From The Home Office

Trickery at the Airport!

Last weekend, Caleb (one of "our" kiddos who we took in a few years ago) flew into town for a couple of weeks. He wanted to surprise Max and Mason so we had an elaborate plan to trick them. We told them we were going to Tampa to see the sea creature exhibit at the MOSI Museum (that much was true). They didn't know about the pit stop we'd be making... …

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

Yesterday, morning, I had to run an errand. I rarely drive anymore because Richard says my driving scares him. I have no idea why... …

Two Waterspouts = Huge Adrenaline Rush!!!

Two Waterspouts = Huge Adrenaline Rush!!!

On vacation last week, we had quite a thrill! As we were driving to dinner in Saddleback Key on our last night there, I was looking out the window and I couldn't believe my eyes! There was a waterspout... …

Deep Sea Fishing!

I am officially "on vacation" this week (in Key West) but I wanted to tell you about our deep sea fishing trip... …

Food, Fun, and Aqua Blue Seas!

We've had rain every day for over a week now. The garden is waterlogged, the pool is cold and neglected, and the children have cabin fever... …

No Pumpkins…But Lots of BEANS!!!

For those of you who've been reading for awhile, you know that we have, for years, had a family pumpkin growing contest. Now that we're settled in Florida, and have a new garden, we have been very busy planting, watering, and watching the fruits of our efforts end up on our dinner plates. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear pumpkins are very fond of Florida summers... …

It’s So Quiet in Here!!!

Max (11) and Mason (6) are attending a local summer day camp for two weeks. They've never been to a camp before and they are having a great time... …

Tropical Storm Andrea – What a Surprise!!

Tropical Storm Andrea – What a Surprise!!

Sometime early last week, I realized it had been raining off and on for about four days. I wasn't too concerned because it's the rainy season here. You can almost set your watch to the afternoon thunderstorms that drench us. During one downpour, Mason (who is terrified of hurricanes and tropical storms) asked me to check the weather on my computer... …

Hopes Up! Hopes Dashed…

We were SO EXCITED yesterday morning!! Max, Frank and I had reservations to go deep sea fishing. It was to be a six-hour trip that we hoped would fill the freezer. Yea!! I checked the weather on Monday night. Uh oh... …

My Ugly Fish Was NOT a Puffer Fish!

Last week, I reported that two readers (one was a fisherman) said my ugly fish was a puffer or blow fish. However, another reader notified me that it's a toad fish, and sent me a link. Sure enough... …

What WAS That Ugly Fish?!

Last week, I published a photo of a really ugly fish I'd caught at the pier. Two people reported back that it looks like a blow/puffer fish. After doing some research, I think they're right... …

Ugly Fish!!!

I caught a really weird fish that I had to ask my friends on Facebook to try to identify... …

Happy Early Mother’s Day!

I am soooo excited!! Matt surprised us with a text last week. He and his fianc…

Our Dog’s Collapsed Trachea

Last Monday, Percy woke up with one of his "asthma attacks", which he's been having for years. When we first got him, a vet said it was asthma, and to just try to calm him down when he's having an episode. They usually only last a couple of minutes but this one went on and on and on. Percy then started coughing like he wanted to throw up... …

Bad Dentist!

Two weeks ago, we took Mason to the dentist because he had a toothache. The dentist suspected a cracked filling so he replaced it. After the dentist finished the filling, he noticed the tooth was loose... …

Matt is Safe!

Many of you know Matt, who came to live with us when he was 15. We have claimed him as our son since that day and he who worked for us for many years before he got his Master's degree, and then his dream job as an actuary. He now lives near Boston and works in Boston. When we heard about the bombing on Monday, I immediately called him. No answer. I texted him. No answer. I checked his Facebook page and there was a picture of him AT the race! I panicked!! I posted a note to his Facebook page begging for him to respond and I then called, texted, and Facebooked his girlfriend. too. A few minutes later, Matt was able to text us that they were okay. Thank Heaven!!! I rejoiced but then immediately felt guilty because so many others were hurt and killed. Later that evening, I had to turn off the TV. I kept getting tears in my eyes and I just couldn't take the scenes anymore. It's horrible, just horrible, and I can't make sense of it at all. Big healing hugs to all, Angela P.S. I want to "follow" you! ANGELA ON TWITTER @AngelaHoy ANGELA ON FACEBOOK ADVERTISEMENT WRITE YOUR MEMOIRS IN 2013! WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW!

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I Have Cabin Fever!

When we lived in Maine, I would get a horrible case of cabin fever at the end of winter. It hasn't happened since we moved to Florida...until now. Ever since last weekend, I have had the urge to hit the road... …

Slip ‘N Sliding!!!

We were pretty lucky last week when we found a brand new Slip 'N Slide left by the Easter Bunny! Now that we live in the South, where it's warm on Easter, and now that we have an actual front yard with plenty of grass, we could not WAIT to try it out. The boys hurried outside to set it up while the girls changed into their bathing suits. While they were hooking up the hose and getting it working, we were all stretching like Olympic hopefuls... …

Rescheduled Fossil Hunting Trip

Last week, I wrote about our planned trip to the Peace River for some fossil hunting. Unfortunately, on Wednesday night, Mason started sniffling. By Thursday morning, he was running a low-grade fever and going through tons of tissues. So, we had to reschedule for this week. Problem is, it's downright cold outside... …

Alligators when Fossil Hunting?!

On Thursday, we're taking a homeschooling fieldtrip to the Peace River to dig for fossils. It was Max's idea. He really wants to find a Megalodon tooth all by himself. Grampa is making two special sifting screens based on a picture of one made by a neighbor, who is retired and spends most of his spare time fossil hunting. He was generous enough to tell us where to go and how to find the best fossils... …

Finally Received an Offer on Our House in Maine!

Our house in Maine has been for sale for almost a year now. We had a few bites early on, and a few in the fall, and then nothing. We have steadily dropped the price time and time again, and were finally contacted by a potential buyer last weekend. The price is so low now that we will walk away with nothing. But, that's better than continuing to pay two house payments each month (as well as paying for double insurance and double taxes). The family that contacted us attended our yard sale before we moved. I remember the woman because, even though the house wasn't for sale at the time, she asked if she could see the inside so I gave her a tour... …

Winter, Spring, Winter, Spring… Make Up Your Mind, Will Ya?

Last week, the heater in our house was running non-stop. Yesterday and today, Max and Mason were swimming in our pool. No, it's not heated. On Thursday, it's only going to be in the 60's. Sure beats a blizzard!! …

We Love Comedy Shows!!!

Richard and I spent the weekend in St. Petersburg and we had a blast! We were invited by comedian Bobby Kelton to Rhonda Shear's Comedy PJ Party, where he was a performer... …

Field Trip!

We have relatives in town again. Seems everybody wants to come visit us in Florida when there's lots of snow on the ground up north. ;) …

Exercise Induced Asthma?!

On Sunday, we piled our bikes in the back of the truck and drove to a local nature preserve. We took the 4.4-mile path and enjoyed the wetlands, wildlife, and beautiful 70-degree weather. Poor Mason had to work harder than anyone. While the rest of us have bikes with gears that allow us to stop pedaling and glide when we need a pedaling break, Mason's tiny bike has training wheels. His pedals never stop turning so he can't glide. Also, his gears are so small that he has to pedal twice as much as the rest of us. I kept asking if he was tired and he said no. He was determined to keep up with is big brothers and he sure was enjoying the race! At the very end of the 4.4-mile path, Mason stopped his bike suddenly and said, "Mom! I can't breathe! I'm going to die!" …

Absolutely PERFECT!

The weather this week has been gorgeous!! I love being able to take my laptop outside to work while the boys play on the patio or catch sea slugs (ick!). There are no mosquitoes but there are many birds singing and flowers blooming. I talked to a friend in Maine who said it was below zero each night and I kinda felt sorry for her... …

Mountain Biking

Richard went mountain biking with a neighbor this week. I know what you're thinking. Where is there a mountain in Florida? …

Kennel Cough

Ali and Justin recently decided to rescue (adopt) a new dog. They thought it would be a good idea to take their dog, Jax, along to the pound to see if he got along with any of the dogs they were interested in. When I heard they did that, I thought "uh oh." While they didn't get a new dog (yet), Jax did get a bad case of Kennel Cough... …

Winter Writing Contest and Winter Bird Watching!

When we lived up north, I always looked forward to the WritersWeekly Winter 24-Hour Short Story Contest because, while living in Bangor, Maine, in January, we were guaranteed a few feet of snow on the ground and weeks of cabin fever. During contest weekend, I was always enjoyed a break from the grind and some awesome entertainment in the form of stories flying in via email from participants. Living in Florida, I'm still excited despite the fact that it's going to be in the 80s on Saturday. (It's supposed to be 85 today!) …

Let’s Get Back to Writing!

I love Christmas but I am SO relieved it is over. One of my favorite pastimes is writing and holiday mayhem sends my muse into hiding. She is back, however, and begging to be let out to play... …

I Support the Reason for YOUR Season!

Boy, I sure am tired of people getting offended by the word Christmas, and Christmas decorations and the like. I am not Jewish yet I've never been offended by a Menorah, nor any other symbol or celebration of a religion to which I do not belong. To each his own, live and let live, and all that stuff. Why do people have to spew so much hatred this time of year? "Can we all just get along?" (R.I.P. Rodney King!) …

Preparing For A Full House

Ali and I are busy preparing the house for the influx of guests that will start arriving next week. Some of them will be staying at Ali's because we'll be filled to the brim here. It's all very exciting! Mason is counting the days, confirming his math with me each morning. ("Mom, it's 15 days now because yesterday it was 16, right?") …

Ack! Only 3 Weeks Left!

My Christmas shopping is done but I haven't wrapped even one gift yet. The boxes are just stacked up there in the corner, staring at me, day after day. I'm also starting to seriously doubt I'm going to finish the "Taj Mahal" (the gift I've been working on for my mom since April). …

Leftovers….Blech!

I gave in and threw out the Thanksgiving leftovers. After 5 days of turkey sandwiches and soggy stuffing, I just couldn't stomach any more. On Sunday, we had our annual "Hoy Holiday", where we go get our Christmas tree, put it up, and then eat pizza while watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It was so much fun! …

Over The River And…

My brother and his family are driving here from Key Biscayne this week and all the children will be here so we'll have a houseful! The best news is there will be three chefs in the house this year (Ali, Justin and Billy) so I don't have to do any cooking at all. I will, however, gladly do dishes as a trade-off... …

Christmas Shopping!

I am feeling much better since my surgery. My hemoglobin is creeping upward so my energy level is higher as well. I felt so good last weekend, in fact, that I started my Christmas shopping! It didn't take too much energy, though, since I was only doing it online. Heh... It was the best Sunday I've had in a long time. I sat in bed all day, shopping, watching movies, and also working on a gift I'm making for my mom. I'm calling it the Taj Majal and I'm starting to think it just might not get done in time for Christmas. If not, maybe I can finished it by next Mother's Day... …

Recovering

Last week, I shared the story of my surgery last week. I am very tired but feeling better. My hemoglobin level is still quite low, which explains the fatigue. I admit I'm getting very weary of phone calls from doctors offices that have bad news instead of good. :( …

Immediate Surgery!

PER LAST WEEK'S WARNING: If you're a guy, you should stop reading now. Seriously. Don't continue. If you have a queasy stomach, you should also turn back now. If you keep reading, you'll be sorry. Don't say I didn't warn you... …

Hospitalized While On Vacation

If you're a guy, you should stop reading now. Seriously. Don't continue. If you have a queasy stomach, you should also turn back now. If you keep reading, you'll be sorry. Don't say I didn't warn you! …

LOOKING FOR FALL!!!

Today, we're heading to Tennessee. We'll be spending a week in the mountains with some members of my family and we are SO excited. The one thing I miss the most about Maine (aside from our good friends there) is the Fall foliage. …

Our New Doctor Doesn’t Force Vaccines! Yea!

On a whim, I contacted a family practice here in town (not a pediatrician) and made an appointment for six of us to go in. I thought maybe if they realized we were bringing them a ton of business (for years to come!) they wouldn't force the vaccine issue. The doctor and I had a long talk and she agreed that more vaccines would definitely not be a good idea for our child. Since we homeschool, we are at far lower risk than the general population. She even admitted she does not get a flu shot each year. She said if you're healthy, well-nourished, and well-rested, your body is perfectly capable of fighting off the flu and most other illnesses. I was SO relieved!! …

Pumpkin Flashers and Horror Babies!

Pumpkin Flashers and Horror Babies!

We were SO excited on Monday because October had FINALLY arrived! We LOVE everything Halloween and we'd already decorated the inside of our house. Once October was here, we could set up all our offensive yard decorations, too! …

The Facts of Life are Hilarious!

After Mason (age 6) asked me two days in a row where babies come from, I could no longer avoid the inevitable. I pulled up a lovely (ahem) graphic of a uterus on the Internet, and explained in very basic terms about how the baby grows in there. But, that wasn't good enough for Mason. Tapping the pink uterus cartoon on my computer screen, he said, " But how does the baby get IN THERE?!" …

Our Money Pit

I've written before about all the problems we've encountered in our "new" house in Florida. Well, the fun continues! …

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