books from the bargain bin. It's in the bargain bin for a reason!

So that's were we are at right now. The first meeting was a blast. It was at my house and we sat on the back deck, drank some brew and just chatted (plus it was nice to send the kid to the rents and have some adult talk!) The second meeting I missed because Dancing Chick got off the bus not feeling well and begged me not to go. The next one will be the last Thursday in October (they are the last Thursday of every month) so I'll bring some other opinions to you after the meeting.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NECAP testing? More like NECRAP testing.

The NECAP is the state of New Hampshire's Grade-Level Expectations test. Last week Dancing Chick's class spent several hours each day "preparing" for the test. Um, isn't this supposed to test whether or not the teachers are preparing our kids for real life, not whether or not the teacher's can prepare them for the test? So not only are they being prepped for a test that is supposed to be testing what they know, they are also taking time away from the actual learning.

Then yesterday, on the way home from my Aunt and Uncle's cookout (an hour and a half away from our house and we left there much later than I wanted to) my daughter tells me that she has to be in bed by 7:55 because she needs to get plenty of rest for the test. I feel very strongly about bedtime. There aren't many times that I allow Dancing Chick to stay up late on a school night. I read an article about an experiment that was done with elementary school kids. Students who got A's on a test, got B's on the same test when going to bed 15 minutes later and C's when going to bed 30 minutes later. So when I find out that her teacher is telling the class to get plenty of sleep so they would be well rested FOR THE TEST, I was really pissed. Um...what? I would have no problem with this if the teacher was telling them this all year. Isn't it more important that they get enough sleep when they are actually learning? So I told Dancing Chick that I don't care what her score is on the test because it really doesn't matter. I explained that the teachers will get in trouble if they don't do good on the test and that is why they are making such a big deal about it. And she told me that no, they don't get in trouble. I made sure that she was very aware that these tests didn't matter. Don't get me started on the fact that the teacher's allowed students to bring in gum and candy during the testing as long as they have enough for the whole class. WTF? Seriously?

There are so many things wrong with this picture that I just don't know what to do. Can I go to school board meetings and say how ridiculous this whole thing is? Is there a way to get them to open their eyes and see how ridiculous this all is? Or does it need to be brought higher up? What is happening to our children's educations?!?!? Isn't this supposed to be the most important thing for our country? They are the future!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Green/Frugal Laundry




I love the way fabric softener leaves your clothes smelling so good and soft. I hang a lot of my clothes up to dry and I hate when they end up all hard and stiff. But I also hate the fact that fabric softener is all chemicals and when you put your clothes on, those chemicals are leeching through your skin. That especially scares me to think of my daughter's clothes secreting chemicals into her skin.

I started using Arm and Hammer laundry detergent a couple of months ago. It is only like $4 for a big box (I use the powder kind because it goes further but a friend of mind uses the liquid and she loves the way it works too). It leaves your clothes smelling fresh instead of a perfumy. But once I stopped using fabric softener, I didn't like the way my clothes felt coming out of the dryer. So, I started using vinegar in the rinse cycle. I'm really bad at catching the rinse cycle so I started using one of those Downy balls. I put 10-15 drops of essential oil in first (love lavender for sheets and geranium rose for my clothes) and then fill up the the Downy ball a little above the fill line. My clothes came out of the dryer or off the drying rack feeling wicked soft and smelling great, (but just subtly great). I also started using those dryer balls. It cut down on drying time and made my clothes even fluffier.

So, 50 cents for a gallon of white vinegar, a couple bucks for a bottle of essential oil (depending on what scent you want) and $4 for the box of Arm and Hammer laundry detergent. And it all lasts for several months!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The unorganization of the overly organized.

My father decided when I bought the house that he wanted to build new cabinets for my kitchen. The project also included building a closet for Dancing Chick's room and a coat closet. At first I went back and forth with whether or not to put in both closets. But it's amazing how you never think about where to put a vacuum cleaner until you don't have anywhere to put it.

Right now there is one cabinet on the wall and the rest of my kitchen stuff is in boxes and in old cabinets turned on their side on the floor. All of this is in the dining room along with the table and the shelves that I used downstairs in Dancing Chick's playroom in our townhouse. Basically there is no room to move, never mind to find anything.

I am an extremely organized person. Everything has it's place. I can't relax unless the clutter is put away. Like right now, the dishes in the sink need to be washed (the dishwasher isn't connected yet) and I'm having trouble not thinking about it. But I have homework that I need to do and I wanted to get this off my chest. I'm sure I will still do them before I go to bed because that's just how I am.

I strongly believe that a clean living/working space creates a clean mind. I know that when my house or desk is a mess I feel less together and centered. And that's how I feel with this kitchen remodel. Off center and half together. My poor father is working on this in all of his spare time, (well, when he hasn't hurt his back trying to check Furball-in-Training or picking up drywall by himself) so I feel bad asking him how much longer he thinks it will be. But my god, I need some kind of time frame.

Am I just wacked or does anyone else have trouble being centered when things aren't organized?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poopy stink problem?

You would think a house with two girls wouldn't run into a poopy stink problem but wow it can get bad. It also doesn't help that my bathroom is right in the middle of the kitchen and living room. There's no going upstairs or to the back bathroom to hide it. I hate using those sprays that leave a bad taste in your mouth and chemicals in your lungs so I did some research and found an all natural way. Eucalyptus essential oil. One tiny little drop in the toilet before you drop a deuce (I can't help but laugh at myself every time I say that. Oh so juvenile!!) and all is well. I was thinking that it would smell like eucalyptus scented poo but not at all, just eucalyptus. The eucalyptus is a bit strong but one drop isn't too bad and since there's no poopy smell you can leave the door open to air out and the rest of your house smells fresh too without all those Febreze-like chemicals in the air.

Implementing plan of action for breaking tv addicton

So, TV has been a huge part of my life since I can remember. I had a convo with my mom the other day on the way home from visiting my grandfather. She grew up with the TV always on in the background so we did too. Now it's an addiction. I sit and say to myself "OK, one more show then it's time to do some homework/cleaning/reading etc." But it turns into hours. I don't have time for that. I get stuff done during the commercials but when I think of all the time I am wasting when there are so many other things I want to do I could kick myself.

First I am going to try to get my work schedule changed. I want to work 7:30-3:30 so I can have more time with the Dancing chick at night. I would like to take the dogs out for a walk and cook dinner (and stop wasting money and fat on take out). That would also give me some time on Mon-Wed to get grocery shopping done or errands while she is at her dance lessons. Plus Grandma has been a bit much to deal with for her after school...that's a whole other post.

Yesterday I left work at 4:15 and drove to get the two furry girls and then went back to get Dancing Chick at her lessons. We got home, she took a shower while I cooked pancakes for dinner. We sat at the dining room table and talked. Then, after she cleared the table, we sat and each did our homework. When that was done it was about 7:20. We had separate reading time and went to our couches and read. At 8:10 I said it's bedtime and she begged me to let her read more. I was shocked but didn't give in. So, I put her to bed, washed my face and the dishes, and sat down and did some more homework. I didn't even turn on the TV until 9:30 and only allowed myself one 30 minute TV show and was in bed by 10:15 (well, fun reading in bed). Got up this morning at 6am and started the day.

This is about the hundredth time I have said that we are going to cut the TV out so I'm really hoping that I can do it this time. I want to get back to practicing guitar and reading more and just being more active with the girls. I know it's mostly laziness. At the end of the day I'm just out of energy and I know why. I have a damn treadmill right in my bedroom so why can't I get my lazy ass on it. I bought more yoga DVDs, I've opened the packages but haven't done them yet. So what is wrong with me??? I know if I just start I will be fine, it's the just starting that I have so much trouble with.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Furball-in-training

Furball-in-training is doing much better. She was peeing in her kennel pretty much all the time. I would take her out and she would pee three or four times then come in and pee in her kennel. I wanted to pull my hair out. But now she is doing much better. Though she is still biting a lot. Not sure if that is because of the wrestling that her and the Wonder Dog do or just puppy biting. They get pretty rough and I don't think that Furball knows that she is only 10 lbs. She jumps right on top of the Wonder Dog and takes her down. I don't think it's good but I don't know how to stop it other then to keep them apart. The Wonder Dog seems to like wrestling with her but I'm not sure.



I think that she is part Jack Russell Terrier instead of Beagle so I've been doing some Googling on Jack Russells. Could be very bad if I don't start training her. I'm just not sure of how much I should be doing and at what age. I've been watching "It's Me of the Dog" and Victoria Stillwell has some really good ideas. I just have to find the time to use them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Introducing Furball-in-training


Of course we adopted the puppy. She has been quite a handful. I've had to get up every night at around 2am to take her out. She pees in her kennel and on the floor and is now peeing at my parent's house. (My mom watches Furball-in-training and The Wonder Dog while I'm at work). The little shit keeps biting and I've tried everything the books say to do to keep her from biting. It's been 8 years since I had to deal with baby issues and it feels like I'm right back there. Don't get me wrong, I love the little shit, but she is driving me crazy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One more thing


We might be rescuing a puppy. We will meet her Saturday moring. According to the rescue org, she is a beagle/retriever mix but my cousin thinks that she may be Jack Russell mix with something. It makes me a little nervous because The Wonder Dog has been such a good dog. I barely had to train her and she listens so well. I've heard some bad things about jack russell terriers and their behavior. I'm afraid that I will lay eyes on this puppy and just lose all common sense. How could you say no to that face????

Why is it so horrible?

Why is it so horrible that I like being single? Why is it that every time I say I just don't want to put the energy into dating or a relationship I get "Well it's worth it in the end."? Seriously, it has never been worth my time...and then of course I get...you have to keep trying and one day it will be worth it. Why can't I just enjoy my happy life? I have everything that I have ever wanted or need. It's just so frustrating. I'm just tired of explaining it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mosquitoes

Now that we live near a lake (ok, it's actually a pond but lakehouse sounds so much cooler than pondhouse) there are a ton more mosquitoes. I walked The Wonder Dog and just barely stepped into the little woods behind our house and I had 5 of those little suckers on each ankle. I believe that all creatures are here to do a certain job and that they should all be appreciated for what they do. (I'm teaching my daughter to not step on ants like her papa does, or squish spiders because she likes the sound it makes and to just leave the bees alone-she got stung again today so that one is going to be even harder). But mosquitoes are just so annoying (as I scratch the bites on my leg). So, after doing some research on natural bug repellent, I tried Listerine, well, the cheap version of Listerine. I poured some into a old Lysol bottle that I rinsed out and sprayed it on the chairs to my deck set, under the umbrella, under the table, and on the bushes around the deck. Everything I read said don't put it on wood. But even without spraying it all over the wood, only one little mosquito came near me after sitting there for 45 minutes reading. That little mosquito didn't look too good though. He was flying all crooked like a plane going down. I did feel bad about that. I don't want to hurt them, just want to keep them away from me. I also found some info on different plants you can plant in the yard to keep them away. I may try those.

I am also going to try spraying it around the area that I take The Wonder Dog into the woods to go potty. I will get back to you on that one.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What will go on here.....

So this is what I'm thinking with this blog. I'm going to use this blog to spread the knowledge I have obtained in my life so far. I should have started this about 10 years ago. If I can help one person not make a mistake that I made then it will be worth it.
Some of the things I will be imparting my knowledge on are, but not limited to: Home-buying, home-owning (eventually, hopefully, repairing stuff around the house girl style), going green (I feel very strong about this), Buddhism, single motherhood, budgeting and saving money (two things I need to work on), books, using natural products, and anything else that may peak my interest. I am not an expert on any of these things, but I have learned a thing or two about them that work for me. Like Buddha said, give them a shot and see how they work for you. If they work, great. If not, I hope you find something that does.

I might also use this a bit as a journal too. I may talk a little bit about what is going on in my life. That may not be so interesting. I might even talk about what is on my mind...that could get scary. Consider yourself forewarned.

I have found that things that I get excited about don't get the people around me as excited. So, I figure that here I can spread what I learn without annoying my friends that aren't as interested in these things. And meeting more people with similar interests wouldn't be so bad either. :-D

I just bought my first house and it has been a hellish journey. It was a foreclosure and people seem to think they know exactly how hard that is but there has been no story that compares with the major crap that I went through. I'm not even going to go into thright now because I have finally made it past all that and everything is in the house.......

So, I will start here, the after-closing time. I much happier and cheery place to be.

But one piece of advice about buying a home. Always, always, always, get an attorney. Even before you start making offers on houses. When you are doing your P&S your realtor will use a form that is generic and helps the seller if the buyer flakes out but doesn't help the buyer is the seller flakes out! An attorney will help you put stuff in it that will protect you. And they will make sure that everything goes right at the closing. A good real estate attorney will not charge you if you don't close so ask up front. I know a good one if anyone needs one.