Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Rental

We are living in a rental house right now.  It is awsome.  No, that isn't my usual sarcasm.  I mean it, I love this house, for many different reasons.  First off, it isn't mine.  Yes, homeownership is great and I am sure we won't be here all that long in the grand scheme of things, but I am loving it for all it is worth.  So, when a kid bangs into the wall and leaves a tiny mark, I don't freak out and start wondering how I will be able to match paint colors.  My blood pressure stays constant. 

This house isn't for sale.  Big deal!  Before 'the rental' we lived in a house that was for sale for FOUR FREAKIN YEARS.  We could not leave without every bed being made, every towel on every towel rack lined up perfectly and every dang fork out of the sink.  Here?  Nobody is going to be able to come in here and look around.  HUGE.  You just can't imagine the pressure that takes off me.

This house is all on one level, if you don't count the basement room I never go in.  I am loving the old ranch style of this house.  No stairs to climb to get to bed.  No laundry to haul up, and then back down, and then back up, and then back down.  And, even knowing how cool one level is, I bet we will build a two story home.  Why can't we learn?

The floors are old here.  They have mysterious spots and stains (all hardwood, I wouldn't survive stained carpet!) that I don't have to deal with.  Mop and move on.  This isn't a permanent situation and those spots are FINE.  Really.  And since I don't know who caused the stain or spot I don't have to get mad at that person everytime I try and fail to remove it!  I know that sounds a bit over the top but floors are a big deal to me.  The old, fancy house had gleaming floors.  They had to stay gleaming, all the time.  I swept and mopped those floors all. the. time.  As soon as you'd have one room all good to go another room would fall apart on you.  Which leads to my next point.

This house is a great size!  Our old house was wayyyyy too big.  Way!  This house is so much more managable!  We downsized in a big way before moving here so now we can actually fill up the rooms we have.  No more cavernous spaces with nothing in them.  I love that!  And that is all I care to deal with, quite frankly.  Formal dining room, poof!  Gone for good!

If it breaks, I get to call the property management company and have it fixed.  It?  Whatever!  'It' could be the roof ($$$) or a slow draining tub.  Not my problem!  :) 

Throw in that we are adjacent to the best part of Greenville - The Swamp Rabbit Trail - and I am just thrilled to be here right now.

Maybe we should rent for a few more years, just to make up our minds about what we should do.  I am so happy here!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What Did You Say?

We just returned from our annual visit to Myrtle Beach.  We always go on a late weekend in September, after the crowds have died down, along with the heat.  It is always a great time for us, and this year was no exception.  However, we did run into a bit of trouble on the beach.  I'm still shaking my head over it.

We went down to the beach yesterday morning, ready to hit the waves.  Everyone was knee deep in the water except me when a young, smiling life guard drove up to me on his four wheeler.  He says, "She can't use that float in the water."


What did he just say?

Did I hear that right?

I must not have heard him correctly.

Did he just tell me we can't use a float in the Atlantic Ocean?

No, that can't be what he just said.

I must have looked quite intelligent as I stared at this young fella.  I was smiling, but my brain was going a million miles a minute without being able to say a thing.  He finally broke the stand-off by saying, "It's plastic.  She can't use it here."  Finally I gathered myself enough to ask, very slowly, "What....does....that....MEAN?" 

He was being very patient with me and was happy to explain that her float was made of plastic, and it might pop while she was out there, and she might not be able to swim.  And I could have pointed out that we've had it for at least two summers with not so much as a slow leak and that she can swim, and that her dad is RIGHT BESIDE HER.  But I knew it would do no good.  And it wasn't his fault.  He was just the unfortunate messenger, not the one who thought this asinine rule up to begin with.  Instead I just said, "So, she had to leave the float on the beach and go out into the ocean with NOTHING to float on, and that will be safer than risking letting her play in her plastic float which might pop."  I let him escape with a final comment when I pointed out that I sure hope Florida didn't catch wind of this.

People.  I am hear to tell you the world has gone all sorts of crazy.  We are being 'helped' by so many stupid rules these days.  Our government seems to have nothing better to do than sit around worrying about plastic floats that might pop.  Because goodness knows everything else is just going so well out there that we've nothing better to deal with than that.  Little girls floating in knee deep water beside their fathers in big, pink, polka-dotted plastic floats - that is the real problem.


Do you know that thing about the frog?  Frogs will immediately jump out of a pot of boiling water, but they will slowly cook if you put them in room temperature water and slowly heat it to boiling.  (And they don't even get a pink plastic float!)  Well, we are here.  We've been here for quite sometime. When are we going to realize the water is boiling and we are being cooked alive!?  Please, fight this stuff.  When you hear stories about your City Council, your elected representatives, your Government making up stupid rules, fight back!  The City of Myrtle Beach will hear from me, you can bet on that one.  Will it change anything?  No, not one thing.  Not even a chance of that happening.  Because it is already on the books and no one fought it.  Once it is there, it is very difficult to get back.  And I don't see too many folks, especially those from out of town/state getting as fired up as I do.  They just go and buy the fabric wrapped float with the 360 degree rope, that is 3/8" minimum diameter and has 10% slack and go on their merry way.  And really, in and of itself, it isn't that big of a deal.  But it raises the temperature of the water in the frog pot by a fraction of a degree, and we should never lose sight of that.  OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING CONTROL OF OUR LIVES BY MANY SMALL DECISIONS THAT, ON THE SURFACE, SEEM INCONSEQUENTIAL.  Death by a thousand small cuts. We need to act before it is too late!

So, since we are homeschooling now, we decided to have a Saturday lesson.  We had an impromptu  Civics lesson about Civil Disobedience.   Go ahead, ask any of my kids the definition of the word.  We even had a demonstration of civil disobedience when Andy took the pink, plastic, polka dotted float out in the ocean for a few minutes.  Guess what, it didn't pop!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Contest

If you are friends with me on Facebook or in real life you've had about all you can take of 'the contest'.  And I apologize, once again, for bugging the ever lovin' mess out of you for so long. 

If you aren't friends with me on Facebook then you might have missed my incessant pleas to go to and vote for me.  I'm sorry we aren't FB or reality friends, because then I could have bugged you, too.  And I would have, believe me!

Here's how it all started.  Marilee found this contest.  Marilee is my bestie.  I'm a 43 year old woman using the word 'bestie'.....  Well, it fits so there.  And Marilee laughs at me a lot.  In fact, lots of people laugh at me.  So I am either very funny or quite pathetic and laughable.  I choose to think I am being laughed WITH instead of AT.  And honestly, I have some rather strange (funny?) things happen to me on a regular basis.  I can't say why I'm always the one running across a field and cartwheeling through horse poop while 8 months pregnant but it happens.  And, when those things happen and I tell people about them, I've come to realize I'll get no sympathy, only laughter. 

Knowing all of my strange stories, Marilee thinks I'm a shoe in for this contest.  But she has found it a few weeks in and a few of the ladies already in the contest have hundreds of votes.  I bow out.  Marliee persists.  I cave and bring the camcorder.  Marilee says, "Tell the one about getting your boob stuck in the shampoo bottle" and rolls the film.  I tell it.  But I don't say the word 'boob' because this is a family web-site and who knows if they want the word 'boob' used.  Better safe than sorry. 

I submit my video and get a few votes.  I post it on FB and get a few more.  Then that darn competitive streak of mine kicks in out of no where, because I've never really HAD a competitive streak.  And even though the grand prize is a cruise (and I've been on one cruise and never wanted to go on a second) I decide I must win this contest.  I must win at ALL COSTS. 

Friends kick in big time for me.  They exhaust the little orange thumb under my video and it turns grey forever.  They can no longer vote for me and I've still got a lot of ground to make up to catch those early birds.  I beg them to beg their friends.  I start emailing people who I haven't seen in years.  I find people in my address book (the kind in the drawer under the phone!) and mail them a postcard asking for votes. 

It isn't enough.  I've almost given up on this thing.  I start thinking a consolation third place price would be just fine by me.  And then I find the break I've been look for in the most unlikely of all places.  The Mall.

I don't go to the Mall.  I'm not a Mall Rat.  Apologies to all the Mall Rats I know.  I only saw one of you at the Mall.  (Hey, Dot!)  So for me to even be at the Mall was a huge stroke of luck.  I ordered some clothes for Key online, because that is how I shop, and they didn't fit.  So I had to go to the Mall and exchange them.  On the way out I saw two guys, probably in their early 20's, lounging on the sofas.  They each had iPhones and were playing games, probably waiting on their girlfriends to finish shopping. 

At this point in time every iPhone I saw was a potential vote in my mind.  I thought to myself, "Hmmm, they don't look like they have anything better to do at this point.  I wonder if they'd vote for me if I went up and asked?"  I gathered my nerve and did it.  Both guys were happy to do it and didn't really seem to think it all that strange that I'd asked.  Wow!  Two votes, just for asking.  Then we head for the exit.  Three more votes before we get to the door.  Just for asking!  I was feeling giddy. 

And then I hit upon a universal truth.  Mall Rats have iPhones.  Every single one of them!  A new plan was hatched.  Marilee got to watch my kids while I headed out the Mall once a week to hit up unsuspecting Mall Rats for votes!  Mall Rats are extremely nice people.  They carry their phones in their hands and are easy to spot.  They all (with the exception of three people) were very happy to go to PrettyDarnFunny and vote for me.  Many of them bookmarked the site and promised to go back and vote again the next day, without me even asking them to!  I suspect that in the last month of the contest I got between 250 and 300 from those gracious people at the Mall.

Long story getting even longer....I won the contest!  Yes I did!!!!  My husband and I will fly from Atlanta to Miami on November 3rd.  Someone will meet us at the airport and drive us to the Carnival Legend cruise ship.  We will spend 7 nights aboard the ship with stops in Belize, Roatan, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.  All because Marilee insisted I record a funny story.

And that is the story of 'The Contest'.  Many, many, MANY thanks go out to my friends, family, their friends and families, Mall Rats everywhere, Facebook friends, MARILEE, and Deseret Book (contest sponsor). 

I'll blog about our trip and hope that nothing too funny happens while we are gone.  I'm going to take an extra bottle of shampoo, just in case!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Time in Florida

I have to confess.  We've been laughing at you.  Yes, you.  We sit around the pool and laugh.  Because you go all wide-eyed on us when we say we are going to Florida for the summer.  You ask us why we would even consider going to FL during the summer months.  You ask as we are surrounded by school aged children.  We go to FL in the summer because it is the only time we CAN go. 

So we sit at the pool, alone, and laugh.  Because most everyone thinks we must be melting into the chaise loungers on the pool deck.  Only we AREN'T!  To be honest, there is a great sea breeze blowing right over us and sometimes when we get out of the pool it is downright chilly!  No, I'm not kidding!  And we love having the pool to ourselves.  Yeah, people come in for the 4th of July, but then we get the pool and beach back - all to ourselves.  It is beyond awesome!

We go on bike rides each evening.  We pull over on ocean front streets to watch the sunset.  We can ride after dark on the island (of Venice) because we practically have the whole island to ourselves!  We ride in the middle of the street sometimes, because we can.  We window shop the cute stores on Venice Ave. from our bikes.  We stop by the children's fountain to cool off and it is empty.  Just waiting for new customers. 

We cruise down to Sharkey's and walk the pier.  We could eat dinner there, too, if we wanted.  NO LINES!  What?  You don't believe me?  No waiting list at Sharkey's?  It's TRUE!  In fact, we can eat out every night and never experience a line!!!!  Crow's line.  Mi line.  Captain Eddie's....yep, no line.

When we left Greenville this year it was 105 degrees!  It could never get that hot in FL.  FL just produces a big thunderstorm and cools off.  Problem solved. 

I don't really know why I am telling you all of this.  If you really believe me you might head to FL next summer and ruin our deserted paradise.  So, uhhh, just forget all that stuff.  Here are some pictures of us having a miserable time in Florida this summer.  Did I mention how hot it was!?

Sunset over the south jetty
Chilling in our private pool

Drip castles on Siesta Key Beach

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stand Alone, if you must

You know those snippet memories from childhood?  Do you have those?  I have lots of two second memories of seemingly insignificant events that I'll always remember.  I wonder why that is. 

I had this teacher in high school.  I think his name was Coach Thomas.  In addition to his coaching duties he had to actually teach a class here and there.  My brain cells must have worked really well at the time of day I was in his class because I seem to remember a few things he said almost word for word.  Which is strange, because I would never have guessed he would be someone I would even remember at all (no offense intended, Coach Thomas...if that was really your name).  He taught us all how to write a check.  I've thought of him every time I've written one.  I try to write the first number as close to the left edge of the box so no one can slip an extra number in there and scam me.  Maybe Coach Thomas saved me a ton of money with that little tip, maybe not.  But I always think of him when I write them.

I also make sure to hit the 'print receipt' button at the ATM because of him too.  He told us the story of depositing $300 cash once and it never reached his account.  $300 sounded like $300,000 to a high school student and I never wanted to make that mistake.

His most significant learning experience was the day he divided the class into two groups.  He would give a scenerio and tell us if we believed that to be true we should move to one side of the room or the other.  His point was to let us figure out if we were liberal (Democrat) or conservative (Republican).  Up until this point in life, I didn't know the category I fit into.  I already has very strong conservative beliefs, but never knew that was what I was.  I thought we all had firm convictions but that day was a real eye opener for me.  Human nature is a curious thing.  For example, he asked if we believed in the death penalty.  Lots of us moved to one side of the room, in favor of the idea.  But then he'd crank it up a notch and ask if we would still believe in the death penalty if our father were on death row.  Now, to me, that is the same question.  And I thought it would be for everyone else.  I was very wrong, and very disappointed.  Maybe disillusioned is a better word.  You either believe in something or you don't.  You either feel something is right or wrong in your inner heart of hearts or it isn't.  No matter if your dad is involved or not.  But I sat by myself after he asked it that way.  And that still bothers me!

I mark that lesson as one of the most significant lessons I've ever had.  A true life lesson.  One where you find out more about human nature than you wanted to know.  And I still find that to be true in so many ways. 

I think we all try to blur the lines between right and wrong sometimes to suit our needs or circumstances.  But when you feel something is true in your heart, don't let compromise creep in.  Stand for your values and what you hold dear.  Don't let anyone talk you out of what you feel is true.  Shun their attempts at labels. 

Wow, that got deep!  I promise to write again soon with a much lighter topic!  Good night.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

No Shampoo for You

I have been wanting to resurrect the ole blog for a long time now. I have three thousand posts swimming in my brain that need to get out and see the light of day...or black and white of print, however that works best. But TIME. Time is so hard to come by right now. I need to prioritize and make the time. I know it can be done!

For now, I am going to ask a favor. If you read my blog, or used to read my blog, and you aren't already bombarded with my Facebook requests, will you please go and vote for me?

You can find me at My video is called No Shampoo for You. I am currently in third place with 342 votes. I'd love nothing more than to top the 400 vote count by the end of the week. The first and second place ladies are both above 500, so I am not so sure I can catch them, but the vote count is only half of the way way to victory. You have to be funny as well. And the lady in first place is sorely lacking in funny. Me? I've got funny, I just lack in votes. :) What I am trying to say is, as long as I can keep my vote count up, I have a shot at this thing.

There are two grand prizes, a cruise to the Western Carribean. But my sights are on a contact at Deseret Book, a publishing company. I have a book in mind and I'd love to have someone to pitch it to one day.

So, I am back. I hope to commit more time to writing soon. Thanks for voting!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Here's to next year!

2011 is almost over, and not a DAY too soon. The ole blog has been quiet lately. Mostly due to the fact that no one wants to hear a whiny person vent. I won't lie, this hasn't been an easy year. And we started it off with such high hopes! The house didn't sell, but the inside contents did, on CraigsList, because we thought the house had sold. And we gave away all our warm winter clothes, thinking we'd never need a coat again. And it just spiraled from there. But you know what, we are all together again, and that my friends is priceless. Whether it be here in SC or where we thought we'd be in FL, we are together. Valuable lessons learned. But I won't say I wouldn't change a thing, because (here it comes again) this has been a HARD year. So, marching on to a better 2012, using our best manners as we go!

One bright spot was this past weekend. We were blessed to be able to fly up to Boston to attend Robbie's sister's wedding. Jennifer married Tyson at the Boston Temple on Friday. It was so beautiful and we are so happy for them.

I think everyone gets a little wistful thinking back about their weddings when they attend one. But then you think of all that ground you've covered already and decide going back would be so much work to redo! I have never really wanted to go back and start over. As fun as it was, as much as we've accomplished, I just like moving forward. And since you can't go back anyway, that is just as well, huh?

At the reception that night they had a tv in the corner with photos of the bride and groom growing up scrolling by. Then the groom's father invited Tyson and his mom up for a special collection of photos. I don't even know these people and I was crying! I love to take pictures and I take a ton of them. And when I saw those pictures of Tyson and his mom, I really didn't see them, I saw us, Key and me. My oldest hitting all those milestones. I could already do at least a 1/3 of the pictures. I can see the ones in my mind that I would use!!! And how can it be that he will be ten next year? I am sure he just came home from the hospital in a baby blanket. And it hit me, hard, how all those pictures I am taking of him (and his siblings) are for a future tv, to be broadcast at a future wedding reception, for a future bride/groom to watch. I told Robbie to not do this to me, because I would not be able to stop crying. I was crying watching a mom I don't even know! But she was just smiling and hugging her son. Will the next decade prepare me to let go? Will the teen years make it seem not so bad that he is moving on? I guess time will tell.

So, we wish the happy couple the very best life has to offer! We love you both and think you are the luckiest people to have found each other. You are just perfect together. And you'll have so many wonderful years. And like 2011 was to us, you'll have some years you'll wish you could forget. But if you have each other it will be just fine, and you'll come out wiser and better off for it. And you'll wonder where the time went and who those young, fresh faces were as you look at your wedding photos. Take lots of pictures - you'll need them for a tv in a reception hall one day.....