From The Home Office

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...…

Smallest Easter Ever!

Smallest Easter Ever!

We don't have an empty nest but it's emptier than it used to be...…

In-laws Are In Town!

In-laws Are In Town!

I drove to the airport this morning to pick up my step-mom-in-law while Richard took the boys to their museum class for shark and fish dissection. Yea! Richard's dad is arriving by vehicle this evening and more friends are arriving in two days. …

Home Alone! (Well, Almost…)

Home Alone! (Well, Almost…)

This weekend, Richard, along with a friend of ours, is taking a two-day wilderness survival course. The guys invited me but I gracefully bowed out...…

House Shopping With The Newlyweds

House Shopping With The Newlyweds

Our daughter, Ali, and her new hubby, Justin, have been house shopping ever since returning from their honeymoon in November. This week, they asked me to meet them at a house they kept returning to after looking at so many others. So, I agreed to do that on Monday and it was so much fun! I was the first one there. I walked around, taking pictures to help them in their negotiations. By the side of the house, a very large black snake gave me a startling greeting. He was more afraid of me than I was of him so he started racing away. I chased him, trying to get a picture. So, when Ali and Justin pulled up, they found me running along the side of the house...…

Open-Window and Kayaking Weather!

Open-Window and Kayaking Weather!

On Tuesday morning, we woke up to a very breezy, warm day. Well, warm as in the mid-70's. It was so gorgeous that we opened all the windows and sliding glass doors.…

Homeschooling Shenanigans

Homeschooling Shenanigans

As most of you know, we homeschool our two youngest children. The other ones are adults now. Each Monday, Max (age 14) and Mason (age 9) are given their lessons for the week. They have colorful folders for each day of the week, and a large folder to keep those in, as well as workbooks, reading books, and supplies. It works out pretty well...most of the time. …

When Your Kid is a Pre-Med Student, You Never Know What They’ll Bring Home…

When Your Kid is a Pre-Med Student, You Never Know What They’ll Bring Home…

Last night, I walked into Frank's room and he showed me his latest homework project. He had four small, plastic cylinders with labels. They each just had a small piece of foam on top, pushed into each container. They didn't look very secure, to me at least. And, inside were about a zillion fruit flies. …

Our Calendar…That Hangs by the Toilet

Our Calendar…That Hangs by the Toilet

I was hoping things would slow down in January but they haven't. Usually, after the holidays, Richard and I try to have a month of down-time. However, this year that didn't happen. Looking at our calendar for January, I noticed yesterday why I've felt so frazzled. There's hardly any white space left!…

Matt’s Almost Here!

Matt’s Almost Here!

Our son, Matt, who lives in Boston, is arriving on Friday, and will be here for about two weeks. We are SUPER excited about his arrival and we have lots of fun things planned for him while he's here! …

Trying To Decide On This Year’s Christmas Cookies…

Trying To Decide On This Year’s Christmas Cookies…

Each year, Ali and I make goodies to take to the neighbors. The rum balls I make, which are a recipe I received from a fellow BookLocker author, are always a huge hit. I'm burned out on peppermint bark and tiny pretzels swimming in caramel and chocolate. …

Things Are Finally Calming Down!

Things Are Finally Calming Down!

While the business is still in pre-Christmas-hysteria mode, things on the home front are calming down. …

Wedding Pics!

Wedding Pics!

We are still trying to get caught up from our trip so, as promised, I'm posting wedding pictures today.…

Our Daughter’s Beautiful Wedding!

Our Daughter’s Beautiful Wedding!

We have been on the road for two weeks and, for the past several days, we were in Georgia preparing for our daughter's wedding.…

Heading to the Wedding!

Heading to the Wedding!

This issue will be slightly abbreviated. We’ll be back on schedule next week. This weekend is…

Finally on Our (Working) Vacation!

Finally on Our (Working) Vacation!

This issue will be slightly abbreviated. We finally arrived in Tennessee and, while we’re still working,…

And, Another Trip to Urgent Care

And, Another Trip to Urgent Care

closest urgent care center when a minor accident occurs. However, you can't count on them to stop having those accidents when they become adults...…

I’m Sick. And, Now My Pants Don’t Fit!

I’m Sick. And, Now My Pants Don’t Fit!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I'd been inhaling sand. My head hurt, I was coughing, and running a fever, and I couldn't shake the chills. Not pleasant. I didn't want to get up but I had so much work to do. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, threw my hair into a ponytail, and crawled back into bed with my laptop ...…

Pre-Wedding Trip to Georgia!

Pre-Wedding Trip to Georgia!

We had a fantastic time in Georgia over the weekend! We attended a couple's shower for our daughter and future son-in-law, Justin, on Saturday, and a bridal shower on Sunday. Well, my mom and I attended the bridal shower. No boys allowed! …

R.I.P. Cool the Bearded Dragon

R.I.P. Cool the Bearded Dragon

About eight years ago, the boys convinced me to buy them a bearded dragon. Over the years, they have enjoyed his company...and particularly enjoyed scaring the grandmothers with him!…

Pre-wedding Events!

Pre-wedding Events!

Our daughter is a professional pastry chef! Who wants her homemade dinner roll recipe before Thanksgiving?!?! They are PERFECT for leftover turkey sandwiches!! …

Tropical Storm Erika? Pffftt!!!

Tropical Storm Erika? Pffftt!!!

Last weekend was our future son-in-law's bachelor party in Key West. Of course, Tropical Storm Erika wanted to attend...and not in a fun way.…

Brand New AC Still Not Working After One Week!

Brand New AC Still Not Working After One Week!

For the past week, we've been staying at our daughter's house. The AC guys installed a brand new unit, but the house wouldn't get below 80 during the day and it was very humid inside. I suspected something was wrong with the unit or installation. I texted the technician that night and he called me right away, which was nice. He said they'd had a problem with the intake attachment. Sure enough, the next morning they found it had ...…

It’s (pant, pant) Stifling in Here!

It’s (pant, pant) Stifling in Here!

We've known for the past few months that our air conditioner was on its last leg. The previous owners of our home built parts of it without permits, lied about many things (like the age of the roof and past termite problems, to name just a few), and didn't mention defects they obviously knew about. Somebody even removed the tag from the air conditioner that had the serial number, which would indicate date of manufacture. They told us it was pretty new but we later learned it was 11 to 15 years old ...…

Two Wedding Dresses

Two Wedding Dresses

Our daughter is getting married later this year. We bought her wedding dress about a year ago. Last weekend, we went shopping for another wedding dress - one that is dance-friendly ...…

14 Straight Days of Rain…

14 Straight Days of Rain…

This time of year in Florida, rain is nice because you get a brief reprieve from the heat. But, as of Monday, we'd had 14 straight days of storms. That morning, we woke up at 6:30 a.m. to what sounded like Armageddon outside.…

How To Make Friends…

How To Make Friends…

Since moving here, I've missed having parties. We were talking one night, and realized we'd lived in this house for more than two years and we only had two close family friends in this area.…

CSI Camp! Cool!!

Remember when you were a kid and summer camp meant canoeing, campfires with marshmallows, and raiding other cabins after dark? Well, no more! This summer, Max attended underwater robotics camp. Mason has attended dinosaur camp, fishing camp (they didn't catch anything but he made some beautiful fish crafts, and learned about tides and such), and, his absolute favorite, CSI camp!…

I Will **NOT** Be Sweating This Weekend!

I Will **NOT** Be Sweating This Weekend!

Who wants to go outside and get all hot and sweaty when you can join us for the fun and exciting WritersWeekly Summer, 2015 24-Hour Short Story Contest?! I'll be sitting right here in the air conditioning all weekend, answering questions, offering encouragement, and waiting breathlessly for the first stories to come in so I can read them!…

Mason, Mason, Mason (sigh…)

Mason, Mason, Mason (sigh…)

We had a great Fourth of July! Since there are no public bathrooms at our favorite beach, I always stop drinking water (and everything else) at least two hours before we leave to see the fireworks. Mason wanted to drink some juice before we left. I told him that was okay but, if he really needed to potty at the beach, he could simply get in the water, sit down, and potty. Nobody would notice, right? Mason said that sounded okay with him. It wasn't quite dark yet when we arrived. Of course, Mason immediately said, "I have to potty." So, I pointed to the water...…