Saturday, December 22, 2007

L.E.D.'s

I like to sleep in the dark. Even when I worked nights and had to sleep in the daytime, I wanted it dark in my bedroom. I bought "black out" blinds so no sun would get in. Now I have moved my computer and desk into the bedroom. Lately when I can't sleep, I notice that there are several "light emitting diodes"(LED) all over my room. They may be tiny little lights, but in the dark they can be very bright, especially if there are a lot of them.


Last night I took an assessment of all these lights. There is a light on the power buttons of the computer and the remote drive, a light on the keyboard and the speaker remote. There is a LED clock on the television tuner, and another alarm clock. The printer, the DVD stand-by, the TV stand-by, the telephone, the answering machine all have little lights! Even my electric toothbrush has a light on the charger! It is so bright in my bedroom that it is no wonder I was having trouble sleeping! Looking at all these lights made me realize that I had forgotten to plug in my camera battery. I got up to plug it in, it will glow orange until the battery is charged, then green!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Note to self

As we head into the busy holiday season, I hope you will all take the time to think about your friends & family and what is important in your life. Take a little time for yourself. Spend at least 15 minutes uninterrupted alone with your thoughts. Think about what makes you happy and cherish the people around you. Tell your loved ones that you care about them. Don't think that they will just know this because you cook for them and do their laundry. Don't let a chance go by to grab a hug from your teenager, even if he only turns a cheek for you to kiss him. (remember when he kissed you back & loved to sit in your lap?) Pet your dogs & even better, take them for a long walk. Dogs seem to be the happiest when they are walking with you, even if they have been around that same block 1000 times.




Oh, yeah, one other thing - take LOTS of photos.






Here are the boys on Christmas day 2001. Oh how they have changed!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Old Mom!

I am back home from my trip to Virginia. I set up my Mother's Christmas tree and some decorations for her. She doesn't seem to care much anymore. It gets more difficult to communicate with my Mom, she is very deaf, and will not wear her hearing aids. For her, it must feel like she is in a world of her own. Occasionally, when she wants to hear, she will wear a portable headset with an amplifier, but she quickly grows tired of hearing us! When she watches television, the volume is very high for her to hear it - the neighbors can probably hear it quite well! She seems to be in good health, complains about the usual aches & pains. She is done with the doctor because "he doesn't do anything!" I tell her that the doctor cannot make you 20 years old again! Still, I am sad as I see my Mom getting older. Maybe I see what is in store for me! However, I will try not to be as stubborn about wearing hearing aids and adult diapers!


Preston went with me to Virginia. I guess it was good for him to get a little break from school and the regular routine. He seems to be be trying a little harder this week in school - I hope it lasts - I wouldn't want him to have to repeat and courses or not graduate on time. He was glad to have his jacket because it was forty degrees in Virginia. We were glad to get back to Florida and our beloved tropical weather. It was eighty degrees when we got off the plane in Tampa.


My middle dog, Buddy, got a new bed. He is getting kind of fat, so he needed a bigger bed.
The poor guy can't get near it because big brother dog, Ransome, has decided that the bed is for him!!!




Sad, Buddy must sleep on the couch!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"The View"

When you are in the back of the pack like me - the view never changes!!! (it is my job to keep their leads from tangling!)


Tomorrow, Preston & I are going to fly up to Virginia to see my old Mom. She will be happy to see us, even though we are only staying until Friday. Just a quick trip to give her a kiss and put up her Christmas decorations. I wish we lived closer, but she won't move down here. Florida would be the ideal place for her because of our mild weather. I told Preston to pack his jacket, but I don't think he knows what a jacket is anymore or even where it is!
At least I will have a little one-on-one time with my son, so I can
nag (erh, I mean counsel) him about his grades!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Senioritis"

"Senioritis" sounds like a disease that an old bag like me would have. It is not. It is something that happens in the senior year of high school. It usually strikes 17-18 year olds. The symptoms are excessive yawning (from staying up to late), lethargy, and a general disinterest in anything but video games. Preston has this disease and he is in a downward slump. His grades have suffered. He only needs two of his classes to graduate, but it seems like he is not the least bit interested in his grade point average. He says that he wants to go to college, but he does not see that his GPA is important to his entrance. He will most likely go to the local community college - I hope he can get in. All I can do is to keep talking to him and telling him how important his grades are. I guess the only thing that will cure this is time! Keep your fingers crossed for him and lets hope June gets here quick!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pills!

I take several prescribed medications for hypertension, heart disease, lupus & diabetes. I have been feeling good lately and I am happy for modern medicine. My father died at my age before the discovery of the angioplasty. In 2001, doctors saved my life by placing a stent in my heart. I feel very happy and lucky for everyday that I wake up alive! I used to take "Vioxx" for for the aches & pains of lupus until it was pulled from the market after being deemed dangerous. It was a wonderful drug that worked for me, and then it was discovered to cause heart attacks in some people. Now I am faced with another decision."Avandia" is a drug that I take for diabetes control and now it also has been found to cause heart attack in some people. Although I only take 2 mg a day of this drug, I wonder if I should change to something else. It is difficult to change to another drug because it makes you feel crappy for a while. I have taken other drugs for this condition, but some of them made me feel sick. Avandia seems to work very good for me. Now I need to decide if it is worth the risk. It is sort of a no-win situation. If I can lose about 30 pounds I might be able to get off the medication completely. That sounds like the best solution, however, one of the side effects of Avandia is INCREASED HUNGER!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Virtual school is cool!

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My son missed a class called "Life Management Skills" that most kids take when they are Freshmen. Now that he is a senior, he wouldn't want to be caught dead in a 9th grade class, so his counselor suggested that he take the course in the Florida Virtual School - online. You must complete and submit assignments online, and take a telephone exam about once a month. I think this is a great resource. It must be really helpful to parents with homebound children. So far, his grade is 95%, so I am happy about that. Parents can also check assignments and grades online.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My first video - Big Brass Sound!

I am trying my first attempt to attach a video to the blog. I came across this video in my files. It is of Preston when he went to Drum Corp camp in December 2005. After just the weekend of practice together, this was what the young musicians accomplished. I was disappointed that Preston decided not to march in the summer of 2006, but I am proud of all the work that he did participating in the band camps. (That is him with the big horns, fifth from the left in the camo shorts.) I have always been a fan of the "big brass sound" and it warms my heart to at least have this little snippet of his work.

video

Preston's high school marching band days are over. The band director that was with there for 13 years left when he could no longer deal with the current school administration.










These days the big horn lives on top of the bookshelf in Preston's room. I am hoping that he will take it up again soon, maybe joining a band when he goes to college.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My opinion

When I was a kid, I was shy. I didn't speak up at all. When I didn't agree with something, especially in high school, I just shut my mouth and kept my opinion to myself. My son is the exact opposite. When something is wrong (in his opinion) he can't seem to NOT speak out about it. He has been suspended twice in this, his senior year of high school. He is not a bad kid, in fact he is a good son (OK, that's my opinion). He just seems to want to argue with authority. I introduced him to John Cougar Mellencamp's song. "I fought authority - authority always wins!" This still didn't help. He reads a lot about varying political views. He is always espousing different views on socialism, Communism, etc. He brings this rhetoric to school and it gets him in trouble. I have tried to tell him that contrary to popular opinion, there is NO FREE SPEECH in high school. He recently had to attend a MANDATORY pep rally for the high school football team. He and his like minded friend decided to protest this. They yelled to the crowd and called them a bunch of followers - much like those who followed Hitler. He was asked to leave the pep rally (what he wanted in the first place) and later suspended for disrupting a school function. I just want him to get through high school. When he attends college he will have a little more room to express his opinions, a little more free speech. I have tried to explain to him that he won't be going to college unless he avoids getting kicked out of high school! I have been to the Principal's office so many times this year. I never went to the office when I was in high school! Every morning if the phone rings I am nervous that it is the school calling. What next????? Teens are dangerous to your health!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My friend Steve

My good friend Steve is taking diving lessons. I am sure he is certified by now. Now tell the truth, if you were a shark and saw this coming at you - would you try to eat him or swim quickly away??? Steve has an adversarial relationship with my dog Ransome. I showed this photo to Ransome, he growled - but then ran to hide!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The door bouncers!

This is the greeting that you will get at my front door.

Ransome & Buddy guarding the entry!

Hemi must be guarding the back door!!!

"Hello - cable guy!"

eight to eight?

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My new Sony 46 inch television is obscenely large; but it was the best sale at the recent DeSears "tent sale" - so I bought it! It is a flat screen HDTV and I have never seen a better picture. I am very happy with it, and it looks great even on the channels that are not broadcast in high definition. This was the first television that I bought in 18 years, and I am glad that I got it. My cable TV receiver is on the fritz, so I called them yesterday to schedule a technician. They told me that they could have someone out on Thursday between EIGHT & EIGHT. What? You mean 8 AM to 8 PM? Did someone tell you that I was retired and that I don't have a damn thing better to do than wait for your guy to get here? They said that they were "so sorry" but that was the only time they could give me. So, tomorrow, I will be catching up on your blogs, my blog buddies!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still hanging in there

I can't believe that I haven't blogged in a month. I have been busy with chores and cleaning up the yard now that it is a little cooler outside. It rains every afternoon, cools the weather and clears up in about an hour. I like this time of year in Florida. I built a table for the laundry room and we tiled the top of it. I am also in the process of taking the lawn furniture apart, cleaning & spray painting it, and putting it back together. Sort of spring cleaning in the fall! I have a maple tree in my front yard, it is beginning to shed it's leaves. It isn't cold enough for fall yet, but the tree knows that it is time. We have been lucky this year so far, very few bad storms or hurricanes. The hurricane season ends in November and I am hoping we will be spared this year. As soon as I finish up some of these chores, I will be blogging full time again!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bowling for truckers

Jellyhead's recent post made me reflect on my own life. I think that I am basically a happy person. Like everyone else I have a bad mood once in a while, I get sad too, sometimes. I think you have to fight bad moods and keep the little conversation in your head positive. Some people are miserable all the time. You've seen them, they are everywhere, in the line at the grocery store, or yelling at some poor waitress in a restaurant. What must be the conversation in their heads? Are they saying "F&%# YOU" to the whole world? What makes them not care about how they are perceived? Maybe they are just being honest about their feelings. Several months ago, a local television weatherman committed suicide. We only knew the part of him that we saw on air, but friends say that he was a friendly guy who always seemed happy. You hardly never hear of someone described as a "miserable bastard" committing suicide. Maybe these cranky types have the right idea. It is the happy people who are keeping their sad thoughts buried until, in some cases, they explode. Today in the news, there is a report about someone who dropped a bowing ball on speeding semi truck. The truck driver survived, he is not mad but instead feels sorry to the person who was angry enough to do this to him. Human behavior fascinates me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Life is good

Yesterday I went to lunch with my best friend. We have not seen each other in several months, but having known each other for twenty plus years, we can always pick up right where we left off. We have the same sense of humor and whenever I am with her, I wonder why we don't spend more time together. I retired early, still having kids at home, so I am busier than I expected to be at this time of my life. I am thankful that my health has been good lately and that I can get out and exercise "a little". My excuse is that it is "so hot" outside. Sometimes I go to the mall to get my walking in for the day. I just refuse to worry about my chores anymore. My house sometimes looks like a bomb hit it. Once in a while I do some "speed cleaning", but for the most part I try to keep the bathrooms & kitchen clean and let the rest go. Of course I always keep up with the laundry - still fascinated with my new "high efficiency" washer & dryer! Refresh your attitude - take some time for yourself this weekend -have lunch with your best friend - it worked for me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Changes

Well, the boys are getting ready to go back to school on August 20th. In Florida we go back earlier than the rest of the country, but we are trying to fix that. In previous years school started the first week in August instead of September like the rest of America. Parents, irritated to sometimes have to cut their family vacation short, have protested and tried to get the date pushed forward. So far, we have only gotten it two weeks closer. Preston graduates this year, and Matthew is the year behind him, so it probably will not affect my boys. What a difference a year makes in the life of a kid. Last year both boys were at band camp. This year our band director was "re-assigned" (to put it nicely) and the new director is not the greatest teacher. Both boys decided not to participate in marching band. So many kids have quit that there may not even be a marching band this year. They will both still have music classes during school. I should be glad not the have to pull the trailer to competitions and be at football games every Friday night, but as many of you know, I am not big on any kind of change. Raising teenagers involves a constant state of change. Preston has been driving for a year now, and Matt gets his license on August 31st. They both have part-time jobs. They would rather be off with their friends than home with their moms. We used to have dinner ever night, but now it is almost impossible to get us all together. Lately, I don't even cook dinner, opting to go out or just open up a can of soup! For the last couple of years my job has been defined as "stay at home mom". I know the boys will be home for a few more years, but I am sad to see it starting to come to the end. It seems that our time together has been so short!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"STEPHANIE IS A HORE"

. . .is what it said on the bathroom wall in large letters. First thing this morning I was in the grocery store and I saw this scrawled on the wall. I hate to go to the bathroom when I am out but sometimes nature calls! It is bad enough that this person (maybe it was "Stephanie") was vandalizing the wall, but she must have skipped school to do it, or at least missed English class.


My dog Ransome continues to be a pain in my ass by tearing off his bandage. It is difficult to keep a bandage on the side of his face; just when it begins to heal he scratches it and tears it open again. Yes, I have tried an elizabethan collar, but he gets "stuck" and won't move; he will stand in the corner and not move or eat or drink with it on. I feel sorry for him. Today he got the bandage off twice. I couldn't find it the first time, and I figured he must have lost it somewhere in the yard. The second time he pulled the fresh bandage off I caught him EATING IT! (now I know where the first one went- how disgusting!) My next step, if I can't get this wound to heal, is to take him to the vet and have them put him in a head cast!!! (just kidding)


It is raining all the time here. I got caught in the rain the other morning when I was out on my bike. Oh, by the way, if you see someone you know riding their bike (or horse) beside the roadway - please DON'T honk at them!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My friend "Phyllis"

I worked with Lois before I retired. She was a "crotchity bitch" when she worked at the PD as a dispatcher, and it was a good thing that it was her job to tell you where to go - because she wouldn't hesitate "to tell you where to go or where to stick it". Sometimes I like that in a person! She had every reason to be cranky, because of all the "unfairness" that went on. She often was on the administration's "shit list" and we had many good laughs about her attitude. "Phyllis" is her nick-name because the mayor never could remember her real name and often called her Phyllis (how insulting, your boss doesn't even know your name). Lois finally came to her senses and quit that job and moved out west. She is an avid dog lover and raises those dogs that look like little black pigs -"Skipper-kees" (that's not how you spell it but that's how you say it!) Anyway, Lois is a "good egg"; visit her new blog at: www.movedtothemountains.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Computer empty

I am not very computer literate. When the machine would no longer connect to the internet, I took it right down to the professionals. They told me to do a re-boot on the whole system. That's when my troubles began. I have had an empty computer! I couldn't even connect to the internet for DAYS until a couple of hours ago when I figured out that I should re-load the ISP software. In the meantime I have been spending quality time doing the laundry in my newly designed laundy room! All my documents (I did back up photos and some docs on my remote drive) and other computer things that I took for granted have to all be re-installed. Quite shocking - it is like my computer doesn't even know me!! Even my cute little fish tank screen saver is gone. I have to locate all this software and re-load everything. I don't have sound now either, I haven't quite figured out how to fix that! I have missed reading your blogs for a week. One can only stare at the laundry going round & round for so long until it gets boring! Tomorrow I will catch up on all your blogs! I hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The old MG

Not many people can say that they still have their first car. Me neither, since last Sunday, when I finally let it go. I originally bought it from a guy that had to sell it because he got drafted and had to go to Vietnam! I owned it for 35 years! I always joked that I would be buried in it. My Dad & I were fans of British sports cars and we both had MG's; at one point my brother had one too. This particular model is rare and worth a lot if restored. I had planned to do that some day, but never got around to it. I had it for sale on some obscure web site since 2004 and the other day some young guy called me all excited about it. I told him that he could take it if he promised to send me a photo when it was restored. He expected to pay the $750. that I was asking for it. He was so excited and enthusiastic that I gave it to him for nothing. After all, it served me well, I drove it over 100,000 miles. I was happy to see the old MG go to a good home. I expected to be melancholy as I mowed the grass around it for the last time. As it turned out, I was OK, but my roomate started crying! (I thought she hated that old car!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Doggie doctoring

My Airedale dog, Ransome, has scratched himself a raw spot on his neck. The wound is at his jawline on the side of his face, adjacent to his eye. This is an impossible place to bandage. I put some antibiotic on it and bandaged it with some vet wrap in front and behind his ears. It didn't take five minutes for him to scratch at the area with his back paw and rip the bandage. I will have to watch him closely today to keep the medicine intact. He wouldn't even look at me to have his picture taken. He seems embarrrased about the orange bandage. (maybe the other dogs are laughing!)


We are still working on the new room that we are building in the garage. We will have a new laundry room and craft room instead of the one-car attached garage that we never used. It is a lot of work, but it will be nice when it is done. I have a new high tech washer & dryer being delivered on Monday. I can't wait to do laundry (did I just say that?) Well, when you are retired - housework is your life!!!












new lights, new wall









new floor in laundry

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Stubborn old people!

I just got back from a trip to Virginia to see my Mom. I think I mentioned that I wanted her to come down here to visit for a while and if she likes it, maybe stay. We have been remodeling our one car garage into a room for her. I built some ramps, installed some grab bars in the shower and tried to think of other things that would make her comfortable and able to get around safely. I bought her a ticket on my return non-stop flight yesterday; but she refused to come with me. She wants to stay in her house! She is alone there except for my brother visiting once a day. She is alone at night. I am scared that one night she will fall and not be able to get help. I bought her one of those life alert pendants to call for help; she won't wear it and keeps it on the headboard of her bed. Other than forcing her to go against her will, I don't know what else to do. I hate to say it, but it will probably take a catastrophic incident for her to agree to come. I know I could probably get a court order, but I hope it will not come to that because I don't think my younger brother will be on board with it, for some reason he is in agreement with Mom. My older brother and I have done everything that we can think of to help Mom. Now I am sort of at a dead end until something happens. It is scary to get old. I hope that I will do what my family wants me to do when I get to that point, but you never know how you are going to act until a situation happens to you.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This is Preston losing his "snowginity" in the Alps in Switzerland. He was born and has lived all of his life in Florida. He had never even seen snow before, much less handled it and made snow balls! I asked him how he liked it - he said, "IT'S REALLY COLD!"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

World traveler returns home!



. . . . . to a brand new bedroom!






Preston's plane was delayed and he finally landed after midnight last night. We came home and he was excited to show me the 800+ photos that he took on the trip. We were up until 3:30 AM laughing & talking - it was great to have my baby-boy back home.








Here are some before and after photos of the room re-model.




Preston really likes the room, and it kept me busy while he was gone.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Where's Waldo?












Remember the game, Where's Waldo? I am busy playing that with Preston (he looks a bit like Waldo). He hasn't called me yet and I don't hold out much hope for that, they keep them pretty busy.





I know that yesterday he toured Neuweinstein Castle in Germany.











(I think I see Preston in one of those towers)




Tomorrow he will be headed to the coast of Italy; then on to visit Venice. I hope he is taking lots of photos. I love him and miss him. I am working on his bedroom. It is about half-way painted and I am waiting on the new carpeting to arrive on Tuesday. Then I have to put together his new desk and entertainment center. I also have to buy a bookcase unit or build shelves to attach to the walls to hold his many books, DVD's, CD's, etc. I hope I have all this done by Friday - but as you know I work best under pressure! After all, I do have to take time to catch up on your blogs!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google flying!

This wonderful internet that has linked me to people all over the world has now allowed me to "travel" without leaving my seat! I love "Google Earth" because I can follow my son's trip. I have the sites of the hotels where the group is staying, and it is fun to see where he is. Tonight they will be staying in a guest house in Gebsattel, Germany. Tomorrow they will be traveling to Munich, and the next day to Italy. I took a quick "google flight" to these places and discovered that he will be staying 2 days in a hotel right on the water close to Venice. When you google Venice, Itay you see that it really is a city of canals, you can't see a convential street anywhere! What an adventure! They are 6 hours ahead of me in Europe. (I have trouble with the concept of date & time - I still can't wrap my mind around Jelly already enjoying "tomorrow" when it is still "today" here!!!) I guess it is true when people say the the world is getting smaller -thanks to the internet. In the real world -I have to go now and take a bike ride. I continue to be successful with my weight loss program, and my knee is almost completely back to 100%! I figure if I can live another 100 years - I will reach my goal weight!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Somewhere over the Atlantic. . . .

As I write this I am thinking about Preston jetting over the Atlantic ocean in the "big" plane! I told him to take lots of photos of everything, even inside the plane! He will be arriving in Frankfurt at 9:25 AM tomorrow morning. There are 27 people in his tour group, and only a few of them are adults. (Pray for those poor folks) I got a hug & a kiss at the airport. When he was boarding the tram to go to the air side, he looked back at me - I hope he couldn't see the tear running down my cheek. (I kept thinking, "stop it - stop it!" - It's a damn trip, not a death in the family!!!) I have never been a cry baby - except when it comes to him. I was melancholy on the drive home from the airport. Of course when the Tuff gets sad, the Tuff goes shopping!!! - so I did! I am remodeling Preston's room while he is away, so I ordered some new carpeting and bought some cardboard boxes. Tomorrow I will start emptying his room. I am going to paint and buy him a new desk and eventually buy him a "murphy bed". I have plenty to do while Preston is gone. I will be keeping busy and trying not to worry. Thanks to you - all my blog buddies - for your kind comments!

Monday, May 28, 2007

European trip

I have been busy getting Preston packed and ready to leave for Europe on Wednesday. The teacher who is in charge of the trip wants us to meet at 5:30 AM. The plane doesn't take off until 11:05 AM from Tampa, which is about a 40 minute drive from here. She and her husband are taking 25 high school kids, and she has done this many times before (but why so early???) I guess she will be allowing for any last minute problems. I have volunteered to drive to the airport because I can fit six kids in my car. Preston has his passport and some Euros & Swiss Francs, so he should be OK if he wants to spend some money. Since he is on a tour, most of his activities are planned, and he will visit Germany, Italy & Switzerland before returning in 10 days. I just hope that he has a good time, because I think it is a trip that he will remember the rest of his life. Many people have asked me why I did not go with him. The truth is that not only can I NOT afford it, but I have never had the desire to visit Europe. My dream trip would be "down under", and I will do that before I die! I hope I can keep his luggage under the weight of 50 pounds! I have packed snacks for him in his checked bag and also his carry on! (I don't want my baby boy to be hungry!) Anyway it will be a quick ten fun filled days for him - and what seems like an eternity for me! He will return home to his new job at the GAP store, where I hope he will work a lot of hours this summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

So true!

The "other mom" around here, who hardly EVER goes in the kitchen was baking cookies the other night. She was searching for the 1/4 measuring cup and I found it for her. I said, "just ask me, I know where everything in this kitchen is." She replied, "Except the countertop." I thought it was a witty remark, but I couldn't really argue with it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I love my Mama. She is the greatest. At 88 she is slowing down, she can't hear, she pees in her pants because she can't get to the bathroom fast enough. She reluctantly wears adult diapers. (I tell her - "it's OK, even crazy astronauts wear them!") I went for a quick five day visit last week. While in Virginia, I got some things done for her. I took her to the bank and to the podiatrist. I bought her some bright yellow "croc" shoes the previous time I was there. She did not wear them at first, but on this visit she was wearing them all the time and she loves them!





She is not remembering what day it is, so I bought a clock with GREAT BIG numbers and the day, date, and temperature displayed. I put her daily meds in small zip lock bags with the corresponding day of the week printed on them. I told her to take them on the day that she sees on the clock. Both my brothers try to look in on Mom at least once a day, but she really needs someone to look after her full time. We hired a companion to come and take her to the store or hairdresser - whatever she wants. Mom said that the girl came a couple of times but then she called and cancelled her. She didn't like having a stranger in the house. It is clear to us (her kids) that soon she will not be able to live alone. I live in a small house; three bedrooms - four people. I am getting estimates to remodel my attached garage into a room. Then I will bring Mom down to Florida for a while. It may be a permanent arrangement - time will tell. I have told the rest of my family. My roommate, her son, & my son are all on board with it. They are supportive and I know they will help me as much as they can. It must be very scary for my Mom to have to rely on others when she has been so independent for so long.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Florida is on fire

When I went for my bike ride today it was very smokey. The wild fire smoke is carried by the wind all over the state. Usually I can see for a mile; today although the sun was out, it looked like a cloudy day.
This was a red-winged black bird, waiting for clearance to take flight. This is very sad to me and I wonder if this is our future. No rain in the forcast, the only thing that will save us. My thoughts go out to all who are caught in the fires. My clothes smell like a campfire. The smell is starting to creep into my house.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY EVERYONE Mother or Not - MAY 13TH, 2007

WHY GOD MADE MOMS
Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
-They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.
-She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
-Mostly to clean the house.
-To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?
-He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
-Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
-God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of ?
-God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
-We're related.
-God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.
What kind of little girl was your mom?
-My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
-I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
-They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
-His last name.
-She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?
-My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
-She got too old to do anything else with him.
-My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.
Who's the boss at your house?
-Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
-Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
-I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What's the difference between moms & dads?
-Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
-Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
-Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
-Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.
What does your mom do in her spare time?
-Mothers don't do spare time.
-To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?
-On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
-Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
-She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
-I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
-I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Bike

I haven't been blogging lately (I hope you noticed). I have been on a health kick, walking & biking a lot. I have lost 15 pounds, and that makes me happy. I feel a whole lot better and my knee problem is improving. I limped into the doctor's office last week with a sore knee that had been giving me a problem for four weeks. He x-rayed it, then told me that it looked good, maybe my knee cap was "out of it's channel". He told me that if it doesn't improve that I will have to come back for an MRI. I suspected that it was arthritis, but the doctor says my joint looked good on the x-ray, so I am relieved about that. In the meantime, the knee caused me to get real about my health, and start getting in good shape, hence the biking & walking. Saturday I leave for Virginia for a short visit with my mother. I will be back on Wednesday. I hope everyone has a nice Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hawk attack

Now who would believe this! Yesterday morning I was in my backyard feeding the pigeons and I decided to let them go for a fly. I opened the large cage door and they all flew free. I didn't see (forgot to look) the hawk up in the tree. The 800 acres behind my subdivision is being developed and the hawks are losing their habitat. They "hunt" now in my yard looking for big fat pigeons. I was walking back up to the house after letting the birds out and all of a sudden something hit me hard on the head. It felt like it grabbed my hair, and it almost knocked me down. I looked up to see a hawk flying away. He had swooped down on me (maybe thinking that I was a pigeon!) and flew away so fast that it was amazing. If not for the scratches on my scalp no one would have believed me. Later on in the morning, a small branch fell out of the oak tree on to my head. I grabbed my head thinking that the bird had returned! I think tomorrow when I go in the backyard I will wear a construction hardhat!

Friday, April 20, 2007

I remember

In April, 1992, 15 years ago, I investigated a traffic accident. A 17 year old boy and three of his friends rode out to the beach after school. They cruised out in the boys truck, a small Dodge Dakota, the four of them on the bench seat of the truck. It was a stick shift, so there really wasn't room for all of them, but they huddled close together, no one wore a seat belt. They stopped at a small store where they knew that id's would not be checked, and bought some beer. They drank the beer, laughed and enjoyed each other's company as they drove towards the beach on that spring day. Two of the girls were 15, the other was 16 years old. The road narrows to one lane in each direction onto the bridge over the intercoastal waterway, then continues to be narrow and ends at the Gulf of Mexico at the public beach area. Between the bridge and the end of the road there is a boat ramp, and the area is very sandy where the boat trailers park. Sometimes this area is congested if a lot of tourists are headed to the beach. I think the cars in front of him may have stopped short and the boy braked hard and lost control of the truck. Pick-up trucks are notoriously light in the rear end, and it skidded sideways and headed into the oncoming lane. A car hit the truck and sent it spinning and rolling. It ended upside down, facing the roadway. The two fifteen year old girls were partially ejected out the passenger window, and lay dead face down in the sand -their arms entwined and their shoulder length hair disheveled. The boy was conscious, and being loaded in an ambulance. I think he had a broken leg. The girl that had been sitting next to him had been impaled with the floor gear shift knob. She survived with a broken pelvis, two broken femurs and a pierced bladder. The driver in the oncoming car was not seriously injured. Backpacks belonging to the kids were strewn all over the shoulder of the road, and none of the kids had identification on them. I collected the student id's from the backpacks and took them to the hospital. I instructed the dispatcher to notify all the parents and have them respond to the hospital. The three girls looked a lot alike, and I had no idea which of them was critically injured and which two were dead. As the first mother arrived, a helicopter was standing by to take the critically injured girl to a larger hospital. I asked the first mother if she knew her daughter's friends as I took her in to see the injured girl. (I remember thinking, "will she be the lucky one?") She recognized the girl as one of her daughter's best friends. She then began to ask where her daughter was. I took her up the hallway to the quiet room (I don't know why they call it that), where I broke the tragic news to her that changed her life forever. Giving someone that "regret to inform you" news is just like punching them in the stomach. They double over and make the sounds of a fatally injured animal. Just then, the father walked in and I had to repeat the punch. Another set of parents arrived and I had to give them the bad news. I have thought about this case a lot lately. I told it in detail to my son. I explained to him how a mistake involving alcohol can affect the rest of your life, and the life of your loved ones. I don't know who is better off, the kids that survived or the kids that died. The surviving girl is still in a wheel chair and can probably never have children. The boy is still on felony probation for being the responsible driver in the accident. The incident also impacted me forever; that is why I am so fearful for my son.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Devil goes to church!

People were in their pews talking at church. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate. Soon everyone had exited the church except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seeming oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence. So Satan walked up to the old man and said. "Don't you know who I am?" The man replied, "Yep, sure do." "Aren't you afraid of me?" Satan asked. "Nope, sure ain't." said the man. "Don't you realize I can kill you with a word?"asked Satan. "Don't doubt it for a minute," returned the old man, in an even tone. "Did you know that I could cause you profound horrifying agony for all eternity?"persisted Satan. "Yep," was the calm reply. "And you're still not afraid?" asked Satan. "Nope," said the old man. More than a little perturbed, Satan asked,"Well, why aren't you afraid of me?" The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for 48 years."

Calming down

I was crazy for a while until I read some of your supportive comments and emails. I thank you all so much for taking the time to comment on my "crisis". My son is in the teenage independence years, and it is difficult for me to let him go. Sometimes I watch my life from the sidelines. I think it is because of the time I have spent lately with my elderly Mom. I picture myself in a few more decades right there where she is. At the same time my son is breaking away (as he should at age 17). I have always been sort of resistant to change; even though I know that is what life is all about. I miss my little boy who used to like "me" the best! Now he likes his friends better, trusts them more, confides in them. I have come to terms with this the past week, and I am not so upset about it anymore. I will let him go to Europe. I will trust him to learn by his mistakes. I will pray and keep my fingers crossed that he will do the right thing. I will be there for him when he needs me. It is all I can do because I really don't have a choice!

Monday, April 09, 2007

My broken heart

I am tuffenuff. There is not too much that life can throw at me that I haven't seen before. After all, I had a job for 25 years that showed me the ugly underbelly of society. Last Tuesday I got the shock of my life when the school called and said, "We have your son here in the clinic and he is drunk." I made them repeat it because I couldn't believe what they were saying. I said, "I'll be right there". Time slowed down, my mouth dried out. The 15 minute ride to the school took forever. The ambulance was out front of the office as I entered. My son was on the nurse's cot crying. He had a bloodied nose and lip from struggling with the police. Everyone gave me "the look". You know - poor you - your son has bad, bad problems look. I was numb. Preston was drunk out of his mind. I worried about the amount of alcohol that he had consumed. I have seen kids poison themselves to death this way. I have had to break the news to parents of teenagers who have done similar things. I had the ambulance transport Preston to the hospital. We spend the rest of the day in the ER, then went from there to the mental health hospital and spent most of the evening there. We finally arrived home at midnight. In retrospect it could have been much worse. My heart is broken. Preston has always been a good kid, always followed the rules and been respectful. He and his friend had decided the night before the incident that it would be fun to get a "little drunk" and go to school. They conspired to steal liquor from their respective homes and carry it to school in water bottles. Preston brought straight vodka in a water bottle; the other boy brought a mixture of whiskey and tequila. I guess the other boy only pretended to drink, while Preston "chugged" down the deadly stuff. I estimate that he drank 8 to 10 ounces. Having never been around alcohol before, he had no idea how much to drink. He starting getting sick almost immediately, and was taken to the clinic from his first class. He was talking crazy and doesn't remember most of the day. He was still puking at 10:30PM. The counsellors and psych doctor decided after talking to Preston, that he was not trying to deliberately harm himself, but rather made a really stupid teenage choice. He is suspended from school for 5 days, and we are participating in a drug & alcohol awareness class for the next six weeks. He will also be going to counseling. I am scared to death. All of his life I have been an overprotective mom; now I am just plain nuts. I am frightened to let him out of my sight. Needless to say he is restricted from everything. He just turned 17. I know teenagers want to spread their wings and try new things. I just feel like our trust is broken, and I don't know how to get it back. I tell you this story because I am looking for some advice from my blog friends. This summer Preston is scheduled to go to Europe for 10 days on a school trip. It will be chaperoned, but I wonder if I will be a fool to let him go. This is a chance of a lifetime. He says that he has learned his lesson the hard way, and vows to never go near alcohol again. What happens if another temptation presents itself? Will he be strong enough to resist? I have never been so distressed in my lifetime.

Friday, March 23, 2007

He's ALMOST never bit anyone!

My good friend (the Wolfman) is still an officer at the PD that I retired from. His recent "anonymous" comment on my blog begs me to tell this story. I wanted my dog, Ransome to like my friend. Ransome is a guard dog, and really doesn't like to let strangers come in. (and they don't get any "stranger" than Wolfman.) Several years ago we decided to have the Wolf and the wolffie dog Ransome make friends. Big mistake. They strongly dislike each other. I told the Wolfman not to stare at Ransome, but I suspect that he did anyway! Ransome jumped on him and bit him in the stomach! Big deal, it didn't break the skin - it was just a warning from Ransome. Let's face it, if he had wanted to kill him he would have gone for the throat! After that, I still wanted them to be friends. I had them sit in the living room and basically ignore each other. It seemed to be going good, so I invited the Wolfman to take Ransome for a walk around the block. All went unexpectedly good, the Wolf holding the leash and Ransome ignoring him and marking all the bushes and mailboxes as we circled the block. When we got back in the house I was just saying how all went well - when Ransome gave the Wolf another little bite on the hand - just to let him know that he still didn't like him. Ever since then the Wolfman has been threatening to take my poor dog Ransome for a walk in traffic.
Ransome says, "Bring it on - I will bite your ass off!!!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Familiar face

My son Preston is 17 today. He was born on the First Day of Spring and he is my proudest acomplishment and the joy of my life. I went up to the store to get him an ice cream cake. I waited until the last minute because Preston really doesn't care that much for cake, but I found out that some friends were stopping over. People aways expect cake and ice cream for a birthday celebration. So, it's 5:45 PM and I go over to the local grocery store. I am scooting around the store when I see a familiar face. A lady is coming towards me with her cart. She looks at me and smiles - I grin back. OK, I never forget a face - but who the hell is that? I have met so many people in my life. Often times even people that I have arrested come up to me years later and speak. "hey, remember me??? You arrested me in '97! remember?" (no, I have no idea who you are or what offense you committed) I never forget a face, but that is as far as it goes! It took about an hour for the light bulb to go on in my head. One of my bloggie friends has this lady's photo posted on her blog! It is her sister and she lives in my small town. Funny that I should recognize her. Had I realized it while I was in the store, it would have been akward to explain who I was.

"Hi, I'm Tuffenuf". "Oh yeah? well, you don't look so tough to me!" No, I mean my name is Tuffenuf- or, oh well, it's not really my name.

Small world, even in blogland!

Danger!

I hope everyone with pets has heard about the dog/cat food recall. Canned and packaged wet food seems to be the problem so far. I told my brother about the problem, and he said, "We are OK, we don't feed our dogs the cheap stuff." I had to explain to him that not just the inexpensive foods are tainted. The manufacturer makes foods for some of the expensive brands like Eukanuba and Iams. Check out your pet food at www.menufoods.com/recall Be sure to click on the brands to see any sub-brands. Also, the symptoms if your pet has been contaminated are: throwing up, thirst, (but refusal to drink), loss of appetite. Watch you pets for any kind of change. This "poisoning" causes kidney failure. Buddy & Hemi say, "Be careful what you feed your pets!"
Ransome says, "HUH?, I will eat ANYTHING!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Early flight

I have no idea what I am doing up this late, reading your blogs! I have an early flight to Virginia to check on my Mom. I try to go up about once a month but it is hard to leave Florida. I am worried that I will have to put my Mom in assisted living. She gets more helpless every time I see her. She wants to stay in her own house; it is difficult to explain to her that she is not very safe doing that. Tomorrow I will take her to the doctor, she is seeing a rhumatologist, for the tingling and weakness in her hands. She really needs someone to come to her house a couple of hours a day to assist her. My brothers and I will be interviewing an agency for this on Thursday. I can at least visit her for a while (I will be coming home on Monday) and clean her house and do her laundry. I worry about my Mom all the time. I wish we lived closer, but she will not consider coming to Florida. She doesn't want to leave "the boys" (my grown brothers!) I hope we can keep her in her home for a few more years, but I honestly think that she would be so much happier in a group home with her peers. I guess this is what we all must face as we get older. Enough of my tale of woe, I better finish packing and charging up my ipod. E-see you when I get back. Oh, hell, where is that coat?

Monday, March 05, 2007

We took some time off

We stopped the never-ending re-modeling & chores this weekend and went to the theatre on Sunday. We saw the Broadway show "Wicked" at Tampa Bay Performing Arts and it was great! We had box seats, and a great view of everything. It never ceases to amaze me the work that it takes to put on a show like that. I could see right down into the orchestra pit. One conductor has his head just high enough to see the actors on stage, so he could take his cues from them, while another conductor watched the first conductor, so he could lead the other half of the orchestra. Intricate mechanisms and hatches on the stage floor controlled large set pieces and smoke and wind coming up from the floor. I am just as much fascinated with the behind the scenes workings as I am with the play itself. What a wonderful job it must be to be involved in live theatre. I always worried that the actors could fall into the orchestra pit from the stage. I went up for a closer look during intermission and discovered that there is a large (mostly invisible) net over the orchestra pit. It was pulled tight and looked sturdy enough to catch even the heftiest of the actors!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I thought about you today!

This blogging thing still has me fascinated. Maybe I have too much time on my hands. I think about all of you a lot. I try to keep up with reading my favorite blogs, but like so many of you (Kerri), I discover new blogs all the time. Today I was out painting the fence. When you are immersed in such a boring project your mind wanders. I starting wondering how much snow Kerri was buried in, and how cold it must be. Others around the states probably still have snow on the ground. I thought of you today Motherkitty, I am glad that you seem to be back up to speed with your blog, and I am hoping it is because your health is good. Jelly, I thought of you and again of that scary dingo story with your naked Mum hero! T2T, I wondered if your weather was nice enough for you to go out and take some photos with your new camera. Terri, I am glad that you are having some time to enjoy blogging, your new blog has a great looking format and the name definitely fits you! Susan, I am wondering how your weather is there, and if snow would just slide right off that new, steep, red roof and I wish I would take the time to travel around as much as you do. Sandy, I see a lot of three-wheelers lately, and I wonder if one day I will see you roll up on your big red one! I hope my favorite taxi drivers (Bob, Joann, & Wil) are staying safe - I think about you driving around, lonely sometimes, very much like being a beat cop on patrol. There, I got another fence panel white-washed. Thanks to my thoughts of all of you - it seems like time flew by!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Crime update

Reference my previous post: this was a kidnapping for ransom, a rare occurrence. I can't remember one happening in this area during my entire police career. The suspect is on the run, probably left the state by now. I am happy to report that the victim was not sexually molested as I previously thought, and he is doing fine and back in the arms of his family. The search continues for the suspect (who has been identified) and this will probably become an international manhunt if he flees to his former home in Mexico.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Can't stop detecting!

This morning in our small little town, a 13 year old boy was abducted at gunpoint from his school bus stop. The other children looked on as a man forced the boy into his truck. The kids got a good description of the suspect vehicle. My cop friends called me to join in the search. Everyone was called out to search for a small burgandy colored truck with a king cab. You would be suprised how many red trucks you see when you are looking for one. I started searching the rural roads close to the county line with Tampa. I spent several hours driving up and down dirt roads and driveways, looking for any clues. A search like this is so massive that it almost feels hopeless from the start. Several area agencies helicopters joined in. About 1 PM the abducted boy called his mother from a cell phone that he had borrowed from a farm worker. It seems that the bad guy dropped the kid off about 20 miles from the scene, leaving him in a rural farm area. We were all so relieved that the child was alive. I don't know the details yet, but he was most likely sexually molested. The search continues for the suspect. How desperate and brazen must a pedophile be to grab a kid in broad daylight with witnesses present? I hope we catch him before he strikes again.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Don't stop reading my blog - I am still here!

I have been blog absent for so long now. I am so busy with projects that I haven't even turned on the computer for a long while. The weather is so beautiful this time of year. It is a good time to get outside projects done when it is 70 degrees instead of the usual 90 degrees! I have been working on the new building. It wasn't large enough to store all the stuff from the attached garage (we are turning that into a room) so I bought another smaller shed (8x10) to store the lawn & garden stuff. I bought one of those $250. sheds from Lowes, goes together like an Erector set (remember those from the 1960's?) We put up a short vinyl fence to divide the back yard. I wanted to replace my 10 year old six foot wooden fence around the whole property with vinyl fencing. It would be $3000. if I did it myself and much more if I had it done. We decided to whitewash the existing fence instead. What a job, this will keep the whole family busy for weeks. I am catching up on your blogs today. I hope my northern blog buddies are keeping warm with the terrible snow storms that you have had. Thanks to all of you that have e-mailed me wondering where I am! I will be back full time soon!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New out building

They delivered the new shed to the backyard on Thursday (just in time for the storm on Friday night) It can withstand winds up to 150 mph. Big deal. The houses that were destroyed by the freak tornados were about 100 miles north of here. Even newer houses were reduced to shreds of lumber by the high storm winds. Living in Florida is a crap shoot. I guess that is true of anywhere, as we are no match for Mother Nature! Ninteen people were killed in the storm - all in a matter of minutes. I can't help thinking -"there but for the grace of God go I". We were lucky in this area, no damage, just some wind & rain. I am thankful and happy for everyday on this earth! I have been busy building work benches inside the new building (in case I ever need a work bench) and putting all the stuff back in. I will take some photos tomorrow. Peace.

*When I was up in Virginia, it snowed. It didn't stick, hardly ever does that close to the Chesapeake Bay. I ran outside, only for a minute, just to switch the cars around. I had forgotten - you just can't do that! I nearly shivered to death before I ran back in the house to get a coat, hat, scarf & gloves (clothing that I hardly ever use/need in Florida)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No place like home

I was only gone for eight days, but it seemed like a month. I am so glad that I went to Virginia when I did - my mother was so sick. Her hands looked like boxing gloves and she could not do ANYTHING for herself. Her GP did not know the cause of this hand swelling and said that it "would go away in time". My brother had taken her to the doctor three times and told me that there was nothing that they could do. I took her right over to the doctor. I knew that they had to do something- or I would be changing doctors. The doctor suspects rheumatoid arthritis; he recommended a specialist. He gave her prednisone, which took the swelling down almost immediately, it was gone in 48 hours. She has an appointment with the arthritis specialist next Monday. Mom is also incontinent and up until my visit refused to wear adult diapers. I finally convinced her that the diapers were comfortable and certainly better than peeing in your pants! Elderly parents are very much like toddlers. You have to bathe, dress and feed them. When you take them out you must seatbelt them into the car, help them get in and out. It is really a lot of work, but also a labor of love. My mom is so independant and wants to continue to live in her house. I don't know how much longer that she will be able to do this. I will try to help by visiting once a month or so.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Gone!

They took the old building out of the yard. It is still in good enough shape to be used, so I gave it away to a friend. My new building has an all steel frame and sides and will be much more manageable to maintain. It will be delivered next week. I will be glad to get my "stuff" into the new building. Everything is in such shambles now, strewn all over the yard!


Here is a photo of Matt at his first job at the local grocery store. He seems happy to be working and making some money.

I am leaving tomorrow morning to fly up to Virginia to see my mother for a week. I want to help her out with some chores, and take her to the store to buy a new mattress.

(note: reference my last post - the bones turned out to be animal when forensics techs collected them.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Detecting again!

Today a detective friend of mine asked me to go with her on a cold case that she is working on. Approximately five years ago some jerk was digging a ditch in a rural area of the county with a large backhoe. He came across a skeleton of what he believed to be a female. He decided that he did not want to get involved, so he buried the bones and didn't tell anyone. Five years later his drunken mouth overloaded his drunken ass and he told his beer buddies about the find. This was overheard by the bar maid - who called police. A couple of months ago, cadaver dogs searched the ditch and scented on an area. It was the rainy season and too wet to dig in the ditch; so it was marked and left for later. Today we went to see if the area was dry enough to excavate. We had to climb a gate, then walk about a mile in to the site. We found the area to be much more dry. The green grass was dead now and brown, revealing a bone in the grass. This is possibly an animal bone, (or maybe human) and it was over a hog wire fence where we could not access it. I photograped it with my camera phone, but had no measurment reference with me. We marked the area of the bone before we left so forensics can go back tomorrow and collect it. While I was out there I saw several animal tracks. Racoons, wild pigs, deer, and this photo of a large paw. Again, I didn't have a reference with me but it was about four inches in diameter. It looked like a large cat paw, maybe a bobcat. I wish I had taken my pocket camera, but I didn't know that I would see so much! Maybe I will go out next time. Sometimes I miss working!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

blog-absent

Sorry that I have not posted in a while. I have been quite busy with other projects. We have demolished the pigeon coup, cut the wood into small pieces and put it out for the trash. We are having the 12x20 shed in the back yard taken out and we are replacing it with a new steel building. I gave the old building to a friend, and they will be moving it on Friday. We have loaded all the contents of the old building into a borrowed horse trailer and containers in the back yard. I moved the travel trailer out of the way so the old building can go out the back gate. I ordered a new steel building that will be delivered and put in the same place. An electrician unhooked the old building and will return to electrify the new one. The old building had brick and concrete steps up to it, and I supervised as my roomate broke them up with a sledge hammer! We will put the pieces out in the garbage at little at a time. This is a major project and only the first of many things that I need to get done around the house. Everyone in the household in pitching in and that makes it a lot easier. Also, it is nice to have everyone working together on a project.