is it november yet?

I may have mentioned a few (thousand) times that I hate Florida in the summer.  I hate the heat and I hate the lizards.  Somehow this past weekend those two delightful things somehow teamed up and created a ‘perfect storm’.

Friday is my day off and I had plans to clean the house in preparation for my all-day absence on Saturday.  I’m scrubbing and tidying and it’s getting progressively warmer.  It’s something like 90 degrees outside, and it’s 80 inside.  No big deal, I think.  I know we have an aging a/c unit and it struggles a little to keep up when it’s so hot out.  It will go back down a little later in the day.  Uh, no.  It climbs.  It hits 83.  Hmmm.  It hits 85.  Oh my.  When it hits 88 I take Abi outside and we hang out in the kiddie pool for the rest of the day.  It’s actually kind of nice out in the shade of the umbrella while we lounge in the pool sipping on cool drinks. 

Rob the miracle-worker will be stopping by the next day to check it out for us, but until then we spend the night sweltering under ceiling fans and oscillating fans and standing fans.  We keep Abi in our room because it’s cooler there than in her room and I don’t want to leave her bedroom windows open while she’s alone in there. 

It’s just…ick.  Sweaty and gross. 

Turns out a lizard crawled in the unit outside in the backyard and electrocuted itself on some of the wires causing some kind of short.  We would need a minor electrical part and could have it on Monday. The remainder of the weekend was spent at my parent’s house.  And it’s kind of a toss-up on the suffering scale – spending the weekend at my parent’s house or having no a/c.   (They are some serious DIYers and have been remodeling their kitchen for going on 2 years now.  This includes hand-made cabinets and a countertop made of fallen cedar trees from the 2004 hurricanes.  It will be quite beautiful when they are done, but their fridge is in the dining room, people.)

I promptly forgot all plans I had that weekend (sorry, Tamra, I’ll make it up I promise) and could only think about the several thousands of dollars we would potentially need to spend on a new a/c unit.  All of this after getting into a fender bender a few weeks earlier and having to shell out for our deductible and rental car.  This just isn’t our month.

Long story short – we didn’t need the part, we now have a/c and I’m not longer thinking of running away.  Today.

On a happier note, please enjoy this photo of my bathing beauties.


make like a tree and leaf

If you’re free on Friday, come up and see me at Eastmonte Park in Altamonte from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – I’ll be helping out  my company at the city’s Arbor Day event.  I know it’s a little early for Arbor Day, but the city wanted to make sure everyone had their trees ready to go to plant on Arbor Day.  Smart idea, I thought.

this weekend

For those of you in the Central Florida area, the Maitland Public Library will be having a huge book sale starting on Friday the 16th of April and running through the weekend.  This will run concurrently with the Maitland Art Festival at Lake Lily.

So stop by, pick up some great deals on some used books and then walk on over to the lake to check out some local art and have lunch.  There is always live music (even during the regular Sunday Farmer’s Market) and it’s such a beautiful park.  Stick around on Saturday evening for a free movie in the park.

an experiment in suffering, part II

So, taking a two-year-old to Disney is not a good idea.  At least my two-year-old.  I saw these families with teeny tiny babies there along with toddlers and older kids.  Geez-a-lou, how do these people do it?  And how can these families survive a week-long trip to the parks?  I needed all day on Sunday to recuperate from our adventure on Saturday.  To even think about going back the next day – pure insanity.

me, abi and tanya


Of the rides she did go on, she enjoyed them very much.  It was the matter of waiting in line.  I saw all these other toddlers waiting patiently in line with their parents, being held or just standing there having a grand old time.  Not mine.   We tried, that’s all I can say.  Now we know.  Maybe when she’s 5 and knows why she’s waiting in line.

As we recuperated on Sunday, we watched a bit of the Harry Potter marathon that was showing on TV.  In the second movie, there is that big snake in the bowels of the school.  As the snake was slithering away, Abi says ‘Where’s snake going?  Bye, snake, see you later.  Going to the car.’    She’s amazing.

an experiment in suffering

And it may be – an experiment in suffering – this weekend.  We’re venturing to Disney World with our two-year-old on Saturday.

I lurve Disney World.  I don’t have season passes or t-shirts or anything like that.  And I don’t go especially often, not even every year.  But I think that’s why I enjoy it so much.  Because it’s a treat and something special. Stevie my sweetie, however, not so much with the lines and the heat and the tourists.  So he’s making a pretty big sacrifice to join us this weekend and I appreciate that to no end. 

Abi and I have been watching the old Peter Pan movie (fast-forwarding through the ridiculous ‘red man’ part) and the original Snow White.  She’s not into The Mouse or any of the characters and I’m glad/relieved.  Elmo and crew are about all I can take right now.  By the way – saw Adam Sandler on The Street the other day singing a song about Elmo and dadgummit, that song is catchy and I’m singing it all over town now.    Anyway – I’m nervous about taking her but also excited for her to have such a wonderful time and be out of her element.  Luckily we’ll have lots of extra hands from Aunt Karen, Uncle Rob and Cousin Tanya so it makes me feel a little bit better.  There will also be a hotel room available for a nap if needed.  And I’m sure it will be needed.  For Steve or Abi or both.

Other than that it’s pretty quiet on our end of the block.  Managing to do a little yard work this week since it’s still light after dinner.  Weeds have taken up residence in the vast majority of our lawn and we’re performing a hard-core eviction.  We all take up a portion of grass and are in charge  pulling weeds for however far our arms will reach.  Luckily I have short arms.

All in an effort to avoid using weed killer, if possible.  And I’d like to start a little garden but I fear the mercenary squirrels we have in our area would plant their little squirrel flag in the plot and that would be the end of that.  We could build a cage type thing over it but man, that sounds like a lot of work that I’m not prepared to do.

Abi’s cute quote for the day:  As I’m singing ‘Favorite Things’ from Mary Poppins, and I get to the part that goes – ‘when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad’, Abi sings with me,                        ‘sad, so baaaaaaaaaad’ and throws her arms out.  I tell ya, she’s got a touch of the dramatic in her.

Zen and the Art of Laundry Maintenance

There is just something relaxing and zen-like to hanging laundry on the line.  Maybe it’s the repetitiveness of the motions.  Maybe it’s being partially surrounded by damp, fresh smelling, clean cloth.  Or maybe it’s the stolen moment of quiet that I get to spend outside in the sunshine.  Who knows.  Who cares.  All of those things are pretty darn good. 

 It doesn’t take a lot of concentration, but it does take some practice.  I had to learn to hang the shirts upside down so the shoulders wouldn’t have wonky points.  I learned to hang my underwear on the inside of the rows so unexpected guests won’t see them (Sorry Rob).  I’ve learned to leave myself a sticky note to take them OFF the line because laundry left on the line overnight just isn’t a good idea.  And I’ve learned to give everything a good shake before folding to remove stray bugs. 

As luck would have it, I was giving one of Abi’s shirts a shake and a crayon fell out.  Had I put those clothes in the dryer and not on the line we would have lost yet another load of clothes to the ravages of colored wax.  I’m hooked.

Yes, the towels are a little scratchy, but they absorb better.  Yes, my jeans are a bit stiff, but I don’t have to hitch them up quite as much during the day.  And yes, there is the occasional surprise rain shower, but I can use the exercise.

It costs approximately .57 cents to dry a load of laundry.  If I do about 5 loads a week, that works out to $2.85 a week.  For a year that comes to $148 that I could be spending on cupcake liners or snow globes.  You know, the important things.

Click here to read another Ode to a Clothesline.

On another outside themed thought – Steve and I volunteered for ‘Keep Seminole Beautiful’s’   invasive plant removal at the Central Florida Zoo this past Saturday.   It was raining and cold, but surprisingly fun.  We got to go beyond the perimeter fence of the zoo and go trudging around in the swamp.  Did you know Florida had 13 different kinds of swamps?   We pulled vines, dug for air potato plants, and tried not to fall in the mud.  I haven’t been to that zoo in over 20 years but it still looks the same.

fun things to do this weekend!

This weekend is chock-a-block full of  fun things to do!  It’s enough to make me throw down my cleaning rag and my vacuum cleaner and spend some time out of the house. 

While Steve and I have pledged to clean and organize the house from one end to the other; one room at a time, there still has to be room for fun stuff, right?  Last weekend was a bust, too (from a cleaning standpoint.  Birthday parties and Superbowl parties took precedence).    Next weekend we should be back in business.

But THIS weekend we have free admission to the Orange County History Center which has a fantastic costume exhibition going on now.  And then we’ll head over to the park on Park Avenue. It’s Bach Festival time, people.  There will be a free concert in the park on Saturday, followed by a free showing of Love Story.  If we didn’t have the Abster with us we (ok, I) would totally stay to watch it.

So here’s a new picture of Abi, looking very much like a teenager – ‘OK, whatever Mom’.