Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Choosing Your Decorations

In Fourth Grade a Student Teacher (I think) came to Mrs. Barker's class and she did a few lessons on poetry. She taught us about the different types of poetry. One type was using the letters in a word or name and finding a word that describes it/them beginning with the same letter.
OK that was a tad complicated to type out but hopefully you get it. If not here is an example of Car:

Costs me money
Airplane would be better
Replace oil soon

Being the Danielle that I am, at the age of 9 I chose DAD as one of the words I would do. I only remember the words I used for one of the D's. "Decorating my life".

Extremely gifted 9 year old poet or a kid that listened to the radio too much? Hint: it was the radio one. Link to lyrics of Kenny Roger's song. Either way I was praised for my ability to be 9 and act like I was 39.

So in one of my many moments of random deep thought, probably in the car or in bed, I began to think deeper. There are a lot of people that "decorate" our lives. Some people you allow to hang things up and other people just come right in and put candles on your mantle without being asked. Either way, when the "season" is over, you need to undecorate.

My Dad is a main person that was automatically allowed to design the way my life would look. He put up some ugly shit I can tell you that. There are quite a few other people that contributed ugly things. The deeper thought I had was that I get to decide what stays and what goes.

At many times in our lives we are given strange and unattractive gifts. Wedding gifts, House Warming, Christmas. Things that other people thought we would like. They were trying to be nice and show that they cared but they don't share your taste. In some cases you wonder if they were blind folded when they picked it out.

I remember one gift that my sister received as a wedding gift. Oh my word it was horrible! It was a ceramic Mother pig in a basket with little piglets that you could line up at her hand painted nipples. What in the world?!?!? I could be wrong but I can't think of anyone that would seriously buy that for themselves! I guess if you were really big into country decor... we will just leave it as "I don't like it". I also dislike chicken and rooster decor.

You definitely know what to do with unattractive gifts given by people who are not close to you. You trash them, re-gift them or donate them. The decision is much more difficult when it is someone you love. Do you keep it around because they are someone you should trust? They love you and gave it to you for a reason. Will you need it later?

I spent a lot of time un-decorating my life when I got married. I was so programmed to always be thinking ahead. Always planning and questioning. Always assuming. While tearing down the old decor I came across some old boxes and new people. There was finally room for other ways of thinking. Positive remarks and encouragement from people that should have never ended up in a box. New ways of viewing other people and their reactions emerged when I opened the door. Redecorating was not easy but it was worth it.

I guess what I am saying is, once we get older we chose the people that shape and decorate our lives. We also have full control over the current design and what we have left hanging on our walls. Look at that ugly picture of a fruit bowl on the wall and say "You know..? I don't like you. Never have liked you. I am taking you down so I don't have to think about you anymore".
You have control. You are the only Interior Designer licensed to practice decorating in your life. So own it, sort through it and make it something to be proud of.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mail In Rebate Day!!!

So on my list to fill out today:

Coors Light Rebate - $3 check when you buy three 12 packs of soft drinks - any brand (min purchase $9)

Budweiser - $6 check for $10 minimum purchase of Salty Snacks, Bottled Water, Buns, Pizza (a ton of things qualify!)

Kraft Pizza Company - $10 check for purchasing Four Tombstone Pizza's (and I got those at Food Lion 3/$10 wooohooo)

I just finished another Coors Light one last night to mail out. That one is $7.50.

So soon I should be getting checks totalling $26.50! That will be a good mail day! All for buying stuff I already needed.

I save my receipts and it just happens naturally.

Oh and you don't have to purchase beer to get these rebates. You just have to walk in the beer section (LOL) and pull them off the displays!

NOT A Deal!!!

OK after reviewing my receipt I was wrong about the Dr. Pepper sale. SOOOOOO wrong.

A little background. . . .
Carter worked for Pepsi back in 2000. We learned many things about the beverage industry while he was there. #1 The guy that services the strip club is the popular guy and everyone wants to "shadow" that trip with him.
#2 In West Virginia, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper are NOT Pepsi products. They fall in line with the 7-Up folks.

This is what lead to my deal demise. I saw that the 7-up products (which are placed right with Dr. Pepper) were on sale 4/$10. Dr. Pepper products were NOT included. So I paid WAY too much for four 12 pack of soda. BUT I did still get the $1 off coupons AND thanks to Sara and her awesome rebates, I have a Coors Light Mail-In rebate for $3 when I buy three 12 packs. So I feel redeemed but it could have been SOOOOO much better!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dr. Pepper Deal at Weis

At Weis, Dr. Pepper 12 packs (and 7-up I think) are on sale 4/$10. That is a good deal itself. BUT some 12 packs of Dr. Pepper have $1 off when you buy 2 "peelie" coupons on them. So I got 4 12 packs for $8! WOOHOOO!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Breaks, the Aches, the Promise and the Positive

Yesterday was a day for Pepto. My body could not make up its mind. I had butterflies, acid reflux and my stomach teetered between throwing up and diarrhea. Things that will effect the future, things that shaped my past and some that are just for the day all swirled into one gigantic gastro-intestinal upsetting day.

You want to know why it was not terrible? Want to know why I am not screaming "WHY ME???". God is handling all of it. I am comforted by His promises and plan.

This is a strange attitude for me. I was raised to be a "fixer". There had to be a solution, some thing I could do and someone/thing to blame. Immediate and swift action must be taken to resolve the problem. I think I stopped seeing this as a problem and more as an "event". It is just happening.

My parents house is officially under contract. They remodeled the house that was given to them by a dear neighbor that had past away in November of 1995. This is the house that since late 2002 has served as a haven for grandchildren to run and play. A place for holidays, exactly the way my Mom had envisioned them.
It was the first place Megan celebrated a holiday once she was released from the NICU.
It was the location for Cassie and Natalie's 1st Birthday parties.
Where the kids had Nana and PopPop sleepovers.
Where they pulled the cushions off the couch, the towels off the stove and the magnets off the fridge.
We took McDonald's drive thru orders at the kitchen window for the "hungry" kids on the deck.
The doorbell was rung a billion times. One of those times was because Ginger and I were playing "Pizza Man" with Samuel and we did not notice that he had gone out again and he could not get back in. *Did I mention that it was February and he had no shoes on?*

I don't think we ever realized that we would need to change our position about our memories. Switch the way we feel about those times and that house. It was the house where that all physically took place. But our family was the real heart of it. As much as that house was filled with joy and excitement, it was also full of more.

It was full of body language and stares.
Where we closely controlled volume and subject matter.
Where we whispered when Dad left the room.
It was a place of caution and repression.
The freedom that the children had, was not that at all.
It was the place that Dad disappeared from last Christmas Eve.
It was the place where the Elephant in the room that everyone was ignoring sat right down on the couch and said "HELLO! You have to talk about me now!"

So now, here we are. The elephant is out, everyone knows. We acknowledge that we let the pachyderm push and pull us and the kids were watching. They paid attention. They knew, and we let them sit confused and lost. Now its over - at least in that way.
The focus turns to Mom and Dad and where they will physically go from here. Some where in there we have to concern ourselves with how we will set up this new form of our family. That cannot be done right now - I know I can't figure it out now. This is where the new found patience and peace comes in - I can't plan this.

Whatever it looks like, the family that created the joy and excitement is still there. The physical location does not matter. We can make memories in a Walmart parking lot and that does not make them any less special because they were not in that house.

The promise I have from God is that we are saving the children from the hurt. Saving them from the confusion and doubt. It goes along with what God wants our children to know. They are loved - unconditionally. Whether they are loud, have a temper, a smart mouth, think poop is funny, they can be themselves. This is where they should feel accepted. There are too many people and places in life that are going to tell them they are wrong.

It starts now. Why? Because by the time Cara goes shopping for her wedding dress and chooses off white or something different, we will all be de-programmed and wont even think about if PopPop will approve. That is the positive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why you should listen to "Saving with Sara" . . .

Today I got two things in the mail because I listened to Sara. If you pay close attention to her you will feel like you win every time you go grocery shopping. I am so glad I met her and found her blog!!!

The first thing I spotted today was a box in front of my garage. It was the Nature Valley Prize Pack that I won by entering a contest on Sara's blog!!!! I have been threatened that I need to share my Nut Clusters with a few people so I will not be opening them right now!
The next thing I got you cna see in the picture also - it is a coupon book for Kashi Cereal. Sara advised her followers to sign up with a cool site, Vocal Point. I signed up because I saw that Sara received a sample cereal and a bunch of coupons. Well todayI got this pack of coupons. It had TWO $3 off coupons for Kashi Cereal! And at least 3 or 4 $1.50 off coupons. I am thinking I am going to try some Kashi Cereal soon!!!! Hahahaha.
Oh and Tomorrow I am going to Target to get some juice. Mott's products are "buy 5 get a $5 gift card" this week. Yeah, I got that from Sara too!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Still funny after all these years

Growing up in Columbia, MD I never thought I would live in an area like this. West Virginia is the subject of so many jokes about incest and general non-smartness. The seemingly huge jump to living here was a progression. Nevertheless, it is still funny to me even though we have been here since 2002. My mom still tells people I live "south of Hagerstown, MD". My neighbors and I exchange quick witted humor about being natives or transplants. When asked where I live, despite my long response explaining how close we are to Baltimore and D.C., I may seem embarassed but I really like this place.