Friday, September 28, 2012

I Hate Telling People This...

Back about four years ago, when The Boy was a sophomore in high school, I decided we were getting the heck out of here and moving to Florida to be near the beach.  It was surprisingly easy to get The Boy to buy into the idea, even though he despises the beach.  It's too sandy and sunny and windy for him.  I think we were just both ready for a new start back then beach or not.

Because of the custody arrangement and the fact The Boy's dad lives here in Birmingham, I expected a battle of some sort.  In keeping with the demands of the divorce decree, I wrote The Boy's dad a long letter telling him we were moving and I would provide him with our new address as soon as we had one.  I sat back and waited, expecting a dispute.

I was shocked when there wasn't much of battle from his dad.  I don't even remember what the response was, but I do remember it wasn't much.  The Boy and I were good to go.

I informed my mom and she, of course, said no.  She said I didn't need to move.  Every once in a while I would get some sort of email card from her telling me to "listen to my mother!"  She sent a singing monkey card once that said I needed to listen to her and I was NOT moving to Florida.

During that time, I got a Florida real estate license so I was licensed in Florida and Alabama, I put my house on the market and I started looking for jobs in Pensacola since I didn't think I could make it on real estate alone down there.

Months went by.  My house sat on the market.  I couldn't find a job.  My mom sent me death threats (just joking! Only singing monkeys).

I got an offer on my house, finally, but it fell through.  Then, The Boy found out about a technology school that he could go to his Junior and Senior year to learn about computers/information technology. In the mornings he would be at his normal high school, but after lunch he would take the bus 30 minutes down the road to the tech school.  He really wanted to do it, so I took the house off the market and we stayed.

Unfortunately, for some time after that (and even now) people think I've moved.  For a while I would show up for local races and they would say things like, "Hey, I thought you moved to Florida." or "Didn't you move to Florida?"

For years I have had to explain that, "No, I'm still here.  Haven't moved. "  Sometimes I would give explanations, sometimes not.  It really got to be a pain.

Now The Murph and I have been planning on moving after Christmas and Florida and Georgia are on our short list, but we are open.  Wherever there are job opportunities,  since we both need real jobs at some point.  Which brings me to why I am writing this post.

Today I was in my car dodging traffic trying to keep up with The Running Nazi, when my cell phone rang.  It was B from my stock broker's office calling to tell me they can't direct deposit into my checking account.  I hadn't talked to her in a while so we started catching up.  I helped her purchase her house a few years back and my son and her daughter went to the same high school.

She needed my address and asked me if that was where The Murph and I were going to live after we were married.  I knew it was probably a bad idea to say anything, but at that point I told her we were moving.  I knew as the words came out of my mouth, where B was going to go with it.  Sure enough she said what 20 million people (I'm exaggerating) have said to me during the past four years, "Weren't you moving to Florida a few years ago???" And there's always this tone they have in their voice when the say it.  Or is that just my imagination?

I know!  I hate to even tell people we are moving.  The Murph and I have "been moving" now for at least 4 or 5 years.  We were moving before we even knew each other.  And we were both moving to Florida.  That's part of what makes us a good match, isn't it?  Wanting to move to Florida and all...

What makes it even worse is that we really do kind of live in both places now since there's the condo down there.  It just adds to the confusion.

We really have to move now or I'm going to have to stop telling people that we are moving.  Believe me, no body's more confused about what I'm doing and where I am than I am!  What if The Murph gets a job here and we stay?  Then for the next 5 years I will have to explain to people that we're still here.  Didn't move.  Why?  Why not?  Because...

I'm still here... damn it!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Lattes - The Jolt I Need When Finalizing Wedding Details

It's Fall which means Starbuck's has rolled out the pumpkin spice lattes!  I had my very first one of the season today in between meetings with our wedding vendors to finalize the details for our up coming wedding.  Only 9 more days!  I can't believe it's almost here!

I ordered these swizzle sticks to put in the signature cocktails.  French martini pink with a pink sugar rim around the top of the glass and gold swizzle sticks, since our colors are pink and gold.  I have the pink sugar, but am waiting on the swizzle sticks to be delivered.

We met with the photographer, florist, dj and the director at the country club where we are having the wedding.  It's very exciting!  The programs are being printed at the printer.  I want to have roses and ranunculus in the bouquets.  The florist told us that the week before last, they had ranunculus, but last weekend, no ranunculus.   I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will have some for the wedding.   I just love them!

And since I know how interested the blogging world is in my cats (yes, I know, not really), but here are some recent photos of Phantom doing his dead bug poses.

 Phantom trying to play footsies with me...

And one more The Murph took of Phantom and Cadence because he thought they looked so cute together peering out the window...

Just precious!

Which just proves that no matter what he says, The Murph does have a soft spot in his heart for very bad cats.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Car Keys and The Little Ninja Dog

I drove over to my mom's house, which is about a 30 minute drive, to pick her up and take her with me to the alterations lady.  I needed to try on my wedding dresses and my mom needed to take her dress to get altered.

When I got to her house she wasn't ready because I had gotten my times mixed up and was there thirty minutes early.  As she went to get ready, I sat down at her computer desk, which is right next to the back door.  The only things I had brought inside with me were my car keys and my cell phone.

As I waited, fighting off her very hyper little dog, Molly, who is small, but can jump higher than my cats, my mom brought a bag of hair clips downstairs to see if I wanted any of them.  They looked like the exact same ones she tried to pawn off on me back in the 1980's, so I did the same thing I did back them, I declined.  I don't have a need for leopard print bands attached to two combs or chopstick looking thingies.

Molly the ninja dog
She took the bag back upstairs with her and finished getting ready as I continued to fight off her little ninja dog.  I've learned to only wear pants or leggings at my mom's.  Never wear a dress because of little ninja dog's needle sharp claws.

The little ninja dog can jump right up a dress and scratch my legs all the way back down.  It hurts.  The dog can't be stopped.  If The Murph heard how many times I've complained to my mom about teaching her dog some obedience lessons and manners, he would laugh.  He thinks the same thing about my cats.  

When my mom was ready to go, I realized my keys were missing.  My cell phone was laying in the exact same spot I had put it, but the car keys were missing.  My mom and I started looking all around the desk where I had been sitting.  I even looked outside on her patio to see if maybe I had dropped them on the way inside.

I couldn't understand why I couldn't find them.  It was pretty easy to retrace my steps from my car through the back door to her desk.  I decided Molly, the ninja dog had done something with the keys.  I retraced Molly's steps, but for the most part she had been right there the entire time, jumping on me like I was a trampoline.

It crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, Molly had swallowed the keys.  I didn't know how she could have done this without choking, but the way she was jumping around all over the place, who knows.  Since my car key is hands free, the kind that will open the locked car door if I just have the keys in my purse, I decided to carry Molly out to the car to see if I could open the door.  That maybe if the key was in her stomach, the car door locks would still be able to get the signal coming out of her insides.  

Didn't work, so I figured either Molly didn't swallow the key or the key signal wasn't strong enough for the car to pick up inside a dog stomach.

It had been almost 45 minutes of key searching.  My mom and I were hot and exhausted at this point.  I was starting to think something weird was going on at her house.  Either that or it had to be the one other culprit who was in the house. 

My mom.

I asked her where she put things when she mindlessly takes things upstairs with her when she's getting ready to go somewhere.

Answer:  Today it was in the retro 1980's style hair clips bag.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The Boy's neglected car
Hasn't moved from this spot since last December.

The Boy was suspiciously quiet for most of last week and all weekend.  I hadn't heard from him since sometime last week, except a "hi" or a "meow" or two on Skype.  Random responses to my, "How are things going?" and other questions seem to go ignored and unanswered lately.

To be honest, I have been so busy with last minute wedding preparations, that I really haven't had that much of a chance to skype with The Boy.  He must be busy at school too because he's not calling me either.  With two room mates this year, he's not as lonely and he's learning some good lessons on how to live well with others. ( I hope!)

Today he called me out of the blue to tell me he's sending his resume to career services at the school and therefore, he will be getting a job soon.  His question to me, that had prompted this call, was, "How was he going to get to work since he doesn't have a car?"  Basically, he was once again asking me to buy him a car.

Yeah right!  This is not the first and certainly won't be the last time he tries that one.  The "car issue" has been an ongoing thing at this house for awhile.

First of all, let me point out that he has an old Jaguar out in the driveway rotting away.  It sat in the driveway at our other house for a year until I sold the house last December.  The purchasers of the house actually asked me if I was leaving the Jag.  It was obviously neglected, half on the driveway, half in the backyard, with ants homesteading under the hood.

We had to have the car towed before the closing for The Boy, since he was still at school.  The Murph put in a new alternator for him and drove it to its new home.  This is where the car has been sitting, neglected since last December.  The Murph and I jump started it once last Spring.  Other than that, it hasn't been touched.

Lonely neglect
During all that time, The Boy didn't give a rat's ass about the old Jag because The Murph was nice enough to let him drive one of his cars, a newer and much nicer Mercedes with 380 hp, no electrical issues and a working radio and air conditioner.   It's no wonder the jag was abandoned!  The Boy had it made.  A nice car to drive, no payments, no insurance, all he had to do was put gas in it.  The gas part he complained about endlessly.

And he had his Jag sitting in the driveway that we encouraged him to sell and invest the money for college.

He never did.  That's probably a good thing because it wasn't long before he yelled at me and said some very disrespectful things.  The Murph didn't tolerate that one bit and told The Boy, " That's it!  No more Mercedes."

Things cooled off and I convinced The Murph to let The Boy have the Mercedes back and The Murph, being the nice guy he is, handed the keys back to The Boy.

This lasted a couple of months and The Boy was disrespectful again to me and still complaining about having to put gas in the car on top of that.  After two more times of losing the keys for yelling at me and then getting them back, The Murph said, "That's it.  No more.  Enough is enough.  No more Mercedes."  It's getting sold to help pay for the wedding.

Sooooooo...  when The Boy calls me today about that "car issue" again, I had to say, "What do you want ME to do?  I've done all I can for you on that issue and you blew it."


I hated having to do it.  I really want to help him just like the past 200 times I've helped him, but his disrespectfulness was in part related to the car/cars issue.  It's tough, but I know I'm doing the right thing.  The Murph is not letting him disrespect me and I am not letting him disrespect The Murph, which he did in a BIG way.  No appreciation at all for what The Murph was doing for him.  More than his own dad was doing for him. (which is almost nothing)  

I told The Boy that I had given him access to two cars.  He still has one (the Jag) that is in his name to do with what he wants.  I'm out.

I gave him some options of things he could do with the Jag___  fix it up, get insurance on it and drive it or trade it in on another used car once he gets a job and can make payments.  We've even offered to pitch in some money if his dad will match it, to help The Boy buy another car.

His dad has already turned that offer down more than once.

I can only hope that The Boy has learned something from this.  To appreciate what he has, to be grateful when someone does something for him and to treat family and friends with more respect.  I know he has Asperger's, but he had more than enough chances and warnings.

He's going to have to figure it out now.  We will do what we can to help, but from now on he's going to have to have some "skin in the game."

To be honest, I am kind of glad he doesn't have a car down there.  I know he's grown and he needs a car, but it is one less thing to worry about!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wedding Planning, Stress And Cats That Bite

I'm hesitant to do another post about the stress and anxiety I've been feeling this week because The Murph might take more pics of me lounging by the pool or napping on the couch.  I have tried to explain that sometimes I can't put a finger on why I feel anxiety.  It seems to me like just the way the earth is tilting now that we are approaching Autumn and the sun is lower in the sky makes me somewhat anxious in a weird sort of way.  Even though I do LOVE this time of the year.

Anxiety sometimes has no easily explained reason for being.  Apparently.

The stress I am feeling comes from dealing with the last minute details on our upcoming wedding.  That isn't going away until the details get worked out.   I am working on it.  My vows are written.  I've been working on them off and on for over a month.

The programs are written out and just need to be sent to the printer.  That has been the biggest stress for me.  I just wanted to write it out and pick out a program at the same place we got the invitations and say here, put this information in that program format.    Easy!

The Murph doesn't want to do it that way since it costs more money, but it's either spend more money or more of my time trying to figure it all out and get a program together that looks decent.  I don't have a program on my computer that will easily do that.  At this point, I don't really care anymore.  I'm not stressing about it.

It seems that the cats, especially Phantom, has picked up on my stress.  He has been extremely bad.  Worse than usual.  He tries to attack Ed every chance he gets.  He goes after Cadence as well, if he gets too close.  When all else fails, Phantom bites me.   Sneak bites on my shins.  It hurts!

Biting is not good.  He should know better than to bite a stressed out female.  This cat has no fear.

 With all that's going on, most of it entirely in my mind, I couldn't pass these babies up last time we were at Target.  I love these cute little pumpkins that taste like candy corn, only cuter.

 I felt better immediately after consuming half the container.  I am not even going to let the fact that mineral oil is one of the ingredients ruin the experience for me.  See how cute they are?

The jewelry I am wearing in the wedding is here.  They were all packed up in cute little boxes from Tejani.

They are very pretty and very sparkly and I am very excited about wearing them.

The beverage napkins for the reception have come in as well.   Things are coming along just fine.  I am going to take a deep breath and enjoy life.

I've never tried any, but anxiety meds would probably help.  After I've seen how much better The Boy is doing on them, I have considered taking some myself!  The Murph would probably agree!  Today all he could offer to make me feel better was an acai berry smoothie.  It helped!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stressed Out I Am

We are now at the final countdown to the big day.  Only 17 more days until the wedding and past time to get all the details finalized.  Since The Murph didn't want to hire a wedding planner, I am feeling more than a little stressed out.

"Why hire a wedding planner when we have plenty of time on our hands to plan and do things ourselves?" says The Murph.  That's all fine, but it seems like all the final details and planning have been dumped on me.    And have I mentioned before that I don't handle stress of any kind very well.  I get anxiety.

 I can handle the big picture, but when it starts to come down to the details, things get messy.

I've been so off the deep end lately that I don't even know what to blog about.  My brain keeps wanting to shut down.  I start doing mindless things like running 17 miles Sunday, listening to the same song 100 million times, napping.  

I could even swim laps for an hour at this point and not die of boredom.

I admit I am a little irritable and easily upset lately.  The Murph doesn't understand why.  He's more laid back than I am about these things.  He knows they will get done.


He said something today to me and I really don't remember what it was because it was that unimportant, but I got all upset.  I told him he just didn't understand how stressed out I am.

He laughed at me and said, "Stressed OUT!  About what?  We're getting married.  The bills are paid.  You don't have to work.  You have it made!  What do YOU have to be stressed out about?"

Later, he took this picture of me sitting out by the pool reading a People magazine just to reemphasize how "stressed out" I am because my life is just so hectic right now.

I call it creepy taking a picture of me from the kitchen window without my knowledge.  Good thing I had my top on!  I'm sure poor Kate wish she'd left her top on now that her boobs are published in French and Italian magazines.

I am a little worried about a certain topless, beach photo shoot I did several years ago.  The photos are on my old laptop which my ex stole.  Any day I might go online and see my own boobs plastered out there for the world to see.  Topless photos in the hands of a vengeful ex don't mix well.

However before you judge me, I told my mom about the photo shoot and she was cool with it.  I think she understood it was more of an" artistic" thing to do. What with the sunset and all the pretty background colors and sand and surf.

Today when I told The Murph I wasn't sure what I wanted to blog about, he suggested that I blog about my "impetuousness. "

Not exactly sure what that meant, I looked it up.


  1. Acting or done quickly and without thought or care; impulsive.
  2. Moving forcefully or rapidly: "an impetuous flow of water".

I decided that he must want me to blog about what a strong swimmer I am.  I do move rather "forcefully", if not "rapidly" through the water.

I'm sure he didn't mean I am "impulsive" or anything like that.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wedding Plan Update

During our beach trip last week, we stopped by the liquor store on our way home.  Florida has a much lower tax on liquor so we decided to load up for the wedding while we were down there.    Even though we have an open bar for the actual wedding reception, we found out that doesn't include champagne.  That's what's in the boxes, champagne for toasting, not Jack Daniels.  Although you could probably get some very entertaining toasts if you use Jack Daniels, I'm a little more traditional.

As you can see I had a little furry visitor on the table exploring as I was trying to take pictures.  He was being very stubborn and not wanting to get down even though he knows the dining room table is off limits.

A little tail in this picture pointing at the Beefeater Gin box.

A little tail still seeming to point at the Beefeater Gin box.

Finally deciding to jump down now that he's within arms reach and he knows I'll get him.

Ed's checking out the other box that's on the floor.  Ed would never disobey the rules and jump on the dining room table.  He has better manners than Cadence.    This box had various other liquors, for the house since we will have a houseful of family members all weekend, including a brunch and a bar-b-que on Sunday after the wedding.

The house is still a mess and the carpets need cleaning, but we're prepared liquor wise.

I took pictures of my dress to the bakery that is doing the wedding cake.  She is going to match the sparkly design on the top and bottom of the dress to the top layer and bottom layer of the cake.  While there, I took advantage of the opportunity to purchase more cupcakes.  I got an assortment of different yummy flavors.  The blue one is still my favorite.

The bridesmaid dresses have come in and are the perfect fuchsia color.  My favorite color.  I love them!  I gave the Running Nazi her dress when I ran with her yesterday so she could get it altered if needed since she never gave me her measurements.  I don't know if she liked it or not even though she said she did.

 The Murph is now calling tux places so he can get measured for a tux.  We weren't able to get The Boy measured for a tux while we were in his college town and he won't be back home until right before the wedding.

Fortunately, since my ex husband (The Boy's father) just got married in May and The Boy was in his wedding, we were able to call that tux place and found out that they still had The Boy's measurements on file.

Yea!  Problem solved.  Now if we could just convince The Boy to get his hair cut.  He refused to get his hair cut for his dad's wedding.  That was almost 4 months ago and he still hasn't had a hair cut.  At this point I could just loan him a sparkly pony tail holder for the wedding.

Also, since the tux place is a nationwide chain, The Murph's brother, who lives in New Jersey, can get his tux at the same place.

Now we have to finalize everything with the music, florist, officiant, etc. and finish writing our vows.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Triathlon Race Photos And The Beach Trip

Last Saturday The Murph and I drove over to Orange Beach, Alabama from Pensacola Beach, Florida so I could do the Alabama Coastal Triathlon.  We got up at 4:30 am to make the hour and 1/2 drive.  It doesn't seem like it would be that far, but we had to go up and over and stop and go through some small towns to get there.

There were two distances offered.  One was a full Olympic distance and the other was a very short sprint distance.  I did the very short sprint since I haven't been bike and swim training very much this year.

Okay, I confess!  I have done zero swim training since Ironman Canada 2010 and most of the biking I've been doing has been on the exercise bike at the gym instead of my road bike.  The Murph is my true, very loyal athletic supporter!

This is us right before the race start.  You can see from the waves behind us that the ocean was not very calm that day.  I was a little worried, but I have had to swim in much rougher water and this was a very, very short 300 yd swim.  No Ironman distance swim here!  Thank God!

It was cloudy in the beginning, but by the time I crossed the finish line the sun was out and it was clearing up.  Also, it was getting hot.  I was glad to be finished in less than an hour.  I love short triathlons right now.

This is me coming out of transition after getting off the bike.  Now it was time to do the run which was very, very short.   Only two miles.  That's it!

I'm thinking that my butt looks fat here in these shorts.  I doubt I will wear them again.  I may need to cut back on all those cookies I've been eating too.

Despite the lack of swim training and the big butt, I place third in the masters category and was the 10th overall woman.  I was very happy with that!

The night before the race, The Murph and I went to eat dinner at Jackson's in Pensacola, Florida.  I ate tons of bread with fresh butter and the most delicious steak and crab cake ever.  

This probably contributed to the bigness of my butt the next morning....

Oh well, it was worth it!

This is The Murph about to go in the water the other day.  He didn't know I was taking pictures of him.

I added our baby pictures to our wedding website last night.  This is The Murph's baby picture.   He's such a cutie!

I tried to scan this picture in and post it on his birthday post in July, but I couldn't get the scanner to work.  I have been trying to scan things and print for two months now and couldn't get the dang printer to work.  Then right out of the blue it just decided to start working last night.

Go figure!