Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Blogger issues

Ok for the last month or two whenever I came to my blog it was show for a second and flash away to a widget server screen.

So maddening. I found this article but don't know if I have done this correctly or not...


https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/blogger/7u2HMWP9PDc/XD7vBZ5kCgAJ


I guess it worked if you can see the blog/me? Can you see me? Anyone out there?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wow my blog was blocked for weeks!

Some sort of pop up kept coming up and not letting me log in to my blog! It was very maddening.

I found the answer here:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/blogger/7u2HMWP9PDc/XD7vBZ5kCgAJ

but couldn't figure out how to implement it.

I guess it worked itself out as I was finally able to log on today.


Life is good.

Real estate has been very busy for me this year! I have had several listings and have been working with buyers as well. I hope to have my best year ever.


Jamie just started at a new school. They use the Waldorf philisophy of teaching. They teach to the head, the hands and the heart.

She is learning an instrument called a Melodica, (Pictured)


she is learning to surf and to speakSpanish and likes going to school again.

My husband is obsessed with Gator Football and also teaches high school so we don't see alot of him until mid December.

And the storm Michael didn't come near us, so we have power!
 - 
Woo Hoo for power - gotta have my AC for comfort down here in the Sunshine state. It's still in the 90s here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Litter Pickup

I am a full time Realtor and Mom to 12 yr old Jamie and a wife to Mike who teaches High School History and loves the Gators. That means my Autumns are very busy. Mike is all Gator all the time pretty much all weekend. And now Jamie is going to games with him. So that means I am alone on the weekends to get things done.

My house is too messy and not as clean as it should be.

So is my car.

I feed a colony of kitties once a week (There are several of us doing this from my church).

I am on the board of our neighborhood and currently serve as secretary.

So not enough on my plate? I got involved in picking up litter in our neighborhood every first Saturday of the month. I drag my daughter and husband with me as I think we all should give back to our community.

When ever I think of giving something up I just can't.

But no more! I have been saying 'No' a lot to extra requests from my church for involvement. And I don't feel bad about it.

After all we only have 6 more summers....


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Starry Nights' House


I love interesting Houses and buildings. This house in Mt Dora Florida had an unattractive cement wall in front and owners decided to paint it in Van Gogh 'Starry Night' style. Then it looked so good they painted the house to match. They have an autistic grown son and have found it safer for him to know where he lives. Everyone in that town know where 'The Starry House' is.


City govenment fined them and tried to make them change it and the homeowner prevailed.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/lake/os-apology-van-gogh-house-20180718-story.html

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The White Male Patriarchal Society is fading fast or Let's all go back to blogging!

One of my favorite ex bloggers from back in the day of Mommy bloggers got stung on Facebook today. She posted a photo of kids picking berries in her yard and compassionately mentioned that she was worried about the kids in the camps separated from their families and some white 'gun guy' started spouting off against it. I say he was a gun guy because he has a gun for a facebook photo!

WTF White male patriarchal society is tipping over and they don't like it a bit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Jamie can really sing!

https://www.facebook.com/martha.aiken.1/videos/10203548409893525/

https://www.facebook.com/martha.aiken.1/videos/10203548409893525/

This was several years ago. This past weekend my daughter Jamie did a solo song at our weekend church retreat talent show. She has such a lovely voice...Really poignant

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Kitties need to be fed, kid need to be driven to school, laundry needs to be done, it's always something

See one of my kitties hanging in the bottom corner of this photo? I feel like there is always a mouth needing to be fed, a box that needs to be scooped, salad stuff that needs to be made or a house needs to be cleaned. Plus I have to bring home the Bacon and it hasn't been easy this past year.

When does life get easier or less complicated anyway? Retirement?  Or even then it will be something I guess. My Mom used to be overwhelmed if she had more than a Dr. appointment per day. Too many pets doesn't help. Two of the cats have dietary needs - The Tortie Calico in this photo has 'pre-diabetes' so has to eat special prescription cat food. Another of my Kitties has had Feline Urulogical syndrome and he also has to eat prescription cat food. So twice a day I separate the four cats and dole out their special foods. (And I feed the dog - but he's easy.)

Ok so cats and dogs are fed. Fish is dead. So time to feed the family. Trying to hope Mike will take over now and then automatically but he always looks to me. I am the planner, shopper and cook more often. He has had recent success with Poached Chicken which is so much better than it sounds when done right. Then he uses the leftovers to make homemade chicken salad. So happy he is showing some interest in culinary needs of the family (or really of himself but thats OK!) One less tummy I need to fill.

My daughter often greets me at the door with "I'm hungry Mommy". So I started letting her cook some things for herself. Thing is she would eat frozen burritos very night and they are pretty chalk full of crap and fat.

I guess in 6-8 years I may be lonely and in an empty nest, seems so far away now.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Fall in Florida is like Spring in Michigan

I grew up in Michigan - We had long grey winters. LLOOOOOONNNNNGGGG ones . Starting in Mid October til Mid April it was grey and cold. And often snowing or sleety. (is that a word?)

Anyway in Michigan when springtime came people got kooky. Everyone was so happt to see the sun and get outdoors without freezing our butts off that we were all goofballs.  Spring Fever don't you know?

Here in Florida it's the opposite. I know most people think we are sunbathing in the summer time but most of us stay indoors in the summertime because it's too DAMN hot to be out in it. So we rush from our air conditioned cars to our air conditioned homes and offices and don't dilly dally in the heat and humidity.

So now? Now it's FALL FEVER! Yup we are goofy about it. Everyone is so excited that it isn't going into the 90s anymore we just gush about the chilly weather We come out and jog, walk the dog, wash our own cars and have festivals. Now is the time for festivals baby.

Too bad the national touring acts don't know that! They typically tour in the summertime and I just don't do outside in the summer unless I am by my pool (Or someone elses' pool) Yes I will go to the beach now and then to boogy board, but I will be damned if I am going to go sit outside at a backyard barbeque without a pool. No way No how. We turned our heat on for the first time since last winter as it got down into the high 40s this week.

I think I will clean my car this weekend. And maybe go to this cool festival we have here called Porchfest.,,, and maybe go watch the Blue Angels? I just am giddy with it. It's so cool, it's finally cool!

Michelle Smiles Shrimp & Pasta

Here is the website url for the best shrimp and pasta dish that I have been making for over ten years.

http://www.michellesmiles.com/?p=14140#comments

And here is her post and recipe:
p1000493-1

The grocery store had uncooked  shrimp on sale.  Lately, I’ve been buying the already cooked and peeled shrimp to save time.  But the sale was good enough to encourage me to cook and peel the shrimp myself.  Oh my!  I forgot how amazing shrimp taste when cooked correctly!   The already cooked shrimp end up rather rubbery and tasteless by the time I get them reheated in whatever dish I throw them into.  But these shrimp melted in my mouth.  I tell you this just as a PSA – buy them raw and cook them yourself.
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Tbl cold butter in small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 fresh lemon juice
1/2 dry white wine
1/4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pasta cooked
In a saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil.  Place the shrimp in the pan.  Allow to saute for a couple of minutes – as the down side is starting to pink up, turn each over and allow to cook for another minute or two until completely pink.  Once it is completely pink, remove it from the pan immediately.
Melt 1 Tbl of butter in a sauce pan and saute garlic. Add wine and lemon juice, allow to cook on med/med-high until reduced by 1/2.  Reduce to low heat, add butter one small piece at a time – stirring until piece melts and then add the next one.  Once all of the butter is added, stir in some salt and pepper and the fresh basil leaves.  Remove from heat.  Toss with shrimp and pasta.  Top with some grated parmesan or asiago cheese.
The night I made this, I discovered that we were out of white wine so I used red.  It tasted almost as yummy – so whatever you have in the house is good.  Also, if you like tomatoes, you could chop up a tomato and toss it in.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Not much of a Dance Mom

Jamie is no longer in Dance Ensemble but has dance classes every day now that she is in middle school. Each A day she has two classes and each B day she has one dance class. This means she has to wear different colored tights and leotards each day. And each class. On A day she actually wears 2 different pairs of tights one over the other.

I think it's crazy but it's her passion not mine.

I do not however bring her the tights or leos if she misjudged and dressed incorrectly. Some call that mean. I call it natural consequences.



Monday, August 14, 2017

Jamie's first day of LaVilla Middle School!

I just realized this past week if she takes the bus each day as planned I just gained 12 hours a week back into my life!!

I have many hopes for what to use that extra time for - Perhaps Exercise? House cleaning? Meal planning and prep? Landscaping oh yeah and Real Estate!

We will see - She was waxing philosophical about having to ride the bus in the morning...LOL She gets $10/week if she rides the bus each day.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Funny Residence in our town

This is called the Whetstonian - It's actually a house where these folks have decorated with found objects. They have a fence/wall on the other side where it faces a busy street - State St in Jacksonville, FL and they have many pieces of granite that were cutouts from where the sink goes on Granite Counter tops. Pretty cool but very odd.
I love seeing unique structures/places while I drive the streets of my town. I do a lot of driving so this makes it more fun and rewarding. I stated a new blog called Arlington and around Jax - but haven't done much too it. This post really needs to go there! https://arlingtonandaroundjax.wordpress.com/

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year! We spent the last several weeks getting our living room painted and our pool remarcited so now I need to make some money! Hihohiho it's off to work I go!

If you know anyone anywhere who is thinking of buying or selling please call me! If I can't help I can send a referral as we are members of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the world which means I can get someone best suited to handling your real estate needs!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Remembering Christmas' Past

Christmas 2008

We don't do alot during the holiday season - at least not the three of us. Jamie and I do a lot of running around. Saturdays she has Rythmic gymnastics at 9:30, and rehearsal for the Snow Maiden part of the Nutcracker in the afternoon and sometimes a Dance performance from her troupe from school - Dance ensemble. The performances are at places like the Fair, our local street fair under the bridge called Riverside Arts Mart or at JU or UNF ball games. Today was a football game at JU and the word their performance was to be televised on ESPN.

Mike on the other hand is really busy with grades/grading papers in the fall plus the Gators play each Saturday so that is never a day he will go anywhere. And if I have houses to show he will take over with the Jamie duty,,,even if just to be here in the house while she watches tv by herself.

So Mommy chauffeur to the rescue! On duty 7 days a week.

I was looking back at the blog...Today was National Adoption Day after all and I was remembering simpler times when we would both be by Jamie's side almost every day. (Except Gator Saturdays in the fall!) When she didn't have so many obligations.

When Mommy could rest on weekends!

Today was JU game at noon, then Dance rehearsal at 3 then I was to go to a Church group at 6 and bring a dish to pass. I emailed I had run out of Mommy juice and wouldn't be there this time.

So Mommy can rest!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Florida's Hardest Hit







Jamie has had two girlfriends (sisters) who have lived here for the past 2 yrs or so. They are one year older and one year younger - Lexie and Autumn. They fight like sisters (the three of them) but play together for hours at least twice a week or so.

Early in the summer they announced that their landlord wanted to sell the house and they were moving. Jamie cried and cried. She has gotten so used to the girls being right here across the street. This will be tough on her...But now for a Real Estate success story:

They looked for a rental house - I sent them rentals from the MLS but didn't really act as their agent as I don't usually do rentals. However when their Mom came in to my house all excited about this great house they were getting for only $1250/ month instead of $1600 my spidey sense went off. I looked up the property owner and yes they got scammed. They wired $2000 to this dude who SHOWED THEM THE HOUSE! Yes he had a key and showed them the house, had them sign a 'lease' and told them where to wire the money. So they lost that money and I started trying to help them.

The rental market here in Jacksonville is really aggressive - houses get rented immediately if they are under $1300/month. So...it's really really a good time to buy. I asked the folks why not buy? They hadn't even considered buying! And Florida has a program called Florida's hardest hit - help for First time Homebuyers - They are getting $15,000 in down payment assistance towards their closing costs and down payment - They just had to pay for the home inspection, Appraisal, credit app and Binder and the rest was covered by this program. Only a few counties in Florida are doing this - giving so much and not expecting it to be paid back so this is huge!

They moved in this weekend but the house doesn't close for a couple of weeks. So I got a sale, and my daughter lost her neighborhood friends.

I hope we can stay in touch...They aren't that far. But it will seem far after them being right across the street.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

UnGator Girls


My husband is a huge Gator - Not a Gator Fan but a Gator. You see he actually is an alumnae - apparently that makes one a Gator. So he likes to attend all home games since we live within 90 minutes of Gainesville this is doable.

So every year, it's been my time with my daughter but she went with him this year. So I had some ladies over who also could care less about football or the Gators and I penned us the UnGator Girls.

Now I am not saying I don't want them to win - Of course I want them to win! My husband is a bit of a pouty face and is super hard to be around after a Gator loss.

I just could care less about the games - No I didn't remember they were playing this week, but now I will. Every Saturday is Gator Day. Except for bye week.

Wonder if I can continue the UnGator Girl tradition each week?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Adoption Day or Gotcha Day?

Jamie was our foster child- we got her as a four and a month old baby who had been in 2 previous foster family's. We knew of her when she was two months old. Another foster family knew that she had been moved from her first family to the second. She was moved because the family who had her first wanted to adopt a boy baby, not a girl baby. So when a boy baby because available for adoption at the second family, they decided to trade babies so the first family could adopt the boy.

So poor Jamie was shuttled to this second family at two months old. The foster mom who told me about Jamie knew of her because she knew the first family and also knew that Jamie's parents weren't following their case plan and that Jamie may be heading towards adoption.

So we got her in May of 2006 - our license had just finally clicked in. We had asked about Jamie and were told her Social worker didn't want to move her again. Five days later Jamie's current foster mom called into the agency and said they wanted all their foster kids removed. That they wanted to stop fostering. (Or that was the story we were told).

I often wonder...I don't think Jamie got real good care there. We went there to get her that day on May 24, 2006 - our 'Gotcha Day'. Jamie came with a small trash bag with four or five outfits - all smoke filled and too small. They were also all long sleeved which isn't appropriate in Florida in mid May.

They didn't send any diapers, formula or equipment. Just a couple of toys - A rattle and a block.

Jamie's head was flat in the back and didn't cry. I mean when this baby woke up she would just lay  in the crib until I noticed her. Poor thing.

Anyway we went through a long process of extending the case plan to see if either or both of the parents would do what they needed to do to get custody of Jamie. They came to a couple of supervised visits the first month or two and that was it. So they weren't working their case plans...They didn't get jobs, they didn't get a place to live, they didn't do the parenting classes plus much more I won't reveal here.

So August 10, 2011 we adopted her.

Which day if any do we celebrate? May 24th or August tenth?

I am thinking August 10th - I really don't like that term 'Gotcha Day' it sounds like we caught her - Like a butterfly or a dog.

She is ten now -she is such a sassy beautiful loving sweet girl. I am so happy she is in my life!




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thrift Scores!




How do you like my $6 outfit? And Jamies was only $5.

And why is this underlining everything???? 
Oh well, please wish me well - I desparatly don't want to go back over 200 lbs again! That's it I am not going to!

 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Time to Breathe

 Happy Spring! For us in NE Florida this time of year is Pool time. The pool actually warmed up earlier this year than usual. We don't get in until the last weekend in April and that is when I got in for the first time, but Jamie and the girls across the street were in there much earlier - Maybe even then end of March.

I have been super busy. I am on the Fund Raising committee at church as well as the O'Leno leadership committee. O'Leno is our annual church camp retreat the last weekend in April and I am the Food guru. I make the list of items to buy and buy the food at the local Winn Dixie in High Springs - the nearest town to our remote State park campground.

The campground has 14 or so cabins in a circle in the middle of wilderness with a Main kitchen/dining building and a rec building built by the CCC almost 100 years ago. The cabins have a fan and electricity but no AC so we make sure we go that last weekend in April before it gets too steamy. Food buyer dominates my time and thoughts for two months prior and a couple weeks afterwards as I tally receipts and get reimbursed etc.

I am also a board meeting in our Neighborhood Civic association - I am the secretary. We had our annual Fish Fry Friday night and it was marvelous.

I also have been substitute teaching as it is something I can pick up and make a little money if I am slow with Real Estate.

And I help feed cats a couple of times of week. Our church has a community of 5 cats who we feed at the back of the property - Each of us has a 'Day' to go feed them. Since my mornings are so chaotic I do two afternoons instead of twice a day.

I have been so busy this month I am thinking of taking a breather. Not sure I am going to church today or not.

It feels great to just breathe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A bit of a disapointing return from the consignment sale, But the house looks nice



I took over 175 things to the bi annual finders keepers sale last week. I forgot to pick up the items Sunday so they went to charity which is a bit of a drag as I only sold 69 items. I could have retagged and sold them next time, but less to have in the garage and move back and forth I guess.

A bit sad to see the last of Jamie's baby clothes gone forever instead of in various closets and locales throughout the house. I sold 69 items - which garnered $198 and I got a check for only $124 for today.

So poo. Not enough by a long shot for our weekend trip to Disney.

Unless we sell the jeep, walkers and scooter. But who has time for Craigslist? I wonder if I should do EBay?

Got an agreed upon contract so that is a good thing, it's been a bit of a dry spell.

But life is good, I have squash planted, the house looks pretty good (from our dinner party last Friday) and I haven't gained all of my weight back.

So life is good.