Archive for October, 2014


My imaginary stalker. Maybe

As much as I like to think of myself as being aware of my surroundings and perceptive. There are many days where I am completely oblivious. Honestly, oblivion is where I find my happy place-I need to free my mind and disconnect from time to time. Then, there are the random days that I am completely paranoid.

This morning was not one of my better ones. I was running late and had zero caffeine which does not fare well for my day. I was frazzled and on edge. I was on my normal route minding my own business when I noticed a red car behind me. Normally, this would not faze me, but something about the driver caught my eye and I thought he was looking a little too hard.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I might be a little crazy. Some days I might be a whole lot crazy. However, the craigslist ad I found a few weeks ago has managed to multiply my crazy. It has had me wondering who sees me that I am oblivious to. I have allowed myself to create this random craigslist poster into my own little crazy stalker because he is unknown. I am curious to figure out just who wrote the posting and curiosity killed the cat, or drove this mama crazy.

Regardless, I was in my car. He was in his. I went on about my business with him behind me. Occasionally, I would glance back and there he was. After a bit I, in all my craziness, was wondering why he did not go around me as traffic in front of me was slow. Finally, he did. Whew! I thought I was in the clear.

Moments later, the guy slowed down and got back behind me. It appeared to me that he intentionally got behind me. Again, it could be nothing. I could be crazy. Or, he could have actually been intentionally following me. Whatever. I needed caffeine. I was a bit ahead of him and went to pull into the gas station. As I was getting out of my car, he pulled up.

Seriously? What the heck?! We made eye contact as I am sure a look of panic registered on my face. If he was not intentionally following me, he surely thought I was nuts.

I went on in and got my drink, quickly making my way back to the car. I successfully avoided making any eye contact with anyone in the store, other than my usual clerk, and booked it to my office.

Really, I don’t know what got into me this morning. I am not normally quite so paranoid. I am generally not one that will not speak to a stranger. Now, it all is funny to me. I think I need to lay off reading the craigslist posts and watching stalker shows on TV for a bit. And, maybe, it is time to find a new route to work…just in case.


Pictures for Christmas

As I was putting dates on my calendar this week, I realized that I do not have a free Saturday until December 20th. Needless to say, no free Saturdays does not thrill me, especially with the holidays coming up. I decided that I need to get my rear into gear.

In addition to not having a ton of time on my side this year, I also do not have a lot of money. I have too large of a family to just go out and throw caution to the wind. I started debating on what to do and while my Christmas list is far from done, I think I have taken care of a good part of my family just this morning.

A few weeks ago something crazy happened, we were able to get most of our family together. As we have gotten older, it has become quite the chore to get us all in one place. Somehow, with one random family cookout at my house, everyone showed up. Needless to say, my mom was thrilled and we decided to take advantage of the moment. We took pictures.

We were able to take pictures with each of my sibling’s family units with only one nephew missing. We took pictures of all of the siblings together and with my parents and my siblings. No Olin Mill’s for us. Our casual attire backyard photos are as good as we get. I decided that these would be the perfect gifts for each family, my parents, and my grandmother.

Yesterday, on my lunch break, I ventured into Ross where I was able to find boxed frame sets to make a gallery-ten frames for $10! I picked up two, one for myself and one to separate for gifts. I will likely go back for another today to ensure I have enough to give everyone. I figure I will do their individual family and then one with our parents/siblings to each of my siblings. I will give my parents a large picture of them with their kids, and then do a collage frame or gallery for them of each of their kids with their family and maybe sprinkle in a few random cute pics I have of grandkids.

I, personally, love Shutterfly and downloaded the pics onto their site where I was able to designate which sizes I wanted for each photo. I found a coupon code allowing for 30 free 4×6 prints which knocked down the price a little. Bing, bang, boom! My siblings/their spouses have a gift and so do my parents and grandmother. I will likely do more, but I at least have a start towards Christmas and at a reasonable price. I will likely end up with $30 in frames and around $15 in pictures with that covering six gifts; I think $7 a gift is pretty darn awesome!

Now, if only I can get so lucky with my kids’ Christmas gifts….


Breaking Down

I generally like the chaos that engulfs my existence. I really do. I thrive when I have a lot of stuff going on, so I am generally pretty happy with our crazy schedules. Eventually, though, it does catch up with me.

Really, life is good. Work is going alright. I am starting a new side business which will allow me to have some fun and make some extra money. The semester is almost over. The kids both have a lot of good stuff going on. Of course not everything is fabulous, I have my own stress; I am struggling a bit financially and trying to make adjustments. My household has some chaos due to changes taking place. I also have some stress that is not my own; I have been trying to help a family member that has been in the hospital.

Like I said, crap catches up with me eventually. Friday, I was irritated. I had plans. I planned on a few things. Nothing worked out. I rolled with the punches and did end up having an alright night, but I did not get the break I was hoping for. I figured I would get it on Saturday; no sweat.
Saturday, my kids had other plans. I thought I would just sneak out and visit my relative in the hospital. Then, I could have a little time to myself and finish shopping for my teen’s birthday. I had it all figured out. But the kids wanted to go with me to the hospital. No big deal. I still figured I could do the rest of the stuff I wanted. Nope. They wanted to go with me. The teen especially. She had been stood up for other plans and was very dramatic about how she just wanted to get out. Blah, blah, blah.

I didn’t feel like fighting. They got their way. Then they got to see their mother break down. It was not a terrible break down. Just some tears. I tried to explain why I was upset. I just needed a break. I had planned to use my break to get stuff for the teen. The very one that pitched the fit that sent me over the edge. My tears brought them to tears. It was not pretty.

I decompressed a bit when we finally got home, but there was work to be done. We were having company yesterday for the teen’s birthday. I jumped into the tasks at hand and remained on high alert trying to get stuff accomplished until the last person left yesterday. Then, it was time to get ready for another crazy week in paradise.

So, here I am. It is Monday and I am still frazzled. I am alright. Seriously, no need to put me in a padded room just yet. I just need to get out of this rut. I need a break. I need some fun in my life. I need something to look forward to. That is where I am right now; it is time to reevaluate and incorporate some fun. I need some goals to work towards that will make me happy.


Homecoming on the Cheap

Back to school time sucks. The supplies, clothes, activities, blah, blah, blah. Usually, with a little planning, I make it through okay. This year has been rough. It has been mainly due to poor planning on my part, but some has been out of my control. Homecoming was one of those things.

Homecoming was almost a month earlier this year than it was last year and it came up on us fast. Despite my attempts to plan, I was really wondering what the heck we were going to do. We had little time to shop with our crazy schedules and then even less money on top of that. Despite all of the odds, I have to say that Homecoming 2014 turned out okay. Here is a quick rundown on how we made it happen.


The Dress
Needless to say, this is one of the most important things when one thinks of homecoming. It can also be one of the most expensive. This year, however, we got lucky and a friend of mine had a couple of bridesmaid dresses that she no longer wanted. One of the dresses fit rather well and with some alterations it looked great! Total cost for the dress: $25 for the alterations.

I am an accessory girl; I spent years working in retail management for an accessory store. I know the value of some great bling. We hit up the mall one Saturday morning with only about an hour to shop. During that time, we managed to score a pair of sparkly shoes for $17. We purchased a card of earrings (at least nine pairs) for around $7 from H&M and got a nice simple, but blingy, necklace from Claire’s for around $10. The shoes and jewelry are all reusable-even if she doesn’t want to, little sister is coming up fast behind her.

Really, I cannot take credit for the hair. My teen searched the internet and found a couple of great ideas. From there, my sister took over. We spent an evening playing with her hair preparing and determining the best style. Then, my sister came over the day of and took over. Gotta love free!

It really is all in who you know! In this case, it was my mom, who was previously a nail tech. While my sister was doing hair, my mom had control over the mani and pedi. Can we say my daughter is a diva?

My daughter did not have a date, so we had to pay for a ticket which was $15. Normally, we would have to pay for dinner, but she went with a group of friends which met and went together. The group met beforehand for pizza and refreshments. They took pictures together saving us from the “professional” pics offered through the school.

In all, Homecoming 2014 cost us less than $100. The kid looked like a million bucks and had a great time which is priceless. I doubt we could have done any better. I can only hope to do so well next time.


Unwelcome Visitor

I am not a complicated girl. Others might disagree, but I think I am pretty low maintenance. Feed me. Let me sleep. Don’t get in my way. Throw me a compliment now and then. Yeah, I think that is about it. Give me those things, not necessarily in that order, and you will have a happy OrneryDame on your hands.

This morning, I am not a happy OrneryDame.

Really, I probably jinxed myself yesterday afternoon. I was talking to a neighbor and mentioned thinking there was a critter hanging around our backyards at night. My dogs have been acting crazy now and then as if there was something on the other side of the fence. It is not a normal occurrence, so I have not let it bother me too much.

I have been getting into bed at a somewhat reasonable time most nights. Last night, however, I stayed up a little later doing homework. I went ahead and crawled into bed around 11:30 going on midnight. A little later, I woke up to my dogs barking. Initially, I tried to ignore them, but then I thought I heard a noise. Eventually, I got up. I found that in their excitement, they left me a nice puddle to clean (I love swiffering at 3:00 in the morning!) and out the door they went-sorry neighbors!

Once the dogs calmed down, they came back inside. It appeared that I might get a little more sleep. But no, about the time I got settled, they started up again. They continued until who knows when. All I know is that I tossed, turned, and cursed for a good amount of time before finally drifting back off. Once I did finally get to sleep, I found myself deep in a crazy dream that ended an hour after I usually get up.

Eventually, Larry texted me to see if I was up and moving. Larry leaves for work earlier than I do. He said that he found the source of what was driving my dogs crazy when he got up. There was a raccoon on my porch scratching at the door like it wanted to get in, or just drive my dogs crazy.

Now, I love raccoons, from a distance. My back porch is too close for comfort especially when the critter has managed to piss off my dogs and keep me up all night. It is time for a trap. What I will do once we catch the thing is beyond me. There is a good chance that many more nights like last night and they will end up at the SPCA; probably not, but it is a good threat anyways. Especially when I think of them snoozing while I work the day away.

I think an early bedtime is in my future. Perhaps with earplugs.

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