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September 2012

Working from home is not as easy as you may think

The great thing about being self-employed:  hiring myself out as a freelancer gives me the opportunity to work on several projects, while being available to my family (sometimes ALL at once) and I am not committed to any one particular employer, long-term.

The not so great thing about being self-employed:  I am not committed to any one particular employer, long-term.

This week, I'm starting a new project that I am hoping will lead me closer to my goal for 2013:  long-term employment.

Yeah, I'm totally banking on the Aztecs being wrong...DAMMIT!

I'm looking at 2 kids in college by 2014, with 2 more out of high school before this decade is over and, well, enough said.

Either way, as a self-employed-work-at-home type for the last 6 years, I've accustomed myself to working with and/or around other people's schedules.

That said, my hours are about to increase substantially (YES, that is a REAL good thing!) so I decided to do a test run of a normal-ish work day:

  • Get up at 6:00 a.m.:  not a problem, since my bladder has been up for at least 2 hrs already.
  • Showered by 7 a.m.:  depending on which kid "forgot" to take their shower the night before.
  • Get online by 8 a.m.:   depending on which kid "missed" the bus (see previous bullet)!
  • Get through email by 9 a.m.:  hahahahahahahaha (stupid Facebook)!
  • Start logging hours by 10 a.m.:  I am officially on the clock, people!

Except, I cleaned the house on Friday (as a last hurrah, if you will) and then decided to get in a quick session of yoga -- considering the fact that I'll be sitting a lot more (I have a wicked writer's callus, in my midsection) not to mention, I actually also managed to find my one and only yoga DVD.

"Soften your mind..."

Check.

"Soften your face..."

Snort.  That's what SHE said.

"OWWWW!!!!"

Aaaaaaand, I hurt my already borked-up back transitioning between child's pose and downward-facing dog (I think) go figure.

There I go again, hurting myself, trying to help myself.

Moral of the Story:  Don't try this at home, after all, I am a professional dork!

Perhaps I should have spent the rest of my work day in child's pose, but then I would have fallen asleep and, well, dumbass yoga.

[sound of crickets chirping]

If anyone needs me, I'll be upstairs nursing my already borked-up back and smell-testing a clean pair of pajamas for tomorrow, just in case.

Thank goodness video-type conference calls are from the neck up, right?!?

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

WoW, At Our House, We Take Electronic Entertainment Very Seriously

My brother and sister-in-law are big-time World of Warcraft fans and recently gifted my 13 year-old with 6 months of game time.  Considering my son has been BEHHHHHHHHHHHH-ging us for a subscription (it's free to play up to level 20 or something, which is like 5 minutes to a 13 year-old) inviting him into their guild effectively up-ped my brother's and sister-in-law's wow-factor by a hefty:

"WOW, you guys are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, AWWWWWWWWWWWESOME!"

Yeah, as if they needed any help in THAT department.

Aaaaaaanyway, my son has been hinting at an expansion pack for WoW, for a couple of weeks now, and mentioned it again on the way home from the pediatrician's on Tuesday.

"I know, Mists of Pandaria, it was released today."

What?!?  I read Game Informer. 

"You could add it to your Christmas or birthday list."

Aaaaaaand, my coolness factor dropped by an unsurprising:  "UGH!  You ALWAYS say that!"  He's got about half the money saved from his grass-cutting earnings (we got a lot of grass, don't judge) but, I would not loan him the other half, yeah I'm mean like that.

Then the inevitable happened.

"What if I do extra chores around the house?"

Oh, I know that there are folks who feel you shouldn't pay your kids to do chores around the house and, in theory, I totally agree. 

I also believe selective hearing is a terrible thing and may be...no, wait...MOST DEFINITELY IS...my undoing.

"Go...up...wet...from...the floor!"

[blank stare]

"I said...pick...the...towels...off!"

[sound of crickets chirping]

Long story, short (you're welcome!) I'm tired (not to mention, sick of stepping over wet towels) so I agreed to loan him the other half of the cost (stupid expansion packs) in exchange for housecleaning services and suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea if we put something in writing.

"I'll draw up a contract as soon as we get home!"

Aaaaaaand, he did:

Contract Electronic Entertainment
[click for a better view]

Morale of the Story:  What is it with him and leaving wet towels on the floor?!?

WOW!  I was thinking along the lines of 2 weeks.  Perhaps I should have my 13yo negogiate ALL of my contracts.  For a small fee, of course.  Now, if he would just put AS MUCH effort into pre-algebra, we'd probably have his college tuition paid for by now, right?!?

Stupid expansion packs, dumbass World of Warcraft.

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Just Me and My Shadows

Just me and my shadows
Gathering my thoughts and enjoying the nothingness of a day off from school, before the kids wake up I mean.

Me and My Shadow
Aaaaaaand, yet another quiet moment is interrupted by a good morning snuggle and, well, when did my shadow's legs get so gosh-darned long?!?  I have NO words.

Other folks going wordless today:  Wordless Wednesday.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Who Knew, Doofus Is a Designer Dawg?

I don't know what it is, exactly, but it happens to me every time the seasons change.  I get all fired-up about redecorating, reorganizing, renovating and re-re-ing the h-e-double hockey sticks out of This Full House of mismatched scks and crunchy floors.

For years I blamed HGTV for fueling my DIY and design envy.  Not to mention, my having a slight girl-crush on Candice Olson and Amy Matthews.

Then Pinterest came along and...well...as if I needed yet ANOTHER reason to feel inadequate or delusional in believing renovating a house...for the last 18 years...is perfectly normal...not to mention, using pretend words like re-re-ing.

On the other hand:  my kids bring their friends over who are all, like, "Ohhhhh, your house is sooooooooo cozy!" and...YES!...I allow those kids sleepover...A LOT!

Lit branches

 Aaaaanyway, I tend to focus on creating cozy little gathering-type areas (unavoidable, seeing as we live in a small house) like our faux fireplace.

It's actually our chimney.  The previous owners were using a wood-burning stove, but the town made them remove it before selling the house and, well, getting it back to a real functioning fireplace...yeah...it's on my list.

This weekend, however, I replanted some perennials and wanted to reuse this beautiful pot (see  picture above, also: re-re-ing) to warm up our entryway by using these awesome lit branches I found at Christmas Tree Shop.

"Is it supposed to go like that?"

Even my 11 year-old was all, like, really?  Is THAT all you got?

Lit branches courtesy of Doofus Dawg
Then I noticed Doofus-Dawg bought something in from the yard as well and I just vacuumed that carpet...HEY!...wait a minute...[cue light bulb]...AH-HAH!

I went outside, raided the kindling from our outdoor fireplace and even thought to take advantage of finally gathering up a couple of stray branches from around the yard, knocking yet ANOTHER item off of my list (don't be jealous) but, it still didn't look right.

Lit branches and Hope
Hope suggested we add some of the river rocks I had sitting on the driveway for the last few months (okay, more like a year:  line perimeter of pool with rocks, to make it easier to cut the grass, it's on the list) to help hold the branches up straight and, well, seems I am not smarter than a 6th grader...either.

Lit branches doofus dawg

Aaaaaand, even Doofus-Dawg got into the act by helping me trim the branches back a bit...NO!...  not that...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAP!!!!...heh, just kidding.

Lit branches done
Now the entryway has "Welcome, sit down and take the load off!" written all over it, right?!?  RIGHT?!? Riiiiiiiight.

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Yeah, whatever, Candice.  Bite me, Amy.

© 2003 - 2013  This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

So, I Wrote This Blog Post on Katie Couric's Website

Raise your hand if you NEVER thought you would EVER read THAT blog post title here at This Full House of crunchy floors and sticky socks [raises handed] me, either.

Unlike my house, I like to keep things light and airy on my blog.

Then my oldest daughter Holly and I were invited to NYC to tape a segment of Katie Couric's new daytime television show and I never thought I would say THAT (out loud) either.

Me and Katie
The show on Dating Violence aired on Katie yesterday and my husband was more than just a little surprised to learn that I did not watch it.

"What do you mean you didn't watch it?!?"

Honestly, a part of me was all, like, I wonder if the camera caught a glimpse of us -- we were in the front row, to the right of the stage -- truth is, it was VERY difficult for me to sit through it the first time.

"Mom, I'm on break and they got the show on here at work!"

Especially, with my grown up baby girl sitting next to me, considering this was Holly's first experience at attending something like this AND not having been on a real date-date before.

It's okay, she said I can blog that.

Quite frankly, hearing the story of University of Virginia college student Yeardley Love's murder, at the hands of her "former" boyfriend, was beyond brutal.

Listening to Yeardley's mother and sister speak of their grief over her death, for the first time, in front of millions...well...as a mother, sister and daughter, it shook me to the core.

I was then asked if I would be interested in sharing my thoughts about the show on Katie's website and, as a mom of 3 teens and 1 tween...well...how I could not?!?

I looked through my notes (note: I'm the only one typing away and was so glad the staff thought to introduce me as the "blogger of the day" during one of the breaks after also noticing all the WTH?!? looks I was getting from the rest of the audience!) and then tossed them aside.

"I just talked to Holly about the possibility of my being able to blog our conversation [after the show] and she is okay with...me, too.  Just a thought."

Sadly, I am no stranger to dating violence.  I decided to share my story and it was the MOST difficult blog post to write.

I feel very, very fortunate to be able to say that the experience left me with nothing more than a migraine...physically, I mean.

Frankly, I was a little worried about some folks considering sharing my story as the airing out of dirty laundry and I would have to agree with them.

There is NOTHING light and airy about dating violence.

"So, I wrote this blog post on Katie Couric's site."

My husband, Garth (not his real name) has long made peace with the fact that I blog stuff about us (9 years and counting) however, I don't share any stories here that I wouldn't feel comfortable telling you about on your couch or at my kitchen table.

"I know you wrote it, I shared the link on Facebook."

I need no further validation -- other than perhaps my and Holly's story will spark conversation in other families, as well.

Aaaaand, trust me when I tell you that my hands are shaking, even now -- here is the link:

http://www.katiecouric.com/features/my-experience-with-dating-violence/

No, this was not a paid opportunity.  The mental and emotional release...priceless.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Are you a victim of domestic?  Call or text the National Domestic Violance Hotline:  Peer Advocates are available for assistance and support 24/7. Text “loveis” to 77054 or call 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453 TTY or chat live online.

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Cape Cod or Bust, Garth (not his real name) fuh-bid!

Provincetown Sage
Yeah, I was thinking about stocking up...BIGTIME!

I nearly tripped over this basket of sage sticks while in Provincetown this weekend (I know, like in Massachusetts, read on!) and swore I could hear fate hollering:  heeeeeeeeere's your sign.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time (most especially, this past summer) then you already know:  the #FUBAR runs deep in these here parts.

Cape Cod or Bust
We're gonna need a bigger boat!

Which is why I was a little hesitant about the last-minute, "Hey I got an idea, how about you and the kids getaway for the weekend", road trip courtesy of my husband Garth (not his real name) in a last ditch-effort to give them SOMETHING vacation-ish to write about in school.

Aaaaaand, since they are off from school on Monday and Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah (Shanah Tovah, to all my Jewish friends!) while my husband, on the other hand, is not (dammit!) the timing was sort of good-ish.

On the other, other hand:  it is, at the very least, a 5+hour car drive through 5 states of traffic (NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, enough said!) ALL BY MYSELF.

Moving onto the foot:  then again, he knows that my friends find his random acts of spontaneity to be very, very sexy...me, too!

Welcome Note
Warmest and bestest welcome...EVUH!!!

So, I texted my friend Sue (a.k.a. As Cape Cod Turns) that night, to let her know that we'd be in town the next night (or, since I had to wait for the kids to get home from school and we'd probably get in around midnight, the day after that) so as to give her plenty of time to...you know...go out, make plans, stock up on some extra sage sticks, or something.

The funny thing is she then told her parents, who then offered up their downstairs for us to stay and so on...and so on...and...well...yes, they are SUPER AWESOME like that.

Provincetown Fun
Provincetown fun, way fun-ner with friends!

We've been going to the Cape since fuh-evuh...as far as the kids are concerned...so they made a list of their favorite memories and it was my job to squeeze 2 weeks of vacation...into 3 days...besides driving them...ummmmm...EVERYWHERE!...and back again, I mean.

[rolls up sleeves]

Continue reading "Cape Cod or Bust, Garth (not his real name) fuh-bid!" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

I Need a Smartphone to Tell Me I Have a Smartphone

I've been trying to convince my husband, Garth (not his real name) that he really DOES need a smartphone and NOT just for updating your Facebook status, sharing in some Doctor Who love on Twitter or playing Bubble Shoot and Words With Friends.

[Ahem]

Not to mention...ohhhhhh, LOOKIT! HOW CUTE!...Doofus Dawg is napping with his favorite blankey...hang on a minute.

Doofus on the Couch
[point, shoot, share, DONE!]

My current obsession with Instagram is another really good example (okay, so I'm a little late to the party, I have an android, enough said!) however, I did not post the pic of Doofus-Dawg.

It's really not ALL that great (seriously, have you seen Neil Kramer's stuff?) I blame Andy (a distant relative of Siri, or something like that) he's not the sharpest android on the block, but I love him anyway.

Besides, THEN what would I blog about?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Aaaaanyway, what was I saying?

[stares at stains on couch]

OH YEAH!  Garth (not his real name) finally broke down, got himself a smartphone and we now have epic Bubble Shoot marathon sessions together, almost every night before falling asleep on the couch, and everything.

"You two and your silly little phones."

My oldest daughter does not have a smartphone and, now that she's working and has started paying for some of her own stuff (thank you Jezuss!), she wants an iPhone.

"Andy, are you really just a silly little phone?"

I also do NOT have an iPhone (I only pretend that I do) but, Andy and I?  Yeah, we're good.  In fact, my smartphone has enabled me to share a lot of experiences that I would otherwise have trouble...you know...remembering (DAMMIT!) Andy has effectively become my blogging muse.

Another example:  I took this fun pic, while hiking with my oldest daughter, earlier this week and shared it on Twitter.

Aaaaand, yes, only LATER after walking for nearly 2 hours, in the wrong direction, did I realize that we could have used Google maps to figure out just where in the hell we were.

[point, shoot, share, OH SH&T!]

Moral of the Story:   Having a smartphone really DOES come in handy...whenever you remember you have one...I mean...or something like that.

If anyone needs me, I'll be upstairs nursing my bad back and looking for the owner's manual...DAMMIT!

Stupid smartphones, dumbass Andy.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Freshly-Brewed Elsewhere:  I am very honored to be working with Hallmark as a Life is a Special Occasion featured blogger -- this month's post is all about Kit Kats, Click-Clacks and the realization of just how much I really hated grade school!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.