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!

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.

And here is her post and recipe:

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!

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.'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.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Break and we are cleaning the garage

Not the most glamorous spring break ever, but it has to be done or at least started. I really should have taken some before photos - Our garage has been crammed full for 2 years since my mom died.

We got one piece of furnture up to my room - a bookcase with glass doors. It replaced a short squat tv table that went out to the street. Alas now I am afraid that my Huge 90s era tv is too heavy to balance on the top too long with kids and dog etc so now I need to get a new smaller tv and either mount it to the wall or replace that heavy bohemoth with something lighter and less likely to seriously injure someone if it tumbles over.

Ahhh the glamour. We normally travel at spring break - oft times we go on a cruise. Too bad we overspent last summer on our month long RV trip. So home we stay.

I did promise Jamie if we sold enough stuff we would either go out to dinner or maybe to Disney for a day. We have my Mom's scooter and two rolling scooters and Jamie's jeep which is fit for a 3-8 year old - she is past it.

So out to the saltmines... Here is the cruise Jamie and I went on last summer - ah the memories

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spring Cleaning

We are having a dinner party next month and my house is never tidy! so I am trying to get some things in order. I spent the day yesterday trying to do so but got waylaid onto another project - Cleaning Closets! 

I know dumb! But sometimes starting with the inside bones helps with the rest of the house - Let's hope I can get the main living areas decluttered and clean by April 5th so I can concentrate on making homemade Beef Burgandy, Layered salad and perhaps roasted squash for those that don't do carbs (Rice and Bread).

I also spent time on the pool and leaves around the pool and the girls actually swam on Sunday! The pool water was only 69 degrees so I didn't join them this time. I prefer 85 degrees and above. 

Happy Spring!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

52 goals for 2016 De-stress with less mess!

 One of my favorite blogsters posts a list at the beginning of each year and follows up on her progress at the end of the year. I am stealing this idea from Lovey - see her post here:

They are all over the place - some are personal, or parent focused, and others are career focused and many seem to be about taming the chaos of MESS in my lives so I would say that is the main focus. Destress with less mess!
1. Lose the 8 lbs I have gained and get back to 158. I was 204 lbs last year in March and managed to lose 45 lbl by July. However I put 8 lbs back. Medifast is how I lost the weight so back on it I am.

 2. Get 6 listings by July - Listers last is what they say and boy is it true. The most successful agent in our office gets at least 4 listings each month and they seem to just come in the door for her. She has been an agent for over 20 years. This will be my fifth year - they say if I make it past my fifth year I can do this forever!
3. Exercise frequently - I do nothing but yardwork, housework and occasional walks with the dog. Get into working out somehow - Wii, Gym, rowing machine, free weights etc
4. Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day.
5. Clear the table in my room and keep it clear.
6. Build patio in backyard
7. Donate 1 -2 large bags to goodwill each month
8. Spend 1 day a month organizing the house.
9. Have at least 10 dates with Mike
10. Read 25 books.
11. Visit Fran this summer
12. Take Jamie on a hike
13. Fly a kite. 
14. Ride bikes with Jamie 1/month
15. Enjoy time with Jamie every week (Teach Jamie Michigan Rummy, Euchre, Spite and Malice, work out together etc.)
16. Seriously organize bookcases and make use of the space
17. Seriously organize my bedroom
18.  O'Leno Camp
19. Read with Jamie at least 5 times/week
20. Write blog posts at least 2/month
21. Keep hair cut and colored
22. Open a bank account for Jamie
23. Get Jamie a small desk and chair for her room
24. Declutter garage -
25. Have a path to my sewing machine and (set it up in the garage)
26. Perform 12 random acts of kindness.
27. Learn to use sewing maching
28 Teach Jamie to sew
29. Remove sandspurs from backyard
30. Get Kelly certified in order to substitute teach when needed
31. Work harder and smarter so I don't need to substitute teach!
32. Help at Jamie's school once per month or more
33. Help at church at least 6 times
34. Help at partner school in the community at least twice before school year ends
35. Find more blogs to connect with and read 
36. Set up a real estate blog and post at least monthly
37. Reach out to Circle of influence midyear (similar to Christmas cards - Happy Summer? Newsletter?
38. Doorknock once monthly at least 25 houses (Alderman Park; Greenfield Lakes)
39. Work on ACA 12 step program (Continue meetings, talk with Christy etc)
40. Keep below 160 lbs (when I lose the weight again)
41. Remove sandspurs from Side yard
42. Take someones floor when needed at least once per month
43. Focus on breathing when stressed
44. Eat more vegetables!
45. Call Charlene & Fran more often (My stepmom and Mother in law)
46. Stop swearing
47. Hit 2.5 million in production for 2016 (Did 2.2 last year and only 1.75 this year)
48. Keep kitchen clean (It makes me happy and keeps me less stressed)
49. New (used) couch for Living room (replace black one)
50.  Continue helping cats at church, help others when they need a substitute
51. Send third quarter somethings to Circle of influence (Happy Autumn? Back to school?)
52. Send out calendars to Circle of Influence, church and leads early December. 

Well - they say putting it down in writing is the secret to making goals obtainable. I know it will help as I have done this in the past mostly with Real estate - but I recently found a list from when Mike and I were first married and was thrilled to see all goals had been accomplished. Thanks Lovey!