Friday, September 28

A Message from the Hub

Hi everyone - Cassie sends her regrets. We had just gotten back from Alaska when a family crisis required her to fly to Virginia with her mother. She will be back next Tuesday but, unfortunately, we have to fly to Chicago on Wednesday morning. My 86 year old aunt passed away recently. We have been taking care of her and paying all of her bills for the last couple years. She follows her brother, my dad, who passed away in April at the age of 88. It has been a tough year and I'm not sure I could have handled all of this without the support of Cass. She is a damn fine lady and has been wonderful to me. I am a very lucky person.

Anyway, I know she wants to fill you in our trip but let me spill the beans a little bit. We had a blast! If you have never gone to Alaska, go! If you have dreamed about going to Alaska, go! When Cass and I went for the first time in June 2004, she fought me tooth and nail. This is a lady who was born and raised in Miami. She had no interest in going to Alaska. I finally convinced her to go for 16 days. She was mad and not to happy with me. However, on our second or third day there, she looked at me and said "Can we move here?".

Again, my wife is amazing. We went with another couple, good friends of ours, who didn't commit until a week or so before we left. We (generic we that all Hub's use) had to shift into high gear. Cass went into overdrive and found all sorts of neat places for us to stay. The one that was over the top, though, was in Homer, Alaska. At the last minute, she found this place for us to stay. It is an old shrimper from the Gulf of Mexico that was brought to Alaska to help in the Valdez oil spill in 1989. After that, it fell into disuse and some guy bought it, renovated it and moved to a bluff about 1200 feet above the ocean. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room, full kitchen, big screen tv with satellite and wireless internet. We stayed there for 3 nights. Only Cassie could find this. I wanted to post a picture of our view but can't figure out how to do that. Homer is a beautiful town and I encourage you to go and visit.

Okay, enough from me. This is Cass's blog and she just asked me to say that she will be back in action on Friday or Saturday.

The Hub

Friday, September 21

Still In Alaska...Still Lovin' It !!!

There are not words to describe what we have seen on this trip, but here are just a couple of pictures from the first two days!! Understand, folks...where we are traveling the cell phone service is scarce and internet almost impossible to find. We have shared this incredible experience with some dear friends and at dinner tonight we all agreed..."11 days in and still laughing!" The first picture is of our cottage on a bluff in Seward, AK. We took it from the beach below with the sunset behind us.

Look at this! Stellar Sea Lions on a rock in Kenai Fjords National Park. We were on a day trip to see glaciers and all kinds of cool critters and this is just part of what we saw!!

Can't wait to share everything with you guys...hang in there...we will be back next week!!!

Tuesday, September 11

We Must Never Forget

For Those Looking For Ear Candy

Music, Music, Music! Can't live without it and it is a HUGE part of my everyday life. Some of you have been inquiring about the cool jukebox I've got going over there, so here's the scoop:

When you get there, click "Stations" at the top of the page. Oh yeah, baby..thousands of songs, all in neat little categories and you can even play a sample of whatever you want to hear. There is also a "Search" tab to find your absolute faves! Easy Peasy and you will get lost in it! I like it 'cause I can sign in to my blog page, minimize it and have all my favorite music while I do whatever else I need to do. I have about 300 songs on there, so that's like a whole days worth of good stuff!!
Go. Try it. You'll like it. Trust me when I tell you's E-Z.

Monday, September 10

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You !!

Look at this, people! The very sweet Ms. Kari has bestowed this honor on me and I do thank her from the bottom of my heart!
So, in good spirit I pass this on to:
the talented Ms. Stacey, the sassy Ms. Em, the sweet Ms. Tonya (I have forgiven you for the crack about going back to the ballerina career..HA), the creative Ms. Cathy, that paintin' fool Ms. Steph and the oh so inspiring Ms. Tracey. Thanks ladies for lifting us all up!

Sunday, September 9

Christmas Give Away!

No...not by me. It's the old "bait & switch". You better just git on over to Just Living Large and let Kari ("Her Royal Highness Of All Things Brite & Shiny" as most of us know her) know you want to be a part of the action! many random acts of kindness going on. Wonderful.

Seasonal Delights

Looking for a way to get Fall started? I'm talking about recipes,(is there anything better than pumpkin pancakes?) autumn crafts and beautiful pictures! Stop by and see Kelli's wonderful online magazine "Seasonal Delights"...she's even offering a FREE 1 year subscription for the month of September! Hurry up...don't miss it!

Saturday, September 8

ALASKA 2004 & 2006

These are just a few of our favorites...enjoy!!

ALASKA  2004 & 2006
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Friday, September 7

Seals and Otters and Bears...OH MY!

Yessssss.....we are going back to A-L-A-S-K-A!! I say "back" because this will be our 3rd trip and this FL raised girl just can't get enough! We've been tossing this around for the last several months and just couldn't make up our minds. In 2004, we did the whole land tour/cruise thing in June and just had a blast and in 2006 we went back in March for the start of the Iditarod Race...and it was amazing. But, our dear friends have agreed to join us so it's an official old fart party and we can't wait!! We will be leaving next Wednesday and have 10 days to see SW Alaska..the Kenai Peninsula. This should be quite an adventure since we are flying into anchorage and renting a tour guides this time.

Been checking out just about every hour and it's gettin' chilly! There may even be a few snow flurries and that is just the absolute best! I know Susie and Kari are sweltering...wish I could just pack you guys up and take you with me! I will have to post some pictures of our previous trips so you can compare them with what will be coming your way...NEXT WEEK!! sweating for 10 whole days...seems like a dream.... ;)

Thursday, September 6

The Stress Test Gave Me Stress...

I have spent the entire day...and I mean entire, as in 9:30AM until 5PM trying not to stress over my stress test. It started out okay...a follow up for my sensitive, yet pleasantly plump, tummy. No pain? Check. No cramps? Check? Medication Refill? Check.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Off To Cardiology I Go....and I managed to be a few minutes early. Must have been my nerves, because we all know I am always 15 minutes late. Always. Even though it just happened today, the details are already a bit foggy. I was led back to a small office with a sign over the door that identified it as the "Injection Center". What am I doing here?? Just as I was sitting on the edge of the seat...don't want to look like I want an injection...I was told to change and put on two gowns. "Follow the gowning technique" Eva Braun said. She must have seen the "are you kidding me?" look on my face because she pointed to the sign on the cabinet. I squinted my eyes and said "I know the gowning technique." I don't think she bought it.

Okay, 2 gowns and an IV later, I'm sent to a waiting room with not enough chairs and a TV with the volume so low that only a bat can hear it. "Drink 2 cups of water" and on the second sip of the water, I'm called away. Efficiency. Echocardiogram finished within about 15 minutes and back to the no chair waiting room. New cup of water and then I'm called again. There are warning signs everywhere about letting someone know if you are pregnant or breast feeding...I told the tech I was breast feeding. I don't think he bought it.

Nuclear test for the treadmill. All I can think of is losing my balance while I'm going 3 miles an hour on a 15% incline and shooting out into the hall with 2 gowns flapping in the breeze. But, much to my surprise I finished the test without falling and went the entire distance...however they measure that...without embarrassing myself or any of them. Now, the waiting for the results. Of course we hope that there is nothing out of whack, but then I just totally out of whack? They say that women's heart symptoms are different than men's, so I just have to go with the whole "better safe than sorry" deal. I am thankful my Dr. feels the same way... ;)

Wednesday, September 5

Career Review

No kidding. Being a Realtor sucks. I think people are under the impression that we just make scads of money on every transaction...and, really, how difficult can it be to just go around and look at other people's houses?? Please.

Okay...the market is slow, the commission rates are down..but, a HUGE part of this job is customer satisfaction. That's not a bad thing because Real Estate sales are part of a service industry, I think. But, where do you draw the line? I have a listing for a very sweet, but slightly off her nut, lady and she thinks I am going to come and prepare her house before the showings. What? I have no problem with arriving early, lighting some candles for ...ahem...ambience, but I am not going to come and wipe out the corners because you only like to vacuum once a week!

Being in Central FL, there are a lot of out-of-state buyers looking to move to sunny F-L-A. I am working with a buyer in Massachusetts and his house is under contract as of yesterday. He has been down here several times and we have looked at what seems like every available house in this area, so today I get an email asking if I will go to a house that is no longer For Sale and talk to the owner, who has decided not to sell and see if I can change her mind. What?

Maybe I'm just getting tired of unhappy sellers and buyers. I can't help it if there is no one to buy your old house. Maybe if you priced it somewhere in reality, allowing for the fact that you have no grass, the refrigerator sticks half-way out into the kitchen entrance, you smoke inside like a fiend and everything you own is covered in cat hair, someone would buy it. He would have to be blind and have some kind of smelling disorder, but it could happen. And, I can't help it if someone has decided not to sell because there were no buyers when she was ready to sell, allowing for the fact that you had me take you there three times and made the lady prepare her house and leave for over an hour while you stood around and said "Hmmm-this might work."

Anyway...I have no idea what I would like to do. I was in the medical field forever and really do miss that an awful lot, but that's not practical at this point in my life. I know this is something I have to figure out for myself but I know somethin' has gotta's too short to be unhappy.