In Florida we have a flag system to indicate beach conditions. Only recently, local authorities finally gave the Beach Patrol the power to ticket anyone violating a double-red warning.

If beach conditions are deemed to be too dangerous, either because of rip tides, strong surf, or marine life (read sharks), double-red flags are hoisted, and the water is off limits.

Understandably, DR flags fly prior to, during and immediately after a hurricane or tropical storm. It is hard to explain just how powerful rip tides are and how deceptively fast you can be dragged out into open water, sometimes miles from shore. (more…)



I’m just putting this out there because right now I’m a little creeped out. Remember me posting this and later this, well I got the reports back today and apparently the little sumpin’ sumpin’ I was feeling in my lovely armpit didn’t show up on the mammogram or ultrasound.

I have been referred for a second surgical consult.

The biopsied lump is still there, apparently stable and very visible since the surgeon left a marker. But, the oddity that I felt couldn’t be captured on either test, but I can still feel it.

I’m telling myself it’s nothing, probably another fibroid. The consult isn’t for another two weeks, so I have plenty time to make myself crazy. I promised myself that I would NOT visit WebMD or Google anything related. I will however be checking my armpit… often.



I have this little mini vay-cay coming up next month. Being that it’s a purely selfish trip on my part ~ having nothing to do with work or family ~ I’m trying to find ways to finance it with little or no damage to the household budget.

I have become a scrounger. I’ve been digging in my luggage-sized purse for loose change, emptying the ashtray in my car, pulling out couch cushions, rifling through my desk, and pilfering the stack of nicely rolled coins on the dresser in my bedroom.

Today, I’m cashed it all in to seed my fun money account. I took the whole bag of coins, and it was at least 20 pounds of mint, to my bank. (Okay, it was 18.5 pounds. I’m a geek and stopped at Publix to weigh the bag before I cashed the money.) In the lobby of the bank is a Coinstar machine. I dumped the cache into the funnel and it spit out a receipt for $110… $110! I’m stinkin’ rich!

If you have any spare change just lying around, not doing anything… if you think it would like to take a trip to New Orleans in the fall… please feel free to send it my way.




Today was the day that I went for my annual ‘knead and squeeze.’ Instead of just going to the local med center for my mammogram as I normally do, I opted to go to a private radiologist. The nurse at my gyno’s office recommended this one. The difference is that she performs digital mamms which are supposed to be more accurate, but I still had the Sisters flattened to a width of about 1.5 inches… and with my size Ds… there was a lot of squeezing going on.

The ladies that performed the mamm and ultrasound were great. The first technician warmed up the plates on the booby mashing machine with a heating pad, making them all toasty. The gel used during my ultrasound was brought to a nice warm temperature too. I was also given a lovely black silk smock with delicate Asian motif embroidery to cover my shoulders. All I needed was some mood music and a glass of wine.

The suspect spot I found was still there when I went in so I made sure to point this out to the technician. She obliged my concern with a little extra flattening, from an altogether different angle… diagonally. That was a new twist… pun intended. (more…)



I’ve been very distracted lately. There have been some staffing turnovers at my office and some of it directly affected me. It took a few weeks, but today the shuffling was, for the most part, finally complete. The results were both good and bad.

Good – (depending on how you look at it) my department head decided to follow her heart to pursue a different career path and turned in her notice. (Bear with me Hope, this will make sense.) Bad – she was my friend and had been very supportive of me ~ generous with her praise and performance evaluations. She had in the past gone to the mat for me, to secure raises when others in my position may not have received one. I will miss her, she kept work fun.

Good – before she left, my boss recommended to our regional VP that I be made interim manager. Bad – that was not a guarantee that such a promotion would be made official.



I almost hate to admit this, but the Great Wake Up War was a bit of a wash this morning. It did take three alarm clocks going off at 15 minute intervals, but I didn’t have to resort to an arctic blast. I was really looking forward to using my Super Soaker… it was all so anti-climactic. With the invent of these new water heaters, I couldn’t even freeze him out in the shower by flushing the toilets. Dangit!

I don’t know what I’m more aggravated about: the fact that I’ve been fighting the morning wake up demons for so long or that the boy was more than capable of getting up on his own all along. I think some sort of retribution is still in order. I just have to decide what is most appropriate, and how stealthy I have to be to pull it off.

I don’t think this is over… we’ll see how tomorrow and the next morning go. I still have the Super Soaker armed and ready. I’ve been keeping it in the garage refrigerator, just in case I need it.



We are gonna have a ‘Coming to Jesus’ understanding in my house starting today!

I am tired of getting up an hour before anyone else and still being the one who is late leaving for work. I am tired of taking a short lunch or working a long afternoon to make up for being late. I am tired of being the camp babysitter.

I’m talking about big boys who can’t seem to get out of bed, in the shower and dressed without mommy constantly coming into their room and badgering them. Then still giving me grief if they’re late. (Yeah, I’m bitchin’ about both of my men folk!) I have had enough of that shit. (more…)



Spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon tackling an out of control backyard. I was embarrassed to show how bad it had gotten. It actually had taken on the look of a savanna. The grass was easily a foot tall in some places. What usually would have been a 45 minute job dragged out to almost 3 hours. I had to re-mow every pass twice, sometimes three times.

I bagged the clippings and dumped at least 20 full sacks of grass. (For the earth friendly among you ~ yes, I added all of this to my compost pile.)

This is what you can expect when you take on a marathon mowing while only wearing flops. I will be using an old pair of sneakers the next time. I was kicking up dust, pollen and frogs. I was covered in dirt up to my knees and elbows. It was nasty. I was sneezing black gunk for an hour.

It wasn’t all bad though. While mowing I got to pass by my jasmine vines. The blooms have started to open and the aroma is glorious.



When I wrote in a recent post about how a couple of old friends found me through my blog I was surprised by some of the reactions. I know that part of the fun of blogging is the mystery of it all, the intrigue of perhaps creating an alter ego or finally letting your true self emerge, but I was unprepared for how closely some of you want to guard your true identity.

Of the two friends who showed up on my blog doorstep: 1) I initiated contact, leaving my blog URL on his MySpace comments. I had just given up on getting any response when he finally showed up in my comments. 2) The post that led my cousin to my blog was very specific and would have applied to only me. Anyone unrelated to me would not have made the connection. So, these weren’t like some random stalkings. (more…)



When my son was six months old he was severely burnt. He spent two weeks in the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital burn center, then another two weeks there when it was apparent his burns were too deep to heal on their own and required skin grafts.

Three summers ago he was accepted into the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital burn program. Our local Shrine Temple transported us to Galveston, Texas at no expense to us. They paid for our travel, our hotel, our meals, and all of WK’s medical expenses.

When the doctor’s there said they could perform the surgery the same week as our initial appointment, the Shrine Temple paid all our expenses to stay an additional two days, then paid again when we had to return for a follow-up a week later.

Children accepted into the Shriner’s burn or orthopaedic programs, and those with spinal cord injuries or cleft lip, are treated at no expense to the family. The hospitals provide outstanding medical care and rely on private funding for their programs.