Showing posts from January, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bok Tower and Gardens!

In honor of the 80th birthday of their Carillon, the Bok Tower Gardens was offering free admission to all visitors today. Ed lives the Massapequa Motto "If it's free, it's for me" and hey, we both wanted to check it out. This is peak time for blooms on many flowering bushes and plants.

Since there were so many pretty flowers, I played with the close up with Donna's camera. Too bad as soon as I focused, the breeze would start! No, I can't tell you what most of these flowers were, other than they all were very pretty:

When you enter the gates (and normally pay 10 bucks an adult, and 3 bucks per kid 3-12), you pass through orange groves on both sides of the road. These were beautiful trees, with perfect looking fruit. This was taken from the slow moving car, but you get an idea of what we were surrounded by.
The tower is situated on the highest hill in Florida. Our ears didn't pop, it's only 298 feet! This picture looks down below (and towards the g…

In Case I Hadn't Mentioned It

My second Tasty Thursday post is up over at MomDot. It's a little late to help any of you, but I featured some recipes suitable for the Super Bowl: Spinach Dip (the recipe that Jill and I charmed out of our waitress long ago ;) ), Easy Chili and my Mom's Chicken Oreganata. Some of you may have had me serve that as Bread Crumb Chicken, because that's what I'd always say when Mom told me she was serving it.

As is typical for me, once I've written about a recipe, I'm not happy until I have some myself. The Chicken was made last night and the Spinach Dip will probably hit the table tomorrow evening! Also, if you've got requests, feel free to turn them in here or at MomDot.

I have to tell you this, because I'd be a bad bloggy friend if I didn't: If you have not visited MomDot yet, please do. Trisha has crafted a great site that anyone can gain some great information from. On the main page, there is a link for Blog Resources and my word, she has …

You Take The Good, You Take the Bad

You take them both and there you have: Suzanne's life, Suzanne's life!

Lots of good has happened today. It seems that Dad is smiling down on me and Giggles today, the anniversary of his passing. Both of us have had some serious forward momentum in our educational journeys today. Rather fitting, since Dad valued us getting college degrees more than anything.

Then, I got home from some errands and found an envelope from Social Security.


I'm not letting it get me down. Besides, Ed's doing enough of that for both of us-he is royally PISSED. I think it's because he sees how bad it is when I am working and how it is now that I'm not, that I still have major pain from the RSD, but I can live with it better.

Everyone told me it wouldn't be approved the first time around, that I'd probably have to appeal. Hell, I'm hearing stories of people worse off than me who got denied their first time, too. Robin's RSD is much worse and a neighbor ha…

In The Past Twelve Hours

I have:

Competed and filed our Income Taxes (yay, we can pay off the bills!)
Filled out the 2008-2009 FAFSA
Filled out the 2009-2010 FAFSA
Applied to the University of South Florida
Purchased a Transcript from NCC that according to a text message, has already been prepared and is ready to ship to USF.
Left a follow up message for the case worker for the SSDI to see if she needs any more information from me.

Weird note: my Elementary, Middle, Senior and College ALL had my favorite color as a school color. It'll be weird to attend a school that doesn't have Blue!

Yes, I'm really getting on with it and preparing for enrollment in the first summer session as a junior. I have to verify if I have prerequisites as a Psychology major. When I last looked into attending USF, it was to be an Education major. This required 5 courses that I could either CLEP or take before being considered a College of Education student. If there are Psychology pre reqs, I have five PSY classes under my …

Of Sick Laptops

My laptop, she is not well. Seems that sometime last week, it decided that .exe's don't exist. Yet when I went to repair my file types, Windows told me that I did in fact have the missing .exe, even though though it was not visible in the file type listing. Maybe it was shy?

I know my limitations. I can do some serious damage because I *think* I know enough, but when it comes to expensive computer equipment, I stop myself before I have a hard drive crash. That would be bad and I don't want to lose all the stuff that's on this one.

Meanwhile, there is a conundrum, because the .exe is needed to pull everything I need OFF this machine before repairing it. None of the programs will launch without the 'execute' telling it "Hey, you're needed on deck. Hop to it!" The only reason why I can access the web and word is because I'd left an HTML page and a word document on my desktop. Otherwise, I'd be looking at my HP doorstop.

Last night, Ed …

Wordless Wednesday

This is for all my blogging friends, who support my efforts and inspire me every day. Sarah, Jess, Mandy, Saffa, Lotus, Gail, Joyce, Lou,Shannon, Vixen, Mary, Robin, Robin, Loralee, Janet, Neil, Audrey, Jennifer and everyone else, THANK YOU!

(You get cake because CrowdSproutJon said over at MomDot that I should give food as thanks today!

What's For Dinner Wednesday

This year, my challenge to myself is to make our restaurant favorites at home, since we can't afford to go out and get them. That's part of the inspiration for the Gyros from a few weeks ago.

With a picky kid, there isn't really much that we can agree on when it comes to dining out. Typically, when we would go out for Chinese, Gameboy would ask for rice. Just rice. It was a little sad to me and Ed that the child who stole pieces of General Tsao's with szechuan peppers on it off my plate when he was a tyke didn't want anything to do with it or anything else Chinese. Until a few months ago, that is.

Finally, all four of us had one meal that we all enjoyed. Chef Jr will eat just about anything, with his favorite probably being Orange Chicken, but Tsao's is a very close second. Okay, it's time to figure this one out.

A few years ago, I learned how to make it at the meal preparation kitchen and that was a delicious dish-baked, using Panko breadcrumbs. Ala…

The Kindness of Strangers

I don't dwell on the financial hell we're mired in on the blog. I'd rather deal with that depression privately than have everyone asking how we're doing. Especially since I feel like shit for cashing out stocks and savings bonds to cover the basics each month. We've used that all up, and now there is nothing left to draw from.

If we just had our rent and utilities alone, we'd squeak by on my unemployment benefits and Ed's paycheck. Alas, we have Gameboy's medications to purchase each month. His Medicaid got canceled a while back, due to me listening to my boss that I should keep group health coverage on him, along with the Medicaid. I'm here to tell you DON'T DO IT! Alas, when a child receives Medicaid, you don't get an instruction manual, telling you what you can and cannot do. That's why I didn't know you couldn't have both or that you need to file a change of address, even if you move within the state.

So, since Apri…


Since we've moved to Florida, we've entered a world of new produce. Satsumas, Honeybells, Papayas, Mangoes, and Strawberries are all locally grown. However, we're all used to Citrus being available year round, right?

Once you're down here, you learn about the varieties of fruits and their growing seasons. For instance, up north, I came to learn about dozens from the hundreds of apple varieties (my favorites are Winesaps, and the average person has never heard of them.) When you live in an agricultural area, before long, you realize that, like those apples, there is more than just the generic 'strawberry'. There are big ones, little ones, sweeter ones, redder ones. Now, on our fifth winter strawberry season, thanks to following FlStrawberryFst on Twitter, I learned this:

The six patented Florida varieties of strawberries are CARMINE, EARLIBRITE, ROSA LINDA, STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL, SWEET CHARLIE and WINTER DAWN.

And so it is with the citrus varieties. Sure, we&#…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Mary Poppins

I just saw a commercial for the 45th anniversary edition of Mary Poppins. What? No way. I remember when I bought my 40th anniversary CD and DVD and I already lived here in Florida. Oh, wait. June will be 5 years since I moved here. Time really flies.

The CD library here has more than a few soundtracks, and actually has TWO versions of this soundtrack. It's always held a special place in my heart.

In the third grade, one of our elementary school teachers left for maternity leave. She missed the kids so much that she volunteered to direct a play while she was on leave. This was the first school play I was in, and the first school wide production we did.

Initially, I auditioned without singing, but a friend was too nervous to go up by herself, so I went up and we sang "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore." I got a part, she didn't-which made me feel bad. Later that year, she and I had roles in our class play that were pretty much joined at the hip, though.…

.EXE, Where are You?

For some reason, my .EXE extensions aren't recognized by the laptop anymore. This happened sometime between when I logged on yesterday morning and when I got back on last night. My laptop is sick. I still can surf the net, but launch programs? Fat chance. The only reason why I can even access the net is because I saved that HTML link to that job fair to my desktop.

Here's the strange thing: when I search file types, .EXE doesn't show up, but when I go into advanced settings and try to create .EXE, a box comes up. It tells me that .EXE does exist. So, which is it? Is there a secret list of file extensions that I can't see?

I am leery of replacing it until my tech guru comes home from work. It sucks when you know just enough to get by (or get in trouble), but not enough to forge ahead. I don't want to have a spectacular loss of 55 gigs of stuff.

We're off to enjoy the day. I can't write or execute files, so I'll shut this thing down.

Mixing Movie Metaphors

The players:

Chef Jr

The locale:

The car, driving home.

Ed, Gameboy and Chef are talking about Star Wars Characters, centering around Force Unleashed. Chef suspects that one character is the grandfather of Boba Fett. Discussion between Ed and the boys continues as to why.

Ed: Why do you think he's the grandfather?
Chef: He's got the same body armor and is a bounty hunter
Ed: That doesn't mean anything. Besides, he could have bought the armor.
Chef: Where would he buy armor like that?
Gameboy: There aren't any shops on Geonosis.
Ed: Well, he could have taken a vacation at Cloud City.
Chef: Why would he want to do that?
Ed: Well, maybe it reminded him of his home.
Chef: It's not the type of place to vacation, you know?
Suzanne: Maybe it reminded him of his brains, you know, full of air.
Chef: But Cloud City is full of people!
Suzanne: So is Soylent Green.

Not much of a Potty Mouth

According to Cursebird, a Twitter add on, I curse like a bad golfer! Take a look for yourself!

And, for that invisible male member that I keep getting adds to 'enhance', there's the Twick Size. I don't have a very big "Twick" but considering that I don't have the male counterpart, it shouldn't be a surprise. (But Anderson Cooper's Twick will enter the room long before he does!)

Twitter-corrupting people since 2006.

And Now, The Things You Expect To See

When you visit Busch Gardens!

Yesterday, Gameboy had his psychiatrist visit in Tampa. I normally schedule those so that we're back in Lakeland by the time Chef Jr is out of school. However, when I made the appointment, I didn't know that we would have a weekly class nearby at 6pm.

I couldn't see the sense in driving 45 minutes home from the Dr only to head back out two hours later for the class. What's a mom to do? Well, I was a bad one-I pulled Chef Jr out of class for the first time this year and we went to Busch Gardens after we were done with Gameboy's doctor.

Why? Because you can see the freaking roller coasters from his doctor's office and because we don't have to pay for admission, since we already have APs. Oh, and the cooler weather probably meant the park would be lightly traveled.

That was definitely true. Perhaps there were 500-1000 cars in that lot, and we only saw one Brazillian tour group. It was 55 degrees and sunny. Perfect for w…

Another Thing You Don't Expect To See

Brianiac Koalas hanging out in amusement parks.

Apparently, the abysmal economy has affected the Koala population, displacing them from their chosen professions and sent them to Busch Gardens instead.


Click on the picture to see the text that Mr.Koala is engrossed in!

Things You Don't Expect To See

In a Theme Park Bathroom, Part One:

Busch Gardens ranks up there with clean facilities, but this is a little much, don't you think?

(and I've got more for you later)