Jan 2, 2010

Ready, Set, 40! has moved.

2010.  New Year...New Blog.

You may or may not know that I have 2 blogs: "Ready, Set. 40!" and A Fine House.   I have decided to merge both blogs into one.  I felt as if each blog only showed readers a part of who I was.  From today on, I will have one blog, Bona Fide, over at the old address for A Fine House. 

I appreciate all of my readers and I hope that you will join me over at Bona Fide, and maybe become a follower while you are there.

This will be the last post at this site (Ready, Set, 40!) and all of my blogging will be over at Bona Fide.

Click here to get the whole story.  Hope you will follow me over there. 

Happy New Year!!


Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year.

May your Christmas be filled with love of family and friends.
May you ring in the New Year with hope and peace in your heart.

From my family to yours.
Happy Holidays!!

Dec 21, 2009

I Invented the Friggin' Poof & all that jazz.

Don't let the photo above fool you.  We don't have any snow here in Ohio.    We were spared.
This little guy was made by my Lizzie and her best friend 2 years ago when we lived in the old house.

I cannot be the only one that is so crazy, busy this week.  Right? I have no time for baking, wrapping, or reading much less for blogging.

There are a few things that I want to talk about though, so I will most likely be back after Christmas to share my thoughts on cookie baking, Glee, last night's Survivor finale (that was B.S.), my girl's ever growing health issues (none serious thankfully), and how I am way behind on my Book Club which meets online January 3rd.  Hello?? June Gardens??  Who schedules Book Club immediately after the holidays?  How will I ever finish Serena?  Also I will need to discuss about Avatar (loved it!), the arrival of Nine (can't wait to see it!), my sisters pregnancy (It's a boy!!), and OMG - I almost forgot the 2 most important things that I need to blog about....Jersey. Shore.  Aghhhh!  Please tell me that I am not the only moron that is highly entertained by this craziness!!

No time. Off to dig up my college diploma because I have a job interview tomorrow.  Then to post office, and then to the store to try to squeeze my body into something presentable for this job interview. 

Argh!  When does this merry-go-round stop?

Merry Christmas & Happy Hannukah & all that jazzzz!

Dec 17, 2009

The Finer Things, like kicking Murphy in the Jingle Bells and gathering the Cheer Moms.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....at least it is at my house.  I love Christmas and decorating for Christmas, so my house is decked out for the holidays.  I even put up 2 trees this year, seeing as how I scored a new tree last January at Sears for $99.  It was originally $399, so I got that going for me.

Other than decorating for Christmas I have been taking care of my girl who must have Murphy's luck when it comes to her health.  Who is this guy Murphy?  I'd like to give him a swift kick in his jingle bells.  My poor child constantly has something wrong with her.  She suffered all of October and November with Mono.  While dealing with Mono my little piglet got hit with the Swine Flu - talk about a double whammy!  She is just recovering from all of that and 2 weeks ago did a number on her ankle while tumbling and ended up in the ER.  There is no fracture, but it is a "severe sprain".  Now we found out she needs 2, yes 2, root canals, the first of which will be performed on New Years Eve.  You know, cuz her December hasn't sucked enough.

Poor kid.  I am showering her with love, and healthy food, and extra vitamins.  Grandma is showering her with prayer.  Daddy is showering her with love and an new ipod under teh tree.  So we've got it covered and we are looking forward to a happy, healthy 2010!

In other non-Christmas, hurray for 2010, glass half full news:  I have a job interview next week!  Yay!  I am making the switch from part-time to full-time.  So wish me luck oh faithful readers.  Speaking of readers, I am dying to join a book club.  I happened to be at the library last Thursday evening getting a book for my online book club at Bye, Bye, Pie and I asked the librarian about Book Clubs.  "Oh yes, we have 3 Book Clubs".  Yay, I took the info. and was excited about the idea.  As I was wandering the library I noticed all of these people coming in with books (imagine that) and pastries.  I looked at my book club pamphlet and sure enough 2 of the 3 book clubs meet on Thursday nights.  All of these men and women were arriving for their monthly Book Club meeting - and they bring desserts!  Count me in!  Then I noticed something...um.....every single one of them was 75+ years of age.  Uh, not so sure about that.  I was going to ask the librarian if everyone in book club was a senior, but then I pictured her looking at me like I was some horrible person who didn't like old people.  Oh my gosh, what kind of person am I?  I have since decided that I absolultely love old people and love to converse with them, but DO NOT want to join Book Club with them.  I'd much rather converse and discuss with my peers.  Does that make me bad?  Where are all of my book-reading peers?  Don't any of them read?  They are probably all members of online book clubs, like me.

Solution?  I am going to start a Mom Book Club at my daughters gym.  Cheer Moms Book Club?  Yup, Cheer Moms read too.  There will probably end up being just 3 or 4 of us, you know, like Pam, Toby, and Oscar. 

So that's what is going on with me.  How about you?  In the Christmas spirit?  Member of a Book Club?  Happy and healthy?  Hello? Hello?  Is this thing on?

Dec 8, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Last night while working at a certain Cheer/Dance gym, one of my duties included getting parents to sign a permission slip for an upcoming competition. 

When practice was over I said to a particular cheer girl, "CheerGirl, go tell your mom she needs to come in from the parking lot to fill out these forms". 

Five minutes later little CheerGirl returns and says, "My mom can't come in to fill them out".  Okaaay?  "Then here are the forms and a pen, please have her fill them out in the car and then you bring them back to me".

Five minutes later CheerGirl reappears with completed forms.

Ten minutes later we get a call from said Cheer Mom.  "I'm calling to explain why I didn't come in".   "That's OK", we told her, "we figured you were in your PJs or your hair wasn't done".  "No", she says, "I couldn't come in because I was wearing white socks and crocs".


And here is a "completely unrelated to my story" picture of my Christmas Tree.  Just because everybody likes a photo.

Dec 7, 2009

100th Post - Break Out the Champagne!!

Yay!  This is my 100th Post!!!  If I wasn't so cheap, I'd give my loyal readers (all 8 of you) a chance to win some fabulous prize.  Instead I will treat you to my edition of:

100 Things About Me.

1.  I am named after my Polish grandmother. She is Stefania Marya (a.k.a. Stephanie Mary) and I am Stephanie Ann.

2. When I was quite young I ran into an electric fence on a family farm.  It could explain a few things.

3. I am a Virgo - for all of you astrology people out there.

4. I am married to my high school sweetheart.  And he's still a sweetheart.

5. I went to Catholic schools for 12 years;  but do not consider myself a Catholic.
Here are my cousins and I all dolled up for First Communion. That's me on the left:

6. I suffer from S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) every winter.  It hits me January through March. Don't you look forward to my enthralling posts next month?

7. I have Dutch Hebrew ancestors on my father's side, but everyone in the family is Christian.

8. I once was the Trivia Caller on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee".  Regis was out that day, so I got to talk to Bill Cosby.

9. I answered the trivia question correctly (answer: Al Pacino) and won $250 worth of pots and pans.  Eh?  I don't even cook.  They have since upgraded to both Kelly Ripa and free vacations.

10. I listen to mostly pop and lite rock music, but I am a metalhead at heart.  Some of my favorite bands are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Disturbed, and Rage Against The Machine.  I gotta be in the mood, which for me isn't all that difficult.

11. At the age of 18 I got busted for drinking wine coolers in a moving vehicle.  We were on the way to the INXS concert.  We never made it to the concert, but that was OK with me, I was just so happy that I was 18 and they weren't going to call my parents. (sorry Mom).  The driver wasn't drinking, but he might have been stoned.  I'm not sure.

12. Red is my favorite color.  I am obsessed with it.  I am drawn to it.  It can't be explained, it just is.

13. I have 2 cats, Ozzy and Josie.  If given the opportunity, I could sooo become a cat lady.

14. I have been a nail biter my whole life.  For the past year I have worn acrylic nails, and I adore having long, red fingernails.

15. Speaking of oral fixations, I started smoking at the age of 16.  I quit at the age of 38.  The only time in between that I didn't smoke was during both of my pregnancies, and for a long 4 year break in my early 30's.  I quit on October 8, 2007.  Two years later and 30 lbs. heavier, and I am still smoke-free!

16. I am a sun-worshipper.  Seriously, I have to have sunshine.  I know, I know, I live in Ohio - not exactly conducive to vitamin D intake.  I tend to get really cranky if I have to go a whole week living under gray skies. 

17. I began drinking Diet Pepsi at the age of 17 and it is still my drink of choice to this day.

18. I have a supernumerary nipple.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  This phenomenon, also known as a third nipple, the triple nipple, and an accessory nipple, occurs in 1 in 18 people. Other notable members of the Triple Nipple Club?  Lily Allen, Mark Wahlberg, Tilda Swinton, and Chandler Bing just to name a few.

19. My favorite candy (other than chocolate which is a given) is Good 'n Plentys.  Yum.  I just love the licorice flavor.  My bestie Denise and I call it the "food of the gods".

20. I am a Cheer Mom, which if you follow my blog you probably already know.  My daughter dances and cheers competitively.  I am one of those moms that shells out the bucks so my girl can follow her heart and compete like the athlete that she is. I drive for hours on end to travel to competitions in and out-of-state.  I have worn blue wigs and sported facial tattoos and have had my nails painted in team colors, all to show my spirit and support our teams.  If I have to explain any further, you just won't get it.

21. I am a genealogist.  I love to research my family history.  I've been doing it for years.  So far I know that I am Polish, German, Dutch Hebrew, Irish-Canadian, and French.  I am a mutt.

22.  I have 5 brothers and 1 sister.  I love big families.

23.  I have had a bunion on my left foot for years.  I am just too afraid to have it removed.

24.  I have another blog, A Fine House, which is dedicated to my crazy passion of decorating my house on a budget.  It's more like an obsession.  The decorating, not the blog.  I call it my "shiny, happy blog".

25. Reality TV is the best thing ever.  Do you watch any of the following shows?  I do.
The Amazing Race, Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance?, The Girls Next Door, Bachelor/Bachelorette, American Idol, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, and all of mtv's Real World/Road Rules mayhem.

26.  My absolute favorite tv shows are LOST, How I Met Your Mother, and The Amazing Race - in that order.

27. I am only on #27 and am realizing that this list is not going to be completed in just one computer session. Damn!  100 is a whole lot of numbers.

28. Speaking of numbers, I got pregnant when I was 18, I gave birth when I was 19, and we got married when I was 20.  We may have done it backwards, but I have the most amazing 20 year old son EVER and my sweetheart and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2010.  Life is good.

29.  I am obsessed with baby names.  Steve named both of our kids: Steve Jr. after him (obviously) and Elizabeth after his mother.  I never got to name my own kid.  Although I had a hand in naming my neice Gabriella Renee (in a round about way) and my friend's daughter Bailey Ann.  I still obsess over names.  My girl names are Laney, Jensen, and Celia.  My boy names are Jake, Nicholas, and Thomas.  You can borrow them if you want.  Just send photos.

30. I did eventually win a free vacation, but it wasn't courtesy of Regis, it was courtesy of The Plain Dealer.  They had a contest that lasted months and had weekly winners.  I won a trip to Cancun, Mexico.  Steve and I went there in 1998.  It was every part of amazing.

31. I had my first kiss in the 6th grade with a boy named Mark.

32. I hate the snow.  I have lived in Ohio for all of my 40 years, and I really hate the snow.

33. I have worked in the furniture industry for the past 9 years.  I won't lie.  I have some nice furniture in my house.

34. I have many acquaintances, but just a few close friends.  I like it that way.  My mom and my husband are my best friends.  My girlfriend Stacy is my bestie that I talk to and see the most, we have so much fun together.  My girlfriend Jeaninne is my oldest and dearest friend, we don't talk that often, but when we do we can go on for hours.  We just get each other.  My girlfriend Denise is my soul mate I think.  I just feel so close to her like I can tell her anything and I feel like we'll be friends till we are old and gray.

35. Dogs?  Not so much.

36. The majority of my family loves country music, but try as I might, I just can't get into it.

37. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas and lilacs.

38. I miss both of my grandmother's terribly.  They were amazing women and I love them both so much.

39. When I was 16 I lied about going to a Journey concert, then our car broke down in the Colesium parking lot and we fell asleep in the car.  We were awakened in the morning by a sheriff and my DAD knocking on the car window. Not such a good scene.  I was with a boy.  He was 19. Dad was miffed.  It was all worth it to see Journey.  Don't you just love them?

40. That is my age - 40.  Celebrated the big 4-0 back in September. It's a big whatev.

41. I just previewed my post and realized I need to make these 100 things a bit more concise and to the point.

42.  One of my all-time favorite movies is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  I like to watch it every few months. I never tire of them.

43. My first job was at McDonalds at the age of 15.  I may have eaten a lot of fattening food, but I learned a lot about good customer service and had tons of fun. That's me in the purple:

44. I love football.  The Browns are disappointing, but I love to watch me some Buckeye football.  O-H...anyone?  anyone?

45. I love the smells of new babies, the ocean, and a summer rain.  Oh yeah, and lilacs and garlic too.

46.  I do not cook.  I can, but I don't.  Steve is the chef in our house, and he is great at it.  It runs in his family.

47. I miss the days of childhood when time was spent swimming, playing kickball, roaming in the woods, sledding at the hill, and playing Ghost in the Graveyard.

48. I learned to read when I was 4 years old.  I didn't go to Kindergarten.  I didn't skip that year, I just stayed home instead (early days of homeschool I guess).  When I started first grade Sister Adele took me all around the school so I could read the newspaper to the other teachers.

49.  When I was in the first grade my 12 year old brother went to live with his dad.  I didn't get to see him until I was 10 years old. What were those adults thinking?  I just can't figure it out.

50. I have just three words for you: Chipotle Fajita Burrito. (Cue Hallelujah chorus now.)

51. I graduated high school in 1987.  I was an 80's girl.  I had big hair, I rocked my Jordache jeans and Firenza sweaters, and if given the chance baby, I could wang-chung tonight.

52. My dream jobs (not necessarily in this order) are Real Estate Agent, Private Investigator, Wedding Planner.

53. I have a mild obsession with Brad Pitt.  I have for years.  If you haven't seen Legends of the Fall - stop what you are doing and go rent it. Now.

54. I was a Girl Scout Leader for 6 years.  I loved it and I miss those girls.  They are now all in high school and Girl Scouts is a thing of the past.  It's a shame.  High School is when the girl scouts get to travel to cool places like Australia and Greece.

55. Speaking of travel.  My list of 5 places I want to visit?  Italy, New Zealand, Egypt, England, and the Netherlands.

56. In 2011 my Aunt and I are planning a trip to Newfoundland, Canada.  She doesn't fly so I'll be driving for like 4,736 hours.  But it will be worth it.  My great-grandmother was from Newfoundland.

57. I used to watch the Soaps.  Originally it was Another World and Days of our Lives.  One was cancelled and one went sci-fi.  After that I got hooked on Y&R and B&B, but I gave them up years ago.

58. I am good at math.  Like freaky good.  In college I took math classes every semester, not because I had to, but because it was my "fun" class. 

59. Ketchup and french fries should have there own food group.  And it should be recommended to have 2-4 servings per day.  Just saying is all.

60. I used to sell Creative Memories.  I could have been good at, you know, if Sales was my thing.  I'm a good scrapbooker though.

61. I don't drink ever, but when I do it's either a Long Island Iced Tea or a Sangria.

62.  I went White Water Rafting a few years ago in Tennessee.  I want to do it again, it was a blast!

63. I am deathly afraid of heights.  As in I get dizzy in a 4-story stairwell and I can't look out the windows of tall buildings without freaking out.

64. One thing I am not afraid of is cemeteries.  I love them, especially really old ones.  My daughter isn't afraid either, because I dragged her to so many through the years.

65. Horror movies?  Not such a fan.

66. In the 8th grade I dressed up as the Statue of Liberty.  That's me with my best friend Terri.  She was Cinderella.  She is looking all happy with her princess self, isn't she?  I say whatever to her.  She might have a tiara and one shoe, but I have fire, a toga, and no curfew.  That makes Lady Liberty way more fun if you ask me.

67. My first car was a 1978 Ford Mustang.  Go ahead, click the link so you can see how uncool that car was.  The only reason I paid $250 for it was because my brother smashed it up in the park.  He was 15 with no license, no money, and a 16 year sister that was cool as hell.

68. I have two tattoos, both of which I got within the last 3 years.  No it's not a mid-life crisis, just something I've always wanted to do.

69. I don't own an ipod, but I am determined that I will someday.

70. When I was a child we were not allowed to Trick-or-Treat, what with it being the devil's holiday and all.  Of course my younger siblings got to do it, but not my brother and I.  We were deprived.  When my kids were little, they were most definitely NOT denied.  Here is Lizzie at age 5.

71. I believe in climate change, NOT man-made global warming.

72. I have been to OzzFest three times. I took my son and his friends to the all-day heavy metal concert in the summers of 2002, 2003, and 2004.  It was scorching hot.  I people-watched for 11 hours.  It DID NOT get old.

73. I am lucky at winning tickets.  I have won so many over the years.  I have won tickets to see Melissa Etheridge, Santana, the Cleveland Air Show, the Nutcracker performed by the Cleveland Ballet, and Def Leppard.  I have also won the above-mentioned pots and pans and trip to Cancun, and also $180 in gift certificates to Tony Roma's restaurants.  The only thing I can't seem to win?  Money.

74. My little sister is in her 20's and is super cool.  She is young, cute, bright, sensitive, caring, funny, amazing, and one of the sweetest people I know.  Her boyfriend is a photographer, which is great for us because we get cute photos of her.

75. I like to do laundry.  Seriously, it's the only household chore that I don't dread.

76.  I am obsessed with hand-washing.  Not raw, OCD obsessed, but clearly it is important to me.  I freak out when I see someone in  a public restroom not washing their hands, I won't touch anything, including a door handle, in a public restroom.  When I arrive home the first thing I do is wash my hands.  This is the wall of my powder room (you know, just in case my guests forget):

77.  My favorite fried food is Fried Dill Pickles from Hooters.  Yummy!!  We get them whenever we are in Columbus because there is no Hooters Restaurant in our part of Ohio.

78. I love books.  I have been an avid reader my entire life.  I am currently reading The Kite Runner and Eclipse (book 3 in Twilight series).

79. I am obsessed with my black sharpie marker.

80.  I must confess that I am in love with all things Oprah.

81.  I collect buttons.  Not buttons that say things, but buttons that are sewn on your clothing.  I have old ones, new ones, colorful ones, unique ones, and tons of white ones.

82.  I am quickly getting hooked on the tv show GLEE.  So fresh and so fun!

83.  I cannot stand Adam Lambert.  No!  Not because he is gay!  I dont' give a hoot about that.  It's because I didn't like him when he was on Idol (I voted Kris Allen), and I don't like him now.  Some people predict big things for him, but I predict a "flash in the pan".  He's too theatrical for me.  If I wanted to see Broadway I would go to New York.

84.  Speaking of the Big Apple, my girlfriend and I are taking our daughters to NYC for their 16th Birthday next summer.  Our girls were born on the same day, same year.  But we only just met 3 1/2 years ago.

85.  I also collect Salt n Pepper Shakers.

86.  I am hooked on decorating magazines.  I have subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens, Midwest Living, and Real Simple.  I also buy tons of others.

87.  I secretly want to spend hundereds of dollars on a Coach purse but won't allow myself to do it.

88.  My biggest fears are heights, rats, death, and airplanes crashing.

89.  When I was younger my dad was an amateur astronomer.  We spent many nights stargazing.  We also took trips to "star parties".  They were overnight events with tons of other astronomers and telescopes and we slept in a tent. 

90.  I was in the Ski Club in high school.  I haven't gone downhill skiing in years, but it would be so fun to try it again.

91.  I have a brother that suffers from Mental Illness, and I try to remember to pray for him everyday.  He is awesome and I love him a lot.

92.  In the summertime I am always barefoot.  I will wear flip-flops, but only if I have to.

93.  My sister and I promised each other we would go to Egypt the year she turned 25 and I turned 40.  Yeah, that would be this year and it looks like it isn't happening.

94.  I am sentimental and cry easy.  I can cry at movies, tv shows, even commercials.  The other day I cried watching The Day the Earth Stood Still.  I am such a dork.

95.  I talk a LOT.  Seriously, I love to talk.  Steve is quiet and doesn't talk much.  My daughter?  Wow!  She talks even more and even faster than I do.

96.  When I was in the 8th grade I had to do a reading at the weekly school mass.  When I was finished the priest reread the entire thing in front of the whole church because he said I went too fast.  I was mortified!!

97.  When I was in the 3rd grade Sister Antoinette paddled me with the Websters Dictionary because she said I was "boy crazy".  Can you imagine?  3rd grade?  That's like 8 years old.  Whew, those nuns were nuts.

98.  In high school I was in the Drama Club my senior year.  Not once did I do a stitch of acting.  It was mostly because Jennifer was my ride home and it was either join drama club with her or take the bus home.

99.  I am so very blessed to have amazing parents, a loving husband who is SO good to me, a daughter that brightens my day, and a son that completes me.  Life is good.

100.  It was not entirely as easy as I thought coming up with 100 things, but it was fun. I am sure over the next few days I'll think of 50 more things that I should have added.  If you made it all the way through the list, thanks for sticking with it, and thanks for being my blogging buddy!

Peace out, girl scout.

Dec 4, 2009

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

A couple of weeks ago I was gifted with tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  I wish I could say that I saw it in NYC, but alas it was here in Ohio.  This was the first time that I have seen the Rockettes perform.  Being a big fan of dancing and Christmas, I was so excited to see the show. 

Here are some of the highlights.

The Rockettes danced on the moving double-decker bus.  The giant screen behind them gave the illusion that we were driving through New York City.

The Rockettes and the famous Toy Soldier Dance.

One by one they linked arms and fell backwards.  It went ever sooooooo sloooowly.  It was so amazing to watch.  It was like they were moving in slow motion.

You could barely see them moving. They fell so slowly and smoothly.

Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without Santa Claus.

Here are the Rockettes on the stage again, this time dancing with toy blocks.

We were treated to a brief version of the Nutcracker, from beginning to end in ten minutes time.  It was darling.

We mentioned several times during the very secular Christmas show that we hoped we would see Baby Jesus.  We weren't disappointed.  This nativity was breathtaking.  It was done to some our favorite carols, We Three Kings and Joy to the World.

Here come the Rockettes one more time.  My daughter is on 3 dance teams so I know what goes in to perfecting a routine.  Wow!  These ladies are perfect.  Every photo of them shows not one girl out of place.  They are so precise and move in perfect unison. 
I loved every minute of it. 

This show was fantastic and when it was over we all agreed we wished it went on for another hour or two.  If you are a lover of all things Christmas like I am, I encourage you to check out the show.  They are touring from now through December.  Check here to see if they are coming to a city near you.