From The Home Office

Yes, it DOES get “cold” in Florida!

Yes, it DOES get “cold” in Florida!

The rainy season is finally over so the weather is absolutely perfect! We're no longer sheltered indoors, constantly checking the air conditioner to see why it's not keeping up with the heat and humidity.…

Pictures of Truly Disgusting Halloween Treats from The Party! Yum!

Pictures of Truly Disgusting Halloween Treats from The Party! Yum!

Each year, our daughter and her husband throw a huge, crazy, extreme Halloween party. It's truly a family effort, with everyone pitching in to decorate their house, inside and out, with every imaginable orange twinkly light, blood on the windows, ghouls, ghosties, and much more.…

Really?? ANOTHER Hurricane?!

Really?? ANOTHER Hurricane?!

We’ve already had a tropical storm and a hurricane here this year. Now, Hurricane Matthew is…

Homeschooled Kids Don’t Get Sick Often, Unless…

Homeschooled Kids Don’t Get Sick Often, Unless…

Max and Mason, who are homeschooled, joined a new homeschooling co-op. Over the past few years, they've only attended museum classes every other Wednesday, and only during the afternoon on those days. This new co-op meets all day long every Wednesday, and includes five different classes and a lunch. I warned the boys and Richard that they'd be exposed to lots more kiddos with cold and flu symptoms and that we'd all catch more germies this year.…

We’re Knee Deep Here!

We’re Knee Deep Here!

This is always our busiest time of the year. Everybody wants their book published before the Christmas shopping season so we always get a glut of new manuscript submissions in September and October. We're working 12-16 hours per day right now and we're all exhausted. I haven't been to the gym in three weeks but I did manage a short swim one afternoon last week. We also took a therapeutic evening sail one night last weekend. I miss my afternoon "sun breaks."…

Here’s How We Fared in the Hurricane Last Week!

Here’s How We Fared in the Hurricane Last Week!

We had a super fun time riding out Hurricane Hermine! The morning before it rolled in was overcast, windy, and quite cool. So, we all walked to breakfast, and ate outside. It was heavenly! Later, the sky slowly darkened, the wind increased, and big, fat raindrops began to fall. Then, those big, fat raindrops started flying sideways. It was quite a ride and it was beautiful!…

Virus (of the Stomach Variety!) Knocks Me Offline for Two Days

Virus (of the Stomach Variety!) Knocks Me Offline for Two Days

This issue will be a bit abbreviated. I'm running waaaay behind this week because a stomach virus attacked the "home office." We were falling like flies! We're all MUCH better now but I'll be spending all weekend trying to get caught up on email. :)…

Spinning, Churning, and No End in Sight…

Spinning, Churning, and No End in Sight…

A low pressure system stalled over us last weekend and we've had four straight days of heavy, oppressive skies. Dark gray clouds as far as the horizon and barely a wisp of breeze. Every two or three hours, the wind will quickly pick up and we'll get slammed with a deluge of rain. Then, the clouds will churn again, crawling back into themselves, and hoarding their moisture for just a little while. …

Go Karts…That Go 50 MPH?!?! What???

Go Karts…That Go 50 MPH?!?! What???

These go-karts ("electric Italian pro-karts") were going SO FAST! I got nervous because Mason is only 10 years old and he'd never ridden one before. I voiced my hesitation and Mason said, "Don't worry, Mom. The kids only get to go 25 mph." 25 MILES PER HOUR?! ACK!!! I looked around and none of the other parents appeared anxious so I pushed my fears aside, and sat down to watch. A couple of races later, they called Mason's name for the kids' race. He listened to the instructions, put on a cloth head covering (I thought, 'Oh good, he wouldn't get lice!') and a huge helmet, and got into his "pro-kart." The employees helped strap the kids in the cars. Of course, I watched to make sure they strapped Mason in really tight!…

Wedding Photos!

Wedding Photos!

As promised in last week's issue, we are sharing some wedding photos today...…

We Have a New Daughter!

We Have a New Daughter!

We are honored and thrilled to announce that our oldest son, Zach (almost 30), blessed us…

We’re in! We’re IN!

We’re in! We’re IN!

It finally happened. The movers arrived yesterday morning. We had every box stacked up in the living room and all the furniture in the sunroom. The movers said we were the most organized family they'd ever helped...…

Hurry Up and Wait!

Hurry Up and Wait!

One of the most frustrating parts about selling the house has been the buyers' realtor, who appears to be either lazy, disorganized, clueless about her job, just plain unprofessional, or a combination of all of the above. After the initial contract, the inspections occurred quickly but we then had almost two weeks of no communication. Our realtor kept trying to keep things moving but the other realtor was "too busy" one day, "tired" another day, and "boating" on yet another day. Finally, the final deal came together. That was a week and a half ago...…

Packing, Sorting, Tossing, and NO MORE BUYING!!!

Packing, Sorting, Tossing, and NO MORE BUYING!!!

We are knee deep in cardboard boxes here. It's not pretty! But, we're making lots of progress! We started the pre-move activities about a month ago. I decided to make it easy - start on one side of the house (the master bathroom), and work my way across the house. That's a trick I learned from a housekeeper years ago. Start in one corner, and just start moving around the room. Don't bounce from one place to another. Just. Move. Forward. …

We’re Moving to St. Pete! – Part II

We’re Moving to St. Pete! – Part II

Last week, I shared the news that we're selling our house, and moving to St. Pete, along with some of the reasons why. I added, "There's another big reason we're moving but I'll wait until next week to tell you that." Here it is...…

Positive And, Unfortunately, Negative Thoughts On My Very First Cruise…

Positive And, Unfortunately, Negative Thoughts On My Very First Cruise…

Last weekend, the girls and I drove down to Miami, hopped on Majesty of the Seas, and headed for the Bahamas. This was my first cruise. I don't like touristy things when traveling and I don't like being stuck in one place with limited options on what I can do. A friend told me I wouldn't mind being "stuck" on a boat that size because it's a floating city...…

Bachelorette Party Weekend!

Bachelorette Party Weekend!

At o'dark thirty in the morning, Ali and I are hitting the road, heading to Miami, where we will jump on a cruise ship with our future daughter-in-law, her friends, and her mother. We'll then spent 4 days and 3 nights humming tropical songs, drinking tropical drinks, and seeing tropical sights. We will NOT be zip-lining (boring), nor parasailing (been there, done that), but we are interested in trying a unique restaurant or two on the islands, or doing some shopping. …

Camping For Boys = Quiet Writing Time For Me!

Camping For Boys = Quiet Writing Time For Me!

Richard and the boys are going camping this weekend while I get to stay home with Coco. I am so excited! Imagine how much writing I'm going to get done from Friday night through Sunday night! My fingers just might fall off from fatigue!…

When Your Child Gets Caught in an Ocean Current…

When Your Child Gets Caught in an Ocean Current…

After our walk, the boys wanted to go back to the boat. Brian offered to swim back with them while I stayed with the dinghy. They all had on life jackets (because we frequently see stories about drownings in currents in Florida, even among good swimmers). Brian and Max were doing fine but Mason is very small, and was having a hard time fighting the current...…

Sailing Trip!

Sailing Trip!

Next week, we are taking a 3-day, 2-night sailing trip with a friend of ours. Max and Mason are extremely excited! I'm a bit nervous...…

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