This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2008


On Wednesday, I noticed that there are water spots in the ceiling above our shower. Eek! We looked upstairs and discovered that it's from a cracked pipe going to the A/C unit in the laundry room. There was a small puddle running from that to behind the dryer. We turned off the A/C to prevent further leaking then turned on the ceiling fans and opened the doors to let the air circulate. Thankfully, the weather is cooler now (about 82 degrees during the day) so we haven't been roasting. Craig called his construction friends and they are going to come by and replace the pipe.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Restaurants Closing

What's going on? My favorite restaurants that are close to my house keep disappearing! It actually started over a year ago when Smokey Bones suddenly shut down (it was a recent discovery for us and we were looking forward to going back since it was just outside our neighborhood). Last week, I noticed that the nearby KFC is closed and boarded up. I love getting their Potato Bowl Combo from time to time. It is all my favorite stuff from there--mashed potatoes and gravy topped with corn topped with fried boneless chicken bites topped with shredded cheese! You can also get the version with a biscuit (another of my favorite items from there).

Tonight, I went out to rent a movie and then pick up some dinners from Boston Market on my way home. The Boston Market is just across the street from the north entrance to our neighborhood. Since I was coming from the Blockbuster in the south, I turned into the parking lot by Friday's and Steak 'N Shake to cut through to go to Boston Market. I was upset when I saw road blocks between the Steak 'N Shake and Boston Market but I figured I'd just park and walk over. Then, my mouth dropped open as I noticed that the Boston Market wasn't even there anymore! It was a pile of rubble! They totally knocked it down! A bulldozer was still parked there. WHAT?! I had no idea that was coming! What happened?! I love their food! I hate it when I'm craving something and looking forward to getting it but then I am denied in such a horribly shocking way!

Man, they better not take away the Taco Bell or Wendy's that are near my neighborhood! Those are my cheap-meal favorites. Speaking of Wendy's, the 2 that I've been to here play Christian music (not sure about the other locations here). I find that unusal since there aren't many restaurants that do that anywhere.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of businesses closing that I like, Scrapbook Market is closing forever. Their closing sale began last week. I heard it was total madness the first few days as ladies waited in line for hours to check out and store employees worked until midnight (several hours past the normal closing time). When I went at 2 PM days later, it wasn't crowded and I didn't have to wait in line to check out. You just gotta avoid the lunch and after-work rush if you can. Now, I will have to buy scrapbooking supplies at places that don't have as big of a selection, like Target and Michael's.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Date Night

Craig and I have been going on a date every other week for a few months now. We hired a couple of sitters from the highly recommended and certified Seminole Sitters LLC and have been very happy with them. We have been going to dinner and a movie each time since we haven't been able to go to the theater much at all since Alisa was born (we are behind in our movie watching). We've used a few gift cards and free movie tickets but even with some of those, we won't be able to keep it up much longer because it makes for an expensive night when you add in the sitter expense too. Now that the weather is cooler, we can do cheaper dates like take a picnic dinner to a park and skip a movie.

I ate at Logan's Roadhouse for the first time tonight and it was wonderful (Craig had eaten there before). We didn't have to wait long for a table (it was only a Tuesday night, after all), the place wasn't too loud and the food was excellent. Craig and I ordered the Monday/Tuesday special "2 Meals for $14.99". The teriyaki chicken breasts I ordered were so nice and juicy, the sweet potato was delicious and stayed hot for a long time, the mashed potatoes were yummy, the free yeast rolls were awesome and throwing peanut shells on the floor was fun. We both ordered dessert because they had some very tempting "Mini Buckets" for only $1.99. We each got the Nutter Butter Fudgeslide which is chilled chocolate mousse, fudge & Nutter Butter topping with a crunchy peanut cookie. Oh it was sooooo good and just the right amount! I wish more restaurants would offer smaller desserts for half the price like that because usually Craig doesn't want the dessert I choose (the rare times that I order dessert) and the portions are too large for me to eat it all at once without guilt or feeling sick from the richness and high amount of calories. I will definitely be going back to Logan's Roadhouse soon. I just went to their website and signed up for their club so I'll get free stuff via email (starting with my birthday, which is coming up).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gas Update

Gas is now $3.58 and available at some stations (others have no gas). It could be a couple of weeks before all the stations in this town have gas all the time again. At least the price is back down!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Destin with Friends

My good friend Sheryl (we lived in the same neighborhood in elementary school and went to the same church) and her husband Daniel came to visit us from Seattle for the 2nd time. We had a splendid time, as expected.

Sheryl and Daniel were so helpful with Alisa and she loved them. She didn't cry around Daniel like she does with most men that come into our house--she actually spent a lot of time playing with him because she really liked him. They also were so helpful in the kitchen. They made so many delicious meals for us and cleaned them up before I even knew what happened! It was so nice but I felt a bit guilty since they were the guests but seemed to be doing all the work.

Alisa and Minga liked playing with Daniel:

We decided at the last minute to make a trip to Destin for 2 nights. We rented our friends' beach house (a mere 2 blocks from the beach) and it was wonderful.

Sheryl taught Alisa a new dance move in the car on the way to Destin:

Alisa walked with Sheryl and Daniel to the beach store after lunch at Fudpuckers:

Here we are enjoying the pool at the beach house:

Sheryl and I took a peek at the beach while the guys kept swimming at the pool and Alisa took a nap:

Our first morning at the beach was cut short by a rainstorm:

Sheryl and Daniel spent one day with local friends while Craig, Alisa and I hung out with my cousin Steven and his wife Erin who flew in from Tulsa to vacation for the week. We ate lunch on the patio at Hard Rock Cafe and then hung out in the pool while Alisa took her afternoon nap. Then we ate dinner at Fisherman's Wharf Seafood House and walked on the beach to see the sun set and moon rise (Alisa loves the moon and she went crazy seeing the large moon rise).

The weather was perfect for our last morning at the beach:

Lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise before driving home:

This sign made me laugh because someone put a sticker on the man that made it look like a "Hula Hoopers Crossing" sign:

Back at our home, Sheryl read Alisa bedtime stories on her last night in Florida:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gas Shortage in Florida Caused by Consumers

What a week! Our friends Sheryl & Daniel visited us from Seattle. We went to the beach on Friday and as we arrived back to Tallahassee around 4 PM we noticed that every gas station we passed had a crazy long line of cars at every pump. We began to get nervous and wonder what we had missed while we were out of town. As we got closer to our home, we noticed several of the gas stations were completely out of gas. Their price signs were blank and they were deserted. It was creepy.

As soon as we got home we went online to see if we could figure out what was going on. I found and skimmed over an article from the local paper online that said gas prices were going to go up 20 to 30 cents a gallon but that one gas station in town advertised that is was going to raise prices to $5.50/gallon that weekend. It kept emphasizing that there is no gas shortage even though all those oil rigs in the gulf near Texas had shut down because of the hurricanes. So, apparently everyone raced to the pumps to get the last of the cheaper gas and actually caused the gas shortage in town. Thanks a lot, guys.

We were thinking about spending 2 nights in Destin (160 miles one way) so we needed to have a full tank of gas in order to make the trip. We didn't get any gas that evening and forgot to get some until the next night at 9 PM because we were just chilling at home all day. We waited in line behind 4 cars and a motorcycle at the only gas station in the area that had any gas left. We paid $4.11/gallon and they were letting each person buy only $40 worth. It was reported there was only one other station in town with gas and it was $5.49/gallon there. We were thankful to get enough gas to get us on the road to Destin because the attendant said they weren't getting any more gas until Monday.

We found another station with gas many miles outside of town and topped off the tank for $3.95/gallon. The gas stations in Destin were out of gas too. It was insane. If the gas shipment came in on Monday like that one attendant said, there must have been a rush to the pumps again because most stations were totally out when we arrive home Tuesday afternoon. I took Sheryl & Daniel to the airport at 6 AM this morning and then decided to fill up my gas tank again since we used a good portion of it for the Destin trip and since there was still a shortage. I bought gas for $3.93/gallon and the pumps were pumping sooooo slowly. It was annoying because I had to stand there and squeeze the nozzle handle the whole time because it didn't have that little piece that allows you to let go and have it still pumping. And then the stupid thing didn't shut off automatically when my tank was full so some of it spilled over and splattered on my feet. Thankfully, only a few drips landed on me so I didn't smell like gasoline.

I went home and decided to see how much gas was in Craig's Jeep (he was still sleeping as it was only about 7 AM). It only had 1/4 of a tank so I went back to that gas station and filled it up. It took even longer to fill than my car because it was emptier and the pumps were running even slower. I'm not exaggerating when I say this, but the pump was dispensing only one cent per second or just a tad faster for a lot of the time. It sped up for a little bit just when 2 cars left and no one else had moved in yet. It was sooooooo ridiculous. And it didn't shut off automatically again, but at least this time I suspected it. It took me literally 30 minutes to pump 13 gallons of gas!! I'm so glad the pump was available right when I pulled in or I would have had to wait about 30 minutes for someone else to pump their gas and 30 minutes for my own gas. I hate slow pumps! I hate that people panic and make things worse! At least now we are set for a couple of weeks if we limit our driving (which is easy since neither of us have a daily commute).


Saturday, September 13, 2008


I got my hair cut today. I'd been thinking about it for awhile but hadn't taken any action (deciding where to get it cut). My friend Sheryl came to visit this week and before I even said anything about wanting to get my hair cut, she said I should get my hair cut and explained what style she thought I should get. My mouth dropped open because it was exactly the same style I'd been thinking about getting. She wanted me to get it cut while she was in town, but we were busy until Saturday, then we had plans to go to Destin for 2 nights and then she would be leaving the day after we got back. So, Saturday was our only free day so we had to find a walk-in place. Most of them were too busy, already closed (it was 3 or 4 PM) or expensive ($40+) so we ended up going to SuperCuts. I was a little nervous about going there because it's so cheap ($12) that it makes me think the hair stylists aren't as experienced. The lady that cut my hair was excited when I told her I wanted a short bob that was longer in the front because it is her favorite style to cut. I wasn't able to see much while she was cutting my hair because I wasn't wearing my contacts and had to take my glasses off. She didn't get the part right about my hair being longer in the front with a gradual slope to the back (even though I reminded her halfway through), but it still looks good. When we got home, Sheryl wanted to restyle it (the hair stylist didn't do much of that for the $12 price) and that was when we realized that it wasn't even on the sides (even after the lady and I had talked and agreed that she should part it down the middle while cutting so that I could part my hair on either side later without it being so uneven!). Oh well, it's not too noticeable to the average passerby. It could be worse.

Before (with Sheryl):

After (we didn't get a focused picture of the back, but you get the idea):

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Flooded Lake Ella

Lake Ella majorly flooded from the few days of rain we had due to Tropical Storm Fay at the end of August. So many people walk around the lake daily (just over half a mile), but were then unable to because it was out of commission for a couple of weeks. The small lake has something different on each side--a park, residential homes, shops & cafes and the main road.

Here are before and after pics (click each one to see larger version):

The water almost completely covered the benches and picnic tables on the other side of this tree:

The road was completely flooded:

This picture was taken from the gazebo that is on the peninsula that meets up with the road pictured above...this whole area was completely under water (you couldn't see the rocks, grass or sidewalk!):

The flooded gazebo as seen from the residential side:

The far side of the lake is residential:

The flooded road:

Since the road around the lake flooded, some residents couldn't use their cars because the water was all the way up to their houses and their cars were trapped in the driveways:

None of the water in this picture was here before the flood--it went all the way up to the doors of some shops:

Flooded parking lot (you can just see the tops of the trash cans):

The water reached the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial helicopter at the American Legion Post 13--yikes!:

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Daughter

In my opinion, Alisa is absolutely the best in the world. I am so in love and fascinated with her. She is so adorable, delightful and so many other wonderful things!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Poor Minga!

We just found out that Minga has hip dysplasia so we shouldn't breed her. We will be getting her spayed soon so at least now we won't have to deal with her bi-annual bleeding when she's in heat. Craig took her to the vet after she had been yelping here and there and refused to jump in the Jeep (something she loves to do). At first he thought she hurt her paw while playing in the yard, but then thought her hips or some other joint was hurting her.

Canine Hip Dysplasia is caused by a loose hipbone-thighbone connection and is genetically transmitted (common in Labrador Retrievers, among many others). Dog Hip Dysplasia results from the abnormal development of the hip joint in the young dog. It leads to hind-end pain and lameness that can range from mild to crippling. Therapy consists of weight control, moderate exercise (most importantly, to improve muscular support), vitamin supplementation and pain relief medication.

On a happier note, Minga has matured a lot this year (her 2nd year of life). She is SO good with Alisa (she's always been good, but now is even better and calmer). She lets Alisa sit on her, touch her ears, etc. If Alisa drops food from her highchair while eating, instead of Minga rushing to get it as she used to, she waits for me to say "go get it". I didn't think that would ever happen on it's own like that!