Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A-Glowing Time

Flowers and Trees Aglow Posted by Hello

Lights, Camera, Action! Posted by Hello

Went to the Largo Botanical Gardens tonight with hubby, parents and grandma. What a lovely evening. Wonderful weather, about 60 and great company. The gardens were lit up and we got to see wonderful gardens. Mom and me spotted a Christmas Ornament Tree that was fantastic, I need to find out about that tree!

Off to pack now. We are going to Jacksonville to visit the sisters and bro-in-law and future bro-in-law for New Year festivities.


Happy birthday Paul. We will be thinking about you tomorrow on what would have been your 34th birthday. We miss you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Gross Item of the Day


Former “Dallas” star Larry Hagman, who stipulated that upon his death, he wants his body ground in a woodchipper and scattered in a field, where wheat is to be harvested for a cake to be eaten by his friends and family one year later.

So ok, EW!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Birthday to You Two!

This Says it All! Posted by Hello

I want to extend warm wishes to my friend Aaron and his twin sister Amy on their 30th birthday. Now Aaron, how does it feel to be 30? Just the same as 29 actually eh? Have a great day and we'll see you tonight for your favorite dinner, chicken wings!

Quote of the Day

"It's the Whitman's box of chocolates religion. You can pick the parts you like."

Dave Simanoff referring to Unitarian Church

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Mother Nature Helped Take Our Lights Down Posted by Hello

Not a Silent Night

We had some wild winter weather here in Florida late last night. A cold front pushed through the area bringing 40-50 mph winds. We lost half our Christmas lights and I found one of my bows two doors down. From what the TV says there is coastal flooding, power outages and lots of debris on the ground.

Hubby woke me up about 4 telling me what was happening and turning on the TV trying to find out if anyone was talking about it. Our weather radio was chirping warning of the high winds but we wanted more. You could hear the wind howling, it was very reminiscent of this years storms. All in all we came out OK.

Just not a Silent Night here in Florida.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Remembering Home..

Merry Christmas !Posted by Hello

This past week has been awesome for me. I have time to regenerate the batteries, spend quality time with my husband, parents, sister and new fiance, grandmother and old friends. Spent a lot of time reminiscing about the past and Christmases gone by. I was struck last night at midnight mass by our pastors homily. How he talked of home and the importance of it with Christmas and the memories associated with it. But that Christmas isn't just a time of the year, but a feeling, a lifestyle to keep throughout the year. In the Catholic Church we talk of coming home not just to a physical place such as the building, but to your faith and that this is a place to find home at anytime. Often at these important feast days I am transported and think of the the millions of Catholics around the world who at any hour of this day, somewhere on the this planet there was Christmas mass being said and that for about 2000 years this tradition has happened. Yes the incense almost gave me an asthma attack this year, but it is a tradition I wouldn't want to lose.

I was thinking about family last night. And after opening the gifts from my family last night around the tree I was thinking about what struck me the most. It was two things. First it was the three generations of us sitting in the same room that we have been since 1979 and how comforting it was. And second the connection to my grandparents I now have. My favorite gift was a box of Christmas tree ornaments from my Grandmother. I never got to meet my Grandfather, he died the spring before I was born. But I have a locomotive train ornament that will always remind me of his presence and one that is brightly colored with beads that will remind me of grandma. It connects us through the generations and hopefully one day I will be able to share this connection with my children.

Ok, I got a little long a mushy, heck it's Christmas, it's the mushiest time of the year! I am wishing everyone a blessed Christmas today in hopes that everyone has a piece of home in their hearts. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the first day of winter which is the shortest day of the year (day with sunlight that is). It felt like winter here in the sunshine state too. It was down in the upper 30's last night but we were lucky, it didn't freeze!

I am enjoying my vacation. We went shopping yesterday and got a large amount of it done. A little more left only. I am pleased.

I am over at my parents house right now. Mom and me have been baking cookies like nuts. First cut out butter cookies, then brownie cookies and then soft sugar cookies (a family favorite). And then it was on to making the Chex party mix which is finishing up in the oven right now. So it smells of cookies and Tobasco sauce in here right now.

Oohhh.. and Aaron remember, it's ONE week till the BIG 3-0! Just in case you thought I forgot...I didn't. :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

So You Think You Can Sell Jewelry?

An open letter to anyone buying jewelry this holiday season...

You know, everyone thinks is very easy to sell retail. Especially jewelry. Everyone is an expert. They have searched the net and they think they know exactly the price they should get for it. An education is good, but why is everyone so defensive? Why can't I say hello to a potential customer without them ignoring you? Or worse? Being defensive and telling you I'm just looking. What happened to just hello back? Or how are you? I'm just letting you know I acknowledge you.

And when you are getting a fare deal why do you feel the need to push harder and harder to get a lower price? You know we aren't trying to make a buck off you, but an honest living, there is a real difference. Why is it wrong for a business to profit? We cannot be Wal-Mart and drop prices everyday.

And why do you have to waste my time asking for price after price if you aren't gonna buy it today? What's the point? It probably won't be there when you come back. Especially after mentioning how much you like it, the price is right and you are pleased with it and still you need to think about it?

Oh, and yes, the price of gold has gone up about $100 since July so yes the price of jewelry is going up to so your friend whose the jeweler can't sell you jewelry for $10 a gram, he can't buy 14k for that from a wholesaler.

Finally, cash means cash, you know dollar bills with dead presidents on them and not a credit card or debit card. They are not cash. When we give you a break for cash it's because 3 percent of the total is going to a credit card company and it's not to us. Yes really. So we would lose more money if we didn't charge you a little more. For a small business 3 percent is huge!

Thanks for listening. Your neighborhood jewelry store.

Yes all of our stuff is real gold, if it's locked up in display cases and not on top, chances are it is.


Thanks Dad for the festive music and graphic!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Oh The Weather Outside Was Frightful...

Ok, so it was cold the past two days. And I do mean COLD. We had to turn the heat on cold. We were lucky in Pinellas because the water on three sides kept us from freezing, but most of central Florida saw a freeze. We are being told there is another big front on the way on for Sunday.

Okay, I do like that I can wear different clothing..but I don't like it being uncomfortable and cold. That's why I like living in Florida. But the good part? While yesterday only made it in the low 50's, today will in the 60's and tomorrow in the 70s. And the sun is shining. So I don't have that much a reason to complain.

On the sweeter side of things. I baked the first cookies in the house. First chocolate chip walnut and then spritz cookies using a cookie press. So the house smells very sweet. And only a day and a 1/2 left of work before I'm off on a weeks vacation. How sweet it is!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Pimp My Drink!

Pimpin' With Juice Posted by Hello

So hubby and I were out having dinner with friends Roy and Kimmie and we got to talking about things and up came Pimp Juice. And my curiosity got the better of me and I HAD to Google the sucker. And up came Pimp Juice, an energy drink marketed by rapper Nelly. Find the link here: supposedly it's a safer alternative to Red Bull. I dunno, all I DO know that it's funny. I'se gots to gets me some of that Pimp Juice!

Laptops Usage ='s No Kids?

Laptops users beware! Check out the article below. And be forewarned, it's pretty funny!

Laptop Usage Can Lead to Low Sperm Count and Infertility

Monday, December 06, 2004

I'm Dreaming of a Blue?? Christmas...

Lights! Posted by Hello

Ok, so we weren't gonna do it...
We weren't gonna be at Wal-Mart on Friday at 9 p.m. buying Christmas lights. We weren't gonna put lights up. Just a wreath, some bows I made and that's it. But it happened. Hubby decided he had to keep up with the neighbors. We happen to have moved to an unusually festive street and he didn't want to be left out. So there we were, along with many others, in the light aisle deciding what color, what kind, twinkling or not..oye! The choices! So in our debut on the block we went with twinkling blue icle lights, red and gold bows and blue lights in our lamps. Very classy if I do say so myself. It's hard to see the lovely lights in the photos. But they are there. And no the big black smudge on the house usually isn't there, but I thought I'd block out the house numbers since I don't need the whole word were to find me. But if you are flying over Pinellas County, Florida you probably could see our street from the seems to be glowing and now we are too.

I'm finally really starting to feel Christmasey.

Happy Birrrthhdaayy Tooo Youu!

A VERY happy birthday to my younger sister Laura! She turns the BIG 28 today. And you know Laura that means you are now closer to 30 than 25! Even though she's getting old, she still acts young. Have a great day!

And a happy birthday to my Uncle Tony in Ft. Wayne! We won't mention his age...but he still acts young too. Hopefully your birthday is wonderful!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Word of the Year: Blog!

I had heard that Merriam Webster had said that the word BLOG was the most commonly looked up on its dictionary site in 2004. So we here at Sarah Says are hip and new. Well, maybe my blog is, I'm not too hip, cool or new. You can read the article below.
InfoWorld TechWatch: Word of The Year: Blog

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

No Book for Me

I am unhappy to report that I didn't finish a 50,000 word novel in November. I should have thought harded about taking this project on since I am so busy this year. I came up really short. I only wrote about 18,000 words. Hey, that's still about 23 pages, single spaced! I am pleased that I tried though and am pretty sure I will be trying next year.

Now it's on to the holidays. I feel so behind, 1/2 my street has their holiday lights up and I JUST took down my Thanksgiving turkeys last night. On the plus side I am more than 1/2 way done with my christmas cards, the first batch went out in the mail TODAY. But I still have to find time to buy some Christmas gifts...when that will be, I don't know.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

So Many Blessings..

Happy Thanksgiving! Posted by Hello

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am blessed in my life in so many ways and I have many things to be thankful's some of them.

1. A great husband.
2. A great family.
3. I have a nice place to live and food on my plate (and today too much probably.)
4. Many awesome friends.
5. I have a job and many good friends I met because of it.
6. I am healthy.
and today a new one I didn't have yesterday...
7. A new brother.

A big congratulations to my sister Karen and her NEW fiance Joe. He popped the question last night and of course she said YES. We very excited for them and are looking forward to a visit from them at Christmas time.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

These People Have WAYYY Too Much Time on Their Hands..

I don't have to say much about this, the article speaks for itself.

Yahoo! News - SpongeBob Kidnappers Seek Ransom for Doll

Aaron! This Post is For You!

Seems my lack of blogging has caused a slight fervor, OK, very slight, one person.

So Aaron, on my honor I promise to blog more often. And it shall be funny and contain more photos. And if you missed this one, like the one before it...I don't know how more plain it could be and what I have to do to get your attention.

And everyone else, I think I'll be back to my normal weird postings shortly. I feeling lots of typin' coming on.

Monday, November 22, 2004

My It's Almost Thanksgiving

I can't believe it. THIS Thursday is Thanksgiving. Time is really flying in my world. I have been really doing a lot of deep thinking lately. About life, the universe and everything (and I don't mean the book, which is great by the way). I think that's what has been keeping me from posting too much lately, well besides working 7 days a week. Usually I examine my life through this blog and mostly I've been doing it in my head and I can't figure how to put things down. I think this is also keeping me from being more attentive to my book I'm supposed to be writing. I just can't seem to put things down on paper.

If I don't get the chance to say it, I hope everyones Thanksgiving is very happy and full of yummy food. We sometimes forget all the good things in our lives that we should be thankful for. I am learning that I need to recognize those things more often so I don't get down on my life.

So Happy Thankgiving friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Man I am so behind in the blogging department! I see things and think, man that would be great on my blog! And then I just don't get to it. I know, I am so lazy.

I also have been participating in the National Writers Month whose motto is quantity and not quality. You sign up and try to write 50,000 words in 1 month. I don't think I am going to make it. But what is good is that it gets you in the habit of writing. My untitled story is just under 13,000 words (about 21 pages long). You really get some new founded respect for novel writers.

We have celebrated my Mom's birthday and just had the pleasure to visit with old friends from Lond Island. Plus I was privaleged to go to a good friends baby shower. She's having a boy.

I promise to try not to neglect my blogging duties. I also have some photos to share soon. But back to work. Lots to do!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Too Greasy!

I have been only buying and eating baked potato chips, pretzels and my newest fav. Cheetos for a while now. So when I opened a snack size of regular Lays chips I had visions of wonderful fried goodness floating thought my head. I was almost fantasizing about them. But the reality is, I don't think I really like them anymore. They are too greasy, and that's what the main flavor is, the taste of lard. Ew! It's amazing. I never thought I'd not like potato chips. Now if I can only learn how to prefer broccoli the cheese, I'll be set.

Monday, November 08, 2004

One More Thing!

Man I am SOOOO behind in the posts aren't I?

I would be remiss if I didn't wish my Dad a happy belated birthday! We had a great dinner last night and are looking forward to whopping it up for Mom's big day on FRIDAY.

Touching and SOOOO Romantic!

The Wedding Posted by Hello

Once I finished Edward Beck's book, I was off and running with this one. I finished The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks last night. As usual Sparks offers an easy read that is touching and so romantic.
Sparks takes us back into the lives of Noah Calhoun and his family that he wrote about in his successful book The Notebook. This time we are focusing on his son-in-law Wilson and his wife Jane and their problems.
Wilson's problem climaxes when he forgets his 29th wedding anniversary. There have been many blunders along the way because he worked too much and forgot that he couldn't just take Jane for granted. The book centers around the next year where he has resolved to himself to make himself a better husband. The events are centered around their oldest daughter Anna's wedding which is set to take the same day as their anniversary.
It is a heartfelt book that has some good lessons. You can't forget that once you are married that you have to still work at a good relationship and that suprises are good.

Not sure what's on the plate next. But I'm sure something will catch my eye on my bookshelf.

An Unconventional Look...

God Underneath Posted by Hello

I've been busy reading. I finished God Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest by Edward L. Beck mid-last week. I was given this book by a friend at work and I am glad I read it (well, Mom did read it first and she approved so I went ahead with it.)
Edward Beck is a Passionist Roman Catholic priest. What that means is he is in a religious order dedicated to teaching that Jesus suffered, was crucified and died for the sins of the world. And out of that flows their work with the sick and those whose lives are filled with pain. He also is a retreat leader that travels the country.
An interesting part of this book is he talked about how he came to be a priest. He didn't set out thinking that's what he was going to spend his lives work doing. He started out as a stockbroker in training on Wall Street. He wasn't suddenly struck by God and immediately changed path. It was a shift.
Beck also takes you through what it is like to be celibate. And yes, he does get lonely. He says not for sex, but for the intimate relationship in a romantic relationship.
He takes moments in his life that made a difference to him or others and relates it back to God. And there was nothing pretentious (except for a few of his word choices) or condescending about any of it.
He also wrestles with the churches stance on homosexuality. He wonders if Jesus were here if he wouldn't be reaching out to them because in our society they are being seen was the lepers of his time. That we should not condemn, but love. I kinda liked that.
He also takes issue with women not being able to be priests. He sees that one day the church will have to change for its priesthood to survive and to serve its people.
There are many other great stories... I was impressed with Beck as an author. I think I will be looking at getting his new book Unlikely Ways Home.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

All Souls Remembered Today

Today All Souls Day is celebrated in the Catholic Church. This is the day set aside for remembering all those who have gone before us. My pastor Fr. John reminded me that it is truly a family day. It is a day to talk about and remember our family members who have died and how lucky we are to have been given time to spend with them. So while today is election day and we are looking forward to the future of our nation and communities, this is a day to look back and remember. For those people who have died left an imprint on us and have helped us to become who we are today and on to tomorrow.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Make Your Voice Heard, Vote!

We're Ready, Are You? Posted by Hello

I saw this photo illustration and thought it was pretty funny. And yes I know it's wrong, Elmo and Cookie Monster would NOT be on a Fisher-Price toy. But it still is funny.

We are expecting a heavy turnout tomorrow at the polls here in Florida and I think it's very exciting. All these years we have complained that no one cared and voted and now there are all these people complaining that they have to wait to vote. Get it right people, it's one way or the other! There are people all over the world have to walk many miles just to get to a place to vote and then wait for hours in difficult situations. And there are many who don't even have the option TO vote.

So I for one am happy so many people seem interested in politics and plan to vote. Since I am not political at this site I won't say who I like, but I will say that I am proud to be American and feel very lucky to have the freedoms we do. I'm exercising the right so many died for to give me and I hope you do too.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Threat Level Raised to Chartreuse!

Well, it's official. We are at like def-con 15,000 at work. First the elections are next week and being in Florida we know there will be problems. We even have a disaster team in case something bigger happens.

And now, on top of it all Osama Bin Laden is all over TV with a taped message to the U.S. saying that it doesn't matter who we elect to the White House he still hates us. Unless we change our bad American ways, he still wants to kill us. You know how dang predictable Osama! Like I or anyone else didn't see you doing something like this.

Bring it on. Let's get this election started!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Smiling On the Way Home

Last nights sunset here in central Florida was spectacular! I wish I had a camera to catch it. I walked out of the supermarket and was stunned. It was the most wonderful pinky-purple the sky. I got into my car and started to drive home. I smiled the whole way there. I am lucky that my entire drive home is west so I get to see some spectacular sights.

Tonights the total eclipse of the moon! Don't want to miss that. In Florida it'll be full at 10:14 and stay for about an hour.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Curl Up with Your Pet and Read This One

A Good Read...Mostly Posted by Hello

I finished Whisker of Evil by Rita Mae Brown last night. I have to admit it did take me a little while to finish it because it took me a while to get into it to begin with.
Harry Harristeen is the main character and is joined by her two cats Pewter and Mrs. Murphy and her dog Tucker to solve a murder mystery of a local horseman who they find in the woods. There are so many other characters that at times I did find myself looking back at the list of characters at the beginning of the book, I was thankful it was there.
This book had great intentions, the storyline was good, Rita Mae showed that she is a talented writer (at points), and the characters are different and interesting. The problem I found is the how complicated Brown made the storyline at times. She seemed to want to get so much into the why and hows, the main story line sometimes got lost.
Brown has a talent for description and I appreciated it. But just as she really started picking up the pace, she would slow you down so much with description and back story that you almost forget the main plot when you got back to it.
But at the end I was mostly satisfied with the book. It was fun and different since the animals speak to each other throughout the book and helping their "humans" out whenever they can.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hoosiers R' Growin' Pumpkins

A Pumpkin Patch in Indiana Posted by Hello

I saw this interesting article today about Indiana growing more and more of the nations pumpkins. What is interesing is that they are not for pies but more and more people want them as decorations. I got to see my first pumpkin patch when I was up in Indiana in September, the picture above is just outside of Shipshewana, Ind. The story is below:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Indiana farmers are growing more pumpkins to meet a rising demand for jack-o-lanterns and other seasonal decor, rather than food production. Indiana is No. 7 in pumpkin production in the United States, with 4,242 acres of pumpkins planted in 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture, published in June. But only five of the state's 495 pumpkin farmers grow their crops for processing into pie filling and other food, said Greg Preston of the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service. Most pumpkins are destined for carving or other seasonal display. The state's pumpkin patches expanded by 45 percent between 1997 and 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture. Ralph Kurtz shifted crops on his 1,300-acre farm a few miles east of Fort Wayne in the 1990s when wholesale buyers began ordering more pumpkins. Now he grows about 50,000 pumpkins each year. Kurtz said chain stores are now a major market for pumpkins. "Ten, 15 years ago, Meijer, Wal-Mart, Menards - none of those people had pumpkins. Now they do," he said. Retailers are catering to increasing numbers of people who are spending money on pumpkins and other seasonal decorations. Halloween ranks second only to Christmas in decoration spending, said Scott Krugman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation. "It's really shifted from one night out of the year to more of a seasonal holiday," said Krugman. A survey conducted for the federation estimated consumers will spend about $780 million on Halloween decorations this year, said Ellen Tolley, a spokeswoman for the group. ---

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shoe Shopping - What a Pain!

Toe Cleavage Posted by Hello

I know I need to get some new work shoes. Mine are looking pretty sad. I am one of those people who don't buy them too often wear them until they start to fall apart. I'm not like some women who have many pairs of shoes. I have a black pair, a brown pair, athletic shoes, flop flops and one pair of canvas shoes, that's about all. I know some men I know have more shoes than I do.

So I go out looking for something new and I didn't have much luck. Either the shoes were all low cut for maximum toe cleavage, big and clunky or a 3 1/2-inch heel or higher. I don't know why there are so many shoes cut so low. On most people they aren't cute. Anyone without perfectly skinny feel, it makes your feel look pretty pudgy. And the clunky ones were cute a few years back. And why would I even want to wear something with a tall heel? I do like my feet NOT to hurt. So I guess I will be out looking at other places for some new shoes. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Weekend Hangover...

Laying in bed this morning hearing enjoying the birds singing and a coolness in the room, it was really hard for me to get up. We have had beautiful weather here in Florida the past three days. Bright blue skies, breezes and comfortable temperatures. Friday evening Hubby and I ventured out to Fort Desoto and went fishing. It was actually chilly enough for me to wear jeans and a sweatshirt. I should have had a jacket too because the wind was gusting pretty hard. Only catches were catfish which we quickly sent back to the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday we watched The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. I have to say I really enjoyed it. The scenery was beautiful and the story was touching and sad.

And here I am back to work... I wasn't ready to be here. But you do what you have to.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Rain Brings in the Autumn..For a short time.

A lovely line a showers is pushing through the Tampa area. This line of showers is supposed to be bringing Autumn in. Our lows our supposed to "dip" into the lower 60's and highs into the upper 70s. I am so looking forward to this. I am hoping, even for one evening, I can open my windows and let the fresh air flow in. I know this may be a temporary, but I'll take any I can get.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

'Da Bears

Ok, so guess who is sitting about 20 feet away from me here at the newspaper?

Mike Ditka. Former Chicago Bears coach and hall of famer. How cool is that? The guys in good shape it looks like and he is taller than I would have thought. I am resisting the urge to go up to him and say 'da bears! Dave is trying to figure how to get his picture taken with him, knowing Dave, he'll find a way.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Women- Another Reason to Vote, You Can

Today I came across another article talking about women in other countries with respect to voting. On Saturday I was reading that in Friday's first ever election in Afghanistan, 41 percent of all registered voters were women. And on the way to vote many of these women were threatened if they were seen with their finger darkened with ink that showed they had voted, their hands would be cut off.

Today in an article I saw this from the Associated Press:

"Some women considered the move yet another indignity in a country where they need their husbands' permission to study, travel or work. But others said they wouldn't trust themselves to judge whether a candidate is more than just a handsome face."

This was in response to them finding out that women would not be allowed to vote in upcoming elections. I get so frustrated when I hear so many women who don't vote. So many women fought so hard to get that right here and there are so many women who can't around the world. And here, where anyone 18 and over and meet some basic criteria can and don't. It doesn't take much out of your day and as many recent elections have shown, each vote does count.

So whatever affiliation you side with it doesn't matter. What does is that we as American's stop taking this right we have been given as something so petty. What is dumb? Those who don't believe those are effected won't have a great affect on their lives. And those who don't vote, I don't want to hear a peep out of them complaining about the government. You had your chance to speak up, and you didn't take it.

'Twas the Night Before Frances...

Thanks to my mom for sending this...One last hurricane related item.

'Twas the night before Frances
When all through the state
Not a gas pump was pumping
Not a store open late

All the plywood was hung
On the windows with care
Knowing that a hurricane
Soon would be there

The children were ready
With flashlights in hand
While bands from the hurricane
Covered over the land

And mamma with her Mag-Lite
And I in my cap
Had just filled the bath tub
For flushing our crap

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
I sprang from the closet
To see what was the matter

The trees on the fence
And the neighbor's roof torn
Gave the fear of us dying

In this terrible storm
With a little wind gust
So lively and quick
I remembered quite clearly
Our walls weren't brick

More rapid than eagles
Her courses they came
And she whistled, and wafted
And surged all the same

Off shingles! Off sidings!
Off rooftops! Off power!
Down trees! Down fences!
Down trailers! Down towers!

In the center of Florida
She continued to maul
Screaming Blow Away!
Blow Away! Blow Away All!

As wind ripped and tossed
The debris through the sky
I peeked out the shutters
At cars floating by

So go to the safe-room
My family did do
With a portable radio

And batteries too
And then, in a twinkling
I heard on the set
The end was not coming
For a few hours yet!

As I calmed down the kids
And was turning around
Through the window it came
With a huge crashing sound

A tree branch it was
All covered in soot
The wind blew it smack-dab
On top of my foot

A bundle of twigs
Now lay in a stack
And my living room looks
Like it was under attack

The wind - how it howled!
The storm - very scary!
Myself and the family
Were all too unwary

The dangers of hurricanes
Are serious, you know
They are taken for granted
As Frances did show

With the winds dying down
And the danger beneath
I noticed my tool shed
Was missing its sheath

So I grabbed my last tarp
And nailed it on down
Then I got in my car
And I headed to town

The traffic was awful
And stores had no ice
My five gallon cooler
Would have to suffice

Generators were scarce
Not one left in town
There were trees on the roads
And power lines down FEMA was ready

With people to work
Electrical companies
Came in from New York

And in the midst of
This peculiar routine
Another storm emerged
Named Hurricane Jeanne

I sprang to the car
And gave my family a whistle
Then away we all went
Like a Tomahawk missile

You could hear us exclaim
As we drove out of sight
"The heck with this place,Vermont seems just right!"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A Touch of Fall in Florida

It wasn't 80 degrees when I walked outside to get into my car. Woohoo it's Fall in Florida! I mean it'll still be 86 today at least, but the humidity is a little lower and a nice breeze has come in. I'm so excited. I even put out my Halloween decorations earlier this week. Being I've never had a house to PUT stuff outside, I don't have any of that stuff, but after the holiday I will be looking for stuff on deep discount.

And a pumpkin shock happened to me last night. While shopping at Publix I came across some lovely pumpkins and other gourds. The pumpkins I saw were $7. The same ones at the Amish market? $1. Man, what markup! I should have brought some home. I could have held one or two in my lap on the airplane. I am sure they wouldn't have minded.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fav. Headline for the day...

I bet the headline writer that got to do this had a good laugh. - 'Team America' cuts puppet sex, gets R - Oct 6, 2004

He didn't get no respect

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield died last night after complications from a stroke and heart sugury. The guy was funny. He didn't have to be crude, just had lots of silly jokes, he was just funny. Here's some of his jokes:

"I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, 'There goes the neighborhood!"

"When we got married, the first thing my wife did was put everything under both names -- hers and her mother's."

"With my wife, I don't get no respect. The other night there was a knock on the front door. My wife told me to hide in the closet."

and finally..

"When I started in show business, I played one club that was so far out, my act was reviewed in Field and Stream."

Thanks for the laughs.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Top Notch Fun!

Laugh Out Loud Funny! Posted by Hello
This was the second vacation book for me and it closed it perfectly when I finished it last night. To The Nines by Janet Evanovich was great. As usual it follows bounty hunter Stephanie Plum through her getting into (mostly) and out of trouble due to a case she's on. This one has her drawn into a sick "game" that ultimately could cost her her life. But all the ubserd things that happen along the way makes this novel so fun. From the first guy she's tyring to catch who lubed himself up with vasoline to avoid capture, to her sister who's pregnant and is eating for a family of four rather than two, there's many laughs. I looking to reading the next. But next it's on to a Rita Mae Brown book Whisker of Evil. Yup, I'm reading a book where the animals talk to each other. Looking forward to it.

Dirty Girls Makes For Great Reading

You'll Never Think the Same about Hispanic women/Latina's Again. Posted by Hello

I finished The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez towards the end of my vacation. I am glad I had the chance to read this book. Valdes-Rodriguez is a talented writer who gives a group a women a voice that is desperately needed.
This book follows six Latina/Hispanic/Mexicana/Cuban women who met in college in Boston and continue their quirky friendship. Each of them comes from a completely different background and bring their own set of problems to the table.
Lauren is a reporter for the Boston Globe who is feisty but battling many demons and drinks to compensate. Sara is the Cuban Jew who seems to be leading the perfect life as a homemaker, but her husband is not who her friends think he is. Amber is the rocker who is looking to break into showbiz while at the sametime bring the Mexican cause front and center. Rebecca is the perfectionist who runs a successful magazine whose personal life isn't as ideal as she portrays it. Elizabeth is a local news anchor whose secret may destroy her career and her best friend. And Usnavys is the proud plus-sized women who can't see what's really good for her is in front of her face.
Lauren introduces them all and then each of the characters narrate their stories.
As mentioned before the author can write, and well. She is able to easily differentiate each voice, slow and speed up the pace and introduces many ideas that many be unfamiliar territory to many. Mainly reminding the reader that these women are all different as are those who make up the Hispanic/Latin/Caribbean/Spanish, ect. world. She looks to dismiss many of the stereotypes and does a good job of it without preaching to you. I may look for her next book Playing With Boys because I enjoyed her writing so much.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Whew is it hot outside or What?

Brad and his little brother Michael Posted by Hello

I picked this photo to represent my vacation because that's what it was all about, family. My family is going through a baby boom right now and there were lots of members to meet. Like Michael above. He is almost 1 month old, tomorrow in fact.

We spent lots of time catching up and having fun. Once I get through my pictures I'll post some more. I'm not ready to back to work tomorrow, I was getting used to being up a little later, rising about 9-9:30, sitting around in my robe, drink a nice cup of coffee and taking life at a slower pace. But alas, the bills must be paid so back I go. Also, it's hard to get used to the 90 degree weather after enjoying the 60's and 70's for daytime highs.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind and the 1,000 plus e-mails I'll be sorting through I'm sure.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fall is Lovely In Indiana

Whew! Tonight is my last night in Indiana. I have had a great time! The weather here has been spectacular the past two days. Low 70's for highs and 50's for lows. But the cooler weather is a comin'! There is a potential frost tomorrow night and some rain tomorrow. Also, since being here, many of the trees are starting to turn brilliant colors of red and gold. It is a really cool thing. I want to go out and grab some and stuff em' in my suitcase to dress up the house. We went to a large garden yesterday and saw some of the most lovely roses. (I have pics and will have to share!) and went to dinner with my crazy Aunts and Uncles (and one in particular is particularly ornery). Then we went back to Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mike's and played a MEAN game of 99, for cash of coarse. Dad won, which is always good. In the process we heard more about them as young adults...somethings I really didn't need to know. It's funny because you grow up with your aunts and uncles and you don't see them as young adults. But now that we are adults they are a sharing! Today it was a little shopping and home to fix dinner with sister Laura. It was fun and good. We were very lucky to share the evening with my cousins and my cousin's Dave and Kim's new son Michael. He is a doll. (Of course, there are photos.) I finished a book, The Dirty Girl's Social Club, I'll review later and am on to a Janet Evonovich book my mom had brought. Tomorrow it is off to the airport and home again. I do miss my hubby and he says because I'm not home he is off his rhythm (hopefully it's not because he's out of clothes and is waiting for me to come home to do that for him.) (JUST KIDDING!) Well, off I go, don't want to stay up too late because it's back to work on Sunday at the flea market and then back to my other job Monday and the 1,000 e-mails I am sure I have waiting for me. Ta ta from Indiana.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Man, The Amish Can Cook!

Went on a day trip to Shipshewana, Indiana with my mom, sister Laura, Aunt Pat and Sandy and cousins Mary, Kim (her new baby Michael), Holly (her new baby Maggie) and Chris. What an adventure! I have some great photos and can't wait to share it with you when I get home. The town is an Amish area that has lots of great stores and restaurants that is very popular and well known. We ate at the Blue Gate Restaurant and had a split biscuit, mashed potatoes, chicken and gravy..mmmm!!! On the table was homemade bread, peanut butter (has marshmallow cream mixed in) and apple butter. Oh boy! What a carb coma I was slipping into. We shopped at an Amish general store. What wonderful things for cheap! Saw pumpkin patches! It was a beautiful day, in the 60's and sunny. I have to say I am enjoying myself. Although I do miss my hubby since he left yesterday and my hair misses the humidity because it won't sit down nice. But spending time with my extended family this vacation has been such a treat. I really see how lucky I am to have such a great family. It's too bad I don't get to see them more often. Off I go. There's more fun to be had.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Greetings From Indiana!

Whew! What a whirlwind of activity this vacation has been so far. Been to a wedding, lots of visiting, to Ohio and back and off to a big day of shopping in the Amish town of Shipshewana in the north part of the state (almost Michigan actually). It is chilly tonight here. Down in the lower 40's overnight and then into the 60's. The trees are beginning to turn, some trees are there already and they are lovely. At a later time I will have to talk about drinking Bounce, babies everywhere, experiences at Grandma's and lots of other things. Also there will be photos. And not to mention watching a hurricane hit by your house and not knowing what was happening. Questions about hurricanes were popular. Hope things are well in Tampa Bay. Off to play Blurt! with the family. Till later, Sarah

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Paul Posted by Hello

Not much to say. September 24 will always be a day my heart aches.
Rest in Peace my brother. You are missed and loved.

Birthday Roundup...

I found a box of donuts from a wonderful place called La La's at my desk this morning from friend Pat. MMm...very tasty. A very sweet start to the day.

Work... to lunch with Dave and Britt at the University of Tampa cafeteria. Sounds gross you say? No. Try a lovely large salad and some leg of lamb. Yes, they serve lamb from a college cafeteria!

More work...and some lovely salutations from friends who used to work with me. Ms., soon to be Mrs. Cherizon, sang me a lovely birthday song over e-mail.

more work...

And then cake and more lovely songs from my co-workers. Dave gave me a CD compilation which I will listen to on the way home tonight.

And I am finally done with my work. Gonna try to get out of this place early. Have to pack for my trip.

Oh! Here's my horoscope from today's paper:

You have likely heard the saying that opportunity only knocks once. So listen closely the next several weeks. Grab whatever lucky breaks come your way, as the blessings showered on you can light up your future and enrich you.

Pretty positive I would say.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

They Say It's My Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Meee! Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday to Meee.
Happy Birthday to Meeeeee!
Happy Birthday dear Sarah, Happy Birthday to Mee!

Heck, you only turn 30 one time, so I should have some fun, right? So I am starting to celebrate early. I declare this the beginning to Sarah's Birthday celebration!

Facts about Sept. 23:

Bruce Springsteen was born in 1949.
Sigmund Frued died in 1939.
The Jetsons first aired in 1962 (ABC's first color series).
And in Saudi Arabia it is Unification Day.

So everyone enjoy the day, I know I will. Even though I have been griping about this day, I know I am still happy. Being 30 is just another stepping stone in life and I am determined to enjoy it. Heck being 20 wasn't that great!

Happy Fall ~ Mostly

Today's the first day of Fall. I have always loved this time of the year. The decorations (we don't get the leaves so we'll take decorations instead), the weather cooling just a tad, the brighter blue skies and Halloween. I do now associate those lovely colors with death though. Since at my brother's funeral the colors of flowers were of the fall. So those beautiful oranges, reds and golds are just not as lovely.

He died almost two years ago, it will be two years on Friday. It's a little different this time. There's still a lot of pain, but it's different. Deeper rather that sharp. I look at photos of Paul and it seems like it was a really long time ago that he left us. But really it wasn't. Two years is a blip in the time continum.

So I will welcome Fall by remembering the awesome brother I was lucky enough to be given for a time, to revel in those moments.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Be Ready for Politics

Queen Noor's Autobiography Posted by Hello

I finished Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor yesterday. It was a long read, but in the end I am glad I finished it.

I think what her purpose of writing this book wasn't about herself. In the end you have really only a glimpse into her life as the Queen of Jordan. I think she was looking to chronicle her husbands life, fight for peace in the middle east and bringing a bigger understanding about Jordan, its people and some of the circumstances in the Middle East. She succeeded in most of those respects.

She opens the book talking about herself and then when she meets King Hussein, the book shifts to him. A big portion of the book is about politics. But what becomes endeering is the love this woman felt for her husband. And this really shows when she discusses him as he is dying.

I was a little disappointed that she didn't reveal more about herself. But I was glad that I read this book because it gives a glimpse into a life that most of us never would be privy to. Be prepared that this book is anti-Isreal and very pro-Arab. In some ways this is good. In America we don't see another side to the story when it comes to Arab issues.

Hurricanes are like Christmas...

My sister sent this to me and I thought it was funny and true. We are hoping the next decorating of the house will be at Christmas..


10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows)
9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season (camping gear, flashlights)
8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores
7. Regular TV shows pre-empted for "specials"
6. Family coming to stay with you
5. Family and friends from out-of-state calling
4. Buying food you don't normally buy ... and in large quantities
3. Days off from work
2. Candles

And the number one reason Hurricane Season is like Christmas ...1. At some point you know you're going to have a tree in your house!

A Touch of Fall for Florida

From hurricanes to comfy weather. What a change a week makes! I walked outside yesterday morning to get into my car to go to work and it was comfortable. The humidity was down and there was a pleasant breeze. I actually drove part of the way to work with the windows down sans the air conditioner. I guess hurricane Ivan took the humidity with him. And how ironic, we have gotten some rain today and yesterday, the weather folk here say it is a chunk that broke off of Ivan.

We are getting very excited about our upcoming trip up north. But I have lots to do before then. Lots of work. But Friday late morning we are leaving on a jet plane to northern Indiana and Ohio.

This is also the week, gulp, that I turn, gulp, 30. I can't believe I actually typed that out. I haven't come to grips with that yet. But I guess I better get used to it. Had the first celebration on Sunday at my parents. Had a great dinner. And cake of course. Get this cake. It was a layer of chocolate cake on the top and bottom and cheese cake, in the middle! Frosted with chocolate frosting. Oh boy! What a cake! Whoever thought up that combo, pure genius!

Well, off to do more work. Only three working days left to get a week and days work finished. Chat with you soon.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Weird Story of the Day

Saw this in Yahoo news today and thought it was worth a good chuckle.
Read it HERE. Poor baby...couldn't go 5 days without.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Happy New Year!

I wanted to wish all my Jewish friends a Happy New Year! I did some reading on the holiday to understand it a little better so I thought I'd pass it on to you.

Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the Jewish calendar and one of the holiest days of the year. It is seen as a day of judgment, remembrance and shofar blowing. It is a day for introspection, looking at where you could make positive changes in your life. No work is supposed to be done on this day and many attend service at the synagogue where the "Shofar" or rams horn is blown, it is thought this is a call to repentance. A food tradition is dipping apples in honey to signify starting the new year on a sweet note. A common greeting is L'shanah tovah (for a good year). And it is believed that on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of mankind is recorded by God (because I am not Jewish, I can write out that word, Jews are not supposed to write out the word Lord or God.) in the Book of Life. After services congregates say to each other "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life."

Blessings to my Jewish friends.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Triggerfish Twist a Riot

Triggerfish Twist Posted by Hello

Well, I never announced I was reading Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey, but I did. Tim Dorsey ( used to work at the Tampa Tribune as an editor and reporter before hitting the big time with his Florida comedy/mysteries.

This book was crazy. Like a Carl Hiaasen book on crack. The books follows a family as they move from the Midwest down to Tampa, South Tampa to be exact. They choose to move to Tampa because a report had been done saying that the area was a great place to live due to the low crime. Problem is the report is wrong due to a typo. The family finds this out really quick. There's lots of crazy characters who get into insane situations. I'm not sure where Tim came up with these things, he's gotta have a really sick side to him. What's great is if you are familiar with the Tampa area, it is a real treat because he is using real locations and situations that would be familiar to anyone in the area.

Sometimes it gets a little long and so absurd that I thought it went too far out there. But more often than not it was a quick easy read that was hysterical! I am looking forward to reading other books of his.

Still reading Queen Noor's book. It is long and dense but I am enjoying it. It isn't a book you can read when your mind isn't all there. Will let you know when I finish this one up. Not sure what I'll pick up on the side to this. Maybe another Stephanie Plum novel.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I'm Batman! - Back to regularly Scheduled Programs..

Came across This story today on Google news.

So he wants fathers to more custody rights, that's great. So why are you climbing Buckingham Palace as Batman?

Gotta love the accompanying photo too.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I'm Frickin' Exhausted!

I am so tired.

Ivan has made me exhausted. Watching the news and waiting, and more waiting. When will it turn north? Where will it do that? When will it take the northeast turn they keep talking about? When, when when when!!!!!


Just the waiting is exhausting. I know we can't leave our guard down until that sucker is gone. It would be foolish to do so. We were at Home Depot and people were returning their wood. Why? Has the storm gone away. No. And it still has 150 mph winds. I would wait 5 days and return it next weekend if you didn't use it. I don't want Hubby to return ours. I want to have these supplies ready for the next one. And there will be a next one. Hopefully not till at least next year.

Cause I'm so damn tired.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

We got Plywood...Now No Hurricane?

Boarding Up Posted by Hello

My hubby and a tag-team of Mom, Dad and friends we finally able to score plywood. Hubby spent 10+ hours in a home improvement store in lines waiting to get the chance to buy plywood. As you can see from the photo my Dad had already gone to work when I stopped by this afternoon to see how everyone is.

Weather folks here are beginning to tell us that most of Florida may be spared (what I mean is central, south and the northeast side) Hurricane Ivan. Hopefully the panhandle residents are quickly preparing. This storm is a category 5. In laymens terms (for those not living in areas where you get hurricanes) that means 155+ mph winds. It is devastating. And we are praying for those in the Caribbean who are and have been dealing with the storm. If this storm takes the current track, we wouldn't even get Tropical storm force winds. BUT, and that's a BIG but, a change in coarse could still happen, sending the storm East. We aren't breathing a sigh of relief yet, we are still preparing as if it were coming. We remember Hurricane Charley that suddenly turned right and caught Punta Gorda and southwest Florida off guard.

Please continue your prayers. We aren't out of the woods yet, and someone, somewhere will be in the crosshairs.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Memo to God, Re: Ivan

Dear God,

The citizens of Florida are asking you to reconsider sending Hurricane Ivan to us. We know we have done many things that may have offended you and some dumb things (see previous memo about the 2000 elections) but have we offended you that greatly that you have sent us already two deadly hurricanes and a tropical storm within one month? Have you scoped out Texas as a possible alternative? They haven't had a storm this year. Or what about sending it to Mexico? Once again, no storm yet this year.

We have been praying very hard to you and don't understand how you could see to continue with this plan.

Please take this request into consideration and we hope you will see it our way.


Sarah - A Florida citizen and fan.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Buh Bye Frances, Not Nice to Know Ya

Tiger Battened Down the Hatches for Frances Posted by Hello

I know there are many people wondering how we fared with Hurricane Frances this past weekend. We are OK. We were very lucky. The storm came across the state so by the time it was here, it was a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph (if you haven't felt winds that strong, believe it or not, that's a pretty strong wind). We never fully lost power. I know there are many people out there who are still without power so we were really lucky. Also, we are up higher and not right on the water so we didn't have any flooding. Our new little oak tree got a workout and if it weren't for the stakes (which one did break) it would have toppled over. And we lost a few shingles. The people behind us lost most of their fence. But we were very blessed that we are OK.

This little storm really gave me an appreciation for what a storm can do. You wouldn't believe what a deep and howling sound the wind can make at tropical storm strength. It was frightening.

We are intently watching the weather now because Hurricane Ivan is out there and he as 145 mph winds. It just finished decimating some Caribbean islands. We are praying that this storm loses its strength like Frances did. That would be devastating where ever it makes landfall. I will admit I am scared. I think watching what happened this weekend was a reality check for many. I will always take these storms oh so seriously.

My Ode to Cuban Bread

I love Cuban bread!
So warm, chewy and crispy.
A reason to stay.

Thanks to Alan for bringing in some fresh Cuban bread from Mauricio's Bakery in West Tampa. This is one reason to love Tampa, hurriances or not!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Roll out the Cigars!

Michael and the New Daddy Posted by Hello

I want to send many MANY congratulations to my cousin David and his wife Kim on the birth of their son Michael David, shown above and below. He made his appearance Saturday not too long after Midnight. We are so excited for you and can't wait to meet him when we visit in a few short weeks. Congrats!

He's a Big One! Posted by Hello