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

Happy Birthday MIchael! Posted by Hello

Friday, September 03, 2004

Bring it on...

At this point I am ready to get this started and over with. All this waiting has exhausted me. I know I sound like a whiner but that's how I feel. Those people in the East coast of Florida are in for some really bad weather. On the way home from work I heard that with the first rain band more than 100,000 people have already lost power. And that's just the beginning. I am concerned about rain. Having that bad boy take 24 hours to cross the state, dumping rain as it

To all my friends out there covering this thing. Be careful. Your life is WAY more important than ANY story.

Frances Fatigue

We've been watching Hurricane Francis now for more than a week. She has been slowly creeping her way across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Caribbean and seems to be on a crash course with the East coast of Florida. Being I work at a newspaper it is Frances everything all day. Which causes folks to either be more alarmed or very skeptical that the hurricane will hit at all. After Charley, the hurricane from 3 weeks ago, there are those who don't believe a storm could ever hit here, these are scary people. Because they are so blas`e about the whole thing and when one actually hits here, they will be in danger thus causing others to be in danger. And there are those who are the alarmist. These might also be called editors here. You can read the Blog of fellow business reporter Baird Hegleson at at He's hoping to be in the midst of the hurricane, yes he is actually excited. But he is from Minnesota, so what does he know? His brain must still need to unthaw a little.

It is very quiet here in the newsroom right now. So many people are in the field or out working on stories. The only thing bring people together was when the message went out that there was food in the conference room and if you don't know, food tends to go real fast in newsrooms.

It looks like the storm has become a little more disorganized, it is down to 115 mph the winds, that is a big drop from the 145 of yesterday. We can only hope it continues to lose its punch, many people's lives depend on that.

Back to Frances..

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Why!? WHY!!?

A moment of non-hurricane related news:

Gum story.

Once again, WHY?

We are watching buco hurricane news here at the paper. This storm is so impressive, the size is more than 400 miles across! So we are all worried. Keep Florida in your prayers.