Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

31 October 2006

Just call me the Scrooge of Halloween

I love autumn. It is the time of year I miss the most living in the God forsaken Mouseland. I love Halloween - carving pumpkins, the kids all excited to dress up and go door to door in the neighborhood, shrieking over their favorite candy, proudly showing off their costume to their friends. Ah, Halloween . . .

Over the years living here, I have come to accept that our neighborhood is one where many parents drop their children off in order to trick or treat. I have learned not to question where the kids are from and just smile and hand out fifty dollars worth of junk that will rot through their teeth as they sleep tonight. After all, it's Halloween . . .

BUT (you knew there was a but coming) . . .

BUT, there comes a point in time when it's time to retire the costume. When I was a kid, it was around age twelve or thirteen. You were in middle school, you were a teenager, you were already feeling awkward and a costume certainly didn't help - you were too old and you knew it. It appears that today's teenagers have not been made aware of the age limit. So below are some suggestions for today's youth in order to determine their eligibilty for trick or treating.

  • If you are old enough to shave any part of your body, you're too old.
  • If you can drive, you're too old.
  • If you walk away from the door with your hand on your girlfriend's ass, you're too old.
  • If you have had elective surgery to enhance certain body parts or reduce other parts, you're too old.
  • If you have impregnated someone or birthed a child, you're too old.
  • If you have your own credit card or checking account without a parental co-signer, you're too old
  • If you don't know how to get off the damn cell phone while your candy bag is open, you're too old.
  • If you qualify to earn minimum wage, you're too old.
  • If you can't be bothered to put on a costume, you are too old.
  • If you can legally buy alcohol (or you're old enough to desire a fake I.D.), you're too old.
  • If you're costume is a tattoo and (visible) body piercings, you're too old.
  • If you're old enough to access porn on the internet, you're too old.
  • If you dress as a playboy bunny, you're too old.

Unfortunately, this has been my evening and I could go on, but I think you get the picture.


22 October 2006

Welcome to the Neighborhood . . . NOT!

I have previously mentioned my uptight, rude, petty neighbors, but their obnoxious behavior had reached a new high. Last weekend, PH and I began to put our lawn back together. During the summer heat, we generally let some of the weeding go. We still mow regularly but it is fair to say that we do let things grow out a bit. It's hot and things just tend to wither a bit no matter what we do.

Anyways, last weekend, we began weeding and trimming back the shrubs. We cleaned up on the side on the house and cut back a couple trees. We were happy with our start and intended to continue our "clean up" this weekend. I also should add that we do have a sign in our yard, supporting a local political candidate that we know.

Fast forward to Wednesday after work. I'm driving home with both kids, figuring out how to get dinner on the table. I pull up and grab the mail before going in the house. Strangely, there is a letter with no return address and our names are not on the envelope, just our address. Once the kids are in the house and have a snack, I open the curious envelope and there with various spelling errors is the following message:

Here's the deal...We will vote for your favored political candidate and in turn you can take care of your lawn, cut your bushes and bring your property UP TO OUR COMMUNITY STANDARDS.

The letter was unsigned, of course, as my neighbors don't have the courage to approach us personally. Now, these neighbors have no problem sending their children to play in our yard while they go about their business and we watch their kids, but they can't be bothered to speak with us. I am counting the days until I can sell this house and move.

So, did these cretin cowards keep us from working on our yard? Certainly not, but we left the front yard looking as is and have done a lovely job cleaning out the back where our children play and our one neighbor who is actually decent lives. As far as the front, I'm thinking about a dozen pink flamingo yard ornaments - what do you think?

16 October 2006

I love my new job . . .

Today: 7 hour drive for a 5 hour seminar! Now going to bed.

13 October 2006


Right, this moment I am riding in the car as PH and I drive home from Cedar Key after a weekend sans kids. Being without the kids is surreal in its own way (don't worry, we left them with MIL and not locked in a closet), but even more surreal is that I have internet access in the car (new wireless thingamadoo that PH's work decided was a necessity). Even stranger, is that we are listening via the thingamadoo to a radio station in Norway. Just heard the news in Norweigan - fine for PH, not so interesting for me.

Our first trip to Cedar Key, we were young, high pressured professions, with no kids, a crap load of college debt, and no home. We laugh at the changes eight years have brought - we are very lucky - a home, two healthy children, friends and family who love us.

For those who haven't heard of Cedar Key, which I know is the majority of you, Cedar Key is a small island off the Northwest Coast of Florida. There isn't much there. A couple bed and breakfasts, a few boats, and a cute little downtown. It just happens to be the place that PH proposed eight years ago. We haven't been back since then, but PH planned a surprise get away weekend for our anniversary. This would be where I would post the beautiful pictures of the coast and the adorabel little B&B, except that in our haste to run away from our children, we forgot to grab the camera battery.

What is even more surreal is that we are in the same car from 1998 when we got engaged - my 1995 Volkswagon Golf. I moved to Florida in this car and still have not had the heart to turn it in, but the time for a proper burial is coming. So, this our last trip in this car - funny, it's to the place where our lives together began.

08 October 2006

A Visit to Hell

Just when things begin to fall into place, we visit PH's family and Hew comes home with a flu. Poor Hew had a temperature of over 102 for three days. PH stayed home with him on Monday and Tuesday, and I stayed home Wednesday. PH swears that I can not blame his family for this, but EVERY time we see these relatives, they or their children are sick. AND EVERY TIME my kids end up sick!

I will concede where we met for the visit could have contributed to Hew's illness. The location was NOT my choice but PH's brothers already had plans to got to this place. Drum roll, please . . . We went to The Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando. I tried to have an open mind, but truly the place is Hell on Earth.

Imagine thousands of small, overly sugared and overly caffinated children screaming in a large pool with maybe two life guards. I won't even mention the urine/water ratio.

What disturbs me is the blatant commercialism and over spending. Parents were seen giving into every whim of their children - allowing them to purchase and consume whatever they wanted. My brother and sister-in-law soon fell into this trap, and when they purchased a "surprise" for their children, their elder child threw down the gift, pouting and whining that the gift was not what she wanted. Did punishment or a reprimand ensue? - No, instead the child was consoled by her mother that she could go back to the store and "get what she wanted." Mother additionally berated Father for not buying the "right gift." I had to grit my teeth and leave the room.

Forgive me for wishing for the "good old days" where a parent understood that their role is not to befriend their children, but to love and guide their children into becoming decent human beings. Also, entertainment should be a backyard and an imagination. A child who can not entertain themselves for ten minutes without television or a loud, flashing electronic device is missing out. My siblings and neighbors still laugh over the "plays" we used to perform in the backyard - including a modern version of Cinderella, where yours truly decided she didn't want to marry the prince (my childhood neighbor who did end up coming out of the closet years later), but instead had the wicked step sisters turned into appliances (a washing machine and a vacumn) and then Cinderella moved off to the city to get a job! Yes, even then, I was an independet women. Seriously, the skills children develop while playing outside and using their imagination are skills they will continue to build on for a lifetime, and they certainly won't come from watching Nickelodeon or going to their hotel.

There - I'm done ranting.