Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I've been gone.....

And I can't even really promise I'm back......

You see, I used to LOVE blogging. Everything about it. I loved reading about you and your lives. I loved telling you about mine. I enjoyed commenting and being commented on. I found the blogging world to be uplifting and interesting. Helpful towards each other. Insightful. Fun!

Then the bomb dropped.

We've all been there. Everything in your world seems to be good and then some "anonymous" commenter posted a nasty comment and sent my blogging world into a downward spiral.

Complete. Writers. Block.

Even now, as I'm typing, I'm finding it very difficult to find the right words. I was going to be happy just sinking into the background. I wasn't even going to post about "anonymous" in the hopes it would just go away, but you know what? I'm stronger than that. And maybe facing "anonymous" will help end my mental block and get me back into the good graces of my blogging friends.

The thing is I put myself out there. I'm not afraid to show who I am. If I have a problem with you,  I will tell you. Usually one on one because no matter my problem with you I have respect for people. You will not catch me hiding behind "anonymous". So, if you want to make some rude, snide, nasty comment about or to me, grow some cohones, take off the mask, and talk to me. One on one. But be warned ~ you better bring it!

Oh, I almost forgot. My dear, sweet "anonymous", I know who you are. Don't think for one second I am "in the dark".

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yo Momma!

I haven't blogged in F-O-R-E-V-E-R so I really need to thank a great friend for giving me something to sink my teeth into!

I know a girl, we'll call her Yo Momma!, that went from an active mom (i.e. exercising, keeping up with the kids, a little Zumba here and there) to full on runner. What?!?! I can only dream of such silliness!!

I am in serious awe of Yo Momma! and her progression. She has inspired me to think more about running. Cause in my mind I am fit enough to get my tush off the couch and run a full marathon but the picture in the mirror might suggest something a little less intense. The sprint from my couch to the kitchen when I realized dinner was burning was enough to give this gal a full on heart attack!

OK, I could stop there but there is so much more! I was reading through her About Me page and literally laughed out loud. And I don't laugh out loud. Ever. So stinkin funny! And she's my friend in real life!! Could I be any luckier?

She's hosting a giveaway right now for some running socks. I'm sure they're fantastic but I'm more a flip flop kinda gal and running socks would seriously cramp my Florida style.

So, go! Right now! Why are you still here? Go follow her blog! Enter her giveaway! You will NOT regret it! Tell her the Real Housewife sent you!


PS - To my bloggy literate friends - Help a Momma out with a button! I want her button on my page!!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Finally A Post?

I haven't blogged in forever ~ Funny how life just gets in the way sometimes......

I need some help blogging buddies. We may be in the market for a new computer. The question is, To Mac or Not?


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Church Sign Sunday

This is probably one of my favorites yet......

Does Life Stink?

We have a pew for you!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Story of Us - His Part 3


He has finally finished his side of our story. (With Editorial Corrections and Comments in Red!)

I know, I was supposed to have this written ages ago but something happened; call it life, call it procrastination call it what you like but I finally got round to my final installment. (I call it laziness, if you're asking)

So I’m back on my way to America for two weeks, again I could have done anything else with my time. I could have gone to one of the 4 places I was originally going to (bragging yet again!), I could have actually started my new job and trained with the rest of my colleagues from the other company but no…. I chose to get on a plane and go back to see this girl I had left less than two weeks earlier. And anyway I have my training planned for my return.

I land in Orlando again and negotiate customs and immigration with no problems this time and as I walk through to the lounge area there she is, at least she was there to meet me this time, so we get my bags, head back to the car and start the journey to Jacksonville. This time was more like a vacation with Cassie showing me more touristy things such as the parks in Orlando, St. Augustine etc. of course there were more places to eat and I had to buy as many reeses (Reese's Cups were not in the UK at this point. I couldn't believe it the first time I heard this news. I said "Geez Reese's Cups are like their own food group over here!") as I could fit in my case to go back with, but on the whole I was on vacation this time and took it pretty easy. Two weeks later I head back to England to start my new job and prepare for Cassie’s trip over, Cassie at this point had booked a flight over to England and would be there for Valentine’s day, which suited me but I was a single guy living with my house mate Matt and the place was not exactly ready for female visitors. The next couple of weeks saw me getting into my new job, attempting to clean the house and generally just doing what I do.

So the day arrives and Cassie calls me en route to England, Heathrow is about 2 ½ hours from my house and she is due to land at 10pm so I have plenty of time to take care of my day before I have to set off, but I get to the airport at just the time her flight is due to land, there’s no point being early as she has to go through immigration and she took a US laden flight so it would be a while before she got through to where I was waiting. At the airport I got talking to a guy who was there to pick someone up and he told me the flight was running around 30 mins late. This turned into an hour and they finally landed at just after 11pm. (We were EARLY to London. They made us circle Heathrow for who knows how long before landing. BUT, I actually told him the flight was due to land at 10:55. That put us right on time!) She came through the doors into the waiting/pick up area and walked straight past me, AWESOME I’m that memorable! I called her and she turned round still not seeing me so I waived and she came over, everyone says our daughter looks like me so now all she has to do is hold Georgia up in front of her and check her face against the ones in the crowd. We kissed (obviously) and headed back to my car, she went to get in the wrong side and I asked if she really wanted to drive on the wrong side of the road the first time in England after such a long journey, she made some comment and sat in the passenger side.

The journey home was pretty straightforward as we don’t have all the eateries and things off the side of the road like they do here, but at one point Cassie did ask me why there were houses in the middle of the road and who would chose to live in the middle of a busy highway. I looked over to the central reservation and asked what she meant, no houses that I could see, she said “right there, there’s houses in the middle of the road”, I laughed and pointed out of my side of the car and said “that’s the middle of the road, see the cars over there going the other way”?, she made some comment and I laughed, it was dark so I’ll give her the benefit of a long days travelling and the dark. (Forget long days, traveling and dark, I was in a country driving on the WRONG side of the road! I'd never seen anything like it! Ever!)

Now here we are in England in February, if you’ve never been to England at that time of year it’s cold and wet and daylight is not very long, but I have plans and one of them involves something Cassie wanted to do… I asked what she wanted to do in her 5-6 days in England, her response nearly had me leaving her at the airport, she actually said she wanted to go to Paris!! (Trips to Europe, that's what the kids want. 22 countries in 3 days. {extra points if you can name the movie [except Casey!] } Forgive me for wanting to do it all. I'm American for crying out loud. I didn't realize all the underlying hatred between the French and English! ) Are you kidding me, here we have this entire country with so much to see and do (which we still have not done! Even with all our visits to England.) especially for someone who has never even stepped foot in it and she wants to go to France, not London, not see the country, FRANCE!! So being the nice bloke I am, I say nothing to her and book a hotel and tickets for the Eurostar to get us there. I tell her to this day, I’ve taken you once so any more trips are yours to take on your own. Not that I’m Xenophobic (???? Show off with your big words) you understand but there is a mutual dislike of French and English.

We are in Paris over Valentine’s day, you have to impress a girl right? and I have this ring with me which has very specific planning surrounding it’s being given. The idea was we would take a walk down the banks of the river Seine and at midnight I would propose, I mean, Paris at midnight on Valentine’s day who can say no? so we go out for a meal and take the Metro downtown to Notre Dame, we get off and walk around the cathedral before crossing the bridge and walking down the other side. Now remember I told you it was cold and miserable in England in February, well Paris is no different, it was FREEZING! Cassie has a cold (read FLU!) and we are walking with a wind blowing round us down the banks of the Seine and after a while I can’t feel my legs, Cassie is complaining (I was sick with the flu and he had me out at midnight, walking along a river, in the freezing cold. And for the record, I wasn't complaining, just freezing) and at 11:45 I give up and we look for a Metro station. We finally find one and head back to our hotel with me thinking “this girl has no stamina”.

The next day we grab the pastries and drinks from the hotel café and eat breakfast in our room (we did that every day of our stay there) (OMG the pastries! I want to go back just for the pastries!!) then head off to see the sights. Cassie is a big believer in jumping on sightseeing busses (travel trip ~ get a 48 hour pass on a sightseeing bus that lets you hop on and off. You can see everything from the bus the first go round and make notes on where you want to stop. On the second go round stop at the sights you wanted to take a closer look at. You don't miss a thing!) so we catch a taxi to the Eiffel tower and start from there. As we are standing underneath the tower I ask if she wants to go up, I’m thinking we can get to the top and I can propose there (Tom Cruise stole my idea for his proposal to Katie), the lines are pretty short and we can see Paris from the top. She says no she doesn’t feel like it and can we just catch a bus? (Again, I had the FLU! I said, "do you think it's a good idea for me to be going to the top with all that wind and it being so cold when I am sick" and he said "good point") GREAT! We walk to the bus stop just down street and jump on a sightseeing bus and travel round Paris on that, she’s not feeling great I later find out so we stay on the bus, no jumping off at the Louvre, no walk down the Champs Elyse, just riding a bus. By now I’m thinking I’ll be proposing at some Metro station or on the train back home, we finally get to the stop across the river from Notre Dame and grab a hot chocolate at the café there before crossing the river to the island the cathedral is on. We go for a walk round the inside to try and warm up a bit and there is a full on service going on! Back outside I decide that if I don’t pull this ring out now I never will, I had been carrying it round with me since last night and she still hadn’t caught on I had it nor had she got it on her finger. I say something about spending the rest of our lives together and she says something agreeable (sorry I can’t remember exactly what was said, something to do with nerves) and then I pull the ring out and say “so that means you’ll wear this and marry me then”. She looks at the ring for what seemed like a long time and I say “is that a yes or no” I mean you do hear stories of girls saying no at the wrong time. She just looks at me say’s “yes, yes,yes,YES” and I put the ring on. The ring was a labour of love in itself, I had researched the 3 c’s of Diamonds and found a jeweler clear across the country (OK ~ this is especially funny for me. He said he traveled all the way across the country to get my ring. I couldn't believe it! I was so impressed so I asked "How long did that take you?" and he answered "3 hours". Wait, What? 3 hours? I could travel for 3 hours and not even leave my state! It would take 3 DAYS to go across our country!) from me who custom made the ring and setting and put the specific cut of diamond in it which I found out beforehand is Cassie’s favourite cut.

So I finally did it, I finally proposed to her in Paris on Valentine’s day albeit not how I wanted to. We leave back for England the next day and the rest of her time here is spent visiting family and friends, on the Friday I have to go to a meeting so I arrange for my parents to pick Cassie up and take her out for the day which they did, they took her to the beach! Still they had a great day and they got to know each other pretty well. (If you've never heard me talk about my in-laws let me just say they are the best. I haven't met anyone that has in-laws like mine. They really are cream of the crop and I am so lucky to have them! You hear so many horror stories of in-laws and we certainly don't always see eye to eye but we are respectful in our very very very few and limited disagreements. I think they know I love their son very much and they treat me with respect because of it. I think they have raised a truly remarkable man and therefore I have no choice but to respect them! They are wonderful people and I am just as in love with them as I am the Englishman!)

5 weeks after Cassie’s trip to England, we arrange to meet up in New York, Cassie’s favourite city (sorry all the rest of the cities), for the weekend. I fly out Friday afternoon and we meet up at JFK and catch a taxi to our hotel. Cassie shows me the sights and places she likes to visit as she used to live there, it’s a very touristy week-end and too soon we are back at JFK waiting for our flights home. In less than 3 weeks I will be flying to Florida to get married so back home I get ready to leave my life behind and start a new one in the US. The day comes and my dad picks me up from my house to take me to the airport, it’s a trip he will be making with my mum, sister, niece and brother-in-law the next day. I get to Jacksonville and here I am, England and everything I had is now behind me, my family are flying in the next day and everything they can fit in their cases that is mine is all I can bring with me.

It’s been a truly whirlwind 5 months in which time I have gone from confirmed bachelor with all the toys I wanted to this guy whose madly in love with this American, and only has what can be brought over in 2 suitcases and whatever room was in my families. For the record, you cannot fit Ducati motorcycles, bass guitars or awesome stereos in suitcases but you make choices in life and I definitely made the right one when I married this girl. (Awww, how sweet. And I concur!)

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

You're Burning Daylight!

Once upon a time there was a man. He was a crazy man who thought it might be a great idea to take his family of 6 plus a mother-in-law and sister-in-law on a trip across the country for a month in a Ford Econoline van with a truck bed pulled behind to carry our luggage!

This is NOT our van. Ours had a topper in grey and snot looking insulation sprayed all over the interior. Awesome!

He took his family from Florida to Canada, back to the states, west to the Redwood Forest, south to I-10 and east back to Florida. Along the way this wonderful man did this to his family....

1. Camping in Canada with the biggest mosquitoes this gal has ever seen.

2. Niagara Falls Gullett style.

3. Drove really Really REALLY fast over a railroad track in the midwest with his wife sleeping on the bed in the back of the van to which she went airborne as soon as he hit the railroad tracks. I'm not sure what made her more angry, waking to find herself hovering over the bed or the hit her body took when she crashed back onto the very thin cushion so really hitting the frame.

4. Blackberry picking in Ohio.

5. Sleeping in the van in Yellowstone National Park because he didn't want to get wet in the rain that night, to wake up to a moose trying to get into the ladies tent. Rather than put himself in harms way to save the ladies he just laughed. We laughed with him! Infectious laugh, that one!

6. Riding a Gondola along a waterfall held on by a very small wire with him rocking it and singing "Rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby. Rock the boat, don't tip the boat over."

7. Driving down Lombard Street in San Francisco in the van with the trailer. There was much reversing and driving, reversing and driving. The poor residents of Lombard Street could only sit helplessly by, watching their beautifully manicured street getting run all over by the hillbillies. I'm not sure his banishment has been lifted.

8. Getting stuck just as our rollercoaster was going upside down at Six Flags over Texas.

9. Breakfast at Circus Circus. One of those typical Vegas buffets where you can feed your whole family for $10 bucks. "Fill up the plate, kids. We won't be eating again until dinner."

10. Spent an entire month with his family, only being distracted occasionally by work.

He made sure we never "burned daylight" by getting us up and moving early and made sure we were always "making memories". And boy oh boy do we have some memories!

When I graduated high school this same man decided the best graduation gift he could give me was a trip to Hawaii. Me and my friend, just the two of us, running the streets of Oahu. I thought that was the best trip ever. I have now come to realize our trip across the country was the trip of a lifetime.

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy a girl could ever ask for. If you google "awesome dad" you will find this picture....

Daddy with his oldest and youngest (for another month) granddaughters.

I love you, Daddy!!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Church Sign Sunday

Will these things never end? Seriously, some awesomeness must go on in those church headquarters. Who comes up with these things and do they actually run them past someone before they make it onto the sign? What kind of people are sitting on the Church Sign approval committee? I would love to be a fly on the wall.

Today's church sign is......

Make sure God is your friend on your "Faith-book" page

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Call Harold Camping

Last month we all waited with baited breath to see if we would live past May 21st. Luckily we all survived that rapture.

According to our local news forecast Florida will be having their own version of rapture tomorrow.

Maybe I'll call Harold Camping and see if he has any suggestions for preparations.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Church Sign Sunday

Here's another installment of Church Sign Sunday. Enjoy!

How is God like Maxwell House?
...He's good to the last drop!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Simple Exchange of Pleasantries

I love Sundays. This Sunday was no different. We got up, got ready and were off to church.

As I walked into the chapel the person conducting our service asked if I would mind giving the closing prayer and of course I said I would love to.

The usual handshakes and smiles were made and I found my seat and, finally, sat down to breath, after what seemed to have been a long weekend that still had another day to go.

My bench-mate looked over, smiled at me and then made the mistake of asking how I was. Without even thinking twice about it I unloaded on this poor, sweet, unsuspecting soul.

"Oh, it's been just great. I woke up yesterday morning to hurry here for the Scout fundraiser. 7 am I was supposed to be here. As I was leaving the house I went to get some ice for a drink and noticed I had a few pieces of ice sitting in a HUGE puddle of water in my ice maker. So I open the fridge and my milk is room temperature at best. I was out of the house all day Thursday and Friday so who knows how long it's been out! So here's me, the Englishman and my son, at 7 in the morning, trying to salvage what little food is still good. But I had to leave to get to the fundraiser so me and the boy leave while the Englishman stays behind. He calls me a little later FREAKING OUT telling me we just need to buy a new fridge and he's already looked on home depot's website and we can get one for $400. Are you kidding me? We have a $3000 refrigerator and he wants to just go out and buy a new one? Where are we gonna get $400? Seriously!?! So here I am, at the fundraiser, trying to put out the fire that is my fridge problem. I call my sister because, miraculously, she has an "extra" one laying around. So I make arrangements to borrow that one until we can get someone to come out and look at ours. Englishman is not happy about it because he just wants to throw $400 at a new one because 'the one I bought is a piece of crap and now he's gonna make it right by just getting a new one'. 'Ours isn't worth saving' the Englishman says but I try and tell him, you've got to be kidding me. What if it only takes $400 to fix ours? Is it better to buy a cheap no-nothing $400 refrigerator than to fix our $3000 one? So now me and the Englishman are fighting because he does NOT handle a crises well AT ALL! He calls me to tell me he went to the store and got ice and put the important stuff in a cooler. So I asked, what happened to the rest of it? Oh, we can just deal with it later he says. Oh, you mean I can just deal with it later. Gotcha, Thank You! Meantime, my sister and brother in law arrive at the fundraiser and BIL is trying to get a hold of the guy that fixed his appliances when they went caput and, wouldn't you know it, he's off for the weekend? I mean, seriously, who do these people think they are trying to take off a holiday weekend? Don't they know I need them? So finally the guy responds and says he can be here on Monday. Monday! The holiday! So, he can't be there on Saturday but can be there on a holiday. I mean, I had plans for Monday and they didn't involve a repair man! Unless the Englishman wanted to do a little roll play but that's a story for another day. Englishman gets to the fundraiser and I tell him the good news that he gets to sit his accented little behind at home on Memorial Day, since he isn't American and I'm sure the holiday means nothing to him anyway, and wait for Repair Man. I tried to enjoy the fundraiser but knowing how not cold my milk was I had visions of rotting food and a smelly house so I left early and rushed home to get the mess cleaned up. And what a mess it was! I cleaned out the fridge and even scrubbed it down just to make sure it wouldn't stink. Once that was done I was finally able to call around looking for a truck to get my sister's extra fridge to my house. No such luck! I was on the phone with a friend, who has a truck but was no where near home in order for us to use it, when the Englishman got home. As usual with him he brought home a ton of leftovers. He put them in the kitchen and went to change. While he was in the back I started to smell burning. I asked my friend if I could call her back and I don't even remember hanging the phone up. I went to the kitchen to find a cardboard box ON FIRE on my stove. Somehow when the Englishman put the leftovers on the stove, because the rest of the countertop was covered with crap from the fridge, he turned the burner on and now he was trying to set the house on fire. I know he wanted to just get a new fridge and he will go to great lengths to get his way, but burning down the whole house seems a little extreme. So I start screaming for him and he finally got annoyed enough of listening to my screaming that he came to see what the heck was going on and saw the fire. Luckily for him I had a sink full of water from scrubbing the fridge so he threw the cardboard box in there. There was black pieces of cardboard all over my house. Luckily for us the campfire smell has gotten rid of the rotten food smell but my house stinks so much. SMELL ME NOW! I still smell like fire!"

This poor man just looked at me, eyes wide, not knowing what to say next because what started out as a simple exchange of pleasantries turned into more than he could ever imagine.

Seeing the horror in his eyes, I smiled an uncomfortable smile and just sat back in my pew. He was speechless but that is the chance you take when asking how someone's weekend was going!

PS - Church was awesome as usual - Major Props to the Young Men. They had a really great program. They inspire me!!

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