Saturday, December 26, 2009

I want to be a fireman when I grow up

at least that is what my nephew, Joey, says now. For as long as he could talk though he has been fascinated by the firefighters. He does have the same drive as my son, Jeff. Jeff knew at a very early age that he wanted to be some kind of engineer and he is pursuing that field now in college. I have no doubt that Joey will most likely follow in Jeff's footsteps at least with the same determination of his cousin.
I told my sister, Amy, that it is most likely a good career choice and they do get a good salary once they have been in the career for a few years and that he would be able to obtain a Bachelor of arts in fire service administration. I was never aware that you could actually get a degree in that kind of field. I just thought you had to go through a basic training course and maybe an academy to get the experience. Then again, I never wanted to go into the fire fighter's union. So unless you know what you need to do to obtain that goal, you really never give it much thought.
Joey has several more years to really decide. He is 8 1/2 years younger than Jeff and therefore has those years to change his mind if he wishes. But like I said before, he reminds me a lot of Jeff. He is in the fourth grade but really he should be a grade above. My sister decided to keep him in the appropriate grade level for his age because socially he needs some work. He is EXACTLY like Jeff in that area. Smart as a whip but has NO common sense and his social skills with others is marginal at best. There must have been something "special" in the prenatal pills back in the 90's because I have no clue where the boys got their intelligence. Seriously.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Dark Cloud...

I have been trying to keep myself busy. Taking on as many cleaning jobs as I can, knowing that just cleaning two places a day really wipes me out but I can't say no when I get calls. I see dollar signs and the ability to help with the bills and make sure that I am doing my fair share.

Physically I am doing better. I am not where I want to be but I know that it will take time to get back to normal. Whatever that is. I still have no feeling in most of my neck and shoulder and I can't lay down on my back for very long without the feeling of being strangled. Sometimes I even feel like I have a brick in my neck it feels so heavy. I haven't lost the weight that I thought I would yet but I am still hoping that it will happen in time. Otherwise I guess I will be stuck being FAT.

Emotionally... I am not so good. I avoid looking at my neck and I get so self conscious about other people looking at me. I go out in public and I swear everyone I see is staring at my neck. I know it's not really the case but I still feel like they are. My husband is too tired lately to want to be intimate. At least that is what he complains about anyway. I am sure that is the case but my mind wanders into other realms of possibilities and I know that will lead to me feeling even worse about myself. After all... I don't in the slightest feel worthy of anything right now. He is working LONG hours and he likes the money that he is bringing home. Yet, I feel like I don't matter to him as much as he matters to me. Even when I have been exhausted, I always made time for him. I guess that is the difference between us.

I can't even cry a good cry. It's been awhile since I could get one out. Sure I tear up, but as quickly as the tears roll down my face they dry up faster. Sometimes I just feel like I am existing instead of living. Trust me, it's not a good place to be.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Proof is in the Pictures

I have been wanting to post pictures of the aftermath. Apparently there are people out there that grow suspicious if you don't provide such photos when a tragedy or illness takes place. To me that is stupid to have such a mind set. So for all that were ever in doubt of the crap that I had to endure.... this is for you.

Kat took these for me. I would have never been able to do this myself at that time. This was about a week after the bandage was taken off. It's a little dark, but you can definitely see it.

I took this one today. It looks swollen still but that is because I have been doing my daily physical therapy, which by the way is not fun by any means!
You can see that in just a few weeks the mobility in my neck is a lot better. My neck and face are still a little swollen but hey what do you expect. The rope like effect is from the drain tube that was left in after surgery. It was taken out before I left the hospital. I was told that the scar and swelling will take at least eight months to fully subside. The numbness that I have have from my left ear all the down past my left shoulder could take up to a full year and I may not recover all of the feeling back.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I may have lost the lump but I sure as heck gained a battle scar

I am sitting here at my computer waiting for the pain to stop. I am going almost a full twelve hours without having to take any pain medications but I am now paying for waiting too long between doses. Once the pain starts to come full swing it is excruciating and it takes almost two doses to dull the pain. It's funny actually because the rest of the area is incredibly numb except for the area itself.
I have no feeling in my left shoulder but if I happen to raise my arm, the pain just radiates everywhere. The incision is on my neck, but I am guessing that raising my arm puts a lot of stress and/or tension on the neck area itself. I can't lift more than ten pounds but even holding a jug of milk is sometimes too much.
Driving is almost comical. I have to turn my whole body to the left if I need to look left. Turning my neck to the right is almost back to normal. Backing out of my driveway is a challenge but I am lucky that I don't have a busy street and most of my neighbors are courteous to me if I happen to backing out when they are coming down the street.
I am getting used to the stares from people. I know in my heart that they are not really trying to be rude and most likely are just trying to figure out what happened to me, but the other day there was this one moron at the gas station that actually asked what I did to myself. I figured I give in to his stupidity and I flat out told him I missed. No smile, no giggle, no just kidding. He actually just stared at me while I finished pumping my gas.
I don't mind people coming up to me and asking. It is human nature to be curious. My whole family at our Thanksgiving dinner would come up to see the infamous line that runs from the dip of my clavicle to the back of my ear. It is a good seven inch incision. One that will probably take at least a half a year to fade. Hopefully it won't be long before I can start using vitamin E to help with the diminishing of the scar that will surely follow.
When I get the courage and am not so tired. I will surely gross all of you out and post a pic. I would kind of like a memento of what it was like.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What to do while waiting....

It's hard having to wait for news that you may not want to hear. Then again worrying about something that may not even be, would be stupid right? My emotions are all over the map and it is so hard to focus on the right here and now moment.

I am not able to work. The fatigue alone is an enormous struggle. Chris has been so supportive of me and he works his butt off trying to make ends meet but every month we still fall short. So after talking to him last night, he mentioned that maybe I would feel better if I got my MBA online. This is something that I could do from the comfort of my own home and participate on my schedule.

I started to check some schools online and I have found that the University of Scranton offers a wide arrange of degrees. I myself have always been drawn to the business and accounting degrees, so maybe now I should take the time and work for something that will help bring in the income we so desperately need.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It has been a very emotional rollercoaster....

I haven't blogged in ages because of what I may be dealing with. It is scarily possible that I have cancer. In fact until otherwise proven, I do have cancer. I have either Tongue or Thyroid Cancer and the pathology report will be revealed on my follow up appointment in two weeks. I have been seeing a specialist at the Moffitt Cancer Center for a few weeks now. I had surgery last Friday to remove the cyst on my neck and they did another biopsy on the mass that is on my tongue.

This is the first day that I have felt remotely like myself. The pain is subsiding although I do take my pain meds about every 8 hours instead of every 4. I have a hideous incision line that runs from the dip in my clavicle bone to the edge of my ear. No stitches. Just the medical glue and tape. The only thing that drives me crazy is that I have absolutely no feeling whatsoever from my left cheek down to the top of my left breast and my the top of my left shoulder. It is hard for me to judge just how far I can move my head from side to side without the fear of ripping open the incision.

I have come to terms with the term cancer and I have every intention of beating whatever it is that I have. The good thing about this whole mess is that it has probably been caught in the very beginning stages and it may infact be that once they removed the cyst that may have been the majority of the cancer itself. So... I will do my best to post regularly. I still get very tired and to sit at the desk for a long period of time makes my fatigue worse. For all of you that have been sending good thoughts, prayers etc... Thank you:)

If you have any questions... Are curious or whatever... just send me an email.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

No news yet

I have had my PET Scan earlier this week and my biopsy was performed on October 1st. Both experiences have left me feeling numb for the most part because I am not quite sure what to expect next.
I am still very much fatigued and drained. I want to sleep every chance that I get. BUT I have denied myself that. I don't want to feel run down or unable to accomplish the most simplest task. I don't want my house to get all disarrayed just because of the fact that I am tired. I feel guilty that Chris goes out and works hard all day while I am at home doing absolutely nothing. I do try and keep up with kitchen being clean and making sure the dishes don't stack up in the kitchen sink and I do laundry but it is done in baby steps. I feel ashamed that just making dinner takes every ounce of energy that I have but I am too damn stubborn to just let someone else do it, even after they offer. I feel like if I give in to someone else helping than I might as well as not be alive. And I am terrified.

Kat emailed me today because she was concerned about me and I love her for that. Despite all that is going on in her life, she took the time to find out how I was. It is a blessing to me to know just how many people truly love and care about me. So many of you have reached out and I just want you all to know how much it is appreciated and welcomed.

I will do my best to blog more even when I absolutely do not feel like it. Who knows, this may be my therapy. This may be what I will need when the time comes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finding what was lost

Something wonderful has happened to my friend, Kat. Despite the numerous battles she has had to fight over the last several years and the little life annoyances that can throw you even deeper into despair she definitely had a silver lined cloud waiting for her.

Kat was placed into a foster home right from birth. She never knew her real mother and father. She always knew that she was adopted. So she didn't really know that she had siblings out there. All of them residing in Maine. In fact she went to high school with her full blooded sister and her sister knew but was told not to tell. Over twenty years later not only has Kat been reunited with her sister but has found out she also has two half brothers. They all share the same mother. This reunion would have never of taken place if the Today show did not run the story of the long lost brothers and sister yesterday. Check this out.
Now check this out!

I can't stress enough about the importance of allowing adopted children to be able to search for their families. I know that Kat would love to know more about her medical history but just knowing that you can have so much more than that is just the icing on top of the cake.

My husband and his best friend are both adopted. I know that both of them would love to know their siblings. Chris has three brothers and a sister out there somewhere and his best friend found out a little while ago that he also has a brother and a sister that he would love to find. That is so important to the both of them. However, most states do not have their adoption records readily accessible and what a shame! I think we need to revamp our adoption system and make a free registry to allow siblings to locate one another. Chris' siblings may not know how to find Chris because only two of them that we know of were put up for adoption and that was Chris and his brother David. The rest of the siblings stayed with their dad. They were also older.

I am so happy for Kat and her new found family. She deserves this and it couldn't have come at a better time for her!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back to Square one

Ok.. test for the tumor at the base of the tongue came back negative BUT... the doctor doesn't think that the pathologist examined all the tissues... SO... I have a PET scan set up in two weeks and in between another biopsy will be performed but ...on the neck this time. Basically we are back to square one. DAMN IT!!!

The doctor is pretty sure that there is no infection going on at all because the antibiotics that he had me take have not reduce the swelling of the lump in my neck or the mass at the base of my tongue. At this point his thinking is still cancer and it is just a matter of finding it. It may be a good thing that he is being so persistent because it could only be at phase 1 which is a very good thing to treat. The higher the phase the more invasive the treatments would be and right now I am hoping for the less invasive. I will keep you guys posted as I receive information. Right now all I want to really do is take a nap.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I am going to do my best to formulate into words what it is that I have been dealing with. Some of you may already know and for those of you that do not well... here is the simple and straight out story.

Last Tuesday I noticed a lump on my neck that was not there the night before. In fact, I didn't notice the lump until late in the day after having a brief coughing stint. I felt a little burning twinge and decided that it didn't feel right and went into the bathroom to take a look. I was taken back by the Quasimodo like lump on the left side of my neck. When Chris got home from work I immediately showed him and he proceeded to touch the lump and ask me questions as to whether it hurt or not. It didn't hurt. The only thing that hurt was my back/shoulder area which I contributed to tight muscles because of poor sleep or lack of sleep. Chris and I chalked the lump up to being part of the tight muscles and that it would go down on its own. I slept fine and the lump did not impede on me being comfortable. By the time I went to see a doctor on Thursday the lump had gotten a little bigger but still no pain. I hesitated seeing a doctor in the first place because Chris and I do not have insurance. With Chris just starting back to work our bills are just now getting caught up. So that was my mind frame up until now.

I was looking at $130.00 dollar office visit bill from the doctor. Chris told me not to worry about it and to just find out what it is. When the Dr. came in to perform his exam (which only took him about 5 minutes) he immediately told me to go to the ER. He didn't charge me anything either. By the time I got to the ER they were already aware that I was coming. The only thing I wasn't expecting was to have an EKG. My heart rate was sky high (my take was that I was extremely nervous) and I have never in my life seen doctors move as fast as they did. They moved fast but were very mindful that my daughter, Katie, was also in the room. I made arrangements with my mom to pick her up because Chris was at work and I couldn't reach him.

I did have blood taken, about 10 freaking tubes full, and a CAT scan. The doctor told me that they could see two masses. The lump on my neck and one at the base of my tongue. I was being admitted and I would see An ENT (Ears, nose and throat specialist) in the morning. When the ENT did come in to see me he stuck a camera down my nose and confirmed that there was a large mass that would he would need to biopsy. So on September 11th, 2009 at 3:10pm I had the biopsy. The doctor did tell Chris that he is sure by the appearance and the characteristics of the mass they took out that it is along the lines of the lymphoma family. My doctor stated that he would not have said cancer if he wasn't sure of the results. I believe he told me so that there would be no surprises when I do see him.

I am still coming to terms with it and haven't fully accepted it... Yes, I did cry but not in front of my kids. I have no idea how we are going to be able to afford all this medical crap! That is what mostly has me worried. Stupid, I know but I am still worrying!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So ya gotta hang on til tomorrow, come what may.... That is what my family has done for the last couple of months. Believe me, we are holding on tight!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Whoever thinks that Illegal Immigrants can do no harm...

needs to have their heads examined! Chris was laid off in June. He applied for unemployment and when his determination paper came it stated that he also worked for two farms in the Miami/Dade county area. Immediately we were concerned. Chris called the unemployment office in Tallahassee and reported to them that he NEVER worked for the two farms and also told them that it would be impossible for him to work three jobs in 2008 because of the locations. We live in Sarasota. It would take Chris over five hours one way to drive to Miami. That would be one hell of a commute!

Apparently, it is not uncommon for wrong employers to be linked to your data, well, that is what the caseworker said. Until Chris had to attend a seminar at our local Jobs Etc location about finding assistance in job seeking, continuing education that is paid for by the foundation and other avenues to find employment. It is a requirement for anyone that has been laid off to continue with the unemployment benefit assistance. When Chris went to register into their system to be able to apply for jobs via online, he found out that he was already in the system!

A 24 year old Hispanic male is using Chris' identity to seek out jobs. The offenders job locations were the exact jobs that were listed on Chris' Unemployment Determination letter. The county in which this criminal resides is Miami/Dade area. See a pattern?

Chris called the Miami police department and they told him that without an address there was little they could do. I really can't say that we were surprised or shocked by this tidbit of information. He then called the unemployment office again to report this incident so that they could look into the matter. The only good thing so far is that this miscreant has not used the unemployment benefit to collect money. He has only been utilizing the Jobs ETC to look for work. Still, It is still Identity theft! Chris will now access his credit report and look for any discrepancies and he has to report this to our local Social Security office and have them look into the matter, then maybe he can get appropriate law enforcement involved. I am just wondering why he has to do all the leg work. I mean seriously, what the hell do we pay their salaries for if they don't do the work themselves?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Waiting to flatline

I look at the state of our economy as if we are on life support. We are one step away of needing an AED to jump start our hearts. In all seriousness, we are a dying nation and unless we start fixing what is broken, we are either not going to recover or we will be permanently disabled. Pretty dim future for us all if you ask me.

What we should have done in the very beginning was let the big businesses, such as, GM and most of the banks that received bail out money to fail. Instead we, the taxpayer's, own 61% of GM (thanks to the government stepping in) and the banks are sitting on the bail out money instead of issuing it out like they were supposed to. Not one of the people that I know who have phenomenal credit were given loans to help get them out of debt. Hmmm.... why the hell not? Most bank CEO's are living high on the hog because it stated in their contracts that they would receive monetary bonuses. Aren't contracts written based on performance? Seems to me a lot of the high end corporate big wigs performed poorly and down right shady to deem worthy of a bonus to me.

I know of a lot of people that had the same type of contracts with their employers that didn't get their bonuses, because their companies acted responsibly and truthfully regarding the status of said company. They either came out with the truth and told their employers that it would be either get a bonus or still have a job at the end of the year. Many companies even went to the lengths of explaining their financial status by asking that employees take a pay cut in order to let the company survive. My own brother in law took a ten percent pay decrease and gave up his yearly bonus because he would rather have a job than nothing at all. He has a wife and two daughters to provide for. My other brother in law who is a master plumber has been laid off with no assistance whatsoever and his job prospects are zilch, zero, nada. He has a wife and three children and has taken to getting whatever side jobs he can just so his family can SCRAPE BY!

We Americans need to wake the hell up and take back our country before there is no country!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1.5 Trillion and counting

“I do not believe the federal government should be running health care in our country and levying massive tax increases on America’s small businesses. However, if this Administration and the majority party are going to force government-run health care on the American people, then Members of Congress should be required to enroll in that plan. If the government-run ‘public plan’ is good enough for millions of our constituents, then it should be good enough for Members of Congress,” Said Heller.

I absolutely agree with Rep. Dean Heller. He proposed an amendment to H.R. 3200 or better known as the America's Affordable Health Choice's Act. This would require that all member's of Congress must enroll in the government-run health care program.

So you really need to be told what the result of that was? It was voted against 21 to 18.

So far it is estimated that it will cost us, the taxpayers, 1.5 trillion dollars. I truly believe that estimated is grossly underestimated. Our children's, children's, children's, children's etc.... will be swimming in our big steamy pile of debt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Affordable housing in the making?

Chris and I have had many conversations regarding what could be done to help people that simply can not afford to buy a home or pay rent that is outrageous because many homeowners are upside down on their mortgages. We have seen, on our street alone, three homes go up for sale only to land on the foreclosure list.

Why not have a community of mobile homes? No, I am not talking about a retirement community. Florida has plenty of those. I am talking about communities tailored made for families. Families that need a stable environment.

It would start with investors who are wanting to help by providing such a community. This could be the next step in affordable housing. Have you seen the improved homes? They are definitely not like the one I lived in for six years back when I lived in Mentor, Ohio. I wouldn't mind owning one myself or at least renting one in a family oriented neighborhood.

The economy is not bouncing back like the government had hoped and I can only see it getting worse still before it even starts to improve. With the housing market still falling and the construction industry almost halting. This might be the best time for an investor or group of investors to make a difference. The trickle down effect... More neighborhoods go into the works and the more people are back to work and then more people able to afford a minimal payment for a decent, well made home. At least I think it is a great idea.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Need to get this done

For the past several months, I have been searching for much needed industrial equipment supplies that will fit my cleaning business needs and won't break my budget. I am having such hard time just trying to find a foldable cart. One that won't cost an arm and a leg and will easily fit into the trunk of my 2001 Malibu.

Chris has suggested that maybe we should make one out of a dolly and a few baskets, but we have yet to find the time to really put our heads together and devise the stupid thing. Then there is the issue of whether or not it would fit in my trunk or would I need to invest in a trunk organizer and just put my cart into the back seat. Just thinking about this makes my head hurt.

I do want to be able to have something by the time season starts which is in late October and early November. Otherwise I am going to end up with arms like Popeye and to me that is not going to be very attractive.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tucks review and wisdom teeth

I haven't been able to do a lot the past several days. Mainly because sharing a computer with an 18 year old is hard. With Jeff needing to complete necessary applications to get his college courses all set and submit needed documents it has taken him some time to do. So, I have waited patiently for my turn.

It also has been hard because the past couple of days I have been sick. Apparently my wisdom teeth have decided to break through at my age. Don't ask me why at 38 years they decided to come through but they have. Apparently, the lower wisdom tooth has cracked one of my lower molars and it has created an abscess. Which has put me into a constant state of radiating pain. Since I do not have health insurance I have been keeping a constant regime of Ibuprofen and Tylenol. It is the best I can do for now, and it has also allowed me to be able to deal with the pain and still get some things done. Unfortunately, for me, the infection has now done a number on my body. Like any antibiotic would do to your system after a long period of time. I have contracted an UTI (urinary tract infection) and have had the most uncomfortable bout of loose bowels, which have irritated any hemorrhoids that have been dormant. Good thing about that is that I was given a sample of Tucks medicated pads to try on behalf of Mom Central and believe me they couldn't have come at a better time. I know TMI, but seriously, it has been a blessing because it works so well. I mean instantaneous relief. It can't get much better than that in my opinion. It is hard enough dealing with one pain than to have to deal with any other subsequent ailment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Computer for dummies

I have a Dell Inspirion 530. I bought it back in March of 2008. I needed a better computer for school and since the one I had was just about obsolete, I figured it was time to for a new one.

It is heartbreaking that the Internal Hard Drive died a little over a year of getting my new computer. What hurts the most is that everything I had worked so hard on can never be restored. I have lost everything. I would rather do a slimming pills review than have to redo all my hard work. I will recreate most of my documents and implement my spreadsheets for my business but It will take time to finish it all.

Chris worked patiently to try and see if he could retrieve any of my information using his external hard drive and his laptop. He learned how to extract my hard drive and plug it into his external hard drive from his friend, Phil. We also learned how easy it will be to upgrade my computer by adding more ram and a video card. I can't thank Phil enough for his help. It was quite comical to see Chris trying to show Phil the inside of my computer via Chris' laptop camera. Phil schooled Chris on what everything was. I even learned that computers really aren't that complicated.

Will You Be There

I know a lot of people have blogged about Michael Jackson and his untimely death. I wanted to do something different than to rehash what a shock it was.

The very first song that I remember singing and dancing to was "Rock with You". I knew about and heard his earlier songs from the Jackson 5 but that was before my time and I truly did not connect with that era.

I do remember taking a dance class as part of some curriculum in the seventh grade and we learned a routine to PYT which has brought back fond memories for me. I believe it was my first boy/girl dance and I was excited and embarrassed all at once. My sister received Thriller as a Christmas present but it quickly became the family album. MTV played that video over and over and in reality it should of died quickly but I never got tired of watching it. I thought it was the coolest video and song and it mainly because it featured my favorite thriller/suspense actor of all time... Vincent Price.

I liked just about every Michael Jackson song/video that came out after Thriller but the one that I will never tire of hearing is the theme song from Free Willy... Will You Be There.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

It just keeps getting better

Friday night my hard drive gave up the ghost. I am currently working off my son's laptop. Another hard drive is on order ( thanks to my family) so I will have to get used to using Jeff's computer. And I am grateful to Jeff for letting me.

He paid for his computer with his own money and has been working extremely hard the past few weeks. He has already been accepted to the State College of Florida (formerly known as Manatee Community College) He will begin his classes in August. He has been working more hours and will always go in for someone else. His boss calls him first with any more hours available and he always accepts them.

Last week he paid for groceries so that we could have enough for rent. He offered or rather insisted because Chris and I would never ask him.

When we applied for assistance and Chris spoke to the caseworker, she had asked for everyone in the households pay stubs. Chris made it known to the caseworker that Jeff would absolutely not be responsible to contribute monetarily because he needed his money for school, his phone and gas for his scooter. She agreed. We have not heard as of yet whether or not we will receive assistance. Hopefully that will come in Monday's mail.

I am trying not to get stressed but I think that I may need to invest in some kind of wrinkle cream because I am going to be aging a lot faster because stress always finds a way into my life.
I am trying to look at this with a more "it is what it is" attitude but I am not sure how long I can pull that off. I am a worrier by nature. That is one aspect about me that drives Chris bonkers. I have been doing better and I am always trying to catch my thoughts before I make them verbal. This has not been easy but nothing is ever really easy.

We had a great time yesterday. Although, Jeff worked later than anticipated because another co-worker went home ill, we waited for him to get home before we had our cook out and sat in front of our TV (which is a rarity) and enjoyed our movies. We did get to see some fireworks. A neighbor on the next street over actually set off some mortars and we had a spectacular view. That is until the cops showed up:)

Friday, July 3, 2009

No Fireworks for us

Chris and I had a long discussion about what to do for the fourth of July. We have decided to stay home. Not because we want to mind you, but because we simply can not afford to waste gas for entertainment purposes. So unfortunately for us we will just have to rely on our outdoor pillows and blankets to keep us comfortable while trying to see some of the neighbors fireworks displays from our deck. Something that we haven't done in ages. We have also declared a movie marathon night.

I feel less that a stellar mom to Katie right now because she knows that we were planning on hitting the beach scene for an entire day and night. It may not be something that many folks would want to do but Katie was looking forward to it, and for that I feel terrible. I do not even have enough money to buy for sparklers for her and I really hope that maybe she will forget about our tradition but I know deep inside my heart that she won't. She won't complain, she won't get upset, she won't even pout, because she knows that something is different. We have tried to explain to her that because daddy is not working that the money we used to have is not there. Her solution to "helping out the family" is to have a lemonade stand when we have our yard sale a week from tomorrow. She is so determined to do her part in helping the family through this very traumatic and sobering time. I just wish we weren't in this situation.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It all comes down to Faith....

My cleaning business has dwindled to just a few cleanings a week. Actually that was to be expected since most of the snowbirds have gone home for the summer.

What we weren't expecting was that my husband, Chris, to be laid off. His last day of employment was on Tuesday. The company itself is still open but barely surviving. Chris' dad and his business partner are the only two left to try and keep the company afloat. Between the two of them, there is just enough business to last out the year and they are hoping that something happens before then to bring back the two employees.

Chris has already filed for unemployment and his first claim date will be at the end of the month. We don't know how much he will be receiving for another week at least. We did go apply for assistance and that could take anywhere from 7-30 days to just find out whether or not we qualify for food stamps and possibly medical for the kids. He did get an email stating that he should receive a phone call within 15 days for an interview. We will plan on going to our local Salvation Army to see if we can get rent assistance since Chris' last paycheck went to pay our Utilities and car insurance with about half left over.

There would have been a time when I would have thought this was the end of the world but I am at peace. Yes, it is going to be a life altering. We are going to have to change the way we do things but that in itself is not a bad thing. We have been pretty spoiled and this is just going to make us appreciate what we do have a whole lot more. While Chris is not going to immediately go out and look for a job, no sense in looking through the classifieds there is barely a page of job openings, he has already made several network connections that have put him at the top of the list so when something does become available, even if it is just part time, he will be given first choice.

We have talked repeatedly about this situation happening before and so now that he will have some free time he will be helping me market myself. He was given a gift for sales. He could sell snow to the Eskimos and so he will be selling me and my cleaning business to most of the condo associations where people can still afford the luxury of someone else cleaning their homes.

Chris and I look at our situation with a positive outlook. One door closes and many more will open because we do have faith that there is One that will carry us through this storm and our trust in Him will bless us tenfold. I am not saying that it is going to be a cake walk but we will get through this with a much stronger faith and a greater love for one another.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Venting or something like that

I am wanting so much to be able to spill my guts out here but I am really hesitant to do so in fear that maybe I will sabotage anything good. Eventually, I will put together the pieces and my family will persevere the changes about to take place. One thing I am confident on is that I will need to find a fast acting appetite suppressant to help me control my eating out of worry. I definitely do not want to gain any more weight out of fear or frustration. I may actually lose weight in order to feed my family. After all the mama Lion always makes sure her family is taken care of first.

The economy is sucking the very life out of my family and I don't care what anyone says at this moment about it getting any better by the end of the year because I really can't wait that long!

So...Where have I been?

I will tell you all later... right now my family is going through a storm and I am doing my best to have faith that things will work out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes you just never know....

My mom is an office manager for an upscale condominium on Longboat Key. Numerous residents are having renovation work done to their condos and many of them use different contractors. I stopped by yesterday after finishing a cleaning in another condominium complex to say hi to my mom. I could tell that she was distracted when I arrived and as usual she was on a phone call so I waited patiently.

When she finished her phone call she told me what was going on.
She was waiting on a lock smith because one the owners had just fired their contractor and apparently the contractor took the lock box and all the keys to the unit. This was after the owner fired them. My mom didn't know until after the fact and had told the owner that said contractor was there this morning. My mom thinks that maybe the contractor or his employees took things out of the condo that they should not have.

When the lock smith arrived my mom took the man up to the unit so that once he got it open (he would have to pick the lock) she could see exactly what was taken. She was very upset when she came back to her office. She immediately called the police and then the owner. Apparently the unit is gutted. There are no interior walls. Every piece of furniture is gone. Windows were taken out and all the doors right down to the door hardware are gone. The only thing they were supposed to be doing was remodeling the kitchen and bath. There was absolutely no reason to touch anything else.

The police have started their investigation. The owner is on her way down and will have to stay in the guest suite because there is no way she can live in her own unit. The contractor has called my mom repeatedly and he is harassing her. Stating that she had no right to call the police and she better watch her back. Oh yeah the police know because the dumbass called while they were still there.

Apparently he is a legitimate contractor and has all his credentials in order but I am not sure why this one particular job went so wrong. But, to actually threaten another person because what you did was wrong is asinine. I just can't understand the fact that after the owner fired him why he would come back and take the lockbox and all the keys. I mean if you think you did the best job and someone wasn't happy about it, you would feel bad but you wouldn't railroad yourself just because you may be upset. This contractor went over the deep end big time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Keep shining Katie... I love you

Katie is in the second row, first one on the right.

On Tuesday, Katie was recognized by her teacher and her elementary school for being an outstanding student. I can't say how much this pleased me.

Katie was diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) in the middle of the school year. Chris and I both knew that something more than just her hearing was affecting her. She has had an extremely difficult time with school ever since she started kindergarten and I chalked it up to her loss of hearing that made it quite hard for her to comprehend and retain anything that she had been taught.

She has done a remarkable job this year and I am so happy that her teacher thought so as well...

Also, Katie and her second grade class has been working hard on their Patriotic Performance for the whole school as well as some of the assisted living communities in Sarasota. I was told by one of the office administrators that Channel 40 would be there to highlight their performance this afternoon and then the parents will be treated to a performance this evening. I can't wait to see her doing what she loves to do best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On my honor

Monday, May 11th 2009
Katie is the little ham second from right in the back row.
She is the happiest when she is with her troop and she loves every minute of being involved with the Girl Scouts. I am very proud of her.
Sunday is the big end of year party for her troop and we will all be going to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. Then it's no more meetings until September.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Battle of the bulge.

You would think with all the non stop activities in my life and how extremely busy I am that weight would not be an issue for me. I actually did not start to gain all this extra 40-50 pounds until after I moved to Florida. I am not sure if it was all due to stress of moving and not knowing anyone except family or if I was unhappy.

I was not an overweight kid. I was actually pretty slim, even though I thought I was chunky in high school. I don't know why I thought that of myself. I was in great shape! I will have to admit that when I was pregnant with Jeff, I gained at least forty pounds. I was a stressed and miserable mess back then. I did lose majority of the weight after giving birth but still kept about 10 pounds.

Then the yo-yo cycle started to happen. I would lose weight without doing anything and then gain it all back and then some. When I tried to diet, nothing worked. I tried just about every diet pill out there. The only thing that I found that really worked was Ephedrine. Yes, I know all about the side effects and the dangers of Ephedrine. But you know what? If it weren't for the idiots that didn't know how to follow directions it would have not be banned.

Then it got me to thinking about all the diet supplements that are out there. I have surfed many sites promoting a certain product and other sites that list diet pill reviews and it just made me wonder how many of us are dealing with weight issues. I don't really think that a lot of Americans are overweight because of lack of exercise. I think it's because we are well over our daily portion levels. We have forgotten the basics of why we need to eat. We eat more out of pleasure and not out of necessity. Our portions are way over the daily requirement.

I have been trying to get my family to stick with portions. We start off our meal with a full glass of water before we even touch our food. We are eating less and we are not snacking after 7 p.m. I have noticed some weight loss not as much as I had hoped to loose in one week but I know that by doing it the right way it will stay off for good because our bad habits are being replaced with good ones.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May is turning out to be my worst nightmare!

With the school year almost at an end, May is the month where all the odds and ends need to be wrapped up.

Katie has several engagements that need to be attended to.

  • She has a Bridging Ceremony on May 11th. She will be leaving behind Brownies to become a Junior.
  • She is receiving some kind of award on May 12th from her elementary school in which I will attend and take lots of pictures because Chris won't be able to take the morning off.
  • Her class is doing a Patriotic Performance at her school on the 14th. Her teacher told me she and a few other girls will be signing one song. Katie's voice overshadows everyone else and the teacher thinks Katie should major in Drama…. I could see Katie being an actress with a side talent of singing. She is my performer.
  • Her Brownie troop is throwing an end of year party at the Lowry Park Zoo on the 17th. Chris and I will both be attending with her. I just found out the zoo now has rides. Really?
  • Her last day of school is May 29th. She is already marking the calendar off. Not a good sign, sigh….

Jeff is busy with 4 major projects all due by the 14th. I think the teachers are setting the pressure cooker on extreme to get the young adults ready for the college scene and to drive the parents into an early grave because Jeff is stressed to the max right now.

  • Jeff will be picking up his cap and gown on May 19th. Hopefully we can score a few extra tickets for the Graduation Ceremony. They are initially giving out 5 and our family needs seven to include both sets of grandparents.
  • Graduation Rehearsal is on May 29th
  • Graduation Ceremony at 9a.m. Jeff will need to be there all ready to go by 7:30 and the family will need to be in their seats by 8:30. I don't know who the jackass was that scheduled such an early ceremony but apparently they think we all wake up super early on a Saturday with nothing else better to do.
  • Jeff's Graduation party will follow a few hours after the ceremony. Chris wanted to get it over with so I won't be a complete bitch for another week trying to get everything organized and ready. Apparently I am difficult to live with when something major is in the works. Can anyone guess why that is? Hmmm….

Meanwhile I am busy with getting graduation announcements out and also designing the party invitations and getting them all ready to go. I have about a bazillion addresses to get from my mom and grandma. Apparently they want announcements sent to every known relative. Some of whom I haven't seen in decades.

So with all that typed out I am going crazy figuring out how I am going to survive the month of May.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Slowly but surely....

I am losing weight. Not pounds really but inches. It is taken longer for me because I am over the 30 year mark, which apparently for women, is a downer because we lose weight at a much slower rate than men the same age. Our hormones alone are our greatest enemy when it comes to battle of the bulge. Our metabolism doesn't work the same anymore.

I have noticed since I have been cleaning more frequently now, I am building muscle in my arms, from carrying all my equipment and supplies and my legs are toning from all the vacuuming. My eating habits have changed and I drink a ton of water throughout the day. Of course I piss like crazy but I guess that is a good thing right? I mean, at least my kidneys are getting a work out too. In the beginning I would need to drink at least one energy drink to help me get through a cleaning.

Now.... I rely only on a good balanced breakfast and water. I eat more fruit and less junk. I would probably lose more weight if I could find diet pills that work but with all the different ones on the market, I would be spending a ton of money just to find one that would be right for me. So I guess I am pretty much stuck with losing the weight the old fashion way. But maybe that is the best thing to do anyway. It is all about changing the way I eat and doing more physical work to lose the weight and then maintain so I won't put it back on in the future.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Should strip searches be allowed in our schools?

Six years ago, an eighth grade student, Savana Redding, was strip searched because another classmate accused her of providing her with 400 milligrams of ibuprofen. Savanna was an honor student with no prior record of being a trouble maker. The vice principle took it to another level after a search of her backpack found nothing. With the assistance of the school nurse, they had Savanna strip down to her undergarments and then told her to pull out her bra and her panties which revealed that she had no drugs on her body. The school never once informed her mother of the incident and when Savanna's mother confronted the school official she was simply told that it was a good thing that Ibuprofen was not discovered on her.

Ibuprofen? Really? Now I know that schools have gone over the top on insisting that certain over the counter medicines be held at the school infirmary. I myself have had to take in extra strength Tylenol in for my teenage son. It was kept in the infirmary and was only allowed to be administered by the school nurse. My friend, Kat, has had major complications with the high school keeping and administering a migraine medication for her teenage son. They wouldn't even allow the prescription to be kept at school because it was on a very high narcotic list. Yet her son would come home two –three times a week suffering from migraines. Does this make sense to any of you?

Now Savanna was pulled out of school by her mother shortly after the incident because other students made it difficult for her to be there. At only 13 years old she was humiliated and shamed by school officials being overly rambunctious about their protecting other students against drugs. Savanna is now 19 and is waiting on the ruling of the highest court in the land. The U.S. Supreme Court.

It has taken six years for the this case to be heard and this will definitely be the deciding point on how far schools can and should go in protecting the students welfare from harmful drugs and weapons. I sure hope that someone in that court has common sense and will halt such indecent actions and prohibit another incident like this.

Now, I am all for a school that has a zero tolerance of illegal substances and weapons. But this incident along with many other bullshit stunts that schools have partaken in is just too over the top for me. How many of us would be irate to know that our daughters were stripped searched at school without being informed? I know that Katie's dad and I would be irate and livid and pretty much would want to see blood for violating our daughter. There is no question in my mind that schools are getting way too big for their britches. A teacher can violate/humiliate a student, a student can be mentally and physically brow beaten by bullies and general debauchery can be overlooked but someone carrying a few ibuprofens in their pockets and/or purse will be taken in like a lamb to be slaughtered.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today my dad turns 62 years old. It seems like only yesterday my son, Jeff and my niece, Jessi, were asking my dad if being 50 meant that he was older than dirt. LOL!!! They were only 5 and 6 years old at the time.

I can't fathom how in just 3 more years he can start collecting his pension. He doesn't look his age. In fact both my parents were lucky enough to have the better genes in their families. When Jeff was just a baby my dad was not gray in the slightest. Now although some salt and pepper highlight his temple and crown area it is nowhere near what some 30-50 year olds are sporting.

I am always trying to figure out what to get my dad for his birthdays. He doesn't need or want anything special and when I ask what he would like it's always the same answer "Don't waste your money on me, stock pile it for the kids." Generally, Chris and I take my parents out to dinner and slip a gift card inside his birthday card. And as boring or droll as that sounds my dad always appreciates even the littlest things.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

I’ll keep my freedom. You keep the change.

Yesterday should be a day that goes down in history that Americans are fed up and are wanting their voices heard. Throughout the country many protestors aired their dismay at what the government is doing to us. Sarasota was no exception.

Look, it doesn't matter what party you identify yourself with. Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever… People are getting angry and people want wasteful spending to stop. No more bailouts, no more big government. The greedy banks took our money while NEVER apologizing to us for their part in this despicable economy disaster. Yet…. They are not loaning money out. Millions of homes are already in foreclosure with more to come. Desperate people are doing whatever they can to hold onto their possessions. Jobs are zapping out of existence and millions are receiving unemployment and many have fallen into depression because there are simply not enough jobs to go around. I know from experience believe me.

We cannot let this get any worse. We have representatives that need to hear our voices and they need to know what we want them to do. They need to know that their jobs are not stable unless they start doing something. We as Americans have the right to revoke anyone in our government if they do nothing to stop this situation from destroying our children's future. Let's face the facts folks, our children and our children's children are going to suffer more than we have ever known if this doesn't stop now! Our constitution was set up to protect the people. No more taxation without representation. No more printing bogus money that we simply do not have. NO MORE PERIOD!!!!

Our wallets are bare and covered with cobwebs because big daddy government has already taken all that we can possibly give.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How many children are too many?

My parents in their young adult married life originally wanted six children. My mom had gotten pregnant several times and miscarried all but three. After the birth of my younger sister however, my mom was advised that having more children would put her and any fetus she carried at risk. Were my parents disappointed? Yes. Do they regret not having any more children? No. They felt blessed just to have the three that they believe God gave them.

I always wanted a big family. I loved kids and started a babysitting service when I was only 11 years old. I dreamed of having at least 10 kids with a big yard. Then reality set in. I was blessed with two. Do I regret not having anymore? No. I believe my family will be extended with the arrivals of my grandchildren (hopefully not for at least 5-10 years though)

This got me to thinking about all the reality shows that feature parents with a big family. There is Jon and Kate plus 8, The Hayes family –Table for twelve, The Duggars – 18 and counting. All of which may receive monetary compensation for having their lives aired on television but every one of the husbands do have careers. They made a conscious decision to have big families. Although some additions may have been a surprise. Where the Duggar's are concerned it is all left in the hands of God. They may have more they may not. However, their oldest child, Josh, and his wife have announced that they are expecting their first child.

So what about Octo Mom? Nadya Suleman consciously made the decision to have more children after having six children already. She is a single parent. All 14 of her children were conceived with in vitro fertilization and all from one sperm donor. She doesn't work but she does go to school. Her bills are paid for by donations and welfare and a settlement from an injury and from what I have gathered there will be a reality tv series starring her and her family.

In my opinion, it is one thing to have a life full of children first and then have a tv executive approach you for a series than to somehow try to enlarge your family in HOPES of having a tv executive come knocking on your door.
















Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Chris and I have been sick for better part of last week and I am still struggling to get back to normal. It just seems that I move a step forward and the next day I am thrown three steps back. I hate when this happens.

The kids are off for Spring Break. Jeff has picked up more hours at Auntie Anne's and is working everyday this week except for Wednesday and Thursday and of course Easter Sunday. He is happy about that because he has to buy Prom tickets once school resumes on Monday. He is not sure who he wants to take. I don't know about him sometimes. When I went to Prom it was something I prepared for at least a few months in advance. With Jeff and his slack ass approach it seems that is the normal now for teenagers. Wait till the last fricking minute. He is not the only one because his friends are doing the same thing. Whatever......

Katie has a few things scheduled for her Brownie troop. They are going to the Lowry Park Zoo for their end of year party. The proceeds from selling over 2500 boxes of cookies will pay for their party and also allow family members to attend. So, Chris and I will be going. Jeff has no interest to go with a bunch of 9 year old screaming girls.... haha.... She is also bridging from Brownies to Juniors this year, so a ceremony will be held at the Girl Scout Headquarters in Sarasota sometime in May for that.

Chris and I wanted to take the kids some place nice for Spring Break but with being sick and Chris missing almost a full week of work it is not going to happen this week. Chris has thought about taking some time in a few weeks and just go to Orlando for a weekend. He can get us free hotel rooms at this resort that his company managed in the construction process. This place is huge and the rooms are like suites. NICE.... But it all depends on how busy they are at work and what the resorts schedule is. I would like to go to Sea World. I have not been there since I was a kid. That was a long time ago! LOL!!!!

Other than being sick there isn't much going on around here. I have taken most of this week off from cleaning homes to be home with the kids. I will be working this Friday but the kids will be ok for a few hours. Jeff has been watching Katie for a few months now and picking her up from school when I haven't been able to so I know he is responsible enough to watch her for a few hours.

My grandparents were in a car accident yesterday. My grandpa is ok but my grandma was banged up. She complained about her neck and back hurting and she has bruises all over. Her mouth is cut up and bruised because the airbags deployed. She is still in the hospital for evaluation. They are running all types of tests. The accident involved four cars. The second and fourth cars were cited. My grandparents were the fourth car. Maybe this will be the final straw for my grandpa. I love him but he should not be behind the wheel anymore. I would get nervous driving with him. He would site see instead of drive. I know my grandparents would not like to lose their independence in the way of not driving but sometimes you just need to let go. My dad has already told my grandparents that he will drive them where they need to go. He is semi-retired now so that would not be a hindrance on him to have to drive them to doctors appointments and grocery shopping. They attend the same church so that wouldn't be an inconvenience and my parents live only 5 minutes down the road from them. That is what family is for right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Searching for my own camera damnit!!!!

I want to be able to add photos to my blog. I need a digital camera to do that. Now it's just a matter of finding the right one for me. I am a frugal person by nature and I generally will not shop specifically for me alone. I usually go without to make sure may family has what they need first. Well... not today LOL! I have found this Huge Sale online and there is a camera that I am drooling over. I want it in the worst way.

Chris has his own camera that he uses for work only and every time I ask to borrow it he gives me the "Hell No" look. When it comes to his camera no one touches it. Jeff has his own camera and he also will not let me touch it. Apparently the both of them think I am too clumsy to able to handle a digital camera. I swear the two of them are in kahoots with the "don't let mom touch your stuff" drama all the time. It's wearing thin on me right now! Unfortunately that is about the only thing thin on me...sigh....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed...

I feel like my brain is in overdrive and I can't slow down. My mind is constantly running and I have been on empty for weeks now. I am not sure if I am not completely over being ill or if something else is trying to invade my body.

So many things to do in a given day but my body doesn't function like it should. I clean when I have scheduled appointments but doing anything else that day is a no go. I hate feeling run down all the time and I hate not knowing how to fix it. Sleep eludes me almost every night and when I do get sleep, I wake up just as exhausted.

So many thoughts cloud my brain all at once and sometimes I feel so disconnected with myself. I am not sure if this is a case of anxiety or if I am just taking on more than I can chew. Whatever my problem is, I need to slow down. Although I feel if I slow down than I will forget how to breathe. I need help!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Product Review: Smooth Away

How many of you have seen the commercials for Smooth Away? I bet many of you have. It looks simple enough to remove the hair on t.v. but I will be honest, many of the products advertised on t.v. look simple enough to use. So, when I was given the opportunity to try this product out, I was looking to be disappointed. I am a skeptical person by nature and not easily impressed.

After receiving my product in the mail, I had to wait a few days to try it out since I had already shaved that morning. It is pretty simple to use. The bigger pad is recommended for legs and arms and on men, the chest.
Smooth Away is recommended on clean and dry skin. So, after my shower, I dried myself off and went to work. The directions say to start out by gently buffing the area in a circular motion with slight pressure. Three times in a clockwise motion and then three times in a counter clockwise direction and repeat until the hair is gone. I have to admit that overweight people will spend at least 3 times as long getting all the hair removed. There is just more ground to cover and it took me almost an hour and a half to do just my legs. You also have to take into consideration the coarseness of your hair. The coarser the hair the longer it takes to remove. I am of German/Italian descent so, along with being overweight, my genetics was another strike against me.
Don't get me wrong, Smooth Away does work. It is painless, but it is time consuming. I just can't justify spending so much time removing hair with a product that takes me what seems like forever when I do not have the time to begin with. Shaving my legs takes me about 10 minutes in the shower to shave both my legs and underarms. Smooth Away also is about as effective as shaving when it come to the time it takes for the hair to grow back. Well.. for me it is anyway. I did try out the Hair Inhibitor Moisturizer that claims to need at least 61 days of daily use to notice a difference in the the time of hair re-growth and a more finer hair quality. I haven't used it long enough so I can't say whether it works or not. Although I do have my doubts. I just don't think I have the kind of hair that cooperates with this kind of hair removal. So this product will not work for me. I am sure that there are people out there that may benefit greatly from using Smooth Away. I am just not one of them.

One package of Smooth Away contains the following:
1 large and 1 small paddle
Four micro-crystalline replacement pads for each
Carrying/Storage case

I am not sure how long a box should last a person but I went through all four of my large pads in one setting. Like I said before, I am overweight and there is more ground and the pads do lose their effectivness quickly. They do remind me of fine grade of sandpaper so maybe that is why it exfoliates the skin as well. I wasn't really thrilled of "sanding" my skin either. It just doesn't sound all that appealing to me. Like I said I am very skeptical person to begin with.

The suggested retail value for this product is $9.99 and you can find it just about anywhere.

If you have the time to commit to this kind of beauty regimen than by all means you should try Smooth Away.

2009 Family vacation!

This is Chris' idea of roughing it. LOL!
We have talked about going rv camping for several years now. Something different to do with the family but not as expensive as booking flights, securing a hotel, paying for the local attractions and not to mention all the meals eaten out. Let's face it, we are talking some serious moolah here.
Camping is a whole different ballgame. We have discussed what would be more enjoyable, tent, cabin or renting an RV. I loved to go camping as a kid and have many fond memories with my family doing so. Chris and his parents camped a lot. Our kids have not been so fortunate. While they have camped with other organizations, we have never camped as a family.
There are a ton of campsites in the state of Florida. I never knew how many there are. In fact there is a nice one less than 10 miles from our home. So I think this year we are going to get serious about doing a weekend trip around the kids spring break vacation. Which is just around the corner. I am not sure we will take an rv or not but I know one thing, Chris is already looking into the rentals for the end of this month.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I love my Oreck

One of the items that I purchased with my tax refund is this little gem. I absolutely love it! Although mine is last years edition, it comes with a 21 year warranty!!! I am guaranteed my vacuum for 21 years, how can this not be a bargain?!

My Oreck is black/grey and because I purchased the Susan G. Komen edition, a portion of the money will go to that foundation. So I have a beautiful pink ribbon signifying that on my Oreck. With my purchase, I have also received:

Free year of replacement bags

Free canister vacuum w/a year supply of bags.

Free cordless iron a $130.oo value - Which Chris is thrilled to have since he does most of the ironing... I personally can not stand to iron.

I also received Oreck's new micro-fiber cloths free just because I own my cleaning business

And because I clean homes I will get a discount on replacement bags as long as I am in business courtesy of the store in Sarasota.

I picked my vacuum on many factors:

"The built-in HEPA filtration system traps 99.9% of all dust and allergens down to 0.3 microns. The dust on the floor doesn't blow back into the air and end up on your furniture. So you could dust less often"

Furniture-friendly Design:
"Its low profile, soft top-and-sides make it easy to clean around and under furniture without scratching it. Side brushes make cleaning baseboards and edges easier too."

Fast. Simple. Sanitary.
"Unlike bagless vacuums, the Saniseal® system automatically seals shut, locking the dirt in the disposable filter bag. Changing bags is effortless, odorless and clean. And one Oreck bag can hold as much as four bagless dust cups."

The Oreck Advantage: Direct Suction
"With Direct Suction, the New Oreck XL produces 127 mph air flow, yet weighs only 9lbs. Direct suction design delivers dirt in a straight, efficient path right to the vacuum bag. But most bagless vacs move dirt through a convoluted maze of tubing, which requires a larger motor. The Oreck's smaller, more energy efficient motor uses 1/3 the electricity of virtually any other vacuum motor. "

Oreck vacuums are not cheap by any means but it is an outstanding vacuum! I paid $399.00 for mine and that is $200.00 off the online sale price. Pam, one of the partners, for the Sarasota store really gave me a good deal. They support house cleaners because we make up at least 50% of their business. Their belief is "support those that support us". I think that is so awesome! One of my clients owns an Oreck and I have used Oreck vacuums when I cleaned houses years ago and fell in love with them. The handheld vacuum does what they say it does. It can pick up a 16 pound bowling ball. I have tried it myself!!!

I am having a Calgon moment...

The last few weeks have been very hectic and stressful. Battling pneumonia, making sure all paperwork and whatnot's are complete for Jeff's graduation AND college enrollment.

Finalizing the cap and gown order (because Riverview has no idea what they are doing) By the way, whoever heard of buying your cap and gown? That is so ridiculous! It's like a prom dress. It's only going to be worn ONCE! Y'know when this is all said and done I am going to NEED a few weekend getaways.

My best friend, Jennifer, and I have have talked about the expense of buying what is needed for graduation, the party, a few mementos for the kids to remember their high school days, getting their crap ready for college. We both decided that once the two siblings (Jeff and her daughter, Cassie, are half brother and sister) graduate that we will all get together and celebrate their milestone. So, sometime in June they will be coming here so we can celebrate the kids accomplishment together. I know Jennifer and I will probably cry more tears because they represent an accomplishment for us. Both our children have carried out what we could not and both our children have grown into mature and responsible people. And as Jennifer said to me " We did good by our kids, neither are parents"! I had to laugh at that because that was one of my biggest fears, becoming a grandparent before Jeff graduated high school!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feeling a whole lot better now.

The past few weeks I have been battling pneumonia. I made it worse by continuing to work and then it just knocked me out. I am feeling much better now and I have an enormous amount of work to catch up on. I will never do that to myself again.

A lot has happened since I last blogged. My dad lost his job as a maintenance man for a condo association on Longboat Key. It was nothing my dad did or didn't do, they just changed board members and the vice president let my dad go so that he could bring in his friend that didn't have a job. I don't think it is fair or that something like that should even happen without the residents vote but they did it anyway. My dad's boss was livid but there is nothing he can do to stop it without the possibility of losing the account. In this day and in this economy I understand that fear! My dad's boss did do something that normally they wouldn't do. They told the board members that they would have to give my dad notice and allow him to train the new guy and they would have to pay him a weeks severance pay. The firm that my dad worked for will definitely place my dad somewhere else when a position opens up. It still angers me that they let him go in the first place.

Katie is selling Girl Scout cookies again and so far we have done two cookie booths. Friday and yesterday. We were signed up for six but they took one away to give to another girl that "mistakenly signed up for a wrong day" and the only other booth slot left was for a day that Katie is already working. I am not going to allow Katie to work two shifts ( 4 hours total) on the same day. Two hours is plenty long enough for a nine year old! Chris, Katie and I do our best to help the troop reach their goals every year and this year it seems like we are the bubonic plague or something. There are only a handful of girls that we will work with because the other handful do not do anything but whine and complain. I can not and will not participate with them or their parents. It's sad but I can't make them do what they are supposed to do. I am not their parent!

Jeff is seriously looking into buying his scooter. We have shopped around here locally for a 50cc and the prices are absolutely mind boggling. We shopped online and found the same exact bike for $689.00 plus with the cost of shipping would make it $888.00 While the same exact bike sold here is $1300.00 I can't justify spending the extra $400 or so just to help a local merchant! No difference in the bikes or warranty either.

That's all I am going to rant about now! I am getting a headache just thinking about these things.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I was down for the count.

I am feeling much better now though. Whatever it was that got a hold of me really put me through the ringer. I made it worse by working Friday and Saturday and then Sunday I barely made it out of bed. I am not sure if it was virus or if I ate something that didn't agree with me but let me just say that my energy level is in the red and I am hoping to feel "normal" again here soon.

Chris seems to think that I am working myself to hard but with only a few clients I don't think that is what is. Although I can pick up just about any virus or cold since I am working in other people's houses and that really does compromise your immune system.

While I was sick in bed for the last couple of days, Chris and the kids went to work on cleaning out our garage. We have a lot of stuff to either sell or get rid of. I am not sure I want to deal with a garage sale right now but I have talked Chris into advertising on Craigslist. I would like to sell our stackable washer/dryer through the website rather than in a garage sale. Chris is trying to talk my dad into putting his motorcycle into self storage but I know that won't happen. That motorcycle is his baby and he personally has not rode it in several years. It's a 1980 Suzuki and except for a little rust on the exhaust pipe it is in perfect condition. The last time I drove it was just before I found out I was pregnant with Jeff. I don't know why but whenever I mention to people that I have driven motorcycles they give me this weird look. Except for Chris, he just gets turned on. Guys are funny sometimes. LOL! One of my best friends used to compete (although I have been told he is trying to make a comeback) in the motorsports circa. So… I grew up around bikes and if I really wanted to I could have competed but back then girls weren't widely accepted into the motorsports circle. I don't think I could ride one now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This weekend was a complete blur!

Over the weekend we celebrated my son, Jeff's, 18th birthday. He doesn't turn 18 until tomorrow but the weekend was the best time to get everyone together. It took me almost two weeks to get the house in order for company. Pictures were hung and furniture rearranged. I wanted my house to look somewhat in order before the gang showed up.

We took Jeff, Katie, Mark and Sebastian (Kat's boys) bowling in the early afternoon. One of the guest that Jeff had counted on was not allowed to come at the last freaking minute. But fun was had and I am glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. After bowling I picked up Kat and Chris picked up another of Jeff's friends. I had to run to the Sweetbay to pick up the cake and candles. I wanted the trick candles but they didn't have them. Guests started to arrive and before I knew it my house was packed like a sardine can.

The kids occupied their time playing Wii. From Rock Bank 2 to Mario Kart. The adults mingled back and forth. I am pretty sure that everyone enjoyed themselves.

There were four generations of my family under one roof. I think it would be neat if my grandparents lived long enough to see their great-great grandchild. Of course that would fall on the shoulders of Jeff and I hope to heck that he doesn't father a child in the near future. LOL!!! But it could happen. When Jeff was born my great grandmother was still alive. She didn't pass away until Jeff was seven years old. So it is cool to have a picture of the five generations all together.

Jeff made out well in the gift department. Mostly money but hey you can never have too much of that to begin with. We asked him what he was going to do with his birthday money. He wants to save most of it and then buy some accessories for the scooter we plan on buying for him and luggage for college.

I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished. I know he has a good head on his shoulders and he has grown into a responsible man. I just can't believe that tomorrow my baby will be a MAN! Nobody warned me that my heart would be ripped from my chest when my baby grows up. Now I will have to suffer through all this again when Katie turns 18 in 9 years!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I have been interviewed!

Amy from Amy's Musings had asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed. I thought it would be fun so I signed up. Amy asked some pretty in depth questions and I enjoyed answering them.


Businesses, kids, husband, life, etc. are you happy and if so, what is your philosophy for being happy?

The place I am right now in my life, I would say that yes I am happy. There are ups and downs but I think when you have a strong family connection it makes it so much easier to get through the rough patches. I don't really have a philosophy other than what Chris' is always spouting off at me when I do get overwhelmed and it always calms me. "Do not worry about today for tomorrow has its own worries".

I notice that one of your businesses is a green friendly cleaning service, is your home green friendly? What do you and your family do in terms of the environment? What simple advice would you give for someone who was just starting out trying to go green friendly?

  1. Definitely! The products that I use in my business are used in my own home.
  2. We are very anal about recycling. My daughter especially.
  3. Baby steps are best when you are looking to change the way you have lived for some many years. Start with ridding your house of all harsh chemicals and look for ones that are safe enough that you do not have to store away from children. They do exist. Humans are creatures of habit and it takes at least seven days to break an old habit and create a new one. Start small and eventually the bigger changes are not so big after all.

Any tips on cleaning grout and getting the stains actually OUT of the grout?

There is only one product that I know of that actually works great on grout. Sol-U-Mel. Depending on the grime factor, this product works wonders. I have sprayed this on tile and walked away for five minutes and when I come back most of the cleaning work is done. On heavier soiled areas a little elbow grease is used. To maintain the clean grout you must wiped down your shower after every use. Saves time in the long run of having to clean the shower all the time! Another factor to consider is whether or not the grout was sealed upon installment of the tile. If it was sealed the dirt is all surface dirt and would take little effort to clean. However, if the it was not sealed, this is where you have the long intensive labor of trying to get it cleaned like the day it was first laid. I have heard that baking soda in a paste form can improve the look of grout but not exactly clean it.

Describe your "perfect" day...

My perfect day is one of uninterrupted reading of any book of my choosing. Seriously, if I am left alone I can finish a book in one day!


Ok, you go out to a bar for drinks, what is the first drink you order?

Easy peasy! My favorite is an Alabama Slammer. I love those! Fruit punch with no alcoholic taste and before you know it I am feeling no pain!


If you would like to be interviewed just leave me a comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Definitely not an A list blogger....

I am probably close to a Z list ( if there is such a thing). I don't blog every day because I don't always have something going on worth blogging about and I am not witty enough to be funny on the spot. With that said...

I am getting the house ready for company this Saturday. Jeff is having his 18th birthday party here at the house with family and friends. Although the house is not dirty it is most definitely cluttered. There are still pictures to be hung and a few boxes to be emptied and discarded. Chris and I cleaned and straightened the garage and now I am just going through everything to find out whether or not it is worthy to keep. So I have been extremely busy trying to get the house all nice and perfect before Saturday.

It's a little inconvenient cleaning other homes while I am trying to get things in order at my own, but hey... that's my choosing right? I have to say that with all the hustling around I am doing I am disappointed with my weight. I am much more active now than I have have been in over 6 months and there is no change in my diet. But I am not losing any weight at all. In fact I have consistently been gaining over the last several months. That is freaking ridiculous. I am really thinking of trying a diet pill like Leptovox but not sure I want to commit to something that may not work for me. How can someone at the age of 38 with a moderate exercise level and eating three meals a day lose weight without going on any fad diets or starvation (which really doesn't help anyway)? I know my metabolism is getting a boost when I clean because I sweat a great deal and my heart is pumping like a fiend. I am at a loss here. And the energy level? Nope not there. I force myself to get things done otherwise I would much rather sleep. I feel exhausted all the time. I don't think that's right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold weather and joints falling apart!

It's a bit colder in Florida today. With the cold front from the north pushing its way in and the nasty rain shower with high winds yesterday, my joints are screaming at me. I swear my body is trying to tell me that even though I am only 38 years old, arthritis is looming around the very next corner. Chris is suffering with a lower back spine sprain that should start to feel better in another 4 weeks. It can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks for something like that to straighten itself out. He is going on week 4 now. The doctor recommended Physical Therapy to help alleviate the discomfort but at $75 a pop and the first installment of $100.00 we would be looking at $1000.00 over the next two weeks. TWO WEEKS! That is crazy!!! So... luckily for him I have been his personal masseuse. He gets a 30 minute rub down just before bed. He knows that once his back is in tip top shape again the rub downs won't come free. ;)

Oil + baths = practically no hair!

That's Bentley sticking his tongue out at Chris. Reese is laying down looking pretty and Cuddles is acting like she is sleeping** (far from it). This is what we are witness to every night at dinner. Belle usually lays down under the bird cage.

You may wonder why our Shih Tzu's are bald. Well not really bald but might as well be. They were victims of our neighbors stupid idea. He thought he could dump discarded oil over the fence and nobody would know. Bentley and Reese went outside to go potty and like they normally do, they chase each other around the yard. By the time they were done they were covered from head to toe in the sludge. Three baths later their fur was still a matted mess so Chris and I had to shave their hair off. Our kind neighbor denies any knowledge of the discarded oil. He is a lazy man in his 40's who lives with his grandmother ( I think that is what she is to him) She is very sweet but he is a MORON!!!

So... these poor babies have to endure colder temperatures with almost no hair. Chris told me that we should buy them some sweaters to keep them warm. I can see it now..... Bentley's would say something like " Handsome Boy" and Reese's would be " Drama Queen". LOL!

But seriously aren't they cute? Even with practically no hair! Here's a hypoallergenic dog for the Obama's!!!!
** Cuddles pretends to sleep.. what she really is doing is plotting her next attack on Reese. I think she is jealous of Reese because she doesn't like it when Bentley and Reese lay next to each other. She will squirm her way in between them! I am pretty sure that Cuddles has a crush on Bentley... I can't blame her, he is a handsome little boy!