Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Phil's Battle with Multiple Myeloma

Where do I begin?  I have known Phil since the 7th grade.  All through out high school he was a constant presence in my life.  He is the brother that I never had, and because he is family to me, I am going to do whatever it takes to help him.
His wife, Jen, wrote an account of what Phil has had to endure and what he still is facing. 

"Phil was diagnosed in January of 2005 with Multiple Myeloma. He had a tumor in his sacral bone (see diagram below). He received chemo and radiation at that time. The radiation expanded the tumor in his sacrum and cracked the left side of that bone. So they went in and did a sacral (the bone at the end of your spine/ass) reconstruction. He has a titanium rod, nuts, and bolts. The also took one of his ribs and put it there. He had kyphoplasty to vertebrae T12 (middle of back) because the cancer ate away at that bone and it collapsed. So they filled it with cement. C2 on the spine at the bottom of skull also was eaten by cancer and collapsed so he had a spine fusion surgery. They took titanium and a part of his rib again and fused C1 to C3 in which he cannot look to the left to far.
He has had radiation to C2, T10, T12, Sacral, Femur, Foot. He had a bone marrow transplant in November of 2009. Which he spent a month in hospital for, and the transplant was suppose to last a few years. It lasted one year. Then the cancer came back. He has several "spots" all over. During this time he has taken dexamethasone (a steroid) in combination with the chemo meds. A side effect of it is called avascular necrosis. Which means dead bone. So the balls of the hips and shoulders have dead bone on top. This causes him terrible pain, inability to walk distance, which he will need bilateral hips and shoulder replacements. At this time they are stable, but in the future it will require surgery.He has tried injections there but with little relief. He has had numerous MRI's, Xrays, bone marrow biopsies, PET scans, lab work, and medications he takes. He lives in constant pain, and suffers with depression. He has been unable to work for the last 3 years. He was without a pay check for a year and a few months before disability approved him. I work weekends but take time off to care for him sometimes. He has a spine surgeon, orthopedic Dr, neuro surgeon, pain management Dr, oncologist Dr, and oncologist nurse practitioner. He can't sit, stand, walk or stay in one position for very long due to pain. He currently is on Revlimid and Cytotoxin chemotherapy medications."

Post Surgery for Sacral Reconstruction

If I am correct, this is after his bone marrow transplant

What is Multiple Myeloma? 
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow. Plasma cells normally make proteins called antibodies to help you fight infections. In multiple myeloma, a group of abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Since these cells normally make proteins, the level of abnormal proteins in your blood also may go up. Health problems caused by multiple myeloma can affect your bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count.

Phil is going on his sixth year (including his short time in remission) in battling this cancer. He is considered terminal because as of yet, there is no cure. He was 33 years old when he was diagnosed.  He will turn 40 in June. He is a rare cancer patient for this type of disease being one of the youngest diagnosed with it.
Phil has not been able to work for three years.  Phil has worked since he was 15 and through out most of his adult life he has held down two jobs at the same time to support his family. He has always prided himself in being the provider for his family. His generosity has known no bounds. He has helped people around him by being Mr. fix-it and in general would help out anyone in need. Now HE is the one with the greatest need. It hurts me to know that he is so frustrated and depressed because he HATES not being the one to support his family. 

He has an amazing family.  A nurturing and kind hearted wife, that has done everything within her power for him. Jen is a registered nurse and only works on the weekends because, during the week she is busy with taking him to his chemo treatments and doctors appointments and taking care of him. He does receive disability but most, if not all, of that money goes towards his medical care. Jen's paychecks go towards everything else. There is simply not enough each month.

He has two amazing and beautiful daughters, Heather is in her last year of college and will soon be a teacher, Given her generosity and gentle quality much like her mother, I am confident any school will be lucky to have her on board. Megan is in her junior year of high school. She is a lot like her dad. She was just a little younger than my own Katie when her dad was diagnosed with this horrible cancer.  That breaks my heart. No child should have to witness such cruelty. I know from experience, my own father was battling cancer (Hodgkin's) when I was five.  Even being that young, I have vivid memories of watching him struggle.

Receiving Chemo - On Megan's 16th Birthday

Which is why I am making a plea on their behalf.  I have had Jen set up a paypal donation account so that anyone can help them out.  I know that Phil is in need of a lift chair, because his hips make it difficult for him to be able to get up from a sitting position, and that is not covered under their insurance.  They have to come up with $1000.00 out of pocket for this chair.  Those funds are just not accessible to them.  This chair is a must!

I am asking you for help.  If you are able to, please donate to Phil's battle with Multiple Myeloma.  Whatever you can spare will help. Anyone willing to donate financially is just the first step.  I am also in need of businesses and/or individuals willing to donate their services or products for a silent auction fundraiser.  If you are interested please contact me at mnetsrek@yahoo.com .  Please put fundraiser in the subject line.

If you live in Ohio, preferably in or near Medina, Cuyahoga or Geauga County and would like to donate your product or services for more fundraising events being planned in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact me.  My goal is to make 2011 an easier year financially for my brother and his family. Reducing the stress for him is a priority so that he only has to concentrate on beating this cancer and not stress about his family needs financially.

**** If inclinded to donate. Please use the donation button on the top right hand side of tool bar.*** Thank you so much!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He is the Reason for the Season!

Orkut Scraps - Christmas

For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cards with a personal touch...

For a while now I have been contemplating about starting a family tradition of sending out personalized Christmas Cards.  Something that I can include the whole family in, including our pets.  My parents did this one year and they included their dog, Peanut, in on it and it turned out beautiful. 

The selection of pictures you see are done so beautifully and professionally.  My favorite style resembles the postcards.  The postcard style in my opinion would be easy to display and would take up less room, when combined with all the cards one receives over the holidays.  My mom has always hung our cards around the front door and windows, so that our tables were spared the clutter.  I have done that in my own house through out the years. 

Over the years, I have been so disappointed in the selection of Holiday cards in the stores.  Even card shops.  To me spending just a little bit more for something so personal is well worth it.  You know you are going to like what you are buying, and not having to settle for the most decent ones out of a limited selection, and mumbling to yourself how much better you could have done on your own, as you walk out the store with the mediocre run of the barrel selection.

I could always make my own but the cost of getting the software and selecting the right paper and the hassle of cutting.  Never mind, it would be to time consuming and time is the one thing that I do not have enough of.  I think leaving it the professionals is the best choice.  Let the experts do what they are good at right?   

So, next year will be the year that I will have my priorities in order, and get the family together for that perfect picture or maybe just select a few rare family moments, and treat my friends and family to a professional and perfect Holiday card.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Singing Christmas Tree...

Has become my birthday tradition for the last 4 years.  My mom has been buying my family's tickets and she always picks my birthday for us to come and enjoy.  My mom is also apart of the Choir that is the singing Christmas Tree. 

"The Singing Christmas Tree is an annual music and drama production written & directed by church members, and accompanied by an orchestra. The performance features a multi-story tree, adorned with talented choir members. With the various musical pieces, the tree comes to life in an awe-inspiring light show. In addition, each year's drama performance is new and spectacular, but with a special message." As quoted in the News Herald.

My mom is in the first row, 8th head from the right. 

Our tickets are for 3pm today which is good since I don't have any evening dresses that fit right now. Normally the matinee performance is a casual dress code and  besides, Katie's Christmas Parade with her Junior troop is this evening and we don't want to have to change at the church and stow our formal clothes in the car.  Both events are in Downtown Sarasota so once the performance is over at the church, we will probably get something to eat before heading over to the meeting spot with the rest of the troop.  Sarasota's Christmas Parade is an annual event and the girls enjoy handing candy out to the kids that come down to see the parade.
What is so special about the Singing Christmas Tree this year is that in two weeks, they will be traveling to Germany, to put on the performance for our troops that are stationed over there.  There are about 10,000 of our soldiers that will be seeing this performance along with their families.  None of this would not have been possible if it weren't for so many people donating their time for fundraisers and donating money to help with this cause.  Both of my parents are going although, my dad is not in the choir, he will be helping with setting up the Christmas tree.  Wish I could go but that is not an option.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All this and only 5 hours of sleep...

My day started at 4 a.m. this morning.   Woke up to Chris yelling, "What the hell is that?" He immediately jumped out of bed and ran toward the sliding glass door in our bedroom.  As he was opening up the blinds I saw what looked to be fireworks going off in our backyard.  It wasn't fireworks.  The enormous tree in our backyard was swaying so violently, because of the storm, that it was literally smacking the power lines. Every time it would hit the power lines sparks were flying and the popping sound the sparks were making were so frickin' loud that it was making our dogs go bananas.  The only person to sleep through the commotion was Jeff.  That kid can sleep through anything.

Our power kept shutting off and then coming on and it was so freaky how the only light in the house that would stay on during the light show was the hallway light. Apparently that was all the power we were getting until it finally just went black.  Chris called the power company to report the outage and we were told that it only affected 12 houses.  When Chris got an update at 7 a.m. it was up to 150 houses.  All because of the stupid tree.  The power company had to send tree trimmers out this morning to cut back the branches before they could repair the lines.  I think we got the power back on around 9a.m. 

So, being up before the crack of dawn, I decided to get an early start on my day.  I had the Clubhouse at the condo association to do and also one of the residents and then I had to meet a new client and clean her house.  My new client actually purchased a package that I had submitted to our Church's silent auction to benefit the Singing Christmas Tree's trip to Germany in two weeks.  The Silent Auction was in May and since she and her husband are snowbirds they just got in about a week ago.  It was so nice to actually clean a house instead of a condo.  She has a magnificent house on Bird Key.  Very upscale.  I remember what she bid on my package and it took every bit of that bid to clean her house. Of course I don't get that money since it went to the Germany trip but she did give me a tip (which I rarely get) because she loved the way I washed her floors. I use the "Steam It" by Oreck.  That thing is a blessing.  So easy to use.  The amount of steam it generates would make the perfect wrinkle treatment, I kid you not.  She wants me to clean bi-weekly starting in two weeks.  I am so excited to have yet another client even if she is only here for six months.  But that is most of my clientele.  If it weren't for the Condos I don't know what I would do for income for the rest of the year.  I do have to submit another bid for a bar, but I am not sure I will get the contract seeing as how they are paying less for $30.00 a cleaning now.  I would charge at least double. The place is huge and it's a bar. Imagine how dirty at the end of the night the place is.  The cleaning company they have a contract now doesn't get the bathrooms clean and they skip things all the time.  Well... you get what you pay for right? Right! So I am going to be firm on my pricing. After all I have overhead expenses, like Liability insurance, which is not cheap, and I have to pay at least 15% self employment tax and I supply everything that I need to clean.  My price is fair and worth it, in my opinion. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Can you hear me?

Every time I hear this song, it brings me to tears.  While the song is about a father praying for his son (based on a true story of a young boy fighting cancer and winning) This song is my feelings exactly for one of the best guys I have ever had the pleasure to call my friend. 
His name is Phil (I think of him as a brother, always have) and he is fighting his own battle with cancer.
Terminal cancer known as Multiple Myeloma.  As I type this, he is in the ER dealing with what is possibly the flu.  As his wife said, Cancer, Chemo and the flu are not friends.  He can't even keep down his meds.
What we healthy people go through to get better will be worse for him. That hurts me deeply.

I sat and prayed for and shed tears for him, because I do not want him to be hurting and he puts up such a tough guy front sometimes. He is weak and tired and he needs a break.

His wife, Jen, is tired and sometimes she gets angry, because of what this cancer is doing to her husband, but for the most part she is strong (she has to be) she is his nurse, caretaker but most of all his rock.  I couldn't have asked for anyone better for him.  I love her like a sister, and my heart hurts for her, and I wish I could make everything all right. But I can't. And that makes me angry.

They are about the only reason that I would ever consider moving back to Ohio for.  I want to help them in any way that I can and it is just so hard to be sitting on the sidelines not being able to do much.

In the near future I will be doing something.  In the mean time, would you please pray for him, her, the family?  There can never be too many prayers.

Something I don't need right now.

I am going to have to make a doctors appointment soon.  I have putting this off for many, many months.  The only thing that has really been keeping me from doing so in the first place, is no insurance.  Sure I could go to the ER like every other person in the world that doesn't have medical insurance but it is not an immediate danger scenario.  I know that our county has a health department that allows you to pay on a sliding scale depending on what you can afford.  The only problem with that is the enrolling times do not fit within my availability hours.  However, I can't wait no more.  The symptoms are getting worse and eventually I won't be able to clean and that is not good.

What grabbed my attention that I can no longer go on like this... was the simple task of cleaning out my linen closet.  I went to grab a bottle of tan lotion and I couldn't even hold it.  The pain was so severe that it just slipped through my hand. Every joint in my body and my back ache and crack all the time. The simple task of flipping burgers, draining pasta, carrying a pan is getting to be too much for me.  I rely on someone else to do that stuff now. That isn't the only thing that concerns me.

 For months now I have noticed that my scalp is so dry and itchy and no matter how I treated for it (Tea Tree oil and Head and Shoulders), it is not getting better and I am losing my hair because of it.  I had full, thick hair and now it is about half of what I had.  No bald spots but it could definitely get there.  I have been writing down everything that I have noticed is not normal for me.

 I can't tolerate cold things.  I try and mix a meatloaf with all the cold ingredients and by the time I am finished my hands burn and itch like crazy.  I can't grab bags out of the freezer without experiencing the same thing.  The best way I can describe that feeling is like coming out of the bitter cold blizzard and thawing out near a fire.  You get the burning sensation before you completely thaw. It's unreal.

My face is puffy. Looks like I have been going a few rounds with a boxer and I am pale.  Itchy dry skin everywhere and no amount of lotion helps.  I don't live up north anymore and the weather here has been gorgeous so I am at a complete loss. 

Consistent weight gain.  This is beyond frustrating for me.  You have no idea how angry I am about this.  I clean for a living.  I work up a sweat every single day and I haven't lost an ounce let alone pounds.  I have been relying on fruits and yogurt to curtail hunger pains when I work and in hopes that it will help with the energy level.  Nothing.

Fatigue up the butt and so sluggish, I don't even know how I pull through my cleaning jobs.  By the time I come home I have to take a nap. I take naps every single day even when I am not working. I am tired all the time.  Tired even after sleeping all night.  This is not me.  I absolutely hate that I am falling apart like this. I turn 40 on Saturday this shouldn't be a sign of that.

Here we go again!

You know when the snowbirds are here.  It takes you 45 minutes to get to a place that should only take 15!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kids and Finances

My parents taught me a lot growing up, but they neglected to teach  me the basics of financing my money.  Fortunately for me I was and have always been very conscious of how I spent or saved my money.  I made mistakes but I never repeated them. 

I had Jeff starting on chores as early as three years old.  Nothing major just what he could do like, make his bed, feed the dog and keep his room tidy.  He got two dollars a week for allowance. Being that he was only three years old he really didn't have any interest in money or what it was used for.  Not until he was around five did he understand the basis for money.  I taught him how to put money aside for a rainy day and to set goals for saving.  When he started working and wanted a cell phone we set a plan that he could afford and he knew how much from each paycheck to put aside to be able to pay his bill when it was due.  Just recently he was offered a credit card for a jewelery store at the mall.  He applied to help the kid make his quota and consequently was accepted and given the credit card.  I told him that credit cards can be a good way to build credit but they can also be a way of destroying credit. 

Jeff has a major credit card. He has never had any finance charges because he pays it in full every month.  His goal is to be able to buy a house a year after he gets his first job in his field. He is hoping to have purchased his first home by the time he is 24.  That is a big goal but I think that Jeff is ready for that kind of commitment.  He sure has money saved in the bank and he rarely splurges on himself.  He bought his scooter on his own and eventually he will look into buying his first car.

If I would have know that American Express Pass card for teens years ago I probably would have set Jeff up with one.  This is a good way for parents and teens to keep track of how the money is spent.
You can simply load their allowance onto the card and when it runs out that is it.  It is much like a debit card and parents can use the online tools to see how their kids spend the money. It is a prepaid reloadable card so you can set the limit of how much your child is allocated each month. For the time being there is no monthly fee until October of 2011. Then it is only $3.95 a month.  Not bad considering other cards charge more. It is safer for teens to carry than cash and let's face it. They will think they are cooler for carrying a "credit card." Although I am a big advocate of saving money and have taught that to my son, I do understand that teens will be teens and sometimes you just need to trust that your kids will make the right choices. 

I think maybe when Katie turns thirteen, that I will try this Pass card on her.  The American Express Pass card is only applicable for teens 13-18 so she is too young right now.  She already understands the idea around the debit/credit card scenario so I don't think it will be a hard lesson for her.  She is my saver.  She has been collecting pennies since she was four.  She has roughly collected about $400.00 worth. Half of which she has donated to the charity at her school.  Katie gets an allowance until she starts her first job.  But she has at least 4 more years to go before we worry about that.  Right now she is content on saving her pennies and for that I am grateful.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express and received a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why am I surprised?!

Britt has decided to quit college.  Not even halfway through the first semester and she is claiming that she couldn't handle school and a job. Well, she was fired from her job  before she quit school, so I don't know what she was trying to pull. Plus she will be required to repay the pell grant back for not even finishing the semester. Even after warning her about that she still made the choice to cop out.   Her pop pop suggest that he could try and pull some favors and get her into a program so that she could can work at a daycare.  You have to be licensed and apparently this is the place to go.  She is thinking about it.  She was also referred to The Meadows, which is a Country/Golf Club as a waitress where she could make serious amounts of money during the season and she blew the interview.  I mean she blew it by not showing up! 

Where was she? How about where is she.  She has been staying with her boyfriend at his dad's run down home.  This house has no working well, no a/c because it died this summer and it is being foreclosed on.  His own father isn't even living there.  He moved in with his parents. 

I just do not understand how this girl thinks.  It's almost as if she doesn't know how to.   She has never been stable minded and she is so damn impulsive that it makes your head spin.  She texted her dad the other day wanting to know if Robbie's last check from his previous employer showed up at our house.  He got something which has been put on our fridge from a week ago.  She wants us to mail it to him.  Um... we need an address?!  Chris won't call her, if he wants his check he needs to call us and give us an address.  He has to do that anyway if he wants his last paycheck from me.  But nope, nothing.  So the check will just stay where it is.

This whole thing with her is like a stupid soap opera. What is she doing now? Who is she with now? What Woe is me situation is she going to get herself into. It's comical really. I hate to be like this with her but I can't take anymore of her shit. And that says a lot because I take a lot before I boil over.

Every time I hear Chris' text chime go off, I start to cringe because it is usually her wanting or needing something.  Chris has told her that if it is so damn important pick up the phone and call because he will not respond to texts anymore.  Yet, she keeps doing it and, he still ignores it.  It's almost a game to her.   She is trying to see how far she can push her dad before he breaks down and replies.  She is going to be sorely disappointed because when Chris put his mind to something that is it.  It's too bad she never realized that about her dad.  Everyone else may cave but Chris is not everyone else.

One of these days we are going to find an abandoned baby at our doorstep. It's no joke.  Chris and I have actually talked about the possibility.  She will probably get pregnant and have the child and then realize that there is no way she can support herself and a child.  Her mentality is by no means strong enough for that. She is not mature enough for that and even a baby won't mature her fast enough.  I was nineteen when I had Jeff and I grew up fast.  Not only because I had to but I wanted to because I wanted to be a good mother for Jeff. 

Britt on the other hand would see it has a burden and a life crusher. But, if you heard her talking about kids, you would think what a wonderful mother she will be. She can fool a lot of people and even fool herself, but the way she carries on is a whole different ball of wax.  That is how she is and that is what she is capable of. 

I really wish it wasn't like this but I have no control over anything when it comes to her and being that she is 21 now it all falls on her shoulders now.  Maybe one day she will wake up, but, to be honest given the family tree and all, it will be a long time from now. So for now we just go about our own business and hope that the next time she shows up she is willing to straighten up and do the right things for once.  If not she has no place in this home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Assualted by a Psycho!

I had a real upsetting morning.  Not even 10:30 yet and I want this day to be over.  I get to my first cleaning job of the day at 6:00 a.m. I clean the clubhouse at the condo association that early because they have women that come in at 8:00 to do their aerobic workouts and then they will then get into the pool for more aquatic workouts.  By the time I am finished cleaning there, I usually pop into the office to make an appearance and go over any issues and then I start at one of the midrises and take care of trash and wipe down the laundry rooms.  Wednesdays and Fridays is the "light" cleaning for the complex. Monday is the thorough cleaning. 

Needless to say, I won't be needing the best fat burner after the ordeal that I went through because when I am this upset, I don't eat. 

While I was in one of the midrises.  One of the residents, an older woman, had asked me to clean her furniture that was in the corridor.  I politely told her that because it is not the common area furniture, therefore is not under the contract that I hold with the Condo Association.
She was not happy and she started to yell at me!  I tried to explain to her that my liability insurance would not cover any damage done to her furniture and therefore I will not touch her furniture.  She then accused me of moving her furniture yesterday to clean the window behind it. I told her that is was impossible for me to do since I am not there on Thursdays.  I also have been instructed by the managing office to not bother with the window because of her furniture being in the way.  Apparently she thought I was calling her a liar because she grabbed me by the shoulder and started to shake me. 

I blew up on her.  I was shouting at her to take her hands off of me or I would call the police.  An older man came to my rescue, apparently this woman feuds with everyone on her floor,  he yanked her off of me and started to scream at her.  The older man's wife made me sit in their unit to calm down and  she had already called the office.   I thought that was it... I figured they would end my contract because I lost it.  I tried so hard not to shed one single tear, I failed miserably. 

The General Manager came immediately.  He called the police before he left the office by the way, because within minutes they were there also.  My heart was racing so fast that I could not breathe.   Before I could even get a chance to speak, the General Manager, had informed the crazy old woman that he had one of his maintenance men move her furniture to clean the window yesterday and before he could finish the sentence, the woman slapped him hard and called him a liar.  When the police tried to handcuff her she kicked one and tried to bite the other.  I could not believe it.  

After the police put her in one of their squad cars, they came back to take statements.  Apparently she is going to be charged with four counts of aggravated assault with two being against the police officers and resisting arrest.  The General Manager told me that I did everything right and not to worry about defending myself ever again in that kind of situation.  Apparently she has been a thorn in their sides for many, many years.  The older couple that came to my rescue will be filing a grievance to have the woman evicted from the premises. I was told that she has been there for 19 years but the majority of them have been awful.  The General Manager told me that she was borderline psycho and this was the last straw.  I felt better when it was over but I was still shaking and rattled.  I came home after all the other midrises were finished but I was on pins and needles until I left the property. 

Normally I would go on to my residential clients but both of them are out of town.  So this was supposed to be an easier day for me.  There was nothing easy about it at all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This is a hoot .... Sad, because it is TRUE ..... But a hoot!!!!

By the time you read through this YOU WILL UNDERSTAND

In order to continue getting-by in America (our home land), we all need to learn the NEW English language! Practice by reading the following conversation until you are able to understand the term "TENJOOBERRYMUDS".

With a little patience, you'll be able to fit right in.

Now, here goes...

The following is a telephone exchange between maybe you as a hotel guest and call room-service somewhere in the good old U S A today.......

Room Service : "Morrin. Roon sirbees."

Guest : "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."

Room Service: " Rye . Roon sirbees...morrin! Joowish to oddor sunteen???"

Guest: "Uh..... Yes, I'd like to order bacon and eggs.."

Room Service: "Ow July den?"

Guest: ".....What??"

Room Service: "Ow July den?!?... Pryed, boyud, poochd?"

Guest: "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry.. Scrambled, please."

Room Service: "Ow July dee baykem? Crease?"

Guest: "Crisp will be fine."

Room Service: "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"

Guest: "What?"

Room Service: "An toes. July Sahn toes?"

Guest: "I... Don't think so."

RoomService: "No? Judo wan sahn toes???"

Guest: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means."

RoomService: "Toes! Toes!...Why Joo don Juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?"

Guest: "Oh, English muffin!!! I've got it! You were saying 'toast'... Fine...Yes, an English muffin will be fine."

RoomService: "We bodder?"

Guest: "No, just put the bodder on the side."

RoomService: "Wad?!?"

Guest: "I mean butter... Just put the butter on the side."

RoomService: "Copy?"

Guest: "Excuse me?"

RoomService: "Copy...tea..meel?"

Guest: "Yes. Coffee, please... And that' s everything."

RoomService: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin, we bodder on sigh and copy .... Rye ??"

Guest: "Whatever you say.."

RoomService: "Tenjooberrymuds."

Guest: "You're welcome"

Remember I said "By the time you read through this YOU WILL UNDERSTAND 'TENJOOBERRYMUDS' ".......and you do, don't you!

I'd rather use Saran Wrap

Jeff's boss, who happened to be a friend, and co-worker when we worked for the plumbing company together, would laugh at a lot of things in the office.  One of the favorite topics of our mundane day was different ways to lose weight.  We both have had weight issues ( little did I know then that mine was stemming from the tumor growing in my neck) and she went ahead and tried the nutri - system plan.  On top of that she would go to this spa/weight loss place to try the slimming wrap technique.

When she told me how they would wrap you up and let you sweat for a period of time, I just about lost it.  It took me back to my high school years when I thought my body needed to lose a few extra pounds and one of my friends told me to wrap Saran Wrap around my "problem areas".  Imagine how someone took that simple technique, which by the way, did not work and start a business to con overweight women into shelling out money to make you think you were losing weight.  Yes, the inches would decrease (because of your body losing water) but in an hour or so after being wrapped up you would spring back. She paid close to $60.00 dollars to have a sophisticated wrap put on her when she could have bought a few tubes of Saran Wrap.  When she realized that I had a point she just gave me this blank expression that made me laugh even harder.  If I knew that it was an sure fire way of losing weight, I would have been right along side of her getting wrapped myself.  I am a skeptic by nature, so in order for me to believe in a product. I would have to see the results on someone else that I trusted first. 

The nutri- system plan worked for her, but was utterly too expensive for me to justify spending that kind of money on pre-packaged foods, and on top of that you still had to buy fruits and vegetables to go with your meals.  She would spend about $600.00 a month just on herself.  Crap, I could feed my whole family for a month for that amount of money.  I just don't know why companies have to charge out the butt for programs like this. 

Shopping with a mission.

It's time to print the online coupons and go grocery shopping.  Growing up, one of my chores was to clip the coupons from the Sunday newspaper.  My parents would involve my sisters and I in planning the menu for the coming weeks dinners and such.  It is a lot more efficient to plan ahead than to go to the store all willy nilly with no direction or plan.  Cost a lot more to not have a plan, that's for sure!

For the last year or so I have scanned the Sunday paper here for realistic coupons.  Realistic meaning, that I would actually use them, but out of all the coupons I would only find an average of two that I would actually use.  The coupons in the newspaper have dwindled down to barely enough food products but have doubled in the crap you would never buy in the first place.  If you are listening food manufacturers, we need MORE food coupons.  Support the people that pay your bills and cut us a break would you?

I scout everywhere for deals.  Chris actually takes the time at the grocery store to read the price per unit to make sure we are getting the best possible deal.  In this tough economy you have to do anything to save money but also get your moneys worth. Which is a hard thing to do. Prices may have dropped on certain products but the quantity has also gone down.  I have gone to many blogs and sites that deal directly with saving.  Some work and others don't, it's time consuming to do so but when you are faced with a limited income, you have no other choice. 

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

We have begun our Christmas shopping.  We will not be spending a lot but there are few things that the kids asked for that I think we can swing.  Katie was given a Nintendo DSi for her birthday along with two games.  Katie absolutely adores any Sims game.  She has one for her Nintendo DSi and she plays it every chance she gets. 

While Chris and I were browsing through the electronics department, we looked at all the games that are available for her system.  They have Sims 3 for the DSi but I am not sure if it will be like the computer version or not.  I know that Sims 3 is available for the Wii and I think I would rather get that for her and some other games for the DSi. 

Both kids want games for Christmas and I am thinking about adding to their movie collection but I really want to get them that one big gift.  Jeff's will most likely be something useful.  Maybe some accessories for his Scooter and Katie is wanting in the worst way an American Girl Doll.  Those things are expensive but I remember when my parents bought my little sister an original Cabbage Patch Doll. That was about $100.00 and the American Girl Doll is roughly the same price.  If I could find it cheaper that would be a bonus.  But I doubt it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I have had it....

This is day 4 of Britt avoiding her responsibilities and going back to her boyfriends because she is pissed at her dad .  She won't answer her phone but she did text her grandfather on Saturday stating that she is still angry.  Really? You want to see angry?  Come see me.. I dare you!

She has nothing to be angry about.  Well, not entirely true, if she has to be angry with anyone it should be her boyfriend, not her family.  Meanwhile, everyone is letting her stew and "calm down."

 WTF?!  Let her calm down?  How about not letting her act like a spoiled rotten child
She may be 21 but she  is far from those years maturity wise. 
What about the fact the she may too also not have a job waiting for her to "calm down"?
How about the fact that she may not have the money to make her next car payment? The car that her grandparents co-signed for and have no means of making the payments for her. I guess that means that I will have to pick that up too?! If so, the car is fucking mine! 
Here's the kicker.  How about her having blown her chances at school.  You are only allowed to miss three days in a semester. She has missed 8.  I don't know what bullshit she fed her professors but I am sure that she may have reached her limit with them.  She lies so much even she believes half the shit that comes out of her mouth .
She hasn't been to school since Tuesday.  She hasn't been to work since Wednesday. 

Maybe she should get herself a finance job to see what real responsibility is.  Because so far,  she has no clue.  She will go on a spending spree and then when it comes time to pay her car insurance she is flat broke. She thinks if she acts all sorrowful and "promises" to do better next time is going to get her out of hot water with me, I hope she is ready to get real pissed, because I. AM. DONE. 

When Chris kicked her boyfriend out of our home, we didn't fire him from his employment with me.  We figured he would suck up his pride and go to the Salvation Army. Hell, we even told him to do just that. Sure he would probably hate it there (not my problem.. don't fucking care) but they do work with people to get their lives back on track.  Something he definitely needs.  Instead he chose the easy way out and went back home where there are NO JOBS!  With no regards to his employment with me he upped and left.  I did get a text later that evening stating he would no longer be working for me.  How absolutely fucking nice of him.  If it weren't for my own mother willing to help me out for the one day, I would be pulling almost 12 hours myself. 

I am done.  I don't care what the rest of the family does. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Honey Do List keeps getting bigger.

Not only are we in the middle of painting our house, but we are also doing some work on the inside as well.  This house is very old and needs a lot of attention.  We started out by painting all the rooms when we moved in.  Chris had to replace the kitchen faucet because it was old, wobbly and wouldn't stop dripping.  The most recent addition was a new water saver toilet.  It had to be done.  The old one was cracked and leaking. Also it was well over a six gallon tank.  So yeah, out of date too.

I have created a list of things that should be done and in what order of priority they fall.

1. Install a new a/c unit in the living room.  - It gets the heat from the setting sun and it is real hot at the end of the day.  Not good for all our electronics.  Maybe now that the weather will start to get cooler. We might put if off until after the first of the year. The prices should be cheaper too.
2. Install bathroom fans.  - Not having any ventilation in the bathroom makes it uncomfortable walking in when someone has been occupying it for over 20 minutes (if you know what I mean).
3. Put down laminate flooring in the living room.  When we first moved in they had carpeting which stank to high heaven because it was stained and mildewy. Turns out that the wall leaked when it would rain hard. Chris has already repaired and patched the wall so no more leaks but the floor is now just a concrete slab so yeah, definitely need to lay something down.
4. Install a garbage disposal.  Although we scrape our plates, with all the animals we have it is just a temptation for one of them to try and get into the garbage. 
5. Retro fit a dishwasher into a limited space kitchen.  Chris would eventually love to redo the kitchen.  I have no problem with that because as it stands now my kitchen is three rooms in one.  Kitchen, dining room and my office.  Would like to have boundaries.

You may think that all this will cost and arm and a leg, but with the Habitat for Humanity store right downtown, it won't even cost a fraction of what others would pay.  They have everything you would need for any home project and all the proceeds go into building their next house.  They have brand new appliances, doors, roofing material etc.. and also gently used items.  All items are donated. 

Chris has taken me there a few times.  We have gotten new interior doors and a stand alone pantry.  They also have complete room furniture.  When I am ready to upgrade my dining room table we are going there. It is far better than any thrift store. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My life is drama free, for the moment anyway.

 Chris had no choice but to kick Robbie out today.

It was a storm that has been brewing for several months now actually.   It all stems from an incident that landed Robbie in court at the beginning of October. I won't go into the actual details but we know that he will have to serve at least one year of  probation and his license will be suspended for a minimum of two years.

Chris had three rules to abide by while living under our roof.
1. No trouble with the law. 
2. No stealing.
3. No hanky panky between him and Britt under our roof.  For the record, Britt lives with Chris' parents.  She would never abide by our rules.

Needless to say he broke two of those rules that we know of.    When we found out about the court incident, Chris informed Robbie that he needed to find another place to stay.  He had to be out before his next court date because we did not want to be burdened with keeping him while on probation.  It is very difficult to get permission to move while on probation and it has to be approved by the courts.  We did not want to take the chance of him not being able to move.

Allowing him to stay with us was only a temporary agreement in the first place, and it was to help him get back on his feet so that he could get out on his own. It has been seven months.  We never intended for him to mooch off us forever.  We did have him pay $100.00 a month to help with utilities and he was on food stamps so that helped with keeping him fed.  Other than his car insurance and his cell phone bill he had no other responsibilities.  We found out that his boss at his primary job had offered a room in her house for $300.00 a month but he kept insisting that he could find an efficiency apartment cheaper.  Well he not only screwed himself out of a place to live but also out of a job because of the shenanigans that he and Britt pulled on Tuesday night. 

Robbie was scheduled to work in the evening.  He badgered Jeff to take his shift because apparently the 6-10p.m. shift is harder to fill than the 4-8p.m. shift.  He claimed that he was not feeling well.  Right after he got off the phone with their boss, he walked out the door and left.  We had absolutely no idea that he and Britt went back to his home 2 hours away because "their friend was rushed to the hospital because of his diabetes". Chris and I both know that was bullshit.  The icing on the cake was that he pulled a no call/no show for work on Wednesday.  Jeff got a call from their boss asking if he could come in because of Robbie.  Jeff would normally go in to help out but yesterday he and his girlfriend were at church.  I got a call from their boss this morning letting me know that she had to fire Robbie and that the offer to move into her home was off the table.  Y'see the boss and I are friends and I went to bat for Robbie to get the job in the first place and I feel like a heel for even doing that. It won't affect our friendship but I feel horrible anyway.

Robbie never came home until after midnight on Wednesday and left before I got up for work.  He had a court date this morning.  After receiving the call from my friend and  me having to inform Chris that he lost his job and a place to stay, Chris made his decision and went out and bought all new door locks.  When Britt and Robbie showed up at the house, Chris reminded him of the rules and that breaking not only one of them but two is official grounds for getting kicked out.  Chris let Robbie know that he knows that he has been stealing and Robbie did not deny it.  He acted like he didn't care at all.

Robbie did complain about having to go back to his family because he wouldn't have a place here, but Chris told him that the Salvation Army has a program for single men and yes, it would be like living in an institution but it would be the best thing for him because they would help him. He would have to swallow his pride and fly right but the program was there.  He decided to move back to his family. So much for that. I have no clue what consequences he will face for leaving the county.  I don't believe they will allow him to move his probation to his hometown but I am not sure.

 Britt on the other hand is fuming mad at her dad. She won't speak to him and she had her grandma inform me that she will not need a ride to school tomorrow. She prefers to be far away as possible from her dad.  I feel bad for Chris but he knew that Britt would be mad but he did what he felt was the right thing to do for our household.  

Decorating for Christmas already?

I am used to seeing certain retail stores displaying Christmas decorations before Halloween was over but now business are getting into the act?  On my way to work, I pass through a high end business district.  They had garland going up around the lamp posts. Seriously?

The individual stores around the corner were in the middle of changing their display windows with Christmas themed decorations and I wanted to scream.  Don't get me wrong I love Christmas time and all the festiveness it brings, but what reason do these people have to start so early?  I hate having my favorite holiday bastardized and commercialized like this.  People have to understand that shoving it down my throat so soon in the ball game is really petty and unnecessary.  I will get into the spirit, I promise you, just not on the 4th of November!

The clock is ticking...

Chris' best friend, Phil, has been living with us since the end of August. He came over from Europe first to pave the way for his wife, Alana and their son, Drake. The goal was to secure a job and buy a vehicle.  He is now looking for that family car. His wife and son will be arriving from Scotland on Tuesday.  All three of them will then shack up with her best friend in North Port.  Although I would have loved to have all three of them here with us, Phil didn't want to impose on us any longer, besides, Alana's best friend has a daughter that is eighteen months old and her own house.  The living situation would be a lot better for them. All I would have to offer is the family room pull out sofa.  Not the best environment for a baby. 

They are hoping to find a house in Sarasota within the next six months.  Phil has a great job bartending and Alana has a degree in Event Planning.  At her last job, she was head of the Event Planning division at one of the high end hotels in London.  She is hoping to start her own wedding and/or event planning business within the the next few years.  Right now she is concentrating on her son, Drake, who will be turning one on Thanksgiving.  She was the bread winner in London, now it is Phil's turn to bring in the dough. He constantly jokes about being fine with the Mr. Mom role but Alana is not playing that game.

Phil and Alana talk daily via the computer.  Today he was teasing her about coming to work for me. She knows that I know that she would never clean for a living. She kids me all the time about doing the manual labor and women should be pampered and not to be coming home all sweaty.  She really means it for herself but she understands my position.  She is a little on the quirky side but for the most part we get along.

Phil did make a comment about her getting a degree from a massage therapy program online because she loves going to the spa and getting pampered all the time. He told her since she knows the ins and outs of the spa life that she would fit right in as the one giving the treatment and not receiving it.  The look she gave him was priceless. 

I just don't understand

Can anyone please tell me exactly what are hgh supplements?  I haven't the foggiest clue as to what this is supposed to do for your body.  I have read that athletes will use it to boost their performance levels (legally) and that certain people have used it to fight aging.  So is it like a steroid product or an anti aging product?  And what is with all these "supplements" to begin with?  Every time I hit the interweb intending to look up what certain vitamins do for your body I am always amazed at all the different pills out there for everything.  Has America become a pill popping nation?  Do we not do anything the old fashion way anymore?  Whatever happened to the Food Pyramid and how many servings of each food group to have daily? 

Don't get me wrong, I understand innovation and technology better than you think I do.  I know that science has come along way developing "short cuts" to make our lives easier. I know there is potential there, but should there be?  Maybe I am just being pessimistic because I haven't found the wonder pill for my dilemmas and I may be a tad jealous that I am one of the many that can't really be helped scientifically. Or... maybe I am right, and we all should be doing things differently to be in better health, rather than relying on pharmaceutical companies that are getting richer by the second, because we are so lazy.  This is a "things that make you hmmm" moment. Right?!

There has got to be a way.. I just know it.

I know that I have been ranting and complaining about my weight, but hey, I have the right to do so here.  I have not found a sure fire way of losing weight yet.  I am not looking for the fastest way to lose weight because those "diets" really don't work and you end up putting more back on than you lost.  What I want is a sure fire way of losing the weight and is easily managed with my hectic schedule. 

I have hypothyroidism, and it is really dragging me down.  I was diagnosed shortly after my last visit to the Moffit Cancer Center.  Thanks to the Quasimodo size tumor they took out which in fact contributed to the thyroid disease. I don't have health insurance (because it is simply unaffordable) and I can't afford to pay out of pocket for the prescriptions.  So I am hoping to find an alternative way to treat and deal with this. 

I clean for a living and you would think that would be a work out all on its own.  I watch what I eat and I don't mean that I watch as I eat either.  I try and stay as active as I can even though my energy levels are almost non existent, I force myself to do things.  Painting the house last weekend almost killed me but I did it. I am always wanting to take walks but I only get so far and I am ready for a nap.  It kills me that I am constantly feeling this way.  I have never, ever been this heavy and I would be so flippin joyful if I could manage to lose 50 pounds.  I just don't know how to jump start my metabolism on my own. 


Gong on 40 feels like 80 to me.

I have been cleaning houses on a regular basis for over two years now.  I was hoping that my body would be used to it.  However, that is not the case.  I get severe joint pain by the end of my work day.  So severe that when I rub or even touch the area, it feels bruised and it stays that way for weeks. The joints in my fingers crack and every joint in my body hurts and is stiff. I am sure there are many factors as to why I have this.  Being overweight contributes greatly and the fact that arthritis runs in the family. 

I have tried many things to help alleviate the pain, which most products do temporarily, but not long term.  I have tried all kinds of  treatments for arthritis but nothing is long lasting.  I have been making sure to drink plenty of water, I am talking about by the gallons, and I take vitamins which also includes glucosamine, religiously, and yet I am still feeling this way. 

Chris' mother told me about MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) supplements that are specifically for joint cartilage and although I haven't tried it yet.  I have done a ton of research on it.  I am thinking that may be my next step and if that doesn't work then I don't know where else to go.  It is so tough getting older and I won't be 40 until December.  I have to find a way to reverse this or I won't be able to clean for much longer, and that is not an option right now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not wanting to go through this again...

It has taken years to find the best acne treatment for Jeff.  Mainly because his acne was more of an hormonal unbalance than the typical teenage break outs. 

Katie on the other hand has fairly good skin.  She is only eleven and will have one or two little zits but I have gotten her started on taking care of her skin very quickly.  She uses a mild soap and occasionally will use benzoyl peroxide pads.  Fingers crossed that she will not have Jeff's skin condition.  Boys seem  to handle problem skin way better than girls. 

As much of a drama queen that Katie is, I really do not want to have to go through problem skin with her.  She doesn't need another low esteem agent in her life.  She has enough already. Which we are working on to correct her self image.  It is just taking time.  I am hoping by the time she reaches her teens she will have a different outlook on herself.

I have no clue where in the family tree that was handed down to him from, but I do not wish it on any child.  I never had that kind of a problem as a teen or an adult.  Yes, I still break out from time to time but it is manageable.  To be honest it happens once a month but they get less and less not that my old butt is already going through the "change".  Ok... pre-change but still its there reminding me that in not so many years I will officially be over the hill. 

Wait.. Christmas is how many days away?

Ok... Christmas is just around the corner and of course Thanksgiving is just weeks away.  Have I completed all my Christmas shopping? That would be a BIG. FAT. NO.  I am also not one for waking up at the butt crack of dawn on the morning after Thanksgiving to try and get the best deals on items that my kids really don't frickin need.  Hey, I love my kids but lets face it, times are tough, the economy stinks and I work hard just to be able to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. 

No, I am not going to be a Scrooge this Christmas, just a little more practical. My kids have each requested one major gift and we will do our very best to fulfill their wish.  But lets face it, what they want, requires more dough than I want to shell out to be honest.  I have been scanning for deals online.  Maybe I will get lucky and find the perfect cyber Monday present rather than having to go out on the dreaded Black Friday.  I don't know how people do that anyway.  I mean, having to fight tooth and nail just to get into the store let alone racing to the isle that has the ONE gift you are looking for only to get there and you were seconds too late.  I have many family members that are die hard Black Friday shoppers.  Yes, they may get great deals but rarely have they gotten what they went to the store in first place for.  Besides, I like my beauty sleep.

Now she loves to brush.

My daughter is the most difficult when it comes to taking care of her teeth.  The hardest thing about getting her to do a good job brushing her teeth is the time factor.  She will begrudgingly go in for a minute and then come back out stating she is all done.  Yes, there may be evidence of toothpaste foam around her mouth but her teeth are still crying out for a good scrub. 

I was fortunate enough to receive a dental care package that contained many products to care for kids teeth as well as adults.   Listerine makes a pre rinse product called Agent CoolBlue that makes the plaque visible on you teeth and the children will be able to see where they need to brush.  I had Katie brush her teeth first and then use the Agent CoolBlue.  She was shocked at how much plaque was still on her teeth and mostly around her gum line.  Since she has seen what a poor job she was doing, the Agent CoolBlue has become her favorite part of the brushing experience.  It reminded me of the days when I was in elementary school, when the local dentist would show up, and pass out the red dye tablets, toothbrushes and trial size toothpaste.  Everyone would laugh at each other because we all had stained teeth. 

Before I couldn't get her to stay in the bathroom long enough to brush her teeth and now I have to set a time limit, because she will brush her teeth for ten minutes or more. She also likes the Listerine Smart Rinse.  It is an anti cavity fluoride rinse that you use after you brush your teeth. Not only does it help to prevent cavities it also strengthens teeth.  She prefers the Mint flavor but they also make berry flavor as well. 

I also tried out the Reach toothbrush that was sent to me.  I have to admit I have never used Reach before. I was always swayed to use Oral B (all the hype about being dentist preferred) but I have to be honest about the Reach toothbrush.  It is easier to get at the hard to "reach" places.  I was also given Listerine mouthwash to try and I was a little hesitant.  I remember my father's Listerine and it wasn't appealing back then but the CoolMint wasn't bad.  My husband claimed the Listerine Zero mouthwash which has no alcohol. He prefers the less intense sensation. 

Along with our package, we received an opportunity to collect money for the Trick or Treat for the America's Toothfairy. This is a campaign to help raise awareness of pediatric dental disease and it also provides care to the children that cannot get regular dental care. We did take our donation box around with us but unfortunately we didn't receive many donations. 

I am glad we were given this opportunity. If nothing else my own daughter is more aware of her dental hygiene habits and she is taking it more seriously.  She proudly shows off her pearly whites after each brushing.

 I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of LISTERINE and REACH and received products to take the Oral Care Challenge. Mom Central Consulting also sent me a Global Giving gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We are taking Katie to the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.  It will be a safe trick or treating experience for her and we get to have fun as well. 

Carnival food, games, live bands, rides and even a petting zoo.  Can't beat it

Have a safe Halloween everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I am not Picasso, nor do I want to be.

Today was a day that I wish I spent my time doing something more enjoyable rather than painting the stupid house.  We got a lot done but there is still more to do and it might take next weekend to completely finish it.   I have to admit that the color that we picked out looks a whole lot better than the cream color it was.  Chris took a before picture and I will post it once we have an after picture. 

Painting is something that neither Chris nor I enjoy but somehow we are becoming pros at it.  Jeff was a big help.  He painstakingly did the trimming work and was on the ladder most of the time.  However he is not a very neat painter. He mostly wore the paint in his hair. He gets tomorrow off for his hard work while Chris and I will finish the detailed work on the front of the house.  Next weekend will be reserved for the entire backside of the house. 

What I found most tedious was painting the stucco patterns on the front side.  I was so wishing for a paint sprayer and Chris did roll most of it but I had to brush in the cracks.  I have no idea why the house is both wood and stucco it just looks stupid.  When it was the cream color it didn't look pleasing at all but the green is looking so much more professional and cleaner looking. 

Our neighbors on both sides of us came out to watch us paint, and give us their opinions on how much better it looked. We even had people walking by and stopping to watch us.  Chris says it was because I was rocking out to my music which nobody could hear because I had my headphones on.  LOL!  I have to have some motivation to stand out in the hot sun and sweat my butt off and if it entertained people than so be it.  I am just hoping that no one videoed my feeble attempt at rocking out.  I mean it really wouldn't be all that entertaining if you couldn't hear Freddie Mercury belting  out "Fat Bottom Girls." 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Katie is in her Glory...

Katie is gone for the weekend.  She is with her girl scout troop and they will be camping in tree houses.  The campground, that is officially for Girl Scout use only, is way cooler than I remember camping with my troop.  This year they have added stables and horses.  When Katie found this out I thought she was going to have a heart attack. She absolutely LOVES horses. 

She was first introduced to horses her first year as a Daisy.  I was so apprehensive about her going to ride horses for the first time because she was such a small girl and the horses were huge. Not only did the girls get to ride a horse, they were taught equestrian etiquette, which I found very interesting myself.  Before this I never knew that horse riding equipment is called a horse tack.  The girls were very attentive and Katie was just smitten with the horses.  How I wish I could afford to give Katie horse back riding lessons and for that matter a horse of her own because I know she would be in her element.  She has a way with horses.  She has no fear but neither does the horse she lays her eyes on.  Every single horse that she has ever ridden has taken to Katie.  She rides like a pro and she so enjoys it. 

You open up your home only to get spit on...

I didn't get to bed last night until way after 1am.  I went to bed pissed, upset and very hurt. 

A few days ago is when it started. For clarification, Chris has noticed lately that certain things have been moved on his dresser and that something may have been taken, but not 100 percent sure.  He puts his change there every evening before bed.  He is very meticulous and anal about having things in their own spots and when there is a disturbance in the Force he knows. 

Last night as I left to take Jeff to work just as Chris and Britt were ready to head out to drive and hour and a half to have dinner with Britts mom ( a birthday request by Britt, to have both her parents take her out to dinner together)  Chris set up his dresser.  I was only gone for maybe 30 minutes and I never went into the bedroom.  I didn't have a clue that Chris even did that until I left to go pick up Jeff four hours later and on the way home, Chris called me to ask if I had been in his dresser.  It would not have been a big deal if I had been in his dresser but he wanted to make sure it wasn't me.  Things were out of place and he thinks something was taken.

When he and Britt got home they went back out with Robbie in tow (Britts boyfriend and currently lives with us) They decided to go to the bar where Chris' best friend just recently got a bar tending job.  They were gone for about two hours.  Just as I was about to turn in for the night. I got a tingling feeling to check my jewelry box.  I found out that my necklace that Chris got for me last Christmas is gone!

I restrained myself from calling Chris while they were out because I did not want to ruin Britts birthday drink but I was mortified.  It's not that it is an expensive piece of jewelry but it means something to me.  If you were to pawn it you probably wouldn't get over $20 for it but that is besides the point. 

I quickly told Chris as soon as he walked into the door and we literally tore my dresser up thinking that maybe I may have put it somewhere other than my jewelry box.  Nothing was said to anyone because Chris did not want to upset Britt by accusing her boyfriend of being a thief... because he would have been the only one that the both of us would even consider taking things.  However the very next morning Chris made the comment about getting the police involved while at the table eating breakfast.  He mentioned it as a ploy because he was hoping that maybe the necklace would turn up. 

It did.  When I went to take off my shoes to take a nap that afternoon I felt something underneath my dresser (which is where I put my shoes when I take them off) I got on my knees and there was the box opened just lying on the floor.  My necklace was hanging out.  Chris has since gone out and bought a new door handle that requires a key for our bedroom door. I can't prove that anyone took it but I damn well know it wasn't there the night before otherwise I would have felt it when I took off my shoes. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's that time of year again...

Katie and her Girl Scout Troop will be camping this weekend.  Instead of only sleeping out one night they will be staying two nights.  Katie is so excited about this weekend that she has been going over and over her list of what to bring and making sure she has everything. 

I need to find protective clothing  for her. She is so clumsy and even though she knows the rules about how far away she should be from campfires she still forgets at that time.  She makes me so nervous.  Maybe I am just a little over protective of her but I swear she worries me.  I hope that this clumsy stage is a phase and she will soon grow out of it.  Until then I am going to constantly worry.

This is the second year that I have not gone with the troop.  The first two times I went because they girls were younger and it helped the troop leaders out.  Now that the girls are older the troop leaders have a better handle on things.  Yes, they do a great job keeping on eye on Katie. Otherwise I would insist on going even if it meant that the camp rules were broken. 

Watch out World...

My step daughter is 21 years old today.  That means that the girl is of legal age to drink.  She and her dad are about an hour and a half away having dinner with her mother.  Her one birthday request was to have both her parents take her out for her first (LEGAL) drink together.  Since her mom lives about 2 and half hours away they decided to meet somewhere in the middle. 

This weekend she plans on going back to that neck of the woods to go club hopping with some of her friends.  I am fine with that and it is a "right of passage" thing to do but she doesn't seem to understand that she should not be driving if they are going club hopping.  Her father and I have repeatedly told her that she needs to either have a designated driver or call a cab.  She casually threw in that her one friend MAY be able to be the designated driver since he is kinda not the club scene kind of person and because of the fact  that he may just be ok with not drinking.  Uhm... you might want to inform him first.. dontcha think?

Chris mentioned something about renting an RV or party bus and chauffeur them around.  Nope... not in the budget especially since rv insurance is required and we don't have that kind of stipulation on our insurance. So we will hope that she uses common sense and does the right thing. 

She is a smart girl when she applies herself but that doesn't happen very often.  I keep waiting for her to mature and it is painful to watch her make such stupid and completely out there mistakes but I know that in order to learn there are mistakes that need to be made.  I truly hope that my son doesn't act this way... I will kill him!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Oldie but a goodie Maxineism!

My family knows how much I love Maxine... its not about the character perse but how much she reminds me of my late Grandma.  Everyone including my parents think that I will be just like her.  A smart mouth with a wicked sense of scarcasm. Hmmm... I think I will take that as a compliment.

The weather will be changing...

 Although summer is slowly creeping away and the humidty will become tolerable again with the colder temperatures, there will be days this winter that will call for a dehumidifier.  So while the prices of summer items come down,  I think we will invest in one.  I wish we had one for this past summer because I can't tell you how many times it was just miserable.  Not to mention our health suffered.  I hated waking up every morning all congested and blah. 

I am so looking forward to cooler temps and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend for Katie's Girl Scout camping outing this weekend.  Night temperatures will be in the 50's.  To me that is just about perfect sleeping weather.  Although I won't be tagging along this year like I usually do, because the girls are older and the Troop leaders can better manage the girls on their own now.  I will miss it but I am glad that Katie is becoming more independent. 

Anyway I am so looking forward to cooler temps and the opportunity to snuggle up to Chris on those cold nights.  As long as I am not having hot flashes he won't mind cuddling with me :0)

Stop this crazy ride... I want to get off!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted.  The months have just flown right by me and to be honest,  I have not had any time to myself.  I have to slow down and start taking breathers because if I don't I will end up sick and I cannot afford to be ill not with season just around the corner. 

November through May is when all the snowbirds come back to Florida and it will be during this time that I will be extremely busy with all the house cleanings on top of the condo buildings.  I will have to schedule every cleaning very carefully because I do not want to bog myself down. Plus I do not want to have to hire anyone right now.  My family depends on my income alone and I can't afford to share it, not just yet anyway, unless I get completely blown away with new people wanting my services but I really do not see that happening this year.

So, I will make every effort to update more because I will make it a priority to take some "me" time.  I like the comfort of my computer and this blog. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Administration did WHAT?!?!

Did you know that the Obama administration has included the Arizona law in its UPR (Universal Periodic Review ) to the United Nations? My question is why?
I am going to include a portion of the article here but you are more than welcome to research this further on your own, in fact I encourage you to do just that.

 "A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world," the report says. "The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday demanded that a reference to the law be removed from the State Department report on ways the federal government is protecting human rights.

It is "downright offensive" that a state law would be included in the report, Brewer, a Republican nearly guaranteed re-election as a result of the legal dispute, wrote to Clinton.

"The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to 'review' by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional," she said.

Arizona Republican state Sen. Frank Antenorri told Fox News on Monday that he thinks it is an insult to the American people, who overwhelmingly support the state's right to enforce the law, to include Arizona in the report.

He added that nothing in the lawsuit makes any mention of human rights or the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal justice. The Justice Department argued the 10th Amendment in its suit, claiming that the state does not have the authority to enforce federal laws.

"Name a human rights violation. Name it," Antenorri demanded of the Obama administration.

"Tell the people of this country where in this U.N. report you are defining a human rights
violation occurring in the state of Arizona. It's garbage," he said, adding, "I find it comical to kowtow to dictators in this global effort to demonize the United States.

"The federal government, the president should be ashamed of himself for putting this on an international stage with a commission that is put together by countries that commit actual genocide and atrocities," he added.

So are we now going to answer to the World on how we are dealing with ILLEGAL immigrants? 
This is so asinine! We already have these laws in place, but the Federal Government does not want to enforce them, which is why individual states are doing something about it.  

I am just waiting for the day when the American citizens are going to be retro fitted with some kind of device that will be read by a barcode scanner or something of the like to be able to anything in this country.  Tell us what jobs we can do, what cars to drive, how we can dress, who we can socialize with and so on.  We are not going to be the land of the free any longer not when the UNITED NATIONS can start to sanction what we can or cannot do.  I am so wanting this administration to end!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In other news...

Chris, Jeff and Katie have made it through their third day of school with no incidences.  Well with the exception of new policies at Katie's school.  This is the third day that I have had to track down my daughter when picking her up, because she was not at the designated spot that I was told she would be at and in the middle of a torrential downpour to boot.  I was not a happy camper by no means.

My stepdaughter and her boyfriend are still having communication problems.  Strictly her fault of course.  She doesn't want to fully admit that she was in the wrong and actually though that by taking him out to dinner was a good enough remedy to the solution.  He kind of made a joke saying that she would go broke by having to buy him dinner every time she lies to him.  She didn't find it funny.  She has not officially apologized either. I think that she thinks that in two weeks or so he is going to forget about all this. 

I have been doing a lot of eye rolling when it comes to her.  It is really starting to wear thin on me. Her boyfriend has been calling her out on a lot of stuff and unfortunately he has been the only to ever to do this.  Her father, mother and grandparents have always tiptoed around upsetting her because they all thought she was fragile.  Since her teen years anyway.  When she was Katie's age she was a normal child. 

She goes to live with her mom and  she totally changed.  Chris has accepted that he needs to start calling her out as well.  Her grandparents are just defending her by saying "she's just a little mixed up right now"  and her mother won't do anything because she is exactly the same way.  She won't even look at me anymore and I believe it is the guilt and/or shame she feels because she knows that I know everything she has done.  Of course I am just assuming that and I could be wrong.

City of Brotherly Love indeed!

I cannot believe what I have been reading lately.  Philadelphia is now wanting bloggers in their city to pay a $300.00 for a business license.  To me that is just insanity.  The economy is already in the dumps and people are doing what is absolutely necessary to survive. 

This is just so stupid. I mean it is not like there are tons of money to be made in this genre.  Running Google ads or accepting paid assignments here and there doesn't justify paying for a business license.  Most bloggers don't even make $300.00 in one year.  So now they are forced to find other ways of making money and hoping that the greedy county government don't catch onto the next "big" money maker. 

I don't personally know any Philadelphia bloggers but I know a lot of bloggers that do strictly reviews and make a decent living but that is all they do. I don't even think you would be able to any type of reviews not even cell phone, business phone or cordless phone reviews without waving a red flag. So what if this goes country wide?  Bloggers that are supporting their families by blogging for a living are going to get screwed.  A lot of us are struggling as it is and I am sure there may be some that will take on any type of work.  

I am so glad that I don't live there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Germany bound hopefully.

It is a good thing that my mom retired in May of this year and started to collect her social security benefits.  She wouldn't have been able to take the time off at the start of Florida's season.  My dad is scheduled for knee replacement surgery on September 2nd, and with the rehab and the need for my mom's help, there would have been no way her boss or the condo association that she worked for would have allowed time off.

My dad is a little nervous and apprehensive about the surgery but there have been many friends of my parents that have gone thought it themselves.  Surgery isn't what it used to be. Recovery is a lot faster now then it was even ten years ago.  My own surgery recovery was a complete surprise to me.  I remember the difficulty that I had when I had a cesarean section back in 1991.  It took months before the pain and discomfort went away completely. When I had surgery last November, I was so shocked at the minimal pain that I had and how fast I healed.  It was like night and day.

My dad almost cancelled his trip with my mom and the church choir in December to Germany because he thought he wouldn't be up to par.  His surgeon assured him that he would be a new man and walking without pain at least a month prior to the trip. 

 I am hoping that it all goes well and in December my parents are able to go to Germany.  My dad has relatives in Munich that he hasn't seen since he was stationed there back in 1967 while he served time in the Army. He would visit the family on the weekends. He has so many fond memories of hanging out with our relatives and he would like to be able to go back and visit and also show my mom around. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Knowledge is the Key

I don't talk much about my political beliefs or issues on this blog.  I am thinking that maybe I should start voicing my concerns.  After all, I have that right.

I am a Republican.  Whether you want to call me a conservatist, right winger, Grand Old Party participant or what have you, I stand by what my party fights and stands for. 

Preserving the integrity of our country by upholding the Constitution. 
Our fore fathers painstakingly worked through what would be considered now our mission statement.  What America stands for.  What we will and will not tolerate and what is most important above all is that Americans have the right to have a government that will do the WILL of the people. 

Do you honestly think that our government is doing its job right now?  I have heard so many people complain that WE THE PEOPLE are getting ignored.  Well it's because WE THE PEOPLE put the wrong politicians in office. Plain and simple as that.

We Americans need to get our country back on the right track.  Which means we need to do our research and get to know and understand the politicians that are running for offices this November.

Take for example my state. 
We have a new batch of politicians and non politicians running for Governor. 
Rick Scott is a businessman. 
Bill McCollum is a career politician.
Both are republican but both have different ideas and views on how they want to deal with things and get Florida on the right track.

Who am I voting for?  Bill McCollum.  He closely relates to my expectations of a governor.
I agree with most of his views and his plans and to me it makes him a legitimate contender.

Rick Scott is a business man.  With questionable integrity.  He was a CEO of a company that was convicted of fraud against the government.  He claims to not have known what his own company was doing and he may have accepted responsibility and resigned but even that does not sit well with me. 
I look at this with one of two scenarios playing out:
He really didn't know what was happening which therefore deems him incompetent and therefore does not deserve the right to represent me or he did know all along which makes him a criminal  and therefore does not deserve the right to represent me.

Regardless of the mud slinging that both campaigns are doing.  I took the initiative to find out more about these men.  It wasn't hard.  Just a little research and voila I know who I am voting for. 

We Americans must do our part to insure that our country gets back on the right track period.