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!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Explain yourself ABC Distributing....

My friend, Kat, has been ripped of by ABC Distributing . She placed an order for three comforters. One queen and two full sized. The total for the three comforters came to $146.04. The shipping charges however came to $141.88. That is just dollars off the order itself. First of all they shipped one comforter by itself and they charged her $46.08 then they shipped the last two together and charged her $95.80.

Chris and I have our own online company that specifically tells you the shipping amount when you place your order. Our items are shipped UPS all of the time. Typically it is based on region and then weight. You should never pay more than 18% of your purchase price for shipping PERIOD. So Kat's order came to $146.04. Add approximately 18% and you will have roughly $26.29 for shipping. What they charged was close to 98% of the purchase price. Can you say FRAUD? Also because it has been shipped from Illinois to Florida and it is crossing state lines it has now turned into a FEDERAL FELONY!!!!!

Kat did not know the amount of the shipping at the time of checkout because their site claims that "Shipping charges will be billed at the time of shipping and will depend on the weight, size and destinations of shipments. Shipping charges are calculated using UPS standard published rates, even though we may use other carriers to deliver your order. The shipping charge also will include the cost of any surcharges or insurance that may be imposed by the carrier."
I see a huge problem here folks. You can't tell me that this company would have absolutely no idea what the shipping charges would be seeing as they use UPS rates. It's not rocket science! Another thing to consider.... surcharges or insurance? UPS has flat rates! They do not charge extra for such things.

The next time anyone orders anything from online... make sure you know the shipping and if they try to give some song and dance about notifying you later? Cancel the order!

Meme Time

I wasn't tagged necessarily but Kat did leave it open for anyone to do it.

1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.

2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture.

3. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with the picture.

4. Tag 5 people to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog telling them about it.

Here we go....

Now that is a flashback!

Katie is about 7 months I think. Jeff is 9 and I look so young here. Damn what happened? Haha!!! This was taken on Easter Day at my grandmother's house.

If you want to participate, please do. I won't pressure anyone by calling you out! LOL!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Twenty days and counting.... well sort of....

Twenty days from now my son, Jeff, is turning 18! He will be, in society's eyes, an adult, a MAN! I am not sure I am ready to let go of my baby. In my eyes that is exactly the way I see him. Maybe that is where the problem lies? Jeff is a terrific kid...uhm... that's not right either.... TEEN that's the word because...well... he is still is. He has a great work ethic. Never missed a day in two years! He works hard at school and for the most part he is becoming a polite and respectful person.

Chris and Jeff have butt heads a lot in the past but even now, their relationship has grown. They get along better than ever and the way they communicate now is truly amazing. There is a respect between them. Even the way Jeff is around Katie is far better than it has ever been and there wasn't really a lot of tension there to begin with. Jeff is more patient with her and takes the time to teach her different things. Last night they stood outside for about 10 minutes just looking up at the sky. Jeff was showing Katie Orion's Belt and also showed her how to identify certain constellations and even pointed out Venus to her. Their conversation seemed to advance to a new level and not one of big brother, little brat tone. I am proud of him on so many levels but I am loathing the letting him go syndrome. I am going to be a wreck. Just sayin....

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Farewell O Christmas tree.


Well… our Christmas tree did not survive the cats. The poor thing gave up the ghost as we were taking it down. I guess it is a good thing we bought another one shortly after Christmas.

I can't say that we had it nicely decorated either. The lights pretty much stayed on but the ornaments were like toys to those two! Every time one of the cats batted an ornament out of the tree one of the dogs fetched it and brought it back to them. I think they had a conspiracy going on between the four of them.

There has been a lot of revamping going on at my house. Trying to put things where the cats can't go or get to anything of real value. Chris has been looking at tv lifts so that our tv is out of their way unless we are watching it. I honestly don't think it would stop the dueling twosome but Chris thinks it would help. When I sit at my computer, Cuddles will jump on the back of my chair and use me as a stepping stone to get onto my desk. When I tell her no and pick her up and set her on the floor she just gives me this look that seems to say that I had absolutely no right to do that! On top of that the dogs have started to defend their counterparts. If I go to scold one of the cats for knocking something off a counter the dogs will start whining at me like I am in the wrong! Although, they are amusing little stinkers, like when they hide out of site and wait for their prey playmates to come around the corner so they can surprise them.

This is my Iron Eagle!

Chris made the mistake of asking me if I could have my way with any celebrity who would I choose? Jason Gedrick, hands down!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This is not the way to bring in the New Year!

A neighbor down the street had a misfortune this afternoon. So far there are 7 vehicles belonging to the Sarasota Fire Dept lining the bottom half of my street. Chris took this from our driveway. You can barely make out which house but it is on the left with the garage doors open. I think they may have had a kitchen fire. Their garage doors were open and black/gray smoke billowed from the garage doors. Just about every neighbor was outside to watch our finest working.

Chris took this picture from the left of our street. That is the third ambulance waiting to see if their assistance is needed. To the right of the ambulance is the Mac Daddy of Fire trucks. He is waiting on the main road because there is no way he is getting down our street. This truck carries the huge ladder.

And here we have a Sarasota County Sheriff. He is parked right in front of our driveway. You can also spot an EMS unit just ahead of him on his left. Chris didn't get a picture of the Air Truck that carries all the Oxygen tanks for our firefighters. Needless to say that for at least 45 minutes our street was noisy with all these diesel fueled vehicles! We never really found out exactly what happened, but they did stop the fire from spreading and no one was carried out into any ambulances. One poor woman that couldn't drive down to her house came to us to see which house it was. She was coming from Sarasota Memorial where she took her mother last night suffering from a heart attack. She was shaking so badly hoping that her house was not the one in peril. She was more worried about her 17 year old son whom she had left alone. When we told her which house it was she let out a big sigh of relief but felt terrible for the woman whose house it really belongs to.
I didn't stay for everything since I had to take Jeff to his friends house. But when I got back twenty minutes later everyone was gone. The garage doors to the fire house where closed and not a single person was seen outside. It felt kind of morbid really.