Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I don't have any human children left in the nest, but not to worry, I have three feline children to dress up for Halloween.   Phantom decided to be a pumpkin.

Cadence didn't really won't to dress up so I had to decide on his costume.  Since he's always such a cry baby, I dressed him like a baby and put a bib on him.

 Ed decided to be a sailor.  He was busy swiping at Cadence's tail so I couldn't get his paws through the sleeves of the shirt. ( S - I'm hoping there's no cursing or use of the F word from this furry little sailor.)

I don't think I'm going to try to take them out trick or treating tonight, but we have plenty of candy since we never have many trick or treaters.  We should have some leftover.

I decided to be a bunny.  I de-skanked it by wearing only the ears with a pair of black sweats and a hoodie.  I will say the Murph REALLY liked the skankier version when I put it on the other day.  

This bunny costume was worth every skanky penny!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Dilemma

Last week we decided to spend a few days at the beach.  We were in a dilemma over what to do with our three cats. In the past when we had four cats, we locked two, Ed and Boo, upstairs in their room and let the other two, Phantom and Cadence, roam the rest of the house.

Now that Boo has died, we can't lock Ed upstairs all alone, but we have to keep him separated from Phantom.  The last time we went to the beach for a few days, we let Ed and Cadence have free roam of the house and locked Phantom downstairs in the Boy's area by himself.

He didn't like it one bit.

I just couldn't do it again so we decided to take Phantom with us to the beach this time and left Ed and Cadence home with a sitter coming a few times while we were gone to check on things.

 I guess you could say we rewarded Phantom's bad behavior by taking him with us where he would get soft food and snacks daily (while the other two only got them a couple of times) and Phantom would receive 100% of our attention, while the other two were left lonely, cold, and abandoned.  (Well, maybe not THAT abandoned.)

What we quickly came to realize was that Phantom LOVES being an only cat.  His entire behavior changed.  He even became more "kittenish" and wanted to play.  After all, he did have more time on his hands, um I mean paws, since he didn't have to guard the food and the litter box from the other two cats.

I can just imagine the other two cats after they realized Phantom was gone.  They would've high fived it if they could.

And Phantom was beyond joy.  He was all like "Woo Hoo!!  I'm on vacation!"

After rubbing all over everything and marking everything with his scent, he became very mellow.  He enjoyed the Boy's brief visit even though the Boy took over his bedroom.  Phantom just moved to our bed for a while.  No problem.

Now we are back home and things are back to "normal" for the cats.

Which means Phantom is already in time out for going after Ed.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What The F#@K! Or The Boy's Fav New Word...

Last week we headed south to Pensacola Beach to spend a few days since the condo wasn't rented.  The Boy doesn't have classes on Fridays, so I went over and picked him up from his apartment on Thursday and brought him back to Pensacola Beach.  I didn't realize how long it's been since The Boy's been to the beach.  The first thing he said as we we crossed the bridge coming onto the island is "What the F@#K!  There's a FERRIS wheel here now??  What the F#@K is that thing doing here??"

Yes, he's learned some new words in college.  Okay, he already knew that word, but it didn't come out of his mouth in every sentence pre-college.   Don't worry though.  I quickly pointed out that it was NOT a "ferris" wheel, but an "observation" wheel.

The difference?  I'm not so sure, except maybe it has something to do with the temperature controlled, enclosed compartments instead of dangling your feet in the open air several stories high.

No, we didn't take a ride on it, but we did eat huge burgers at McGuire's Irish Pub before we crossed the bridges and then whipped into Starbucks for a vanilla bean frappuccino (The Boy) and a caramel apple spice (Me).

It's all good!

Sunset over Mobile Bay

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sneak Peek At Wedding Photos For Magazine

We haven't gotten all of our wedding photos from the photographer yet, but we did get a link to some of the ones being considered for the magazine in January.  Click on wedding photos to see the preview.

I am so glad we went with a pink and gold color scheme.  It fits in so well with the decor at the Inverness Country Club.

Can't wait to see the rest of them!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not Being Able To Sleep - Annoying, But NOT An Emergency

The other night I was abruptly awakened by the ringing of my cell phone at 1:50 a.m. in the morning.  I immediately jumped out of bed and rushed to answer my phone, thinking that it must be an emergency of some sort.  I mean, who calls at 1:50 in the morning unless it's an emergency.  I have already had a discussion with the Boy on what constitutes an emergency and why never to call me after midnight unless it is truly an emergency or he's having a meltdown of some sort, which is considered an emergency.

When I see that it is indeed the Boy calling me from college I immediately become concerned as I answer the phone.  I know the Boy isn't calling me for no reason.  There must be an emergency.  I answer the phone more than a little panicked.

Me:  Hey!  Is everything okay??  What's wrong??

The Boy:  Hey.

Me: It's 2 a.m.  Is something wrong?

The Boy:  Well, yes.  There's something wrong.

Me:  Oh no!  What happened?

The Boy:  Nothing.

Me:  Well, what's wrong then?

The Boy:  I can't sleep.  That's what's wrong.

Me:  It's 2 a.m.  I wasn't having any problem sleeping until now.  While there a many things that are considered an emergency, not being able to sleep is NOT an emergency.   Take some Melatonin.

The Boy:  I don't have any.

Then I'm on the phone with him for another 45 minutes, just chatting, like it's 2 in the afternoon instead of 2 in the morning.

First thing on my To Do list - send the Boy some Melatonin!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh, The Humiliation!

See the little bell

There's been a problem in the house ever since Phantom moved in.  Ed was here first, but he realized quickly that Phantom was the dominant male.  He backed down.  Became submissive.  He clearly wants to be friends with Phantom, but Phantom wants none of it.  He loves nothing more than sneaking up on Ed and pouncing on him when Ed least expects it.

That's why Phantom is the owner of a new collar with a bell on it.  When I first put it on Phantom the other day, he got scared and ran when he heard the jingling noise.   Only problem was he quickly discovered the jingling followed him.  All through the house.  Up the stairs, down the stairs.  Everywhere.  We knew exactly where he was running, because he was jingling the entire way.

I haven't laughed that hard at Phantom since that time when he was a kitten and got a plastic grocery bag handle around his neck.  He got scared and took off through the house with a little "parachute" flapping behind him.   It took forever to catch him so we could get it off of his neck.

I thought the bell collar would be great.  Now Ed would know whenever Phantom is trying to sneak up on him.  After the initial humiliation, Phantom seemed resigned to the fact that he jingles and can no longer sneak up on poor Ed when he's napping and scare the bejeezus out of him.

It's clearly no fun for Phantom when he can't stalk his prey (Ed).  Phantom loves stalking Ed almost more than eating cat snacks.  We haven't had any sneak attacks since I put the collar on him. I was patting myself on the back at how clever I was when I noticed Phantom suddenly walking around the house without jingling.  Then I read an article that said cats can actually learn to walk around (and stalk) in such a way that the bell doesn't jingle - until it's too late.  The collars are made to warn birds, but they don't work( the article said. )  Cats are too smart.

This could turn into a terrible situation if now Ed lets down his guard, thinking Phantom will jingle every time he comes near and them BAM!  Sneak attack!  Fur flying!


is Phantom, the 30 pound bully cat, really smart enough to figure out how to walk without jingling?  I really don't think so...

Can he?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Delegating - It's A Good Thing

Before my son graduated from high school, everything fell on me to solve or resolve.  I did this willingly because I am his mom and I just wanted him to focus on school and not be stressed.  Asperger's was enough for him to have to deal with.  I dealt with everything else.

Lately though, all that's changed.  I am becoming a champion at delegating.  Even when I don't really try to delegate, somehow things just get done.  It's great!

When The Boy came home for the wedding a couple of weeks ago, there was a stack of things that needed resolving.  The first was a tax bill from the IRS that had come in the mail.  Back during the summer before his senior year, he got mad at his dad and decided to start his own computer company.  He and his friend got together, came up with a name, a plan and incorporated.  Unfortunately, school started before they could really get the company up and running so they never made much money, except from the virus they got off my computer and the printer they set up for The Murph and a couple of other clients who happened to go to school with them.

Corporations can be very complicated.  They cost lots of money, even if you don't make any money from them and tax returns have to be filed yearly.  Someone has to be paid to do these returns.  When The Boy and D, his "business partner" decided they should close the company last year, they got the guy who has been doing their tax returns to help close it for them.  This is the same guy that I hired to tutor The Boy when he was about to take the ACT.  Just so happened that the guy, P, does tax returns and business related things for businesses as well as tutor students after school.

He handled all the paper work and they paid their final tax bill and closed up the company that never really was.  Then surprise surprise!  The Boy gets a tax bill for over $2,000 from the IRS for penalties and whatever that I have no idea what it's for or why they are still getting taxed or whatever.  A company set up by two high school boys who have Asperger's, one who is angry at his dad and determined to challenge him in some kind of computer war and prove him wrong, the other trying to decide if they can somehow squeeze guitar repair right in there with computer repairs.

The company was basically one old dilapidated filing cabinet and an old door, turned table, laid out on two saw horses in a corner of my basement.  I don't think one computer or guitar was ever even repaired down there.  

Now both boys are in college.  When I broke the news to the Boy about the outrageous IRS bill, he begged me to handle it.  "Mom, I'm so busy right now.  I have so much on me with all these school projects, won't you PLEEASE handle it??"

So I broke down and promised I would.

Then I did what I have come to do best.  I delegated.  

I emailed P, our tutor/tax guy and told him the situation.  He said he would do it if I wanted him too.  I said yes, that would be GREAT!  

That was Wednesday.  On Thursday I got an email from him saying that he called the IRS and he was put on hold for over 20 minutes, then he talked to someone, but it was the wrong person.  They put him on hold for 5 more minutes.  Then they told him to call back on Friday.  Friday he said he was busy, but he would get back on it Monday.

Another good thing is he said he doesn't charge for the hours he's on hold or on any call that lasts less than 5 or 10 minutes.   I say, whatever it is, it will be worth every penny if he is able to set the IRS straight on this bill that should not even have been charged to a company that never really was a company and now doesn't even exist.  Delegating.  I love it!

The apartment where The Boy is living has also become an issue.  They decided that the $510 that they said we owed over the financial aid amount wasn't the only thing.  Out of the blue, they decided we not only owe another $100, but since we hadn't paid (we didn't even know we owed it) they tacked on another $50 bucks.  Then they decided to call and harass me about it.  I told them I wasn't paying a $50 late fee on something I didn't even know I owed.  They couldn't even explain how or where the extra $100 came from.  Something about that was next July' s payment.  What!  He's not even going to be there next July!  

I told them there was NO WAY I was going to call up The Boy's dad and ask for more money.  We were lucky he paid the $510.  Then yesterday, before I even got a chance to delegate, The Boy called and said he took care of it and paid the $16 electric overage fee that his apartment had for the month.  He said he had them take off the $50 late fee and gave them another email address for him since the email they probably sent him about the $100 ended up in his spam folder and being deleted before he saw it.  Apparently, he gets lots of spam.  He also said that his dad never paid the $510.  So what happened to it?  We have NO IDEA!  They told me $510 was paid last month.

We do know one thing - next year he's going back to the dorms!  That apartment complex is screwed up!  Dorms also have unlimited electricity so he doesn't have to worry about going over his monthly "allotment."

So two things handled by someone other than me.  Yes, delegating is great!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The State Of Things

Cadence totally ignoring me.

This past week I have been a little off, a little "hormonal" I think.  At first I blamed it on the 20 mile run I did on Saturday.  It was tough.  And slow.  And tough!  Maybe it was because I didn't have any caffeine or maybe I didn't eat enough Gu.  Who knows.  It was a struggle.  First water stop and I'm asking if we are at the 8 mile mark yet.  Nope, only three.  Can't be!  Uggg!

Then today I'm suppose to meet the Running Nazi, uhhhhhhh, I mean L, to run 5 miles at 5:30 am.  I wake up with a huge headache so I try to text her that I'm not running.  I can't get my phone to text right.  Or maybe it's my fingers.  My head gets worse.  The cats think it's time for breakfast since I'm up.  They start their pleading and meowing.  I ignored them and go back to bed.

Phantom in one of those rare moments when he's not in time out.

That's the way this week has been.  The cats have been driving me nuts!  They want snacks ALL the time!  And they didn't even run 20 miles!  Today when I get home from working out, Cadence follows me around the kitchen meowing.  Demanding little thing!  I'm trying to find something for lunch.  I'm starving.  He's already been fed.  I scrape up baked beans and peanut butter crackers for lunch.  That's all I could find.  No bagels, no chicken salad, no balance bars, no soup.  We REALLY need to go to the grocery store but that's tomorrow!

Cat Cocaine

As I'm walking out of the kitchen with my bowl of baked beans, totally ignoring the little cry baby, he runs up behind me and bites the crap out of my leg.  How dare I not give him some party mix!  I am NOT allowed to leave the kitchen without giving him a snack.  But now there's no way I'm rewarding that kind of behavior by giving him a snack.  No way.

Then I'm feeling all hormonal and craving sugar, salt, something that's bad for me.  All we have are butter mints left over from the wedding.  I'm shoving them in my mouth when The Murph walks in and discovers my desperation.  He warns me about what happens when I eat too much mint.  It isn't good!  Unfortunately, it was all I had at the time and I was desperate!

Yesterday, I tried to get back on my green smoothie kick, but there's no kale and very little cilantro and what's left is kind of rotten and mostly stems.  Also, the protein powder is Berry flavored!  I like vanilla.  The universe is conspiring against me.  I can't deal in such a delicate hormonal state!

Our herbs are a pretty pitiful sight too!  No more basil or mint for the smoothies.

The pool is doing much better now that all the yellow algae has died, but look at all the leaves.  The pool will be covered in a few days.  Summer's over.

Phantom doesn't care about the state of the pool.  He just wants to get outside and chase the chipmunks.   He's already forgotten about the "flea" infestation problem he had most of the summer because I let him outside.

Not again little buddy!  I learned my lesson!

My wedding dresses are still draped over the door to the Murph's office/man cave.  Yesterday, he asked me what I planned to do with them.  By leaving them on his door I'm seriously threatening his man card.  I suppose I should get them cleaned at some point.  Maybe even preserve the long one.

Things got much better this afternoon.  We went down to the Social Security Office and officially changed my name to my new married one.  On the way we stopped by the drugstore to replenish our vitamins and while there I replenished my sugar stash.  Animal crackers and some candy pumpkins.

 I'm so happy now!  New name official, lots of sugary snacks, I think I will survive this hormonal state (unless one of the cats bites me again).

And I noticed today that we don't even need fake cobwebs on our house for Halloween decorations.  We have REAL ones all over the place!  Is that great or what??

Last but not least, I worked out twice today, am on my second glass of wine and The Murph is cooking dinner.  Can't get any better than that!

Life is great!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who Doesn't Need Hot Booties

Have you seen this commercial?  Well, we have.  All the time!  I will be so glad when it goes off the air.  Today it came on the television as I was writing thank you notes for the wedding gifts.   I heard The Murph talking to the tv from the next room, mocking the commercial, saying something like, "Hot Bootie!  Hot BOOOOOTIEEE!"

I nearly fell off my chair laughing at him, which only further encouraged him.  He then started calling out to me, "Oh, you know you want some hot bootie!  You KNOW you do!  Hot Boooootieee!"

I tried to ignore him and kept on writing so he starts in on the bootie bag.

"Get your bootie bag.  Go put your booties in your bootie bag and put it in the microwave.  Gotta get your bag for your booties!"

Will it ever stop???

Don't you want some hot booties?  Click here to order your very own.  Plus, you get a bootie bag of your very own!

Hot Booties Here!!

Go ahead!  You KNOW you want a pair!  You know you do!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving Ahead To Halloween

Now that all the busy excitement from the wedding has passed, I am looking forward the next big event, HALLOWEEN!  I have always loved Halloween and worn a costume almost every year since I was old enough to trick or treat.  It was a very sad day when I was too old to go trick or treating, but it's great when your old enough to buy your own candy and you can get your favorites.

After the Boy came along, I would dress up with him and take him trick or treating.  He didn't care much for most of the candy, so I got a lot of leftovers.  Even though he is now away at college, I still feel the need to decorate.  I can't tell you how many times today the Murph said, "What's all the decorating for??  We don't have any kids here!"  (as he was helping me hang the lights)

The skeleton below is called "Mr. Bones".  He's been hanging around every Halloween since the Boy was a toddler.  His screws are more than a little rusty.

The black kitty below is a fairly recent purchases.

 As is this creepy sensor controlled witch.  She cackles when you get close and scares the you know what out of the poor cats.  The Murph doesn't like her too much either!

All I need is a couple of bags of my favorite candy to go in the trick or treat bowl.  We probably won't get too many trick or treaters around here.  Most of the kids have grown and gone away to college like the Boy and the Girl have.  Sad!!

I was thinking that The Murph and I should get some Halloween costumes this year and have a party.  The Murph says the wedding is enough for now!  I have to agree...

Oh well, there's always the "annual" Christmas party.   Can't wait!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hang Loose! Photo Booth Wedding Guest Album

The Murph and I decided not to have a traditional wedding guest book for our guests to sign.  Instead we rented a photobooth from Cool Shots Photobooth complete with some really cool props.  Our guests could take as many pictures as they wanted and keep one copy and put one copy in our photo album guest book and sign.  We now have some really funny shots to remember our guests and our wedding.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Art Deco Flapper/Slave Bracelet designed by

It is traditional in a wedding for the bride to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  I'm not saying that I didn't think about what I could wear in each of those categories, but I will say it wasn't my top priority.  This wasn't my first wedding and since I did follow all the traditions in my first wedding and well, see where that got me, I was a little skeptical and not at all concerned that I was in my wedding gown about to leave the bridal suite for pictures and didn't have anything blue or borrowed.

My something new and something old was easy to find.  For one thing, my dresses were new as was my shoes, necklace and earring.  For the something old,  I found an Art Deco Flapper/Slave bracelet on Etsy designed by Rose Of The Mire.  It is made with antique crystals making it my "something old", but also my "something new" as well since parts of the bracelet are new intermixed with old.  I loved that!    I also loved that it was one of a kind and there are no others like it.  The minute I saw it I knew I had to have it.

We had a jazz band playing during the cocktail hour of the reception.  I wanted something jazzy to wear during the wedding, but didn't want to wear a flapper style headpiece in all the pictures.  The flapper bracelet was a perfect compromise.

My Matron of Honor, the former Running Nazi (that's another post!), was concerned that I had nothing borrowed or blue so she took the opal and diamond ring she was wearing off her finger and handed to me.  I knew it would be useless to argue with her that it wasn't necessary, but tradition is tradition and I have to admit I was more than a little relieved to have something blue and borrowed on me.  No need to tempt the fates!

The opal ring that her father had given her before he died was beautiful!  I slid it on the hand with the antique bracelet and I have to say, it was perfect.  I had something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue all on my right hand.  On my left was my engagement ring with one of the bands we had purchased.  The Murph slid the other band on top in the exchange of rings part of the ceremony.  Now my engagement ring is flanked by two bands designed specifically for my ring, engraving and everything.  Perfect match!

Here is me wearing the antique flapper/slave bracelet and opal ring during the ceremony.

I am hoping to get some clearer shots of the bracelet in the professional photos.  It is definitely a statement piece that stands out.

Art Deco Flapper Bracelet/ Slave Bracelet
designed by Rose of the Mire

Not to mention GORGEOUS! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back To Normal After The Wedding

The house is back to normal with just the Murph, me and the cats.  We drove the Boy back to school yesterday and dropped him off.  It was eight hours round trip, but not too bad.  He seemed ready to get back to school.  It really has worked out great this semester as far as getting his meds refilled.  Since he's been in school, we have seen him about once a month in time to refill meds for the next month.  Now he's good until he comes home during Thanksgiving.

The Murph dropped his dad off at the airport Tuesday to fly back to Philadelphia and then drive on to New Jersey.  I know he was ready to get back to his usual routine.  He had to get dialysis twice while he was down here and not too thrilled about the new unfamiliar place he had to go to.   I don't blame him.  We were just so happy he and his companion made the trip to attend our wedding.

The Murph's brother and family drove the 15 hours here from New Jersey.  They left bright and early Monday morning setting the security alarm off in the process.  I was really kind of surprised that that was the only time the alarm was set off with the number of people in the house.  Most mornings the Murph and I were the last ones to go to bed and activate it and the first to wake up and disarm it in the morning.  Murph's brother (the other Murph) was one minute ahead of us Monday morning and set it off before we got up.

It was one of those times when just a few minutes before the alarm, we could hear footsteps walking around upstairs, they were getting ready to leave.  The Murph and I usually sleep sans clothing, but I stayed in my pj's the night before since we had a houseful of people and we were in the office on an air mattress with the door open.  The Murph realized I had pj's on and had just asked me why I had my clothes on.  I had just explained to him that I didn't think that under the circumstances that it would be a good idea to sleep nude.  

The Murph, of course, was nude and didn't care, when all at once the alarm starts blasting.  The Murph can't get up without running streaking naked through the house, so he tells me to RUN, go turn it off and HURRY!  Before it woke up up the entire neighborhood.  Murph's brother (the other Murph) was already heading toward us saying maybe we should have come up with a plan the night before.

Good thing I had my clothes on!  I turned the alarm off as The Murph struggled into his pants, just in time to answer the phone from our security company.

The Murph's dad and companion didn't budge.   They didn't hear anything.  

On the way down to Birmingham, Murph's brother (the other Murph) ran over a skunk, so the entire time they were here, their automobile smelled like skunk.   I didn't get near the car to notice, but The Murph did a few times.  I hope they were able to avoid skunks on the way back north.  I don't usually see very many of skunks down here.  Mostly just deer and raccoon with an occasional armadillo.  They a least make for cleaner smelling road kill.  Temporarily, at least.

The house is too quiet now!