Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Deep Clean on New Year's Eve

The tree is down and all of the holiday decorations are back in the attic. Old toys, shoes, clothes are stacked up in the back of the truck ready for a trip to the Thrift Shop for donating and Jason and I feel a new sense of freedom in our own house from the clutter within (and out). We just (I should say Jason just) got finished going through the pool toys and all the stuff on the porch. It is so nice (and cathardic) to purge the unnecessary crap from the house. It makes room for the other, newer, shinier unnecessary crap that we've got.

I am not a pack rat and I hope that I never will be. I don't have any difficultly giving stuff away and I don't like having a lot of stuff around me... I've never been a big fan of garage sales or junk stores and I do not like knicknacks (sp?) AT ALL... I got very turned off from all that crap at a young age when my Mom made me dust around all of her 70s-era "decor," which I am sure is all dying a slow death in a landfill somewhere nearby.

Anyway, enough rambling, have a Happy New Year tonight and best wishes to you for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jake Rides in a Hot Rod

I almost forgot, while visiting "Grandpa Betty" in Inverness we saw long-time family friends Harold and Susan Craige. On the way to lunch (where soup is 99 cents if you order it off the menu, but free if you go up to the soup bar and help yourself) Jake got to ride in Harold's 1954 Ford, which was probably one of the highlights of his weekend. Photos above!

Weekend o' Fun

We were on the road this past weekend (literally)... Friday we went to Daytona so Jason could try his hand as a NASCAR driver... he did the "Richard Petty Driving Experience" -- 8 laps on the hallowed speedway... problem was, during his driving experience, ten other people were having their own "Richard Petty" Experience in a "ride-along" where the driver goes up to 160 around the track. I believe being passed by these other cars really was a bit daunting... I know he wasn't going very fast because I was able to photograph him going around the track and that is usually not easy to do when the cars are going very fast. Oh, well. For more of his experience see his blog at ( From there we went to Clermont on Saturday to spend the day with Kevin, Cindi and Summer Foshee. We had a nice time, grilling out ribs and chilling at their beautiful house. From there on Sunday we went to visit "Grandpa Betty" -- the kids' shortened name for Grandpa (my Dad) and Grandma Betty.

The Grand Mansion

So, here is the Grand Mansion, exactly the way I decorated it while the kids were napping. Jason accused me of playing with this on more than one occassion since it was assembled. (Notice the adult pointing and yelling at the kids in the playroom... that would be me! LOL!).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

351 Pieces in Under 3 hours... Phew!

So, today was the BIG DAY! Even after going to sleep after 11:30 p.m. Bryce and Jake managed to wake us up at 6 a.m. sharp. Jake apparently started opening gifts before they came in to our room to tell us that Santa had indeed come to our house, despite all of the hollow threats that Mommy had been yelling about for the past four weeks.

Cutest quote of the morning: "Mom, look! Santa has the same wrapping paper as us!" Thank God for innocent 5-year-olds.

Bryce and Jake are two lucky kids, but I have to say that one of the gifts I got for Bryce was just something that I could not personally live without. The 351 piece (I counted the pics on the instruction booklet to be certain) Grand Mansion Playmobil dollhouse. Now, if you know anything about Playmobil, the first thing that you know is that these are the coolest toys in the whole world. Secondly, you know that there are a million little pieces that fit ever so perfectly together, as German toy-builders (and Engineers) are so wont to do. The Grand Mansion is a beautiful Colonial three story with five rooms. You can even expand it to be four stories, but alas, that might just be a tad overkill for us; as the dollhouse makes our renovated 1950s ranch look like some kind of code-violating public housing project.

So after my first cup of coffee (I really needed that jolt) I began my career as a master builder. I have to say, that despite having trouble with the first floor door, everything else went together pretty smoothly. I had to call Jason in to help me with the roof (twice) and miraculously at the end, I only left out one piece that easily popped into place.

Anyways, the best part of today was setting up the Grand Mansion to my liking while the kids took a nap. I will up load the pics of the living room, dining room, bathroom, bedroom and playroom later. What a perfect little world it was, but it's all over now. Bryce just put a tiny jackhammer and construction worker in the kitchen. I guess it's time to renovate all ready. Oh, well.

A side note, I have noticed that the Playmobil people are predominantly white and male. They lack diversity in all sorts of ways. In our group of more than 50 men, women and kids there are no black or dark skinned people, only one older person (and she walks with a cane umbrella and wears a hat with a feather in it!) and probably 8 men for each woman. That could be because we have so many of the construction playsets, but I think the Germans are still in fact trying to force their "supremacy" issues on us though our kids' toys. (JUST KIDDING!!!, But it IS weird!)

Hope you all had a great day. I will post photos of today's melee soon!

A Chronicle of Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas! Last night we hosted the annual family Christmas gathering at our house and I have to say that it was quite possibly the best one that I remember in the 19 years of attending (and hosting except for once during the past six years) this family ritual. I'll just bullet point just some of my reasons... maybe you'lll get the feel for it. I'll post the photos in a few days when I get to download them all.

1. PERFECT weather. All the doors and windows were open -- it was probably about 68 with a cool breeze. No bugs either!

2. Jason's jell-o shots. I thought these were a mistake when they made the fridge smell like a Willy Wonka factory on acid, but they were a hit; even Nonna (85-years-young) enjoyed one! Flavors were Santa's Strawberry Surprise (strawberry/Bacardi), Christmas Tree Tequila (lime/Patron) and I'm Off to See the Lights (lemon/Grey Goose Le Citron). Wow!

3. Follow the shots with the Wii Tourney -- Bowling and Guitar Hero! That was fun, but we definitely needed more time so that everyone can play.

4. Crazy Thriftmas gift exchange. Who can resist the TV Kitty Remote Control Holder? Or the Glitter Light Up Clock? Used men's silky shorts that were "supposedly" used in the movie Boogie Nights. (Creative, people, very creative.) How about an old wooden tennis racquet that can double as a snowshoe? We have it all... and still do, since no one took any of that crap home with them. By the way, to whomever hung the macrame plant hanger on my palm tree out back, many thanks.

5. The food. It's really the centerpiece for all of this mayhem. I made tiny (delicious) pigs in a blanket, Swedish meatballs and my olive crostini... we also had Aunt Cathy's wings, Cheryl's cheezy broccoli rice, Auntie Karen's pizelles, Buffalo Chicken dip (courtesy of our friends Angie and Brad who didn't go home for Christmas to Louisiana this year so we were their "adopted family") and about a hundred other items, the remants of which are crammed into the fridge.

6. Erica and Rachelle made it back from India and got to the party just after 8:30 p.m. We thought they might not make it, so this was an awesome surprise, as was their cool stories and pics from the wedding they attended. They were there just in time for Crazy Thriftmas and a major bonus for me, they brought me some organic cardamom straight from India for my Swedish coffee bread! Thanks, Ladies!!!!!

7. Michelle and family stopped by for a few minutes at the end of the party, but what makes the list (and what I missed) was Michelle's grand entrance... I guess she was attempting a ballet move for Bryce, tripped on the kids' train tracks and landed on her ass in the living room in front of everyone. At least she makes an entrance when she arrives!!!!

8. Seeing Tara with her new beau Chris. They make a great couple and she seems really happy. That was terrific!

All in all an absolutely great night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

M-I-S-S-I-N' Mississippi

I am delighted to have "found" some old friends from my college days at USM this past year... I got back in touch with my pal Jarrod Ravencraft about two years ago, found Michelle Howell on about 6 months ago and just recently Kristen Phillips (now Kern) (whom I totally idolized because she was such a fixture doing graphics and design "downstairs" with the production guys) and I got back together, keeping up with each other and reading each other's blogs.

Kristen e-mailed me this week and said that she had run into Melissa Medley, one of my very favorite people in the state of Mississippi! Melissa was nice enough to have me do an internship at her company, Success Marketing, during college and hands down, she was the very best boss I have ever had. Period. I think that now, as a boss, I do try to emulate those qualities that she possesses, but I'm not sure I hit it on the mark! Melissa is now the director of communications and marketing for the Mississippi Development Authority and does work with the Mississippi Governor's Office.

Kristen is the Director of Communications for the Mississippi Bankers Association and she and her husband have a beautiful little girl.

It's been a delight to reconnect with these amazing people. I'm going to curl up on the couch with my college yearbook and re-live some of those great memories!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cards & Tax Planning (???!!???)

Today I am proud to say that I put my very last Christmas card in the mail... hopefully, (unless some random person that wasn't already on my list of 58 people sends us a card... then I will have to reciprocate!) The big news of the day is that it was tax planning day for 2009 with the CPA. Fun, fun, fun... NOT exactly. We deferred income from 2007 to 2008 so we owe again in April. Yucky. For now I'm going to focus on the positive and get back to wrapping gifts and eating the big tin of gourmet cookies the CPA gave us along with the bad news. Just what I need, eh?
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanzaa, Delightful Boxing Day and best wishes for safe and (let's cross our fingers, folks) prosperous New Year 2009. Just a shout out in case I get busy and don't get around to blogging in the next week or so. I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday filled with memories and laughter to cherish!!!! Lots of love! ASB

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hectic Holidays Are Here

Haven't blogged in awhile... like everyone else I'm just trying to keep my head above water getting ready for the fast approaching holidays. We have had a few weeks of fun, though, Thanksgiving at Josh & Larissa's (followed by a bout of the flu for the entire family), a fun get together at the house last Sunday and numerous other gathering, dinners and parties. My head hurts just thinking about it all.

Our big family Christmas Eve shindig is near and I've got to get all ready for that, too. More meatballs forthcoming for that and the house will be destroyed, but it's all in the name of fun and family!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I eat meat...

SOoooooooooooooo, yesterday I had a turkey lunch at Cracker Barrel and today? Yes, today was Chik-fil-A nuggies. Yum. I gave that meat-hating book to Michelle last night. See how quickly we forget?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Awwww! Isn't that sweet?

I didn't really take any pictures during our trip to South Florida, but I just had to capture this sweet shot of Bryce curled up around Jake at the hotel when I came in from dinner Friday night. Usually when they are touching each other it's with a hit, slap or punch. In this photo you might even get the idea that they kind of like each other. Of course, they were sleeping, that's probably why they were so tender. Even so, it's pretty cute.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun (?) in Ft. Lauderdale

We came back yesterday from Ft. Lauderdale... had a good time, Jason had a great race yesterday (see his blog I think I have realized (AGAIN) that staying in a hotel room with two small children isn't exactly an enjoyable experience, but we survived.

We went to Wannado City on Friday with the kids (expensive and maybe better for kids a bit older than ours) and then I got to go to dinner at PF Chang's with Brent and Karen Friday Night. We had a blast. Jason took the kids to dinner that night and then turned in early. Saturday the kids and I went to see Karen at her house while Jason rested up for the race.

The best thing about the weekend... we got a Wii! Played quite a bit last night and I beat the crap out of Jason at Bowling AND Boxing! You suck, Jason! Ha ha ha (Just kidding!!!!) At least I can beat him at something! It's fun and the kids really enjoyed it until Jake got totally pissed at Bryce because she was beating him at boxing... he pushed her (HARD) and had to be spanked and put in his bed. YAKES!

Tagged.. I'm It

OK, OK.... so I've been tagged. Thanks a lot CAROL! HA HA HA! Six random things about me... OK, this should be interesting.

1. I am obsessed with clipping my kids' finger nails. (Is that random enough for you?) I make sure that when I'm with them during the day that they are clean. I clip them at least once a week (while they're in the tub) and this weekend I almost had a coronary b/c we were away from home (no clippers) and the kids had longer nails than I've seen on some drag queens! FOR REAL!

2. I am sick of trying to lose just ten pounds. Really. I'm just sick of (trying to) watch what I eat and attempting to work out and still not get anywhere. I mean really, I thought the no-meat thing would help but it's hopeless! I am always apparently going to be me +10 pounds. Yuck.

3. I miss a lot of my old jobs. Don't miss the hours, the cranky bosses and lazy co-workers, just the fun, creative stuff that I used to do. I don't miss the inflexibility or the dress codes either, but it was fun being a part of a large organization. I wouldn't trade it for the world now (REALLY, Jason, I wouldn't) but there are days that I miss the part where I thought of an idea, brought it into being, promoted it and got press for it. That was fun stuff.

4. I LOVE HBO! TrueBlood, Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, Bill Maher, Little Britain... HBO has some of the very best original programming ever -- oh, John Adams. Some of my old favorites Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Carnivale, Deadwood (HBO you should never have cancelled those last two!) And, if it matters, I'm not a big fan of watching TV. Would much rather curl up with a good book.

5. I can only drink out of a Tervis Tumbler at home. Nothing else. I hate using glasses that sweat and leave rings all over the place.

6. My guilty pleasure in the summer time is a huge 7-11 Slurpee, half Coke and half Cherry flavor. I love taking the kids to get them after school when it's 90+ degrees and then go home and hop in the pool with the Slurpees lined up near the pool steps melting in the sun.

Jason, consider yourself TAGGED!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekend Away... I am READY!

So, we're headed for Ft. Lauderdale (cool pic from their CVB website above) for the weekend because Jason is running a 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. (You'd think he was curing cancer or leading the charge for world peace, but whatever!) I am soooo delighted that I get to see my very dear friends (ex Ritz-Carlton cronies) Brent and Karen on this trip! We have a night out planned for Friday and I have exhausted every effort to find a babysitter so that Jason could join us, but unfortunately he's out of luck and will be eating Chicken McNuggets while I booze it up with my pals! Looking forward to a change of scenery and hopefully no rain! Hey Karen, thanks to you and Tom for the super-duper rate at the Renaissance Hotel! I owe you both BIG TIME!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Perfect Weather for a LAZY Weekend

What a beautiful weekend. The weather could not have been better -- I pretty much spent the past two days laying around reading with all the windows and doors open and hanging out outside with Jason while he worked on the landscaping. Jake had his best friend Malcolm sleep over on Saturday night and Sunday we had a picnic on the bayfront. The kids loved it, running around and tossing rocks into the water. We also spent some time laying on our backs identifying the different clouds in the sky. I don't believe it gets much better than that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

#14 at Precinct #151, Sarasota County

So this morning at 9:30 a.m. I cast my vote for President and various and sundry amendments, local leaders, etc. It was very exciting to actually have people (other than that volunteer poll wokers) in Precinct 151, normally I am either the 2nd or 4th voter... a sad state of affairs. Still, there was no line, no wait, just signing and filling in the bubble and then voting... (you gotta love having a tiny Precinct)!

The same old guy has been checking me in for the six years I have been in Precinct 151. He is so sweet and I get the feeling that he lives for these election days... he's always in such a good mood, just like the guy who gives you the sticker at the end. He was nice enough to give one to Bryce, too, since she accompanied me.

Have you noticed yet that I enjoy typing the word Precinct? Precinct. Precinct. Precinct. See? Isn't that a great word? Hmmm... I wonder what it really means and what the orgin is. I need to look it up. If you haven't already done so, go vote and get that really cool sticker. Precinct!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rules to Live By... (for Toddlers)

A friend of mine who is an attorney sent me this awhile back and I found it today when I was cleaning off my desk. Thought it was too cute and certainly these rules apply at my house right now where fighting is the pastime of choice for both Jake and Bryce.

Bill Maher is My Hero!

How could I forget to mention???... Saturday night we went to see Bill Maher's movie, Religulous. My good and like minded friend Joe Messing told me that I just HAD to see it when I went to lunch with him last week and Jason and I LOVE Real Time with Bill Maher, so we knew we had to get a babysitter and go out to see this one.

The Youngs (a bit surprisingly to me) went with us to Burns Court, where it is truly fun to enjoy a movie with a glass of beer or wine... and then we headed over to Ceviche for some tapas at the bar. A fun night... and it's been awhile since we've been out sans children!

Back to the movie, I have to say it's quite honestly the best documentary I have ever seen! But maybe that is because I clearly enjoy having someone (esp. someone as witty and acerbic as Bill Maher) confirm my suspicions about religion in general.

P.S. Carol, please, please don't hold this against me, just pray for me!!! Just kidding!!!!!

Halloween 2008

For Halloween we went to the Young's house for pizza and salad and then onto the neighborhood for trick or treating. We found out on Friday that Jeff Ball was going to have a hayride for the kids in the neighborhood and there was a party at the park on Sun Circle. So we trick-or-treated out way down to the waterfront. It was nice to see Jeff, Lotta and their families there, as well as other neighbors. We had a lot of fun, got wayyyyy too much candy (we left a big bowl out at home that went totally untouched) and relaxed most of the rest of the weekend with the doors and windows wide open.
Yesterday we took a walk over to the museum and checked out the new Egyptian exhibit on loan from the Brooklyn Museum. Amazing! The kids really loved it and they especially liked writing their name on the board in hieroglyphics!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Did It! 8.1 Miles Under 2 Hours, One Scraped Knee and Bruised Ego

Last Saturday night I actually participated in and completed the Tower of Terror 13K (8.1 miles) at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Jason and I went up to Orlando with the family and Jodie and Chris also did the race with us. I'm not sure what I did would qualify as a race as I walked pretty much the entire time, but it wasn't like a stroll down the beach. I finished 1:57:16, which is about 14:44 minutes per mile... pretty good for me and considering that I started out with Jodie and Chris going about 17 minutes per mile for the first two miles.
Once I broke away from them I got in my groove and was having a ball with it. Once we entered the park I actually felt good enough to jog a little bit, which is amazing! Once I hit the last stretch I decided to give it my all and actually run (not jog, run) to the finish line. Huge mistake. The finish line had a mat which was a good 2" off the ground and in my glory to beat some random guy who was also running to the finish line I stubbed my right foot on the mat and went down flat, landing on my left knee. No real damage, just a burn from the mat and a bruised ego. I was hoping that Jason would have missed that, but I'm not that lucky, he saw me in all of my finishing glory. You know me, I had to finish in style!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin... Festival!

Sunday was a very fun, beautiful day that we spent at Hunsader Farms with the Kotters, the Rileys and the Youngs. The kids had a blast playing, riding the ponies, jumping on the trampolines, tormenting the livestock and generally creating havoc around themselves. The pumpkin shooter was pretty amazing (apparently the contraption sent the pumpkins more than 2000 feet! Crazy!) It was very "down home" (eating deep fried stuff on the fly and sitting on the grass in the shade) and Sara admired my "Bradentucky feet" -- flip flops in the dirt and grass. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. We should make it an annual tradition.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I have a crush...

He's short, gray and very much a techno-geek. I never really knew that I needed him so much until he came into my life, like a knight in shining armor on Monday. I've named him "Bill" (in honor of the hottie vampire from TrueBlood). He gives me all of my e-mails, stores all of my contact information and (amazingly, unlike the other men in my life) he is very organized and not very sarcastic. In fact, he is the very quiet and shy type, not normally what I find attractive, but that is OK.
Sorry, Jason, hope you're not upset. Maybe you can get the red one and name her some stripper name like "Sierra" or "Jasmine."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

La-la-la-la-la-la(I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!)

Credit. Capital. Wall Street. Bailout. Depression. Economy. Money. Every where you freakin' turn all that people are talking about is this economy. Could it be that we are talking ourselves into this crisis? Nah -- but I don't think the widespread media coverage and panic helps at all. I have to say, I thought that by now I'd be sick of the election crap, but that's very secondary on my mind... (and everyone else's).

When will this situation settle down? I talked to my financial guy and got no comfort whatsoever, so I've just decided to do what works best.... ignore it. Yup. Forget about it. Day dream... try not to talk about it, avoid the news and newspaper...

My skin is breaking out and that is most definitely one good reason to ignore this crisis. I think I'm going to start having a "Family Night In" for our friends, maybe every other weekend where we all just get together at the house, watch TV, bring covered dishes, play board games and chill out. Cheap. Fun. Easy. We need a great name for it though... I'll get back to you on that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hectic, but Happy...

Life is crazy... I can hardly keep up with it. But I can hardly complain either. We are busy enough at work to keep everyone employed (and getting overtime no less!), I've got some really fun, really cool freelance work that I am truly enjoying and the kids keep things interesting.
News on the home front... Jake started indoor soccer at the YMCA on Saturdays a couple of weeks ago, his first game is this Saturday... Bryce starts dance classes, also at the Y on Saturdays this weekend. Jake is really starting to like kindergarten (I was getting a little worried there for awhile), I think he just needed to adjust to his lack of 2 hour afternoon naps. I am still not eating meat and haven't touched a Pepsi in almost a week (shocking, I know!). I walked 6.81 miles on Sunday, did bootcamp on Monday... nothing since. I do not know if I will be ready for the 13K on Oct. 25th, but I am going to do it... no matter what!
Jason and I are considering a trip to Vegas with some friends for SuperBowl weekend... just need to get someone to watch J&B, so that we adults can go play... also I'm really trying to plan a fun, real, first family vacation for us this April (Spring Break)... any ideas for a fun family getaway would be appreciated... I've been thinking about going back to Vermont, we've tossed around Utah (I want to see Bryce Canyon)... I don't know, but something different would be great! Any thoughts, guys?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Skinny (and VERY Freaked Out) Bitch???

So, my dear husband bought me a present this afternoon when he was messing around and not working (that's OK, Jace you deserve it!)... it was the Skinny Bitch book, which I have been meaning to read for a long time. (INSERT HUGE HINT OF IRONY HERE BASED ON PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRY)... so I eagerly started reading the book waiting in the car line to pick up my son from kindergarten. From word one I was hooked... short readable chapters, lots of cussing, funny, irreverant and very much in-your-face... totally my kind of read.

Until, that is, Chapter 4. This chapter is titled, "The Dead, Decompsing Rotting Flesh Diet." Gulp. OK... I just had heaping plateful of pulled pork at Sonny's for lunch, but I can handle this. Right? Wrong. DEAD wrong... no pun intend.

I have to say that I am pretty good at ignoring things in this world that bother me... so I act like horror movies don't exist (they do), I think that little kids don't get hurt or killed in wars (uh, yeah, I know they do) and that the animals I eat don't really feel anything when sacrificing their life for my dining pleasure (uh. well, let's just say they do, too.). The shock and horror of the words in this tiny little $13.95 paperback and the chemicals and shit in all of our foods has me COMPLETELY rethinking what I eat.

Ironically, just before I started chapter four (and right after I got home) I took out hamburgers for dinner. Needless to say, I couldn't eat them or even look at them and after I went for a quick walk so Jason could cook them for himself I smelled them on the grill and proceeded to gag as I walked in the door.

The book promotes a vegan lifestyle, which admittedly would be very difficult for a finicky eater like me, but after what I just read, I don't think I have any choice. So to be a skinny bitch you just give up everything that is delicious to you because suddenly you find it so repulsive that you couldn't be forced to eat it if your life depended on it. I KNOW I can lose weight that way.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reading Material Avalance/Tsunami/

Have you ever heard that the amount of printed information doubles every four years (or less)... I can't remember exactly what it is, but I used to think (as an avid reader) how great that was! More stuff to read, more to learn, more to share and show that I was erudite! (I don't know exactly what it means, but it sounds good, so just go with it, please). Anyway, I am now regretting I ever even had that thought. I freakin' can't even keep up with the stuff that I WANT to read and that really sucks. For fun, here's a list of all the stuff left (like a mis-behaved puppy) laying in piles all over the house.
Last Harvest (read 12 chapters last Saturday haven't picked it up since)
The Good Life Diet (read most of it about 6 months ago keep meaning to start it over)
You: Staying Young (same as above except 4 weeks ago)
Nurturing Resilience in Our Children (tried to start it ages ago, but I'm not into it)
Safety 24/7 (just bought it for work, will probably never read it)
Real Simple Oct 08 (my favorite, usually read it cover to cover the day I get it. Got it over a week ago)
Fast Company Oct 08 (ditto)
Parents Oct 08 (still in plastic wrapper)
Esquire Oct 08 (in the potty room so I've seen some of it)
Also, Biz941, WonderTime, an article in Smithsonian from June, SRQ, Sarasota Magazine, Green Builder, Modern Contractor Solutions, a zillion copies of the weekly Gulf Coast Business Review and even a Wall Street Journal cover page article given to me by my CPA.
Oh, and some random American Express special publication about on-line marketing and a Scholastic magazine about kids are around here somewhere. I think I should start a paper recycling station right here.
Get the picture?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prepping Early For Halloween

Just remembered this and it made me laugh, so I figured I'd better do a quick post. Two weeks ago Bryce had decided that she wanted to be Belle (of Beauty and the Beast) for Halloween. As luck would have it we found a Belle dress at the Disney shop at the Outlet mall for 1/2 price in her size. Yay! She's done! Well, we've been asking Jake what he wants to be for Halloween for a couple of weeks and the answers have ranged from a Hot Wheels Driver, to some scary robot like-thing in a costume catalog. But after our trip to Disney this past weekend, he's got this year entirely figured out. He wants to be a Monorail Driver or in Disney speak a Monorail Transportation Host. Sooooooooooooooo, I e-mailed my two girlfriends both of whom have husbands who work at Disney to get an old nametag and a good description of the uniform. This one should be fun folks. I've actually got to put it together. Wish me luck! Thankfully he's got a tiny monorail that he can carry around to explain his costume. Someone help us, we're a bunch of lunatics!

Escape to the Happiest Place on Earth

This past weekend we went to our second home, Walt Disney World, to celebrate Jack & Emma Kotter's 4th birthday! It was a very fun trip, although Jason was a teensy bit hung over, everyone else was on their best behavior and we actually got to go on a ton of rides at the Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Highlights from the trip include:
- The excitement of meeting Ariel
- Jason and Bryce napping on the train. Really? Sleeping at Walt Disney World? That should be against the law unless you're under 18 months.
- Lots of birthday greetings and singing for Jack and Emma... including one weird-o employee stationed in Tomorrowland. Dude, you know who you are. Creepy.
- Watching Christa and Jason contemplate how they would fare if forced to go on the teacups...
Fun stuff! We have to do it again sometime.

Also, Jack and Emma's party Sunday night was great! The kids had a blast, dinner and cake was delicious... in my estimation two day weekends are just too short.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Near Attack of the 100 lb. Raccoon

So I'm taking this working out and weight loss thing pretty seriously... last night I decided to go six miles at about 7 p.m. and it was dusk, so I knew it would be pretty dark during parts of my walk. Got passed by two runners (boo hiss) and then encountered a very smelly dead animal (not sure of it's identity) on the sidewalk... yuck. On the march back there is a part of the sidewalk that is very dense with trees and bushes. I was making a pretty good pace and getting my "second wind" when I heard something move in front of me. Oh, it's just a cat I thought to myself and proceeded to walk toward it. The "cat" then growled like a freakin' sabertooth tiger and lunged toward me -- this thing was huge! I ran (f-a-s-t) to the other side of the street and realized that the "cat" was a ginormous raccoon, probably rabid, probably hungry for a sweaty, unshaven bite of leg. Nice.

Anyway, I survived. 1 hr 34 minutes. 14:35 average miles and burned 692 calories. Woo hoo!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hold Me To It

Well, this week began the real, bare-knuckles, actually-try-to-really-stick-to it-for-once exercise and weight-loss program. Sunday night I left Michelle and David's after dinner and did 2 miles jogging and walking intervals back home. Average 14:27 per mile and burned 257 calories. Tonight we had a heck of a workout at bootcamp; serious legs followed by serious arms. I was completely jell-o by the time we got to the 100 abs we had to do to complete the hour. I went to my new doctor this morning (she's great!) and she had some bloodwork done and gave me a tetanus shot. Food today was 1/2 cup coffee, my vitamins, lunch of soup and multi-grain bread with one Pepsi (I can't help it!), a tiny bit of rotisserie chicken for dinner... oh, and 2 Mr. Goodbar minis from Connie's desk at 3 p.m. (she's going to kill this thing with all the crap she keeps at the office). Drank lots of water today and I can't believe I'm going to put this on here, but I think it was be an incentive -- weight this morning was 141.5. So, it's actually 11.5 pounds I need to lose not 10.
On a not so good note, a girl from bootcamp was diagnosed late last week with lung and throat cancer. She's a mom, 35, stunningly beautiful and sweet, works out 5 times a week, has never smoked in her life. What the hell? Cyndi you are in our thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Lazy Daze of Summer

Today started out with the kids on their bikes in the driveway... Jason was out for his run and I was sitting out front drinking my coffee and reading the paper. This has become somewhat of a weekly ritual and I absolutely love it. I can see the bay from my seat and the water was like glass this morning.
At 9:30 we received the call we were expecting, changed into bathing suits and went to Siesta to pick up Jason. We took a dip in the Gulf and the made a sandcastle... we were all back home by noon, pink from the sun and trailing soft, white sand everywhere. Oh, well. We're used to it. (There's a makeshift beach in our backyard).
The big news of the day is Little Miss Determination conquering her bicycle. Bryce never liked riding her bike because she couldn't quite get the hang of pushing the pedals. Riding a bike for her amounted to us pushing her up and down the driveway or leaving her sitting on the seat crying because she couldn't go anywhere.
Finally, today a light bulb went off and she's been circling the pool on her bike for the past 20 minutes. She is very proud of herself and the determination I saw in her today was pretty darned amazing. Now I can't seem to get her off of it. Of course, I would ride forever if I had a princess bicycle with white tires, too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

5 Miles at Dusk

Did 5 slow n' easy miles tonight. No watch. No sweating. Just walking, breathing and taking it all in. I don't know how many calories burned, but it was a great de-stressor.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Worst of Times Brings out the Worst in People

Yesterday my Mom's condo got broken into. Some loser(s) took some of her jewerly, a photo printer, but worst of all her debit card and lots of personal paperwork including her social security card. To boot, they were dumb enough to go around the corner to Publix and try to use her debit card a few minutes later. Hope they got the pissants on camera. Just this past couple of weeks the house next to our shop was burgularized and on Monday night (Labor Day) the house next door to us was broken into. To boot, we had a TON of people over that day and none of us saw anything.

We've had materials stolen from the shop, saws and other equipment stolen from job sites... scrap metal taken. When will it end? I have never seen such ridiculous desperation. It's a sad state when every time you turn around you find something missing and you feel completely violated.

Well, my new stance is to take the defensive position and we're going full board as security freaks starting right now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

High School Memories

Tonight we had a great planning meeting for our 20th high school reunion next summer. I love getting back together with these guys... it's so easy to be around people who know you so well. Every time we get together there are a slew of new, hilarious stories that come out... one person remembering that she offered sex to her then boyfriend (a classmate) and was declined, another giving incarceration details about one of our 'state champion' athletes.

Among all the laughter and me yelling at my kid, we actually got a lot done and I think we got everyone excited about what is in store for us that weekend. Actually, all Christa and I want is for some people to pick up the reins and really help us out.

Even though I am already freaked out about how much work we have ahead of us, I am so excited to see everyone again for the event and re-live some of those ridiculous moments and memories. I was thinking that I should post some pics from high school. But on second thought, maybe not.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Fun & Frolic

I can't believe I didn't break out the camera today because there were a bunch of cute kids here having fun together, while the adults had just as much fun. The Kotters, the Rileys, the Youngs, the Blancos and Michelle & Melissa's Mom, Brenda all came over for a cookout of pork tenderloin on the BBQ and lots of other delicious stuff. Everyone had kid(s) in tow, so there were EIGHT kids in total. It seems like all had a blast and I'd wager that every single one of the kids are completely and totally pooped out like mine are right now. Jake and Bryce practically fell asleep in the bathtub.

Christa and I were talking about how great it is to have people with kids over to have them entertain each other. Kind of takes the pressure off Mom and Dad. And can I say that I love not having to worry about my kids as much since they can swim. That is super cool. Of course, I do have to say that I was caught completely off-guard when little 1-year-old Joachim decided to take off in the pool while I sat on the edge with Brenda. Duh. How quickly we forget. The last three day weekend of the summer was good one. I will welcome fall with open arms, though, as it's too freakin' hot outside.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Five Miles Away from the Mayhem

I escaped from the asylum better known as my house at 9 a.m. this morning and did my walk to Jake's new elementary school. I walked down Bay Shore Road to Patterson, entirely around the school and back to the house a different way. Walk took 1 hr 15 min, average pace of 14:57 per mile and burned 588 calories.

When I walked up the driveway I could hear Jason yelling at the hoodlums in the backyard. Our house looks like an atomic bomb filled with toys, clothes, plastic crap and empty Capri Sun bags exploded inside of it. Gotta run, we've threatened to throw away whatever the kids won't put away so I need to call for a dumpster.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm Married to a Freak of Nature

This is the note that I woke up to this morning. Enough said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

La Oficina de la Casa

Sooo... as a result of my mini-breakdown last week I can now work 24/7 from home and have access to EVERYTHING I need. I had my IT guy install remote access to my work computer here on my laptop at home. I jazzed that up with a cheap-o wireless keyboard and mouse... now all I have to do is get the freebie printer I got from the in-laws set up so that I can print stuff that I'm working on remotely here on my computer at home. Once that's done I'm all up to speed. Sweet. Now I'm never going to go to bed.

Garden Update: Still Alive and Kickin'

Exciting news at the Bennett household... the herb garden that we planted ain't dead yet! Shocking, but true. Thanks to all of the rain we have been having, and in spite of total and complete neglect from our family... five of the six plants are still alive, actually green and amazingly some are even thriving. We did lose the parsley plant, but who needs parsley anyways? Parsley... you suck. The rosemary looks awesome, thyme is a bit spotty but still mostly green and the basil is actually flowering. I didn't even know that basil has a flower. Tells you what I know about gardening.

Monday, August 25, 2008

If yelling at your kids was an Olympic sport...

I would have the gold in every frickin' category.

Short Yell
Long Yell
Uneven Yelling
Speed Yelling
Spank n' Yell

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Starting to feel better...

Well, today I did four miles at about 9 a.m. and with a soft, cool breeze and light rain I felt invincible. I did my "old route" from when I was walking regularly about 6 - 8 months ago... and I really enjoyed it. I did the four miles in 59:05, burned 473 calories and averaged 14:44 minutes per mile. Mile four was tough as I started getting a cramp under my right breast and really slowed down... Oh, well. It was just what I needed. But another note to self, maybe I need to eat something before I do these morning walks... all I had was a cup of coffee beforehand.

Another nice thing, I got to spend about 2.5 hours of uninterrupted time at the office today which was awesome! Got caught up on a few things that were really starting to bug me, so that was good. Thanks, Jason for taking the kids to the movie.

I'm climbing my way outta the funk, methinks. I'd like to walk again tomorrow night, but that might be a tad too ambitious. We'll see how the rest of the weekend plays out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not Enough Hours in the Day...


How is it that there is so much that I want to do and I can only seem to scrape the surface on some days? I have three business ideas rolling around in my head that I can't seem to get past the concepting stage, I have commitments that I have made for freelance projects that I really need to complete, and I have to update more than a week's worth of new contacts that have been found to add to our high school reunion database. This doesn't include the work stuff that I need to get to, namely closing out July in Quickbooks, finishing up billing for August, writing and designing a 1/2 pg ad, doing the 2009 budget, and WAY too many more tasks to count.

My in-box at work "over-floweth," yet anytime Connie asks me if I need help I am usually reluctant to give up some of this stuff -- unless I know it is her expertise area, which I do readily give her. (I think I do anyway.)

I think that I need some help with pritorizing stuff. I also think I want to get a real computer at home with the complete set up like at work with access to all of our files on the server at the office. (A work station, if you will, at my desk. )

Biggest challenge? Thinking that I was actually busy B.K. (Before Kids). What a joke. Now I've got to account for all the extra work a 5-year-old and 3-year-old add to my day. Two different school drop offs and pick ups. Lunches to pack. Etc., etc., etc. You know the drill. I'm really just tired of being tired. That's enough. I've got to go. Three loads of clean, but wrinkly laundry needs to be put away. And bedtime stories to read.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can You Say "Anti-climatic?"

I knew you could.

Soooooooooooooo................................................................. we haven't had any rain, any wind. Frickin' nothing. The most exciting thing to happen here today was to talk to Christa on the phone (complaining back and forth about being prisoners in our own homes during this non-event with our kids driving us crazy), Bryce pooping and watching Oswald on Noggin. Don't you love how Fay just swerved away from us? I was ready for just a little bit more excitement here. I'm going to fire up the micro for a Lean Cuisine lunch. Oh, the life of leisure.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm no Jim Cantore...

But I've got a baaaddd feeling about this.

Get Ready Bay Haven, Here Comes Jake Bennett

Today was the very first day of kindergarten for Jake. He was very excited but not really emotional at all. I thought that Bryce would have a hard time going to pre-school by herself, but she was just fine, too. I didn't cry or get all emotional, either. Of course, this all could be due to the fact that we are all a teensy bit focused on this storm (GO AWAY, FAY!) this is poised to possibly wreak havoc on our area.
Above are some pictures of Jake from this morning at Bay Haven. I am delighted that he is going to school there. I had to sign him up while I was still pregnant, so it's amazing to realize that it's already here. Have fun, Jake!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Holy crap! This could be THE ONE. And, can you believe that it's named Fay? What kind of shit will we have to deal with if we get totally pummeled by a storm named Fay? I mean, maybe a little bit tougher name would be in order here. I was at Publix and people were in full FREAK-OUT mode... so the panic spread throughout the store as the cashiers rang up all the bottled water, beef jerky, batteries and canned goods they could. I think the chick behind the counter waiting on me had a wrist brace on -- she probably got carpel-tunnel from ringing up all of the people going through her aisle today.

We're in storm plan mode at home and work. Should be an interesting week. Oh, and Jakey starts kindergarten tomorrow. And he has a cold. Oh, and Bryce, too. With a fever no less. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mid-day 4-Miler with Mr. Passive-Agressive

Today David and I did a 4 mile walk (jog/walk/jog for David) at about 10:45 a.m. Not exactly a time of day that I would recommend for this. Note to self: DO NOT DO THAT AGAIN. David started out jogging and was WAY, WAY ahead of me... but I caught him at mile 1. I passed him and then he caught me at mile 2. Mile 3 and 4 we stayed just about on par with each other. Last night David and Michelle came over and David (or as I affectionally call him "Dumbass" or DA for short) left a beer in our freezer... AGAIN. The beer, as frozen beers are wont to do, popped its top and dumped gross, smelly frozen beer-sludge in my freezer AGAIN. I'm not counting or anything but I think this is possibly the fourth time DA has done this, but only the second time I made him clean it up. I'm beginning to think that he really doesn't like us and this is his way of being passive-agressive. Either that or he's really, really dumb.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I really like that commercial that is out right now that says "...we're a country of consumers and there's nothing wrong with that..." blah, blah, blah... "since there is so much cool stuff out there to buy"... blah, blah. I totally agree. It got me to thinking about my favorite brands. You probably couldn't give a crap, but here they are, in no particular order:
- Cosmedicine
- Pepsi
- Charmin
- David Yurman
- Le Creuset
- Tervis Tumbler
- Disney
- Ritz-Carlton
- Raymond Weil (watches)
- Coach
- Grey Goose
- Bounty paper towels
- Bonefish Grill
- Bobbi Brown
- Ann Taylor (LOFT, specifically)
- Wisk (new favorite, just overtook Gain, which I used up until recently for years and years)
- Burt's Bees
- Tommy Bahama
- Sony
- Margaritaville (flip flops, blender and drink mixes)
- Dunkin' Donuts (yummy coffee)
- Tropitone patio furniture
- Bennett Contracting
- Columbia sportswear
- DWR (Design within Reach) - not really a brand, love everything in the catalog
- Modern Organic Products (mop)
- Circle of Friends (kids shampoo)
OK, I think blogging about kids' shampoo could possibly be a new low for me. I'm out.

Am I a Freak? No, really.... I need to know...

I've been doing some soul searching lately and thinking about money and the future and life in general. Is that what happens to all of us in a shitty economy? I don't know. In my file cabinet I've got a file titled "Personal Goals" and there are maybe 25 pieces of paper with all different types of goals listed. Many are financial, some are travel "dreams" and others are just a combination of all types of goals. Some are organized, sorted and typed up with dates attached to each goal, others are neatly written in cursive and some are hastily scribbled on a napkin or scrap of paper. I used to go through the file a few times a year and toss out the old stuff, but now, I'm intrigued by how my goals have changed so I'm hanging on to all of them. For instance, here are a few of my personal goals from 4/24/04.

- Design easy, inexpensive exercise routine to incorporate walking, jogging, exercise ball and weights. (FYI -- it took me 4 yrs. and 4 months to get to this one and actually do it).

- Cut down on Pepsi to one per day only. Drink lots of water. (Shit, I've been working on this for as long as I can remember and still today even though I only drank it at lunchtime on Friday I had four -- FOUR, count 'em frickin' Pepsis!!!!!!)

- Get information about lasik eye surgery. Schedule within next 12 months. (Done. Did it in summer of 2006 and have had 20/20 vision ever since. Awesome! Thanks, Dr. Kantor.)

So, I guess what I'm getting at is that it's been very cool to look introspectively at myself and see what my hot buttons were and what I've been able to accomplish. But mostly it's been pretty eye-opening to see what personal battles I'm still dealing with after years. And years. And years. Am I a freak? Does everyone do this?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Walk #2 Update

OK, I missed bootcamp tonight b/c Jason and I were meeting with one of our clients so I decided to just walk instead. This time I did the four miles in 58:08 (yea! I shaved almost a minute off of my time from Saturday!) Average time per mile was 14:32 and I burned 461 calories. You know, I really think the watch is helping by keeping me motivated to beat my previous time and I'm going to use this blog to keep track of my progress... So, dear readers, if I don't blog about my walks please bug me about it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OK, Brent, I'll Play Your Silly Game

My friend Brent just "tagged" me... no it's not what you're thinking, besides he plays for the other team. So here goes my answers to the questions. Love you and miss you, Brent!!!! XXXOOO

Four Places I Visit Over and Over:
1. Disney World (Duh.)
2. Lee Roy Selmon's Restaurant
4. Sam's
(I'm sure you're all amazed by my incredible world travelings!)

Four people who call/e-mail/text me regularly:
1. Jason
2. Christa
3. Sara
4. Michelle
(Well, I actually have to call/e-mail or text Michelle regularly, but that does count, right?)

Four favorite foods:
1. Any kind of bread.
2. Stone crab claws.
3. Spinach quiche.
4. Pepsi. (To me, that is a food, OK?)

Four places I'd rather be:
1. On a pristine, deserted Caribbean island beach by myself with an unending supply of strawberry daiquiris with Malibu rum, a good book and no one else around.
2. Exploring the pyramids in Egypt.
3. Siesta Key beach at sunset.
4. In Beijing, China, for the Summer Olympics.

Four Movies I'd watch over and over:
1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
2. Monster's, Inc.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (any of the three will do).
4. Elf

I'll add my own category here of what movies we have to watch over and over ad nausem in my house:
1. The Little Mermaid
2. Cars
3. Shark Tale
4. Cinderella

Four bands/groups/musicians/DJs that I love to listen to:
1. Paul Simon
2. Jimmy Buffett
3. James Taylor
4. Flight of the Conchords
(And anything 70s or disco-era. I know, I know. At least I am confident enough to admit what I like even though it means the people around me will make fun of me.)

OK... now it's time for me to "Tag" someone else, so, Carol "Gimmegodiva" are you up for the challenge? Consider yourself "Blog tagged" and answer the questions by posting them on your blog.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's Pretty Freakin' Far

I.... just.... got.... back. Still breathing heavy and hands are shaky so it's hard to type. I did the four miles twisting around the New College campus, over the crosswalk on US41 and back towards the museum and around the neighborhood and once again twisting around the bayfront side of the New College campus. Phew. I did it in under an hour though, 58:58 to be exact. Average time was 14:45 per mile, but I only burned 456 calories. Going to take a cool soak in the bathtub. I guess I need to get used to this. I want to do 4-milers in August, 6-milers in September and then sixes and eights in October, leading up to the 13K on 10/28. That is a scary thought... just in time for Halloween. How appropriate.

Exactly how far is 4 miles?

I am just about to change into my walking clothes and attempt to speed walk 4 miles. Actually, instead of dread I'm kinda jazzed b/c the kids are acting like total hoodlums and both Jason and I are ready to do things the DCF would definitely NOT approve of; so getting out of the house seems like a good option. Jason just got finished mowing the grass -- that's how much he wants out of the house.

I'll report back later. Jason's going to let me borrow "the watch" so I don't have to figure out when I make it 4 miles. Gotta love technology.

On to the Big Leagues... Kindergarten

So last night we went to Campus Kids Pre-School program to celebrate the fact that Jake and three of his other classmates, Erin, Isabelle and Malcolm are moving on to kindergarten in a week. The program included singing three songs, a presentation to the "graduates" and finished up with an ice cream social.

Jake and his best friend Malcolm are both going to Bay Haven Elementary, along with Isabelle. During her speech about Jake, Miss Claudia described Jake's block building abilities and how he creates towers that take up the entire block area. She made predictions about what each child might be in the future based on the talents they have displayed. Well, due to his elaborate block creations Miss Claudia and the teachers think Jake will be the "architect" of the group. Go figure.

Here are a couple of pictures from the big event.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saturday Night Horror Show

You know how things can sometimes go inexplicably wrong when a large quantity of alcohol is consumed? Have you ever seen someone (a close friend... maybe your husband) morph into a bizzare creature that does things so out of character that you think you just may be in a parallel universe? Well folks, that's where Cindi and I were on Saturday night. It all started when the boys came back from the liquor store with some crappy, creamy "Tequila Rose" stuff in a black bottle. We decided to play "Cashflow," our favorite game and apparently shots of this crap and the Patron we had were part of the deal.

I'll spare you the details and just say that Kevin doesn't follow the rules and Jason is a thief -- bottom line is that the game (shown above before the melee) ended in a shouting match with the boys locked out of the house and nefarious actions that I hope never to see again ensued. Luckily, none of the kids woke up, but I'm truly surprised the neighbors didn't. Thank GOD we have an 8 foot privacy fence in the backyard. Thank, God.

Fun with the "Master Minds"

This past weekend Jason and I were the host company for a meeting of four small contracting company owners that met a couple years back while we were involved with a business building program specifically designed for contractors. Instead of paying the ridiculous fees to stay in said program, we broke off as a group and decided to run our own little gatherings with the idea of learning from each other while enjoying each other's company (i.e. drink lots of alcohol together, visit each company's office and meet their staff and then have a meeting where each company shares their goals and has "their feet held to the fire" on what they are doing to achieve those goals).

The group flew into Sarasota on Thursday afternoon so we started with a BBQ/Pool Party at the house Thursday night... lots of margaritas and strawberry daqs with Malibu flowing... the pool felt great after dinner and the kids had a blast. Friday we have everyone over to the shop to "play" on the heavy equipment. We did a tennis ball challenge on an excavator and an obstacle course with the skid steer... everyone loved it! We had dinner at The Table that night...amazing! Saturday we had our "MasterMind" meeting, which was very productive and actually emotional, as one company in our group is dealing with some changes in their life stages and are considering getting out of their business. Tears flowing. Wow... that was something I didn't expect.

I think the best part of getting this group together is that as business owners you don't always have someone to turn to... these meetings reassures each one of us that we are NOT in this alone and that we have friends that we can call on when we need help.

Saturday night The Smiths and the Erbsens left for Tampa as they had an early flight out on Sunday morning to get back to Sacramento, CA and Salida, CO. The Foshees, who were staying at our house with their 6-year-old daughter, Summer, stayed so that we could hang out.

Saturday night with the Foshee's deserves it's own post. Stay tuned.

I'm Exhausted... but I can't Sleep

So what is up with this? I'm freakin' tired, so tired that I went to bed smelly from my work out and didn't even wash my face because I had such a bad headache last night. I NEVER DO THAT, yuck. I was supposed to call my friend Karen in Ft. Lauderdale last night to catch up with her as truly we have been trying to talk on the phone for months... maybe even a year I dunno... It is 2 a.m. and when I woke up about an hour ago I was so wired that I knew there was no going back to sleep. This does not bode well for the rest of the week.
I think I'm just stressed out (for a lot of reasons) but one main one is that we've had company at our house the past two weekends and now, my Dad called me on Tuesday and he and his wife are coming to stay with us this weekend. I guess I need to wash those sheets on the guest bed. Maybe I should come up with a nightly rate for our guest bedroom.
That reminds me, I'll do a post about this weekend's past events with "The MasterMind" group that we share business ideas (and lots of alcohol and laughter with) in a minute... (yawn.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've done it now...

The game is on... I just registered for the Tower of Terror 13K ( and I am in trouble. I've got to be able to finish 8.something miles in under 16 minutes per mile with just under 3 months to train for it. And something you probably don't know is that I am the "girl who cried "I'll do it, I'll do it" and backed out of a 1/2 marathon and this very same event last year. Shit. I am so screwed. I have to do it or my name is mud. Main reason I'm doing it? I need to lose 10 pounds before next summer -- 20th high school reunion, I am not going there at this weight. Period, end of story.

T-minus 17 Days and Counting

Jake starts kindergarten on Monday, August 18th. This is a big step. Little did I know that all of those people who say "enjoy it, they grow up so fast" would be so right. I am delighted that the little guy is going off on his own to this brave new world, but at the same time it freaks me out because it seem like just yesterday that he was born. He's going to a great school -- BayHaven, has lots of friends that will be there (Malcolm, Isabelle, Logan and Jack), so it's likely that he will have someone he knows in his class.

I remember my first day of school and I have a lot of great memories of my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Moyer at Tuttle Elementary. Here's wishing the same for Jake. Love you, buddy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disappointed Customer

Yesterday I took the day off to bring Jake and Bryce to the Dentist, get their hair cut, shop for school clothes, etc. My dentist appointment was a 9 a.m. I arrived promptly at 9 a.m., got a rude look from the harried (and not so bright) receptionist and was told that my appointment was at 8:15. What??? Huh?? So, I reluctantly left, pissed off at her, but even more peeved at myself for screwing up... or so I thought.

I get my car washed at Johnny's. No one in line. Get car back, inside area still sticky between kids seats and foot prints on the back of both seats.

Go to Stride Rite in Sarasota to buy kids shoes for school. One grumpy old guy on the floor, ten moms ready to use "buy one get one 1/2 off coupon." He is downright nasty, rude and can't seem to find even ONE pair of shoes that I like in our size. More rudeness at the cash register when I try to use the coupon, and even more when I tell him the one pair we got was priced at $5.00 a pair instead of $19.99.

Go next door to Cost Cutters hair cutting place. Lady is nice enough -- just barely social, but I understand, not everyone has a great day everyday... but the cut on both of them is pretty crappy. Bryce's bangs are too short, back is uneven and she missed a huge chunk in the front. Jake has a huge piece in the back that I have to fix when I get home. (I didn't notice it right away or I would have had her fix it.)

Lunch at Pincher's Crab Shack -- awesome! Lady is really sweet, food is good and she is nice to the kids.

Go home. Find the appointment card for the dentist appointment at 9 a.m. I was right. Drive all the way back to dentist because they won't answer the phone, answering service is picking up. What do I get? Not even an apology.

What the hell happened to customer service? I am over it. Would much rather shop on-line and not have to deal with people who truly do not care at all about the people they serve. It is a scary statement about the state of our society and country.

Future Model... you decide!

Bryce asked me to take some photos of her modeling, so here is the best one. This has been going on non-stop since she posed for my friend Michelle's organic children's clothing line ( Christa, I need to know, does she have a future? She sure as hell seems to think she does. :)