Showing posts from February, 2008

We'll Take It

After the rollercoaster of sadness and disappointment, it was nice to have a day like yesterday.

Well, not all of it. Princess made me sit in chairs for 45 minutes when all I was there to see Nurse M for is some DUODerm to get me through until Wednesday's appointment. I was quite specific in what I needed, when she told Nurse M why I was there, TOLD HER to grab a couple, but no, she made me sit in chairs-and probably didn't tell anyone I was there.

I suppose it was good that made me late for work, for as I turned out of the hospital parking lot (at a time I would have already been working), I got the call from the realtor. We'll be renting the house. In a few minutes, we're headed over to our bank to get a money order (cheaper than a certified check) and sign the lease. Phew.

Later, when I left the store for my break, I found a message from my contact on the job front. She couldn't find my resume in the system, and asked for my social and the job posting number …

The Punch List

All the things that have to be done before we move:
*Contact the realty to see if we do have the place (cross your fingers-no phone call yet)
*Call movers to price moving the darn heavy armoires and the piano. If there's a minimum time involved, figure out what other pieces they'll move.
*Call TECo, Water, and Verizon to cancel service
*Find out who to call to start electric, water and DSL in Lakeland
*Enroll boys in the new schools. Find out what color polos are dress code(yes, we're going to have dress code now)
*Call State Farm and change from Homeowners to Renters Insurance. Change address with them.
*Get more boxes from work.
*Price Pods and similar type storage to see if it's a better deal than hiring movers.
*Get the Saturn on Craig's List.
*Find a storage facility in Lakeland to store the contents of the garage for a month or so, so that we can use the garage for staging to bring stuff in to the house neatly.
*Find a family practice doctor in Lakeland. Get record…

Tagged again

I've been tagged by Project Mommy, and I am nothing if compliant. BTW, she is a great photographer-I love seeing her pictures!

Without further ado, Crazy Eights!

8 Things I’m passionate about

My husband
My kids
My friends

8 Things I want to do before I die
Travel to Europe
Graduate College
Own a House Again
Watch my boys have successful careers
Have a blog with lots of readers!
Travel to Australia
Visit every Disney park
Get my darn leg healed

8 Things I often say
Thank you
You Rock
Would you please?
Did I ask you to go to bed? No, I told you!
Go to BED!

8 Books I’ve recently or currently reading

Queen of Babble
Anybody Out There?
The City of Gold and Lead
Ain't Mythbehavin'
When he Tripods Came
The Burnt House
Remember Me?
Setting the Table (in progress)

8 Songs I could listen to over and over (just 8?)
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Time and Tide Basia
Take Me As I Am October Project
If You Leave Me Now Chicago
Steppin Out Joe Jackson
It's the En…

Moving Right Along

Yep, another trip to Lakeland. We took a look at the house again, asked our questions and then got the application to rent it. Yes, we can paint, add the rent w/option and no, there's no FIOS-but there is DSL.

We completed the application and dropped it off at the realty office. I'd called my boss while we were on our way to let her know she might get a call. She did, less than five minutes after we left the office. Okay. On the application, they wanted to know where we'd lived for the past three years. Well, we have been in the house 35 months, so they want to contact our landlord from the rental while we were building. The lady that the property manager dumped. The lady who left the house a pigsty for us to move in. She moved to Pennsylvania and apparently is in hiding from more than just us-we never got our security deposit back. (Long story and lousy lawyer involved). I wonder what she'll say if they reach her?

I'm waiting for the call back, because…

Scratching Them Off the List

Last night, Ed got a call back from one of the realtors who managed a property in mom's neighborhood. They set up an appointment for 10am this morning.

What we knew was that it was $100 less a month than the one we looked at the other day, at the cap I'd established for rent. It was smaller than the other house (and the third house up for rent was smaller still). From going to Mom's, we knew that it had been empty for at least six months, possibly a year. The smaller house has been vacant for a couple of months. It is a distinct advantage to look where we are, because we were in there on a regular basis. Heck, most of the neighbors wave when we come in, because they recognize my car.

We meet the realtor in the driveway and before we even walk in the door, she apologizes that we will see a lot of dead roaches. This is not promising and tells me that the house is not getting shown frequently, if at all.

Upon walking in, I like the layout, because it isn't an o…

School choice makes our neighborhood choice

This morning, once Gameboy got on the school bus, we drove once again over to Lakeland. The game plan was to visit the two schools whose attendance area we'd found potential houses. We'd bring Gameboy's IEP and the narrative we wrote to see which school would best be able to meet his needs.

If you're new to my blog, my eldest son has Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. He is also diagnosed with a whole host of other issues that make him a complex student to place. Academically, he's 11th/12th grade level. Emotionally, he's a preschooler. Our narrative tells what challenges Gameboy presents, what motivates him and what will trigger the dreaded meltdowns. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

We had to make a decision. Do we go to the school further away or the one that puts us in the family's neighborhood? I said we should try that one first. We pull into the huge parking lot. The campus is immaculate and only two or three students were…

Take 397 of "I hate my leg"!

Yep, it's another 3am post. I took a soak in the tub (the lovely garden tub that I'll miss a whole bunch) to get all the yuck and dried skin off my feet. Didn't even touch the RSD/CRPS danger zones on the top of the foot and along the ankle and leg.

That didn't make much difference. I've got the friggin 'waaah waaah waaah' throbbing, stinging pain in the ankle right now. So much for using the soak as a way to calm down and get to sleep.

I'm getting really spoiled by BlogHer. I start posting and they fuel my delusions of being a decent writer by putting me on the front page three times. We amateurs get inflated heads when someone likes the writing enough to give it a bit of exposure.

Today should be interesting. My doctor dictated a letter to my district manager about the shoe situation. In the past two days, my pinkie toes have sprouted blisters from the only shoes that I can wear to work. Today, the big toe got one as well, but this one has som…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Soundtrack Sunday started so that I could be the same, only different. Everyone does theme days: I had to start my own. It's the soundtrack of my life. If you want to do the same on your blog, be my guest, because it's fun to write about the music.

Today, I talk about Broadway, baby. It is difficult to live an hour out of NYC and not be bitten by the Broadway bug. For me, the bug bit me hard when I was ten. I saw my first show for my 10th birthday, Doug Henning's "The Magic Show".

That also was the year that Dr. Wheeler, our music teacher, took a well deserved sabbatical. His replacement, Ms. Maynard, was even more energetic than he had been, and that's saying something. Long story short, because it is a long story, I chose to be in chorus instead of art club.

Ms. Maynard chose songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" as our songs for our Winter Concert. For weeks, we practiced "Sunrise, Sunset", "If I Were a Rich Man" "L…

Scrolling Saturdays

Sherman, set the wayback machine for May, 2006, since it is time once again for Scrolling Saturdays!

I am a sucker for People Magazine. It fuels my 'useless trivia queen' status. I don't buy it all the time, but when I do, I read every darn article in the thing! Here's what runs through my brain (and my blog) when I pick up a copy.***

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 onl…

Seek, then seek some more

Yesterday's travels in Lakeland netted us a total of nine houses that looked promising. Now, we are seeking more information. Ed's on one realty's website, while I'm on and between the two, we're locating how much the rent is for almost all of the places on our little list.

Ed went to the county website to see if we have to worry about registered sex offenders nearby. It took one place off the list-there's one just six doors down. I followed up when I got home with looking at the National Sex Offender Registry. I don't want to helicopter my kids and say they can't ride their bikes, and while it is not a perfect word, keeping them away from the known deviants is our job as parents.

Beyond that, we're in a holding pattern on finding a place to live until Monday. First thing Monday morning, we're headed to the two middle schools that Gameboy could potentially attend. It's not just a simple matter of looking at the school's r…

A day later

It's easier to look at our situation after some sleep. No, not a good night's sleep-let's be honest, RSD killed that a long time ago. It's not going to be easy, but it can be done.

First order of business is finding a place and signing a lease by the 1st. We have to be out by the 13th. The woman at the law office has actually been very nice through all the phone calls back and forth, the mortgage company was willing to be flexible on the date. We have to have everything out, but we have to leave anything that is 'installed' behind.

We'd deleted the builder's grade dishwasher to buy a top of the line Maytag. As long as there is one installed, they'll be okay with it. We need to see if Ed's mom wants an awesome dishwasher to replace her builder's grade one. This also means we'll be leaving behind the over the stove microwave. At first, they were saying we had to leave the fridge, but the builder didn't provide it (and we spent…

Foreclosure, a personal story

We've all heard about the astronomical numbers of foreclosures currently clogging our courts. All over the US, people are in dire straights and losing their homes. Folks, count us in those numbers. Today, I'm going to tell you our story to put a face on what is happening everywhere.

When we moved to Florida, we had high hopes. We'd live close to my Mom, I'd continue to work for Disney (albeit at WDW instead of the stores) and we'd have nice jobs. We'd be able to pay all but the tiniest portion of our bills with one salary.

Plans changed a little. My regional director was reluctant to lose me to WDW and asked if I would consider staying with the stores. I expected the district manager to be like the three I'd had in the four years I'd been with the company, so I agreed. This changed where we'd look for a home, but not the plans to move.

We sold our townhouse in Maryland with a nice profit. We found a builder we liked in Lakeland, then found t…

The doctor is in...

Nurse M was under the weather today, so I went to the vascular clinic and saw Dr. J. The last time I saw him, there were two gaping ulcers on my leg that he was worried about. If I recall correctly, he mentioned a hospital stay if they didn't improve soon.

So, today, he got to see the leg at the best it's been since then. The DuoDERM works very well. I have to wear the compression stocking with it nearly 24/7. This is good for the skin regenerating, but not so good for the RSD. You can't have them all, I suppose.

As I hadn't seen Dr. J for a long time, I asked him about the vein graft surgery and whether I was a good candidate. Dr. M (in Hawaii) does well over 100 of these a year with about a 70-80% success rate. He does a few and feels that he cannot do them well-so off to Hawaii he sends patients.

He got a copy of my last Doppler study and I am a good candidate. I have no current clots, no arterial issues and nothing has deteriorated so bad as to prevent the s…

Simple changes net results

It'll be a double post day, I've got a doctor's visit to update.

Those who know me, know I've had issues with my weight for most of my adult life. I was the string bean kid. I could eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce. Alas, that just set me up for poor habits and gaining the freshman fifteen and then some. Oh, I've had periods of time where my weight was acceptable for my height, but the time that it wasn't has been far greater.

I got myself down to a respectable 130 a few times: my wedding the first time around, when the ex left, and until I discovered I was allergic to Nutrasweet. That was the worst, because I just switched from diet soda to regular soda. I gained 50 pounds in 6 months. Then in the move here to Florida, I packed on more weight.

A couple of years ago, though, there was a big change afoot. I started managing a meal prep kitchen. Instead of eating out multiple nights a week, scarfing fast food for one meal a day several…

A Few Hours with Friends, double dose

Yesterday was awesome. We got to spend a few hours with the Joyce and Tim clan over at WDW.

We started our afternoon in Orlando with a nice lunch, then ventured to Downtown Disney, shopping mecca for Disney freaks like us. Gameboy had a leftover Lego gift card that he'd gotten ages ago, so we made the boys happy by picking stuff out. In a bummer move, though, the've got a huge Indiana Jones display but not one set for sale. Sorry guys, I'd pull that sucker into the stockroom. I guess they're gluttons for torture, hearing "where are the Indy sets?" hundreds of times a day.

Of course, Gameboy finally picks some things, but on the way out the door, he sees the Lego Star Wars Complete for the Nintendo DS and decides he wants that instead. Never mind that:
He's got it for the Wii
He's got it for the Gamecube
He's got it for the computer
He's got Lego Star Wars 1 and Lego Star Wars 2 for the Game Boy Advance
there is a version that he DOES NOT have…

Odds and ends

Yep, another night where sleep is elusive. CRPS/RSD is just so much fun. Since I'm up, you get some little things that don't quite merit their own posts.

*The DuoDERM-it's making a difference. Slowly. Nurse M's original thought was that the dressing would stay on for up to a week. However, with my itchy skin, I need to change it every 48 hours or so. It stinks when I take it off (but it is odorless when it goes on.) Cross your fingers.

I do need to get more compression stockings, though. I can't use the DuoDERM without one and over time, my supply of the stockings has dwindled. The 20's got runners in them like the weak crap they were. The 30 to 40 graduated are the best for me, but I've only got two of those. When the tax refund comes in next week, off to the medical supply for a pair of the jobsts.

*Giggles got a Pink Nintendo DS for her birthday. Her hubby saw through the 'I need to get him points" stuff when she was playing her s…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

We're taking a very long walk down memory lane today, I hope you're wearing comfortable shoes!

The beauty of living in the nation's largest television market is that as a kid, I got to see some decent children's programming. Some of what you will see is hopelessly dated, but hey, it was the good stuff at the time.

I mentioned Giggle's yesterday. She was an early bird, getting up at 6:30 in the morning. Not me. However, I can remember many a school morning waking up and finding her plopped in front of the tv, watching the show above. Dig the 70's hairdo on Doug!

Another one that I remember her and Sorta Sister watching is Magic Garden. In fact, Chef Junior earned a Magic Garden nickname as a toddler, he was called the Chuckle Patch. I'll see if I can find a decent video for that, because he laughed just like it.

Carole and Paula never called my name, but I'd watch them just the same. I have to give them major kudos, the songs are stuck in my hea…

Happy Birthday, Giggles!

Today is Giggle's birthday. Since she is so far away, the cake has to just be this virtual one. I know this was your favorite character way back when, so why not a cake with an old friend?
Unlike those dolls of yours, you only get one cake. No Peach Melba, Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin or any of the rest of those other characters for you!

Now, in honor of her birthday, here are a few little snippets into why I call her Giggles:

In the winter of '78, Mother Nature was pissed at Long Island. Three storms in three weeks dumped over 70 inches of snow, when we normally were cursed with freezing rain. An ice storm was thrown into the fray as well, one that resulted in the power at our house being out for three days.

As a result, we kids ended up staying at an older sister's boyfriends house the next town over. We didn't get to see much of Mom, who was staying at a coworker's house near work. Peggy (the sister) was given Mom's car for a couple of days to get us…

Scrolling Saturdays

It is Scrolling Saturday again. Today, we go back to December, 2006. Weddings always make me take stock in the relationships in my life, thus this post:

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 else's. 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 frie…

Pinewood Derby 2008

Chef Junior's car in this year's Pinewood Derby proved that just like in the real world, a Winnebago cannot get out of it's own way! Dead last in each heat.

this,that and the other thing

Those strawberries and red wine were soooooo good last night. I'm about to bring the laptop into work, so I can upload the pictures. Yes, the store still has my all in one on loan. I'm about to call my DM and ask where our new fax machine is.

Speaking of work, this is the first retailer that I've worked for were all managers aren't guaranteed 40 hours. At Disney, as a full time lead, you were guaranteed 32, but everywhere else, it was 40 plus. The past month and a half have been brutal and I'm getting about 30-32 hours a week. Next week, though, I've got 27 hours. That won't work.

Saw Ed's mom today. She's doing well and expects to be out of rehab soon. I hope it's Monday or Tuesday. I think his sister is pointedly avoiding us-if she visits, it's after she knows we have to be home for the kids. That's okay, and it's just fine if she keeps avoiding the blog too. Something about not wanting to read the tough stuff, I suppos…

But will I like it?

Ed shared this tidbit of news with me a few minutes ago:

Starbucks retraining baristas on Feb. 26By Melissa AllisonSeattle Times business reporter Starbucks will close 7,100 stores nationwide for three hours on the evening of Feb. 26 to retrain about 135,000 in-store employees and people who oversee the stores."We will have all new standards for how we create the drinks," said spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil. "They will be trained in creating the perfect shot, steaming the milk and all the pieces that come together in a drink."Some people have speculated that Starbucks will return to manual espresso machines, but O'Neil said the espresso-making equipment will be the same. "It's really about ensuring that the customer experience that we provide is the best that it can be."
My complaint with $tarbuck$ has always been that it tastes burnt. Will this training session change that? If I am craving a jolt of java and the only coffee around is Starbucks, I …

The simple things mean the most

Happy Valentine's day to all! Yes, I know some of you hate it, some of you think of it as a "Hallmark Holiday", but I'm a sap and have always enjoyed it. It's an excuse to eat candy and spend time with the ones you love.

We've had a tradition for most of the past few years. We have a chocolate fondue after a yummy dinner. Well, I had it in my head that I'd be doing this today. My plans included stopping at the supermarket on the way home for some strawberries, heavy cream and a cake like substance to add to the other stuff already at home and ready for the fondue pot.

I got home and tell Ed that I got stuff for fondue. He tells me he's way ahead of me. He leads me to the fridge, where there are some chocolate covered strawberries chilling, along with some chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels. Yum.

It gets better, he also got a card and a box of Godiva and Chef Junior made sure I had a box of my favorite Valentine's day treat, Conversati…

the Fair, food and fun (not neccessarily in that order)

Sunday, after the stressful week we had, we ventured over to the state fair (yes, I am chipping away at that list, thankyouverymuch). I was waiting to write about it until I had pictures to add, but I suppose I can add them tomorrow. I've loaned the all in one to the store temporarily and the Nikon cable is MIA again.

We're veterans of a lot of fairs and carnivals. As a teen, Dad took Giggles and I to the big Kahunas of them all, the World's Fair. Twice. Knoxville in '82 and New Orleans in '84. That '82 World's Fair shirt got this strange kid to pretty much think I was his best friend the next year in HS because we. had. the. same. shirt. from. the. world's. fair. (oy, that was great fun)

In addition to those two major events, we also went to countless festivals, county fairs and the West Virginia State Fair and Maryland State Fair within a week of each other. (West Virginia's was MUCH better-they may be right about that 'almost heaven' thing)…

Me Me Me Meeeeeeee

Grandy posted a little meme the other day that I said I'd use, and then Sarah posted another one today. So, today, you get two memes for the price of one...

First, Grandy's:
Name something you do everyday: Read a dozen or so blogs, visit the DIS.

Name 2 things you wish you could learn: knitting and skiing.

Name 3 things that remind you of your childhood: The beach, American Top 40 (listened to it a LOT) and riding a bicycle

4 things you love to eat but rarely do: Prime Rib, Petit Fours, Italian Ices, Hard Rolls

Name 5 things/people that make you feel good: I'm going with things because I'd have to list a dozen people! Opening a new book, a day off spent with my family, a nice long soak in the tub with a book and a glass of wine, spending the day at Epcot, putting on a pair of pants that were tight last month and loose this month.

Now Sarah's,
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next th…


When I started this thing over two years ago, I never thought about where it would go or what it would become. I heeded a friend's suggestion to write. She'd pointed me towards a blog she had enjoyed reading and got me hooked. "You can do that, you like to write."

I never imagined that I'd have friends in the computer who read it, people I don't even know even! That I'd join other crazy bloggers and promise to write something every day. Or even that I'd have my friends griping that I didn't write often enough for their liking when I would put up a couple of posts a week.

I guess they are getting the last laugh, because it's been over a hundred days since anyone has said "when are you going to write again, anyway?"

Then again, you all might be wishing I shut up! :)

Thanks for reading...I promise there will be many more.

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday: The Soundtrack of Work

This week, the joys of working retail and the soundtrack it provides.

Except for a few jobs, I've lived my life working mostly retail management. As a result, I usually do not have control of what gets played while I'm at work. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly associated when corporate wonks make the music choices (because they don't have to hear it, ha ha)

The Good:
Current Job: Right now, they're on a 70's/80's kick in the DMX disc that is sent to the store. For instance, I went in for a floor move this morning and we had great songs:
Sweet Dreams/Euythmics, Who Needs Love Like That?/Erasure, True Colors/Cyndi Lauper, Love Shack/B52's, Our Lips Are Sealed/GoGos, Video Killed the Radio Star/Buggles, Cars/Gary Numan, '65 Love Affair/Paul Davis and tons of other stuff.
Previous Job: The owners had XM for both stores, so it was safe to assume that if I had customers in the kitchen, I controlled the music. On top of that, I made some mixes on the…

Scrolling Saturdays

I nearly forgot to do my Scrolling Saturday post, but here I am with 8 minutes to spare. (Can you blame me for being a little scattered?).

Once again, I give you Ponderings on the Electoral College. It was originally posted on June 16, 2006, but it seems more fitting in an election year:

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?

Paging Cleopatra, Queen of Denial...

I've been holding things in for months now about an issue, but it's time to talk about it. This is something that has been driving Ed and I crazy (and yes, they are my words, but know that Ed's opinion is the same). This is frank, serious and has not one funny thing about it. If you are not a relative or close friend, feel free to skip this one today.

In the time that we've lived in Florida, we've had one damn issue after another. Last week, Ed's mom had a minor stroke. The good news is that she's okay-some minor issues. She spent a week in the hospital and then was transferred to a rehabilitation facility a couple of days ago.

In her 81 years, until she moved to Florida, the last time she spent the night in a hospital was when Ed was born. Since then, she's on day 14 in two years. Again, she's 81 years old-I'd say that's a pretty darn good average-1 day per 3 years?

As with anyone her age, she's got her problems. Arthritis, a…