Saturday, December 30, 2006

Glue, part two


Well, sometimes the glue isn't enough, then again...

I wish I had the pics to post, but I think my camera was left behind in Bob's hotel room. Bob just called to confirm this.

We went down to Sarasota last night and saw two more of our oldest and dearest friends. I met Bob (or Bawb, as he's typically addressed) the first day on campus at my alma mater. He now lives in California and is married. The last time we met up in person, to the closest any of us can recall, is 1998. He was about to move to California for a new job and Ed and I were about to purchase our first home together.

While the miles between us were many, the phone calls kept us in touch. It's nice to note that even though we hadn't seen each other in years, last night felt like it'd only been a week since we last hung out at one of our Long Island haunts. Donna had ventured down from Jacksonville, and it was a miniature WHPC reunion. The two of them had noticed a greek restaurant on the main drag in Sarasota, so we went over that way for dinner.

Dinner was awesome, conversation was never lacking and it felt really good to spend the evening in the company of friends. Nice to know that Bob's perverted and twisted mind still exists. For example, this jewelery item pictured? He informed me that it is a sexual toy, lol. I won't be looking at the Neiman Marcus types wearing this item without laughing my ass off now, thank you so much. As this blog is someone PG rated, feel free to contact me to find out what it is, but you can always google Adam and Eve's catalog to find similar products. Hee Hee.

I consider myself very blessed that 22 years later, we can all get together and not miss a beat. Good times.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Santa has arrived at our house, and in a few hours the kids will be happy to find the things they've asked for under the tree. This year, though, they'll find a letter from Santa. He's told them that the elves were really busy and the computer parts will be shipped to Daddy to put it together for them.

Heck, they've watched him put together computers before and so this probably won't seem that strange. Everybody wins, too, they don't get a machine loaded with crap they don't need and a huge hard drive.

In other news, my freaking leg is driving me nuts. The ointment works well, but it feels like I'm pouring sulfuric acid on my leg each time I use it. The ulcers are gettng much better, so I suppose the pain is a small price to pay to have a healthy leg.

Our Christmas Day will be spent at the inlaws, consuming smoked turkey and vegging. Curious to see how well Williams Sonoma smokes a turkey-I usually hate smoked meats. We're bringing sides and dessert.

The second pain pill that now is neccessary after applying ointment is now kicking in. Yay, I can sleep!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas from the state of Florida!

We got something in the mail that beats any present money could buy. The state of Florida has determined that Gameboy is eligible for Medicaid. This is a huge relief, as we can now get more services for him. The social skills therapy that three psychiatrists have recommended and we've been all for since the initial diagnosis, for one. We can get him occupational therapies as well.

This means that the financial hell that we've experienced will slowly get better. No one really wants to hear of anyone's money woes, but folks, we were there at the bottom of the barrel. At one point, I was seriously ready to sell my car and get a junker to pay for those meds that make his ability to function possible.

I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am-it is the thing I wanted the most this year. The letter is just the beginning-and the adventure ahead in learning what I have to do to get the child what he needs is going to be interesting!

A bottle of champagne is in order, but I'm on pain meds!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On the mend

Back to the Vascular group today. Nurse M looked at my leg and likes the improvement. She did some debridement-not fun. I got woozy and felt like I was going to pass out, but fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Now I've got some festive green ointment that seals the wounds and pulls out more of the crud. Still hurts like the dickens, but I can see how much better it has gotten in the week since I last saw her. She concurred with Kathi, that I need to take the Vicodin on a regular basis for now and not just when I'm in excruciating pain. The swelling has gone down enough so that I was able to get the compression stocking back on the foot. Woohoo.

I also got my professional crocs and I must say, they look pretty good with a pair of dress pants. A note to any of you considering the crocs-the professionals probably have the narrowest fit of any of the styles they carry. If I didn't have the swollen foot, I would love this fact.

Back to have a follow up in two more weeks-hoping by then, the painkillers will be unneccessary.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Wedding Weekend

I promised I would write about the wedding. :)

It's December, so of course, I had to work Saturday. I worked until noon, then headed home to find Ed and the boys packed and my dress ready to go. I just had to throw a few things into the bags and we would be on our way. We did have to head back to the house because we forgot meds for oldest son.

We had reservations for one night at our favorite resort, the Polynesian, as we couldn't get two nights at anything but a Deluxe resort(thanks to hectic retail schedule, I didn't make reservations early enough). However, reservations made through CRO have a 48 hour cancellation window. On the way there, I called CRO and found a room at Port Orleans Riverside for two nights. That worked-the rooms sleep 5. Jane was kind enough to watch the boys through all these events-otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to go.

We were told to meet at the Poly for the bus to the dessert party, so we headed over a little early to view the decorations. First, I wanted a Kona coffee (damn, I was tired) and then a fruity drink at Tambu lounge, but we were worried that we would miss the bus. Had we known that the wedding party was dining in 'Ohana, we would have had that drink! We waited out front and boarded the bus that would take us over to Epcot.

After hearing of the couples friends and relations for years, it was cool to finally put faces to the names. Even met a kindred spirit on the bus-the best man's wife seems to be cut from the same chronic issue cloth (it's like we were twins separated at birth). It was also amusing to spend time with people who aren't into Disney at all and were just there because that was the wedding destination!

We were ferried to the party location at the lower French Isle in Epcot. The location is on the lagoon and is the perfect location for viewing IllumiNations, Epcot's nightly fireworks program. My favorite fireworks, if you must know. Once at the location, we found chocolate fondue heaven. There were three kinds of chocolate fondues, coffee, teas and sodas. The choices of dipping items was great-fortunately, someone noticed the strawberries and had them removed-the bride is severely allergic.

The next hour and a half was spent mixing and mingling with people who'd I'd heard about and knew peripheral things about. One of the groomsmen and his new bride honeymooned around the world, Disney style. Ed and I would have loved spending the whole evening talking to him about it-he's a great guy with a passion for Disney. It's cool to see him married and with a job that's perfect for him (I'd love his job, to give you an idea). The fireworks were awesome. The time spent with friends was far too brief. We got back to the hotel room and found Jane with sleeping children. She went walkabout, and we feel asleep pretty quickly.

The next morning, we awoke and headed to breakfast. No sooner were we back to the room that Jane took the boys and headed off to Epcot. It sure feels strange to not have the kids around-this happens about once every five years. We had some items to get (a shirt for Ed, gauze for my foot) and we found a brandy new WalMart right by property. We got dressed and headed over to the Contemporary. The reception would be held there-transportation was from this resort, and it made sense for our car to be there for afterwards.

Once on the bus, we found that it'd already picked up passengers-one of whom that was kinda rude to the bus driver. As the ride went on, I was getting a weird sense of deja vu-he was acting like my ex (a fact that Ed concurred with later). Now that I'm on the other side of it, I ask myself what I saw in that behavior!

We arrive at the Wedding Pavillion and it is gorgeous. The weather is perfect, and the view around the lagoon is one I don't tire of soaking in. Inside the pavillion, the architectural details subtly show Mickey heads, hearts and two rings joined together. Very nice. I could totally go for a vow renewal there.

The ceremony itself was very touching. As the bride and groom come from different faiths, it was nice to witness vows that express the important points of a marriage without the bride and groom having to jump through hoops to get wed in the other's church/temple. The musical selections were Disney based-the bride entered to a Sant Saen's piece used in "Impressions de France" and the recessional was from a Christmas parade. The bride's dress was very similar to Belle's ball gown in white.

Everyone in attendance was gathered on the beach for a group photo and then all but the bridal party were shuttled over to the California Grill for the reception. This is the restaurant atop the Contemporary Resort that has an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom. As we were in the Napa Room, the wines were plentiful. We each got a glass of Cabernet, then Ed overhears someone getting his favorite beer, Anchor Steam. I told him I'd finish his glass of wine, but he was enjoying it too much. This is about the time that we discover that they are bottomless glasses of wine. :) Can't complain about that-and the more I had of the cabernet, the more I liked it. Yes, we are entering the realm of drier red, lol.

As befitting a Disney Wedding, the tables had names like "Wish", "Imagine", "Dream" and "Believe". It was a more intimate wedding that I'd expected-I fully expected 80 to 100. It was flattering to know that we were in the small group that was invited. At our table was the Best Man and his wife, and we chatted throughout the night-great people. The meal was incredible-filet so tender it could be cut with a fork.

At the close of the reception, we all went out onto the walkway at the top of the hotel to view Holiday Wishes, the Magic Kingdom's fireworks show. All in all, a great day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Glue

Sometimes, I'm tired of being the glue.

You wonder what that is? It's when you're the only thing keeping something together. When the ex and I still lived in New York, it was basically me being the 'cruise director' and coordinating all the activities our group of friends did and keeping things together. Once I moved to Maryland, it was frequent phone calls back to NY-but the calls were reciprocal. The difference was, my phone bill would be triple or quadruple anyone elses. I was glad for this-it was part of being the glue.

The ex and I split, jobs changed, but through the years, I've picked up friends along the way and lost far too many of them that I wish were still in my life. As much as I hate AOL, I have to thank them for Instant Messenger, because it's how I maintain being the glue with a few friends who I don't even have phone numbers for (paging Dave, Jeff and Russ-this means you!). To an extent, the blog has some glue like properties, because it keeps you all in touch with what's going on in my life. The glue maintains when you call or email to bitch that I haven't updated in a while and I get to find out what's going on in YOUR life.

We attended a wedding yesterday (and I will report about that later when more time allows) that we enjoyed thoroughly. Afterwards, I pondered to Ed whether I'll see the friends much again. As much as I love and care about them, I don't see them much. The phone calls are fewer and fewer and we're all very busy people. In spending time with the couple, it made me happy to share in their day and very sad that I don't get to do this anymore. I explained to Ed that I can't be the glue all the time, and that bothers me.

Ed actually had a positive story to relate when he'd wondered the same thing. We'd attended Joyce and Tim's wedding several years ago. He had thought-will I really see them again? He'd been convinced that the end was near, that there wasn't enough glue to keep it together. I'm happy to report that 8 years later, we're closer than we were back then. Joyce recently gave birth to their third child and in trying not to interfere, I'd stopped myself from calling her (as baby's sleep patterns may not coincide with friend's calling patterns). Once again, we're back on the phone and commiserating about life with small children and being support for one another.

What is it that keeps us friends for 25 plus years? How is it that the person from Babbage's I thought I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with (due to overprotective wife) is the only one I'm still in weekly contact with? How is it that the former boss that drove me crazy is the same person who now calls to have a sounding board for her frustration and as a result, makes me laugh? How is it that the first friend I made at college (on the first day, no less) can spend time with us and it's as if we're back at the Pawnbroker?

By the same token, why is it that I can't keep in touch with people that mean so much to me? There are dear friends who are expecting a child any day, and I haven't been in touch, other than Christmas cards, since their wedding. There are some good friends back in Maryland that I just haven't kept up with-our lives are so similar, but I guess I don't have enough glue for everyone.

Weddings are magical in that they usually cause one to 'take stock'. I've got it pretty darn good, but I want more. Not the material but the intangibles-I want more glue.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update to owwwwww

I'm back from my doctor's visit and still in pain, but this is the upshot:

1. I got to see the two nurse practitioners instead of Dr. S (Halleluiah!). The one nurse has pretty much seen me since I moved to Florida as she was involved in the first Doppler they did on my leg in July '04. Seems the wounds are getting worse because there is an underlying infection (who ever though that the capris I was living in prevented infection?).

2. We discussed the what and why and then they went to consult with Dr. S and Dr. J happened to be on the floor (in between surgeries-Thursday is his OR day). Both docs suggested
debridement, while Nurse M thought moist dressing and then an Unna Boot once the infection is gone. Nurse A concurred, and both nurses came to me with the treatment options.

I told Nurse M that I'd called my sister (nursing student) when I couldn't get in to see them, triaged and asked what SHE would do if I were her patient and sis suggested moist dressing, too. Nurse M laughed and told me my sis was going to be a great nurse. Majority to the nurses (and student nurses) and I avoid a painful procedure. (thanks, Kath!)

3. I got antibiotics and more pain meds, moist gauze and two ace wraps. Only down part is that the office staff was really busy and hadn't called in the Darvocet by the time I got to Target, so I may have to go later.

4. Recheck it in a week. If it's on the road to healing, or is healed, then we go to the Unna boot. If not, the debridement is my only option.

5. We haven't gone into what happens after we resolve this issue, but I know it will be soon. As long as I don't see Dr. S, the one dissenting voice, the rest of the team will keep me at work because they feel movement is the best option.

6. I now have a doctor's note to wear the crocs at work. While the plantar faciitis is probably not caused by the vascular disease, it is contributing to the pain and swelling and the crocs are the only shoe to minimize this issue. Boss has unofficially been letting me wear them (and pointing out my leg to anyone who has questions the shoes), but now it makes it easier on her to say 'doctor's orders'.

Now, I suppose I should try to round up some coffee as sleep will not happen without the pain meds. At least I won't have to worry about a doctor thinking I'm a junkie-Nurse M was suprised that I had a two week supply left from surgery (scrip was 20 pills, which means I took 6 back then). Another advantage is that the first thing out of her mouth before writing either script was 'What are you allergic to again?'. She remembered!

Owwwwwww

As I write this, it's 3:32am and I can't sleep. Why? Because my vascular issues in my leg have gotten so bad that I have resorted to taking the painkillers left over from my last surgery. Unfortunately, I took the last one last night-and I had no idea that it had gotten this bad in the two weeks that I'd started taking them. I think I fell asleep at 11:30 and was up at 12:05.

The best description I can come up with is that my lower leg stings as if I've gotten severe road rash. In addition, there's the sporadic stabbing pain-this is what prevents me from sleep tonight. I'm dealing with a double edged sword. If I wear my compression stocking, it adheres to the scabs on my ankle. This means excruciating pain when I take the stocking off (more intense pain than the stinging and stabbing), but by not wearing them, the sores on the leg are worse. Yes, I know it's gross.

My friends, you know that if I'm to the point that I'm taking the damn painkillers, it really hurts. Hell, the Darvocets were left over following the two day surgery marathon in March because I only took them for two days. I suck it up pretty good and withstand what I consider to be a high level of pain. (I never even filled the script from the second surgery.)

I tried getting an appointment with my vascular surgeon last week-the earliest with *my* doctor I could get is January 3rd. I kept calling and leaving voice mails, knowing that this might happen (the sleepless night) when the meds ran out. Finally, I got a call back that I could come in and see Dr. S on my day off. He's the one doctor (of the four) who is the young, arrogant jerk that gives surgeons a bad name.

Dr. S exudes the aura of "I know everything and you know nothing" that makes me boil. I can understand a degree of arrogance, but to think he knows more about me and my issues than I do is shortsighted. I can triage myself to any medical professional to the point that earns a modicum of respect. This is what happens when you've got a host of chronic issues.

The valve in the leg is to the point that it needs to be replaced-but there are only two doctors in the US doing the procedure and it is considered (last I heard) 'experimental'. The two senior doctors both have the same view-wait and see what the future holds. I've had no restrictions placed on me, other than the ban on exercise (walking, swimming and biking are the only things allowed). Dr. J (my regular doc) even has stated that working on my feet is the best thing to be doing-a desk job would slow down the already poor circulation in the leg.

My fear is that Dr. S will lecture me on what I already know (it's bad and getting worse), tell me that I can't work (not an option, and frankly, not one I'd consider anyway) and give me grief about taking painkillers in the first place. However, the way I see it is that I'm trying to go on with living and I'm not trying to cop out of working, or asking for a letter so that I can get SSDI.
I'm not even looking for major narcotics. I'm looking to identify the pain, figure out if it can be resolved and get something for the pain.

So, any ideas on how to get rid of this pain, short of having Ed pull an Annie Wilkes on my leg?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Will he ever get it?

The frustrations of Asperger's Syndrome:

Imagine if you will, a child with genius intelligence. This child can read at nearly college level and has amazing recall abilities. However, this 1o year old acts emotionally on the level of an 18 month old-temper tantrums and all.

He's stubborn, willful and wants everything HIS way. Never mind the fact that all the adults in his life tell him he has to do XYZ, he wants to do ABC. Rewards to encourage good behavior don't work-you give him an inch, he wants a mile. Punishment to discourage poor behavior doesn't work, either-he continues to be bad because he can't get his way.

I just got back from a visit to the school for something unrelated, but of course, my child is in the principal's office for shoving another student in his class after a morning of bad behavior. A child who must use a walker to get around. The principal and teacher are on the same page with me and Ed and said he wanted to call the sheriff's office-I told him to do it next time.

I don't know when it will end. Realistically, the medications should make it easier for our son to 'fit in' and behave, but if that's the case, why is he such a trial? I'm at the end of my ropes. Some days (and they're becoming more frequent) I wonder if the only thing I can do to help my child is to give him up to the state. That, my friends, is a scary thought, but it's the only way I can think of to possibly get through to him. No amount of yelling, sending him to his room, taking away his precious video games and talk of how he'll end up in jail (or worse) if he does this when he gets older seems to sink in.

Damn frustrating-Ed and I don't go out as a couple and have had only a few 'dates' since we've become parents because we can't in good concience subject a babysitter to son's machinations for the few hours we're out. If we DO go out, we worry the whole time that he's being a monster to whomever is watching him-which really puts a damper on either of us having fun. I think that's why it's been so important to enjoy my job-because the battle at home dealing with oldest son definitely isn't fun.

The kid's favorite whine (yes, it's nearly all whine)is "That's not fair". Yep, that sure is the truth. Somehow, we've got to get through the unfair stuff that life throws at us. Today is one of those days where I want to whine that life's not fair.

I won't get away with whining about it aloud, so instead it's here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Trial by Fire

What is the craziest time of year to start a new job in retail? Yep, last week. :)

New job is going extremely well. The first couple of days, I was worried that it's not nearly as hectic as what I'm used to, but the past couple of days have more than made up for it.

I'm picking up extremely fast. Boss is rather impressed and keeps complimenting me. You all know me, that's not good enough-I want to be the 'answer lady' again and the sooner, the better. I learn best by doing, and this is the perfect time to accomplish that.

As good as Disney's benefits package was, this company is better. Granted, no free park admissions (wah), but the rest of it is NOT bad. More personal days each year, more vacation time starting in year 5 and sick time that rolls over each year.

My coworkers are a great bunch. Head boss is very honest and refreshing. If I suck at something, she won't lie-I like that. The rest of the management team good to work with-lots of common ground.

The difference here is partly due to the time I got hired and partly due to the company hiring tenured retailers-I am expected to call the shots from day one. Visual directives, staffing, guest focus-because I already know retail and they know I'll do right by the guests. Pretty cool.

So far, so good-and to play with design? Bonus!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's Over

Well, I'm officially unemployed for another 24 hours.

The last two days were sheer hell and kinda reinforced the fact that I'm making the right move.

One of the owners was asked to come over and help us out on Friday. He was asked to come wash dishes because we had a session of 8 and we were overbooked and had a group of 15 in the later session. To give you an idea, we always run with two employees and a dishwasher when we've got more than 5 guests, and we run with three employees and a dishwasher for 10 and up. Well, he would be the dishwasher to me and one employee.

Did he wash any dishes? No
Did he clean any of the tables? No again
Did he help in ANY way? That would be no.

Instead of boring you with all the details, suffice to say that I got so mad that I ended up dropping 4 F bombs in venting to another employee. Yes, 4! That's 3 more than ever gets said, and at that, I maybe use that word once a year (probably less). I think I scared the rest of the staff, because they have NEVER seen me that mad (Ed has). One benefit of not getting mad very often is that when you do, they jump in to help. Of course, Mr. Owner was oblivious to the havoc he created.

It gets worse. He decided to blow off a delivery yesterday. Hmmm, it was 5 minutes from the store and he said "I'll call the customer later". Meanwhile, I wasn't informed of this lousy decision until AFTER the guest had called three times to find out when he'd receive his food! So one of my last duties was scrambling to this guest's house to ensure he had food while recuperating from surgery.

At least I won't be scrambling to cover any more...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tally

Hotel room for 2 nights $160.00
Hotel room for the babysitter for 2 nights $160.00 (thank you, Jane!)
Tickets for the boys so they can go with babysitters into WDW $205

Watching two friends get married at the Happiest Place on Earth -PRICELESS! :)

(oh yeah, since I seem to have become a bawling mess lately, I suppose I should spring the 2 bucks for a box of tissues, too)

The joys of no insurance...

Last night, I'm at work and it is B! U! S! Y! The cell phone starts ringing, and it's Ed. Uh Oh. Seems small child decided to put an eraser in his ear at school and doesn't bother to tell Dad until bedtime. He was afraid he'd get grounded. Ed looked, and sure enough, there was one-which couldn't be removed with tweezers. Argh.

I kept small child home this morning, with the plan that I'd take him to our doctor as soon as they opened. Well, that means 10am on Thursdays. Promptly at 10:00, I call. No appointments until 3:45. The receptionist cautions me that they may not be able to do anything, either. If so, they'll send us to the pediatric ER.

Lovely. Small child has been bugging me for weeks to pick up Lego Star Wars for the Game Cube, because it's cool on the small GBA screen, imagine 13" of it. Alas, I had to inform him that today's doctor's visit will cost far more than the game does. Also had to inform him that an ER visit will be hundreds of dollars and puts Christmas gifts in the range of 'not happening'.

I think he'd rather be grounded...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good news and so so news

I went into the new job yesterday to get the new hire paperwork out of the way. I got a tour of the stockrooms (clean, yes, organized, not so much) and watched a dvd on one of the product lines. Met the new Assistant Manager, and it looks like the team is a good fit. At least we're all into wines, lol!

The good news is that the insurance starts on my first day. Yippee!!!! Most retailers that offer it make you wait until 30 or 60 days have passed, so this is a relief for us. I found out that they interviewed 27(!!) people before hiring me and AM.

My coworkers and guests have been so sweet the past week. I've been telling the regulars where I'm going and why and it's been good. However, the owner has been rather cold and aloof (nearly rude) to me since I've given notice. She knows *why* I'm leaving and that it's not anything against them in any way, but the cold shoulder continues. Typical me, I'm being my usual self with her, doing everything I can to make her laugh (despite being obviously PISSED at me) and not letting on how much it bothers me.

Ed says I should console myself with the fact that my coworkers are saying nice things and my guests are saying nicer things, that they are the people that truly matter. Yeah, but you all know how I am-always seeking approval.

If you haven't noticed, Santa replied to my last post. I should get good mileage out of that one-proof of Santa, right here on the Internet! Ed thinks I should be ticked that
Santa implied I haven't been good, but Santa doesn't see me *all* the time to know that I'm all about being good. :) (Psst, Santa, I've got a wish list over at Amazon...no, nothing over $220 on it-I know you've got millions of good people that need stuff more than me)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yes, it's really happening

I'm still in a funk, but starting to feel good about the job move.

My coworkers, as expected, are making me cry with the kind words. I have to be careful, lest their words make my head so big that I can't get out the door. I've heard the opinion more than once that maybe I'll be asked to come back. Dunno, just going to take it one day at a time.

Maybe this is a good thing. Ed'll probably leave as well, and perhaps that means he'll get a career-type job again. A source of frustration for me has been seeing others get everything for their homes that I've wanted but can't afford in the current situation. It bothers me when I talk about my ideas for decorating or improvements and next thing I know, it's staring me in the face-at someone else's house! Yes, the eyes DO turn green sometimes.

However, something I'm not jealous about: Tim and Joyce have welcomed their third child and second daughter on Tuesday. I'm very happy for them (and glad they've got the minivan, too), but count my blessings with the two I've got. Congrats are in order, but Joyce won't see them for several weeks. I bought gifts for the kids, perhaps an IV drip of some sort of caffeine will be in order for the two of them!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Changes

Today, I made a very hard decision...

I accepted a management position with a different employer. It's breaking my heart.

The current job makes me happy. I really love the interaction with the guest and what the company stands for. Unfortunately, the business hasn't built up as quickly as we'd all hoped, and it's killing me financially. That, coupled with the fact that son's meds cost us 1300 bucks a month made this a neccessary change.

That said, I'm going back into retail. Not back to the mouse, someplace different. The company I'm going to is one that I've enjoyed shopping in and has been around for years. Yes, I am insane for going back into retail the week before Thanksgiving, but I'll be fine. They're fine with the fact that having Tuesday nights off is sacrosanct. The store runs with SEVEN managers-what an alien concept-so managers work every third Sunday.

The hardest part? Leaving the wonderful assistant manager and team I've got. I think I'm going to be crying a lot the next two weeks...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Last day in California


Grrr, fargin Blogger. I lost the Hollywierd entry and everything else is out of order. I need to take some time to fix it-but it's really ticked me off, hence the delay in posting the rest of the trip report!

Day six-we'd originally planned to head back into LA and find Pinks, Tail of the Pup and look for some of the LA landmarks we'd heard about. However, the venture into Hollywood made us realize that it wouldn't be all that great, so we went to plan B.

A goal for the trip was to dip our toes into the Pacific. We live near the Gulf, we'd grown up near the Atlantic, so to travel 3000 miles and not do it would be dumb. After vegging in the room (which now would cost 70 bucks tonight, woohoo!), we decide to head west on Harbor Blvd. Suburban Orange county is much like LI, and similar to Florida as well. It's like LI in that towns merge into one another without any clear indication that you've entered the next one. It's like Florida in the sense that you'd pass this seedy, run down strip mall, and then the next block would have this opulent, gated community.

It's lunch time and we're hungry. We continue with our rule (mom and pop or west coast chain only) in searching for lunch. I'd figured we'd probably get another In and Out burger, but in Costa Mesa, while waiting at a light, we see this little mom and pop that looks like it'll fit the bill perfectly. Ed does some creative navigating to get us back to the place-Pasta Connection.

This place is a winner. Homemade pastas, sauces and bread. We started off with mozzerella sticks, which came out with this delicious marinara sauce. The bread and salads come next, and the dressing? Homemade. The bread is accompanied by an amazing pesto, which younger son likes so much, he asks for more of it to top his ravioli.

Ed will tell you, I am *very* picky about eating Italian out. He has to drag me to the various italian chains, mainly because I cook it at home (except veal). This is a place that he would NOT have to drag me back to-ever. The manicotti was perfect, I know he enjoyed his lasagna and the kids finished their meals. That, my friends, is a rare occasion. My advice if you're going to Disneyland, and you want Italian, make it a point to hit this place! Do not trifle with chains around here.

Fully sated, we venture further west on Harbor and end up on Newport Beach, which is an island. Parking is at islands in the middle of the four lane road-weird. We park and walk to the waterfront, passing homes that cost millions, but are roughly the size of our place.

It's windy, sunny and hard to see the coastline that is just a couple of miles away. Darn smog! At the water's edge, there's something of a bluff, and we doff our crocs to dip the toes.

BRRRRRRR!!! Yikes, it was friggin COLD! Understand, as a Long Islander, you could head into the ocean in September and it'd still be swimming temperatures, even into the first or second week in October. The water temps would be somewhere in the 70's. The Pacific was probably around 60 degrees. We later talked to a couple of locals and were told that the Pacific is generally not swimable, except for much further south (hmmm, two and a half hours south to Mexico and still wouldn't consider it). Another illusion shattered.

We admire the view and take plenty of pictures. There's a sailboat regatta going on, a windsurfer and plenty to watch. For not going in the water, an hour seemed like 10 minutes! The kids had a ball running back and forth in the waves. Suppose we should head over to St. Pete Beach and enjoy the warmth of the Gulf again.

Back to the hotel, taking a different route. I'd noticed on the See's website that there was a location *near* our hotel, and ventured a trip down that road. Remember, these towns run together, I'm not sure if we'll be far enough out on Chapman to even pass by the See's shop. However, we hit pay dirt, it's a little stand alone store on the outside of a shopping center. This trip nets 2 pounds of various yummies and another tin of Toffeettes (alas, we finished them last week). I suppose we should be thankful that they're all the way on the other side of the country.

Back at the hotel, we head down to the pool and the jacuzzi. I had really hoped for another round with the jets of the jacuzzi-they work wonders on the plantar faciitis. Ed and I enjoy small bottles of wine and laze away the rest of the afternoon poolside with the kids.

We'd hardly purchased any Disneyland merchandise (except those knobs), so we head over to Downtown Disney, fully expecting it to be like Florida's. It's not. The world of Disney is, though and we plunk down money for things to bring back to the family. Food is in short supply here, and the one place Ed and I thought we'd try (Brennan's) is closed for a private party! Ugh. Guess this means we have to come back, because we didn't get to check out the Haunted Mansion, the Matterhorn, or Brennans! ;)

Legoland wouldn't take the Lego store gift cards that have been sitting in my wallet for ages, so the boys got to get things from the lego store here.

After walking and discovering that none of the remaining food choices appealed, we detour through the Grand Californian (beautiful) before heading to the hotel. The boys get pizza, we get Del Taco and we attempt to fit more stuff into the luggage that won't fit.

The next morning, we're up early to head to the airport. I end up driving the car for only the second time. We arrive in plenty of time for our flight and get a brunch of California Pizza Kitchen. Well, it originated in California, and we didn't have much to choose from. For an airport kiosk, it was surprisingly good. Enough so that we went to one in Orlando a few weeks ago (even better).

The flight was turbulent enough that we couldn't get out of our seats for most of it. The bummer is that I'd hoped to see some of our country from the air-the clouds prevented it. Oh well, guess we have to go back!

We arrived in Tampa intact. Obviously! A week wasn't enough and was enough. One friend has joked that we finally took a 'real' vacation. You can tell she's not a fan of the mouse.

And so concludes the trip report that took six weeks to post!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Day Three-California Adventure

Day Three-California Adventure

We get down to the lobby and hop on the free shuttle over to Disney. The shuttle takes 10 minutes, and we’re at the entrance before the 10am opening. Today’s plan is visit California Adventure, as the hours don’t alter from 10-6 at all this week, but Disneyland will have later hours Friday and Saturday.

Our first order of business, after entering the gates and having our pictures taken, is to get something to eat. I split a cinnamon roll with older son and Ed and younger both get rice krispy treats. What the heck, it IS cereal! The shop was rather cool-the fa├žade looked like a train.

Next stop was Condor Flats, where we walk onto Soarin’ over California. The ride itself is identical to WDW’s, but the queing area is themed differently-more like an old time airplane hangar. The orange smell is different, which Ed and I figure may be due to an attempt to make them more like the local orange groves. Florida’s smells more like the oranges, and California’s smell more like the trees.

We continue down the walkway and look at the outside of the Grand Californian. Sometime in the next few days, we need to go look at the lobby. J The Grizzly River Rapids come up on our left, and we head onto the ride. Riders coming off don’t look all that wet, so the propect of walking around drenched in 60 degree weather is unlikely. Yes, we’re cold-we’re now used to the Florida heat.

The ride is great, a more traditional rapids ride than Kali and no, not nearly as drenching. Later in the day, we take a second trip and the difference when it is warmer is that there is a waterfall at one of the bridges.

The kids wander around the play area for a little while, then we head over to Paradise Pier. There’s a variation on a swing ride that has larger vehicles, rather than individual swings. Little man is intimidated by it, but we strongly encourage him to go on-and we all enjoy. We take in all the rides in the area, except for the huge drop. I do a solo tour on California Screaming while Ed and the boys visit the carousel. The coaster is great, it looks like it’s a wooden coaster, but it’s steel.

Lunch was completed in two steps, first Ed and I get mexican, then the boys go for burgers and nuggets, with the revisit to the rapids.

Over to the Hollywood backlot. We take in Muppetvision 3D and then Monster’s, Inc. It’s a dark ride and rather entertaining. The animator’s tour is rather different here, you sit in a theatre and an animator shows you how to draw a character. We learn how to draw Goofy, with varying results.

Next was my attempt to ride the Tower of Terror-alas, the show elements 101 on us and eventually, the ride was ‘evacuated’. At this point, it’s near 6pm and we exit the park. We debate walking Downtown Disney or heading into Disneyland for two hours, but opt instead for returning to the hotel for the pool and dinner.

Ed and the boys head down to the pool while I upload all the pictures. By the time I get down there, I find they’re in the jacuzzi instead-the pool is too cold.

Dinner was found at another California based chain-but one we’re familiar with, thanks to the frozen food aisle. Marie Callendar’s was a pleasant and filling meal.

Lights out early and plans for some LA area activities for Thursday.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day Five-Disneyland

At last, the Disneyland blog!

I’ve wanted to walk through those gates since I was very small. Getting to the West Coast was not to happen, and we’ve been quite happy to visit WDW on a fairly regular basis. As much as we love Da World, we still wanted to walk in the park Walt walked in.

Friday was a perfectly sunny day, and we made our way down to the hotel shuttle for the four block ride. When we got through the bag check and the gates, there was a band playing in front of the train station. Walking through the tunnel, it was familiar-but different. I love the fact that DL is chockablock with mature trees, so even in the heat of summer, this park has ample shade.

We hopped aboard the train and found the most hyper conductor you could ever find. Kat was her name, and boy, she was more jazzed than Stitch. It was mildly humorous to watch this person who makes me seem like I’m on tranquilizers. The train ride was different, we really traveled back in time.

Once we’d done the circuit of the park, we headed down Main Street and noticed what was the same and what wasn’t. If you wanted a hot dog and went down to the left, you were in luck. It wasn’t nearly as good as a Casey’s dog, though. If you went to the end of the block and to the right, no ice cream would you find. It’s halfway up the block on the right.

We walked around the hub and outside what we would expect to be Crystal Palace (but it’s not), we found Mary Poppins. Ed takes my picture with her and wow, her accent is perfect. We continue around the hub, hoping to have a picture taken in front of the castle. Success on that front. Then further around, passing the Matterhorn (who put that mountain next to the castle?) and into Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland is a hit-we got the boys onto Star Tours and they loved it. For some reason, older son has freaked every time we’ve tried at MGM and younger son wasn’t thrilled with it, either. Makes no sense, considering how much they adore all the Star Wars movies. I don’t think we’ll have any problems in the future-they’re still talking about it!

Thanks to the magic of the Guest Assistance Card, we head onto Space Mountain next and experience a new way to get onto the ride. We loaded into the vehicle to the side, then it was moved onto the track. The ride was recently rehabbed, so I’m not sure what it was like before. There are speakers in the seats, playing fast music, wind is blowing at you and it is so dark that you can’t see the track AT ALL. The boys LOVED it, and I’m happy that younger son’s first time on the ride was at this park.

It’s interesting to see the melding of attractions that are in 4 parks in Florida into two parks in California. DL no longer has a Carousel of Progress, but the space is used to house Innoventions. I’m glad we went in, but this could be a huge time sucker when we only have one day in the park. We did find stitch and talked to him-similar to what you can do with Crush’s Turtle Talk. Hmmm, I still haven’t looked at the picture Stitch took of us.

Lunch was enjoyed in the shadow of the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, we did not conquer the Matterhorn-it’s being rehabbed. One thing I did notice is that there is far more open air dining and attractions here. Is is true about that Southern California sunshine?

We went onto It’s a Small World and find they still invade your brain long after you’ve said ‘Au Revoir’ ‘Auf Wedersein’ ‘Adios’ and ‘Adieu’. Neat loading area and I loved the cast members costumes.

Mickey’s Toontown has a ride I’d been looking forward to, Roger Rabbit. Now that we’ve experienced it, think Mr Toad meets the Teacups. It was okay, but not one I’d rush back to ride. The kids enjoyed the diversions that Toontown holds.

Into Fantasyland, where the landscaping probably is very similar to the park in Europe where Walt got his inspiration for Disneyland. It’s very park like and though the rides are on top of one another, it doesn’t feel that way, due to creative queueing and landscaping. It was nice to ride the teacups in the sunshine, experience a different Peter Pan and once again enjoy Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

We venture over to Frontierland and pass by what looks to be a campground, alas, nothing is going on. Big Thunder Mountain is in front of us, and we ride. The theming in better, IMO, and the ride better overall. Once off the ride, we find that the majority of the attractions in this section of the park are closed for rehab.

Pirates of the Carribean. For years, I’d heard this one was better, scarier, and Walt’s favorite ride in the park (not sure about that one). After riding it, I do agree that this one is the better one. The bayou area was great (think of the beginning if “El Rio Del Tiempo” if you’ve never been) and the ride itself was similar in spots, but longer. The addition of Jack was well done. I’m looking forward to seeing it at WDW when we get back there someday.

The treehouse is now occupied by Tarzan-and we had to drag the boys out! We head over to Splash Mountain-which now the younger son LOVES. He’s not a fan of drops and we’d only had him on the WDW once. Back over towards the rest of Frontierland and Adventureland. The Gallery was excellent, with the bonus of a Cast Member giving us a ‘tour’ and explaining what each room in the gallery originally was intended for. Can I have that apartment?

Next, Indy. Indy gets a show in Florida and a ride in California. I think this is the longest queue in any Disney park, lol. Again, the movie buffs love it. Then, we wait for the REAL Tiki room. It’s so much better when Iago and Zazu don’t blather on about what they’re going to do with the show!

Hunger strikes again and Ed gets an empanada and we get those hot dogs I mentioned. It’s almost time for fireworks, and we end up in the middle of main street to watch. They are similar to Wishes, which I love.

After shopping for a bit, we head out to the shuttle. I didn’t want to leave and wish we’d bought the three day passes-but we’ll be back.

We left with something to remind us daily of this day-mickey knobs for the kitchen cabinets. I’d tried to purchase them at WDW, but Ed suggested waiting until we knew how many we needed. By the time we did, they’d been discontinued at WDW. Now, I look at the mickey heads and remember this day. J

Day Two

The nice thing about vacationing three hours further west is that you can feel like you’re sleeping in, while in reality, you’re up at a normal time.

We got up around 7 and went and got breakfast. I have to say that the free expanded continental breakfast was good. The waffles were filling.

To avoid traffic, we got on the road at nine. However, this IS California, and we encountered some traffic. We got to the zoo just before 10am. The internet is our friend, we had $8.00 off coupons-seems others had $3.00 off coupons they wanted to give us.

We start our day by taking the bus tour around the zoo. It was pretty comprehensive and shows us that the exhibits were built into the landscaping, rather than the other way around. The zoo is quite hilly, something we’re not used to anymore after living in Florida for a couple of years.

Once we’re done with the 35 minute bus tour, we get off the bus and our first order of business is to go see the koalas! They all decide they want to sleep. We continue walking through the park. Little guy keeps on saying he wants to meet Bagheera, so we venture down Cat Canyon and find the jaguar for him.

Once we complete Cat Canyon, we’re upon the Panda exhibit. We get to see Mom panda and her 1 year old and three year old cubs. We then trek up to the top of the zoo to see the Polar Bears. They have four bears that they alternate in the exhibit, and we seem to have arrived just as the shift change occurred. After hanging around for twenty minutes, we see one bear-he made a beeline for the food.

Next, a skyride down to the bottom of the park, grab some lunch and visit the children’s zoo. The day at the zoo ends with a visit to the reptile house, which older child has asked for all day.

It’s not a good idea to leave town right now-it’s 4pm and it’s rush hour. We take the advice of zoo employees and head downtown to the Gaslight area. The parking area we were directed to ends up being the parking garage for the mall, so we venture in. It’s an outdoor, multilevel plaza. We find See’s candies and the employees ply us with samples as we choose a pound of chocolate nirvana. The boys also get their copies of Lego Star Wars 2.

The walk around the Gaslight area proves that there are plenty of restaurants, all with outdoor dining areas-unfortunately, we’re not hungry enough to justify sitting down for a meal. I’d definitely head back the next time we’re in San Diego.

We head on the road at 6:30 and have an uneventful drive up to Anaheim. I pricelined our room in Anaheim while back in Carlsbad-my 80 dollar 2.5 star bid got upgraded to a 3 star. We’re in the Hyatt Regency about ¾ mile up the road from Disneyland. 10th floor kid suite! OMG, this for 80 bucks? It’s very nice! Note that almost all the Anaheim hotels charge for parking, and this is no exception. They charge for internet access, too, so we’re hijacking bandwidth where we can, and the updates probably will all be put up when we find our hotel for Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day One

Legoland was the first stop on our west coast journey. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we drove three miles to the park. We're so conditioned to WDW that at 10 minutes prior to park opening, we were shocked that the parking lot was nearly empty!

The next shock was paying for the tickets. We lost the free tickets for the boys in the debris moved from our old office in the house to its temporary home. Ouch. I'm sure they'll be found within a day of getting back to Florida-100 bucks that won't be recovered!

However, the park was quite pleasant. The boys are the perfect age for this-another two years and I think they'd have scoffed at the rides. The Lego sculptures and art were impressive. We were able to do the whole park in the 7 hours that it was open, as one section was geared towards preschoolers.

After leaving the park, we continued on Cannon avenue to the Pacific. Yep, we're that close. We took a drive down PCH for about 10 miles and got some pictures. As our goal this trip is to not eat in any chain restaurants (other than ones based on the west coast only), we scoped out a place to eat. We headed back to our hotel for a bit, then ventured out for dinner. We detoured to a clifftop parking area to view the sunset.

I wish I could get YUM! to allow me to post, because this restaurant was incredible. If you're ever in Leucida, California, you MUST have dinner at Jimmy's. Atmosphere was relaxed and the food perfect. I had a huge pork chop with the right amount of crispy chargrilling and demiglace. Ed had a citrus chili flank steak. Both were cooked to perfection and served with cheddar mashed and a veggie medley. The kids loved their meals, Kevin getting a wood fired pizza from their sister restaurant next door.

No, the meal was not cheap-but it was worth every penny.

Tomorrow's plans are for the San Diego Zoo and probably downtown for dinner.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We're in CALIFORNIA!!!!!

After several false starts, rebooking penalties from Delta and disappointed parents and kids, we finally are in California! I sit in our hotel room, by my watch its 4am and can't believe that we are here.

Flight was fine-rental is even better. We'd reserved a Dodge Magnum, but ended up with a Charger instead. It's nice, rides great.

It's been a very long day, but the midnight snack (well, local time anyway) was In and Out Double Doubles. OMG, these are the best chain burger ever. The fries are delish, too. Only thing that could have made the meal better was a frosty brew.

Tomorrow: Legoland. Signing off from the land of fruits and nuts...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Four days to go!

It's a go. We are FINALLY taking our trip to California. When this was first planned, I was an ASM with Disney Store and we'd get into Disneyland for free. Alas, we'll be paying A LOT to go now, but WE'RE GOING!!!! This morning's agenda is to find cheap rental car, but I think I've got that covered. Next up, figuring out how much it's going to cost to get to the airport. Our airport charges 11 bucks a day for parking, let's see if we can get four of us to the airport and back for less than 100 bucks.

Three reschedules thanks in part to the DM who approved the vacation, then was beholden to the new ASM at my store who said 'he couldn't work without me'. If that hadn't happened, we would have seen the park Walt walked in 18 months ago.

The car still smells like epoxy. I think I need to put an air freshener in it while we're out of town.

Florida primaries yesterday. Fortunately, one of the morons running for governor was creamed. Hmmm, ad campaign? Preserving marriage as between a man and a woman, and removing 'adult' billboards from our roadways. Hello? Is there a brain in there? Floridians have bigger issues, such as the way homeowner's insurance has doubled in a year and the state's education ranking.

Scary Medusa Woman (SMW), otherwise known as Kathryn Harris, was told by the Republican party that she would not receive their support and ran anyway. SMW won the Republican primary-please pray for us. This woman is SCARY. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, think dangling chads.

I sure miss being around the Beltway. At least the politicians there had a clue.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Grrrr!

Lots to be annoyed about, let's see what you think.

First up, I paid the phone/cable/internet bill online on August 3rd. All of the info is saved into my online profile, so I know it's correct. Funds were in the account (with plenty to spare at that time). I get a confirmation email that they received the payment, but they never deduct it from my account. This week, internet is shut off-they say they never received payment. I look it up (love online banking) and see that they never took the money. Hmmmm.

I call and spend two hours in hold hell, transferred to another person hell, getting people who don't understand why I got transferred to them hell and then back to the original department hell. I spend 1.5 hours on the phone, only to get disconnected. Call back and start over. I vent my spleen at the first person, then apologize. I'm transferred AGAIN, and I tell that woman from the get go why I'm being such a bitcch. She's good, she takes my cell number first and promises that she'll call back if we get disconnected. Then, when she realizes that she would have to put me on hold, tells me to hang up. She calls back in 20 minutes and gets service restored in an hour.

So after this, I'm not so happy about being on hold, but it happens again with my mortgage company. If I hear two bars of their crappy hold music again, I promise you that I will go off the deep end. Thirty minutes of looping yesterday. I know I was looped and 'dinked' by the rep that may have gotten my call because the message cycle started over THREE times. GRRRRR. Calgon, take me away.

And I am writing this from the dealer. Why? After two weeks with my car, the float in the gas tank had been stuck, indicating I was between 1/4 and 1/3 tank even though I'd driven 150 miles. Last Monday, they 'fixed' it-now I'm being told my tank is full even though I've driven 225 miles. While it'd be very nice to have an always full gas tank, I doubt that it is even close to full. The corker on that one was that I got my car back and it reeked of gas. Still does, 10 days later.

The Service Advisor feels really bad that he's seen me so much. The car is being detailed along with the repair today. He should-the tech gave him my car with the windows down, AC full blast and sunroof open. That should have been a clue that someone goofed.

Can vacation get here already?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Update

Seems I have a back door in, so I'm taking advantage of it. I can't get to the dashboard, but I'm not worrying about it .

The car: The dealer had it for two weeks. The check engine light came on after changing out myriad fuses. Ultimately, the gas tank and evaporator cylinder were replaced. I got the car back and returned the Nissan (still don't like them). The SA told me they filled the tank, but when I started up the car, it said 1/3 full. Hmmmm. I drive it for three days and the gas gauge barely moves, even with me driving 150 miles. We fill it-and it only takes 4 gallons.

Back to the dealer, where the float for the gas tank is replaced. When I got the car after spending two weeks at the dealer, it had the shop smell. Now, it reeks of gasoline. Ew.

The kids: We started scouting off with a bang. At the first meeting, we were invited to a picnic that Saturday. Ed and the boys went and won tickets to a ball game the next day. Sunday was spent at the ballpark. It was fun and we had to promise younger a return trip to catch a foul ball.

Work: business is picking up now that the kids are back to school. This is good, as most of my salary is determined by sales. :) However, now that projections have Ernesto making a beeline towards Tampa Bay, I think business is going to suffer.

Ed's Mom and sister left for their cruise yesterday. Yes, with a storm brewing in the gulf. I have a feeling the ship won't make it to most of the destinations this trip.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fargin blogger!

I haven't neglected the blog, more like Blogger hasn't allowed me to post!

They seem to have a glitch in the system. I'd decided to add a blog for Ed and I to post opinions of wines we've tasted and food critiques. The first 'name' I chose was shot down-try again. So I did, and surprise, I found two blogs with the two names I chose. hmmm.

Ever since, I haven't been able to access. I get the darn 'unknown error' message. Blogger sent a list of not so helpful links that don't quite address my issue (nor is it a *known* problem).

I did blog an entry into Word two weeks ago, and if this is successful, I'll post that shortly. It's mighty frustrating to not have my writing outlet.

Meanwhile, let me see if I can delete the rogue (possibly duplicate) blog address and post *something* to this thing!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

trying to access this sucks

Well, Blogger appears to be unable to allow a user to have multiple blogs. I haven't been able to sign in since I created the second blog. I keep getting error messages when I try.

Cutting and pasting the blog entry that I had to write in word:

Blogger’s down. I’ve been trying to blog for a week with no success.

Added a blog, which Ed and I will team on. It’s called yum, and you can find it at www.wineiacs.blogspot.com. So far, it’s only got the first post because of the blogger issues and Ed’s not on it-but that will change.

Car is in the shop-again. Got it back and within 24 hours, the check engine light was on. I called the dealer and brought it back the next morning. Friday, still not fixed and the service advisor and I talked in the afternoon. Luis said it’s just a sensor, it will be fine to drive up to Jacksonville. Well, sometime between that conversation and Ed coming to get me to take me over there, Luis appealed to the boss to get me a rental-stating that if it were his car, he wouldn’t make the trip.

I got a call back, head over to Enterprise for the rental car. We drove that up to Jacksonville-and I still have it. Nissan Altima-yuck, but better than the original choices of a Hyundai or a Toyota Corolla. I heard another customer getting a PT Cruiser-I’d have liked that one.

The trip to Jacksonville was brief, but productive. We helped Donna with various computer stuff, went out to dinner at Fridays and had some unwanted excitement with a step that fell off her stairs as we were walking down them! Then we stayed over and left around dinner time Sunday.

The trip back was good. The month before last, we’d had an item on our menu that called for pesto. Every time I worked in that station, I’d start jonesing for Pizzeria Uno’s 4 cheese pizza. Alas, the nearest one to us is Orlando-and the nearest to Donna is Daytona. Inspiration struck when we were traveling I4, and we were sated with Pizza Skins and that yummy 4 Cheese!

This week has been work work work for me. My assistant is on a well deserved vacation, and I don’t have a keyholder-yet. So, I’m pulling all the hours we’re open this week. Today is a vegging day, since I don’t have to be there for another hour.


Since the post, I worked another three days and now have three days off. Woohoo. Sputnik's still at the dealership.


If you're on Blogger and try to add a blog-MAKE A NEW ACCOUNT. Ed backdoored into this one and the only way to delete one is to delete them all. Not likely. I think I've got to contact them to do it.


Monday, July 31, 2006

The car, part two

Here I am, at the dealership. Love the WiFi access, makes the wait tolerable.

So, when last I reported, the appointment was made to bring the car in this morning. I went out to the car, loaded the kids and my junk in and turned the key. clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick. Oh, crud.

Call the dealer, then call Roadside Assistance-the towing company was the weak link here. They were called at 10:15, VW called me back to say 1.5 hours. Fifteen minutes past the appointed time, VW calls back. They call the tow company, who says 15 more minutes. VW calls me back at 15 minutes-more like 30. The driver told me he'd only had one tow all morning. Scratch them off the thank you card list.

Now I know it's gotta be a warranty repair! Phew!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Da Car

I though I'd blogged about the car. Two weeks ago, I went into the store on my day off to do some organizing. Ed and I walked out to get lunch and we discovered a SCREW (no, a nail's not enough) in one of my tires. Off to VW to get it replaced. If you live in these parts, you *MUST* get the tire warranty with a new car, it is sooooo worth it. This is the third time a nail/screw has been in a tire in two years.

Weeeeeellll, I decided it was time for a tune up, so I told our intrepid service advisor to go ahead. Not cheap, but it's especially important in times of high gas prices to not suck up more of the liquid gold than neccessary. Alas, I got a call that the rest of my tires were at 3/32" and I should replace them, too. (See above about tire warranty-this is the tire shredding part of the state). Total spent on the car was almost a grand.

So I got myself tires for my birthday.

Apparently, the car likes attention from the dealer. The check engine light came on yesterday-cross your fingers that it's warranty type repair in my future. Back to VW on Monday. At least this time I'll remember all the little annoyances that need to be fixed that are still under warranty.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The big 40

Hello, from the decade that starts with 4. Everyone makes such a big deal about it, but I still feel like I'm in my 20's. Without the drama.

The milestone birthdays usually incite a person to take stock of their life. I suppose that's why this one isn't a big deal. It's because I've got two reasonably healthy kids, a good husband (good at driving me crazy most of the time-but I knew that going in, lol), a job I enjoy, a nice house and a car to drive. I live far away from the annoying relations, but too far away from the sister and her family that I'd prefer live in the next town.

I guess that means I'm in good shape for the next milestone birthday. I need to get some traveling in before then!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

1-20-09

Saw a woman wearing a black t-shirt today with that date across it. Knowing that Tampa will be hosting the Super Bowl in '09, I asked if the shirt is to recognize that event.

Nope, she said. It's to remind herself that the world will be free of George Bush on that day.

Too funny!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Curve balls

Well, I thought that we'd be giving day care two weeks notice yesterday. Once the kids start school, we'd be able to juggle the work schedules such that care was no longer needed. However, an event occurred that brought her to the decision to surrender her license. While I understand the reason, it still is sad to see her no longer in the business. She revolved herself, her homes and her free time around making sure she had everything for 'her kids'.

Mom's been on my mind a lot lately. Some days, the hurt is really fresh (and a comment on the DIS today just drove it home, but in a good way). Others, I just can smile at something that reminds me of her. She's making her presence known here and there-what I would love for a private audience with John Edward. I know that she'd be telling him lots of stuff!

Little man's had the extended birthday. He got his present on the actual day (Thursday), Carvel cake tonight and spending the day at Sea World tomorrow. As for me, I've bought myself my own 40th present-tires for the car. Woohoo! You all know how pragmatic I can be, but this is NOT what I thought I'd be getting. To make myself feel better, I made a wish list on Amazon-virtual shopping was just the ticket to bring me out of the "God, I'm such a loser" funk.

In a bit of funny news, Ed answered the front door yesterday to find Verizon there. They wanted to know if we'd be interested in getting FIOS. Uh, we've had it for a month!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yes, I've been busy

A friend IMed yesterday and commented that I haven't updated lately, so here's the quick version of the past two weeks:

The weekend of the 4th was spent in the company of Donna (yay!) and she is now graced with a laptop. We just need to head up to her neck of the woods sometime soon to finesse some stuff.

It was great having three days in a row off, but I spent the next four working 56 hours, including two 16 1/2 hour days. TIRED does not even begin to cover it. Boss lady says no more stretches, so after this week's schedule, they're over, woohoo!

This past Sunday marked the anniversary of Nancy's passing. The clan spent the day together at the zoo-felt right to do something together.

Little man's b'day is today. This is the first year he's really going on the countdown. Other news: probability that he's got an issue with colorblindness. Same as my dad, trouble with brown. We'll get that evaluated soon.

New meds for bigger kid. Cross your fingers, it seems to be helping him a bit. Back to the doctors later today.

Sea World Sunday: birthday boy's choice. Originally, he had wanted to share the b'day celebrations and complained that I should have had him on my birthday. I think it sunk in that two celebrations means two cakes-he's changed his mind!

Was that update enough?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

We have liftoff...

For the first time, I witnessed a shuttle launch without watching it on TV. Kennedy Space Center is 120 miles northeast of us.

We stood in the back yard and watched the speck on the perfectly blue sky until it disappeared into the blue. All that could be seen within 15 seconds was the contrail marking where it had been.

Wow.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Channelling Bob Pucci

Who is Bob Pucci? He was the marketing teacher in my high school. He also is/was extremely short-shorter than me. The man wore shoes with 4" lifts every day (and polyester disco type shirts, long after disco died).

Well, I picked up my orthotics Thursday and put them in my shoes. Instantly, I was more than an inch taller and thought to myself "this must be what Bob Pucci felt like". You know, you're in the kichen, getting something out of a drawer, and things are lower than you remember.

Can you imagine being a guy who is shorter than me?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pixar does it again

We went to see Cars today. Pixar is a refreshing company, in that each movie they do, they challenge themselves to break down another wall in animation.

This time, they animated landscapes that looked like they had been filmed. It was easy to lose oneself in the notion that it'd been filmed in the buttes out west (a la Dinosaur, the Disney CG/film blend movie from 2000). Nope.

Storyline was similar to another movie in the 80's, but done with a fresh spin. There was plenty of humor for adults and kids, too. If you're a pixar fan, keep your eyes open for lots of visuals that harken to previous films.

The credits succeeded in making me tear up. The movie was dedicated to Joe Ranft, one of the innovators of Pixar who died in a car wreck last year. Apropos, as this was their best movie yet.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Plantar Fascist

The foot hurts again. Bad. It must be the granite floors at work, easily the hardest substance I've spent time standing on.

I'm finally picking up the orthotics that I was fitted for the beginning of March. I'll say one thing for the Crocs, they definitely worked. However in the war of flooring, the score now stands Granite 1, Crocs 0.

Father's days and phone calls

So, father's day I called my stepdad. We had a nice, but brief phone conversation. It's always a trip to talk to him-we have very different views on life, yet we find a lot of common ground.

Monday morning, my phone rings. It's my stepdad. "Did you call me?" Yeah, last night. "Oh, I was outside and when I came back in, the caller id was blinking". We ended up talking for a half an hour, mainly about the new job (me) and the house cleaning and preparations to eventually move (him).

It hit me today that this seems to happen every time I call him-I get a call the next day and then we have the *real* conversations that go beyond the pleasantries.

We moved down here, with the thought that we didn't want to live so close to Mom and Bill, to give all of us space. Now I feel bad that he's by himself and we're 45 minutes away. It's just a little too far out of his comfort zone to drive and our hectic schedule always interferes in getting over there.

I need to work on that. Hey, at least I figured out the phone call thing! :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ponderings on the Electoral College

I know, you're expecting an update of the busy week that has passed. Instead, we consider the Electoral College. What can I say, a phone conversation last night made me think that we should send the Electoral College to Iraq.

Do you think the wonks in Washington might take what's happening over there seriously if their butts were on the line?

Then we wondered what the admission policies were? How do you get in? Is it a party school?

What kind of degree do you get? I ventured Stupidity (since the college has no real correllation to the popular vote). Ed says one gets a Vestigial degree.

How many years does it take to get a degree from the Electoral College if you only convene once every four years?

(Yes, I am officially out of the loop here....Florida is not a bastion of political awareness, folks)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Alberto

The first named storm of the season was greeted in the Suzanne household with relief. We haven't had much rain since early February (I think a total of .75 inches total accumulation). The state has been hammered with forest fires. It had been just too damn dry.

My elation at rain (if you could call it that) has turned to annoyance. The refrigeration guys were to work on the fridge and freezer at the store today. Our compressors are on the roof. The roof that is getting a good, steady rain. So much for the refrigeration guys working on the units today or tomorrow!

So yay rain, boo rain!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What a busy week!

The recap of my busy week:

Monday: finish calling all the people on our waiting lists. Play with website by placing the June and July sessions on our calendar.

Tuesday: Go to the local job development office to place an order for dishwashers. God, I wish it were that easy! We now appear on their website and hope for the best. Tomorrow's to do list includes scouring the local restaurants to see if they've got anyone looking for more hours that they can't provide.

Wednesday: FIOS! Fielded lots of calls for work, and felt like reservations east. So it wasn't a day at work, but I did work throughout the day. Kinda removed the guilt that I was taking a day during crunch time!

Thursday: We assembled shelving units at the store and did a lot of cleaning. By the end of the day, things started to look like something resembling our other location.

Friday: A very looooooong day. cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more. At the end of the (12 hour) day, we looked like a business that's about to open. Had employees come in and bust their tails and rewarded the effort with pizza.

Saturday: After yesterday, I didn't think there was much else to do. Wrong. Spent the better part of seven hours unpacking utensils. :) One employee came in and mopped and scrubbed the floor. She said she couldn't tell that it'd been done, but it went from dull looking granite to granite with a satiny sheen. Now we're really ready for the tweaking and perhaps the food can come in on Tuesday.

Other fun stuff:
Older son's doctor's appointment was Thursday. We're going to change meds as soon as the insurance takes effect. He was going to summer school with us under the assumption that he was going to learn life skills (cooking, primarily). It was an academic program (read:remedial) which makes no sense for a 10 year old functioning on an 11th grade level. We took him out.

SIL decided to buy an inflatapool. I think it's a great idea. She's got a bum hip that made her decide to buy an ECV. My opinion (not that it matters) is that sitting in a chair is going to make the hip worse and it will be a viscious cycle. I'd mentioned getting a Y membership when they'd moved here for an aquasize class. Instead, she's got the pool in the yard. (I think it's so she can be in the pool and bird watch)

The kids are quite fascinated with the pool, Ed thinks it's a bribe to get us over there more often. He spent the afternoon getting the thing situated and I got to have some of the reward-BBQ! Woohoo! The kids got to play in an 18" deep pool-filling with a garden hose is a SLOW proposition. Did I say it was slow?

Today's plans are different from what I'd envisioned. I thought some clean up and prep to make younger son's old room into an office-suppose that will happen sometime this week. A little pool time never hurt anybody, did it?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Delivery day!

Today's jam packed with stuff, though the majority is not work related.

Haverty's was to make their third attempt on the table. The first two were damaged, and the third time was the charm. We now have a closed table in the dining room, rather than the 6x6 fully opened table. It arrived at 7:40 (window was 8:15-11:15)

Verizon called yesterday to bump up their window. I only got it as a message, so they called again this morning at 8:30. Could they come early? Heck, yeah! Tech got here around 9:30. I made the decision to make the guy's life easier. The original plan called for cable in son's room, I decided that instead we'd use the coax jack in the master bedroom. I'm not one for TV in the bedroom-but this prevents older son from sneaking into his brother's room at 4am for some cartoons. He wouldn't dare do that in our room, and we can hear anything going on in the living room from our room. Shut down that possibility.

Now that we've decided this, I can now move furniture into younger son's new bedroom. Ed finished painting last night. It looks real good.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Woohoo!

I spent most of today scheduling my store calendar for June and July. It's something of a rush to go check out the website and see people have made reservations.

Tomorrow is the calm before the storm, unless our shelving has shown up. Then I'll have the task of assembling shelves, retail units, the reception desk. It'll be just like working at Monkey Wards and putting all the computer desks together.

I spoke with the client that scheduled the very first private party on opening day. We joked that we need to have some champagne. I agreed, so damn it, I'm bringing champagne! :D I'm thinking a nice Mimosa or Bellini cocktail for the first people!

Adrenaline is my friend right now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

My, how the emails pile up

I'm in the beginning of a very time consuming task. My company email is currently web based. Call me crazy, but I prefer the web based accounts and abhor MS Outlook (great way to get viruses, imho).

The new website has email integrated, so we're dumping the other email provider (we like them, but the developers for the new site include hosting and email). Well, that means I need to port the mail over and sort through all the stuff I was too lazy to file appropriately as soon as they'd been read. Plus with the store opening just around the corner, I need to email all those people who emailed us with "when are you opening?" questions.

I've been on the system since April 3rd and I have a scary amount of emails already. The current web host for the email is pretty good-I can toggle the whole page of messages and then get a digest form of all the mail. Saves me sifting through 325 emails, one by one.

It'd be nice to sit on the lanai and do this on the laptop, but the power cable gave up the ghost. I'm relegated to buying it online. The big aftermarket company (Targus) seems to have skipped over the HP series I own. So, here I am on the desktop. I almost feel like I've been sent to my room to work on a term paper. I mentioned this to Ed and he said I can't leave my room until I read all my email.

Crunch time

Okay, so you don't get any phone calls, the next few weeks, if I don't get you while I'm driving in my car, I won't talk to you. Don't take it personally. Well, if you want to take it personally, go ahead. (Heck, I've done a lot of that the past week myself)

We open in two weeks. Staffing is moving along nicely, I've been extremely fortunate that some incredible people have applied. We'll have a very good blend-students, retirees, a teacher. My challenge is to find dishwashers. One thing in our favor is that we pay much better than many other businesses in our area. Then you add in the employee perks and it makes for some very happy people. (I love staffing and scheduling, so I'm in my glory right now)

I want to post a picture of my 'executive desk' and may do so tomorrow. I'm using a 5 gallon paint bucket for the laptop, another for my planner and sitting in a seat taken out of the boss's Toyota minivan. Nothing but the best!

Life would be a lot easier if we'd ported over to the new webpages. Currently, the back end is only accessible at the store. New system is hosted and can be accessed anywhere. Fortunately, it *will* be functional by the time the store is open for business. Unfortunately, all the stuff I am now doing HAS to be entered onto the old system, so the guests can access their info.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Anticipation

I had a three day weekend. In my previous life in retail, they were as rare as gold to come by. Yes, I did get six holidays a year, but frequently that involved working the Sunday or Monday of the weekend, sometimes all three days. I'd get the extra days off while Ed was working and kids were in school. Such is the world of management.

So I greatly anticipated this past weekend. Three glorious days off-friends down from NY, others from New Jersey, possibly activities to do.

We did see the friends from NY on Saturday, but the rest of the weekend? Totally and utterly wasted. I did get a call from the NJ friends, however, I knew that inflicting my pissy mood that inspired the previous post on them would *not* be a good idea. We stayed home.

Donna was in the same boat. We'd invited her down, she had a friend talk of coming up there, so we took a raincheck. They had dinner together Saturday night, and that was the extent of her companionship for the three day weekend.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Life

In life, friendships seem to change and evolve. Some people grow closer as events happen, some drift apart.

I've been fortunate to have a core group of friends for around twenty years now. A few of these friends have been around since my gawky, gangly teenage days, some from college and some were assimilated from work.

As we've gotten older, life events have changed the relationships. Ed and I were the first to have kids, so we weren't as 'pick up and go'. Other friends have caught up on the child front, my sister as well, and those relationships seemed to grow stronger because we'd already walked a mile in those shoes.

Some friends call more, some call less. One right now has a chaotic work and test schedule, so I make the effort to call her, knowing full well that times will change and she'll pick up the phone more often when life allows. In some cases, I get the lightbulb moment that I never get phone calls-I'm the one doing all the calling and there isn't a single reason for it.

Another thing that weighs on my mind right now is that I get so little time with my family, that when I'm not working, I want to spend time with them.

It is what it is-I'm a realist. That said, it doesn't change the fact that I'm bothered by the whole thing. Guess it boils down to accepting that I am part of a package deal.

I'm guilty of this myself, so that's probably why it bothers me. My closest friend in high school has very little in common with me-hasn't for years. She came from a family with money and didn't have to work. If I wanted anything in life, I had to work for it.

I'm happy about that part-because the best friend from my teens is going to be 40 and has yet to find her purpose in life or anything that brings her personal satisfaction on a basic level. I don't have money, but I've got a family, a house and a job that I enjoy.

I walk through life a pretty happy person, but damn, some things shake it up pretty bad some days...

Ikea is coming, Ikea is coming!

Friends are at WDW this week, and we went over to property again for dinner last night.

During the dinner conversation, we discovered that there was news this week that Ikea is coming to Orlando. Woohoo! Easy access to I4, too.

Okay, one down. Do you think maybe Wegmans can be convinced that Florida stores would go over well? :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fluff and stuff, or I bought People magazine again

I admit it, I am a People magazine addict. It's my guilty pleasure-junk food for the brain.

Now that I've perused most of it (it's probably good for an hour's reading time), I ask:

Where is the picture of Tom and Katie's baby? I don't think she really exists-and why did they name her after a Lemur in Disney's Dinosaur?

Do they still produce celebrity Death Match? It'd be kinda funny to see Denise Richards get clobbered by Heather Locklear!

Is Chris Knight marrying the girl who was swooning for him on "The Surreal Life"?

Is Star Jones whatsherface off the View or not? I've only seen this show in doctor's office waiting rooms and found the woman to be unbelievably annoying and full of herself. I thought she was kicked out because Rosie was joining, but People says she *may* be out. LOL

You all know how little tv I actually choose to watch, so I find it weird that this stuff is so fascinating. That said, I'm glad the guy from American Idol got the lead singer job with Fuel-who wants to sing stuff like "A Moment Like This" and sound like they got songs Whitney Houston passed on in the 80s?

Heavy thinking, huh?

Monday, May 22, 2006

The sidebar stuff...

So, the sidebar thingies? The quiz results?

I added them a WEEK ago and they did not show up. Now, I have blogged three times and they finally appear.

Weird.

This Sunday thing...

It's very cool having every Sunday off. We get to actually DO stuff, instead of trying to figure out "well, it's *supposed* to be my weekend off, but we've got a floor move, so whatever we do has to be finished by 5pm" type garbage. Sometimes, this mean we will do positively jack, but at least I was off for it.

Yesterday was good. Bagels, then a Costco run. We needed detergent and minced garlic. This house would cease to function without the minced garlic and the 32 oz jar? It probably lasts two months. The 4 oz jars from the supermarket wouldn't make it a week with the way we use it, lol.

Then we headed over to the inlaws and Ed installed a video card. It was nice to veg for a while.

Finally, friends drove down to WDW from NY and we went over and met with them. We had a nice evening together, and made plans to go back over before they leave on Sunday.

Poor Ed was not thinking and had a couple of bowls of chili at dinner. I'm sure he's having fun
today at work!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Haverty's

We bought a table last year that I went gaga over. Ed will be the first to tell you, I do not go nuts over furniture. I've got my likes, my dislikes (half the time, they're the polar opposite of my other half) and the "eew, you want THAT in your house".

Last winter, we'd gone to several furniture stores. The saleslady at Haverty's, Jean, led us through the entire store. She listened to what we wanted and showed us this great Arts and Crafts inspired dining room suite (sweet, not suit-grrr Hagerstown flashback there). Then she took us clear across the store to another set they'd just received. She was never pushy and was great at finding what we said we wanted.

I went gaga. I started GUSHING about a piece of furniture. It's counter height and has a parquet style inlay, Arts and Crafts feel to it. I had to have it. We subsequently joined Direct Buy and I said I was still buying that table. I wanted one that would seat 8, because the possibility existed that we'd have both families over at the same time.

In April '05, I went and bought the table to be delivered the day we were to close on the house. Mom was here with me when the table arrived-it was the first piece of furniture in the house. Mom also spilled coffee on one of the seats before we'd owned it an hour, but I was planning on covering the cushions anyway. Funny rememberance-she was mortified and I was laughing-that was exactly WHY I wanted to change the cushions from cream colored!

Christmas came, and we opened the rectangular table into the big square. We left it that way. It stayed open for a very long time. Then, in early March, we got the idea that we'd like to close it down to the smaller size. Uhhhh, we have a problem. The leaf touched the floor. Not good.

I called Haverty's, expecting to pay for a repair. Nope, they sent a technician out and he determined that a retaining clip was never installed on our table. He said he'd order one and I was to call them when I got it, so they could fix it.

Two weeks later, no part. Three weeks pass, they call me to find out why I haven't scheduled. Four weeks-I call them and ask where the part is.

Last week, they called me and told me the part had been discontinued. Oh no! I LOVE this table. Their solution is to bring us a brand new one. I was allowed to choose which day, and Wednesday was the not scheduled 'in store' day, so that's the day I picked.

They got here (I was across the street at the school) right on the dot of the 11:15 to 2:15 window. Delivery driver finds my note on the door and decides to unload the table to save some time. He found a leg had shifted in transit and had a crack-so they loaded up and left. I saw the truck leaving my neighborhood and panicked.

I called Haverty's and they apologized-told me of the break and that we'd reschedule 'at my convenience' next week.

They've been impressive all around. Ed keeps asking if they'll let us keep our broken table. In a way, I think I understand why. We've had some great memories around that piece of furniture already. Now I wish I'd asked them to drop off the clip from their broken table they were bringing back, so I could keep this one.

Happy news for friends

About a year ago or so, a very good friend (who reads this, btw) started in with "I want another one", as in she wanted to have her third child. Me, with my thoughts that kids should not outnumber the parental units, did all that I could to talk her out of it.

Then someone came up with a philosophical question about the issue of "should we have another?" that I thought was pretty astute. Look around the dinner table at your brood and ask yourself if someone is missing. So, I passed this nugget of wisdom on. For me, the table seems fine.

Apparently that question may have helped them in their decision-she's expecting number three! I'm very happy that they made their decision, very happy I'm done (lol) and looking forward to seeing another cute kid. Her son is adorable and contributed to the baby lust by being so cute.

The auto dealerships are going to start salivating when they see them coming-two kids in tow and an obviously pregnant woman! Prepare for that!!

I'll be honest, they'd changed their trip to WDW from December and I didn't give it a second thought. If pressed, I'd think it was Mickey withdrawal that caused them to move up the trip.

(psst, I think part of it was giving each sister a chance at a Godchild!)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Thanks, Mom!

I miss my Mom a lot. It's not something I talk about, but she's there in my head, every day. In honor of Mother's day, I'm going to do what Mom would. Celebrate the positive, instead of dwelling on the sad.

Thanks, Mom:
-for fueling my Nancy Drew addiction
-for keeping the Newsday subscription when I was the only one reading the paper every day (4th grade news junkie)
-for being an example of grace under pressure
-for keeping a smile on your face and a song in your heart when others would have been reduced to curling up in a ball and crying.
-for celebrating the little things and the big things
-for making holidays important
-for Monday night dinners (everything in our house was celebrated on Monday)
-for waking us up at 5am on July 3, 1976 to take us down to Jones Beach to see the ships sailing in for Operation Sail
-for all the trips to "Row Row" (Nunleys)
-for the evenings down at the pool and the Carvel runs on the way home
-for laughing with us at the house fronted in Yellow bathroom tiles
-for encouraging the kitchen efforts that each of us kids made.
-for making me think I could be the first woman president, if I wanted to
-for making my prom dress
-for not freaking out at the time I spent at the boyfriend's house
-for admitting that you still loved my Dad after he passed away, but that sometimes loving someone doesn't mean you can live with them
-for aways making room for one more at the dinner table
-for the joy you had in being Granny
-for the couple of days twice a year prior to our WDW vacations
-for sharing your home for a month when I moved down ahead of the family
-for the shopping trips
-for the weekly phone call to find out my day off so we could spend it together
-for the 39 years we were on this planet together

I love you, Mom.

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