Friday, February 26, 2010

Girlfriend PLEASE...

One of Lara's Observations on Life: (Sue Sylvester Style)

You know that Dove Chocolate commercial where that skinny-butt model (who is supposed to be an overworked suburban mom with nine kids or something) sits down and luxuriously unwraps a teeeeeeeny piece of Dove chocolate and bites into it (a very teeeny bite of course) and makes all these pleasurable expressions while spa music plays in the background and waves of chocolate-colored silk are superimposed on the screen? And she acts all satisfied after her teeny chocolate "me break?"

Yeah. Like she's really going to "get lost" in a fourth of an ounce of chocolate. After the cameras stopped rolling, you know she totally went back and ate half the bag of chocolates, and washed them down with a class of milk.

**And that's how Lara sees it.**

Rough day yesterday. Amidst the de-junking efforts (yes, I am STILL doing it!) had to make phone calls I didn't want to make. Then I had to prep for my class, which was tough because I procrastinated. But the class went smoothly, luckily my "students" had lots of comments so it filled the time. It actually worked out really well. And of course I came home to a coughing sick Thing Four (imagine a barking seal, yeah, that was him) so we're headed to the Dr. today. Then it's back to dejunking. But at least that's all I have on the agenda! My kids are going to HATE me this weekend. They will be my s-l-a-v-e-s. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!!!
*Lara cackles fiendishly and rubs her hands together*

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Complete and Utter Freak OUT!!!


Okay, I need to BREATHE. I need to just calm the heck down, and pretend I've gone through more than 34 of my 103 tubs and the process is as SLOW AS FREAKING WINTER MOLASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!


I asked the realtor to push the listing day to Monday, because Friday just isn't cutting it. I have had too many activities this week that have crammed into my dejunking time (for some reason this week seems to be pretty heavy on the activities, what is up with that?), and so I asked her to come later. That way I can have all weekend to fill up this dang dumpster. And have I mentioned it has snowed every day (lightly, thank HEAVEN) and there's been zero sun for three days straight? So gloomy!!!

My kids can only do so much, I am the one who has to go through all our stuff--what's gross (and I can't believe I'm admitting this!) is SEVEN of those tubs are old bills and documents that need to be shredded. UGH. That in itself will take forever. SO, I am going to fill up the dumpster as much as possible, and "neatly" stack my tubs I can't get to, and once the house is listed, I'll knock out a tub or two a day. I am one person, and don't have the time to get everything done before Monday. I guess I am in awe of how much JUNK a family of six can accumulate in a decade. And it kills me to throw this stuff away, but I just don't have time to drive it to Goodwill or have a yardsale (in twenty-degree weather--HA!!!). So, into the dumpster it goes. I feel like putting all my "cool" junk in the garage and having people just come and take what they want, but do I have time for that???? No. So---I just became the Most Wasteful Person On The Planet. But I am in Survival Mode at this point, so I am having to deal with that title.

I am teaching a class tomorrow night which I am actually excited to do, but the timing is lousy, because it requires a lot of prep. So, I've cut the prep WAY down and they'll just have to be happy with the bare bones. I hate doing things half- a**ed, but at this point, I have to.

I am sad!!! I am overwhelmed! I NEED A FREAKING VACATION!!!!

whew, I actually feel better!

In happier news, I am loving the Mac. But I'm not loving that I can only get my msn mail "inbox" files on Entourage. Not junk mail. So for now, I just do hotmail. There's a fix for that somewhere I'm sure but I don't have time to look it up. It will have to wait.

Back to the trenches. I so hate my life right now!! But it's nice to vent. Keeps me from the overwhelming desire to bang my head repeatedly on the desk. *cue maniacal laughter*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well, I did it.

I made the switch last night, after I tucked the kids in bed! I got on the mac, reformatted it (after backing up all of Hubby's "stuff" of course) and made it MINE. I had Time Warner out yesterday, and apparently the router had fried itself (thus the high pitched hissing noise) and he gave me a new router AND modem, and the mac is working beautifully.

I loaded all my software and files onto it, but the really tedious part will be my "favorites." We've had MSN Premium for about ten years, and all my favorite links and websites (organized of course) are there. There really is no way to import them into Safari (that I know of) so I am doing the CRAZIEST thing--I "unhid" my favorites xml file on the computer, and sent it to the mac via email. Then I removed all the crazy stuff so only the hyperlinks remained, and I am ONE BY ONE, going to each website and adding it to my favorites. It's a slow process, but I am doing it. And some of the links are broken or outdated, so I am getting rid of those. I have a folder for each novel I have written, and all the invaluable websites I visited whilst doing research for the novels.

Before 11pm, I knocked out twelve of the over TWO HUNDRED pages of favorites. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be dejunking, but I felt I needed to take a little "break" and do something I wanted to do, for a change. I'm back to dejunking today. And I'm sure all you computer savvy people are laughing your butts off at me, but I can't think of a better way to "import" my favorites. So--laugh away. ;-)

I can't wait to get this house listed--once that happens things will calm down significantly, and I can concentrate on things I love, like WRITING and EDITING! I haven't done either in a very long time and it's taking its toll on my Irrability Level. I am a creature of my pen. I like to write!

I guess that's why I make time to blog, even when things are crazy. I have to write something.

Well, off I go!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Hubby came home for a long weekend this weekend, which was nice. We got up super early on Saturday morning and went to breakfast at the Original Pancake House, and on to the Pinewood Derby from there. At the end of it, both Things Two and Three placed Fourth with their cars (which to us was just a relief they didn't place dead last--we aren't very prolific at making fast cars out of blocks of wood, to be honest) but at the end one of the officiator ladies informed us that the second place winner in the Webelos division was incorrectly classified (he was actually a BEAR!) so that bumped our Thing Two into third place! He got a ribbon and everything. It was great!

Hubby flew out at 2pm on Sunday, we were all sobbing and it was a mess, because it will be three weeks before we see him again. But we'll make it. I'm just overwhelmed because we were supposed to list our house today, and I had to push it back to Friday. Just too much to finish and do.

I've dejunked/organized/beautified three closets so far, now I just have four more. One thing I will say about this house, it has lots of STORAGE. Which is great if we were staying here forever, but since we're moving to a house which, in reality, will NOT have as much storage as this house, I need to really toss stuff. I've already done round one. Now I need to do round TWO, where I rip out my heart and close my eyes and just TOSS stuff, because frankly, I'm the most sentimental pack rat I know, next to my mother. (Sorry Mom, just keeping it real!)

It won't be fun, but it needs to be done. Heh heh. I rhymed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Run That By Me Again???

Had a creepy phone conversation yesterday. First off, we are TOTALLY on the "Do Not Call" list. We religiously put our numbers for home and cell phones on the website every time we need to.

So, the phone rings yesterday, and it says "Private Name/Number" on the caller id. Of course I answer it right away, because every time the relo company calls me, it says "private." There's a lady on the other end. Here's how the conversation went:

Lady: Who is this?

Me: I'm sorry?"

Lady: Who is this?

Me: Lara. Can I help you?

Lady: Is this (some garbled name of some company)?

Me: No, I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.

Lady: (starts laughing) Oh!!!

Me: Yes, you just misdialed, no problem!

Lady: Oh, I'm sorry!! *laughs--then short pause* So, how's your sex life?

Huh? Yeah, I hung up right on her after that. She sounded a little slurry and tipsy, but I was like WTH???? How did this weirdo get my number? Was she drunk dialing, or was she a serious solicitor CALLING ME EVEN THOUGH MY NUMBER IS ON THE LIST???

Whatever. It bugged me, though. Now I won't answer the "private" calls anymore. I'll let them go to voicemail. I mean, what was UP with that? Calling a private residence in the middle of the day? It was definitely jarring.

Yesterday was a little crazy. Carpet people, errands upon errands, then an after school basketball game and cub scouts, and we didn't get home until 9pm. Poor Thing Two didn't even have ten minutes to do his homework, so I had to wake him up at 5:30 this morning to do it. He wasn't thrilled about that, but if he wants to stay on the honor roll, he can't miss homework.

Today will be more of the same. I am feeling seriously overwhelmed by all the crap I have in this house. It's like the Hydra. You chop one head off, and three more grow back. But I have to say, I have eliminated all the cardboard in my back storage room. It is now GONE. And it it's place?

ONE HUNDRED AND THREE plastic tubs. Yes, people, I really have that many. I know, because I counted. You think I have enough stuff?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My house-hunting weekend in Charlotte was...well...a waste, I'm sad to report.

We saw houses all day Friday, and most of Saturday, and FINALLY found a house that was being built, that was five months from being completed, but we loved the floor plan and the fact we could put what we wanted in it. So, we started getting the process going, and we just needed to wait on one thing before we went to contract.

THEN, we decided to drive to the church that we'd be going to. Sunday morning, we got in the car, plugged the address into the GPS, and started driving. And we drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And I don't mean to sound like a snooty person or anything, but we were driving through the rural backwoods roads of South Carolina, and I was getting scared. Because when we'd been driving for 40 minutes and we still hadn't arrived at the church, I'd had enough.

We spend a lot of time at our church. Three hours every Sunday, sometimes I have meetings on Wednesday night, and on Tuesday nights my boys have cub scouts and my daughter has Young Women's--and we're usually there until about 8:30 at night. I couldn't imagine myself, driving for 45 minutes home in the DARK, through those unlit backwoods roads. Seriously. What if I broke down? And I'm sorry, but the Catawba Lake is really stinky. We passed over it on our way there and I had to switch the car from "vent." It was not good.

We got to the church, and turned right back around and drove back to Ballantyne, stunned. There was NO way we could drive that far to church twice a week, sometimes more! So, the "perfect house" we'd found wasn't perfect any more. We're looking a lot farther east now, in other cities. So, back to Square One. We have the sads over it. I mean, it seemed so great!

Hubby is going to work with the realtor weekend after next, and narrow down other houses. Then, if he finds something he thinks we will like, I will go out again.

We are disappointed, of course. But there are so many other great places to look, and we really liked the Ballantyne area Hubby's corporate housing is in, too. The houses are older, but we can always change what we don't like, as long as we like the floorplan.

*Lara bangs head on the desk*

Luckily I got to/from Charlotte safely, the kids had a blast with the grandparents (they went everywhere--jumpy castles place, shopping, movies, etc..) and otherwise it was a very...educational weekend.

Carpet cleaners are here now, we're sequestered in the basement. Which is good, because I have a lot of stuff to do down here. Better get to it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Murphy's Law #5654:

"When you take great pains to ensure a good night's sleep, something will wake you up in the middle of the night."

Isn't it funny how that works? I put the kids to bed last night, and even though I had tons to do, I knew tonight I wouldn't get ANY sleep, so at 9:30 I put myself to bed, excited that for once I was actually going to get a good eight hours.

Cut to 2am, and I am ripped from my sleep because my head/neck are killing me. I mean, we're talking pain like I haven't experienced in a long time. I must have slept wrong or something because it was BAD. And like a moron I stumbled to the medicine cupboard and took a bunch of Advil on an empty stomach. Yeah, you can guess what happened 30 minutes later. The Advil made a "reappearance."

So, I was sprawled in bed, sick and praying that the pain would go away. I guess my prayers were heard, because I finally fell back asleep at 3:30. But I woke up at 6:30 to get the kids up, and my head immediately started pounding again. THIS time, I ate a quick bowl of cereal, and broke out the Excedrin Migraine.

It hasn't really kicked in yet, and I have a C-R-A-Z-Y day ahead of me today. I have to clean the house that has fallen apart whilst I was elsewhere dejunking, because my in-laws fly are flying in to watch the kids so I can go on a house-hunting weekend in Charlotte with the realtor. This woman has it all PLANNED. All day Friday and Saturday we are seeing houses like no one's business, and Sunday we'll revisit what we liked, and then I have some precious time to spend with Hubby (since it will be Valentine's day, huzzah!) and then I'm on an afternoon flight home. WHEW!

Today, like an idiot, I agreed to let the kids have friends over because it's a half day at school. So, they all descend at 1pm and THEN I have to run to parent/teacher conferences, THEN I have to run one kid around, and THEN I have to remember to pick up Hubby's stuff at the dry cleaners and pack it in my suitcase, and I get to stay up all night throwing stuff away since Hubby's car hasn't been shipped to Charlotte yet (they're picking it up this morning) I have NO room in our garage to put the junk, or even carry it out, for fear of scratching his car.

My car service is picking me up at 4:50 A.M. tomorrow morning. Can I just shoot my face off?

Oh lovely, I smell a poopy diaper. And I have a two-year old who refuses to go in the potty. He can chew gum for hours without swallowing, count to ten in English and Spanish, tell me every color of the rainbow, sing his ABC's, dress himself and clean up his room on his own.

...But sitting on a toilet and going potty is somehow beyond him.

Isn't that another Murphy's Law? Yeah, it must be #5655.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Heart Wisconsin.

Well, GOOD MORNING!!! Yes, this is a picture of my front walk, taken this morning. It's days like these that I thank Heaven I have a snowblower. And in the same breath, I am also thankful I am moving to Charlotte.


I get to take my Sequoia in today, they are going to fix it so my accelerator won't get stuck and kill my entire family in a fiery crash. Yeah, kinda glad I'm getting that fixed. Then it's off to the races! I haven't been able to fill my dumpster with house junk yet, because of the snow storm, but this morning, the sun is out, and I'm going to start throwing it all in! I should get a picture of the dumpster for you all. You'd love it. It's HUGE. I could live in it. Well, okay, I'm lying. I wouldn't. But if I were a woodland creature, I'd think it was the green Taj Mahal.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday Stuff

Okay, is it just me, or did a bunch of the Superbowl commercials smack of slight (and in some cases blatant) misogyny to you ladies out there???? I know my eyebrows certainly went way up at a few of them. Or maybe I'm just oversensitive. Thoughts?

ANYWAY, thanks for all the input on the PC vs Mac. I have decided to do BOTH. I'm going to inherit what I affectionately have dubbed "The Monster Mac" and make it my main computer for writing, surfing, etc..(and yes, Jenni, it IS beautiful!) but I also will retain my older HP laptop (which I am reformatting and buying memory for as I type this because it is TOO dang slow!) and my HP mini, which I really love. So, for home, I'll be a "Mac" and for travel/mobility I'll be a "PC." Case closed. Hubby left his "iMac for Dummies" book here when he flew to Charlotte yesterday (he starts his new job today) so you can bet I'll be reading up on it.

AFTER I do a few things of course: Dejunk the house (yeah, remind me to tell about the construction-sized dumpster debacle that was SO well-planned out--I now can't pull my Sequoia out of the garage without backing up and moving forward about 947362 times for fear of hitting the dang thing), get the carpets cleaned, paint touched up, entire house detailed and handle all the relo stuff, which entails me spending most of my waking hours on the phone and fax machine. At least I only have two kids in sports right now. So I don't want to stab my eyes out in frustration...yet. And of course we got a bunch of snow overnight so I have to snow plow right after I write this so I can GET the car out (after backing up and pulling forward 947362 times) and I'm sure in a few hours I'll have to do it all over again. We're supposed to have a snowstorm all day. WHEW. Snow is my friend. I love snow...yeah, I keep telling myself this...

Yeah, I'll probably make the switch when I actually have time to do it. We'll see when that is.

Thanks everyone, for weighing in!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

MAJOR DILEMMA--PC vs Mac!!!!!!

Okay. I know some of you are MACs, and some of you are PCs. I am currently, and have been, for the last 20 or so years, a PC. Love my HP computer, love it love it love it. I know how to maneuver it, I am not a "computer whiz" so I only do basic things on it like write, surf, etc. But I am thoroughly happy and comfortable with it.

So, here's my dilemma. Hubby, last year, took the plunge and became a "MAC" and bought a big, beautiful one. I have to say, I'm impressed with it. But, that being said, I have no idea how to work it, I am thoroughly confused by most of the concepts (ie "Smart folders" vs regular folders, etc) and frankly, I don't have time to learn a completely new operating system. So, we have "His" and "Hers" computers in the office: my PC, his Mac.

Well, Hubby is starting his new job on Monday, and he didn't want to lug that huge Mac to his corporate housing apartment, so, last night he bought a Macbook.

Here's the thing, we have been promising the kids we'd buy them a new computer for their homework/play time (they are currently using my old slower-than-slow HP laptop) and Hubby said this solves our problem. I could have his new mac as "My" computer, and the kids can have my two-year old HP (which I LOVE) as their computer. He thinks it's solved and all hunky-dory.

Do you see the dilemma, here? I am a PC. I am closed-minded pretty much. The Mac is pretty, but I have no idea how to work it. So, do I keep my PC and NOT disrupt my computer habits, or do I take the plunge and inherit the Mac? Hubby thinks the Mac is too expensive for the kids to inherit, and I agree, but I just don't know if I want to change over. I'm along the vein of thinking "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," you know?

What the HECK do I do??? Help!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Big Announcement.

Okay, so, I guess I owe all of you, my friends and readers (all two of you, heh heh!) an explanation as to WHY I have been so stressed as of late.

I figured I was giving a lot away anyway on the blog, when fellow blogger Karen sent me an email yesterday titled "Spill." And to her credit, she totally guessed what was up. :-)

So, here's the spill:

Hubby has taken a job in Charlotte, North Carolina (it was uber top secret because until yesterday afternoon his current company did not know), and we are (naturally) moving there. Hubby starts work on Monday (as in, a few days from now) and I will be heading out there a couple of weekends for more house-hunting trips, and now on top of everything I am doing, I get to add "prepare/list my house" to the mix.

Which is fine, because we feel we've made the right decision. We are sad to be leaving what had been our home for roughly seven years, but hey, we won't have nearly as much snow!!


*Lara rubs hands together in fiendish glee*

Still it's bittersweet. But at least I get to be closer to one of my writing buddies, BRENDA!! I'm on my way!

Crazy, huh?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Just Roll With It.

One thing I've learned--especially in the last few weeks, is to just "roll" with things. Things come up. Things supersede plans that have been in place--sometimes for a while. Sometimes you just have to cancel on people. (Unless you make a habit of it, they will understand.) Sometimes you just have to drop everything and run, and find plane tickets for people on the fly and coordinate massive efforts, with a few hour's notice.

Sometimes the chips fall into place, sometimes they don't. I am currently waiting on one particular chip to fall into place, and then we can worry about Chips 2, 3, and 4.

And if they all fall, I will have "rolled with it" and it will have all worked out.

I'm not particularly fond of rolling. It stresses me out. But if the end result is good, then I must roll.

*Lara smacks her forehead on the desk repeatedly...*

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Calm After The Storm.

Feeling...calm. In the midst of craziness.

Maybe because when I dejunk my house (whew do I have a lot of throwaway stuff piling up in the basement!) it's symbolic for dejunking my life. Well, my house and my life go hand-in-hand, seeing as I am a stay-home mom.

Yeah, I figured that out all by myself. ;-) Hubby is still in New York, and I am working with massive sleep deprivation. Only because of the stress I've been dealing with.

Well, I am happy to report the "old" stress has passed, and now, we have a new set of stresses to deal with, but at least we can get through them knowing we've made a good decision.

Okay, enough of that hoo ha. I need to get dejunking!!! I had to break out the snowblower yesterday and early this morning, and it looks like we're getting more snow on Friday. BLEAH.

I could make a comment about THAT, but I won't. ;-)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why I Won't Be Replacing My Kindle With An iPad Any Time Soon...

...You know, I was drooling over the iPad the other day, and I realized I like my Kindle better! For e-reading, it wins hands down. Holding a Kindle is truly like holding a book--it's slim and light and uses an ink-and-paper-like technique that causes no eye strain, because there is no backlight. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
The iPad, although cute and fun looking, really just is my ipod Touch on steroids. And it's bigger and heavier than the Kindle, so the "reading" experience might be a tad cumbersome.
I mean, look--it's HUGE! (Either that or Steve Jobs is a midget.) Everyone is talking about it being the "Kindle Killer." I disagree. I would hate holding that thing up to read off of. Especially since I like to lay down in my bed and read with my head propped up on a pillow. My hands would get tired!
Sure, the Kindle is simple and clean and doesn't have all the fun functions of the latest tablet from Apple, but since all I want from it is the ability to download and read books, it suits me quite nicely.
Maybe someday when I have $800 to burn, I can upsize my ipod Touch. For now, I like my Kindle just fine, thank you very much.

Monday, February 01, 2010


For reasons beyond mere motivation, I have decided this week is "Dejunk The House" week. Off I go to Home Depot today, and I'm going to invest in about 30 more clear storage tubs. I'm going to get rid of all the cardboard in my back storage room. I'm going to go through EVERY SINGLE black bag of clothes in that room. (I've counted, there are currently 24. Yes, TWENTY-FOUR!) Then I am going to TAKE THE DARN THINGS TO GOODWILL, ALREADY!!!

And with a NON-SENTIMENTAL attitude, I am going to throw away, throw away, throw away, THROW AWAY. I am going to order a large dumpster from the local Environmental Waste Management company. I'm going to have them park it in the driveway. (please don't snow please don't snow PLEASE don't snow this week!!!) And I'm going to fill it. Why?

Because we have Too. Much. Junk.

Think I can do it? Think I can dejunk my whole house in one week?

I am about to find out. Pray for me.

Lara Out.