Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ok, so I'm a bit lazy!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a while. I could give you a bunch of excuses....writers block...nothing to say....busy life....but the truth is, I've just plain been lazy.

The first thing I want to share is the new addition to our family! I am officially an Aunt! My sister in law gave birth to a baby boy on October the 27th! YEA!! Our family has been very excited about our new nephew/cousin and we cannot wait to see him over the holidays!!

The next thing I want to talk about is the fall season.
(even though it is just about over)
(I told you, I've been a bit lazy)

I love, love, love the fall! I will never, ever, ever live anywhere that does not have a fall again, which pretty much excludes Florida. (sorry family) This is the first time that I have actually experienced this and I cannot even explain how much I have enjoyed every part of it. The colors, the pumpkins, the leaves swirling, the weather (yep, even the weather).
OK, so for most people, this is nothing new, but for me it's like living in a movie!
(I know, I can be a bit dramatic)
(no, really)
It's not just me. The other day, G and I were walking in a park, crunching in the leaves and she said she didn't care if we ever went back to Florida. J feels the same way ('course, he's hated Florida for about 15 years).
(S just wants to see snow, she doesn't care about leaves)

Speaking of snow, that brings me to the next thing I wanted to tell ya'll about.

On Monday, we had our first snow. Seriously. Snow. In October. Now, mind you, it was just flurries. It didn't stick, but, Seriously?!?!?!
The funny thing was when I called J from work to tell him it was snowing.

Me: hey Babe. It's snowing here.
J: What?! Nnnooooo!
(I can just envision him rolling his eyes and thinking how dramatic I am)
(no, really. I can be a tad dramatic. Hard to believe, I know)
Me: Seriously, it's snowing.
J: Are you sure?
Me: Yes!
J: Are you sure it's not just leaves blowing around?
(Let's pause on that for a moment. Is there anyone who could mistake blowing leaves for snow? I don't think so. OK, maybe if you had a lot to drink...Or if you're like Velma from Scooby-Doo and you lost your glasses or something...but a normal, sober, 20/20 vision person? No. I don't think so.)
(again, in J's defence, this may have something to do with my flare for the dramatic)

So there you have it. Snow. In October. What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!

Temperature this morning: 42 deg.
Gas: $2.35

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You can't save everything...

Before I blog about the final leg of my trip home, I wanted to take a moment to explain a few things about my hubby. Mainly, his OCD. (yes, hon, you do so have OCD)

Let me begin by saying that my sweet'ums has many, many wonderful qualities. He is a wonderful father, caring husband and generous to a fault. If you are fortunate enough to count him as a friend, you have a friend for life. But....

Among the things that make me absolutely crazy about his OCD is his inability to throw anything away (OK, and his horrible driving. But that's a separate issue).

When J and I got married, he moved in with me. I had a three bedroom house, he had a one room efficiency so it just made sense. When he began moving his things into our home, I was AMAZED at how much stuff he had! How could one person have so much?!? Box after box began to pile up in the closets, spare bedroom and garage. You have to understand, in his mind, he can justify everything he saves. Being the naive person that I was, I tried to help him sort through it all.

Me: What about this coloring book? Why are you saving this?
J: Because, look how good I did! I stayed in the lines so well!
Me: OK....what about this poster? What is this?
J: I made it in 5Th grade.
Me: so we can throw it out?
J: Noooooooo! (looking shocked) My friend helped me on it and I promised I would never throw it away!
Me: (deep sigh) OK...What is this cardboard?
J: Oh! (getting excited) isn't that cool? It looks just like a fish! It came in the box when I got my computer!
Me: (not sharing in his excitement and really, at this point, staring in amazement) OK.....what is this piece of paper?
J:(trying hard to get me to understand) It's a circle I drew. See? It's perfectly proportioned! And I drew it free hand! Cool, huh?
Me: (not understanding at all) No, It's not cool. It's silly. Please, please tell me your kidding....
J: (looking very serious) what? Babe? Why are you banging your head against the wall?

As I said before, over the years, I would like to think I have helped (helper that I am) J get over some of his hording issues. We got rid of the coloring book, the cardboard and the circle. The poster was still in the closet in his office. I have convinced him that we don't need to save every piece of paper that the kids have ever scribbled on and that it won't hurt my feeling in the slightest if he throws out the wrapping paper from our first anniversary.

I tell you all of this so you will understand the gravity of the task I had to undertake when I went to pack our home, more specifically, J's office. In an 8 x 10 room, he manged to cram so much stuff, there was barely room to walk. The bed wasn't even visible. Every wall had an overstuffed bookshelf. The closet was overflowing. I spent more time in that room than anywhere else in the house. He had been hording in secret!!! (collective gasp!)
Among the many, many things I found:
-At least a dozen empty (empty!) boxes
-about 500 pens/pencils/markers
-4 or 5 travel mugs, still in the boxes (he doesn't even drink coffee!)
-134 (I counted) VHS tapes of movies he recorded off of HBO
-hundreds...nay.... probably over a thousand videos and DVD's
-every book he has ever read or may want to read that is currently in publication (J doesn't believe you should ever get rid of a book, even if it was the worst book you've ever read. After all, someone may want to borrow it to see just how bad it was)
-Anything that had the words "Liberty Medical" on it (he used to work there) including pens, notepads, cups, clocks, lunch bags, backpacks, letter openers, mirrors, picture frames, rulers, magnifying glasses, diabetic blood testers (no one we know is diabetic) etc, etc.

I think you get the idea.

To say that it was daunting is an understatement. I promised before I flew down that I would call him before I threw anything of his away. I did that once. This is how that conversation went:

Me: Hey babe. I threw out all the magazines and pamphlets for the Ecoquest business (a business we no longer have)
J: (long, long pause) what? why?
Me: because we don't even work with them anymore.
J: but...(trying to think of some reason to save all of it) what if we do it again?
Me: We won't. It's all outdated anyway.
J:(long pause again, thinking of another strategy) But, There were some good success stories in there.
Me: babe...come on!
J:(big sigh) oh, ok..well....I guess....ok....just....don't worry about it I guess.
Me: (rolling me eyes and vowing not to call him again) I won't.

You know, I think he may have actually lost sleep over that. I didn't.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Trip Home Part II

Where was I? Oh yeah, the packing. Let's start from the Orlando Airport. When I arrived at 10:15 pm, my first order of business was to pick up the rental car I had reserved. I got the key ring and immediately noticed there was no key, only a remote entry. OK, well, the key is probably in the ignition, right?. Nope. It's one of those new fangled push button starts. hard can it be? I am an intelligent woman (even though I can't spell, but neither could Einstein). So, I Push the button. Lights come on, radio comes on, engine doesn't. I Push the button again. Everything shuts off. huh, OK...I push the button again. Lights come on, radio comes on, engine doesn't. I push the button again and everything shuts off. There is not an owners manual in the glove box, no one is around to ask and I'm thinking "great, now what do I do?" After two or three more attempts, I finally figure out that you have to put your foot on the break while you press the button for the engine to start. DUH!

So, now, at 11:30, I'm finally on the road. I only got lost a little trying to find the turnpike. I got to the house around 130am. Jack (our friend/caretaker of the Berry Estate) was waiting up for me. When I walked in the door I couldn't believe my eyes. My beautiful home had been transformed into a frat house! Gone were the elegant vases, statues and framed art. In it's place were movie posters and toys. Lots and lots of toys. Now, Jack is a grown man. He has no kids at home. He does, however, have an unhealthy obsession with Sponge Bob Square Pants. Mr. Sponge was on just about every surface I could see. Just for the record, I hate Sponge Bob, but that's a completely separate blog.

I called J and began to lament over my home. I talked to him until almost 3am. I was missing my babies and beginning to panic over the task at hand. But my sweet'ums just kept telling me that everything was OK, I would be able to get it all done, not to worry. Sure, Sure...

I awoke at 7am, went to get I, coffee and search for boxes. Once back at the house, I called J again to tell him I should have let him do this. I was completely overwhelmed. There was just so much stuff! You have to understand, my hubby is a pack is Jack...all of their stuff together in one house was ...well....indescribable.

I would like to think that, over the years, I have helped (I am helping) my hubby get over some of his hording issues (again, that's another blog). Jack, however, is a lost cause. There was stuff piled everywhere! At Least J has some kind of organization. A method to his madness, if you will. I'm not sure what Jack's filing method is other than "here looks good". I will give you an example:

In the master bedroom, there is a vanity. Beneath the vanity are several Drawers. When we left last year, I emptied these drawers so that Jack may use them. He, instead, piled stuff on top of the vanity and the drawers remain empty except for a lone hair dryer in the top drawer.
Me: Oh, is this our hairdryer? Did I leave that?
Jack: No, it's mine.
Me: oh...?
Jack: (looking completely sane) When the realtor came by the other day for a showing, I thought I should put it away.
Me: (looking dumbfounded and trying not to giggle at his Winnie-The-Pooh-like logic) um...OK.

See? The hair dryer, he thought should be put away, but the rest of the stuff was OK. ????? Uh....I don't know what to say.

I will say one thing for my sweet'ums though...I was thanking him for all the bubble wrap I found in his closet! I don't know why it was there, I'm just glad it was. I needed it to pack all my china and such.

Let me just take a minute here and say, Thank God for the Bowman's!!! Cindy, my BFF, and her family came in like gangbusters! There is NO WAY I could have packed that house in two days without them. Cindy, Donny, Davie, Christie, Chrissy, AJ, and even Chrissy's little boy Logan all pitched in! I cannot thank them enough!!! Even my boy was a great help when he wasn't hiding in one of the PODS.

We packed everything in two PODS. I was worried about having enough room, but in the end, we had plenty. Our neighbor, Danette, came by and wanted to know if we were leaving a POD there for Jack to live in. Hmmmmm...not a bad idea. ;-)

That night, I and I stayed at Cindy's. Cindy and I had a few Smirnoff's and giggled like two teenagers until midnight. We haven't seen each other in over a year and I miss her tremendously so it was fun just hanging out with her. Even better, her mean-old-grumpy-bear of a husband left us alone!

On Sunday we finished packing, went to dinner and then I went back to clean. I was determined to be done on Sunday, so I was there late finishing up.

Monday I went to visit friends at the hospital were I used to work. First thing I noticed when I walked into the department was the overwhelming smell of mold and mildew...some things never change. But, hey, I hear they're a smoke free facility! I visited there for a couple of hours and then picked I up from school for one last goodbye. Y'all would be very proud of me, I didn't even cry...well, at least not until I was back in my car.

After leaving my boy, I headed back to the Orlando airport....but that's another blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Trip Home, Part I

As some of you know, I traveled back to Florida this past weekend to pack up our home and get it ready to sell. Let me begin by saying, I do not fly well. It is, unfortunately, among my many phobias. Actually, it's not so much a fear of crashing as a fear of being sucked out the window and plunging a zillion miles to my death. (fear of heights and all that)

When J and I first talked about this, it was decided that it should be me to fly down to take care of the packing. He is a huge pack-rat and would have saved everything. I, on the other hand, tend to throw just about everything away. Anyhoo, when we told the kids, the first thing G said was "what are we gonna eat?". Yes, the concern about missing me was overwhelming.

So... on the big day, the whole family took me to the airport. S was a little worried about how they were going to get home. She was under the impression that J and I were both leaving and G was going to be in charge. We set her straight and she was fine after that. We got a bite to eat, as we were quite early. It was then that J mentioned the size of my plane from Milwaukee to Cincinnati. It went something like this:

J: You'll probably have one of those small planes to Cincinnati.
Me: Huh? What do you mean?
J: You know, a little plane.
Me: (deer in the headlight look) Why?
J: Because it's such a short distance
Me: (starting to panic) But I don't want a small plane!
J: (smiling) No, It's good, those are better.
Me: (hyperventilating) but those crash a lot! I see them on the news all the time!
J: (trying not to laugh) no, no, it's better, trust me. It'll be smoother.
Me: I don't believe you!
J: Babe.....(shaking his head)

This wasn't starting off well.

Now, understand, I have never been away from the two youngest and only apart from J and G for a couple of days. So as I walked to the gate, I sobbed, missing them already.

I boarded the plane and began to wonder if the airline had mistakenly booked me on a plane made for oompa loompas. I had to duck to get in the darn thing! I took my seat next to a rather large man who smelled like melting wax. I immediately tried to fasten my seat belt (can't be too careful) and realized that I didn't know how to work the stupid thing! Large, smelly man had to help me because, after all, I am an idiot.

The flight attendants began to go over what to do in an emergency and I was shocked that there was no plan for getting sucked out the window! How am I supposed to be prepared? I read the instruction sheet twice (OK, maybe 3 or 4 times) and memorised the exits.

As the plane taxied down the runway I relaxed a little. It didn't seem so bad.....I might be OK.....Then the plane left the ground! I don't know why they have to fly so high. I think they're just showing off.

About 3 minutes into the flight, the man behind me began to snore. I mean SNORE!! I've never heard anything like it! I alternated between wanting to slap him, thinking I should let him know he has major sleep apnea and giggle fits every time he snorted like a large pig.

My thought process during the flight went something like this:
Geez, we are really high...I hope those windows are secure...I think I'm gonna throw up....this guy really smells odd...I wish that man would stop snoring...I should pinch him so he'll wake up...I hate flying...holy cow, look how high we are...I hope I don't throw up....someone should kick that guy and wake him up...I wonder if the pilot knows what he's doing...can't believe there's no plan for getting sucked out the window...
This went on for the entire hour flight.

The plane finally landed in Cincinnati. It was a rough landing. (I think the pilot was drunk or something.) I considered kissing the ground when we landed but I thought that might be a bit dramatic so I just bent down and gave it a good pat.

I had a 3 hour layover in Ohio, but luckily, the airport had a Starbucks (one of my favorite places). I grabbed my venti coffee and tried to relax before my next bought of torture.

The flight to Orlando was better. It was a larger plane, so the flight was smoother. FYI, When you fly into Orlando, there are a lot of kids on the plane (I guess it's the whole Disney thing) so it was a noisy flight. It didn't bother me (have you met my 4 kids?) but it might some people. I sat next to a friendly 6 year old boy. Our conversation was something like this:
Kid: Are you OK
Me: (obviously nervous) yeah, I'm just a little afraid of flying. Kinda silly, huh?
Kid: (rolling his eyes) uhmf, yeah! I fly all the time!


So that's the flight down. I didn't want this post to be too long, so I'll break it up a bit. When we return....the packing!