From The Home Office

No Longer Raining in the Living Room!

The roofer found a 36-hour window between storms and quickly replaced the flat roof on the back of our house. Thankfully, it no longer rains in the living room! …

Feelin’ Just Fine!

Thanks to all who sent me get well wishes last week after my very minor out-patient surgery. I slept for most of that day and was feeling pretty good the next. I'm fully recovered now and off the antibiotics, which were making me feel a bit green. …

Abbreviated Issue

I had minor, out-patient surgery on Tuesday afternoon so this week's issue is abbreviated. Big hugs to all, Angela P.S. I want to "follow" you! ANGELA ON TWITTER @AngelaHoy ANGELA ON FACEBOOK ADVERTISEMENT HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY! by Angela Hoy Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years, and record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook. Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography! **Also works for biographies and memoirs.** …

Happy Birthday!!

We were going to send the issue out early (yesterday) but that didn't happen. It would have happened if the toilet and the shower hadn't backed up simultaneously, leading to much arm waving and head scratching and plunging (both toilet and shower). That led to an emergency call to the plumber, who came out, fixed it, and then showed me a nice catalog with brand new toilets that aren't rusted out and that don't use three gallons of water with every flush. Sold!! …

Flood and a Tornado! (+ pictures)

Late last week, when we were receiving enough gentle rain from Tropical Storm Debby to quench our drought, I told Richard, "This sure beats a Maine blizzard!" Three days later, I was singing a different tune. …

Pork Belly Fried in Duck Fat

All the kids came over for Father's Day with the exception of Zach. We are going to be in Port Charlotte this week for a dentist appointment so we'll be celebrating Father's Day with him then. Justin cooked burgers for us that consisted of Pork Belly fried in Duck Fat and served over ground beef and caramelized onions. It was DELICIOUS! Sssshhh! Don't tell our cardiologist! …

Waterspout!

Waterspout!

We had a humdinger of a storm last weekend. We were first alerted when the news flashed a warning that there was a waterspout offshore and that the front of the storm would arrive in exactly 17 minutes. After chuckling about our first waterspout, we put made sure everything was secure outside and then I put helmets on Max and Mason and gave one to Frank (age 19) in case he needed one, too. Laugh all you want but I keep their bike helmets handy after reading THIS STORY. …

The Rainy Season Has Begun!

Just in time for our vow to "stay at home and do nothing all summer", the rainy season has begun. It was sunny this morning but a storm developed just offshore at lunchtime and quickly moved inland. We enjoyed hearing the huge drops pounding on the roof. The "weather in motion" option on weather.com gave us the opportunity to show the boys, who are homeschooled, how quickly storms can erupt when the sea breeze picks up in the afternoon here. In a 15-minute span, the radar went from blue sky to a huge cell popping up on the screen. Very cool. …

MEMORIAL DAY POOL FUN!

On Memorial Day, we worked in the morning and relaxed in the afternoon. Richard spent most of the day in the kitchen and outside by the grill while I spent the afternoon in the pool with the kids, batting around a volleyball, tossing a Frisbee, and teaching Max and Mason how to play Marco Polo... …

SeaWorld!

Grampa is in town so Mason wanted to celebrate his birthday a month early with a trip to SeaWorld. It was a lot of fun and very educational for the boys. They got to feed sharks, feed and pet dolphins, learn about rescuing sea turtles and so much more! They both agreed that Sea World is WAY more fun than Disney World. There are more friends coming into town this week and then we're going to have a nice, quiet summer...or at least that's what we're aiming for. ;) …

I Love Seahorses!

Max (age 10) and Mason (age 5) got to go on three field trips this week! There are so many museums and other educational and natural attractions near our new house that we'll never run out of things do... …

Let the Tourist Season Begin!

We've only been in the new house for three weeks and we've already had one family visit from Maine. This weekend, two of our good friends from Wisconsin are arriving and, in about 10 days, Grampa is coming for a nice, long visit. The kids are SO excited! …

Hmmm…What’s Broken Now?

The house we just bought was built in 1969. I love old homes because they have so much character but, when an old house needs some upgrades, that can get pretty expensive... …

Oh, My Aching Back…

Most of the house is packed up and Richard rented a large U-Haul trailer and took two loads to the new house last weekend. They're all stacked up in the garage right now. The painters did a great job but we had to call another cleaning crew in. The first one didn't do a great job. The house looks super now so we're free to start moving furniture. Everybody is SO excited about moving the old piano one more time... …

Found a Loaded Gun in the New House

The house closing went off (almost) without a hitch and now we're the proud new owners of...a house that looks MUCH worse without furniture in it. Ha ha. When we first saw the property (two times), it looked awesome. After we closed on the house, we drove over to the now-empty home, walked in, and started poking around. It was FILTHY! Richard said, "Um, I think we paid too much." ;) …

Closing on the New House on Friday?

Barring unforeseen circumstances, we're scheduled to close on our new house this Friday. In the last 12 years, I'd forgotten what a pain in the you-know-what it is to buy a house and we're not planning on doing this ever again... …

Our Daughter’s New Attorney

For over a year now, we've been dealing with the aftermath of the accident on Valentine's Day, 2011 when our daughter and her boyfriend were in a head-on collision. The person who hit them had been dialing his cell phone when he crossed all the way over the center line. Both vehicles were going 45-50 when they hit. Ali's wrist was shattered and her boyfriend had three broken ribs, a broken leg, and more. Fast-forward 13 months. After months of good-faith negotiations on the victims' side, the insurance adjuster for the guilty driver told Ali's boyfriend that if he can't be a chef anymore because his leg is so badly injured, he "should just go be a greeter at Walmart." That was the last straw. Her boyfriend hired an attorney. This week, our daughter hired the same attorney... …

POOL’S OPEN!

It's in the upper 80's now and the boys are once again swimming every single day. The weather outside is warm but I think the water is still a bit chilly... …

PENCIL + SOLE OF FOOT = TRIP TO URGENT CARE CENTER

Max (age 10) is very creative, and is always using household items to make a variety of contraptions, as well as artwork. I give him free access to several boxes of my craft supplies and, of course, anything in the recycle bin is fair game. Last week, he made a medieval weapon by taping two plastic bottles together, and then taping freshly sharpened pencils all over it. It resembled a spiked ball - or a flail without the handle and chain. We praised his creativity and I told him to put his new "weapon" up on the top shelf in his room because it looked pretty dangerous. He didn't. A few minutes later, he came to me, and sheepishly said, "I have some pencil lead stuck in my foot..." …

Disney Again?!

I'm not a big fan of amusement parks (especially The Magic Kingdom) but I am excited about visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom. We're meeting Richard's sister and her family there later this week and Frank (age 19) is bringing his new girlfriend so we'll get to know her better. She'll be here all day on Wednesday with us while Frank is at school so I'm thinkin' that'll be a good time to pull out all the old photo albums. Heh... …

Shark’s Teeth!

Last Friday, we decided to play hookie in the afternoon, and take Max and Mason to the beach. It was 70-something degrees, breezy, and partly cloudy and it was the perfect day to go on a shark tooth hunt. We grabbed some towels, spoons (for digging), and bottled water and jumped in the truck. When we were just a few feet out of the driveway, a warning light came on, something beeped, and the transmission started jerking. Oh no...... …

Key West = Clothing Optional?

We took the newlywed in-laws (Richard's mom and step-dad) to Key West for four days last week. We took the RV but got the in-laws a hotel room. When we arrived, the campground was PACKED and Richard didn't think we'd ever be able to back the RV into our spot. I am the backer-upper in the family, having years of experience backing boat trailers onto boat ramps, so I always get the fun part of pulling into campgrounds. The first thing I did was get out of the RV and ask a guy to move his truck. It was right where I needed to be when pulling forward before going back. He did. Then, a bunch of guys came out of their RVs and stood watching. I thought maybe they were impressed by watching a woman drive that big rig. Ah, but that was not the case. They were all standing in front of their own RVs, in protective postures, ready to scream at me... …

Key West, Here We Come!

On Friday night, I told Ali (age 21) to drive herself to the Urgent Care Center because she had such a bad toothache. She lives 90 minutes from us so I couldn't just race over there and drive her myself - though I sure wanted to! …

Made Of Offer On A House But…

Last week, we made a list of houses we planned to drive by that weekend. On Friday, I received an automated email from our realtor that said one of the houses on our saved list had a price drop of $25K. We gave the realtor a call and he met us there later that afternoon... …

More House Hunting

Last Saturday night, we drove up to Anna Maria Island to see Ali and Justin. This time of year, the weather is perfect there, with temperatures in the 70's and a brisk sea breeze blowing. We slept with all the windows opened, and woke up the next morning to the sound of their neighbor's waterfall. Heaven! …

Twitter Dee, Twitter Dum

We recently hired someone to help with book formatting and I'm now able to find a few spare moments in the afternoons to get more involved in social networking. I've been spending time on Twitter and, if you're truly on there to read and not to just promote yourself, it's pretty addicting... …

House Shopping!

When we moved to Florida, we decided to rent until we figured out where in Florida we want to live. We love Port Charlotte but we really have our heart set on the Sarasota/Bradenton area. So, we are now actively house hunting, which is so much fun! We considered renting up there instead of buying, but I really want to have a house that we can truly make our own with renovations and, most importantly, a large garden where we can grow lush, tropical goodies, like mangos and oranges... …

Homeschooling Friends!

We took Max and Mason to a gathering of local homeschoolers this week. We met at a local community center and each child brought a book they'd recently read, and gave a short presentation on it. Max is reading a book of ghost stories. He was at first nervous, worrying that "no other kids would like scary stuff" but he felt better after a little girl got up and talked about a monster book. So, when Max took his turn, he was very relaxed and did a super job... …

A Nice, Quiet January? Not Quite!

After Ali and Justin's bad accident and long recovery last year, our move last summer, my car being totaled by Frank (age 19 - thank GOD he was not injured!!), our Thanksgiving family reunion, and, of course, Christmas, I told Richard that I want to spend January doing absolutely nothing at all. I need a month of nothing so I can de-stress - no drama, no injuries, no illnesses, no trips, no holidays, no nothing. That night, Frank backed our truck into a car in the bowling alley parking lot... …

VACATION!!! YEA!!!

Angela is on vacation, spending time with her loved ones. News from the Home Office will return next week. ADVERTISEMENT HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY! by Angela Hoy Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years, and record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook. Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography! **Also works for biographies and memoirs.** …

HO HO HO! THE EXCITEMENT IS MOUNTING!!

The halls are decked, the shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and Matt will be arriving on Friday. We are so excited...!! …

Roller Coasters! Wheee!!!

I'm usually not a big roller coaster fan but I was feeling adventurous at Universal Studios last week and I asked Max (age 10) if he'd ride one with me. Richard has been having problems with his neck and Mason (age 5) was too small so I really needed to talk Max into riding with me if I didn't want to ride alone. He shook his head no. I asked him again each time we heard people screaming from the roller coaster. He kept saying no. We passed Revenge of the Mummy and we didn't know what it was but it seemed to be pretty popular based on the line. Max agreed to give it a try with me as long as we didn't sit in the first row. I explained to Max that the location of our seat was out of our control. When it was our turn, the lady working there said, "Row 1, please..." …

QUICK TRIP TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!

Max and Mason have been begging us to take them to Universal Studios to see the Jaws ride for as long as I can remember. We promised them long ago that some day we would take them. The other day, I just happened to be reading the local news, and noticed an article that said the park would be closing the Jaws exhibit for good on January 2nd. Ack!! …

WOULDN’T BE A HOY HOLIDAY WITHOUT A TRIP TO AN E.R., NOW WOULD IT?

It was a pretty hairy Thanksgiving holiday! Guests started arriving on Tuesday night, and left on Saturday. Ali and her boyfriend, both professional chefs, served up a five-star gourmet feast and we all later pushed back our chairs in gleeful, gluttonous agony. We also played some rowdy games of Rock Band for two nights in a row and that was a hoot! I had no idea how many talented singers we have in the family! …

ABBREVIATED ISSUE

Angela is running around like a turkey about to be plucked, hosting a crowd of 20 for the Thanksgiving holiday week. News From the Home Office will return next week. ADVERTISEMENT HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY! by Angela Hoy Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years, and record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook. Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography! **Also works for biographies and memoirs.** …

Anticipating Thanksgiving Mayhem!

Next week, relatives from three different states will be converging on our home. We are VERY excited because chefs Ali and Mikey will be cooking us a five-star gourmet Thanksgiving feast! …

Ali and Mikey Are Here!

Ali and Mikey arrived in Florida late last week. They decided to live in our RV and travel to different nearby cities to look for jobs... …

ANOTHER Accident!

Well, now all three of our adult children have been in major accidents. Frank is fine but he wrecked my Mustang and while we haven't heard from them yet, we're pretty sure it's totaled... …

We Found Fall!

We're on vacation so I'm going to post some pictures from our trip this week. …

Only Three Weeks Until Ali Arrives!

We moved from Maine to Florida in July and we haven't seen Ali since we left. That's been very hard on all of us, especially me, her mommy. She stayed behind to finish out the season as a pastry chef in Bar Harbor. Now that the Fall leaves are blowing and the heaters turned on, the season is winding down and Ali, along with her boyfriend, Mikey, are preparing to move down here as well... …

Soooooo Excited!

We are getting VERY excited about our upcoming fall trip to Tennessee! We'll be gone for about 10 days and the cabin we found is not only very affordable but also has all 3 of our requirements... …

I Miss Fall…

We moved to Florida and we LOVE it here. Problem is...fall is my favorite season and we're pretty sure leaves on palm and coconut trees don't turn red, yellow and orange. I read online that the mountains in Tennessee have beautiful fall foliage in October so we're planning a road trip there next month... …

The Magic Kingdom was NOT the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a fan of amusement parks. A few years ago, we visited Six Flags in Chicago on a day when it was 112 degrees. Frank started vomiting almost immediately when we arrived and, of course, Six Flags would not give us a refund. We were out more than $300 and Frank was suffering pretty badly. He recovered very quickly once we left so we suspected it was the intense heat. On that day, I vowed to avoid amusement parks at all costs in the future. Despite my vow, I reluctantly told Richard we could visit Disney World at least once when we moved to Florida... …

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