Monday, June 27, 2005


This baby girl will always have a place in my heart. She was my Latty's dog and one day, in the trenches of Cleveland, OH, she decided to take a walk and left the front yard while Latty was distracted by a ringing telephone. While searching for her we'd heard that a young black guy had a leash, snapped it on her, and walked away with her -- just like that. And Taij went with him not realizing anything was amiss. Taj was a baby doll and wouldn't hurt a flea regardless of the reputation of pit bulls.

When Latty would bring her over to spend the night Taij would get in the bed and burrow under the covers. She'd have to have the spot by your feet. And of course I'd drive to Cleveland on her birthday. What else is a grandma to do?

Taij, we all miss you!
Love, grandma and Nugget
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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Size perspective

Now you can see how big he is. That's me and my grandson, Jake. Nugget does love those balls!!! He plays keep away with us. I have a pool full of them just for him!

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Me and my shadow

Here's a picture of Nugget and me together in the pool.
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He is my boy. If you could have a dog for a soul mate, he is that and more. I love this dog. I adore this dog. He is my best buddy.

And this December he will be 10 years old. In dog years that's 70. And the fact that he's a large dog, 130 pounds, makes him even older and gives me less time with him.

I'm noting the changes in him. He is stiff in the morning when he first gets up. His paws and face are turning gray. And he doesn't like the pool as much as he used to.

He doesn't like the pool as much as he used to!

It used to be that you couldn't keep him out of the pool. Now you have to coax him in and he gets out as soon as he can. And I had this pool and house built for him. Tile floors so he could have his occasional bouts of diarrhea without making me a basket case trying to clean it out of carpeting. And a pool filter that works best with dog hair, sand.

Last night he was sick. His tummy was rolling. With his head hung down I let him outside and listened while he was sick and eating grass in the dark. And then he came back into the house with his head still hanging.

This dog only eats the best of foods. I get the Nutro brand, Ultra ($40 a pop) and put a capful of cod liver oil on his food. I make his yogurt with raw, unprocessed milk, and he gets his joint pills on a daily basis. Of course he gets a lot of our food too which is, for the most part, unprocessed, whole foods and grains. He's spoiled.

And I love him!
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hazmat endorsement problems -- AGAIN!!!

I forgot to mention this over the weekend. More bureaucratic crap at it's finest. For those who read this blog regularly, you know I'm having problems getting my hazardous materials endorsement on my CDL (commercial driver's license), and have had one request (already) asking me to fill out the application form -- again. Well, I did, and went and had it sent back requesting a signed receipt, which I received last week.

I tossed it in my bill box.

And then on Friday there was an envelope in my mailbox from the DMV, Tallahassee, FL and trepidation filled me. Upon opening it, there it was, just as I suspected. Another request to fill out the SAME application -- AGAIN!!! I ran to the bill box and pulled out that signed receipt. It was signed for on June 13th. This letter was postmarked June 15th. WHAT THE HECK???

So I filled out the form -- again. I had my step son and daughter look it over. I found a spot that could possibly mean they were requesting the state my CDL was issued in so I put in Ohio/now FL in the box. I'm trying hard to cover all bases. I look over the form again and again and all the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted.


This form is a standard form. A basic application. But unlike the computer, it doesn't highlight in red pertinent areas that are incorrect. It could be anything, any line, any box that is incorrect. Now does that make any sense to you?

But how can you screw up something so simple? All they want is your name, previous name. Address, previous address. Color of hair, eyes, and weight. Driver's license number and state issued. Like DUH!

Okay! I'll admit it! I took 20 pounds off the weight. I lied. I do not weigh what my drivers license says I do. Do you think they sent their spy camera and know I'm lying about 20 pounds??? You name it and there are at least 95% of us telling white lies about our weight!

What could it be???

It must be the weight. I'm sorry I lied!!! Not. That's crazy.

And I sent the completed (hopefully) application back to the office/address set up for resubmissions -- again. Imagine. A whole office for resubmissions and this background check has only been going on since March 31st.

God help us!

If it comes back again I'm calling my senator's office and asking for some intervention. I mean. Come on now. This is ridiculous. I have Mr. Mel Martinez's phone number -- ready -- and waiting.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Go Jesse!!!

Here is a picture of the couple. You can see the passport/military ID around the man's neck and I'm betting that he's more careful on any following rides.

No, I didn't get their names, but his leave from Iraq is much better now, and hiis wife did tell me that he was leaving next week to go back to Iraq.

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Jesse, the hero!

Jesse and I had had enough of rides for the day. So while the rest of the gang went on one last ride, Jesse and I decided to sit it out and rest our tired, hot feet. We sat on a bench next to a couple and didn't pay much attention to them. After a few minutes an employee of Busch Gardens came over with a long extending pole with a brush at the end. It was the kind you've seen around for pools. And then he starts trying to get something out of the tree. Well, never having been one to let curiosity kill me, I asked the couple what was going on. It turns out that it was a passport/military ID of the man sitting on the bench. He'd had it on one of those tags around the neck and off it flew during the ride. Now it was sitting waaaaaaaaay up in the top of the tree and it was so nondescript amongst the leaves and shadows I was amazed the couple had found it in the first place.

But the tree was too tall and the pole was too short. I told Jesse to shimmy up that tree to get this guys passport. And he did a bang up job. There were no branches on the lower end of it and he had to hug it up and climb it like a monkey.

But the employee told him he had to get down.

And the pole was still too short.

Finally, after numerous failed attempts at retrieving the passport, I got up and went over to the employee and said, listen. I've got an idea. Why don't you go for a walk and talk to whomever about how you've got a problem over here. Leave the pole. Jesse shimmies up the tree while you're gone and when you get back the problem will be solved. So he did.

And Jesse climbed the tree, we handed him the pole, and after a few pokes out came the passport.

Now before you're thinking, what the hell was that guy doing carrying that stuff around with him at an amusement park let me explain. Being military he, not only got into the park for free, but he also got continued favors at the concession stands.
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I just LOVE wooden roller coasters!

I was at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida, yesterday. It was hot, but it was fun, and we will be back.

Although I must admit, once you've been to the best, Cedar Point, there will always be something missing. Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio is THE BEST amusement park period. They are the roller coaster capital of the world!

Okay, enough said about Cedar Point. I'm now a Florida resident and have to make due with what's available locally.

Grrrrr ... I still CANNOT put a tag in with a link!!! I was trying to put in a link to Cedar Point. Just add the dot com after the name and you'll get it. Grrrrrr ...

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Meet Mrs. Itty Bitty

This is Patrick and his itty bitty wife, Melissa, from Orlando. Now this girl probably weighing 95 pounds dripping wet, is 6 months pregnant and eats and eats and eats some more! And she is tickled to death she's having a boy due in September. Congrats!
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Sister Susan too!

This was before the awful food. Ewww ... I couldn't believe the food was as bad as it was. A half hearted attempt at putting on the glitz and it failed terribly. But even the bad food couldn't break the spirit inside that hall.
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Ahhhhh ...

Now he's got a grin from ear to ear!
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Mike and Buddy

Buddy, on the left, won a trophy. He's not grinning as he doesn't know it yet. Both these guys are out of West Palm Beach.
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The Team Clown

Meet Andy, standing behind us. He is a character. Up and buzzing at it all the time. Always a joke and a smile. Best wished to his wife who didn't come as she was not feeling well. She's into a 3 year battle with the Big C (cancer).
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Here we go!

It arrived in yesterday's mail. A letter from the State of Florida. Dear Mrs. P, because it was lost, or information was missing, or problems there were problems with processing we request that you 'please' fill out the enclosed application form -- again -- and it this time it doesn't have to be signed by a witness.

Now people, let me share this with you. I knew it was going to happen. Even the gal at the DMV knew it was going to happen. She had me check that form very thoroughly and then she checked that form very thoroughly, and we both concluded it was filled out properly and totally.

Until yesterday's mail.

Now, because of the Patriot Act you must have a background check when you apply or renew your hazardous materials endorsement on you CDL license. Okay. I understand. Indiscriminate people might get a load of whatever and take it to wherever it shouldn't be .

But why do the wheels of bureaucracy move so slowly??? I took that hazmat test on May 11th. Yesterday, was June 8th. It's been almost a month and they've just now decided some info is missing.

And they did apologize for any delay this may cause.

And (this is a good one) they had a special address for people like me having to fill that form out -- again.

Hazardous Materials Resubmission Office
Tallahassee, Florida

I shit you not!

I am not kidding!

Do you think that perhaps I'm not the first one this has happened to and that you can probably concur that it happens quite frequently?


Since the law took affect on March 31st it's been supposed to take approximately 30 days, but it's been taking more than 60 (according to the same gal at the DMV.

Meanwhile here I sit, hanging around. So many jobs and nobody will take me seriously.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And here is my man

He's relaxing after driving through that stressful course. He did very well for his first attempt at this. He came in 18 out of 31 in his division.

Well done Harold!

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The best of the best!

In the state of Florida! Meet Wayne! He's a CSE driver out of Tampa, Florida and is heading to the nationals in August, which just happens to be, this year, in the state of Florida. Not only was Wayne astounded at his winning top dog championship, we all were astounded. He did a great job with the highly competitive 3 axle category.

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You wouldn't think that Wayne is a little excited would you?
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Here they are!

The drivers from Conway Southern Express (CSE) that participated in this years Truck Driving Championships (TDC's) in the state of Florida. This team did great! We took, not only 4 trophies in the various classes, but the Grand Champion of the state. Wayne, the 2005 Grand Champion in the state of Florida, is tickled to death. Don't believe me? Check out the next picture of him walking up to get his trophy after he heard his name called.
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