Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

When will I learn?

When I have a blog halfway planned in my mind, I should never read other blogs before writing mine. Now I have everyone's Year In Review in my mind and, there are some really well written blogs that I read, they are a little intimidating.

It is difficult to believe another year has passed. It seems just minutes ago we were ushering in 2008 (ok, it was only about 2 weeks ago we were ushering in 2000), but January seems so long ago.

I am not sure how to categorize 2008.

The elections drug on waaaay too long, but, in the end, the country has a fine man ready to step up and do his best to turn us around.

The LeftLeaning household took a personal hit when BabyBoy lost his job in Aug and then DSD lost his in Sep. Neither of them have found work, although, to be fair, BabyBoy's class load was a bit too much for him to hold down a job, so he has only been looking for a couple of weeks.

The economy is in the toilet.

People are losing their homes.

But gas prices are lower than I ever expected them to be again in my life. After they got higher than I ever expected them to be in my lifetime.

Osama bin Laden is still on the loose.

Men and women are still dying on foreign soil. And many who aren't dying are not getting the help they need.

But there have been enough breakthroughs in AIDS treatment that contracting the disease is no longer a death sentence.

Homosexuals now have the right to marry in a couple of states, but their rights took a huge hit on election day with Prop 8 & Amend 2.

My son carried signs encouraging people to defeat Amendment 2 and voted in his first ever Presidential election.

I won $1500 in a 'Slot' tourney in Biloxi.

Many thousands more are without healthcare today than were without healthcare 1 year ago.

There is no peace in the Middle East.

So I guess, after reading this, 2008 could be categorized as lousy.

But, personally, my family is healthy. My parents are now in their early 60's, thinking of retiring and doing great. My brother's children are not pregnant and have not been arrested ('nuff said.) I am still employed, DSD has his retirement and we are not in danger of losing the house.

Here's wishing a happy, healthy, wondrous 2009 for the entire world. I hope all of our hopes, wishes and dreams, for our country, for our family, for our world come true.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

On the weekends I like to bury myself away from the news and reports of what is going on in the world. I don't read the web, except for an occasional blog and DSD usually has control of the remote and is watching football, so even the local news is a miss some weekends.

But news of what is happening in Gaza would have been impossible to miss without disconnecting electricity to my home and locking myself inside (not very bright, because it would have been uncomfortably warm).

So, I broke down and read numerous articles in Time and on various news pages.

And I don't get it.

Of course I've never understood the Middle East issues. Many, many, many people obviously don't or maybe they could have solved them by now.

I understand disliking, or even hating, your neighbors. The house next door to mine is a rental and there have been plenty of nasty people living there through the years I have owned the house. The worse was the ones with several dogs, several cats and an eight foot albino boa. We're pretty sure they were selling drugs out of the house, but the police wouldn't do anything about it unless I did all the work for them, i.e., keep a log of vehicles, time in, time out and tag numbers. Impossible unless I sat on my front porch all day and night. My employers would have loved that. And I do love to sleep.

I really hated those people. And I did call the police on them as often as I could.

But it never occurred to me to shoot them.

Or firebomb them.

Because they were human beings, even if they didn't always act like it.

So I understand that I may be simple, or even slightly stupid, but why can't the Israelis and the Palestinians just stop the damn fighting? Can't they just ignore each other?

I've researched the history of the region. Both sides have legitimate complaints. But both sides are wrong when they decide to settle their complaints with their (metaphorical) fists.

Why CAN'T we all just get along?

More Information on Being a Sore Loser

It was overheard, prior to the decision of who would win the Yearly Award, a couple of the voters discussing who had or had not won this award before. I won it in 2001; the first year of its existence. Apparently anyone who had won already was not in contention for winning it again.

So I never had a shot.

For some reason that made me feel better.

I am hoping to discuss this with one of those voters, behind closed doors and explain how ridiculous a policy it is.

My last raise was less than $0.20 an hour. Before this year we received the standard 3% cost of livng raises, but not anymore.

I am being paid about $8,000.00 a year less than what my company's own website states is starting pay for my job.

Excellence is in no way, shape, or form rewarded.

So, if I am not eligible for this reward what point is there in my striving for excellence?

Ok, I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability and, had I known I was not eligible for the award at the beginning of the year, I still would have done the little extra things that I did to keep this place running smoothly. But I don't want someone else to get screwed next year for the same stupid policy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crafty Mom! ****Updated**** Now contains a picture of my project

I am normally not a crafty person. I don't mean that I can't be sneaky and sly, people, I mean, I do not 'rag' my walls (whatever the hell that is) and I didn't know what decoupage was until I was in my late 30's and I still have never tried it. And am not really sure WHY anyone would.

Now that does not mean that I do not appreciate those whose talents fall in the arts and crafts arena. Shel, who normally does her blogging on Yah Sure, You Betcha!, also has a blog on scrapbooking and I have been there and I have no idea what she is talking about. But everything is very nice. Many people paint, scrapbook, do beadwork, etc and thoroughly enjoy it and that is wonderful, but my interests have never run in that particular direction.

Last month when BabyBoy had his theatrical debut, I wanted to do something for him. Flowers seemed lame, since, you know, male. Not into flowers. So I wrestled with the whole thing and then contacted MustangBobby, because he is a playwrite and spends a lot of time in and around the theatre. He had the brilliant suggestion of having BabyBoy's program matted and framed. Genius!

But I went to the conference at Disney, came home to Thanksgiving and never got it done. I figured it would be ok, I would have it done for Christmas. No problem. Buy a frame. Buy a matt. Done.

Only finding the correct size matting proved impossible. So then I was looking at custom matting. $$$$$$$ And I wanted to get him more than just the one gift!

There had to be a solution.

And I found it. I bought an inexpensive 16x20 frame, poster board, construction paper, scrapbooking glue, and some really adorable scrapbooking thingys (I'm certain there is a correct term for them, but I have no idea what it is). BabyBoy's girlfriend managed to snag some pictures of him on stage and I set to work.

And this was work! Which picture should be prominent? What colors should I use? White background? Yellow? The red that was orange, I don't care what the sign said?

The entire thing took HOURS and more trips to the arts and crafts store than I made during the entire year I planned my wedding.

But it's done. And I am so proud of it! And I hope he loves it. I really wanted something that would commemorate his first role in a real play and that showed him how very proud I am that he is following his dreams. I don't know if I managed to convey all that, but I am very ready for Christmas morning when he opens it.

I hope you managed to find, buy, create that perfect gift for your loved ones. And I hope your holidays are the best ever.

The LeftLeaning household wishes you and yours Happy Holidays and a very, very Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Proud Mom!

BabyBoy has been attending the local community college for 3 semesters now. His performance has been, shall we say, less than stellar. He seems to be taking a while to get the hang of college and has been hesitant to ask for help. I don't know why and it annoys me, because he would not have gotten a 50% on his term paper in Eng1102 if I had looked it over.

BUT, he has done well enough this year to pick up a $700.00 scholarship from the theatre department and this will go a long way toward paying for next semester's classes. And should even give him a couple of dollars spending money.

So I am very proud of him and the strides he is making. Hopefully next semester will be the one where he REALLY gets his act together and manages to get the grades I know he is capable of.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And the Fun Never Stops!

Despite everything I did to ensure that I stayed well, even though those around me were toppling like a house of cards set upon a charge of dynamite, I woke up Saturday morning with a scratchy throat. I don't think I have it as bad as many others, and I am feeling better already, but I still have an ugly sounding cough.

So I decided to pamper myself on Tuesday and Wednesday by sleeping in and going to work late. I worked late on Monday, so the 6 1/2 hours I worked on Tuesday was not going suck too many of my vacation hours (I have quite a few on the books), and I figured I was worth it to kick this cold out of my life.

At 7:45 Wednesday morning I am awakened by DSD rushing into the bedroom.

"I am so sorry to wake you, I really hate to do this, I am so sorry, but really, wake up. Lola pooped (yes, we say poop at our house), I cleaned her up, I cleaned up her crate, I fed her, but then she (insert your favorite gagging noise here) threw up all over the carpet. I am so sorry to wake you up like this."

Now you have to understand that DSD is not, normally, a baby about bodily functions, or anything else for that matter. He did an expert job of doctoring my poor, beleaguered bottom and he was a Navy hard hat diver for 22 years (the ones who pull dead bodies out of the water), but the poor man CAN NOT handle vomit. He is what I call a "sympathetic puker," kind of like Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias, "I have a firm rule that no one shall cry alone in my presence," DSD has a firm rule that no one shall puke alone in his presence. You know that commercial with the baby (it may be e*trade) on the computer talking about trading stocks? At the end of one the baby spits up a little, DSD is almost sick every time.

So I didn't fuss at him. I got out of bed to find Lola in her crate and an enormous pile of dog food in the middle of the floor.. on the carpet, of course. I got the pile into the trash and was attempting to get the spot out of the carpet when the poor baby threw up in her crate. So, I moved her to the back porch (screened, nothing for her to get into) and starting cleaning up her crate. Unfortunately I was very worried about dehydration at this point and gave her a large bowl of water. Not the best idea in the world when the poor puppy's belly is empty.

So she threw up again and again and again. Luckily, mostly on the concrete, but by this time, I was VERY worried. I called work to let them know I may not be in (oh, boy is that going to be an interesting post) and then called the vet. It was 8:28 by then; the vet opens at 8:30. I jumped in the shower, DSD called the vet when they opened and loaded Lola's crate into the back of the trunk and loaded Lola into the crate and off we went.

Did you know that sago palms are POISONOUS for dogs?

Well, I didn't. But the sago palm is gone from the back yard. Thank goodness we never got around to planting it in the yard and it was still in its pot. Laziness wins one!

We are not sure if that was the culprit or not. She was given drugs (shots and pills). More rice. Ice cubes instead of water. (She loves loves loves ice cubes, so this was a special treat for her, because she likes to eat them on the carpet leaving little puddles of water everywhere.) This morning she had a little dog food mixed with the rice and actual water. When I talked to DSD about lunchtime he said they had played fetch for about 5 minutes before she needed a nap.

She seems to be on the mend, but cross your fingers that we don't have another emergency with her anytime soon. She is still a baby (7 1/2 months old) and her poor body can't take too much of this.

I sat on the floor last night to pet her, turned toward her and found myself looking straight into her eyes! She's huge. And my "should reach about 45 pounds" puppy is topping the scale at just under 61.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Am I a Sore Loser?


I'm not really comfortable saying too much about my job in my blog. It's not that I work with or on classified material. A lot of what is done at my place of work can be found in magazines, books or on the internet, but since my time in the Air Force (when I did work with classified material), I am uberconscious about security. In today's world, you never know who is lurking around a corner to pick up teeny bits of information from several different sources. Or maybe I am psychotically paranoid as well as being a sore loser.

Anyway, last night was the annual Holiday Party. DSD was not too hip on going (he always has a good time), but this year I was insistent, because the Yearly Awards are given at the party and I KNEW I was going to win. Who else? I have been very pivotal in pushing through paperwork this year that allows us to keep working and I have (almost single handedly) set up new procedures that brought us new customers, allowing us to make more money, on top of performing my regular duties which include every day paperwork, slight accounting and a tiny bit of contracts paperwork. Pretty impressive, huh?

Apparently not impressive enough.

Because I did not win.

The receptionist did.


Now yes, she does have (a few) duties that are outside the realm of actually being a receptionist, and she received a promotion a month ago, so she is no longer the receptionist. She is now the executive assistant to the BigGuy. But for 10 months of the year, she was the GD receptionist. And it is part of MY job description that if she is out, I am part of the team who covers the receptionist duties. So, trust me, this isn't a really difficult job. Answer the phone, page people over the loud speaker*, tranfer phone calls, take messages, etc.

So I am pissed! Receiving a promotion is not grounds for a yearly award. Neither is answering the damn phones. Sadly, I really like the woman who won. She is very pleasant and I don't wish her ill, I just don't think she's done a damn thing (except for be pleasant) that warrants this award. And I was hoping to parlay MY winning into a big, fat raise.

Instead, I will just sulk quietly to a few (very few) of my trusted co-workers and bitch on here. There is no way to find out who even voted for her and not me. And I will hold this close and nurture my anger, because that is what I do!

*I have on 3 separate occassions paged myself. I always had a reason, once to check the system, twice to train others how to work the system. It tickles me every time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lola is better...

As a mom, I've known about the B.R.A.T. diet for year. No, that isn't the diet you feed your brat, it is the diet you feed your lovely, well-behaved child when they have diarrhea. Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce, Toast. Dry toast.

Well, everything dear ol' Google gave me said 'rice' for dogs, there was no mention of the other 3. And I was afraid to try apple sauce or bananas, since we are a strict 'dog food only' household. But the rice seems to have worked. She hasn't had an accident since Wednesday morning. We aren't sure that she has gone at all. She likes to go around to the other side of the house when she does her business, where there are no lights after dark. But this morning she ate normally, and pooped close to normally. How crazy is my life when I spend my days blogging about dog poop? You should see the lovely notes I leave DSD in the morning before work. In the past the notes were sweet and silly and loving, this morning's note read,
"Good morning,
Lola DID poop this morning. It started out healthy, but was a little runny near the end so keep a close eye on her.
See you this afternoon.

Nice, huh?

Unfortunately, DSD and BabyBoy have the cold that is going around. So does my boss and several other people at work. I'm taking my Vitamin C, washing my hands thoroughly and using my hand sanitizer, hopefully that will be enough.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick Baby!

Yesterday morning, after my shower, I walked down the hallway and smelled.. crap. While I was hoping that Lola was just a bit gassy, I knew in my heart that the smell was too overwhelming to just be gas.

Now I am a believer in crate training and Lola loves her "bed." She goes into it happily whenever we tell her to and hasn't fussed about it in forever. Very seldom do dogs soil inside their crate, so I knew this was something that she could not help. I let her outside, cleaned up her and her crate, fed her, gave her some water and put her back in the crate. DSD gave her a full on bath later in the afternoon (there are some benefits to his being out of work!). By the time I went to bed last night, she was going every 15 minutes or so and had diarrhea.

This morning, her bed was dirty again (although she hadn't stepped in it or rolled in as she had yesterday morning) and she pooped again (very watery) three times. I didn't feed her much, but apparently I shouldn't have fed her at all. I am not rushing her to the vet, because she isn't acting sick. She's still very hyper, very loving and very playful. She does not seem to be in any pain, she isn't lathargic; she just has diarrhea. From something she ate that she should not have, I am certain. I had to take my cell phone out of her mouth on Monday afternoon.

So DSD is going to start her on a rice only diet and give her plenty of water and we will watch her very carefully over the next couple of days. I am very lucky that I have my vet's personal cell phone number. We chose him because we were already very good friends with his girlfriend; the fact that he is a Florida graduate and huge football fan was just a bonus.

So think sweet thoughts about my baby girl that she gets over this quickly. And enjoy these photos that I have been going to post anyway!

From this summer. She won't get anywhere near the pool now. That water is cold. My baby girl isn't stupid!

From October. She has gotten so big! She is such a great addition to the family. If I could just get her to stop JUMPING on my guests.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeling better and Headed to Miami!

Well, I am not personally headed to Miami. I have thought about it. I have considered the feasibility of leaving here on Jan 7, trying to find a scalper some time on Jan 8 and watching the game that evening. What game?

The NCAA Div 1A National Championship Game! Where the University of Florida Gators will put their #9 Defense against the University of Oklahoma's over powering offense.

Yes, I know this is a fictional title. Only playoffs are going to make it fair to ALL of the teams. But if a fictional title has to be awarded, I would like for it to go to my Gators, who covered the spread in a 31-20 win over Alabama's Crimson Tide on Saturday.

But I am not going to Miami. I am going to watch the game in the warmth and comfort of my living room, mainly, because I can't see spending the money right now.

At the end of last week, I was still planning to keep the doctor's appointment that I had scheduled for tomorrow as a follow-up to last week's issues. But I woke up Saturday morning feeling like new and have not had a problem since. I think I will stick to the bland diet for a while and give my internals a bit more time to heal. But, for now, I am doing wonderfully.

I hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Go Gators!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Little Football Poetry

Obviously doing some stealing from " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas," my brother wrote this one day last week. All Gator fans just hope it is true. We will know tomorrow, won't we?

'Twas the night before the SEC Championship game
And all through Nick Saban's house
Everyone was worried
Including the mouse

Nick was up late watching game film
Of Florida's wide open attack
Wondering if Urban Meyer
Might cut him some slack

Watching Percy Harvin run the ball
He thought, "How can we stop him?
My defense couldn't catch him
Even if he was hoppin'."

"Then there's Rainey and Demps
A very scary combination
They hit the hole and they're gone
Without any hesitation"

And he thought about Tebow,
"Will he throw it or run?
The chances of stopping him
Are between slim and none."

He turned off the game film
And said to himself with a frown,
"I guess after tomorrow
I'll be Sugar Bowl bound."

Don't get me wrong, of course, I hope the Gators win and then play for the National Championship against whichever Big 12 team goes. But 'Bama has a lot to be proud of. They are undefeated so far. They are #1 in all the polls. And they whooped Auburn.

And I wish them all the luck in the world, beating Utah in the Sugar Bowl!

Go Gators!

Have a Drink on Me!

Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to our beloved Constitution. This is the only amendment whose only purpose was the repeal of another (earlier) amendment, the 18th Amendment aka the Prohibition amendment.

So, in celebration of the fact that it is legal to do so, have a drink!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

After Another Trip to the Doctor...

When I was about 27 or 28, a friend told me to 'watch out, everything goes down hill when you hit 30.' Well I was a little traumatized by the thought, but I turned 30 and I didn't seem to be as broken and sickly as my friend did. So I figured they were nuts and moved on with my life. 35 snuck up on me and so did my weight, but I managed to beat it back down (somewhat!) and keep going. I turned 40 last year, and aside from a bad cold last year about this time, everything has been swell.

I turned 41 in April and everything seems to be going downhill. First there was this, then this. both of which were taken care of and I seem to be doing wonderfully.

So Sunday night (about 5:30) I decided I would have pumpkin pie before I had my dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers. Why? Because I am grown and I could and I hadn't had any desserts for all of the Thanksgiving season. But I only had 1 piece and then I fixed myself a lovely plate of leftovers, turkey, dressing, black eyed peas and green bean casserole. About 3 /4 of the way through my plate I started feeling a strange pressure underneath my sternum, so I stopped eating, scraped my plate and took a couple of Tums. The pressure worsened and turned to a burning sensation and I was miserable. I took a couple more Tums and chugged a soda, because that has always worked in the past for acid indigestion. I burped, some. I received a little relief, but it didn't last.

This went on for hours.

About 9 I made myself throw up. Didn't help. I finally thought, 'screw it' and took some pain pills leftover from this summer's fun and passed out.

And woke up 2 hours later pretty sure I was going to die. Unfortunately at this point I was still incredibly groggy from the drugs, so while I was trying to figure out if I should get a ride to the ER or call 911 and where are my clothes? I passed out again.

And woke up about 90 minutes later feeling just fine.

I came to work yesterday and explained what had happened to Dr. A. He told me to make an appt with my doctor right away. "It's probably acid reflux, or just indigestion, but," then he went down the list of possible issues including myocardial infarction (I don't ever want one, but that is a cool word!).

There was an EKG done immediately this morning and it was not my heart. It looks like I probably just strained something with all the overeating at Thanksgiving... really. So I am on Protonix, which is supposed to heal whatever issues I am having.

I hope so. There is still some discomfort and I am paranoid to eat much. Maybe I can drop those last 10 pounds, but wouldn't going to the gym or for a walk be a better way?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Was One of the Crazies

No, not on Black Friday. I slept in, ate leftovers, did laundry. Why isn't the laundry ever finished?

But yesterday, DSD and I were out of the house by 9. (We live in the Central time zone). We made our way 2 hours to the NE and arrived in Tallahassee by 12 (now in Eastern time). We parked at the Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center because there are buses every few minutes between there and Doak Campbell Stadium and we had a pass. But it was probably less than a mile walk, so we walked it. We had plenty of time.

We called our friends, who were supposed to there EARLY to tailgate, but they didn't answer. We saw A LOT of people dressed in blue and orange. We found a little bar right off campus. Only beer was served, so DSD had a couple and we visited with the other gator fans who were sitting around there. I was starving, but the food didn't look really great, so I decided to wait. Eventually our friends wandered by (of all the luck that we would just run into them) and we made our way over to their tent. We weren't there long, though, because it was starting to rain and the stadium was open. So we headed in, found a couple of hot dogs and then just looked at each other, because it was starting to pour!

Apparently the YouTube crowd has not had time to upload any portion of the game and MSNBC has it fixed so that you can't get the code, but I did find this video from the Gainesville Sun

Ok, it starts off with Florida State stuff, but it doesn't seem to show any of the Seminoles big plays, but what can you expect from the Gainesville Sun?

So normally I watch the games on TV and I am incredibly smug about how warm or dry I am. Yesterday I was one of those nuts sitting there in the rain. Soaked to the toes. We did have ponchos, so shoulders to knees were dry, but I am not certain that my shoes will ever be dry. Our heads were fairly dry, but the hoods kept slipping.

I had a blast. DSD was a great sport.

I was sadly disapointed in a couple of the FSU fans who were near us. Most of them were fabulous, but one guy and his girlfriend kept talking smack and they wouldn't stop standing in their seats. So I had no choice but to stand in mine, because I am short. I couldn't see anything.
I was very apologetic to those behind me who were very gracious and understanding and kept glaring at that guy. He also kept bitching about the calls. Which stunk. It was a really poorly called ball game. But the bad calls went both ways. There was one point where a Florida player held an FSU D player and allowed Tebow to throw a touchdown. There was on FSU player who could be seen CHOKING a Florida player (that is probably a personal foul, at the least it is holding). But the crappy calls didn't help (or really hurt) either team, so it was probably as fairly called as any team gets.

We left with four minutes to go in the ball game. The score was 45-15 and even though FSU was driving, I didn't think they were going to make up the 30 point difference (they fumbled the ball shortly after we left, so the final was 45 - 15). And DSD was only there to make me happy and I figured I would be nice to him.

As we made our way to our bus for the ride back to the Civic Center (it was still raining, our shoes were wet and we were tired so we didn't want to walk) I was APPALLED at the state of the stadium. There were beer bottles all over the place right outside the gate. There was trash everywhere. I almost stepped on half of a chicken while in line for the bus. GROSS. Apparently Florida State fans are not concerned by the cleaniness of their stadium after a game.

We made it home safe and sound though and now the sun is trying to peek out. I had wonderful time, but we will enjoy the rest of Florida's season (SEC Championship next week in Atlanta) from the comfort and dryness of our living room.

Go Gators!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone

I was reading what I wrote last year on Thanksgiving and realized that (with a few minor changes) everything still applies. So here is last year's list of the things I am thankful for, slightly updated.

An awesome 19 year old son
A wonderful husband
Great parents, Ozzie and Harriet had nothing on my Mom and Dad (although I would bet money that my dad is louder than Ozzie ever thought of being).
Fabulous friends (you really find out who your friends are when the tent is late on your wedding day)
Super In-laws... at least the ones I have met.
A job I thoroughly enjoy.
A lot of great co-workers (not all, but then life can't be perfect)
A nice house
The fact that the elections are over!
Great blogs
Hope, that my son will continue to grow as a man, that my husband and I have many years to be together, that anyone reading this feels as blessed in life as I do right this minute, that the newly elected President of this country will do as great a job as we all expect, that peace will happen in my lifetime.

Happy Thanksgiving. Let's all remember that not everyone is as lucky as we are.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OK, the day has gotten better

Because there is at least one judge in Florida who has realized that it is the children who matter in an adoption:

A Florida circuit judge Tuesday struck down a 31-year-old state law
that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting children, allowing a North Miami
man to adopt two half-brothers he and his partner have raised as foster children
since 2004.


Lederman said the ban violated children's right to permanency provided
under the Florida statute and under the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act
of 1997. Whether the ban violated the state's equal protection clause by
singling out gays and lesbians should be considered, she said.

Of course the Florida Dept of Children and Family Services (DCF) is going to appeal the decision, but until then, these precious children will be with their parents. And, hopefully, the Florida Supreme Court will see reason and allow this adoption to remain.

Thank you to Mustang Bobby for posting this early this morning while I was still having a pity party about my car.

I Hope Your Morning is Going Better Than Mine

I was actually running early this morning. I was happy. My hours are flexible, so the earlier I get to work, the earlier I go home! So, I left my house with my purse, my lunchbox and my sode. I parked in the front yard last night, because we have 3 cars and 3 drivers and occassionally the logistics of who has to go back out in the evening, or who has to leave first in the morning means that someone does not get to park in the driveway. So I crossed the front yard, came around the back of my car and came to a dead stop. My drivers side mirror had been destroyed!

The black part of the back of the mirror was just hanging there. The colored part was under the front bumper. Most of the glass was gone. I called the police and got my camera out of the house. I took pictures. It looked to me like someone took a baseball bat to the mirror and I told the police officer that when he arrived. He pointed out the white paint on the drivers side back quarter panel. And the proximity of my trash can. And the dual tire marks headed straight toward my car. He thought it was probably the trash truck or its arm, that thing that actually picks up the can and dumps it into the truck.

Of course he can't put that down on the police report. The police report reads "unknown vehicle" it also reads "Unoccupied/properly parked" for my car though.

I called the trash company after I got to work. I spoke with the receptionist and explained the problem and she immediately transferred me to the owner. The owner said her driver said he had hit nothing. She then took my information, looked over her truck and swore there was no damage to the truck. So they are doing nothing for me. Nice, huh?

I called Nissan. I will take the car in this afternoon for a firmer estimate, but the rough one the man gave me was around $300. Well, of course I have a $500 deductible on my insurance, so I am not even going to talk to them. He will order the part and should be able to have it installed on Monday.

And I am going to look for someone else to pick up my trash.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rested up and working on the laundry

As Carl pointed out in the comments, I said I made it home safe, but didn't really go into details about the trip. He is correct. I was going to say something about more details later, but just forgot, or something. I was exhausted and yesterday was very busy (had to go see BabyBoy's play last night) so I really just didn't have time.

I had a wonderful time, but it wore me out. The conference started Sunday morning and ran through Wednesday. Most mornings the first session started at 8:00 and the last one got out anywhere from 4:00-6:00, then there were parks to enjoy at night! I managed to fit in most of the thrill rides: the Rock'nRoller Coaster starring Aerosmith, Expedition Everest, Dino, Mission:Space, Test Track, and Space Mountain. I skipped Splash Mountain (it was cold!) and the Tower of Terror, because I didn't like it the first time I rode it. And I managed some of the old favorites, It's a Small World and The Haunted Mansion. I even managed to get a picture of Susan Lucci on Sunday night, because it was Soap Weekend at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). I didn't have time for many of my old favorites though, like "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" or Journey into Imagination, but I will next time (maybe).

I did manage to learn quite a bit at the conference also. Of course 90% of the information was on procedures that we are not performing correctly, so guess who has her work cut out for her in the next couple of months? Unfortunately many of these adjustments are not mine to make, they are going to include most of the people I work with and it is going to take dynamite to make them change their ways. I will be busy.

I also do not have any pictures to post. When I was showing the pictures I took to DSD, I realized that ALL of them include P's children. I have a strict policy not to post pictures of other people's children on this blog. I can choose to post pictures of my family even if they are underage, but not of others. My personal choice.

But the kids were soooo much fun. Especially D. Today is her 5th birthday, but we celebrated on Wednesday with lunch at the castle with the princesses. This is not something that BabyBoy would allow when I took him, so it was very exciting for me to have a little girl to go with. And she was so sweet and appreciative. She was dressed as Snow White and everyone kept calling her Snow White. She also had a button that said "Today is my birthday." She had her pictures taken over and over and asked for autographs from all those that she didn't already have. The best part, however, was as we were leaving the park. I needed to get back to the conference and they needed to go back to the hotel to change D's clothes into something warmer. One of Disney's cast members stopped us and asked for D's autograph. She was absolutely overwhelmed and touched. She really was a little princess.

So, I am out of touch and behind on everything, here at home and at work and in the news. But I had a great time and can't wait to go back. Hopefully next time I won't have a conference to worry about!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Home safe with a lovely vision of the future!

My dad forwards all sorts of crap to the entire family via email, but this one he sent only to me, because he probably knew I was the only one who would truly appreciate it. I can't wait until this happens!

A Sunny Day in 2009

One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U. S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."The Marine again told the man, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president andNo longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just walkedaway.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U. S. Marine, saying, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I have told you already that Mr. Bush is no longerthe president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

Friday, November 14, 2008

On the Road Again

As you may (or may not) remember, last December I went to a conference for work in Boston . This is a yearly conference and, while my job is not a travelling one, this conference is full of information and I plan to go every year that my company will pay for it. This year's conference starts Sunday and is being held in the Most Magical Place on Earth. I am being forced (yea, right) to stay at the Swan and Dolphin where the conference is being held. I am figuring it is going to be a rough, rough week.

But I will not have a lot of computer access. And I will not really have much time for blogging. There really is a conference to attend. And theme parks to enjoy. And my bff, P, and her husband and children have planned their family vacation to coincide with my trip so I will be enjoying seeing them for the first time in over a year.

So I will miss you all, but I will be back next Friday or Saturday. Hopefully I will have happy stories and pictures and not come home sick like I did last year.

And a quick shout out to Jill for the award she gave me on her blog. I will do more to acknowledge and pass it on as soon as I have time.

Have a great weekend and a great week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Broadway's Next Big Star

BabyBoy is playing Acaste in Moliere's "Le Misanthrope" opening tomorrow night at the local community college. I am very proud.

Isn't he lovely?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you

To those who have served in whatever capacity to allow our country to remain free.

To those who have supported them, you are heroes also.

To those who are working so hard to protect our men and women in uniform by bringing them home.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Barack Obama Makes the Tough Decisions

I know we are in the middle of the worst economic crisis in almost a hundred years. I know that we are in an illegal war where men, women and children are dying and are hemorrhaging money like there is no tomorrow. But President-elect Obama knows how to guarantee my vote in his NEXT election, if he can just get this done!*

This was apparently part of his Monday Night Football interview on 3 November, which I missed, but it was replayed this morning on ESPN's GameDay with Chris, Kirk and Lee.

*Really, I am joking. I can live with the BCS throughout his entire FIRST term if the can get us out of Iraq and turn the economy around. I expect playoffs in his second term though!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let the Healing Begin

We were watching the local 6 o'clock news last night (as we do most nights) and they were doing 'man on the street' interviews with people in a parking lot about the results of the election.* I don't know how many people were actually interviewed, but the first three who were shown had supported and voted for John McCain on Tuesday. I was astounded and touched by their graciousness in their loss. They spoke of hope, for our country and for our new president. They spoke of how much they respected the office of the President and how they were giving their allegiance to the man who would be taking over in January. One of them (an elderly man) said, "I will be praying for President Obama and that he takes our country in a new, better way."

WOW! How awesome is that?

You have to understand that my county is solidly red. I think the final count was 72% for McCain and 27% for Obama. The voters turned out and they were quite vocal in the support for McCain. So it was really great that (at least) these three people are classy enough to understand that Barack Obama will be our new president and that they need to support him.

Of course, they only spoke to one Obama supporter, but he was very gracious in victory.

So this gives me more hope that maybe, just once, without some sort of terrorist attack, we really can just all get along. **

*Why am I NEVER on the street for these interviews? Do I just shop on the wrong days? Or get gas?

** This isn't going to happen and I know it. There have been some joking comments from some I work with about the fact that I voted for Obama and they didn't (was told I couldn't have cake at one point yesterday). But there have been several very snarky, under the breath, but I can still hear you comments also. I can be gracious also.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Great Day to be Alive

I don't even know where to start this post. I am still so emotional I practically can't stand myself. Not to mention just a wee bit hungover. So if I appear to be slightly mad and just babbling, well, I probably am.

If you'd like to shed a couple (more?) tears of joy, head over to Bird's Blog. She is an excellant writer and I really felt like I was celebrating right beside her.

I watched the election returns on my computer last night. Poor DSD cared about what was going on, but does not like to get bogged down in the minute to minute details. I just brought up every news page I could remember and rotated through them, constantly hitting the refresh button. President-elect Obama only seemed to gain numbers when I wasn't looking though.

I was talking to my bff, P, at 10:00 CST. BabyBoy was at play rehearsal and called in on my cell phone to check on the progress. I had a phone in each ear and I was trying to give BabyBoy the latest numbers when CNN refreshed and there they were! Winning amounts of electoral votes. I couldn't even speak for a moment. Then I began yelling into both phones and into the living room at the same time. "He won. He won. It's over! Barack Obama is our new president." They were all talking to me at the same time. DSD turned the channel over to CNN, BabyBoy was repeating numbers to the other cast members, P was yelling for her husband. It was a moment I will treasure.

It wasn't all good news, of course, although Glen Hess did win for State Attorney. But Amendment 2 passed. BabyBoy was upset. He spent yesterday afternoon waving signs for people to vote No! He said he even spoke to several people who were undecided on how to vote and felt he had convinced them it was the wrong thing to do. But it passed anyway. In California also. Now when the law (in Florida) is declared unconstitutional, we will have to spend tax dollars for another election to have it removed. Does anyone remember the Bullet Train?

After the West Coast was declared for Obama, I switched from the computer to the TV. I saw John McCain's concession speech. Very classy. Did anyone else notice that he appeared more comfortable, more at ease, than he has in MONTHS? I wonder if he isn't just a little relieved? Why would have picked Palin if he actually wanted to win?

Then the moment we had been waiting for, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. What a great moment for our country, what a great moment for us, and what a great moment even for the portions of this country who did not support him, did not vote for him, because I believe he is the one who will get things done. (I hope!)

I haven't watched him a lot. I didn't have to. I researched his beliefs on the 'net. I looked up his past, his present, his voting record, I didn't have to listen to him speak to know what he stood for. So it was just a huge bonus that I understood, while watching him last night, that while this country had elected an intelligent, caring, active man to be our next president that we had also elected an elegant, articulate one. (Nice change from the last 8 years, isn't it?)

After his speech was over, I got up to go to bed. DSD congratulated me that I had voted for the winner (he didnt' vote for McCain or Obama) and I began to try to explain that by casting my vote for Barack Obama I wasn't voting for Barack Obama, I was voting for AMERICA. The country that I have loved and served and yelled about and I promptly burst into tears! Poor DSD was horrified. Had he done something? Why was I crying?

I then tried to explain the surge of hope, the feelings of relief, the terror of this somehow going wrong. But I botched it all.

So I went to bed.

And woke up to the beginning of a new era.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States of America

Barack Obama is the next President of the United States of America.

I have much more to say, but I am slightly intoxicated.

God Bless America. We have chosen well.


I think I am going to throw up.

Obama 174
McCain 64

But there are many, many states who have not yet reported. And MY state is appearing a little wishy, washy.

I thought I had made my peace with the outcome of this election, either way, but I have not.

I honestly feel that this country will never recover from a McCain presidency.

Come on, Florida, show your loyalty to America.

Obama '08

I Voted!

BabyBoy and I got up early to go to the polls together. (Ok, he got up early, but he has school this morning and rehearsal this evening and he didn't want to drive all the way back to the church where we vote. Gas is cheaper, but he is not working right now!). So, I waited for him and we went together.

We waited in line for about 30 minutes. I know that is a relatively short amount of time, but I have been voting in the same place since 2002 and I have never stood in line.

It brought a little thrill when I marked Barack Obama for President.

I also voted for Glenn Hess for State's Attorney. While I probably would have voted for him anyway, because I like what he stands for, I was voting for anyone BUT Steve Meadows. I blame him for the fact that the Bay County Sheriff's Deputies who worked for the Bay County Boot Camp and abused an unconscious child are free and walking the streets.

I also voted NO! on each and every proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution. There has only been 1 amendment that I have voted Yes on and that was the one that raised the percentage required to pass a Constitutional amendment in this state. Thanks to that vote it will take 60% of Floridians to pass Amendment 2 (the one banning gay marriage) and the other 6 or 8 or however many there are. I voted No. I hope my vote counts!

Now I will just settle in for the long, long wait. It has all come down to today.

Obama '08

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have always HATED those Budweiser commercials, with the men screaming, "Whassssuuuup?" into the phone. You know every man I have met since then does the same thing. It makes them look like idiots.

This one, however, brought a lump to my throat, and a little more hope into my heart.

(I hope I do this correctly; this is my first embedded video!)

Twenty three hours until the polls close on the east coast. Please let America vote for America.
Obama '08

Ready for the Finish Line

I seem to spend most of my days swinging between euphoria (at the thought of an Obama Presidency) and nausea (at the thought of McCain in my White House). While the polls have Obama with a comfortable lead, polls have been wrong in the past and this country can not take four more years of Dubya's policies.

I am very proud to see this historic election. It is wonderful that a woman got as close as Hillary did to being on top of the ticket (it won't be many years before a woman leads this country) and it is awesome that Obama is at the top of the ticket. But, really, I am ready for it to be over. I am ready for the polls to be closed. I am ready for Obama to be named President. I am ready for McCain to call Obama and congratulate him. I am ready for Sarah Palin to disappear back under whatever rock she crawled out of. And I am soooo ready for Dubya to move permanently back to Texas (or under a rock next door to Palin's).

This has been the longest campaign in history and it needs to be finished. The healing needs to begin. This country has been without hope for a long time and will (hopefully, with fingers crossed) receive an injection of it in less than 36 hours.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Mariecel over at Cosmopolites' Kaffeeklatsch tagged me last week and I just found the time to participate. I am supposed to share 7 random things about myself. Hopefully you are not bored to tears.

1. I have read 5 of the 10 books to read before you die list. And a portion of the 6th, but I don't see myself ever reading the entire Bible.

2. I have changed my college major 4 times and will probably never actually graduate.

3. I was in the band in middle school and high school, but I don't play an instrument.

4. I am completely tone deaf.

5. My speech patterns change depending on the people I am speaking with. When I travelled to Canada several years ago, no one could tell that I was American, but when I talk to my family on the phone DSD and BabyBoy can always tell, because my vowel sounds get longer. I can't hear any of it.

6. My sense of humor tends to run to the dark and the sarcastic. Many people don't seem to 'get it.'

7. Many years ago I was a TVaholic. I could quote times and days for almost every show on. Now I watch a couple of hours a week, maybe, plus Gator football on Saturdays.

Now I am supposed to tag 7 people, but I don't think there are 7 people who read this blog regularly. So I am tagging:
If they are interested and feel like it. If they don't it won't hurt my feelings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pictures From the Weekend

Both teams, before the game. Please notice that they are A LOT further away than they were in the last picture from 2 years ago. We were much higher in the stands, but, honestly, they were better seats because we could see the entire field. Percy Harvin scored two touchdowns and I'm pretty sure he looked straight at us after both scores.

In front of the Heavener Center. The glass doors up the steps house three Heisman trophies and two Lombardi crystal footballs. Will there be another one placed there in January?

Anniversary Trip + a quick Obama story

DSD and I talked about going out of town for our anniversary, but we didn't want to spend too much money (so California wine country was out) and it was our weekend to have his son and working with the boy's mother is not always easy. So, we decided we would just wait and see what came up.

And he surprised me with tickets to KY @ UF tickets in Gainesville on the 25th! He thought this was be fun and sentimental. (Don't tell him I would have rather gone to Jacksonville this weekend for UF/UGA, it would hurt his feelings. But it will be a MUCH better ballgame.)

Then we found out that the KY @ UF game was Homecoming for UF. Homecoming? Fun! Parades and pagents and pep rallies, Oh My!

Well, the pagent was held earlier in the month. And the parade was at 12 EDT, so we weren't going to make it. But the pep rally (called the Gator Growl) was at 7pm and we could make that. Tickets were $20 each, but we felt it would be worth it for The Steve Miller Band alone.

I'm really glad we went. It was fun, but I think it was one of those things that I will not be required to do again in this lifetime.

The best part, though, was during the part called "Growl News." During the entire pep rally there were videos of former Gators or famous Floridians who spoke about how great the Gators are, how much they were supporting the team, the school, etc. Many (present and former politicians) spoke of how important this election is and how each of us need to vote. But at the end of each video (1 - 2 minutes) the person said, "Let the Gator Growl."

"Growl News" seemed to be a take-off of SNL's "Weekend Update." There was a cute Top 10 list and a bunch of stuff that only the current students seemed to get. Then, at the end, up popped John McCain on the video. There was A LOT of noise in the stadium! Much clapping and yelling and whistling. It was disheartening. McLame spoke of voting and blah, blah, blah and, of course, "Let the Gator Growl."

The "News" team then began to sign off, but there was SUDDENLY breaking news. Someone rushed out and put some paper on the desk and everyone became very energized and then, there he was, the next President of the United States (on video, of course) and I.didn't.hear.a.word.he.said! Except for "Let the Gator Growl." The stadium absolutely lost its mind and it didn't quiet down until he was almost finished. That was the most noise I heard in there all night. More than for Coach Meyer, more than for the Steve Miller Band, more than for the comedian (who was funny, but I can't remember his name) and much, much, much more than for McSame. It was a beautiful moment. And, an enlightening one. If the Gator Growl was any indication of the way people are voting in Florida, Obama will win in a landslide.

On Saturday, of course, Florida routed Kentucky 63-5. I enjoyed the game, the atmosphere, the other fans. But I think my favorite part was listening to the noise the crowd made, not for an entire football team, but for one great man.

Obama '08.

One week to go!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Engagement Story

In case anyone out there has not realized it, I LOVE college football. All of it. But I love the University of Florida Gator football team the best in all the land! Why? you may ask. Because, I will answer. I did not attend the University of Florida. There were many reasons for that, too many to name, but I have been a Gator fan as far back as I can remember. And I did march on Florida Field in a band competition in 1983 (I was a junior in H.S.).

So, I had always loved the Gators, from afar. While I have lived only four short hours from Gainesville for over 20 years, I had never attended a game there. Never. Attended. A. College. Football. Game. Anywhere. I have always watched it on TV, in the air conditioning, with the ability to drink alcoholic beverages at my fingertips.

DSD and I had been talking about getting married, and he surprised me with tickets to the Kentucky @ UF game in September 2006. We drove to Gainesville on Friday, checked into our motel (which has sense been closed, 'nuff said) and scoped out the UF campus, for parking, sports bars, etc. and hung out in our room Friday night.

Saturday dawned clear and HOT! We had breakfast and got ready for the game (7:45 EDT on ESPN) and drove to the campus in the early afternoon to get a decent parking place. We parked on Museum Rd and started the trek up Fraternity Dr. (DSD tells this part better than I). Somewhere about halfway up this street that had no sidewalks, so we are walking in the street, the wrong way, right beside the curb, I stepped (or misstepped) onto what can only be described as a small indention in the pavement, twisted my right ankle and went down hard on my left shin onto the curb. According to him (he was walking in front of me) he heard, "Dammit," and turned around to see me sprawled in the grass. He came back to check on me, heard, "ankle," and almost had a heart attack. He had the ring in his pocket, you see, and was convinced I had just broken my ankle and we were going to spend the rest of the evening in the ER. Does he propose in the ER or just wait until we can get tickets to another game? All his planning down the toilet! (I heard his thoughts later, of course, and all of this probably went through his mind in the span of about 3 seconds.)

I was fine. I was glad no one had seen this unfortunate, ungraceful business and I had a little scrape on my left shin, but I was fine. We went on up to the stadium, did a little shopping, visited with various tailgators, and found a sports bar with the afternoon games on. It was incredibly hot, so I HAD NOTHING ALCOHOLIC TO DRINK! I drank water and diet soda and DSD had a couple of beers. We stayed there for a couple of hours before deciding to find someplace to eat a quick dinner. A couple of subs, some more shopping and it was time to make our way to our gate and find our seats.

"The Swamp," of course, is amazing. Loud and obnoxious and, an absolutely wonderful place to watch a college football game. Florida struggled some against a fairly decent Kentucky team. The outcome was still iffy at halftime, but the Gators managed to pull out a 25-19 win.

So, the game was over and everyone was filing out of the stadium, but DSD and I absolutely agree that there is never a reason to rush for the car just to sit in traffic. We are always the last to leave a movie or the 4th of July fireworks. So the fact that he wanted to wait didn't raise any red flags to me. I was enjoying the atmosphere, thrilled my Gators had won, sad that the game was over.

And, he dropped to one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked me to marry him! I think we tickled the Alachua County police officer who watched the entire thing while guarding the grass. I, of course, said "yes" and he gave me the ring and we played a little smoochy face. And then I admired the ring and we played a little more smoochy face before starting off toward the truck.

There were still plenty of people wandering around campus and many, many vehicles sitting in traffic trying to get off campus, so we were not alone at this point. We walked around Stadium Drive and started back down Fraternity. Fraternity had bumper to bumper traffic, so we were walking single file, in the exact same spot I had fallen earlier: in the road, but off to the side, this time we were walking with traffic. At one point I said, "Didn't I fall around here earlier?" DSD said, "Yes, right here," and made a big showing of stepping over the cracked indention thing (I should have taken a picture of it since a description is beyond me) and so I made a big show of stepping over it also.

A couple of steps later, however, I almost had a heart attack as a scooter roared in beween me and the traffic that was sitting still. I turned to my right to see if there were more scooters to come and, yep, you guessed, ended up sprawled on the grass AGAIN. DSD says all he heard was, "God DAMMIT" and turned find me struggling to sit up. I can only imagine the laughs that everyone in traffic recieved, because this time this unfortunate, ungraceful business was viewed by MANY!

DSD helped me up, listened to my explanation of what happened and then threatened me if I didn't walk on the grass. I limped the last block or so to the truck, now with scrapes on both shins, my right knee and my right arm from wrist to elbow!

We got into the truck and rolled down the windows to try to look pleadingly at oncoming traffic to let us out. I attempted to rest my right arm on the window, but, of course, that was difficult with the scrape on it. So I shifted it slightly back for comfort, but it hit the door lock, which wasn't so comfortable. I just lifted my arm and locked the door with my elbow, catching the skin of my arm, just behind the elbow, causing an instant, and painful, blood blister!

We finally reached the hotel. Our room had not been cleaned, so we needed new towels and, of course, ice. I offered to get the ice while he got new towels, but he told me to "sit down, relax and don't move," fearing for my life, I think, if I attempted to walk anywhere.

I am really not a total klutz. For the most part I can walk AND chew gum at the same time. This just makes the entire story more amusing. So, of course, the joke is now that I must be protected anytime I am near a sporting event. We managed tickets to the Florida/Florida State game later that same year in Tallahassee. DSD's bff offered his daughters Barbie roller blading pads to protect my elbows and knees. Many offered their canes, and I think one guy even offered his late wife's wheelchair!

The best part? We are now living happlily ever after!

Me, before the game, with only a scrape on my left (hidden shin).

Did you think I would leave you without a picture of the team? Keep in mind this is the same team who won the 2006 National Championship! Go Gators!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Our Anniversary!*** Updated to add picture - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Isn't it amazing that DSD and I have been married for a year already? It seems like last week that I was freaking out about the weather, the booze, the food, and the insanity. The only thing I never freaked about was that I knew that marrying him was the best, smartest thing I had ever done. Well, once I got to the point that I could say, "We are getting married." For the first six months of our engagement I kept telling people, "We are having a wedding."

We have been through a lot since we started living together in the summer of 2001. We both brought baggage to our relationship, 3 exes, 4 kids, the various trust issues. My ex never figured out how to parent, or even be a partner in a relationship. He was caught up in the 'Southern Sheriff Syndrome' and their infallibility. DSD's last ex managed to get them so far in debt he was struggling to make ends meet AND she cheated on him. But we've managed to move past all that. Three of the kids are grown now; two of them are out on their own. And we keep the dealings with the exes to a minimum at all times.

We were never planning to marry. We figured (for years) that we were married in our hearts and we didn't need a silly little piece of paper. But we got older and realized that marriage does have plenty of legal benefits (which is why homosexual couples should be allowed to marry) and we starting thinking it wouldn't be sooo bad. And I promised him I didn't need a huge church wedding with 14 bridesmaids and doves loosened to poop on the crowd. So he proposed (with a giant rock) on 24 Sept 2006 (if just ONE person asked, I would tell you the whole story. It's pretty funny) and we got married on 20 Oct 2007. And I wouldn't change a thing about our lives. He is definitely the best thing that ever happened to me.

Happy Anniversary, baby, I love you more each day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cheney has a Heart?

"doctors discovered a recurrence of an abnormal heart rhythm"

Am I confused? I thought for your heart to malfunction, you had to have one to begin with.

Or maybe that is his soul I am thinking of.

Blogger is Being Strange

But what else is new? This is an attempt to get my last post to actually appear.

Less Than 100 Days!

I have been watching my "Backwards Bush" counter on the side for the last year, waiting, waiting, waiting, for the moment it dropped to less than 100 days. I don't know why that number is significant in my head, but, for some reason, the drop into double digits feels like freedom. It makes me feel like this nightmare really does have a chance of ending.

So the happy thought for today is this:

Three weeks from now the entire Palin family will fade away, out of our collective consciousness, back to Alaska.

Ninety six days from now, the healing for our entire country can begin.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Proud of my State... for the moment

We, as Floridians, are used to listening to what enormous morons we are and have in our state. It seems that every time we turn around there is another news story about our state government or just the people of the state acting in ways that would embarrass anyone with a brain (and I include myself in that number). So it was very nice to open and realize that, while my generation (and the Boomer generation) in this state may still have an average IQ of about 74, the younger generation is sitting up, paying attention and doing what is right for this country of ours.

the once easily pigeonholed demographics in the Sunshine State are changing, and many pundits say the 30-and-under crowd could turn out to be the decisive factor in this year's closely contested race...polls through September showed [McCain] and Obama in a dead heat, Obama seems to be pulling away as the nation's economic crisis worsens. Four polls released last week show Obama not only leading —one, by Quinnipiac University, has him up by as much as eight points — but breaking the 50% barrier for the first time. and Obama in a dead heat, Obama seems to be pulling away as the nation's economic crisis worsens...The question is whether this group — which always talks an idealistic game but tends to sleep in on election day — has gotten more serious about actually turning out to vote. More than 150,000 voters under age 30 voted in Florida's Democratic primary this year, despite the fact that Obama didn't even campaign there because the national party had ruled the election wouldn't count. (That was due to Florida changing its primary date in violation of both GOP and Democratic Party rules). Almost 135,000 in that age group voted in the state's Republican primary. Those figures still accounted for less than 10% of all Florida primary voters, but they represented a 14% turnout for that bloc, up from a measly 4% in 2000.

My 19 year old son has watched this election closely. I wanted him to just do as he was told and vote the way I wanted him to, but he wanted to make up his own mind. (rolls eyes) Luckily he has brain and will be voting Obama. His ex-gf is a PoliSci major at UF and is voting Obama. His new (almost) gf is supporting Obama. And every single one of his friends who have been in my house is supporting Obama. Or so they say when I grill them.*

Let's hear it for the kids! Hopefully they will actually get out of bed and to the polls on election day! (My son will; I will drive him personally)

*I don't actually grill them. I just ask if they are registered voters. If they say Yes, I leave them alone. If they say No, I grill them to find out why not!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Little Riddle (courtesy of BabyBoy)

How is voting like driving?

R is for Reverse

D is for Drive

Tickled me. :-)

Friday Babbling

Blogger has been 'wonky' for me for the last week or so, I don't know if it was my computer or Blogger itself. I managed the last post with it being strange, but didn't have the energy to fight it anymore. It appears to be normal now though. Weird.
Please notice that I have not expressed my opinion on the 'bailout.' I don't know enough or understand enough to make any sense and, now that it has passed, my opinion isn't worth a damn anyway.
Last weekend was a prime example of why I adore college football. While I didn't watch much after that embarrassing loss (IN THE SWAMP) to Ole Miss, DSD did and kept me informed of what was happening. There were seven total upsets last weekend. Seven. Amazing. The polls have been turned upside down, again. And after last night's USF loss to Pitt, it may be another crazy weekend. Are we reliving the 2007 season? And how great is that if we are?
I didn't watch the debate last night. Palin is a nutjob, as far as I can tell, and I am not voting for McCain if he is the only person on the ticket, so why waste my time? I only watch them if I am unsure who to vote for and I have known since the nomination process ended that I was voting for Obama. My son, however, is a first time Presidential voter and is enjoying the process. He is 19, so, of course, he missed last week's Presidential debate. It was Friday, there is a new girlfriend, what can you expect? But he didn't miss a minute of last night's. He didn't think Palin stunk it up too badly. He thought she should get out more and see some new movies though, since all of her "Top Gun" references got old. :-) (I think he was kidding)
Just for the record, he is voting for Obama. As is his new girlfriend, so I forgave her for wearing an FSU shirt in my house. Just.This.Once.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Smarter than them all

Ok, I've known for years that I was smarter than George Bush, not as rich, not as sneaky, not as educated, and not as powerful, but smarter in the good ol' common sense way. I KNEW, without any intelligence or advisors, maybe just women's intuition, that there were no WMDs before the end of 2002, months before the first shot was fired.

But I had hoped that the rest of our elected officials were smarter than I am. I have never claimed to understand economics. I hated the class and only passed because we were allowed to write our notes on a 3x5 card for the test. Do you know how many notes you can get on a 3x5 card using 5 font? ALL of them. And I still only got a B.

But I have known that we were living in a housing bubble since the end of 2004 when I was house hunting for my bff, P's, family before they returned to the Riviera from the West coast. They owned a home when they left, had been gone for just over 3 years and wanted to buy when they returned here. I spent several Saturdays and holidays in the company of realtors trying to find the perfect house for P's growing family. You know what I found? A BUNCH of overpriced houses. And this was before the market around here completely lost its mind. You could still find a place to live for almost a reasonable amount of money. That stopped happening in 2005.

I could look around at the housing prices and realized that the market could not sustain these prices. I realized that there was a huge bubble, that it would eventually burst and many of these people would be sitting in houses that were less in value than what they owed. P and I had many discussions on this issue when I urged her not to buy. She was caught up in the house buying mania and (in her defense) everyone else in the entire world was telling her to buy. Own. Get a little piece of the homeownership heaven. Stop throwing your money down the toilet.*

Circumstances prevented P and her husband from buying a home at that time and we are all incredibly grateful for that, because now she lives in another state and would still be paying a mortgage in this one. A mortgage on a house that was worth less than she owed.

So why could I figure that out and Congress couldn't? Why have I felt that this country's economy was headed for a huge depression and this is a shock to Congress? How is this a shock? Have they not been paying attention? Too busy campaigning? Too busy throwing my tax dollars at Iraq? NOW this is an emergency? Funny, there are people in this country who have been looking for work for YEARS, tell them the economic tide JUST turned.

I don't know what the answers are. Bail out? No bail out? Depression vs recession. Months vs years. But I am pretty sure that I am voting against every single one of those on Capital Hill right now. Get them all out of there. At least next time there is a problem of this magnitude, if there are all new Congresspersons, they will have a REASON to look stunned.

*I've never understood this. How am I throwing my money away if I am renting? I have a roof over my head and NO responsibilities. Roof leaking? Call the landlord. Broken dishwasher? Call the landlord. Water heater just caught fire? Call the landlord. I have not made enough back in interest and taxes to pay for all of the issues listed above and I had the stress as well as the financial outlay. I love my house, but there is nothing wrong with renting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1929 v 2008

Obviously, I was not around during the Wall Street Crash of 1929 or during the Great Depression, but, as everyone has, I have read a lot about it through the years. From what I am seeing at this point in all of our lives, the difference between now and then (in a large part) is this:

In 1929, when Wall Street Crashed, EVERYONE suffered. The rich became poor and the poor became more poor. Not everyone, of course, but many.

In 2008, the economy has hit a downhill slope and the brakes have gone out, but it seems to me only the poor (becoming more poor) and the middle class (becoming poor) are having a hard time. The poor spend their days trying to decide between food and gas. The middle class job market is drying up. The rich are concerned about which house they will be staying in this weekend. Or which middle class person's house they will be able to pick up for a song after foreclosure.

I don't need to be rich to be happy. And I won't ever be rich, unless I win the Lottery, and that isn't likely, since I don't buy tickets. But I am sick to death of the rich taking my slice of the pie, running this country into the ground so that my 401K sits practically empty, and, yet, they come out smelling like a rose.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Post Where I Get Snarky

But first I do have to say that in the approximately 38 1/2 years that I have lived in NW Florida, I have been incredibly lucky. While the area that I am in now took a nasty hit from Eloise in '75, I was living 2 counties west of here and many miles north. Frederick in '79 was nothing to me except a day or two out of school.
I lost a freezer full of food after Opal, but my parents had power. During Ivan the power and the cable were steady 100% of the time. (House hunting advice: Buy a home as close to the Police Dept, Fire Dept and City Hall as possible. Not only do you get a break on your Homeowner's Insurance, but these are the first areas of a city to receive power after the storm.)

I try very hard to make it a policy in my life that if I have not "walked a mile in your moccasins" then I will do my best not to judge. (Hard for me, I am very judgemental)

So, having said that, don't we, as a nation, as a people, as human beings, have a responsibility to take care of ourselves? Especially those of us who live in areas prone to natural disasters?

I completely understand WHY people do not evacuate, even if they have the means to do so. I do not understand why, less than a week after the storm, the lines are so long for food and water that it may take all day to receive 4 MREs and a couple of bottles. If a person chooses to remain, why aren't they prepared? This has bothered me since I first noticed the trend after Wilma in 2005. Pleople were complaining that they had to stand in line for half a day for one bottle of water, the day AFTER the storm. Why didn't they have water? Why didn't they prepare, plan? Why wait for government bail out?

Again, I know there are exceptions, the person with medication that MUST be kept refrigerated NEEDS the ice that FEMA has, but the rest of us do not. The person who does not live on a flood plain, whose house flooded, may not be able to use their bottled water and food supplies, but they should have had them to begin with.

How many people constantly complain about the government having a hand in everything they do? How many people talk the talk of a smaller national government? In my experience, these are the first ones with their hands out if life veers slightly off course.

Hurricane preparedness is not information that you are born with, or even information you pick up by osmosis, it is learned.* But a person living anywhere near the coast should have access to the needed information for free. At least it is available here: on handouts, on the radio, on the nightly news, in the newspaper. Most of the information is true and useful. Use it.

Am I being too judgemental? Should I keep my thoughts to myself? Those people have been through hell and maybe I should stay off their backs. But there are more storms in our future and we need to be able to prepare and take care of ourselves without depending on FEMA; at least for a bit.

*My first hurricane (as an adult) was tropical storm Alberto in '94. While it was a minor storm (we had had a regular thunder storm the week before with higher winds) I prepared my house in the same way that my parents had prepared our home when I was a child. I did the same things for Opal in '95 and Earl in '98. After Earl (when it appeared that Georges was headed our way) I was talking to my mom on the phone (they had moved to Memphis).
"Mom," I said, "I have done....(listing my preparation.)"
"Mom," I said, "why do I fill up the blasted bathtubs with water everytime a storm is coming? I have bottled water and I don't want to drink water out of the bathtub!"
"Ann," she said, "the water in the bathtub is for flushing your toilet if you lose water."
My mom is so smart. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contact your Senator!

CNN is carrying the story of how the House of Representatives have turned their back on the environment and have passed HR 6899. This will (if passed by the Senate) allow drilling off the coast of the United States (not just in the Gulf) as close as 50 miles offshore.

Many Republicans opposed the bill because it would allow new oil drilling only between 50 and 100 miles offshore. Republicans generally want to allow new drilling starting 3 miles from shore.

Great, the Republicans wanted drilling closer, but I don't want additional drilling at all! I want alternative fuel. Allowing additional drilling will only slow down anyone looking for new ways to fuel our vehicles. And it is not going to help with the ridiculous gas prices we are all paying.

The Senate, meanwhile, could vote on various energy proposals, including more offshore drilling, as early as this week.

Write your Senators and tell them how you feel on this. Write your Congressman and tell them why you don't like the way they voted. Or, if you don't understand the impact this will have (and will not) have on the future of our planet, write them and tell them you think they are swell.

This entire thing makes me sick. Can we fire Congress?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday General Thoughts

After four entire days off DSD is getting antsy. He is working on his resume right now and has started the networking process. Hopefully he will find something soon. Financially we will be fine for quite a while, but I don't know how he will be mentally and emotionally. He likes to work.

Thank you to everyone who left thoughtful comments; we appreciate your kind thoughts.


Not a great weekend for college football in our house. My Gators didn't play; his Buckeyes took a shellacking (sp?) at the hands of USC; neither of us did well in the football pool.


My thoughts are with all those in Texas, Louisiana and everywhere else who took a beating from Ike. I have read the horrors that many of these people have gone through and I have read many comments on other blogs and in news stories where people are constantly bitching that the government should not allow coastal living and how insurance companies should not cover those of us who choose to live on the coast. Just for the record, circumstances brought me to the coast and my job keeps me here. And I want someone, anyone to find a place for me and my family to live that is 100% safe from Mother Nature. Yes, hurricanes are horrible and scary, but so are tornadoes, mudslides, wild fires and freak blizzards, and we always get plenty of notice before the storms reach us. Ike killed people across the country and caused flooding in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Where do you holier than thou people expect us to live?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And the Economic Downturn Lowers the Boom On the LeftLeaning Household

My husband (and his entire dept) had a meeting with the general manager scheduled for 10:00 this morning. They thought it was to go over the fall schedule, which is when their department is normally the busiest. It was not. It was to receive their walking papers. Nice.

They were told it was due to downsizing, but, come on. Every one of the supervisors were let go? At the beginning of their busiest time? Leanne (GM) has been a pain to them for a while and they (possibly DSD especially) has been very vocal about her attempts to micro-manage their department. So, I think she decided to use this as an excuse to clean house.

We will be fine. He is retired Navy and his retirement covers all of the bills he pays for the household. And he has savings (which is good, because his retirement does not cover his child support) and we have savings together. I think we will hold off on the new windows and siding for a bit, just to be on the safe side.

But, one of the men who was let go is NOT retired and he depends on this paycheck. He also does not drive. He walks to work, because it is only a few blocks from his house to work. (I have no idea WHY he does not drive) Where is he supposed to find another job? This one was perfect for him.

And, of course, there are not a lot of jobs to be had anywhere right now.

Please think happy thoughts for us.

Fill Up Your Car Today!

It is all just a gimmick to get your money. As companies crumble or wait for a bail out from the feds, as people lose their jobs and/or their homes, as more Americans end up shopping at Food Pantries or living in their cars, OPEC is concerned that its members may not be able to buy entire countries next year.

OPEC oil ministers agreed Wednesday to trim overall output by more than 500,000 barrels a day in a compromise meant to avoid new turmoil in crude markets while seeking to bolster falling prices.

Yes, you read this correctly. Bolster.Falling.Gas.Prices.

Now I don't know about you, but $3.64/gallon is not what I call cheapo gas. Yes this is down about $.35 -$.40 from the average high around here several months ago, but it is still up tremendously from the $2.50/gallon it was this time last year.

OPEC is just out to get us and the only alternative is to get away from oil dependance. Not just dependance on foreign oil, but dependance on oil period.

Don't drill in the Gulf. Find another way.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NCAA Football Week 2

In the first Florida/Miami match up of the Urban Meyer era, Florida managed to score on the first drive of the game, lead the entire time and finally break an 0-6 losing streak over the past 23 years.
Which is not to say they looked good doing it.
The first drive was awesome. After that? Eh, so so.
Florida did not score again until a punt block just before half time netted them 2 points for a safety.
After a scoreless 3rd quarter, Florida seemed to come alive, wakeup, pull their heads out of their ass (pick your term) and score 17 points.
Final score 26-3.

I am not a football analyst. I barely know the I formation from the Wishbone (ok, I just learned what the Wishbone looks like over the weekend), but I can recognize sloppy and my beloved Gators looked sloppy on Saturday. My brother (still not an analyst, but knows more than me) says Coach Meyer did it on purpose. Florida has a bye this week before travelling to Knoxville to take on Rocky Top. My brother says that none of Florida's weapons were showcased last week and now the Vols have no idea what the Gators actually have in their arsenal. Let's hope he is right and that they use their arsenal many many times into the checkerboard endzone.

Tennessee looked awful against UCLA; I am not sure I could stand the humiliation if my Gators were to lose to them!

In a semi-related story, I managed 8 out of 10 in our football pool. Since DSD picked 9 right and a friend picked 10, I am pretty convinced I did not win.

There's always this week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why Would "They" Name a Hurricane IKE?

Word association, think fast. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the name Ike?

Me: "He sure did kick Tina's ass a lot."

So the National Hurricane Center pulls this name out and sticks it onto a storm. And he is definitely going to kick some ass.

I managed to find several not so scary I names on just one website.

Ichabod (who is scared of his own shadow)

Of course, Opal didn't sound scary. Neither did Frances. Frances was supposed to be a Saint.

So, my thoughts are with PissedOffPatricia and everyone on the peninsula. And I will be doing an inspection of my plywood this afternoon, just in case this asshole heads toward the panhandle.

Monday, September 1, 2008

And One For Today

Thankfully missed again.

As I look out the window I see trees being blown around pretty significantly and it is cloudy at the moment, but that is all that Gustav has brought to us so far. I don't even think it has rained since Saturday night. According to the radar the rains are just south of us in the Gulf.

My parents live about40 miles west of us and it has rained there all morning.

My cousin, who lives in New Orleans and didn't have time to evacuate (WHAT!?!) was doing fine as of 8am. He is without power, of course, but his cell phone is charged and his mother is calling him every few hours. There is obviously some in sanity in the family, but I didn't think this particular cousin had it. I am certain he will be fine.

We are outside of what I lovingly call "The Cone of Death" for Hanna, although I am hoping that she doesn't dump anymore rain on the rest of the state, either. There are places to the north of us who need rain, but not 30 blasted inches at one time.

I am ready for the storms to go away now.

Another One for Aug 30th!

Go Gators!

Football season finally got under way in the Swamp and, while my Gators did not look wonderful in the 1st quarter, they did manage a 56-10 win over the University of Hawii. Of course, you should have watched the game, but you can read about it at Gatorzone.

Next Saturday the Swamp plays host to the GameDay crew and the University of Miami Hurricanes (because we all need more hurricanes in our lives right now). I would have to look it up to make sure, but I do not think that Florida has beat Miami in the last 20 years.

Hopefully this is the year. It should be a good game.

Go Gators!

(Our football pool has been sidelined due to the health of the man who normally runs it. Hopefully he will be out of the hospital soon and back to work! Our thoughts are with you, Jerry. Get well soon!)

This Should Have Been Posted on Aug 30th - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

This Should Have Been Post on August 28th (Ok, maybe the 29th)

Endometrial ablation completed and I am doing fine!

Actually there was no way that I was going to post before I went in. Fourteen hours with no food or water was insane and I was doing everything in my power to find something else to focus on. The no food was tough, but the no water was killing me.

I was originally scheduled for 3pm, but moved up to 2pm. I could barely see the clock after I took out my contacts, but I am pretty sure I was still awake at 2:45 and I was back awake by 4pm. I was, of course, pretty out of it. My back was KILLING me, whether from the procedure or from lying on the stretcher, so I couldn't get comfortable. DSD asked them for some water from me and they brought me juice. Juicy juice. Some sort of mixed berry thing. I drank it, but that was a lot of sugar for my system at that point and I was sick as a dog on the way home (Thank goodness I had a spare plastic bag in my car. Thank goodness, also, that DSD wasn't sick since he is normally a sympathetic puker).

I was home and in bed by 6pm where I proceeded to writhe in pain and wonder what the hell I had done for about 2 hours before I finally passed out from the pain drugs. I was up from 10-11:45 for liquids (wasn't hungry), but dozed on the couch from 11-11:45. I went back to bed and was up by 6:30 Friday morning. I really just could not sleep anymore.

I managed to nap on Friday and on Saturday and sleep well at night. I haven't taken anymore prescription pain medicine since about noon on Friday. Sunday I felt a little "off." I don't know how else to describe it and my parents stopped in for a couple of hours and my mom swore I felt fevered. 99.5 is not considered fevered, but I took Tylenol and drank plenty of water and I am feeling fine today.

So all appears to be well. I have my followup on Sep 10th and, hopefully, that will be the end of this saga.