From The Home Office

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... …

The Librarians Are Here!

Our good friends, Scott and Kelly, arrived from Wisconsin on Monday. They are enjoying the warmer weather, despite the fact that it's chillier here than any early Florida November we remember... …

What A Party!!!

What A Party!!!

Ali and Justin's annual Halloween Party was Monday night and, boy oh boy, what a bash it was! WARNING! FEATURES OFFENSIVE CONTENT AND GROSS PHOTOS!…

Richard’s Halloween Costume Has Arrived!

Richard’s Halloween Costume Has Arrived!

In case I haven't gushed about him enough, I want to again tell you that Richard is the best husband on Earth! Each year, he lets me choose his Halloween costume and he never knows what he's going to be until Halloween.…

The Ghouls Are Out!

The Ghouls Are Out!

We had a great time decorating the yard for Halloween! Max and Mason made some cute headstones out of cardboard. I told them to watch out for rain, and to bring them in if it starts sprinkling. Just 24 hours later, we had a major drenching and, well, it looks like we're gonna need more headstones! …

A Deluge!!

A Deluge!!

We returned from our vacation in Tennessee last week and it has rained here, heavily, every…

Making The Kids Wait. Heh…

Making The Kids Wait. Heh…

I finally gave in last weekend, and let the boys put up the Halloween decorations. The china cabinet is now full of my horror babies, faux fall leaf garlands are hung here and there, and skeletons, witches, and other ghouls grace every corner... …

Getting SOOOO Excited!

Fall is, by far, my most favorite time of the year! Shorter days, cooler weather, and a crispness in the air that I wish I could bottle up and save for next summer! But, the best part about fall is our WritersWeekly.com fall 24-hour short story contest... …

Headin’ To Georgia! Will We Find Cooler Weather?

We are on the road right now, heading to Georgia for another wedding. Yea!! That reminds me that I never posted a picture of the yarn painting I made for Matt and Sarah's wedding gift... …

Another Wedding Cake By Ali!

Another Wedding Cake By Ali!

Last week, I shared that our son Matt got married. This week, I wanted to share that our daughter, Ali, a pastry chef, made the wedding cakes (yes, plural). And, unfortunately, she asked me to help. Now, don't get me wrong. I love cooking with Ali. We have a lot of fun and she has taught me SO much over the years. But, wedding cakes are SO stressful. I mean...one little mistake and a catastrophe may ensue! …

We’re Outta Here!

We are looking forward to escaping Florida's heat for few days... …

Awesome Lightning Storm!

We went out to dinner on Saturday night, and were treated to a lightning storm that lasted our entire dinner, and an hour afterward as well! We ventured out on the pier after dinner to enjoy the show. Rather than describe it, I'll share some photos... …

Bookstore On Date Night! Yea!

When we got home, the boys excitedly went through the bookstore bag. Max grabbed MY book, and said, "Yea! You bought me Orange is the New Black!" …

Ali Picked Out Her Wedding Dress!

Ali Picked Out Her Wedding Dress!

Ali's future mom-in-law, Sharon, came into town again last week so we gals hit the road in search of the PERFECT wedding dress. I honestly thought we'd have to go to several stores over several days but, within three hours, Ali had picked the perfect dress! And, it was the very first one she'd tried on! …

Guess Where I’ll Be This Weekend?!?!

The Summer, 2014 Short Story Contest IS THIS SATURDAY! Rather than sweating and getting a sunburn, spend the day in the cool air conditioning, and come play with us! …

R.I.P., Percy. :(

We lost our beloved doggie, Percy, last week. We adopted him from the shelter for Frank, who was around 12 years old at the time. However, Percy attached himself to me. Frank didn't mind that his dog was protecting his mom. Percy followed me everywhere, even to the bathroom. He suffered from severe separation anxiety... …

A Funnel Cloud!

A Funnel Cloud!

On Monday night, we had just eaten dinner, and were watching TV when I glanced outside, and noticed this sky... …

Mason is 8!

It's hard to believe but Mason turned eight years old this week... …

Summer Camp Memories

Max (age 12) and Mason (who will be 8 this weekend) have attended one summer camp this month, and are already on their second... …

Matt And Sarah Were Here!!

Many of you remember Matt, our (unofficially) adopted son who came to live with us many years ago. He worked for BookLocker and WritersWeekly for years and he still does ebook conversion work for us on the side. After college, he moved to New York to attend Columbia for his Master's. He then landed a super job in Boston doing actuarial work, which has always been his dream (yes, we don't understand that level of attraction to math, either, but he's happy!). Matt and his fiance, Sarah, who we also adore, were here over the weekend and we all had a blast... …

I’m Going to Be a Mother-in-Law!

Our daughter, Ali, has been dating her soul mate, Justin, for more than three years now. Shortly after they started dating, they were in a bad car accident together and they subsequently recovered together at our house. They've been deeply in love ever since. Early Saturday morning, Frank came into our room, looking for my good camera. He said he needed to take some pictures of his medical records for his new job. I told him to just scan them. He said no, that was too much trouble, and left. I didn't really think much about it... …

My Knee is Still on Vacation

I gave up, and finally visited a "sports medicine" doctor in town. Despite the fact that the Jet Ski wasn't even turned on, much less moving, when I fell off, they still let me come in. I have an MRI scheduled for this week. I'm still pretty bummed that I couldn't go kite surfing on Mother's Day but our beach vacation was wonderful, and so very relaxing! As promised, here are some pictures... …

Short Mother’s Day Trip

Richard, Max and Mason are taking me to St. Pete Beach for the weekend for Mother's Day. We're hoping the big kids can join us there for an afternoon. We have a house sitter to take care of the pets. I had asked for kite surfing lessons for Mother's Day but I'm still recovering from the sprained knee... …