Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ear Update

Let me start by saying I never in a million years thought I would ever have a blog post titled "Ear Update"!  But, anyhoo, here I am with the title of this post.

Kyle went to school yesterday.  He is not in pain, but his ear is still draining some nasty stuff.  He made it until 11:00 a.m. when he asked his teacher if he could have a bathroom pass to go clean up his ear.  He could feel it draining and wanted to catch it before it went overboard!  One glance from the teacher and it was "Oh No, you can't have a bathroom pass, but you may go to the nurse"!  So, one look from the nurse resulted in a phone call to me of HE CANNOT BE IN SCHOOL.  Her next question?  Have you seen his ear?  I said ummm, yeah.  It looks great. 

I think she thinks I take drugs.

So, off to school I went.  I left with the understanding that Kyle could not return to school until his ear was no longer draining. 

Today we were off to the doctor.  His ear has opened a bit, allowing a peak inside.  All that she could see was a lot of infection and still no view of the ear drum.  This left us with only one choice. 

He has an appointment with the Ear, Nose, Throat doctor on Thursday morning to drain his ear.  Yep, they use an instrument that resembles a tiny straw.  If we do not go through this process, Kyle could remain out of school another two weeks.  And, as much as I know he would thoroughly enjoy his time off, HE HAS TO GO BACK!  I mean really.  I'm having nightmares about homework!

I will keep everyone updated in regards to the infamous ear.  Tomorrow I will be posting a recipe.  It was yummy and I want to share with everyone!  So, come back to visit.  Who knew ear infections could be so interesting?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crazy Amounts of Rain

This past week has been trying in many ways. 

First, was Kyle's ear problem.  I am happy to say, today he was out of bed!  His ear is still very swollen, but is starting to open a bit and drain out some of the nasty stuff.  He goes back to the doctor on Wednesday, but even better than that, he goes back to school on Monday!

Second, has been the insane amount of rain we have had this past week.  Florida is known for it's summer showers.  Usually around 3:30 it starts to cloud up, and by the time everyone gets out of work, we are in the middle of a torrential downpour.  Not this week.  It has been raining all day, every day. 

Monday and Tuesday were especially bad.  Wednesday and Thursday it finally let up during the day, but would still rain at night.  Yesterday however, was CRAZY.

Around 6:00 p.m., the skies turned dark and the rain moved in.  At 7:30 it was over, after raining over 4 inches in that hour and a half.  Don't believe me?  Our friend Mike lives a few streets over.  He texted us this picture when he decided to go tubing. IN HIS DITCH!

Mike floating away

People who don't live in Florida don't understand that it doesn't just rain in Florida.  We get crazy amounts of rain!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Still Sick

Kyle is still at home.  His jaw is bothering him, which is a good sign the infection had spread before we caught it.  School has been contacted and his teachers are all willing to give him another week to complete his work, since doing work right now isn't happening.

On top of all of that, Kyle has most likely lost out on a trip to North Carolina.  He was going to miss school next Friday and leave Thursday night with his Dad.  He is upset, but doesn't want to risk the pressure in his ears from being in the mountains.  Plus, he really can't miss another day of school at this point.

We return to the doctor on Tuesday.  Hopefully the swelling will be down so that they can get a clear look in his ear and tell us what is going on.  The doctor telling him there is a possibility of him losing his hearing in that ear has bothered him.

So, keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3rd day of school

3rd day of school was yesterday.  Kyle was home sick. 

The child has not been sick in I don't know how long, yet he decided this would be a great time.  And not only is he sick, he is VERY sick. 

Last week Kyle was on vacation with his Dad.  He spent many a day at the water park.  Came home complaining that it felt like he had water in his ear.  No biggie, we live in Florida, we swim a lot and get this feeling often.

Yeah, not this time.  Kyle most likely has a perforated ear drum and the mother of all ear infections to go along with it.  It is the nastiest thing I have ever encountered.  And he is in a ton of pain. 

So, here we are on the 4th day of school, and yep, Kyle is still home.  Timing has never been a strong trait of Kyle's. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back To School

I took this photo from my cell phone after dropping Kyle off for his first day of his sophomore year.  It was nasty yesterday.  We received almost 5 inches of rain.  Nice day to send the kiddies back to school!

Kyle has always struggled in school.  It is a known fact.  Known to me, Kyle, his grandparents, the guidance counselors and so on.  I dread the beginning of the year because I know I have to work just as hard as Kyle does. 

Last year was especially tough.  It ended with me meeting with the child study team, guidance counselors and I believe the assistant principal trying to establish a plan for Kyle.  I thought we had a plan for this year. 

Hence the word, thought!

He came home yesterday with his paperwork.  He is in a freshman homeroom, but taking sophomore classes.  Even though there were a few classes he didn't pass last year.  For example, he failed Algebra.  But, he is taking Geometry this year! 

So, I went to school with Kyle this morning.  You stand out in the sea of teenagers all trying to meet with a guidance counselor because their schedules are wrong also.  The lady at the front desk picked me out of the crowd in a heart beat.  And it is not because I'm taller than all of these kids.  Kyle alone is a good 7 inches taller than I am. 

I did receive some answers that I hope turn out to be true by the end of the week.  He should be settled and in the correct classes by then.  Now, all that is left is finding a good tutor for him for the year. 

Is it Christmas break yet?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reminder: Puppies Like To Chew

Jeff and I ran out for lunch today.  All of the dogs stay in our sun room when we go away, Bella is in a cage and the rest just stay back there via a baby gate. 

When we returned, Bella was in our kitchen and the three other dogs were still in the sun room.  Now, it is common knowledge that Bella can jump any fence.  Or climb one for that matter.  What confused us was we could glance back and see that the door to her cage was still locked shut. 

As we went to investigate, this is what we encountered.
Yes, that is the arm of the couch

Guess she felt she needed some more cushioning in the bottom of her cage

The gaping wound

Bella not looking at the camera because she knows she is guilty

We finally realized that if you look back at the first picture, you can see that the links on the top of the cage are not connected.  She must have been pushing and pushing to disengage the links, and scamper through the top of the cage. She most likely escaped through a space about 6 inches.  It couldn't have been easy, and it had to have hurt.  I wish I could have watched the other dogs watching her.

We have adjusted her cage so that she can't do that again.  And moved it away from the couch.  I am now off to look for a slipcover.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Camera? NOT!

I have been wanting a new camera for a while.  (yes, I did get a new one back in March, but that was just a precursor to the model I truly wanted)  I have wanted a Nikon D90, but have been willing to settle for a lower model.  This would also save me over $300.  I want to have the capability of changing out lenses.  I get frustrated when I want to take a photo but you can't get the entire scene in the shot unless you zoom out, and then you've lost what you are looking at to begin with.

But, as always, life gets in the way.  Life this time was our home desk top computer.  So, I kissed my thoughts of a new camera goodbye, and stood staring at our new computer.  I know the computer was needed, the camera wasn't.  I am still in the grieving process.  I have been in the grieving process since Sunday at precisely 1:34 p.m. when I swiped my card for the computer.

In honor of the grieving process I'm wearing black today.  Figured I would skip the black veil, people may look at me like I'm crazy.  Or that I am truly grieving.  Then I would have to tell them that it is in regards to a camera and they would go back to looking at me like I'm crazy. 

I think I will grieve in private.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Joys and "Oh No's" of Soap Making

I made soap this weekend.  Trying to stock up for the Hunsaders Pumpkin Festival in October, and since soap can take 4 to 6 weeks to cure, I am working hard now.

Still working with a few new fragrances, which means, I don't know how it will react when I am in the trenches. 

The first fragrance that I worked with was one called "Blue Man" from Brambleberry.  It is a Men's fragrance that I have to admit, I didn't like in the bottle.  But once it was in the mix and being poured, it smelled wonderful.  The coloring started out as a white, blue and green.  After one day in the mold, this is the result.

The green stayed, the blue turned to grey.  It doesn't look too bad, but I will have to wait and see how it looks tomorrow afternoon.  I didn't have my camera with me when this was first poured.  I wish I could show you the difference! 

The next one was a Pumpkin Brulee with green clay.  Green clay is a wonderful for the skin.  I was excited about this one!  The colors were vibrant and it smelled like you could have eaten it. 

So, again, new fragrance, which caused it to start to set up a little too early.  This causes it not to pour smoothly.  Since that happened, you can see a few cracks in the vein line.  Not good, because with a little pressure, you get this:

And no, it isn't supposed to be 2 bars of soap!

Last, but not least was Sweet Pea and Rhubarb.  And can I just say, "Oh, MY!"  This fragrance is yummy.  This is what it looked like when poured.

Isn't she pretty?

This is what it looked like once cut.

First, let me just say I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  It was dark out and my kitchen takes on a yellow tone.  (It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that my walls are bright yellow!)  You can see in this one that the coral color almost vanished completely. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NY Vacation Photos Part ?

Lost track of our posts from vacation up North in June.  I have had to sprinkle them here and there through the blog as life gets in the way.

In honor of Kyle leaving today to go away with his Dad for a week, here are a few more photos.
On the Subway going to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

My nephew Cohen on the Ferry

Ellis Island

Baggage Exhibit at Ellis Island

Hall where immigrants would stand in line waiting to sign in.  The doors on the second story were the dorm rooms.


View from Ellis Island


Wall of names that came to Ellis Island

Continuation of the Wall

It was a nice trip and would like to do it again next year.  Although, I may have to detour and go to Washington D.C. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bella and Duchess update

Bella decided I needed a kiss while I was sitting on the floor with her last night.  She slobbered all over my lens.  It was time to get it cleaned anyway, I guess.

Here she is giving me a profile shot.  Isn't she a beauty.  I laugh at the baby gate in the background.  We haven't needed a baby gate in forever, but we have 3 strategically placed around the house for the dogs.

And this has to be one of my favorite shots.  Please notice that her hind legs are up to her neck.  She has these long legs that she just doesn't know what to do with.  And how about that tail?  We have a friend who called me and asked when we decided to adopt a baby giraffe.  Bella goes back to the vet today for her final series of heartworm treatements.  30 more days and she should be good to go!

Duchess update:  Duchess is doing well.  She will be on steriods probably for the rest of her life.  Her bronchitis is gone, and the steriods will help keep the inflammation around her heart down for the time being.  The vet was astounded at her bloodwork, that it didn't look like the bloodwork of a 15 yr old dog!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Roxy playing ball

I'm not sure where time has gone, but I know one thing, it's GONE! 

I wanted to post photos of our trip up North when I returned.  Well, that was at the end of June.  Things got crazy after I returned, lost dog, found dog, new dog, etc....

So, I am now going to post a few pictures.  Better late than never!

Some of you may be asking if Kyle has forgotten how to stand up.  For those that don't live in Florida, you just can't understand what it means to be able to sit on the grass. 

Florida grass is awful.  Not only is it awful, you cannot, and I will say it again, CANNOT go barefoot.  Unless you have a special desire to be attacked by fire ants. 

So, in honor of Kyle and the wonderful grass that we were able to sit on, walk barefoot through and play on, this post is for him!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jewelry Store Update

We returned on Sunday to retrieve Jeff's ring.  If you haven't read, the previous post as to our customer service nightmare, you can read it here.  Jeff went in by himself, I just didn't trust myself not to say things I would later regret if the person who waited on us on Friday was there.  So, I sat in the car and Jeff went in alone.

He ended up with the same girl, who greeted him warmly and asked how his weekend went with a smile.  He wanted to tell her it stunk because she ticked off his wife, but decided against it.  He just asked to pick up the ring.  She brought it out to him, handed it over and said "here you go".  Jeff looked at the ring, and then asked her what the jeweler had said in regards to the issues that we had been having and if there was something that could be done.

She stood there looking at him.  (Can you hear the crickets chirping?)  Literally, she stood there looking at him.  (As he was telling me this story I'm thinking maybe she has multiple personalities and forgets which one says what)  Jeff at this point asked for a manager.

The manager spoke with Jeff and took his ring to the jeweler who then discussed options we had to make the ring sturdier.  Once that was accomplished, he informed her of the situation that had occurred on Friday.  She apologized and asked to see me.  Jeff brought her out to the car, where she apologized in person and said that she didn't know what to say in regards to the actions of her employee.  But that a conversation would be had and it would never happen again.  She then took my rings in and had them cleaned and polished in under 5 minutes.

Moral of the story?  I still don't have one yet.  I'm still irritated enough to know that if I was to ever have that woman approach me in that store again, I do not think I would hold back my tongue.  Will I ever buy anything there again?  Not sure of that answer yet either.  Seeing as there isn't a dire need for jewelry in my future, I will probably have a lot of time to ponder that answer.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Jeff and I are at The Wilderness Lodge Villas in Orlando.  I grabbed a glass of wine, Jeff mixed himself a drink and we headed down to the beach.  Well, its a beach on a man made lake that you can't swim in, but the view was relaxing and the weather actually comfortable.  More posts to come, I took pictures of our dinner, which was delicious and presented beautifully.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Customer Service?

Jeff and I headed to Orlando this afternoon.  We had a few points left on our Disney Vacation Club that needed to be used before August 30th, or we would lose them.  The date works, because it coincides with our rings needing to be checked at the jeweler that we bought them from.  Every 6 months we trek to Brandon to make sure all is well.

Out of the 4 times that our rings have needed to be looked at for the warranty, Jeff's ring has had to stay behind to be repaired due to loose stones 3 times.  You may be thinking that is good that they are catching it.  I would feel the same except Jeff only wears his ring on weekends, and then only if we go out, and if he remembers to put it on.  So, his lovely ring mainly sits on the dresser in our bedroom.  The last time we brought them in, which was February, Jeff's ring had to stay behind.  We voiced our dissatisfaction at that time, but moved on.

Today we stopped at the jeweler, who for now will remain unnamed until I can decide how I want to proceed, to have our warranty review.  We walked in, were greeted, gave the sales person our paperwork and rings and told her we needed our rings checked.  She took them and walked away.  3 minutes later, she returned and this is how the conversation went:

Her:  "When do you want to come and pick up your rings?"
Me:  "Oh My God, are you kidding me?" (Not quietly, but not yelling)
Her:  " OH MY GOD, WHY DON'T YOU LET ME FINISH TALKING?" (Much louder than me)

Jeff is standing between us, looking mortified.  Jeff then tried to calm the two of us down, and explained to her that this has happened every single time we come in with this ring.  She then proceeded to praise us for bringing the ring in so that it will be covered under the warranty if we do lose stones. 

Me:  HUH?!

At this point my mind was racing.  Since customer service is a top priority in my job, I could not believe that this woman had said what she did.  I eventually walked away and into the bathroom to cool down.

Jeff continued to talk with her and explain that we were frustrated with the continued problems.  She again apologized but that was just the way it was. Jeff again told her there had to be a defect in the ring.  She offered to see if there was a replacement in the store.  Jeff told her he would appreciate that.  She then excused herself to go look at a computer.  After being gone around 4 minutes she returned and asked what day we would like to pick up his ring after being repaired.

Me:  (only in my thoughts this time)  What happened to looking for another ring?  Am I to assume it isn't an option?  They don't have that ring anymore?  They won't allow an exchange? 

Jeff told her we would pick it up on Sunday.  She then turned to me and asked if I would be leaving mine behind as well to be polished.

Me:  Absolutely NOT.  (I couldn't talk to her at this point to inform her that every time I have brought my ring in for a check up, they have cleaned it and polished it without me having to leave it behind.  I was so angry I thought I would burst)

We left his ring behind and will pick it up on our way home on Sunday.  I'm hoping there will be a manager present to talk to us.  I should be calm enough at that point to speak reasonably.  The sad part is, we rarely enter this store and not buy something else.  We were looking at something when she approached.  She never asked if there was anything else she could do for us, if there was anything we would like to see.

As much as it was her loss, it was the stores even more.  Her behavior has changed my entire outlook on this store, which before this I loved.  This will go down in my thoughts as the customer service lady from HELL.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nothing Interesting

Sorry that there haven't been any posts lately, I seem to have come up against writers block.  That, or maybe my life just hasn't been very interesting lately. 

I have been making soap, getting ready for a large show in October.  It runs for 3 weekends straight, and since it takes 4 to 6 weeks for my soap to cure, I have been trying to get ready now.  Working with a few new fragrances, which has turned out to be interesting.  Some just disappear when the soap is done, others have caused the soap to seize before I can pour it, and others are wicked strong once the soap has set.  Making soap is just a huge science experiment!

On Saturday while attempting to film the windows in the soap shop (to help with the sun beating in), Jeff broke one of the windows.  The boy just doesn't know his own strength!  We are hoping bad things happen in 3's, so Jeff is now done.  Accident with Camper, one.  Equipment stolen, two.  Window broken, three!

The whole week is booked with things that need to be done, things that have to be done and things that should be done.  Next week, the things that should have been done, will probably still need to be done!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Safe Cosmetics Act

I started making handmade soaps, lotions, lip balms, bath bombs and other body products over a year ago.  It has been an outlet for me to express some creativity while having a product that is better for the consumer. 

A bill titled "Safe Cosmetics Act" has been introduced into the house by representatives Schakowsky (D-IL), Markey (D-MA) and Baldwin (D-WI). They say they are issuing this bill to make cosmetics safer with more regulation. 

This regulation would put myself and others like me out of business.  Please support me in saying NO to this bill.  You can oppose the bill here or sign a petition here,

You can also read the following articles on why this isn't good for consumers or small business through any of the following links.
Alabu Skin Care Blog
Soap Queen Blog
Indie Business Blog