Tuesday, November 22, 2011

3 Months

In honor of it being 3 months since my last post...yes, I'm making fun of myself.  I should be ashamed that it has been 3 months since my last post!  It has been a busy 3 months though, so let me explain.

This was every weekend in October:

Yes, it has been that time of year again.  And this year, we did really well at the Pumpkin Festival.  REALLY well.  The second photo of the chocolate scrub, that sold out, and if you took a whiff you would know why.  It is like taking a shower in brownie batter.  It just smells yummy!

This has boosted my confidence to try more shows, which the first one is this weekend.  Followed in 2 weeks by another.  It has also led to invitations to do different shows in February and March, as well as Christmas gift orders rolling in. 

On top of all this, I finally got back into the work force full time.  I know, wrong time of year to do that, but I'm enjoying what I'm doing, so all is well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back To School

Today is Kyle's first day of his Junior year of High School.  Summer went by extremely fast this year!

Now we are back to working with the tutor a few nights a week, staying on top of homework, and now he has a job to work into that equation.  My blood pressure rose a few notches this morning when the alarm went off!

Kyle was up and speaking in complete sentences when I went in to his room this morning.  He almost seemed excited to get back.  I know by Thursday that feeling will have faded, but it was nice to have today!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Get A Job!

I took this photo a few weeks ago, of my son Kyle on his first day of work.  Well, his first day of work for someone other than us.  Kyle has worked his summers with us since he was 14, but alas, we have had to hire full time help and Kyle was left only filling in as needed.

It was time to get a job.  A job that he could work while he is in school.  So, I talked with Michael who owns MJ's restaurant and got Kyle an interview.  The rest was up to him. 

I waited a few weeks to make sure that all is okay before posting this.  He seems to really enjoy working there. Which as adults we know is half the battle, just enjoying what it is you do!

This past week we ventured in for dinner on a night that Kyle was working.  He was in the front of the house, not the kitchen where he had been the past few nights.  Which meant, he cleared our plates, refilled our water glasses and had to clean the crumbs off our table.  MJ's may have just gotten more business from me, if that is what I have to do to be waited on!

And last, a friend of mine is hosting a Blog Hop.  Please check out the link below!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This Past Weekend

This past weekend we headed out of town with some friends.  There were 6 of us all together (all adults!), and we stayed at Kidani Village at Disney.  We used our timeshare points and splurged on a 3 bedroom Villa.  It was sooo worth it!!!  It was our last hoorah before our kids had to go back to school!

Here are some photos of our villa.

Main Living Room. 

Main Living Room looking towards the kitchen

Upstairs loft

Master Bedroom Bathroom (there was a TV on the wall!)

Guest Bedroom #1


The balcony was massive.  It ran the entire length of our villa, and both guestrooms had their own balcony upstairs.  The best part was the view from the balcony!

The animals were constantly walking by.  It was a great location for us to be. 

We spent the day at the pool, which since it was so hot, was the perfect place to be.  A few brave persons even battled all of the little kids to go down the pool slide!

Here comes Kelly

Followed by Michon

I wish I had taken a photograph of the kitchen once we all got there.  We brought the blendtec with us of course and lots of liquor.  Seeing that there were only 6 of us, the amount of alcohol we had was shameful!  

A good time was had by all and as always, the weekend came to an end too quickly!  I think it needs to be an annual get together!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We took a couple of days this weekend and headed out of town to just relax.  We traveled for free, so what the heck!  A few other couples went as well, so it was nice to just hang by the pool for a couple of days and not have to get up every morning at the crack of dawn to let the dogs out! 

Jeff had his endoscope a week ago.  There were a few things that showed during the scope, but nothing that would cause the pain he has been experiencing.  This means, we are back to the drawing board.

This past Thursday we met with his regular physician who has been in contact with his GI doctor.  Since his pain is moving a little more towards the left side now, and his blood work shows that his liver enzymes and kidney enzymes are elevated, he has to under go more tests.

He will go back to the doctor on the 18th for a Hydrascan and a CT scan of the gallbladder, liver and kidneys.  I was still kind of living in the "oh, it isn't anything too important.  We will find the answer soon" until the doctor mentioned that his enzymes aren't elevated enough to warrant dialysis.  That comment stopped me cold. 

What is she talking about, dialysis?  No one has seemed overly concerned about any of this until that comment slipped out.  We are trying to solve a puzzle and the pieces just aren't fitting into one simple diagnosis. 

And then today, the hospital bill arrived.  The same hospital that treated him for acid reflux and when that didn't work, treated him for dehydration, and when that didn't work, sent him home to see a doctor the following day.  Two pain medications, some liquid to drink and fluids intravenously and blood work.  That is what they did.  After the insurance adjustments, our portion is still $750.  Unbelievable. 

I want to work where I can do nothing to actually solve a problem, and still get paid in full for it!  If anyone comes up with an idea, let me know!

On a lighter note, I just finished reading The Help.  I loved every minute of this book.  Please read it before you see the movie.  The movies are never the same.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I'm overwhelmed by a whole lot of stuff right now. 

As I've mentioned in the past, my husband has been having some medical problems.  They haven't gone away and he is scheduled for an endoscopy on Friday.  I really am hoping this finally gives us some answers.  On top of all of this, his liver enzymes are showing higher than normal.  Jeff has been on blood pressure medicine for quite a few years now and since we just changed his medication about 4 months ago, that could explain the liver enzymes.

On top of this, we had to make repairs to one of the work trucks that ran us a couple thousand dollars and today I received the phone call from the doctors office that our deductible hasn't been met, so we need to come to surgery with another $500. 

For the past 20 years I have had exceptional insurance.  We have never needed it.  We are currently privately insured since I'm out of work and now all of this! 

I have decided that I need to look further into a Raw Food diet for us.  From what I can tell, this would hopefully allow Jeff to be completely off any and all medications.  But, have you seen the information out there?!  Wow.  Where to begin?

I'm going to have to learn to prepare food in a completely different manner, while keeping a 16 year old happy and eating as well.  Small steps, I know, but still.  I look at my cupboards and realize all of the food that I am going to have to get rid of.  I will be calling some friends to go shopping in my kitchen!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Smoothie Sunday

My life became much smoother a week ago.  My new blender arrived!  Get it?  My life is smoother?  Okay, never mind!

Please say hello to my new best friend!  My new Blendtec blender.  In red of course!  When making smoothies, my old blender worked, but this new blender is fabulous!  When I press the smoothie button, it goes through its cycles to make a smoothie. 

This mornings breakfast recipe was as follows:

One Mango
One Banana
4 slices of Pineapple
Juice of one Orange
2 cups of Spinach
Ice and a little bit of water

Hit the smoothie button, and 40 seconds later, I have my wonderful breakfast.  And yes, it makes about 32 ounces and I drink all of it!

Tonight I was in the mood for something sweet and chilly, so I made a Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Milkshake. 

3 frozen bananas
1 1/2 cups of light soy milk
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
One cup of Ice, (although next time I think I will add a little more)

I then pressed the milkshake button, YES, there is a milkshake button!  This served enough for myself and Jeff to enjoy as dessert!  YUMMY!

Today I found a recipe for Fresh Strawberry Margaritas, maybe I will try that one next!  Stay tuned for more recipes!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gotta Love Florida

I went out to get the mail today and as I turned towards the mailbox I glanced up the street and took a look at the sky.  Since my phone was in my hand, I snapped this photo.

The sky is looking pretty ominous and the thunder is coming through loud and clear.  I grabbed the mail and turned around, looking the opposite direction and saw this.

This is how storms in Florida sneak up on you.  You can be looking in one direction and believe everything is hunky dory.  Then you glance in your rear view mirror and think, Oh Heck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's The Point?

Tuesday afternoon my husband ended up in the Emergency Room of one of our local hospitals.  He has had some abdominal pain that would come and go over the past month or so.  Tuesday, it came on with a vengeance and didn't leave.  It started around noon and by 3, he came out to me saying he couldn't take it anymore and he needed to go to the hospital.

I am a "suck it up" kind of girl.  I hate to go to the doctor, let alone the emergency room unless I am to the point that I feel like I'm dying.  I have all of my yearly appointments, but beyond that, I would rather just stay away!  My husband is not far off from that same concept.  Doesn't like going and I make all of his appointments for the year. 

So, when he walked out, doubled over and looking a tad green, saying he wanted to go, I knew it must be some serious pain.  I grabbed a sweater and my kindle and off we went. 

When we entered the hospital his blood pressure was 135/79.  High.  Not his normal pressure.  They decided to treat him for acid reflux, gave him some medication and pain medication and said in 20 minutes if the pain had subsided, that would be the issue.  45 minutes later, his pain was still there, if not worse. 

Take his blood pressure again and it is now 143/81.  Higher.  Not good.  At this point they hook him up to fluids and give him another two doses of pain medication. 

An hour later, they retake his blood pressure and it is 150/83.  Even higher.  Now at this point I'm becoming frustrated.  His blood pressure just keeps going up and no one seems concerned.  You can tell the nurse can't figure out what is going on. 

Then it happens:  SHIFT CHANGE

It all goes to hell after that.  We ask twice for another blanket for Jeff because by now he is freezing.  No blanket.  They never retake his blood pressure.  The new nurse comes in and says blood work didn't show anything, nothing else we can do here.  You need to get an appointment with a GI doctor and take some pain medication.  I'm confused as to what the point was of us even going there.  He was released with the same issues that we went in for! 

Needless to say, Jeff's evening was not good.  The doctor I called that the hospital referred me to, said they could see him in August!  Not happening.  So, asked a friend for a recommendation and he now has an appointment today. 

I feel bad for him.  He is extremely uncomfortable and just wants some answers.  Hopefully those will come today!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Smoothie Sunday

This is what my breakfast, lunch and snacks have looked like all week.

photo from therawdivas
 I was searching around the internet last week when I typed in green smoothies into google.  About a million different items popped up, but one caught my attention:  Green Smoothie Queen, AKA The Raw Divas. 

I first tried the 3 day Challenge, which got me hooked!  I have since graduated to the 10 day Challenge, with the full intention of doing a full 21 day Challenge next.  I am still eating dinner, but mind you, much smaller portions since I really haven't been that hungry. 

And the biggest surprise?  My husband has joined along with me!  That was a surprise.  I wasn't expecting for him to agree so easily.  I had my speech all prepared, when he just said "Ok". 

Here is what is in our breakfast smoothie this morning:

1 cup Pineapple
1 cup red grapes
1 banana
Juice of 4 apples
3 cups spinach
Some Ice for blending because I like mine cold!
(This recipe makes about 32 oz)

That is it.  I cut up all of the fruit about 3 times a week and have it stored in the fridge.  This way it takes me a total of 3 minutes to prepare a smoothie. After making the breakfast smoothie, I immediately start making the lunch smoothie so that I can take it with me for the day. 

The recipe above Jeff really liked.  I found it a bit on the too sweet side.  I do have my favorite recipe, but I will give that another time.

After a week of this, here are some noteable changes.  My cravings have up and disappeared without me trying to give them up.  Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy my coffee and Diet Coke!  I'm down to about a half of a cup of coffee in the morning, and I only had 2 Diet Cokes all week.  And I didn't finish either one.  I also lost 2 lbs without even trying!  That is an accomplishment. 

Check out Green Smoothie Queen.  I hope you will add some greens to your day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th Of July!

Happy 4th of July!  I'm trying to adjust to the fact that it is currently 7/04/2011 already!  Anyway...

As much as I would love to say that we have a full schedule of partying and eating today, I can't.  Just about everyone we know is out of town.  So, it is just Jeff and I and the dogs.  Who not only are terrified of thunder, but fireworks as well.  Only problem with the 4th being on a Monday?  An entire weekend of our neighbors letting off fireworks.  Last year we lost Nico due to the fireworks.  You can read about that Here, and Here
And then, one year ago this week, Bella came in to our lives.  Her story is here.

Well, I'm off to grab some groceries, and drop off a friends dog that we had for the weekend.  (Yes, that means with my Moms dog, we had 6!)

Happy 4th everyone!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back In The Blogging Saddle

I've been kind of hit and miss in the Blogger World lately.  I've decided to get back in the saddle and focus on my writing again.

In honor of that, let's start today with Tuesday Blog Hop!  (That way I have one more day before I truly have to be witty)

Have A Wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Best You Tube Video Ever!

If you have ever read my blog, you know that we have a house full of animals.  A friend of ours showed me this video on You Tube and it is great!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let The Thunderstorms Begin!

I'm typing this with 4 dogs all trying to cram themselves under my desk.  Summer has finally arrived in Florida.  When you live in Florida, you realize quickly what a true Summer rainstorm is.  You receive 3 to 5 inches of rain in a very short amount of time.  And with that brings a LOT of thunder and lightning.  And along with the thunder and lightning, comes 3 extremely anxious dogs.  Since Duchess is now deaf, they don't bother her, but between my other 3 and my Moms dog who I'm dog sitting for the next 3 weeks, they can't handle the stress!

Along with that stress, comes lack of sleep for Jeff and I if the storms come at night.  In looking at the forecast for the upcoming week, I may as well have had a baby for the lack of sleep I believe I will be encountering!

I was referred by our vet to try out the Thundershirt for our dogs.  That or Xanex.  I couldn't imagine putting my dogs on medication for storms that I don't always know will appear.  So, I will be trying the Thundershirt.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  You really need to check out their website, the videos are quite convincing.  I will keep you informed once they arrive and we have had a chance to try them out.

I'm not complaining about the rain.  We haven't had in any months and when the daily temperature has been topping out around 97 degrees, you really find yourself wishing for it.  Our lake dried up and all of our fish died.  I knew something was up when I went to leave the house and our pond, well it was actually just a puddle, had around 20 vultures surrounding it.  At least they ate all of the dead fish and I didn't have to deal with the smell.

Let the power outages begin and BRING ON THE RAIN!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wish I Was There

There is a large gathering this weekend of my Dad's family in Massachusetts this weekend.  I had all intentions of going.  I wanted to go.  I failed to make reservations in time to make it financially feasible to go.  So, I'm staying home this weekend organizing my soap shop so that I can start being creative again.  I would rather be in Massachusetts.

We are switching cable companies today.  I wish I were home to take pictures of the fiasco this has created.  We don't live right on the road, our house is set back quite a ways.  They have to run new wires from the road to our house.  Jeff is handling that today and I'm glad I'm not!

Kyle finished school this week.  I can't say how happy I was to see it end.  I think I'm putting his tutor through graduate school with all of the money I have been paying!  Come fall we will have an 11th grader in the house.  Sounds kind of crazy to me.  Two more years and I will be planning a graduation party.  Who would have ever thunk it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bye, Bye Blackberry

I officially moved to a droid phone today.  I've wanted to switch phones for a while now, but hadn't had the time.  Since we had to make some changes to our plan (finally realized we have a teenager in the house and received a $400 cell phone bill), I took that chance and switched it up.  Making changes to our plan and changing out three phones took 2 1/2 hours!  Yes, you read that right.  It was crazy!

Upon returning home, I had to make a phone call in regards to a letter I received in the mail today, which stated I needed to call before June 3rd.  TOMORROW!  So, I started calling at 3:43 only to receive a message that all agents are busy, please call again another time.  I kept hitting redial until I received a message that said someone would be with me and my estimated wait time was 38 minutes.  It wasn't 38 minutes, it was 49 minutes.  For me to talk to this person for 3 minutes, be directed to a website to fill out a form, and call back tomorrow to have the form verified.  REALLY? 

On a better note, last day of school is next Thursday and I will at that point in time officially have a High School Junior living in my house.  Not sure when that happened. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where The Heck Have I Been?

My last post was from Miami, with the promise that I would post through out the week.  I guess I lied.  Not intentionally mind you, but I didn't fulfill my promise.  Actually, looking back on the past few months, I haven't really done anyone any favors with my posts.  Or, non posts I guess.

Let's get a few things straight first.

I have been out of work since November.  As someone who has worked since she was 14, this has been quite a shock to my system.  I have struggled through some depression, a few highs, and then back down to some more depression.

I have always been "the glass is half full" kind of girl.  I try to stay positive because mulling over something isn't going to fix it.  But, I have to admit, this has been a struggle. 

I find myself wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do with my time.  It has been nice being home when Kyle gets home.  I really think that maternity leave should be reserved for when your child is a teenager.  They don't think they need you at that point in time, but they do!  My husbands business has been busy, so I have been able to help out with that. 

I have been interviewed multiple times, making it to the "final" few, but for one reason or another (over qualified, under qualified or they are taking an internal candidate) haven't been able to find something that fits.  The last position I interviewed for I was sure I had nailed it.  It was a job I REALLY wanted, and could envision myself working not only for this company, but in that position.  While in Miami, I received the news that they had decided to hire an internal candidate. 

I was crushed.  No other way to put it.  I seriously thought that I had it.  I know someone who works there, and she called to tell me that she spoke to those that had been in my presentation and interview.  Yes, I went through 2 interviews and a 15 minute presentation in front of a panel.  They loved me and there wasn't anything they would tell me to do differently.  They just had to go internal.

So, that would be why there ended up being no posts from Miami.  My mind was sort of out of it.  I did focus in on the conference after I received the call.  Maybe soap is my calling and I haven't realized it?  I know where I would love to take the business, but money has something else to say about it. 

I'm hoping that I will get back to my old self soon.  I don't feel like myself and I know that my husband thinks I have lost my mind.  A friend of mine has been trying to help me work on what I want to be when I grow up.  I'm hoping to figure it out before it is too late!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello From Miami

I'm currently in Miami for the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Annual Conference.  Last year was in Colorado and I can say, it was much cooler!  However, this year I was able to drive to the conference, which means all of the goodies I get this year I can easily transport back home.

I will continue to blog through out the next few days! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Cruisin'

At the end of March we took a cruise with friends to celebrate our birthday.  Mine and Jeff's birthdays that is.  Yes, we share the same birthday, March 30th. 

The day that we left was not a good day weather wise.  It had been raining all morning, very windy and with worse weather following.  We only had to drive to Tampa, so we didn't worry too much about it.  I even decided to drive.  What we hadn't anticipated was that the weather 30 minutes North of us was even worse. 

The area where we were to turn off the interstate, actually has 5 exits that you can take.  I needed to take the second exit.  As I approached, you could see that traffic was at a stand still up ahead, which meant getting to the second exit, wasn't happening.  So, I took the first exit knowing my GPS would get me where I needed to be. 

As we turned off, the first thing we came across was a huge tree laying across the road.  Then another one.  As I started to wonder what the heck, I merged onto the main road and realized that something major had occurred.  There were trees down everywhere, power was out, so there were no traffic lights and a small farmers market looked like it had been demolished on the side of the road. 

I followed the directions from our GPS and headed back over the highway into Tampa.  I made it about a quarter mile before I started seeing cars stopping and turning around.  A tractor trailer had been blown over the overpass, so it was closed.  We turned back around and headed another direction.  This forced me to have to go through an intersection with 4 lanes of traffic each way, and no traffic signal.  And even though people are supposed to treat that as a 4 way stop, no one did.  I finally just told everyone to hang on, close your eyes and pray because I had to make a left turn through all of that. 

Eventually we did make it to the ship.  I was stressed and wanted nothing that to get on that boat and leave my worries behind.  The ship left a few hours late due to weather, which worked out nicely since I was in constant communication with Kyle who was stuck at school because they had stopped the bus service due to the tornadoes.  Poor kid sat at school for another 2 1/2 hours until my Mom picked him up.

We had a wonderful time, and Cozumel was absolutely beautiful.  Here are a few pictures for you to have a look at!

Sunset from our balcony

Kim and Bill

Jeff first thing in the morning

Our boat while docked in Cozumel.  My camera lens was foggy because our room had been so cold and it was 90 outside.

Jeff and I on the beach in Cozumel

The beach.  The color of the water was amazing!

We visited this alligator area.  The guys whistle and the gators swim over.  It was insane.

Towel art.  Mr Elephant

Towel Art

 We drove around for the day in this buggy.  Kim and I held on for dear life!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Family Portraits

Back in December I started looking around for a photographer to do family portraits.  I stumbled upon Jennifer Dunlap of Jennifer Mauren Photography.  I'm sure glad I did!

After having to reschedule a ridiculous amount of times due to rain, which in December and January in Florida is not a typical issue!  I was beginning to think they would never happen, and then finally, the last Sunday in January was sunny and perfect.

Here are a few of my favorites!

It was nice to have some professional portraits.  We hadn't had any done in about 4 years, which meant that Kyle was about a foot shorter than he is now. 

Thanks again to Jennifer for a fabulous outcome and for "shaving" Kyle with photoshop since it hadn't occurred to him to do it himself!