Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have been out to the store for various things & observed the influx of cheap gifts in the stores. When will it ever stop? This year we decided not to exchange gifts, rather spend time with each other and do things like go out to dinner together. The gift buying pressure is OFF and it feels really good. There is SO much STUFF in the stores, do we really need all these things? It is no wonder that the economy is collapsing. Anyway, I will pass along this video that I found quite funny. It is called "Cheap car made in China".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I had some friends over this past weekend. I rarely do this. I sometimes "get together" with friends, but usually not at my house. As I have told you before, I live in a little "cracker box" of a house, and I never feel like it is big enough to entertain. Over the past few weeks the bathroom remodel has been going on. I expected that it would be completed before the company came over. You know what they say about the best laid plans - anyway, the tile people were STILL working in the bathroom on Sunday when my company was here. Finally, tomorrow, the toilet is scheduled to go in. (I will believe it when I see it) In the meantime, four of us have been sharing a small bathroom and shower. In the remodel we took out the bathtub and made it into a shower. Most people are worried about the re-sale of the house when you do that. I think that if I ever sell this house that it would only cost a couple of hundred dollars to drop a bathtub back in there. We have never used the tub, because we all take showers. The new tile is bigger than the small little 4x4 tiles that came in the house. It will be nice if it ever gets done. We had a "cubby hole" built into the wall to store shampoos and soaps. I hope the boys like their new bathroom because that is all they are getting for Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Nervy neighbor

I have a new 6 foot white vinyl fence around my corner lot yard. I put Christmas lights on one side of the fence. The new lights are high efficiency, cool burning, & multi-colored and they look great. When I went to hang them on the other side of my yard, I noticed that my next door neighbor had already hung lights, with garland and red bows, on my new fence. My neighbor came out and was bragging about how good the decoration looked, and said to me, "You know you like it - admit it!!!" I just thought that it was very nervy for her to take advantage of my good nature and just hang lights on my fence without asking. Sometimes I am too nice, but in the spirit of the holidays - I let her keep them up. I am a push-over I guess, but in the long run I guess it doesn't matter. People never cease to amaze me.

I had a nice visit with my brother and his wife over Thanksgiving. They came down for a few days. I had them stay in my travel trailer because my house is a little "cracker box" with not much room for company. They seemed to like it though. They had room enough to retreat to their own little space. I took them to some of the local activities, it was nice for them to enjoy this great weather.

I have been neglecting reading/writing my blog, so I will have to catch up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Buddy is making real progress. He is off the steriods now, and he is walking around, going in & out of doors good. He is not quite 100% better, he still can't lift his leg to pee! I am happy that he is doing so good. I am busy working on the house, as usual. Today the plumber will come and install our new "high effiency toliet". I will get a $100. rebate from the county after it is installed. Next week the tile guy is coming to replace the tub/shower tile in that same bathroom. It is pretty expense, but you might as well do it right. I have lived in this house 12 years, and although it is small (I call it my little cracker-box) it is nice and with this market, I intend to live her a lot longer than I originally planned. Next I plan to re-model the other bathroom. Then I will be done for a while.
The weather is so nice this time of year. I could stay outside all day. I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving. My brother & sister-in-law are coming down for the holiday. I look forward to seeing them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My little dog, Buddy, was in the hospital a week ago. He spent the weekend in the "Animal ER". On Friday night, I was out in the yard with the dogs and I heard Buddy start "screaming". I ran over to him thinking he had encountered a snake or something. He cried and could not stand up. His back legs were totally useless. Buddy is quite heavy for a Jack Russell, (24 pounds) and I could hardly pick him up. I took him to the only vet open on nights & weekends. They kept him til Sunday, he was on pain meds and steroids. The Doc said that he might have just pulled his back out or have spinal stenosis. He x-rayed Buddy's back and showed me a disk that may be the problem. He said that he could not tell for sure without and MRI. (I didn't know that there was an MRI for pets!) Anyway, my bill was already up to $1200., so I opted not to have an MRI. I took Buddy home and have been treating him with meds including steroids. He is progressively better each day. He can walk now, but was falling down for a while until he adjusted. He is still listing to one side. Buddy is 11 years old, so I don't expect that he will return to "puppy status" but I just want him to be comfortable. So add to my jobs, DOG NURSE! Really, I complain, but it is a pleasure to care for such a good little patient. As a mom, I just consider him one of my fur kids!

Friday, November 07, 2008

So quiet

I am so glad the election is over. It is nice to see the television without back-biting, mud-slinging political commercials. There are a few people that are mad that their guy did not win. They will contiinue to disagree and trash talk the President. I believe that once someone is elected, that we should try to stand behind that person. We will not get out of this economic mess unless we all work together. We are lucky to live in a democracy, in the richest county in the world. We can agree to disagree - but let us all stop being so angry about everything. Well, anyway, that is how I feel about it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

World Series

I am not a season follower of major league baseball or any other sport because I would rather be playing it than watching it. Sometimes I will watch the World Series when my favorite team (The Yankees) is in it, but I don't usually pay attention to the regular season play. This year our local team, Tampa Bay Rays is in series, so I have been watching. It is exciting to watch the young team, who was in last place for so many years, doing so well this year.

This is the first time I have watched the games on my high definition television. I have noticed an unusual amount of "player spitting". They seem to be constantly spitting, not just in the dugout, but ALOT when they are up at bat. I am not sure if they have always spit this much - or if I am noticing it more in high definition! Also, if I spit (I rarely do) - I would lean forward - as to not get spit on the front of me. These guys are just spitting at random, into the wind or not, and it seems that some of this spit MUST be landing on their shirts!!!
The head coach Joe Madden is constantly shoving large pieces of bubble gum into his mouth. I know he must be nervous, and this is how he is coping with it, but it is funny to see. He must have a five pound tin of gum in the dugout with him!
I hope the Rays do well and win the World Series. They have gone from "worst to first"!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Early voting

We voted today. It was Preston's first time voting in an election. There were a lot of older people in line with us, and everyone kept asking Preston if he was a first timer. They seemed happy to see a person so young voting. The election offical told Preston how to fill out the ballot and not to worry if he made a mistake, he could return the voided ballot and start over. There were a lot of people at the polls for early voting. I hope this is an indication that we will have a big turnout this election. It is important so we can get America back on track.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Health news

My recent visit to the cardiologist went well. The doctor told me on my last visit in August that I may have to have another angioplasty. When I saw the doctor last week he told me that we would just wait and see for a while. He told me to contact him immediately if I had any symptoms. I am relieved that I have staved off this test, at least for a short time. I have been really good lately, staying on my diet & walking. I am feeling better, no chest tightness or pain. I am on a new medication and of course I still have my nitroglycerine tabs nearby, but overall I am much better. I am hoping that I won't have problems at least until there are more innovations in the robotic surgery. Whenever I get scared or down about my cardiac problems, I read "Matthews blog". This is the story of little Matthew & the serious heart condition that he has had since birth. Matthew & his parents show extraodinary courage in his lifelong fight. I always think of Matthew when I am at the heart doctor. I think of the tests and surgeries that he has had to face, so difficult for him & his parents. Matthew gives me hope and courage to face anything that I must go through.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shower phone

I was thinking today about all the new technology (and you know how I love it!) I was in the shower and I heard the phone ringing. Having been an "on-call" detective for so many years prompted me to want to run out naked & wet and answer it. I came to my senses, remembering that I was retired. Then I got the idea that the only place we don't have telephone communication now is in the shower. You can still answer if you have your phone in your pocket even if you are on the toliet! (although I don't practice this). Anyway, in my mind, I invented a water proof touch tone phone that could suction to the shower wall. If your shower was too noisy you could always text back the caller. We seem to have the need to communicate everywhere else, what about the shower? Do you think it will catch on? Then we will never miss a call!
(We already have the "cell phone watch")

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ransome 1997-2008

While I was in Virginia my beloved Airedale, Ransome, died. I have known for a while that Ransome was near the end of his life, but I am sorry that he took a turn for the worse while I was gone. My son, Preston, with the help of my good friends, took Ransome to the vet. Preston made the decision to put the dog down. I was proud that he could make this difficult decision. He called me right after and told me that he stayed with Ransome while the vet euthanized him. Preston said that he wanted to comfort Ransome so he wouldn't be scared. I miss my constant dog companion, but I still have my other little dogs to comfort me. It is sad when our furry friends die. I am glad that my son acted so bravely. It shows me that I should not worry so much about my fine young man.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sooner or later you have to leave you teenage boys at home alone. This weekend we are going to fly to Virginia to finish up some of my late Mom's affairs. The boys have school & work and must fend for themselves while we are gone. My friends call me "OPM" because I am such an overprotective mom. I have warned the boys not to take advantage of our absense by having wild parties. I tried to go over everything with them. I asked them not to have anyone in the house, and not to go anywhere except to school & work. I have stocked up on a lot of their fast food favorites, I know they won't be cooking balanced meals for themselves! I know that they are responsible young men and that I should not worry. I don't think that they will do anything wrong, but I worry that they could have a car accident or a car break-down and who will they call? I know that it is important for them to handle situations on their own. After all, Preston is a college freshman and Matt is a high school senior. Somehow they are still my little boys even though they shave their faces! Keep your fingers crossed; I will try not to worry!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Retired? Who's bored? NOT ME!

A friend of mine sent me this photo in an email. It reminded me so much of myself, that I had to post it for those of you who don't know what I look like! (OK, I am a little fatter and I don't wear this much pink, but the attitude is right on!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I watched my mother last Wednesday night take short, labored, gasping breaths. She reminded me of a little dying bird, trying hard to hold on to life a little longer. She died in the early morning hours of Thursday. I think that somehow, even in her unconscious state, she was waiting for me to get there. I would like to think that anyway. We had the funeral on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful service and Mom would have approved. We had a photo display with lots of our favorite photos of her in the front of the chapel. A lady minister (who did not know my mother) interviewed my brother and I the day before and gave a very eloquent speech about Mom at the funeral. Recalling the 89 years of her life was a comfort to us because we know that she had a beautiful life. We know that she thought that her greatest accomplishment in life was her three children; she told us that from time to time. I am comforted that she is no longer suffering. I don't think she was in pain, but I mean the suffering that comes with old age and not being able to do things for yourself anymore. I have had some tear filled moments in the last week but overall I am not sad because I can still feel my mother with me. I know that her spirit will be with me in the next couple of months when I face down some serious medical issues. Her best advice to me was something I think about every day now. . ."Don't be scared, what one person can do, any person can do."
Rest in peace Mom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Near the end

My brothers are at my mother's bedside, and I will be there by tomorrow afternoon. There is no hope left as her sepsis has returned and she has developed pneunomia. Her feeding tube would not stay clear and the doctors were going to replace it, but they cannot now because of the infection. Mom is just on fluids and sleeping alot, her heartbeat is irregular. It is only a matter of time now. I think she may be waiting for me to get there. I just want her to be comfortable. Tomorrow I will join my brothers in the death watch. I will try to keep in mind a passage I once read, "Let us not remember how they died, but how they lived".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay, Fay, GO AWAY! & my broken heart

I live in the middle of Florida, on the west side. I have been blessed because in the years I have lived here, I have never had a direct hit from a hurricane. Last Monday we all braced to have a hit from Tropical Storm Fay on Tuesday. We put up our storm shutters. The inside of the house was dark from being boarded up, and I couldn't look out the windows. (one of favorite things to do!) By the next day the storm had veered to the east and we were spared, not even a drop of rain! Fay proceeded east across the state and out into the Atlantic Ocean. I thought we were done with her. NO. Now she is slowly meandering west again across the northern part of the state! I will again avoid bad weather when it is all around me.

I got some bad news from the cardiologist about my recent stress test. I didn't completely fail it, but let's just say I got a "D minus". The doctor has put me on vasodilator medication, but is suggesting that I have another cardiac catherization soon to determine if other arteries are blocked. This is the test where they thread a wire up through your femoral artery into your heart, and it is really the only definitive test to show the condition of your coronary arteries. I have had this test before in 2001. During the test if they find too many blocked arteries, they may decide to do open heart surgery at that time. I am waiting to check my options, but I know I am just postponing the inevitable. I want to check in to the "Davinci" machine, a fairly new robotic surgery that doesn't involve splitting open my breast-bone! Anyway, it is a lot to think about, but since stress affects my condition, I am trying to remain calm about the whole thing.

On a lighter note, my son Preston loves college! The difference in his attitude is amazing! He told me yesterday that he might even work ahead, and get his assignments done before they are due! I am happy for him and it is nice to see him relaxed instead of stressed out all the time! A couple of days before school started he got his shoulder length hair cut to a regular cut and shaved off his two inch beard! I don't know why he decided to do this, maybe to look more mainstream. It is nice to see him on the road to success, but he still has not decided on a major.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Studying for my test

In about two weeks I have to take a cardiac stress test. I have taken them before, but not in about five years. The reason is stupid, I just didn't like the cardiologist. My GP kept asking me if I had taken the test, and I finally got him to recommend another heart specialist. This doctor seems great, but I am still a little nervous, not having had my heart checked in five years. This is also a different test involving injecting a drug to make your heart think you are exercising. It all sounds scary, but at least the doctor will be right there in case of any emergency. I will joke around and act like I am not nervous at all - but don't shake my hand, I might have sweaty palms! In the meantime I am walking two miles a day and biking a couple of times a week, but it is difficult in the hot Florida sun. If I am lazy and don't get out for a walk before eight in the morning, I sometimes go up to the Walmart store and walk the inside perimeter twice (I figure that is about a mile - it is such a huge store!) I have atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in my arteries) and I have been taking a statin drug to combat this. I had angioplasty in 2001 and a stent placed to clear one blockage in my heart, but they observed other arteries partially blocked at the time. We will see from the test if the drug is working or if the blockage is getting worse. At the time of my first cardiac problems, I just hoped that I could live long enough to see my son graduate from high school. Now I have amended all that - I want to live long enough to dance at his 40th birthday party!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Already August

I can't belive how quickly time passes by. The older you get, the faster life goes. I hope anybody who regularly reads my blog hasn't given up on me - I haven't blogged for a while - I am just busy with everyday life. My Mother remains the same, in the hospital for sixty days now. I try to get up there at least once a month. It is sad to see her in this state, unable to eat, walk, talk and take care of herself. I think it must be "a living hell" for Mom to wait for someone to come in and change her in the morning. Both of my brothers are good sons and visit Mom several times a day. She tries to move and talk and I try not to lose hope but I know she will never be back to the way she was. It is the process of dying, it is difficult to watch.

On the home front, it is almost time for school to resume. Preston starts his first year in college this month and has scheduled all his classes for 11 AM or later. He is not a "morning person" so maybe this will work for him. I hope he likes college and I hope he studies and does his work. Matthew starts his senior year in high school soon. He is taking a course in automotive mechanics this year and he is very excited to get started with that.

As time goes by I feel so lucky. I see many people having tough economic times, losing their houses, unable to pay their bills. Even though I have some serious health problems, I am still able to function and walk & ride my bike. I am thankful for that. I hope all my blog buddies are doing well. I must catch up on my blog reading today (after my chores!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tree friends

I am constantly seeing faces in trees. I wonder if this is some sort of mental illness. Do you see a face in this photo? Maybe it is just me. Maybe I need more real friends!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poor Buddy, "poor" me!

My middle dog, Buddy, had to have surgery yesterday to remove three tumors and six teeth! I have to keep him from running, jumping, and playing with the other dogs for a few days. I also have to keep him from biting at the incision sites and messing with his stitches. I have him wrapped in a big towel, laying in my bed. I think he will be alright if I can keep him from biting & licking; it is natural for dogs to lick. Anyway, don't feel sorry for Buddy (he has my excellent nursing care) - feel sorry for me - I am the one who had to pay $800. for the proceedure!

Monday, June 23, 2008

New life

Our friends Ryan & Anna just had a new baby this week. Here is "Kendal Madison" on her birthday! She is cute. Well, they are all cute, but what constant work. It is worth it of course, but remember those nights with a newborn - no sleep? Thank goodness that part doesn't last that long. In looking at the new baby I realize that really - they all look alike. (don't ever say that to a mother of a newborn!) No wonder some newborns get switched at birth! Most of them look very similar (other than the hair or no hair thing!) While looking at the baby I thought of my Mother. She is in the rehab hospital now, but still cannot eat, speak or walk, and someone must do everything for her. It is so much like a newborn baby. I hope she will recover so she is aware, but no one knows, she could stay like this for years. We start out as helpless infants. If we don't die from some ailment or disease, we end up as older adults who become progressively more helpless. I guess it is the circle of life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

(click on photo to see a close-up)
I saw these two baby raccoons back in the new subdivision when I was back there on my walk one day. I think they may be orpans, they looked so confused. I hope they make it without their mama!

I just returned from a week up in Virginia visiting my mother. She is 89 and living on her own with my brother visiting her everyday. She refused to come live with me, and would not hear of not living in her house on her own. I spoke to her on the phone and she told me that she was sick, but would not go to the doctor. My brother showed up one day and found her passed out on the floor. She was transported to the hospital where they discovered a UTI and sepsis infection. She was treated with strong anti-biotics for about ten days. She seems to be out of the woods now, but has been in bed two weeks. She still can't speak or swallow, and seems to have some mental problems. Yesterday they placed a feeding tube in her stomach. Up til now they had been nourishing her through a feeding tube in her nose. It is sad to see my mom like this, and frustrating that we can not communicate with her. I think that soon she will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility. I don't know how much she will recover due to her age and the severe infection that she had. We just have to wait and see. My brother is my mom's angel, he tries to communicate with her. She is partially deaf and we don't know if she is understanding us or not, but we keep talking to her. It is a hell of a state to be in when you have been an independent person all your life. It will happen to us all one day.

Friday, June 06, 2008


The long awaited high school graduation finally took place on June 5th. I said that I wouldn't embarrass Preston, but I couldn't help the "wooop-wooop" that I yelled out as he walked across the stage. Preston HATED the principal and told me that he would not be shaking her hand. I told him now he was 18 years old, and that would be his decision, but that real men forgive and forget. I didn't know what he was going to do as he walked across the stage. He shook the principals hand, and had his photo taken with her. I was proud of him for making this decision. Preston has been accepted at the local community college this fall. He will work to make some money this summer for GAS so he can get there!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It has been so long since I "blogged in" that I almost forgot my password. I have been working to help Preston finish up his last high school online course - Personal Fitness. He has to stretch and work out and run everyday - and I have to be there to time him and record the results. This is a course that should be taken in school with a coach, but as it turned out I am the coach! Preston is having no problems with the physical part of this course. He is in excellent shape with hardly no body fat (He's 5'09"& 140 lbs.) and I am amazed how easily he jogs a mile without even breathing heavy! I always tell him how incredible that is to this "old overweight bag" and he just smiles. He is feeling better since he took this course, and I am trying to encourage him to continue this after school has endend. It is getting hot here, already in the upper 80's with high humidity. That puts a damper on the desire to exercise. June 5th is Preston's graduation date and I am really getting excited now. He has been accepted at the local community college. I am hoping he likes college better that he did high school. He wants to go, so that is a good thing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Back on duty!

I suspect that a dirt bag guy in my neighborhood is stealing gas. I noticed that after I had filled my tank, the next time I used my vehicle half the gas was gone. My son told me that he thought his car might need a tune-up because of poor gas milege, so he is likely a victim too. I checked with my neighbors and they are having similar problems. I live in a small middle class neighborhood. Most of people are good and considerate of each other. I was forced to buy locking gas caps for the cars. I suggested to the neigbors that they do the same. I have been watching the suspects movements, (he doesn't work -suprised?) I have looked up his name and arrest record and checked his recent sales at the pawn shops (he has a lot of sales - suprised?) Now I just have to watch and wait until I have the proof. I wish I was a fly on the wall to see his face when he discovers that many of our tanks are locked now! The suspect and his wife have asked the neighbors from time to time to "borrow" money. We have all given them money and felt sorry for them, but they really need to go to jail. It is annoying, but in the same way good to have a "case" to work again!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Well, the new windows are in & the trees are trimmed. The Home Depot gave me grief for nothing, the hurricane protection passed the inspection. Here are the before & after of one of the trees.

Looks like a nice haircut, huh?

Next I will be replacing the fence.

The new windows are really nice, double pane glass. They should save me some money because they are very energy efficient.

On to my next project.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My biggest regret

In 1985 I lived in a rental house owned by an 80 year old man and his wife. He was a retired inventor that had worked all his life in the automotive industry. He told me once that he was instrumental in designing speed controlled windshield wipers, and other things that I don't remember now. His wife was a gifted painter, who only discovered her talent when she was 75 years old. My rental house had several of her beautiful original oil paintings in it. I saw the man almost daily because the detached garage with the rental property was also his workshop. I was facisnated with his stories of inventions. I liked nosing around his shop and looking at all his stuff, including a large aluminum "thing" (about the size of a breadbox) One time he showed me a "power fishing reel" that he was working on. If you got tired pulling in the big fish, you could turn on the power assist. He was always thinking of things and he held several patents. At the time I had my MG/BGT car, and I was driving it everyday. I don't remember how much gas cost, but it wasn't a crisis back then. The old man told me that soon we would use up all the fossil fuel and then showed me that the "thing" was an electric engine that he had invented. He explained that it could power a car on batteries that would be charged by a solar cell. It would be a quiet running engine, and that there would be NO fuel, that the sun would be the only thing required. I questioned him about speed and distance and he told me that he thought it would get the same mileage as a traditional car, depending how many batteries you could carry and that the speed would only be about 50 miles per hour, but that is all you would need for an "around town" car. He wanted to put the electric motor in my MG. He said that it was the perfect car for an electric engine, small, with a large area in the rear that could be converted into a battery compartment. The fast back design of the car would accomodate the solar cells on top. I did not know anything about solar and I thought to myself - what if this guy is a lunatic? At that time, my MG was in great condition (not like this last year photo when it is old and being hauled away) I was afraid to take a chance on messing up a perfectly good car. Besides, it was a four cylinder and got good mileage. I really did not believe that we would ever run out of oil. I never thought I would be spending $70. to fill up my now eight cylinder Durango. Over the weekend, I was watching the science channel on television. They showed how easy it was if you had all the parts to take out a gasoline engine and replace it with an electric solar powered engine. Had I only known in 1985 what I know now! Live & learn I guess!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April showers

It has rained here so far everyday in April. I know we need the rain, but I like to be outside and I don't like getting wet. I have to get the tree guy over to trim my trees before the hurricane season - I called him to come and give me an estimate. About three years ago he "topped" my four trees and it was $650., so I imagine this time it will be about $800. or even $1000. It is worth it though to leave these things to the professionals - I am too old to be up in a tree with a chain saw!!! Besides, they not only trim the trees but they take all the mess away. I didn't do much with the tangerines this year. (they were ripe in January) I usually give a lot of them away, and we juice some of them. This year they are just rotting on the tree, but they still have to come off, so we are busy with that. I only have one tree, imagine how much work the big orange groves have to do. I am still in an argument with Home Depot, and I doubt that will be resolved before hurricane season. I hope we have a quiet season here this year, but you never know and you have to be ready. I am in the market for an electrician to fix a few things around the house but I don't know who to get. Home Depot has made me cautious of hiring anybody. I have been staying home a lot or just riding my bike. I hate having to pay so much for gas. I love to drive and I have liked taking a "Sunday drive" since I was a kid. I like to drive around and just sightsee, but I can't do it anymore.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My "baby boy" is eighteen. I can't believe how fast this happened. It seems like only a few months ago that he was a small child. I hope that he stays with me a few more years because it seems like we haven't had much time together. Life goes by at a rapid pace! It seems like I should have taught him more, showed him more things & maybe prepared him more for the world. I have to let him go now to find his own way and make his own mistakes. The mom in me wants to shield him from the world, but I know that I can't. I guess this is the time to shove him out of the nest. I wasn't ready for this time in my life to come around so quickly! I guess this is the beginning of "empty nest" that everyone talks about. I hear so many moms talk about how they can't wait for their kids to be off on their own. I guess this is just another milestone in life. I have gotten used to retirement, maybe I will adapt to this as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Home Depot

I have used Home Depot for years. Like many of you, I go there for supplies, tools, parts, and things for the house. I have spent thousand of dollars there. I have bought two ride on mowers over the years and countless clippers, weed eaters and yard tools. Recently I got involved with THE HOME DEPOT HOME SERVICES. I wanted to replace the windows in my house, including the sliding glass door. I wanted double pane hurricane resistant windows - about a $7k job. The salesman was wonderful, personable, and promised me that the job would be a quality job - just the kind of service that I was used to from Home Depot. I signed a contract and we scheduled the installation for the last week in February. That was the end of my dream; the beginning of my nightmare. An argument began between me and the project manager. He told me that I would need hurricane shutters for all of the windows. I told him that the salesman told me that the hurricane plywood that I have used with "Plylox" clips through the last two hurricanes would suffice. He told me that the clips & ply were no longer approved by my building department. I disagreed and called my county building department. They told me that the plywood & clips WERE APPROVED. I informed the project manager of this and he told me that the building codes have changed and that my building inspector was wrong. From there we were at a stalemate. Home Depot said that they could sell me more expensive windows and that then the shutters would not be an issue. Playing the old "bait & switch" game. I am so disapointed in a company that I thought was reputable. Now I am stuck in a situation because I don't want to lose my deposit. They now tell me that they have ordered the windows and are ready to install them. They cannot be paid until after the building inspector approves the job. So we will see what happens. It looks like it is going to be a fight to the finish. I hope the windows that I have waited so long to get turn out perfect - or they will be doing them over & over until they are right. However the job turns out, I am through dealing with Home Depot - you will never see me in the orange store again.

Monday, March 03, 2008

My weekend

I found this photo in Google images and it reminded me not to rest my "head in my hand" when I am surfing the web and especially while reading your blogs! I get lost in your stories and spend too much time on the computer - then I have a neck ache for the rest of the day!!!

I gave Ransome a haircut yesterday. As some of you know, Airedale's don't shed! Although that sounds good, they have to get haircuts! I spent several hours with the clippers on Ransome yesterday. He was so hairy that he looked like a little bear. I probably took five pounds of hair off of him! Ransome's ears usually flop down. After the haircut it was a little breezy out and when he ran his ears stood straight up! It was funny looking!

The weather is back to beautiful. I have to get busy and let the housework go and head out for a bike ride. I am feeling good lately and I think it is due to more exercise & less sitting on my butt in front of this computer. I have vowed to at least keep up with my blog reading - even if I have nothing to blog about.

Preston had a concert band evaluation on Saturday. The band plays three songs for the judges on stage. They then go into a classroom for a "sight reading". The judge gives them a folder of music that they have never seen, they have two minutes to prepare, then they have to play it. I usually can't get a photo of Preston when he is on stage because he is in the back. Here he is on the tuba at the sight reading. They did very well. I hope he keeps up with his music after high school, but often kids never pick up an instument again!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

I had to take a trip out to the county today to "unblanket" the horses. I saw a few baby calves on the drive out there! Many of them looked like they were recently born. I saw one with the umbilical cord still attached.

We have had two days of severe weather - FORTY DEGREES! We had to wear jackets! It has been such a mild winter here, this is probably the end of the cold weather for us. I guess Spring is here. I like the warm weather in Florida; but of course Summer will be brutal with temps. in the high ninties. I guess you have to take the good with the bad!

I have been trying to keep up with my exercise with walking everyday. I try to take a bike ride in the morning, then a walk. Usually the dogs want to go with me. I can't walk at a quick pace while wrangling the dogs, but I know they love to go and they need exercise too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fast forward

I have great dreams. They are always very vivid. Sometimes I dream about cop stuff and crime scenes that I have been to. Often times the dreams are scary and unresolved. Many times they are nonsense or just everyday happenings. Lately I have noticed that if I am going along in a dream and it seems mundane that I can fast forward. I attribute this new phenomeon to watching too much television. I have a digital recorder on the television. I can record shows when I am not home to watch later. Sometimes I fast forward through the boring parts when I am watching these shows. Who says that you can't teach an old dog new tricks?? My old brain has learned something. Weird.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Murphy bed installation

This morning Marion & I installed the bed in Preston's room. Installation is always the scariest part to me. Marion has proven to me more that once that NO ONE's walls are plumb; so securing a cabinet to a wall can be a nightmare if you don't know what you are doing. After years of being a "helper" I have watched Marion more than once square up kitchen cabinets that I thought would never go in. She knows all the secrets to making everything fit. Of course while all this is exciting to me - it is drudgery to Marion who refers to herself as an "old woman with a broken back". She bitches & curses the whole time. We installed this bed on the short wall next to the closet. Preston's room is only 12 ft. x12 ft. so there is limited space. He will have more room now when a few friends come over to play music or video games ; they won't have to sit on the bed. This is the way it works - the bed closes up into the cabinet. To open it you lift the handles (they become the feet) to unlatch the plungers that hold the bed into the cabinet. the cabinet has gas pistons which allow it to slowly lower with the weight of the mattress . To close, you just lift the bed and with very little pressure (you can do it with one finger!) it slowly rises and recesses into the cabinet. You push the handle legs flat to lock it in. I have fashioned a temporary shelf beside the bed to hold Preston's alarm clock, reading light, etc. This is only until I can talk Marion into building a matching side cabinet!!! As she drove away today I think I heard her yell back at me, "I 'm retired now so leave me the hell alone!" (I will give her a few weeks rest!)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Haven't posted in a while!

I better post something or I will lose all my blog friends! I have been so busy that I haven't even been reading the blogs. The Murphy bed project is finally done; to be installed this Friday. I wanted to do this project on my own, but that just didn't work out. I asked my friend, Marion, to help me with picking the wood and cutting it for me. Marion is a professional cabinet maker and I asked for her advice. The first thing she told me is not the let the lumber yard cut the wood. She went with me to pick the wood and she ended up cutting the wood and building the whole project, while I looked on. ("step aside, Tuff") She even stained it and put on a beautiful finish coat. (I got to help a little with that!) If I had done the project, it would have looked homemade - now it looks like a beautiful piece of furniture. I am grateful that my friend came out of retirement to do this project. She quit doing this kind of work when her back gave out from lifting the heavy wood for so many years. Funiture building is difficult for any man, much less a five foot tall woman. I have admired her for years, and she has taught me a lot about woodworking. Marion told me that she does not enjoy this kind of work anymore. That is sad because she is so good at it. "Handcrafted" is so hard to find these days - even cabinets & furniture is stamped out in factories. Anyway, Thanks so much, Marion, I promise that I won't make you build anything else!

More photos to follow after installation!