Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

This weekend my mom and her friend Reno went to a really nice hotel for Christmas Eve. We stayed at the Sawgrass Marriot Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach. I got a really good deal if I paid in advance (2 weeks), so we got two rooms, one for me and Mom, and one for Reno. Unfortunately the weather totally STUNK! We drove over yesterday around 11 and stopped in St. Augustine to walk around, but it started raining while we were having lunch at the Columbia Restaurant. So we decided to go on to the hotel, which was about a half hour north.

I really was hoping to get to see the grounds at the hotel, which are supposed to be spectacular, with gorgeous landscaping and lagoons. But it rained the entire time we were there. Not only that, but most of the restaurants were closed for the holiday, and the ones that were didnt interest me food wise. When we got to the room, I ordered from the kids room service menu, and Mom and Reno had dinner down in the Augustine Restaurant while I got ready for bed. By 8 I was starting to fall asleep. They weren't impressed with the food.

This morning a huge storm came through,and we weren't able to leave the hotel until around 1. Luckily we were able to have late check out. We ordered 3 servings of chicken fingers from the room service menu and had them for lunch, while we watched A Christmas Story on TBS. We opened a few presents, and left the hotel.

The trip home was soggy but uneventful. We made it home around 3:30. Mom and Reno left and now Im all alone again. Merry Christmas to me!

I guess I just wanted to do something different this year, and it didnt turn out exactly as I hoped, due to the weather and all. but you can't predict weather in Florida. At least Mom says she had fun. I love her so much, and I'm just happy we were able to be together for Christmas.

Maybe next year will be different...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas is coming

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I went home to Mom's house on Thursday. I waited until then because I had to stay a bit late at work Wednesday and was rather tired to make the trip, plus had to wash my hair and all that. So got up around 10am on Turkey day and drove the 70 miles to Satellite Beach. Mom went to pickup Grandma and brought her back to the house, where we had a very simple dinner. Reno was able to get a 10 lb turkey for six bucks since he knows the meat guy at Publix. It pays to know people!

After dinner Mom and Reno cleaned up the kitchen while I had a nice long conversation with Grandma. I don't see her too often, since she lives in Melbourne and isn't usually able to make the trip with Mom when she comes to see me on weekends. And since Dad died I don't go home very much anymore. We talked about lots of different things, and it was really nice. Mom told me later that Grandma really enjoyed our talk and even cried. I feel guilty now for not calling more.

On Friday we went to see the movie Borat, which I will tell you honestly was funny in parts, but extremely shocking. There were scenes I wish I hadn't witnessed, those of you who have seen it know which one in particular I'm talking about! Reno couldn't stop talking about how awful it was, and I wouldn't say that, but it was definitely not for everyone. Definitely not for the easily offended.

Mom and I came back to Orlando on Saturday, and hung around the house the next couple of days. Tomorrow is my birthday, and Mom let me open a present a bit early on Sunday. She bought me an IHome alarm clock for my Ipod. It's pretty cool! I can wake up to the radio or my Ipod, and it charges the Ipod. Mom has ordered me a remote so I can work it from across the room.

After Mom went home Sunday night I went into the sewing room, which I hadn't been in in quite a while. I wanted to start a project I got from a lady on Ebay. It was a pattern and fat quarter kit which I had intended to buy from Connecting Threads, but by the time I got around to order it, had sold out. I was so upset. Luckily, someone had bought it and was cleaning out her sewing room and decided to sell it on Ebay. I wanted it so bad that I bid 10 dollars more than it sold for in the catalog. I watched the countdown closely, and someone tried to outbid me 30 seconds before the auction ended, but I was able to enter a final bid and win the kit. I was so happy. It is a Christmas table topper with fabrics from the Thimbleberries December Day collection. I have got a lot of it done, in fact, was just in there tonight and made some more progress. Hopefully if I am diligent this week I can get the top done and make the quilt sandwich for this weekend, and finish it by next week, so I can at least have it for a couple weeks before Christmas. Here's hoping!

Tomorrow Mom and Reno are coming over to take me to Olive Garden for dinner for my birthday. Betty, our secretary and office manager, promised me cake at work, which she does for everyone every year. She's quite the baker! I plan on taking the afternoon off, besides, my air conditioner is on the fritz again and the tech is coming at 1 pm. Hopefully he can figure out what is wrong! We shall see!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dexter is a YouTube Star

Well, sort of. Monday night I posted a little video of Dexter "washing" his face with a stinky washcloth. I saw him do this once several months ago and thought "this is the most amazing thing I've ever seen a cat do." So I grabbed the video camera a week or so ago, threw down a washcloth that could probably stand up by itself in a corner and waited to see if Dexter would roll on it. And so he did...I tried to contain the laughter as best as I could as I shot the video, and this weekend edited it to remove the parts where he stopped performing and scratched a flea or whatever. Its about a minute and a half, so if you have the time, check it out:

Dexter Washing Up

Monday, November 20, 2006

Let's Roll!

Today I got my scooter lift installed in my new van. This was the second attempt by the Scooter Store. The first lift they put in was a boom arm type which would have required WAY too much assistance from me. I can barely stand up long enough to put my pants on, and I would have had to rotate, guide and help the scooter into the back of the van. I felt awful, but even after the two really nice guys (Chris and Jose) spent ALL day two weeks ago installing the lift, I had to tell them I couldn't use it. I had no idea I would have to do so much, and if I had known, I never would have had them install it.

Well, the wonderful people at the Scooter Store didnt give up on me, and found a platform lift that would fit in the back of my van, and wouldn't require anything of me except pushing a button! So today the same sweet guys came back to my house and installed the new lift, and I'm ready to roll!

Here is a picture of the scooter on the lift:

It's a Revo 3 wheel, which gets (supposedly) up to 20 miles on a full charge. I don't expect to do THAT much shopping, but you never know, especially with Christmas around the corner. It comes in Candy Apple Red and Viper Blue, but I really wish it came in black. But the red was the best choice, since the blue was pretty wild. The seat is pretty comfortable, but we'll have to see about how long I can stand to sit in it...

Here's a shot of the scooter all the way in the van, with Chris holding the button:

It was so funny, he said "I'm gonna take a picture of it in the van!" because the company initially said it probably wouldn't fit in my car. But they proved them wrong! Yeah, ok, I lost the 3rd row of seats, but how often do I cart around six people anyway? (NEVER!!!) There was a chance I might lose the second row of seats, which would have been awful since we hope to use this new van to travel. But they were able to save the second row. There is not a whole lot of room left over in the back, but that's ok.

So, I'm pretty happy. The scooter is outside in the garage right now charging up, so I can take it for a spin soon. May do it tomorrow, we'll have to see.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


OMG I am so excited, I bought a new car this past weekend. I wasn't going to buy a car for a couple years because my Honda CR-V, even though nine years old, runs great and still looks pretty good for its age. But slowly I've been deciding it was time to swallow my pride and get some sort of power scooter to get around so I don't have to depend on my mom and friends to go places on my own. And the CR-V just wasn't going to carry one.

So what did I get? I got the 2006 Mazda MPV. I wanted the bronze one, but settled for the silver one, and you know, I think I like it better anyway! It has a V6, which I'm getting used to, you press the gas and ZOOOOOOM! I love it. It just barely fits in my garage though. Other minivans were just too big. We plan on using it when we travel, so it will save on van rental.

Today I signed an order for a power scooter. The Revo 3-wheel in candy apple red. It gets up to 20 miles on a charge, so that's a lot of shopping. LOL I also will be getting a lift for the back of the van, unfortunately the 3rd row seating will never be able to be used because of it. Oh well. Not like I haul a bunch of people around anyway. I should be getting both sometime next week. Lots of money out the window. But it also means points for my Marriott Rewards so free nights at hotels!!

I will post pictures soon. I played today with my Adobe Premiere Elements software, captured the video from my trip and also some of Dexter playing with a dirty washcloth. He looked like he was actually washing his face with it. May send it to America's Funniest Videos.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's been a while - Trip to Chattanooga

Sigh, I knew I would have difficulty keeping this blog updated frequently...

It's been over a month since I posted; however, not that much has happened. Although I did take a trip to Chattanooga, TN and North Georgia last weekend (October 12-16) with my mom and her friend Reno. That was a bunch of fun. We rented a van and I slept most of the way up on Thursday in the very back seat with my BiPAP and oxygen. It gets boring and tiring riding in the car.

We stopped in Kennesaw, GA to see Reno's son Tim's new townhouse. Very nice, a two-story one car garage building. He hasn't lived there long, so it's still not completely furnished and decorated, but it has a lot of potential. I didn't go upstairs but Mom and Reno said it was surprisingly spacious. We went to McDonald's for dinner, then on to Chattanooga.

Friday we got up and went to the Tennessee Aquarium. Boy is that an amazing place. Two huge buildings (River and Ocean) each with 4 levels, and every fish I've never heard of! I took some pictures of a couple stingray's that were so interesting, black with white spots and one that looked like a cheetah or leopard!

There were cool jellyfish and seahorse exhibits as well. The butterfly exhibit was so cool, they just flew around you. One landed on a guy's head. I wish I had had the presence of mind to take more pictures and video, but I was very tired and uncomfortable in my chair, I had difficulty taking pictures. I plan to go back and either take more myself or get Reno to photograph. We drove south to Lookout Mountain but I became so exhausted (scary tired) we had to go back to the hotel so I could lie down.

Saturday we left Chattanooga and drove around North Georgia, through the Chattahoochee National Forest, to Black Rock Mountain State Park and on to Cleveland Georgia, just south of Helen, GA, a little Bavarian town. I was too tired to go to dinner, so Mom and Reno went to a German restaurant while I rested. We stayed in a Days Inn right across the street from a McDonalds. We were used to staying in Marriott hotels, and this hotel DID NOT live up to our standards. We could hear everyone walking by the door and the people above us sounded like they were jumping up and down and throwing furniture. Reno banged on their door and they shut up.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sunday we drove north a bit to Anna Ruby Falls, in Unicoi State Park. It was so beautiful. Reno pushed me up this extremely steep path (0.4 mile) so I could witness the beauty myself. I could never have gotten up there myself. I still can't believe he was able to do that. The twin falls were so lovely. It was cold, but I could stand it long enough to drink in the surroundings, and feel a part of nature.

Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia
We got some video, and a few pictures. We left and headed to Suwannee, GA, which is ten minutes from my best friend Patsy, and I had dinner with her, her husband and her little girl Abby at Olive Garden. It was nice to spend time with them. Abby is getting so big.

Monday was the trip home, and I slept the whole way. I took the next day off from work to rest up from the trip. Which was a good idea, since I had an appointment with my doctor I had forgotten about! Thank goodness they left a message on my answering machine! I was still pretty tired from the trip, so my O2 levels were low and my heartrate and blood pressure were high from the exertion of coming in from the car to the doctor's office. So he recommended I try wearing oxygen during the day. I have been resistant for a while now, but to get him off my back I agreed, since I can control how much I wear it and when they deliver it. Only when I desperately need it...

Thursday, September 14, 2006


My my my...I cannot believe this is my fifth post, and have yet to display a picture of my sweet furry baby. I've mentioned Dexter in previous posts, but haven't explained who he was! In July of 2001 I went to PetsMart with my close friend Marci so she could look for a job. While we were there I decided to look in on the animals that were for adoption. I wasn't actively looking to get a pet, although I'd been wanting a cat for some time. My parents had discouraged me from adopting, thinking it would be too much trouble, that he would escape and I wouldn't be able to go after him, stuff like that.

I had always wanted a black and white cat. Not exactly sure why, just loved the "tuxedo" look. There was a small black and white kitten in one of the cages, very meek and wanted NOTHING to do with me. The handler pulled him out and handed him to me. He struggled and I gave him to Marci, and the kitten struggled harder and went back into the cage. I thought, gee whiz. Must not want to get adopted much!

There were some older cats and several dogs there, and I thought to myself, well I don't need to adopt a cat anyway. Maybe Mom and Dad are right. As we started away, I saw out of the corner of my eye a little orange fuzzball going to town playing with cat toy in his cage. He was having all kinds of fun. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I asked to hold him, and the handler pulled him out and placed him in my lap. The little furball looked up at me with these golden eyes and my heart turned to mush. I almost started to cry. I said to him "Oh yes, you are mine."

It was the fastest decision I have ever made. I gave the handler fifty dollars, and I had an eight week old kitten. I guess the hardest part was breaking the news to my mom, who was shocked, yet it only took her two seconds after seeing him to fall in love, just as I had. Here is a picture of him as a kitten, he loved attacking my feet:

That was 5 years ago this summer, and now Dexter is a huge 13 pounder, with a giant fluffy tail, and large fur filled paws. I am sure he has some Maine Coon in him, but can't be sure how much. His name happens to be the last name of a great friend of mine, Rob Dexter, bass player and lead singer of Kabang, a local Orlando band originally from New York. Rob seems honored, although he and Dexter have never met. Someday I hope to introduce them.

I consider Dexter to be my child, and I am his mother. I love him more than I ever thought I could love a pet. I have never once regretted adopting him. He is my BABY!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weekend in HELL

OMG living in Florida can really bite if you don't have air conditioning. Sometime late last week, my air conditioner decided it would commit suicide and leave me without the cool air it had given me since I moved in to this house in 2002. I noticed Thursday night that something was not right, considering I was sitting in my kitchen sweating, and I was not doing anything but watching tv. When I came home from work Friday afternoon, I looked at Dexter and said "HOLY CRAP is it hot in here!!" Dexter just laid there as if to say, "Shut up Mom and do something about it! You dont have a fur coat on!" The thermostat said it was 88 degrees in there. UGH.

I called American Air and Heat and cried "Oh Im so glad I got a hold of you!" The receptionist heard the desperation in my voice and said "Oh dear it sounds like an emergency!" I replied "yes it is hot as hell in here!" She laughed and said she would get a hold of the tech and see if he could make it out to me that evening. Unfortunately it seems everyone's air conditioning was on the fritz because he had 3 more appointments and wouldn't be able to come to my house until the morning. OH NO! So I asked when he could be here and she said first thing in the morning.

Chuck arrived at 8:30 Saturday morning, and had bad news for me. Apparently the compressor was "grounded" which means there was a short in the wiring, and it was tripping the breaker. I could have the compressor replaced (for around $1700) but since my system was six years old and also a crappy contractor unit (from the initial building), I might want to consider replacing the entire system. Well, this had been suggested to me last year, but I was an idiot and decided to wait.

I told Chuck "I want the new system!" He laughed and said good idea. He was very friendly, even for someone who had been working like a dog for the past few days on very little sleep. He went out to the van to do the paperwork and told me to prepare my self because he hadnt passed CPR yet. I told him as long as it wasnt over $10000 it would be ok. LOL He said oh of course it will be under that! (It was actually under $5000.)

The only bad part was that it couldnt be installed until this morning. So for the rest of Saturday and Sunday I had every fan in my house on high, and sprayed myself (and Dexter) with water. Mom (God bless her) came over despite the heat and kept me company. It could have been worse, it could have been in the upper nineties. Saturday night it came a huge storm, and cooled down to the mid seventies. Sunday was ok, but not as stormy. But it never got oppressive, and I didnt pass out. I did have some trouble breathing, but nothing scary.

This morning around 9:00 two nice young guys came and installed the new system. While they worked I watched MSNBC's rebroadcast of the Today show from 5 years ago of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I was at work on 9/11 five years ago and did not see the news as it happened. My best friend Patsy in Atlanta Georgia called me to tell me the Twin Towers had been hit by planes. I'll never forget being so scared for our country. I think about the families of those people who died, both in the buildings and the planes, as well as those on the ground and the rescue workers who were killed while trying to save lives. Even after all these years, it still is a shock.

The two guys worked quickly and by 12:45 it was installed, and I wrote the big check. I could already feel the cool air filling the house. AHHH. Dexter seems content again. And I am not a sweaty mess anymore! THANK YOU AMERICAN AIR AND HEAT!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Meeting goes well, despite shortness of breath

The meeting I had this morning went well. I actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about! I became seriously short of breath as I was leaving, however. I'm not used to going places by myself anymore, and even the shortest of distances is hard for me to push myself in my wheelchair. So as I left the meeting with a huge headache I called our secretary and told her I would be in at 1 pm, that I was going home to lie down. I went in around 1:20.

I am so disappointed in my lack of endurance anymore. It used to be I could go to the mall alone and biff around all by myself. Now I need help just to go to the store. I guess it all stems from the hospitalizations I've had for respiratory failure. The last one I had in 1998 almost killed me. I was in ICU for weeks. I don't think I will ever be able to be independent again unless I get a power scooter. And I'm not emotionally ready for that yet. But I am tired of having to wait until Mom comes over to go to the store, and I can't ask my friends to help me, they all have lives too.

Oh well. At least I'm still able to work. That's important!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Wknd

Ah yes, a wonderful 3 day weekend. Got to see my friends Rob, Steve and Rich play on Saturday night at Kitty O'shea's, a great little bar near Disney. Had lots of fun. Two of my closest friends who have been estranged for several years actually got along. It was great, because I have felt like I was in the middle, trying to be friends with both of them.

Mom came over as usual, and we got to spend some time planning our trip to Chattanooga, TN and Georgia. She also fed her little muscovy duck family (the third little group of babies in 2 years) and we had two peacocks join in. My back yard is like Wild Kingdom sometimes. There are several older Muscovy ducks who always stop by along with a strange black and white duck we've nicknamed Oreo.

Unfortunately the weekend is almost over and work begins again tomorrow. I have an early morning meeting at the City of Winter Springs with the Development Review Committee for one of our latest townhome projects. I am sittting in for my boss who is on vacation for two weeks. I am so nervous, afraid they will ask me questions and I will look like a dip. But we reviewed the comments before he left, so I am sort of prepared.

I wanted to do some sewing this weekend, but had to take my Designer SE to the dealer because the needle threader is broken. My favorite sales lady Donna tried to fix it for me there but was unable, so she will take it to her husband who is the tech for the dealer. At least she tried. I also dropped off my serger which isnt working right either.

I still have my Designer 1 so I may go in my sewing room and use it, but Im exhausted after washing my hair. Tough being a respiratory patient.

More later...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blogs Blowing By

I have tried in the past to create a blog and keep it up, but have failed miserably. When I was younger, I wanted to keep a diary but my life was so boring I couldn't even do that, because I had nothing to say. Isn't that sad? Not that my life is any more exciting now, but I do have lots of hobbies that maybe some people out there in Internet Land may find interesting. I will just have to see if this blog takes off...