23 May, 2008

Making Memories

I knew a wise woman who once said her best decision was not working while her children were young. This way, she was able to work hard at making memories. Well this weekend is dedicated to making memories with my boys and family.

My mom's family decided to build a mountain/forest camp site outside of CooksForest State Park back in 1969-70. Ever since I can remember, this camp has been part of my childhood. We would all cram into a 2 bedroom cabin, loaded up with beds, and cots and such. It was terrific to be together for a weekend and we never were concerned with having only one bathroom for 15 plus people.

There was always a camp fire, marshmallows, deer spotting, driving through the forest, walking down by Clarion River, checking out the latest wears at the Indian Trading post, eating ice cream, and tons of wonderful home cooked food. Did I forget the games? We would play outside games, inside board games and put together puzzles 1000 plus pieces.

I have always treasured this place and it was the last time my mother's entire family was together before my grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack. It is a special place for us all and I really want my boys to know how lucky they are to have this place.

It isn't fancy, but it is our place. A place of memory making, forest smells and laughter.

This holiday weekend will be the last time we are able to go to the cabin. I imagine it will be a long time before we are close enough to take advantage of the cabin once we move to Florida. I am sad to leave this behind, but happy that this special place is with my boys forever.

20 May, 2008

FLORIDA HERE WE COME!

It seems I forgot to give the update on where we are going! Hubbie accepted the position with the Ritz late last week. We are headed towards the Ft. Lauderdale area this next coming month.

As I am not a fan of large water born tornadoes that tear up the coast line and produce high winds that will blow off your roof, I am a fan of job security and a destination that we can figure out to the best of our ability with a lower cost of living. My in-laws live in the area 6 months out of the year, so it will be nice to have some family around for the boys. With the lower cost of living, I may not have to work right away or just pick up a part time job. No more worries of driving in the snow, or having to pay outrageous heating bills. These are all things I am thankful for.

Now I just have to work on Trader Joes to open up a location near by!!!!

Sunny Florida, here we come!

19 May, 2008

Gaining Clarity

I am starting to get it together and feel as if I have direction, finally! Now that we have a destination that is more secure, we can move forward with the rest of the action items. It will not be easy, move from one place to another that I am not familiar with in 45 days, but I will do it.

I give thanks for at least giving me a direction to go in. This is a start.

17 May, 2008

The Truth on US as I know it...

There was an article allegedly written by Jay Leno recently that was forwarded to me by a friend. Regardless, who wrote this article or what the message states, my comments that follow are the real story!

Subject: WHAT JAY LENO HAS TO SAY ABOUT OUR COUNTRY

As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must
be true given the source, right?
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69
percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the
President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are
we so unhappy about?''
A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the
summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen
in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the
Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present
identification papers as we move through each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine
from around the world is just not good enough either.
H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen
TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a
gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?
Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the
world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens.
They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't
have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating?
Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark
days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?
Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk
show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.They are able to refuse to go
and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than
honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable''
discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out dis-contentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?
Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a
car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling
lemonade at the corner?
The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another.
Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he
would have done it this way......Insane!
Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and
appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu
and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'
Jay Leno


I tried to find the original source, but all I found was other blog postings of the same article.

My take on this follows:

Yes we have many things to be thankful for. However, we mustn’t loose site over the fact that our life is also difficult due to the social, economic, status pressures we face because we are in a “free” society. Many of us are in slavery to debt, meaningless jobs, unhappy relationships, abusive situations etc. Just because we are in the land of the “free”, doesn’t discount the fact many are suffering here in the United States, due to a system that is not really out to help us better our lives, in some cases.

There are many forms of injustice…. Jay Leno has a good life, able to afford what he needs and wants all the while doing it greener, cleaner and safer. It is easy for him to make wide sweeping statements like these and assume they apply. What he doesn’t know is that a family of 4, has been without their daddy for 2 months, living in a temporary housing situation, eating out of the cupboards, because that is what we have to do. This family is on the brink of bankruptcy, forced to move away from a support system the two children have grown to love. This family is not able to buy newer cars to reduce the economic pains and is not able to take advantage of public transport in our new metropolitan city. If the economic pressures continue, we will be in dire need if food becomes out of reach.

Our story is only one of thousands in this country of far worse stories. The worst offense is US citizens think it is okay. We do have it all and we can say what we want, do what we want and have what we want. It all comes at a price. For many the price will be paid sooner than later and there will be fallout. That is the worst, lying to a nation of what is real and what is not, as if the stories of the people is not something we can talk honesty about, we need to make it sound not soo bad. Isn’t that what Katrina was, a rude awakening to the US truth? Many of those families will never be able to regain what they had, no matter how large or small it was, it is unattainable now for them. They are still trying to rebuild!

Having lived in NOLA, I know the reality there. It is not as easy as this article paints it to be. I just think, we need to stop pushing the injustice we see and feel in this country under the rug. I know many people unable to heat or cool their homes. I represent one family that wore hats to bed, scarves inside to keep warm, because we were unable to afford our heat bill, so we turned it down to 58-60 degrees while living in Northeast Ohio during the past 3 winters. AND I AM AN AMERICAN!

13 May, 2008

Revelation

This post has nothing to do with the pending job offer. However I did have this amazing break through this morning after a sexually charged dream. In my dream, I was trying to save another female from captivity. She was being held be 4 men. We were all dressed in some sort of black leather futuristic garb with face paint and such.

After I freed her, she ran away and I was captured. As I was lying on the ground, thinking, "great, now who is going to save me..." the men were taking shots at kicking me and pushing me around. I remember looking at myself on the ground not feeling any pain. Then I had this thought, what if one of them rape me? I actually started to want one of them to claim me if you will. At which point one man did. He started to care about me and then once we were finished, we were bonded and made to be a couple. At this moment, I felt safe, as if someone now was going to care for me and I him. He was protective of me and kept all others away, as if he and I became the king and queen of this savage new world.

I awoke thinking how strange to be wanting freedom to wanting bondage. From finding comfort in a rape! Then I remembered a rape that occurred at a fraternity party.

There was a group of us at this fraternity house hanging out, drinking beer, listening to music. I had on a blazer, shirt and pair of jeans. The jeans had a small tear under my left buttock, maybe the size of 2 inches horizontally. It wasn't noticable unless I bent over and you couldn't see anything but bare skin. At the time, it was a little sexy for me to have on to reel in a boy, but not too sexy if I didn't want to show it. It seemed harmless.

But it wasn't harmless, because it sent the wrong message to the head of the group. He was very sexy and the type of guy I always went for. It worked, we went to a back room and he chose me. We made out, nice enough. Then he turned me around, ripped my jean leg off and just rammed it in. I was bent over a desk thinking, what the hell, I didn't say yes, he didn't even ask. This isn't what I wanted. I just wanted him to pick me because I was the most attractive/sexy.

I left the room, holding my pant leg in place, and quietly left. One of my friends came outside and asked me a question at which point I told him what happened and showed him the pant leg. I was mortified and just couldn't believe what happened.

This morning it all came to me. Woman are made to look sexy, attractive, beautiful and desirable. We want men the really handsome ones to choose us. We crave the attention as validation that we are pretty enough, sexy enough, something worthwhile.
As a child survivor of sexual abuse, I learned to use sex as a weapon. However at times it back fired when I was caught off guard. This part was one such occasion. How pathetic our society is that we use sexual behaviours, looks to validate our existence and worth. Sex is such a twisted topic for me, because I have been on almost every side of its situation. But truly, I only wanted to be validated for being chosen, not shoved on a desk, pant leg torn off and dick rammed inside of me!

Also is it okay for men to assume a sexy woman is theirs for the taking? And why on earth was my dream turned into comfort? After I was raped, I was saved? It was all okay? There is a serious problem with our society that we have taken a sexual act that was meant as a simple means of procreation and turned it into a taboo of power, love, hate, sickness.

Now I know I should have never played the game, because I wasn't prepared. I let myself down thinking I was fine. I set myself up, because this is what we are told to do, find the most attractive and lure him in. I still remember his name and the song that was playing when we went to the back room. He probably doesn't even remember the night.

12 May, 2008

Waiting...

Today the chef at RC was to speak with hubbie about an offer. Due to the RC's busy weekend, that conversation will take place tomorrow. So we wait.

Meanwhile, I am jumping at the bit to contact some of these housing listings and schools. It is a bit overwhelming as there are so many schools and I think I need to see them in person to get a better feel. The tuition costs are another hurdle, I am trying to ignore.

At least we narrowed the search down to a concentrated area of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Davie. We will consider the areas west if these communities are not what we want. SAFETY, Space, Garage, Hurricane Proof and commute... in that order. I know hurricane proof is a hard one, but I want to live somewhere with newer construction, away from water ways to avoid flooding, and oh of course, no access for alligators! Remember the story in the news a month ago, when the woman found an alligator in her kitchen? Yikes! NO Thank you! The boys are a little concerned about the alligators and hurricanes. Just more experiences for us to live through and laugh about when over. Remember the roaches or New Orleans? We certainly do!

So we wait....

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Now playing: Il Divo - My Way (A Mi Manera)
via FoxyTunes

08 May, 2008

Almost There... The Very Good News!

I just received the phone call I wanted to hear...

Hubbie flew down to Key Biscayne, Fl on the 6th. He met with the Executive Chef and others. He was given his whites and set off to prepare for his tasting. Around 11pm, hubbie called me to inform me that all was well, he was prepared for the following day's tasting. He also shared with me, that the hotel is having a staffing problem and is not able to maintain its staff. It seems the workload is more than the employees bargained for. This is not news for hubbie, 16 hour days are the norm in the biz.

However, this news set the tone for a more confident attitude. Before hubbie went for the interview, he was nervous thinking he needed this job...once he learned of this information, he felt as though the RC needed him more than he needed the RC! This type of information is just what you want to hear when you are vying for a job.

On the 7th, hubbie prepared the final touches of the tasting, met more upper management, pitched in and actually worked in Banquets - because he is a team player and just like that, and finally served his 6 course tasting. Afterwards, he met with the Chef and talked about the position and the food some more. It all went smashing.

Today on the 8th, hubbie called me with the news I wanted to hear! Before the interview, the chef set a salary figure out there. Not the figure I wanted to hear a couple thousand lower than I wanted. Today, the Chef discussed the range for the position and now we know there is 5.5 thousand more up for grabs! This of course just made my day!

Hubbie will meet with a couple more people and then catch up with a friend he has known since birth... literally. He returns to Boston late tonight and we anticipate a solid offer tomorrow. Possibly in a week, we will have our daddy back in Ohio for a week before he flies off to sunny Florida to start working. All of this is really terrific news and we are so happy to be returning "home" so to speak. We know the industry, many of the important players, and feel this is just the most solid move we could make in lieu of such a shaky economy.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow's high dollar offer!

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Now playing: Helen Reddy - Peaceful [Single Version]
via FoxyTunes

03 May, 2008

Cleaning

Once again I find myself cleaning, organizing, tying up loose ends etc. My in laws are coming into town for a couple of days next week. I am actually looking forward to it as the boys will have some different input besides me. It will also be nice to have someone to plan meals with and such.

With their arrival getting closer, I am trying to make the house organized and efficient. I strive to keep an organizing clean home ordinarily because I like it that way. I feel good when the house is kept clean and tidy. The energy flows better and it picks up my spirits to be in a nice inviting place. Springtime is also ideal for cleaning out, as it cleanses our living space too.

Of course in the midst of all this tidying up... I have found items that need new homes, found junk that I question why I bothered to lug around from place to place and found precious memories. It is nice. I just hope the organized fairies help me stay on track so I may accomplish my goals in one day!