From The Home Office

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...…

Independence Day…When You Live in a Tourists’ Town!

Independence Day…When You Live in a Tourists’ Town!

Four years ago, we left the relatively quiet and frozen tundra of Maine for the sunny shores of Florida. We haven't regretted our decision. We do miss the fall foliage but we use that as an excuse to escape to the Tennessee mountains for a couple of weeks each October. …

Feeling Emotionally Icky…

I attended a social event last week, and shook hands with somebody who set my creep-meter into high gear. I later told Richard, "There is something seriously wrong with that guy." I just felt it. Something was terribly off. I found out the next day he's a convicted murderer... …

The Shower Was A Smash Hit!

The Shower Was A Smash Hit!

We hosted Ali and Justin's couple's wedding shower last weekend and it was awesome. We had quite a crowd! It was supposed to end at 8:00 p.m. but the last group left just before midnight... …

Couple’s Shower!

Couple’s Shower!

This weekend, we are hosting a couple's shower for Ali and Justin. Since Ali's bridal shower will be in Georgia in the fall, most of their co-workers won't be able to attend. Instead of games and pink ribbons, we'll be having BBQ, swimming and fishing... …

It’s Visitor Season In Florida!

It’s Visitor Season In Florida!

People near the Florida coast joke about how their friends and relatives want to visit them for vacation because we all live in paradise. I think all our friends and loved ones should just MOVE here... …

Rush Concert?!

On Friday, Richard's dad is driving in from Texas for the Rush concert this weekend in Tampa. The tickets were a birthday present we got him. On Saturday, our librarian friend, Scott, and his wife, Kelly, are arriving as well. Scott will be attending the concert with the guys (along with our neighbor, Tim). Kelly and I will NOT...because I'm not a big fan of tinnitus... …

Kite Surfing Lessons! Yea!!

Last week, I wrote about Richard needing "more than a few dollars" for a surprise for me. Well, he and the kids bought me 9 hours of kite surfing lessons for Mother's Day! I am so excited!! It's in Clearwater so we're going to take a short vacation up there in the next few weeks. Richard and the boys can have fun on the beach while I'm taking my lessons (3 lessons at 3 hours each). We took a trip to a beach resort last summer with the kids and had a blast so I'm looking forward to doing that again. THIS WEEK'S MASONISM "If something is not positive, it should not exist." Hugs to all! Angela P.S. I want to "follow" you! ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy ANGELA ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750 RELATED: Archived News From the Home Office is HERE. …

What Did Mason Drop In The Toilet?!

Richard told me he needed some money for a surprise. It's more than a few dollars so I'm pretty curious about what it is. And, since Mother's Day is next weekend, I'm thinking I'm going to be seeing the surprise sooner rather than later! I'm excited!! …

Is Coco Afraid of Spring Storms?

It's pouring right now and it's been pouring for hours. The pool is quickly filling up. By this time tomorrow, it'll be overflowing... …

The Spring, 2015 24-Hour Short Story Contest is THIS WEEKEND!

I usually try to take Sundays off but this weekend we'll be hosting the WritersWeekly Spring, 2015 24-Hour Short Story Contest. IT STARTS SATURDAY! If you want to sign up, don't delay! Only 500 entrants permitted per contest. You must sign up BEFORE start-time to participate. TO ENTER, go here. In other "home office" news... …

One WILD Weekend!!!

We managed to convince Zach and Mary to babysit the boys for a long weekend and Richard and I escaped alone to Ybor City. We had a FANTASTIC time! Best date EVER!! …

No Broken Bones This Year!

The violent Easter egg hunt went pretty smoothly this year. Furniture was overturned, sofa cushions were thrown about, and (adult) kids were shoved aside (by each other)... …

Snookie!

For Christmas, Richard bought me a green fishing light for the backyard. Now, after dark, we can see a variety of beautiful fish and other marine critters under the water. Every night, there's something different or new. A couple of weeks ago, a snook came by... …

Spring Cleaning (Ug!!)

I'm not a huge fan of housework but I do enjoy a good materialistic purge. Last weekend, I started on one corner of the house, intending to keep moving until I had finished the entire house. My intentions were good... …

From 50-Degree Weather to Swimming and Sunning!

Last week, it got down in the 40's. Yesterday, it was in the 80's and the boys went swimming after they finished their school work. Their friend Hailey, who has a cold, wet a line, and caught a nice pin fish. The flowers are blooming, the sea birds are singing with glee, the pollen is flying, and my allergies are...HACHOO!!! …

Creepy, Cozy Fog…

I love all things related to water. I've always felt a "need" to live near the water, but only moving water. I can't live on a lake or a pond... …

The Flu Bug Has Arrived!

Last Thursday, Mason woke up with a sore throat, a fever, and a sick tummy. A day later, Max got it, and then Frank and Chelce, and then Richard. The entire house is sniffling, and sneezing, and coughing EXCEPT... …

Apparently, We Live In Peyton Place!

Well, it took a couple of years of living at this house in Florida, but we have finally met enough neighbors, and done enough socializing, to truly feel at home, and also feel like our neighbors are family. Of course, once you REALLY get to know someone, they might let you look in their closet...and see some scandalous skeletons... …

WHY THIS ISSUE IS LATE: Neighbor in Need

Our new neighbor had spine surgery late last week, and hasn't been doing well. Since he only has a girlfriend in the area, and no relatives, we, of course, pitched in to help. Late Tuesday, he was in such agony that we all decided it was time to go to the emergency room. The problem was...we couldn't move him. …

The Winter, 2015 24-Hour Short Story Contest is THIS WEEKEND!

I usually try to take Sundays off but this weekend we'll be hosting the WritersWeekly Winter, 2015 24-Hour Short Story Contest. If you want to sign up, don't delay! Only 500 entrants permitted per contest... …

Romantic Weekend Trip!

Romantic Weekend Trip!

Richard is taking me on a romantic getaway this weekend and our oldest son, Zach, will be caring for the boys...and the new puppy. Even though Coco's crate (I call it her hidey-hole) is very large, we're going to put it in the back of the truck, and deliver it to Zach with the boys. Coco sleeps very well in her crate at night and we don't want that to end... …

And, Back To Work!

The out of town guests have left, the Christmas decorations have been taken down, and the boys are back in school (homeschooling). I'm raring to get back on my regular schedule... …

What Will CocoPuff Eat Next?!

In case you missed our pre-holiday issue, we adopted an adorable puppy, CocoPuff, who has taken over our hearts...and our lives. Her nickname is Coco. As soon as she moved in, she started eating EVERYTHING... …

A NEW FAMILY MEMBER!!!

Last week, we took a short trip to Orlando to unwind, and prepare for the holidays. While we were there, we found Santa and Mason sat on his lap for the very first time. He'd never wanted to do it before. Mason walked right up to him, sat on one knee, and swung his feet over Santa's other knee... …

Short Winter Trip!

I am almost completely ready for Christmas. I just have a bit more wrapping to do. So, it'll be nice to take a small breather before all the Christmas company starts arriving in a couple of weeks... …

Elf On A Shelf Mischief!

Our elf, Christopher, returned on Friday and Mason and Max are SOOOOO excited! So far, Christopher has turned my entire inventory of LED "candles" on (so I had to buy more batteries!), has almost started a fire by roasting marshmallows in the middle of the night, took a ride on our ceiling fan, and used Mason's toy bulldozer to bulldoze an entire (brand new!) bag of gourmet (expensive!) chocolate chips... …

Better Early Than On Time!

Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones who were doing their Thanksgiving shopping on Saturday... …

Do You Think I’m…Obsessed???

While my bedroom closet may be in disarray (that's an understatement!), and the laundry may be backed up for three days, I am very organized with regards to business, paperwork/bills and...Christmas. Yes, really. It's a bit of an obsession for me... …

Polar Vortex? Where??

I admit it is "chilly" here (by Florida standards) but it's nothing like our old friends in Maine are experiencing. Last week, they received 21 inches of snow... …