December 8, 2008

Happy Gator Nation

The Gators have again made it to the National Championship game and it is in Miami!! Just a few hours away you say. Well it might as well be in California for most of us trying to make it to the game. We are hoping to be able to score tickets (for Paige & Ashley) and am disappointed that more tickets are not allotted to the schools. Out of the 73,000+ tickets, only 32,000 are given to the schools. Where oh where do those other tickets go? But, if not we will all be gathered around a TV somewhere to watch our Gators take on the Sooners. Welcome back to Florida Bobby!!!

What a game in Atlanta last weekend. Alabama certainly came to play. It was close and exciting and SEC football at it's best. It's hard to watch your team lose a big game......been there and done that....many times. It is a lot more fun when you win and this time it was our turn.

Side note: We have a new employee at our office. Today was her first day. Would you believe she grew up in Greenville, AL? not 12 miles from my home town? Once we have time to sit and talk a little we will see if we know any of the same people. She is a BIG Alabama fan so she scowled a little at my orange and blue outfit and Gator jewelry. Unfortunately she is really outnumbered in our office.

Good luck Gators....make us proud!!

December 4, 2008

No Title

Thanksgiving in Fort D was so much fun. The weather on Turkey Day was just glorious and thankfully so. It is really difficult to cram 30+ people into the little house on Coleman Road. And by the way, when did the name change from Mt Willing Rd??

Sunday, the first weekend, my Aunt Melba had a bad car accident. She has 5 broken ribs and a large hematoma on her forehead. She has been recuperating at my cousin Beverly's home and is feeling much better.

After a week's visit we started back to Florida on Saturday morning and that is the day it started to rain. It rained most of the trip to Tallahassee, it poured water the entire UF/FSU game, and it continued to rain on us as we traveled south on Sunday to Clearwater and Ft Myers. Ashley did a marvelous job of was nice not to have to drive on this trip... and we arrived safely home.

Then we started to get some more bad news. We think my daddy had another TIA early Sunday morning. He seems much better now but it is so scary for my mama when this happens. On Wednesday my Aunt Bill died. I know she was at peace and was ready but we were not ready to let her go. She will be missed so much.

I am so thankful to have gotten to see Aunt Bill, Uncle Max & Aunt Beth this trip. I love all my aunts and uncles and it's hard to have them leave us one by one.I have so many wonderful memories of family gatherings and special events. We have a very close family and I feel so blessed especially when I encounter others who don't have that closeness with their families.

November 19, 2008

It's Almost Turkey Day Once Again

This year will be a little different in that I will be traveling to Alabama the weekend before Thanksgiving and will be there the entire week. Ashley, Kyle and Todd are going to be driving up with me and I know the GG's are so excited. There is something about having little people in the house that makes a holiday so much more fun. Kevin will be flying up on Wednesday.

Now if only my Daddy will not keep the heat up to 110 degrees....bless his heart he just gets so cold. I guess I will be taking one suitcase with shorts and tee shirts and one with jeans and sweaters. Sigh.....

Paige, PG and Zane are traveling to Hope Town to spend the holiday with his dad and stepmom. I know they are going to have a great visit. Zane is just such a sweet little boy and so much fun to be around. And I know Paige & PG are going to have such a good time showing him off to everyone. Safe travels to you!!

We are not going to miss seeing the last Gator home game this weekend. Ashley, the boys and I will be stopping over in G'ville for at least part of the game. It's always a little sad when this time of year arrives and we have to find another way to entertain ourselves on Saturday. FSU game is in Tallahassee and then off to Hot'lanta for the SEC championship game against Alabama. Been there, done that before. It is going to be fun to watch these two teams go head to head.

Safe and happy Thanksgiving to all who might check in to my blog.

November 5, 2008

Election 2008

Very mixed emotions from people I have spoken to today regarding the election of our next president. The ones of us who suffered through the JFK and Jimmy Carter years are more than a little skeptical about the outcome of this one. Not that I could say that I was 100% behind John McCain but the issues being spouted by "Barama" are just way too out there for me.

Our country was founded on Christian principles and we have been considered the greatest country in the world for hundreds of years. Everyone wanted to come here to live and that was OK if those people came here to work and make a life, however, in the last decade or so the integrity of our country has been compromised. We are now more a country of people who expect to be taken care of.......I see it every day in my industry. We are an entitlement society.

Now we have elected a person who proclaims to be an American but he must be of the new breed of American because in my America the president will salute our flag, put his hand over his heart when the national anthem is played and honors the fighting men and women over which he is commander-in-chief.

It seems that our younger generation is OK with our country becoming a socialist nation. National health care....what a joke. Why do people from other countries want to come here for medical care if the care in their country is so great? Why are the members of the younger generations expecting the government to take care of them? What happened to working for the things you want and the life you want to lead? I have worked hard since I was 18 years old to be able to have the things I want in life. Somehow it seems really unfair that government thinks that my hard earned income should be mega taxed to pay for freebie programs for people who don't want to work. Many people come to our country, work hard and become very successful. People who are born in this country seem to have a hard time with the concept of hard work for what they want....they have a gimme for free attitude.

Sorry to be such a downer on this post but I am truly blue today. Hopefully tomorrow will be be a better day for me.

October 27, 2008

October Update

Once Gator football season starts my car seems to stay in the road most every weekend. Add to that a BIG celebration in Fort Deposit for monumental birthdays and a 65th wedding anniversary and it has been a crazy month.

What a great celebration party we had. As it turned out it was a mini-family reunion for me. George it was great seeing you after all these years. I was trying to remember when we had last been in the same place and I can't remember any time since the one family reunion at the armory and that was a long time ago! It was just great catching up with you. And.....if you decide to stay home and not off on a hunting trip next year we will catch up with you in Baton Rouge when UF plays LSU.

Many other cousins were there and what a special day when we could have Aunt Bill, Uncle Max, Aunt Beth, Aunt Neanie, and Aunt Melba visit with us. I can't even express how special that was for me. I know Mama & Daddy feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family and so many friends.

Unfortunately, my Daddy ended up in the hospital again this week (not from the party!)but hopefully will be home soon.

Last weekend was Homecoming @ UF. What a great time we had. Friday night the big kids (Paige, Ashley & Kevin) went to Gator Growl and rocked to the Steve Miller Band. I got to keep all my little grandboys for the evening......they are all so sweet and have such a good time together. I think I had more fun with the little kids than the big kids could have had at Growl!! Saturday Kevin & Kyle went to Tallahassee for the FSU game while Ashley, Todd, Paige, Zane and I went to Gainesville for the UF/Kentucky game. And what a Saturday will be the BIG game against the Georgia Dawgs.

There is still more to the month of October with Halloween this weekend. But it looks like hurricane season is finally over. It is going to be cold here tomorrow morning and colder on Wednesday morning. That means the water is cooling down and the storms have nothing to feed on. Yippee!

October 7, 2008


Early this morning I got a call from my youngest daughter to let me know that her husband, Kevin, had been in a really bad car accident. When the call started with "Mama, Kevin is just fine...." the heartbeat sped up a trifle and anxiety set in. After I heard the rest of the story the shaking started and I had to sit down. Kevin was almost home (from a trip to Miami)when he lost control of his car on rain slick roads and his Expedition rolled into the median totally destroying the car. Thank you God for watching over him as Kevin walked away with absolutely no injuries....not even minor. Everyone who has seen the vehicle is amazed that he was not killed or at the least badly injured. We are all counting our blessings tonight that this story has a good ending. There is much to be done to replace the car and the electronics but THEY CAN BE REPLACED. Kevin could not be replaced if we lost him.

Over the weekend I had a chance to visit Quiet Water and had a great weekend of relaxation. I love October in the Keys. Winter visitors have not arrived yet; the weather is usually good; there are fewer bugs (the biting kind)and the pace has slowed down after the summer months. All the above was true except for the weather. It stormed Saturday night with very gusty winds. Kinda felt like a tropical storm coming through again. At least the extreme high tides seem to have abated somewhat as there was no water over the driveway this weekend. Only two iguanas showed themselves while I was in residence. Hate those things!

I came back through Fort Myers last night and got to spend some time with Ashley and the boys (supervised a very splashy bath time) and Paige, PG and Zane (got to feed the little guy...he loves his groceries). No matter how my day is going..... when I get to spend time with my kids (little and big)I always get a boost. I am looking forward to making that move to FM early next year.

A special thank you to God this evening for watching over my family, most especially Kevin last night. My family is the most important part of my life and I thank God for them each and every day.

September 7, 2008

Shades of 2004 Storm Season

Looks like a storm freight train coming at us across the water from Africa. The latest one (Ike) is scary. I don't wish bad things on the Cuban people but I continue to have hope the storm will move further south and not hit the Keys too badly. We did all the prep we could do before Gustav and it will stay that way until this storm season is over. All we can do now is pray there are no injuries/deaths and our homes are not damaged.

Because of the storms, the weather in the state of Florida is hot and HUMID. Paige, Ashley and I went to Gainesville yesterday for the UF/Miami game. You would think an 8:00 pm start time would mean that the stadium would be cooler. Oh, but no!! I don't ever remember being that hot in my life. The Swamp is built partially below ground level and with all the new seating added in the last few years there is very little chance of a breeze making it's way into the stadium easily. Yesterday there was NONE and I do mean none. I can tell you right now that this lady did not just glisten yesterday, she was sweating big time. It was really hard to stay hydrated but we did OK. It was a late night for us as we got back to Clearwater about 1:30 this morning. The girls left about 9:00 this morning for home. It has been a while since I spent this much time with just the girls and me. I certainly enjoyed it.

Kevin took Kyle & Todd to Tally yesterday for the FSU game. It was scheduled to kickoff @ 6:00 pm. Unfortunately the game was lightning delayed not once but twice. Poor guys didn't get to see any football but I can be almost assured they had a good time anyway. Phil was also doing a little father/son bonding time this weekend. He kept Zane in Fort Myers while Paige came up for the game and overnight. They went to see a baseball game Saturday night. Phil was a real trooper as Zane had an upset tummy during the nightand threw up 4 times .Paige said he was OK when she got home this morning......both Zane and PG!

It's been a lazy day for me. Went to church this morning and then came back and washed all the bug guts off my car. I hate to leave the bugs on it for very long as it damages the paint and did I ever kill a lot of them on the back roads last night. But I also hate to wash my car......I don't know why I dislike that chore so much but I do. I think my car wash man, Steve, will be washing Nonni in future. Also, lots of laundry to catch up on with all the traveling I have done in the past week. Could be a busy week next week if Ike turns into Florida. Surely hope that doesn't happen as our insurance market will go crazy again.

It's going to be a very uneasy next 2 or 3 days as we watch the progress of Ike.

August 26, 2008


Wow, we are having some firsts with storms in the past few years. I can't ever remember one coming back at us this many times. Twice, yes, but not four times!! All I can say is that we prayed for rain and boy did we ever have that prayer answered. It was pretty eerie to hear the weather folks talk about rain in feet and not inches. I guess that old saying "be careful for you wish for...." is a good warning.

My kids, and their homes, are safe as is Quiet Water and for that I am thankful. Now we have Gustav on the horizon although they say this one is going to pay a visit to Mexico or Texas. I don't wish bad weather on them but this one looks like it might be bad so I would be happy to have it pass us by.

Labor Day weekend will find me at home at Quiet Water. Ashley, Kevin and the boys plan to be there with me. I hope the weather will hold as I look forward to Kyle spending his 5th birthday in the Keys. He has celebrated his birthday there every year so far. Paige, Phil and Zane don't get back from Canada until Thursday this week so they probably will opt to spend the weekend at home in Fort Myers but would love them to come on down if they can.

Phil participated in Ironman Canada on Sunday. 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26 mile run.....I can't even imagine attempting anything like that. If I survived I am sure I wouldn't be able to walk for a week. Congratulations on a great job PG!

Kyle had his "friends" birthday party last Saturday at a play park in Fort Myers. What a great place for a kid's birthday party. Lots of games inside, go carts and miniature golf outside. Everyone seemed to have a fun time. Lunch was pizza and then everybody enjoyed the wonderful cake that Ashley made. Kyle had requested a chocolate cake with strawberries. Ash turned a box cake mix into a scrumptious delight. I got to babysit for little Alyssa while her mama was outside with her big brother. What a sweetie.

Thank goodness for Fox, TNT, Lifetime, etc. this week. I cannot abide watching the political conventions (either party). Just a bunch of politicians grandstanding. I certainly hope the people in the US think through the issues and consider the candidates carefully before the November election.

August 18, 2008

Batten Down The Hatches

Rush trip down to Quiet Water on Saturday to prepare the house and boat for TS Fay. Back in Clearwater late last night (actually early this morning). I have been on pins and needles all day but probably will not hear from anyone in Marathon until tomorrow. Water has to recede and the roads made passable before someone can go to the house to make sure all is well. As of tonight it looks like the storm could possibly be turning more northward and that would be good for Tampa but not so good for Naples/Fort Myers. I hated to leave my house yesterday but it's not wise to stay on the off chance the storm will strengthen to a big bad one. Needless to say I am tired today but felt much better after putting up plywood and tying down the boat (which was an experience in and of itself.......I am certainly glad there was no one around with a camera but, hey, it might have won a prize on one of those "funniest" shows)

There is always such excitement in the air when a hurricane is on the horizon. Everybody kicks into high gear. Surprisingly enough there is no evident panic here and none in Marathon yesterday even though this is the first storm to come close in two years. I guess people are finally beginning to realize it does no good to panic. You have to just watch and make smart decisions based on where the storm is going. These things don't move very fast so there is time to prepare or get out of town. There are still a few people at my office who get anxious.

Let's hope that this is the only storm that comes near in 2008.

August 14, 2008

Time Is Flying!

Here it is mid August and where has the time gone?? In another couple of weeks my oldest grand will be 5 years old, "summer" is almost over and football season is just around the corner. My mama always told me,when I was a child,that I should not wish my life away because the older I got the faster time would go. Well, as with most things, my mama was right.

It has been a really difficult few months for the Conway clan with so many of our folks having health issues. Aunt Bill, Uncle Max, Mama & Daddy and Aunt Aileen. It makes me sad to think about losing any of these people who are such a big part of my life and heritage. I know growing old is part of life and will come to each of us. I look in the mirror everyday and think who is that person looking back? Certainly that can't be me since I still feel young at can a body betray you like that?? Then I remember all the people I know who are struggling with bad health or tragedies they must face into and I know how blessed I am. First of all to have been privileged to be a part of this wonderful extended family of mine but also for the health and blessings that I enjoy every day. I hope and pray I never take these things for granted.

Ashley, Kevin and the boys spent last week at Quiet Water with some friends. I think everyone had a good time....surely sounded like it every time they called to talk with me. Except for one when I got a phone call from 2 teary voiced boys apologizing for "breaking" my air mattress. It seems they were using it as a trampoline and it "brwoke". I think dad was able to put it back together but they promised me they would not jump on the beds any more. Then a few days later I get another phone call with Ash telling me that Todd "wants to speak with me". I think, oh my, is he calling to apologize for something again?? Oh, but no, he is calling to tell me that he has been snorkeling and as he put it.....saw lots is fishes and a sting ray.....but it was just a little one Pappi. Needless to say that made my day. This is my 3 year old who has not wanted to learn to swim. I hope this is the beginning of him losing his fear of the water.

Last Saturday Paige and Zane came by to visit for a little while and he just gets cuter every time I see that baby. He took a much needed nap for the first hour or so but then got up and he and I sat on the floor and played with toys for a while. He turned 8 months old this week. Wow, it was only yesterday wasn't it that he was born? There we go with the "flying" time again. Didn't get to see PG as he was working shooting grads at USF.

We are getting much needed rain . It has rained all day today and there is a lot of water in the retention ponds just outside my apartment. So far we have not had to deal with any major storms and hopefully we will have another quiet season.

Making a trip down to Quiet Water this weekend and I do love to spend time at home. Will be stopping in to visit with all my kids on the way down and/or back to get some hugs and smooches.

July 21, 2008


I was able to get away to QW last weekend. It is just so special to wake up at home on Saturday morning and have coffee on the porch overlooking the canal. Saturday was spent cleaning up a bit and then I got this brainstorm of an idea.......I wanted to paint the kitchen. Two and a half years ago we had to take down a small cabinet to make room for the new refrigerator which left a bare, unfinished wall. For some reason on Saturday that wall was just bugging me and it had to be fixed.

Down to Home Depot and a quart of Lemon Ice paint and I got started. Once the wall behind the refrigerator was done I stepped back and realized that I needed to paint the wall above the other cabinets because it just looked funky the way it was. OK, so now 3 hours later I step back and it looks pretty good. But it still needed something. Soooo, I decided to put up a shelf for some bottles that we have collected over the years from the beach. Now I am done, right? Well not exactly.

Now I look at the other small wall around the pantry door and it just cries out for paint. But, I only have a little bit of paint left and now it is 7:30 pm. Another trip to Home Depot but alas by the time I arrived they were CLOSED. I forgot I was in Marathon and not Clearwater. So that meant that I had to pick up more paint Sunday after church and finish up before I left to come back north. One thing is for certain, I left the house in tip top shape and the kitchen is now bright and cheery with it's new color. No matter that I worked hard over the weekend I had a wonderful visit home.

Sunday I was able to stop by to see my kids on the way back to Clearwater. Paige, PG and Zane leave Wednesday for a trip to see PG's grandmother and other family in Ohio. This will be the first trip for Zane to Ohio and I know PG's family is thrilled to have this chance to meet little Z man.

Since Ashley has not posted in a few weeks I just have to put something on my post: They were all at the dinner table and everyone had finished except Todd. I guess he must have wanted to leave the table and Ashley said something like "no because you have not touched the food on your plate....." Well, you must understand that Todd has inherited his mama's penchant for one liners. (Ashley used to just crack us up with her remarks when she was little.) Anyway, Todd gives Ash one of his coy looks, reached over and touched the food on his plate and said something like "there I touched it" and then just smiled!! I am not sure I know what happened after that but I feel certain it involved some kind of behavioral therapy. :)

I got to put Kyle and Todd to bed last night. It was Todd's turn to pick out the bedtime story and it was a good one about sharing. These guys are just growing up so fast. Kyle is getting so tall. I can hardly believe he is almost 5 years old. Pretty soon Zane will be walking/running around with these two. It is a challenge to keep up with them but they keep me young. Thanks guys!

July 9, 2008

July 4th "Vacation"

Every time we are at Quiet Water my oldest grandson proclaims we are on vacation. Works for me.

I was able to spend the Wednesday night before with Paige and Zane (PG was on the west coast shooting for a movie). I had such fun playing with Zane..........lots of smiles and "talking"was involved. I left Fairfield Drive early on Thursday morning and arrived at Edgemere Drive before Kevin left for work....that's early!The boys slept in a bit but once they were awake and breakfast was over things kicked into high gear. After we put their little red suitcases in my car we were off on our journey to the Keys.

About 20 minutes into the trip the question "how much longer....?" made it's first appearance but there was no whining or fussing. Just the question. We made it to the Capri restaurant in Florida City for lunch. Pizza, chocolate milk and ice cream. I ordered a large pizza for the 3 of us and I got to eat 2 slices.......the boys were hungry! Once we left Florida City both of the boys took a nap and by the time they woke up we were about 3 miles away from Quiet Water.

We dropped our bags at the house, turned up the A/C and water and then went into town to the post office and to pick up groceries. Hot dogs for dinner and then to bed pretty much on schedule for the boys. I waited up for Kevin and Ashley to arrive. Once they arrived safely we all hit the sack.

*Kevin worked on Sook most all day and got her running by the end of the day. While he worked, Ashley, Kyle, Todd and I went to the beach. I had bought a kite the day before and the boys had fun flying it with their mama. It did get caught in the mangroves and we had to do major work to get it undone....but we did. Friday night was spent anchored off the beach @ Sombrero to watch the fireworks which were spectacular. There was a little snafu with the anchor but Kevin managed to work around it and we all enjoyed the evening.

Sook is running so we spent the entire day on the boat, most of the time at the sandbar just hanging out. When not snorkeling around the boat Kyle was climbing up and then jumping off the the side with all of the adults yelling "feet first" every time he started to jump. (We were anchored over shallow water) Todd put on his mask and snorkel and after a while was having a great time kicking around with one of us holding his hands. Later in the afternoon we ran down to Burdine's on the Water for gas, drinks and snacks. Kyle and Todd both got to steer the boat while we were idling in the canals and they did a great job! Then back to Quiet Water to get showered and dressed to have dinner @ Annette's. Had to check on Nemo and "Frankie the Puffer" before we left Marathon.

Ashley, Kevin and the boys left early morning so they could visit with friends on the way back to Fort Myers. Pappi pretty much vegged all the rest of the day with a little bit of cleaning included. The house was so very quiet after the Longs left.

Big cleaning day for me and once I started I found more and more that wanted to spruce up. I ended up leaving later than I planned but the house was left in sparkling condition for Ryan, Kylene and Riley who arrived on Tuesday.

As always, it was difficult to leave and head back to Pinellas county. I find such peace at Quiet Water. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful place to escape to as often I wish to.

June 19, 2008


I have spent the past week in Fort D watching over my mama and daddy. It is really true that the older we get the more child like we become. My daddy is a stubborn, cantakerous man at 89 but I have to feel some empathy for him. He has always been outside the house either working, gardening, hunting, driving around or just plain walking the pasture. His hearing and eyesight are VERY impaired and he is having a hard time accepting the limitations he has to face into. On the other hand, my mama has always been a homebody (mostly home by herself during the day) and it has been difficult for her to have my daddy under foot 100% of the time. She rivals Job with the patience she exhibits with my daddy......I couldn't do it. She has spoiled that man rotten over the years.

My daddy had gall bladder surgery a few weeks ago and has fought hard to regain his strength and has done a remarkable job rehabing. But while he was recuperating my mama came down with bronchitis. Combined with the strain and stress of the past few weeks she has not started feeling better. At the doctor's office yesterday her BP was 170/120. Yikes!!! The doc has prescribed complete rest for her and she and daddy are under strict orders from their kids to make sure that happens.

I hate to see my parents age. It was so hard for me to leave them today and I couldn't hold back the tears as I was thinking of them on the flights back. I could picture my daddy as he was this morning sitting in his chair with a sad look on his face. I know he is lonely and craves someone to talk with all the time. He hugged me not once but twice today before he would let me leave. I know he has to feel isolated living in a world with limited hearing and sight.

And my mama. At age 85 she deserves to have relaxation in her daily living but it is difficult with daddy and the care she feels she has to give him. I know she feels annoyance with daddy when he asks questions 2 or 3 times before he can hear the answer. Or when he hears her say something different from what she actually said. But one thing is for certain, she will never have regrets when it comes to the care she has given daddy over the years. She gave me an extra special hug today when I left.

In his own way I think daddy tries to take care of mama when she is sick. And I believe he listened to me when I told him yesterday that complete rest means no housework, no cooking, no waiting on anyone. Janet and I almost fell off our chairs last night when he picked up his dishes and took them to the kitchen sink.

As usual daddy entertained me all week with all the wonderful stories (memories) he tells. He can remember dates and names of people from years ago and I can't remember things from one day to the next. He and I took a rode trip to Gulf Shores on Tuesday to see Uncle Max. We had a nice visit and then went to Lulu's for lunch (Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant). It is a neat place and the food was great. Then we stopped @ Reeboks and bought a new pair of tennis shoes. Daddy came back to Fort D and slept 3 hours in his tired puppy but I know he was glad he went to see his brother so the trip was worth it.

I must give special thanks to my sisters/brothers (yeah that includes the in-laws!) for the work that has been done around the house. Tommy W and Steve finished up the ramp that was started by Max and Janet, Steve and Mr Willie cleaned up the garden so that there will be tomatoes and squash this year, took out the window A/C units and changed the security lightbulb. J and I tackled the upstairs and took a truckload of "stuff" to Goodwill and a truckload of paper over to the burn pile. Lots of tired muscles and sore backs that day.

Ellen & Tommy W, thanks for having the folks stay at your home for 2 weeks. There is no way they could have gone back to Fort D from the hospital. Laura, thanks for all the time you devote to making sure all is well. Taking everyone to doc appointments, making sure there is food to eat and basically just taking care.

Mama has an ultra sound test tomorrow. Hopefully that will rule out anything serious and she will start to feel better quickly now.

May 19, 2008


I spent last week taking care of my two oldest grands and it was sooooooo much fun. We spent a couple of days at Quiet Water chasing poor little land crabs and looking for iguanas. We walked down to the beach each day and had such a good time playing in the water. At low tide there is a sandbar that is perfect for kids to play safely. We had to buy some water shoes though as this is a natural beach and even though it has been cleaned up there is still glass in the water. One day there was someone there doing kite surfing and Kyle was just fascinated. He and Todd both wanted to go get a machine that beeps to find coins in the water (lots of people out with metal detectors).

In all my infinite wisdom I bought the boys some kid scissors to cut designs out of paper. BUT because we had been talking so much about them needing haircuts they decided to tackle that job themselves. We visited Robert @ Headhunters in Marathon who did a great job cleaning up the bald spots in their hair after they played barber.

The boys both loved having lunch at Herbie's. They had hot dogs (just like their mama used to order) and lemonade. The waitress came over and sat down with the boys and talked to them about her own little boy who is in school in Marathon. We visited Annette's for dinner and the boys were so good they got compliments from lots of the other people there on what well-behaved little boys they were........... I was so proud. And of course we had to visit Nemo in the aquarium. The boys don't know it but that is not the same Nemo that was there before. If they don't hide well enough they get eaten by the big puffer fish who has lived there for 6 years!

We came back to Fort Myers on Wednesday so I could have my hair cut by Deanne the next day. We brought Auntie Paige and Uncle PG some key lime pie from the Blond Giraffe. We got to hang out with Auntie Paige and Zane for the rest of the week. What a sweet baby and boy is the personality beginning to show with all the smiles and laughing. He is eating cereal now. Actually scarfing it down! He is so cute to watch.

It was hard for me to leave Fort Myers. I had such a great week. Today at work was about as I expected it to be. It's always hard to come back from a vacation. But Memorial Day weekend is this next weekend. Yahoo!!

The only concern during the whole week was that my daddy had to go into the hospital with what has been diagnosed as gall stones. Today the doc told him and mama they want to remove the gall bladder later this week. My sisters and brother are taking good care of everything up there and making sure mama gets her rest. Thanks and love to all of you.

April 24, 2008

Calm Before Storm Season Begins

Spring has sprung with beautiful greenery everywhere, warm temperatures, cool breezes, pretty flowers and blue skies with puffy white clouds. It has been perfect for walking after work and it feels really good to get back to an exercise regimen. Next week I hope to start a kick boxing class .... well at least give it a try.

I am off to Quiet Water this weekend and look forward to relaxing a bit. Friends are already booking visits for summer so I am taking advantage of every opportunity I can to be there myself. Maybe I will catch sight of the BIG iguana (kinda like big kahuna?) while I am there. Everybody keeps telling me how big this guy is but I have yet to see him myself.

Just six weeks until hurricane season officially arrives. My wish is that we have another quiet one as we still have not quite recovered from the back to back bad years. If they will just stay off shore and pass us by that would be the best of all scenarios. As Jimmy Buffet always says....time will tell.

April 10, 2008

Directions from a 4 Year Old

Yesterday afternoon Ashley called to tell me the time of Kyle & Todd's school program Friday night. Kyle realized she was talking with me and asked to speak to me. Once on the phone our conversation goes kinda like this:

Me: Hi Sweetie, did you have a good day @ school?
K: Yes, uh yes ma'am (little coaching from mom)
Me: Did you get a green card?
K: Yes ma'am and Todd did too.
Me: I am going to be at your school program on Friday night.
K: I know
Me: I am just going to come straight to the school from work so I will see you there.
K: OK Pappi.......
He then proceeds to tell me in great detail how to get to his school. At red lights I have to stop. Same with stop signs. He told me to turn right and left with landmarks "on the right or left". And last, "and then you will see the gym". It was just the cutest thing and he actually gave me directions for about 2 minutes. I was trying so hard not to giggle it was just so special.

This time I didn't hang up on my little sweetheart Todd. He told me he had gotten a green card at school too and he got a lollipop when he left. I told him I couldn't wait to get a hug from him this weekend and he told me he loved me. How much better can it get from there?

Can't wait to see everyone this weekend.

April 8, 2008

First Trip Home 2008

My winter visitors have gone back to Tennessee and I was able to travel to Quiet Water for the weekend. My good friend Debbie was able to go with me and we had a wonderful weekend, too much food, a lot of shopping and just talked until we were hoarse. It was the first time Debbie has been back to QW in years. We tried to remember the last time but couldn't.

We had a very uneventful trip down on Friday night but a stressful return. We thought we waited long enough that most of the bad weather was past, however, we ran into a monster storm on the Alley. Debbie said it was like a snow "white out" which I have never experienced. I was thankful we were in her car and she was driving. It was a little scary for a while. We can't complain too much though because we need the rain so badly.

We kept looking for the gigantic iguana that made an appearance while the Bellamys were in residence but never saw even a little one on the yard. Did see one or two squashed on Coco Plum Drive. Guess that is Keys roadkill.

I missed seeing my kids (big and little) last weekend. I think they may get tired of seeing me so often but I never tire of them. I am traveling to FM this weekend for a hair appointment and can't wait to get some sweet hugs. Zane & Paige are still in Tallahassee so I won't see them for another couple of weeks. I know that little baby has grown so much since I saw him last. I'll be glad when they are home to stay.

Spring fever has grabbed hold of me it seems as there has been major cleanout of closets and drawers in the past week. It's amazing what you find you have forgotten you had when you start looking through storage. I am somewhat of a pack rat but nothing like my daddy.....thank goodness.

Now if I could just get motivated and exercise. The hardest part is just getting started.

March 31, 2008


Last week on March 26th I would have celebrated my 43rd wedding anniversary with Eddie. I have been through 11 now without him and even though I don't shed as many tears any more on that date I can't tell you that the hurt is not still there. Losing one half of yourself is not an easy thing to adjust to but time does make it somewhat easier. For a while I just made myself stop the tears, stop the sadness and just pushed it all down butI have come to realize that it's OK to let myself feel whatI feel when I feel it and that helped the healing. I have so many beautiful memories of my time with Eddie (yeah there were some not so beautiful ..... we did have a normal marriage after all) but those memories make that date still very special for me.

It has been a hard two weeks for me at work. Three more people have lost their jobs and two of them are close to my age, thus the title of this post. One of them is a really good friend of mine for over 33 years. She and I have worked together, here and there, for many years. We have gone through raising our daughters together, cried over losing friends and family, laughed a lot, and shared so many experiences that she feels like a sister as well as my friend. I know she is going to be OK but I am really sad about losing our daily relationship. It is hard to imagine our office without her there. On the other hand, she earned a great severance package and maybe will be able to pursue something fun to do with her time instead of working as hard as she has for the past 18 years at our office.

As Scarlett so aptly put it, tomorrow is another day. Life is good and we all should strive to make it better.

March 25, 2008

The Busy Month of March

Where do I start? It's always busy this time of year at work and I usually compound all that with personal stuff and this year has not only been no exception it has been the ultimate.

First there was the trip to Fort Deposit to introduce my newest little grandson to all my family. He is a great traveler and was so good the whole time we were in Alabama even with being passed around from person to person. I am so glad he was able to visit my family while he is still so little otherwise he would be almost a year old and probably walking before they saw him. Babies grow up so fast.

The next week included a trip to Fort Lauderdale for a renewal proposal meeting with a large client on a Thursday, back that night and then an early morning flight on Friday back to Alabama to spend a weekend with my sisters. What a great time we had @ Neva's house in Fort Morgan and what a great place. A little bit of quiet beach heaven. I had forgotten how different the coast looks in north Florida and Alabama compared to south Florida. And I knew we would have a good time but didn't realize what a GOOD time we would have that weekend. It was so much fun talking about all our memories and making new ones. I am blessed to have my sisters also be my good friends. There was no TV (thank goodness), no phone (who needed one?) and plenty of gourmet food thanks to Neva....good gosh who knew she could cook like that? Looking forward to the next "SLUTS" weekend already.

Then the next week Easter arrives and I traveled down to Fort Myers for the weekend. I had not seen my grands for 2-3 weeks and they all have gotten way older since I saw them last. At least that's how it seemed. It is such a treat for me to spend time with all my kids.....the big ones and the little ones. Zane was christened on Sunday @ a beach on Sanibel and Phil's family came down/up to be part of the day. What a treat to get to meet Marlo, Marlene and Rochelle. And I enjoyed spending time with Karen (PG's mom) and talking about grandmother stuff. The weekend was just packed with fun happenings including a cookout on Friday night, brunch @ the Green Flash on Saturday (after the christening) and brunch @ Paige and PG's house on Sunday, topping off Sunday with dinner @ Ashley & Kevin's house. It is so hard for me to say goodbye after a weekend and I look forward to moving there permanently.

April looks like it is building up to be as busy as March but I am not going to turn the calendar until I just have to. I need to get through with this crazy month first. The Tennessee folks will be out of Quiet Water on April 1st and I will be going down to the Keys again. I surely miss my home when I have been away this long.

March 3, 2008

Winds of March

It has been a typical March day today except for the 80 degree weather. Beautiful blue skies with lots of fluffy white clouds and WINDY. I guess tomorrow is going to be rainy with a little cooler weather just behind.

This month is going to be a very busy one and as usual this time of year I will be happy when I get past April 1st. Not because of April Fool's Day but because that is the day my largest account renews. I hope that we are smiling after 4/1 this year. We have competition for the first time in a while and the market is iffy. The bright spot in this month will be the weekends with lots of fun plans in place.

It will be 3 weeks before I get to visit with "the Longs" again but I certainly had fun with them last weekend. We went to Kyle's ballgame on Saturday then Ash and I were off to lunch and some shopping. Kevin & Ashley had a date night with a dinner @ Cru and I got to keep the boys. Sunday after church we went to the Greek Festival for more fun and food.

I did get to see Paige, Peegie and Zane before they all left for Tallahassee on Saturday. I travel to Tallahassee this weekend and then Paige, Zane and I will travel on up to Fort Deposit to introduce the Z man to all the Alabama folks. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and having them meet my newest little grandson.

February 26, 2008

Old Friends Reunion

We are supposed to have 30 degree weather here tonight. Brrrrrrr The cold front moved through with lots of clouds, some rain, and strong winds. Now there is loud thunder. Should warm up by the weekend.

A little group of old friends had a reunion today at lunch. Wanda H, Shirley B, Marcy V, myself and Cynthia. It has been 24 years since I saw Marcy and about 6 years for Wanda. We did a fairly decent job of "catching up" but lunch went by just way too fast. All of us worked at Bouchard so many years ago it is scary to think how long.

Last evening I went to Ruth Eckerd Hall with a friend to see a folk dance troupe. I expected to see something like River Dance but it was way more than that. The troupe is all Russian and the dances ranged from Gypsy to Greek, Argentinian to Russian plus so much more. It was spectacular. I had forgotten how much I enjoy attending shows.

So what do I do the rest of the week to keep pace with the excitement of the past two days? Good question. Well, at least work is not boring with all the renewals we are working on right now. That should keep me busy.

February 24, 2008

Pictures of My Boys!

Here are pictures of my extremely handsome grandsons.

Thanks to my darling daughter, Paige, I now have a new lease on blogging!

February 11, 2008

The Wedding Weekend

I was thrilled to be asked to accompany Master Zane to Tallahassee this past weekend so that he and I could hang out while his Mama and Pops attended a wedding. It was a great weekend and the activities were enjoyed by all.

One of the highlights of my weekend was watching Peegie and Paige show off their beautiful son to the many friends they have in Tally. There was much kidding going on from Peegie's ex co-workers but mostly I think they were in awe seeing Peegie with Zane. There were compliments all around: what an adorable baby, good job Phil and Paige, never thought we would see this day, etc. etc. So many of us knew they would be good parents long before they knew it.

It was fun for me to see people that I had met a couple of times before and get reacquainted. It was nice of Ryan and Kylene to include me in the party festivities. It was a little chilly and I am glad I took my coat as everything was mostly outside. You can tell that Springtime is just around the corner up there. I would like to visit Paige while she is in session just to see the dogwood and azaleas in bloom. I expect it will be beautiful.

February 2, 2008

The Last Week of January 2008

It has been a somewhat difficult week at our office. Apparently we are still under budget constraints and we have been told that once again this year we will not be seeing any increase in salary. It is very disheartening as personal expenses certainly don't "freeze" so everyone has to tighten the belt just a little more. But I am very thankful that I have a job that I can enjoy working with a team that I like and can respect. Unfortunately we are going to lose some of our staff due to corporate's decision to send certain aspects of our business offshore to India and that makes me sad and a little angry. We hear that this country is sliding into a recession, people are being let go from jobs with no real prospects for a new one on the horizon (next step is filing for unemployment)and we all need to spend money to shore up the economy. Huh?? When you send work offshore to another country which eliminates jobs how can you expect people to feel much like spending money? People everywhere are holding on to what they have in fear their job might be the next to go.

My wish for 2008 is that our country will rebound in a positive way. The people of the US are the smartest in the world and we are founded on great principles. Go USA.

January 28, 2008


I spent the past weekend in Fort Myers with 3 handsome boys and their parents. I have to tell you that the older ones keep me laughing with their antics and little Zane with the expressions he puts on his face.

On my way down south Ashley radioed me and then called me back so that Kyle and I could chat. We talked a few minutes and then he asked me if I wanted to talk with Todd. That is not what I heard........I will blame that on road noise and the cell phone.....what I heard was are you coming to see Todd tonight too? I said yes, see you in a little while, love you/bye.....just as Kyle handed the phone to Todd. Well at that point I had already hung up on little Todd. Ashley called back and said that Todd was in the back just telling me all about the Green cards he got at school. Finally he realized I wasn't there and handed the phone to his mama and told her "she no want to talk to me"!! They called back and I had to apologize to my little munchkin. Ashley found it to be quite amusing.

Kyle still has a scar under his noise from kissing the concrete when he had his skateboarding accident. Makes me feel somewhat guilty for giving him the board for Christmas. I told Ashley she needs to do a new post to her blog as I can't bear to look at his sweet face all beat up.

Zane is growing fast like all babies will do. He still has a head full of black hair and is smiling a little. Apparently he is going to be a thinker (not stinker!) as he just studies your face when you are talking with him and depending on whether he likes what you are saying or not he will smile or put on a pouty face.

It is cold here in Clearwater. It was supposed to be high 60s today but didn't get past 58. Hopefully it will warm up in the next day or so. I hate cold weather and just want to hibernate. I try to remember that it is much colder in a lot of other places but that's hard to do when my fingers, toes and nose are COLD. Summertime is just around the corner and I can assure you that I don't complain about the hot weather.....just hate that the warm brings the storms.

January 19, 2008

Weekend in Clearwater

It's hard for me not to get in my car every Friday afternoon and head down to Fort Myers to spend time with all my kids (big and little). It has been a typical weekend in Clearwater in that I have spent my entire day cleaning the apartment. How can one little space get so dirty? Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny but cold. Perhaps will be a day to do browse some antique shops.

I bought a new vacuum cleaner last night as my 25 year old one finally bit the dust. Or I guess I should say it wouldn't bite the dust anymore. The new vacuum is one of those jobs that doesn't use bags. Omigosh, i was appalled when I finished with my bedroom (where the cats are not even allowed to roam) but I was disgusted after I finished the living area where the cats do live. I collected enough hair to make a 3 or 4 pound fake cat. I guess the old vacuum was in really bad shape long before it said "no more!!!"

I finally got out about 2:30 to run some errands and just finished up and gotten back here before the BAD storms came rolling in. It's the first time I can ever remember there being 3 tornado warning areas at one time. Fortunately I was in the middle of two and got no wind but it has rained, thank the Lord, and is still raining. Hopefully this is going to help our drought. It was scary but exciting to watch Baynews 9 and see the clouds moving was booking it and that's a good thing for us as the winds didn't stay over us long. There were some waterspouts off Madeira Beach and tornado spotted in New Port Richey.

My building has a lot of vacant apartments right now. As of today I have no one on either side or below me. I do, however, have Heather and Murphy living upstairs. Murphy is a BIG dog who loves to run and play....on top of my head as it were. Heather likes to play music with a loud bass so I never feel all alone. There is always noise.

In case you were thinking about it....don't rent the movie El Cantante (the one with JLo and Marc) It is pretty awful.

January 5, 2008

Holiday Blessings

It was supposed to be a holiday season with a schedule HOWEVER after getting a phone call @ work on December 12th, letting me know that my newest grandson would make his appearance that evening, all schedules were out the door. But I now know that I can kick things into high gear and do a fine job!!

I got to my apartment about 4:30, literally threw a bunch of clothes into a couple of suitcases, left the cats 3 bowls of food, 3 bowls of water and 4 litter boxes (thankfully had picked up all their stuff the day before)and jumped back in my car for the trip to Fort Myers. I arrived at the hospital @ about 7:50 all in one piece....I promised the girls I would be careful but didn't promise not to speed. At 9:13 Zane was born into our family and what an absolutely adorable little boy. What a wonderful way to start my holiday season with my family.

Another highlight of the trip was being able to attend Kyle's Christmas program. He made us all so proud. He had the last speaking part of the day and he did a great job. We were able to spend a little time in the classrooms with the boys for their parties. Kyle and Todd learned a lot of Christmas carols and they especially love Jingle Bells and give an emphatic "Hey!" after the verses. There is nothing sweeter than listening to their little voices singing.

Todd's new goodnight routine is a hug and a kiss and then he grabs your face and plants one on your forehead. How cute is that? He is cathing up with his brother in weight but Kyle is getting really tall. They both are growing up so fast. Todd did let me rock him a couple of times on this trip........I was missing that. Now I also have Zane and he LOVES to rock.

There was so much fun during the 3 weeks I was in Fort Myers with my family it would be difficult to make note of everything. Festival of Lights @ the Edison home, Christmas dinner, boating, spending time with my grands (and their moms/dads),New Year's dinner(it was put together in a hurry and was delicious)and of course seeing DeAnn to have my hair done! I can't remember when I have enjoyed a holiday so much. And I came back feeling so good......I had forgotten how good it feels to feel good.

I am truly blessed..........