Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Movin' on...southern style

Good morning! We are back from the Mayberry and have to say,,,,I might be movin' on from there.....
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Holy Toledo! I cannot make this stuff up since I am not a creative thinker...so here is what happened....

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The purpose of the two night trip was to work with the insurance adjuster, Otis, who had sent a proposal that was waaaaay off the mark. In fact, it was so off the mark and far from reality that dad did not respond to his emailed proposal since he needed time to decompress...in other words, he needed time not to punch Otis in the nose for:
1. dragging this reimbursement/adjustment out 9 months
2. not doing his job as our advocate
3. not being prepared
4. missing crucial information and items that were destroyed by the flood....

Also, our permit was denied (as you know) because the house is under the town's flood height (or something like that). Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

We had a mess on our hands.

So, we left the northeast Saturday afternoon and had Sunday to prepare for  Monday's meeting with Otis, the adjuster, Barney Fife, our builder, and the architects....Andy and Opie. Sunday was a beautiful southern day and I cannot remember the last time when I sat in a chair outside and read a book. I believe that most people call it relaxing. Me? I don't know  the actual feeling of relaxation, so I will call it "doing nothin' for three hours and likin' it."

Monday came far too quickly and everyone assembled at the uninhabitable southern house to strategize  and consider options. But first....Otis......

The goal of meeting with Otis was to call him out (nicely) on his flawed numbers and his lack of responsiveness to our requests...pleas.....to complete the project and send a check for damages. What happened was not predicted nor acceptable...Image result for where's my money gif

Fade to black....

We are standing in the demolished kitchen at 9 am...all of the cast of characters....mind you, this flood happened in May....then there was a hurricane....then silence from Otis because of the hurricane (which happened 6 months after the flood)....

Dad said...in a direct manner: "Your numbers are way off."

Otis immediately got defensive and said: "It's because YOU did not send me the numbers."Image result for where's my money gif

Let's stop here and consider Otis's reaction....is it our job to send him numbers? Isn't it the adjuster's job to look at the damage, analyze the findings and cut a check? Bingo, we are done. How the heck does it become our job to send numbers? Seriously? What numbers does he need?Image result for where's my money gif

Next, dad started to get hot, which he usually does not do during serious negotiations. He generally does not play his hand. But said to Otis: "You have not done your job and I am losing my temper."
Then Otis gets offended and starts to clean up his papers to leave.

Leave? Seriously? Where are you going? Uh, dude.....why are you packing up.

Then dad says: "let's go into the living room, I need to talk with you."

The four of us stood astonished in the kitchen and I could not hear what was going on but I knew that it could not be good. They came back and Otis had tears in his eyes...yes, I said tears....then he packed up again. Barney, Opie, Andy and I were flummoxed as he kept saying that we did not have numbers, he did not have the plans, how can he give a check when WE were unprepared. Mind you, we are working with a local guy whose insurance rates are sky high and is supposed to do his job.Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

Then dad said (much to my chagrin): "Fine, I am a distraction here. I am leaving and you can complete the work." Then he stormed out.

OK, Reader....here we are.....with a raging home owner and an inept crying insurance adjuster who is blaming everyone except himself. Why is this happening?Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

Otis prepares to leave for a 4th time and I say: "Otis, we came here with great expense and time to complete this project. Let's focus on the issue at hand and finish what we need to finish."Image result for mom melt down gif

Between his tears and tantrum, I thought that I was dealing with a petulant 4 year old. Image result for mom melt down gifThis is unacceptable, yet I could not storm out and had to be a big girl. Fortunately, I had my big girl panties on....OK, they are actually mom-underpants...comfie and do not cause wedgies....

Back to the kitchen.....

I began to plead with Otis....not in a placating way but using the leadership theory that I teach each Wednesday praying that it would work. Image result for mom melt down gifRather than attack Otis, I guided him to focus on the issue. Let's go...right now. We have a list of the damages....you don't....come on...room by room...take notes....listen to what we are saying....create a spreadsheet...send it to the guy or girl who cuts the checks and disappear. I had to say this 5 or 6 times, finally Otis's eyes cleared and we moved him into the office to review the damages.

He kept saying "I need numbers...." Yes, that is your job....to either create numbers or ask for them in advance...let's say 6 months ago....

He also said " I don't have the house plans. I was working off the Servo Pro professionals who cleared the house from the water." Guess what, when he showed me the house plans, they were hand written on a napkin. It gets better....

AS we went from room to room...and thank God for Opie. She had the plans and photos to show him. She was definitely our advocate and went through the rooms and showed Otis the damages and what had to be done to restore the home.

We got to the back room and the closets had mold as pointed out by Barney. Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gifThen Otis looked at me and said: "Haven't you been running the air conditioner? "

Huh? The air conditioning? Is he freaking kidding me? No one lives here. No one can live here. Why the @XGSEE*)*&!! would I run an air conditioner? For the dead lizard in the living room or the spider building a web in the office? Is he for real?? Image result for mom melt down gif

AS we finished, we moved back into what I call the former kitchen, 'cause it can be anything now from a play room to a sauna since it is gutted and empty. Opie says to Otis, "I can send you the house plans.""Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

Andy said: "I sent you the plans in a .pdf months ago..... Remember?"Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

BOOM! A sonic boom went off as Andy dealt his hand. Otis had the house plans months ago and chose to work off the napkin schematic. Yes, folks....game, set, match.....Related image

Otis, then admitted that he had the plans and had forgotten. Sheesh!

it was then that my allergies hit me and I needed fresh air.....Image result for where's my money gif

As I stood by dad in the front of the house, Otis stormed out, turned on his car...and sped away. Image result for where's my money gifSigh....

While dad was outside, he called the person who sold us the policy and Otis's boss. He expects a call today or he takes this debacle to the insurance commission. He was calm. I was a bit shaken by what had happened as Otis presented himself as a good ole boy who enjoyed a beer or a six pack and a comfie chair with his remote control.
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As we reconvened back to the house, we began to address the next issue....the missing permit....stay tuned....it gets even better.Image result for mayberry Barney and otis gif

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Got to go to step class.....

Friday, February 24, 2017

Movin' on...bits and pieces

Good afternoon! I finally have my energy back (sort of) after being under the weather for the last 4 days....no work outs....no happy hours.....only work and looking for remedies to open my nose up again. Image result for sneezing gifI really appreciate the ability to breathe especially after allergies got the best of me this week. Hopefully, I will be able to get back to the gym tomorrow....since I have already lost the Biggest Loser.Image result for sneezing gif

Happy birthday to Betty....a very cool dude who has an Einstein-like mind. We played Trivial Pursuit once. Betty was the first to go and won before anyone else got a chance to play. Needless to say, the inner competitor in me does not play TP with Betty anymore.Image result for birthday gif

Also, godson Descartes is running in the state finals this weekend. I never knew that he was so fast. His relay team is situated in first position based on time. Wish I could go....BUT....Image result for relay run gif

We are headed south to work out some important issues on the house renovations. Here is the latest debacle....when Barney went to the township for the permits, they denied them. It seems that FEMA has established a 15 foot something or other rule that will not allow anyone to renovate a home that will add a significant value to it. The architects let us go through time and expense and never mentioned this new law. We had the land surveyed and now we cannot go through with the planned renovation. Keep in mind that the house in uninhabitable since a pipe burst in May. Therefore, it is unusable. Nice, huh? Also, our insurance adjuster seems to be keeping the money in a locked account somewhere in the Cayman's. There is no sight of a check or reimbursement for our losses. When does it end? Ummm....let's say...never. Related image

On to another issue, Tink and I derailed the little train that could and we were the team that gained weight rather than lose it. The man who won, lost 18 pounds in 6 weeks. He was awarded $400.00....nice! Last year when I came in third, I got a pat on the back. Next year will be different. I vow to take better care and lose the extras or at least tone up more. Image result for losing weight gifThis year I worked out but did not follow Weight Watchers, so I stayed the same weight and became apathetic. Looking back on it, I did make some poor choices when it came to food. I guess I can say that I am weak....yep....weak....No willpower.

How is the big kid? Well, he is working two jobs and saving his money for law school. Next week, we travel to New York to check out another school. And so it goes...hit the highway and head north after I return from the south.Image result for road trip with mom gif

When do I work? I laugh....whenever I can squeeze it in. Image result for road trip with mom gif

OK, I have got to finish laundry before leaving tomorrow.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Movin' on to thinking about work

Good afternoon! It is a nice sunny day in the northeast as I sit and think. Yes, I should be working but I don't want to...
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Anyway, I want to send my condolences to Sparky. Her lovely and witty grandmother passed away this week. Also, a shout out to Wildcat who is home with a wicked virus. Be well, kiddo.

Yesterday the folks, Big Sis, Tink, Uncle T and I took a road trip to New Jersey for yet, another funeral. Sparky's grandmother was laid to rest. For Sparky and her family, this is the fourth close funeral in one year. We agreed yesterday, that it should be the last for a while. Although...who has control here? Me?

Definitely not...If I had control....omnipotent control...the world would be even crazier than it is now.

Hmmmm....power....what would I do with it?Image result for powerful gif

Well......Let's see if I make some sense here....Keeping it somewhat light....

~There would be no puppy mills. Yep, abolish the puppy mills even though I believe that our beloved twin Malteses were once in a puppy mill. I think we rescued them.Image result for maltese puppies gif

~Disco would not make a return...except for the BeeGees...but with two out of three singing on the big stage in the sky, I would say that ship has sailed.Image result for beegees gif

~No more super huge gas guzzlers on the road...I can't see around them when I turn...nothing taller than a jeep.
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~It's OK to have a gun...but bullets are banned.

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~Cancer is gone....finito! Let's tackle heart disease because there will be no more cancer.

~Yoga pants would be allowed at work. Don't mock me. They are THE most comfortable pants in the world. Give it a shot, men, and see what you think....although....upon further reflection....I take that decree back. Yoga pants for the gym only and off before heading to the supermarket.

~All children would be fed three solid meals a day plus healthy snacks and a cookie. No more hunger. People with extra will share with those with little.Image result for powerful gif

~No more cyber bullying...that is downright mean. The computer will be taken away for a lifetime from those who are mean spirited and deliberately hurt people who are vulnerable in this world.

~There will be shorter lines when going through TSA  in the airport. Plus, snacks will return to individuals in coach. There will be more legroom and a free movie and head sets for everyone. Naturally, free drinks....Image result for powerful gif

~Internet will always work.

~St Elsewhere will come back on television. It was my favorite show.

~All housewife shows are gone. Sorry, Andy Cohen, but they burn awful images in my mind.

~~Airfare rates should be reasonable. People need to travel, right?Image result for powerful gif

~All cakes and pies are 100 calories tops even if they are not.

~My car would have a portable propeller on top to lift me out of traffic when I am stuck.

~Pants will always fit... in fact, they will be a bit loose.

~Philadelphia Eagles will finally win a Super Bowl.Image result for powerful gif

That's all I can think of, except, perhaps the cost of college would drop making it more affordable for the average person. Image result for powerful gif

OK, back to work. Since I took yesterday off, I need to catch up on my online class. The students have been waiting a few days for me to appear in cyberspace. Although, I have to say...I really enjoy teaching online. I can work in my robe and slippers...no make up...messy hair....cup of coffee on my right or left...it does not matter. Image result for working gifI am supposed to appear in short videos to explain concepts but I have a hard time figuring out how to post them sooooo I find better ones on the internet. I doubt if the student care if it is me or someone from Ted Talks giving a lecture.
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Off to think about work...yep, I am thinking about it....thinking....thinking...thinking....thinking......
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Movin on.....Sweets have been swept out of the house

Good morning! Finally, Valentine's day and a plethora of birthdays are over and I can go through detox and jump back onto my Biggest Loser diet. Each day now begins with an egg white and not a left over piece of cake. I have eliminated all sugar products from the house to get rid of the triggers.

Cakes: Gone!

Cookies: Gone (except for the 8 boxes of girl scout cookies Tink bought....some BL partner, eh?)

Ice cream: None

Candy: left over from Christmas in the freezer. I am not one to lose a filling over a frozen Twix bar...however, I can 'break in case of emergency.'

Face it, I am weak and need a weekly weigh in to stay on track. I begged the director of the gym to run another weight loss program this spring to get into shape for the summer.

All in all, it has not been a waste of time. Several terrific things have happened since I have been on the gym circuit.

First, my knees are less sore and swollen. I can walk up and down steps with minimum discomfort.

Second, I actually look forward to boot camps and training. There is a great feeling that I get after I finish...which is probably related to the knowledge that I survived the work out and am not in an ambulance on oxygen and a cardiac monitor.

Third, I have dropped down a size in my pants which means that I had to order pants that actually fit. In the past, I would be looking for bigger sizes or a discrete elastic band in the waistline (don't judge!). Today, I use a belt to keep my pants up over my "not so petite bottom."

What is a "not so petite bottom?" Well, if you are a regular reader, you know what a not so petite bottom is...for new readers.....

Fade to black.....

We took a family trip to Italy and landed up in Florence. It was toward the end of the trip and I could not wrap my head around why the Italians looked so amazing each day. Each one looked more amazing than the next...Finally it dawned on me...I whispered to dad....



"Leather...they are all wearing leather coats and look fabulous." This was not an indication that their apparel was the only reason for their good looks BUT in my shallowness, I thought that the leather coats were pretty dang cool adding to the allure of the population.

On to my big purchase....we landed up in a leather factory in the basement of a church. Wow! The coats and cases were beautifully crafted...yet "oh so expensive."

When I say "oh so expensive", I mean "ouch"....Sorry, no can do...want to get home without hitchhiking in the airport.

Then we walked around the square and landed up in a boutique. I tried on a short jacket that I loved. I looked in the mirror and thought..."OK, this works."

Then dad appeared. "Turn around," he said.

I turned and he said: "get a longer one."

Huh? Longer means more fabric/leather which means more expensive.


"Well," he whispered. "It covers up your  'not so petite bottom.'Image result for long leather coat gif

Hmmm. I guess this was his way of telling me that my butt was big. If I was not in the middle of Italy and would be facing assault charges in a foreign country, I may have clocked him in the head. Instead, I closed my wide opened mouth and asked the clerk to bring a longer coat to cover my derriere.

To this day, I have the coat. it is well made and has held up better than some of my locally made coats and jackets. Yet, when I wear it, I think of the 'not so petite bottom' crack and chuckle....'cause .....he was right. My bottom was more than not so petite....it was a full moon.

OK, 'nuff said about leather and its ability to make the gluteal region shrink. Perhaps we have discovered something new....Image result

By the way...one last thought...what the heck happened to Richard Simmons? When the kids were little, I had several of his Sweating to the Oldies tapes that I would do in the basement while they played. Is he still alive? Sick? Retired? Someone who exercised so much should have lots of energy and stamina and be aging gracefully, right? Therefore, why isn't he out there on the golf course with the rest of the retirees?

Hey, this is another random thought...I read that a 75 year old golfer was grabbed by an alligator in Florida and dragged to the lagoon. Fortunately, he had his putter in his hand and swung at the gator's eyes. The gator finally let go but he had three puncture marks in his foot. This is enough for me to leave the clubs in the garage and stick to fighting sharks in the ocean from my beach chair.

Enough....sorry to bring you on a convoluted journey. it is the way my mind works on my class day.

Gotta run and do some squats to minimize the not so petite bottom.