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I’m bored…..

This is the battle cry I have heard for the past 4 weeks. Thank-goodness Ashley goes to year round school. I could not handle being camp counselor for 3 months.

I have been wanting to go to a local ceramics shop since moving to Cary. Today with the temps being in the mid nineties and my daughter watching the same Spongebob episode for the 400th time, I felt it was time to go. It also helped that I had a ‘buy one-get one’ coupon. Love those coupons.

Believe it or not Ashley did not want to participate in this adventure. She wanted to watch ‘Phinneas and Ferb’ AGAIN. I did what any mother would do in this circumstance, I threatened her with chores if she did not go. It worked.

Look how miserable she looks. What a mean mother I am. She hated it so much that she did 2 projects. Gosh I am cruel.

I love painting ceramics. As a child I used to go with my mom and paint pots. In a throw back to my childhood, I chose a very cute snowman jar. I hope it comes out okay. I sort of gave him a black freckle under his eye. We get the glazed projects back next week. On the blog next week, I will show you our works of art. Well, I promise they will be ‘works’ not necessarily ‘art’.

It has been almost two weeks since I started Weightwatchers. I am now starting to get creative with my meals. Creativity with the meals is key to staying on the plan. Here is a 5 point sandwich that is really tasty.It is my version of a low fat quesadilla.

To make this sandwich:

You take one whole wheat tortilla, you fill it on one side with two slices of low fat deli ham and one slice of Alpine lace swiss cheese. If you like you can add tomatoes, lettuce and mustard, all of which will add no points to the sandwich. You fold over the tortilla and stick it in toaster over for 2-3 minutes.

You can have it with a side of fruit or baked potato chips. It is really tasty and satisfying.

That’s all that been happening at Chez DJD this week. Hope you are having fun and not working too hard.

When you are four feet tall and feel like a……

Okay I am not be this big but I am weighing a little more these days. I have been indulging in the foods of the south and now am paying the price. Curse you BoJangles chicken. My weight has ballooned to 150! Weighing 150 and being only four feet tall, is not a good combination.

To get back on track, I joined WeightWatchers. I have had success with the program in the past and hopefully will again. I love WeightWatchers because you can eat real food just less of it. You can even indulge a little and still loose weight. My goal is to get down to 120. Even though I am short my frame is rather big. God Bless the Albers family gene for that! I wish I was built petite like the Italian side of the family. Oh well you can’t change genetics! Sorry mom!

My absenteeism on the blog is due to Ashley being on vacation. We have two more weeks until she goes back to school. While on break, I have been reviewing math and reading with her everyday. She is not thrilled with the idea. When she whines about doing ‘homework’, I remind her that my dad made me do a few math problems every day during the summer. Why do kids always roll their eyes when you tell them about your childhood?

Now it is not all work and no play. Yesterday we went to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. If you live in the triangle or visiting, I urge you to go. It is a cool place. The museum is a combination of a science exhibits and a zoo. There are animals to see, rockets to explore and the best butterfly house in the country. It is worth the trip to Durham.

Tonight there is a new show on Discovery Health channel about dwarfs. The show is called ’I Am Pregnant and…’. It’s about a couple that is going to have a dwarf baby. The couple is a ‘mixed couple’ meaning the mom is average size and the dad is an achondroplasia dwarf(like me). It should be interesting to see. It airs at 9 pm on the east coast.

I heard from my mom that dwarfs babies are painful to give birth to due to the size of our heads. Every mother’s day she reminds me of the agony she went through with me! I think she tells the story so I get her a good mother’s day gift.

On the Discovery Channel tonight, the fleet finds out about Captain Phil on the ‘Deadlist Catch’. Last week’s episode made me cry all over again. Poor Captain Phil. I love the Cornelia Maria. I hope Jake and Josh quit smoking. Every time I see them with a cigarette, I want to rip it out of their mouths! I love the show and have been a fan for several years. It is a great show and if you have never watched it you should.

What have you been up to this summer? Where have you gone? What movies have you seen?

I must leave you and count how many points is in a Oreo cookie. I hope only a few because I REALLY WANT ONE!


Yes, I have been ‘LOST’, not on the ‘island’ but in the state of North Carolina. I have been busy lately. Ashley is on vacation and I broke a few things around here. Life has had more ups and downs again.

Speaking of LOST, did y’all watch the final episode? I have mixed feelings about the end. I wished the parallel world was better explained. I am assuming the bomb did not work. The parallel world was their version of the after life. The only people that truly got off the island was the pilot, Sawyer, Kate, Claire and Miles. My interpretation of the whole series was that you saw the time line of Jack’s life. Jack’s life was intertwined with life on the Island. Speaking of Jack, what a fine specimen of a man! I would break vows for him. So what are you views on the show? Did you like how it ended? Let’s discuss.

On the topic of breaking things, I side swiped my husband new car. It was lovely. He parked in the driveway which he rarely does. I was thinking of what I had to buy at the store instead of watching backing out of our very narrow drive way. All of sudden I heard ‘BAM’. I thought oh crap! I knew what I did. My car was stuck to the side of his. The worst was telling him I did it. He did not get mad but was upset. The car is only a month old. I now have to find a good body shop in Raleigh. Finding a good body shop is like finding a needle in a haystack. We were recommended one from a neighbor. We now just have to find the time to bring the cars in.

Other than crashing into cars and watching TV, I completed one item on my bucket list. With much begging and pleading with my husband, we took a trip to Asheville, NC. My dream in life was to see the Grand Lady on the hill. I finally got to tour Biltmore. The way some people follow star trek is the way I follow the Vanderbilt family. I am a Vanderbilt family geek. I have read at least ten books on the family and have toured two homes(Hyde Park and The breakers). Biltmore was the gem in the collection of Vanderbilt homes and it did not fail its reputation. What a gorgeous home.

The tour is not for the faint of heart. Many stairs to climb. It was tough but I got through it. George Vanderbilt and his wife had to be the most healthy couple in Asheville at the time. Just to get to the second floor was 4 flights of stairs. At one point I thought a tour guide was going to find me keeled over on the floor. Needless to say Rich did not join Ashley and I on the tour.

Here is a trivia question for you. Guess who is currently the most famous Vanderbilt family member. He is the son of Gloria and the great-great grandson of the family’s patriarch Corneilus.It is none other than Anderson Cooper. As I toured the home, I wondered what his thoughts of the home would be. Did he ever tour it? What does he think of his great-great Uncle’s accomplishments? If you read the blog Mr.Cooper, please drop me an email. I would love to have a cup of coffee with you to talk family.

In conclusion of this long post, I have to tell you about the major spill I had in the kitchen. I was getting ingredients prepared to throw in the slow cooker for dinner Monday morning, when I took a major tumble. I was at the kitchen sink and I mis-judged when climbing down the stool. I thought I was stepping down, instead I tumbled down and twisted my leg. I was laying flat on my back screaming for Rich. I thought for sure I broke my leg. I didn’t break any bones thank-god, but I am still sore. This stool is a death trap and really need to get it replaced. What a few weeks it has been!

I am off to Charleston tomorrow to visit family and to go to Folly beach. I hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend. Please say a prayer for all our soldiers that keep us safe. Take Care and be safe.

Childhood Time Capsule

I can’t believe that my baby, the child that screamed through the airport eight years ago, who continued to scream for the next twelve hours in the hotel room, turned nine yesterday! It was Ashley’s big birthday! She told me that this is her last year as a single digit age! I wanted to cry when she announced that with pride at breakfast. Boy did the time fly. She was one years old when we finally got her from Korea. She came on her first birthday. What a way to celebrate your first birthday! Stuck on a plane for over twenty hours then tossed in the arms of a woman you never met. No wonder why the kid cried for almost 12 hours straight.

Celebrating her ninth birthday made me feel nostalgic for when I was nine. What did I love to play with? What was my favorite candy? What was the rage of the day? If you can make a childhood time capsule what would you put in it? What 5 items would remind you of your youth?

Would you put in your collection of Wacky Packages? I loved wacky packages when I was about nine years old. I collected and traded these gross stickers. I remembered that I scored a Skimpy Crummy Peanut Butter sticker. This was one of the ‘rare’ stickers in a package. My cousin offered me 5.00 for it and I said no! Dumb me.

What was your favorite candy that you would like to remember? My favorite when I was a kid was Pixie Stixs. I was all about sour tastes just like my daughter. Ashley doesn’t like Pixie Stixs but she loves those disgusting sour patch kids.As hard as I try, I can’t make her like the classics! BTW, I correctly spelled the name ‘Pixie’. Wonka candy is incorrect with ‘Pixy’!

When I was a kid, I only drank milk with Bosco syrup. Bosco rocked! Hershey syrup cannot even compare to Bosco. I loved it on ice cream. It would cover the ice cream in gooey goodness. While researching Bosco, I found an internet store that sells it! It is not in the glass jar, so I don’t know if it still tastes as good as it use to. I will have to order a bottle and let you know if it is worth it.

Are you old enough to remember ‘Suzy Homemaker’? If you were a little girl during the seventies, chances are you owned a Suzy Homemaker toy. Suzy Homemaker made toy kitchen appliances. I had the oven, sink and wash machine. The oven was fantastic. It made real cakes. It was bigger and better than the Easy Bake oven(which also came out in the seventies). I thought I was the ‘Ace of Cakes’ with my Suzy Homemaker oven.

I wasn’t into Barbies like many little girls. The clothes were to hard for me to put on the doll. The clothes back then had real buttons, zippers and snaps. Today’s Barbie is much easier to dress because of velcro. I did however loved Dawn Dolls. Dawn Dolls would be the number one item in my capsule. The clothes were easy for me to navigate. The dolls were more fashionable then Barbie. Dawn Dolls wore ‘Couture’ whereas Barbie wore ‘Gimbels’. I had every Dawn Doll and most of the designer fashions. Recently, I showed my collection to my daughter. Needless to say, she thought Barbie was cooler. Kids they just don’t understand!

There you have it, my five time capsule items. What are yours? Please tell me your time capsule items. I would love to know. Tomorrow is National Scrapbooking Day. I will hopefully have a layout I can share with you. Take care and have a blast discovering your past!

Freebie idea of the week

Hey all! Have you been to your local library lately? It’s a wonderful place to go that is totally free! All you need is proof of address and poof you have access to a world of magic. Okay enough with the sticky sweet talk. As I have previously mentioned one too many times, the Davis family is watching our pennies. My new goal is to find great things me and my daughter can do that are either free or can be done with minimal costs.

This week we went to our local library. My daughter is into Nancy Drew and they have the best collection of Nancy Drew books. I have been wanting to read the ‘Lovely Bones’ for sometime and I was happy to find it at our library. I used to buy all the books I wanted to read. I would read the books once and then sell them at a garage sale. What a waste of money! Your local library carries the best in new literature, the classics and biographies.

Libraries also sponsor free programs for children such as book clubs and character read-alongs. It is a great place for kids to discover books and acquire a love of reading. You can also rent movies at libraries and many libraries have books on tape for adults.

If you don’t know where your local library is located, you can look it up at Public

I am having fun discovering all the things you can do for free or on the cheap. Stay tuned because next week’s is a good one!

Throwing caution to the wind…

Rich and I have been extremely frugal the past two years. I’ll be honest, we are cheap. We evaluate every dime we spend. Do we really need this item or not. I know most of the country is doing the same evaluation.

Today we sort of threw caution to the wind. We bought this house last summer. The selling point for us was the screen porch. We had a screen porch in Virginia which we enjoyed. We love our new screen porch but it does need some TLC. TLC meaning it needs patio furniture. Outdoor furniture is pretty pricey thus it has been put on the back burner of our house budget.

After shopping around for almost a year, we finally found a set that will not break our budget and will look pretty good on the porch. Home depot has a Martha Stewart four piece patio set for $399.00! Most patio sets retail over 1,000.00. Today, we went to Home Depot to see if the set would accommodate our requirements. I was able to sit in the chairs with easy and so was Rich. No stools required(which is a good thing). The quality is good and I think it will last us awhile. So if you need a new patio set that will not break the bank, you need to go to home depot and check it out.

No, I am not being paid for this promotional announcement. I just like to find good deals and share them with you. Hey everyone is looking to find good deals. I will also share activities you can do for free with your kids or by yourself. I think it will be a good challenge for me to find things to do that are free or for minimal costs. My daughter is tracking out again from school so I will be forced to stretch my entertainment dollar! Check the blog on Sundays and I will post the good deal/activity of the week. This should be fun! You can also share your good deals or free activities in the comments section of my blog.

One more item I would like to share. If you are into chocolate, you must try the new 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp candy bar. They are to die for! I mean it’s ‘better than sex’ type of candy bar. Pick one up at the grocery store and I promise you won’t regret it!

Take care and post your good deals on the blog!

Feeling Blue….

There are some days when the past 2 years just really get to me. I just wish that our luck will change and we can go back to our normal life(whatever ‘normal’ should mean). It has been some roller coaster ride since my husband’s been laid-off. We have had lows and some really low points. I know that the whole country is also on this ride of uncertainty. It sucks to say the least.

My husband started his own media business since TV jobs are scarce and in-between. The business is doing okay. A business is like having a garden. You constantly have to nurture and take care of it. It takes a long time for the roots to take hold. Did I ever tell you that I suck at gardening? Really I do. I think this is why I don’t have patience for business but thank-goodness my husband has patience of a saint. He is great at what he does and is moving the business in the right direction.

It’s tough. Somedays I just get down in the dumps. We are doing okay. We are keeping our head above water which I know is good considering the economy. I just get sad sometimes and worry what the future will hold.

My neighbors are in the same boat. They were also laid-off due to the recession. We all lament together which does help. Misery does love company. Today we decided collectively that things will get better. They just have to.

Friday, I just couldn’t take another day of applying for jobs online, so I decided to take a break. I grabbed my camera and headed to the historic district of Oakview in Raleigh. This excursion was to clear my head and find a positive outlook on life.

I love old homes. They remind me of a simpler time. When life was basic and you didn’t need much to get by. This red roof house was one of my favorites. I can just see Aunt Bee standing on the porch talking to her neighbor about peach pies and when Andy will be coming home.

Remember the Adams family? This home has some Adams family appeal. I bet it’s haunted. I can picture a tall woman with a long dress waiting for her husband to come home. She is looking out of the top window for him. At night, you hear her pacing the floor. She is wondering where did her love go. You can feel her sadness when you go upstairs but you don’t see the grand lady.My imagination is getting carried away now! I just love to imagine who were the first ladies of these homes.

When I look at old houses, I think of the families that had lived there. Families just like mine. They had ups and downs. Struggles and triumphs in their life. They survived tough times and so will we.

No matter what, my family will get through this. What doesn’t break us, makes us stronger, right?

Take care and I hope all is well with your families.

From the heart…

My daughter taught me a life lesson yesterday and she didn’t even know it. Recently Ashley made a new friend at school named Annie. At recess her and Annie play ‘habitat’. Habitat from what I gather is a game where the players build various animal habitats. I have to admit when I heard about this game, I thought it was pretty strange. Yesterday, the game finally made sense to me.

Ashley had a play date with Annie. I was excited to meet this new little girl. She sounded wonderful and I was glad that Ashley was making friends more easily since we moved. It so happens that Annie only lived a couple blocks up the street from where we live. This new friend was fast becoming my favorite new friend!

When we pulled into her driveway, I saw the sweetest little girl from behind the glass door. She had a smile that would melt January snow. She was so excited that Ashley had come to her house to play. Her parents were wonderful. Very warm and welcoming. Annie doesn’t have many play dates her parents explained. They were thrilled that Annie had met Ashley and that the two formed a wonderful friendship.

Ashley urged(told) me to leave(you know kids don’t want their parents around when fun is on the agenda). So I left to do my grocery shopping with the warmest feeling in my heart.

You see Annie has Cerebral Palsy. She walks with a limp and has limited hand use. Her speech has also been affected. My daughter never mentioned this to me. I don’t think Ashley even notices. Ashley created the habitat game for something Annie and her can play during recess. A game Annie could play. Ashley has the biggest compassionate heart that I have ever seen.

When I picked her up, I asked her what did she and Annie do together. Ashley told me that they played Elefun and the Wii. She was teaching Annie how to hold and grip the Wii controller. I was proud all over again. Later that night, I told Ashley that I was extremely proud of her and she is a good kid. She looked at me and asked ‘why’? I didn’t want to tell her why and break the magic of what Ashley is doing. I just shrugged my shoulders and said ‘because you are you’. She kissed me good night and I smiled as she climbed into bed.

Who knew that a nine year old can teach an old mom like me such a life lesson. A very valuable life lesson.