Category Archives: Life

Damn air conditioner!


My dad once had to deal with an A/C issue and apparently had some words for it as he attempted to fix it. As a result my older brother’s first words were “damn air conditioner.” True story.

This morning we had to get a new A/C and I find myself saying those same words.

While it’s true that we knew we needed to plan for a replacement unit soon, we did not expect it to happen now. My crystal ball fails me.

The sickly ironic part was that we were having a conversation about our debt snowball last night. Shortly after that hubby went to lock up the house for the night and, from the hallway, I heard him say “oh, we have a problem.”

Immediately images of awful problems flooded my mind, such as well…a flood. Or a cat with a broken leg. Or another leaky light switch.

Crazy to think I was a little relieved to hear the A/C wasn’t cooling, huh? It wasn’t another flood and the cats were both fine. We are fine. Yes, we are. So it was set to the low 70’s and it was stuck running at 80. Not uncommon in Florida…our A/C units freeze up and need fluid often. But the line wasn’t cold like it should be, so there was some concern that it was bigger than a frozen unit that needed to thaw. The line wasn’t clogged so we had to wait to get the prognosis from the repair guy.

Of course, this was at 10:30 at night. And of course this was the night before hubby was going to be on shift for 24 hours beginning at 8am. And he is at the top of the order-in list, so chances were good that he would be ordered in for Friday making it a 48-hour shift. Of course. Of course I would have to deal with this on a day that he is on shift because nothing ever happens on the days that he is home and able to take care of it. *shaking fist*

He went into problem-solving mode and called our go-to A/C guy. He left a voicemail. Of course he wasn’t going to answer at 10:30 at night. Why would he?

So we turned off the unit and slept in an 80-degree house. It was lovely. *sarcasm dripping – or is it sweat?* Oh, sure, we opened windows…to let in some of the “cool” 78 degree September Florida air. We also brought box fans into the bedroom…to push the hot air around.

This morning at 6:30, hubby’s phone rang. It was the A/C guy. Thank god. He would stop by the office to get his tools and his truck and then he would be on his way. Now the dilemma for us was deciding who would stay home to let him in. Hubby decided he wanted to be present to hear what the guy said and decide what to do. Because chances are good that if he went to work there would be many things keeping from being able to talk to me about what was going on. It’s likely there would be a violent car crash, structure fire, and three codes in a row while I needed him on the phone…because Murphy loves that shit.

So hubby took care of it. Compressor failed…it’s 12 years old. He was good cop and I was bad cop as we discussed price. Tomorrow afternoon we will have a brand new unit installed. And, as a perk, we will get all new copper! Because the expense of the unit should be sweetened with this perk. Ah, the things we get excited about as homeowners. Now I only wonder if they will let us keep the old copper so we can sell it to help pay for the DAMN AIR CONDITIONER. 🙂

What is “pre-tirement,” you say?


I make up words pretty often. My boss keeps a list.

This evening I was reading about a fellow blogger who is challenging the norm. She quit her job and decided that she did not want to wait 40 years for retirement.

So she left it all behind and moved to Bali. What?! I am impressed. Truly.

I thought I was brave but I am Not THAT brave.

This triggered a series of thoughts.

1. People wonder why hubby and I travel so much. It’s simply because we are doing it while we can. We enjoy each other. And we enjoy traveling and doing things together.
2. Hubby will be able to retire before the age of 55…as long as they don’t keep stripping the benefits for high-risk folks like firefighters. Unless I find a long lost rich uncle, I will not be retiring at that time…if ever. Isn’t that sick? So why not enjoy each other and our adventures now??
3. I need to do the things I want to do before I can be content with having children…if ever we decide on that. Don’t give me the crap about how you can still travel with kids. When we are traveling I am keenly aware of those who are traveling with kids and they seem absolutely miserable.

Although we won’t be quitting our jobs and moving to Bali, I made up a term for our lifestyle.

I am officially dubbing this time in our lives as pre-tirement.

Get it? It’s retirement…but it’s pre…before we are old and unable to enjoy life like we do now since I will never be able to retire…ah you get it…

Read The Four Hour Work Week for more about different ways thinking differently about retirement.

My promise to other homeowners


I just need to vent for a moment.

What has been going on with water intrusion in our house is frustrating, angering, maddening, and seemingly never ending.  When I tell others about what is going on with our recent War with Water, most people are blowing it off as “part of homeownership.” Frankly, I’m tired of hearing that.

They have said it for everything that we have experienced as far as the downside of homeownership goes.  “Yep, that’s the joy of owning a home.”  It comes across as unsympathetic and inconsiderate of the fact that we are frustrated beyond reason.  To me, it’s equivalent to seeing someone fall down and then waking by shrugging and walking away, then turning around and making a comment about why that person fell “well if you weren’t skipping along enjoying life…”

I can’t decide if people who say this are just oblivious to the fact that I am about to lose my mind over a constant stream (no pun intended) of household issues or if they are trying to make me regret the decision to buy a home.  I would by lying if I said I have not had thoughts of regretting buying a home these days.  Sometimes I wonder if new home construction would have been better…because it’s likely I would have been onsite everyday micromanaging the construction to make sure it was done right.

I worry day and night that the water intrusion will cause mildew and mold in our house, which will render it unsellable in the future, should we decide to resell.  This has caused me a loss of sleep that is only making it more maddening.

Here is my promise to all other homeowners – even those who have “shrugged and walked away” in response to our recent issues:

I promise to always be empathetic to all things that are “just part of homeownership” because it doesn’t make it any easier to be told that it “just comes with the territory.”  I will assume you knew what you were getting into when you made the decision to buy.  I will do my best to help you brainstorm what the problem might be, if it is of unknown origin.  I promise to never make snide or sarcastic remarks in regard to the “joy of homeownership.”

The War with Water




Today I went to lunch with a coworker who has become a friend.  We were engaged in great conversation and enjoying lunch.  By the time we left the restaurant, I realized I was taking life for granted.

Near the end of our lunch, the fire department came in with a gurney and as the restaurant fell silent everyone wondered what happened (as humans do).  It is truly amazing to see a room of people fall silent and then become concerned for another human being in unison.  It improves the perception of the human condition, for sure.

Hubby being a fire fighter, I texted him to ask if he knew what was going on.  When he texted back few moments later, I learned that there was a 70 year old man having a heart attack.  The fire department medics were working a code in that restaurant.  (We could not see what was going on because it was in a different part of the restaurant.)  For some reason this hit me like a ton of bricks.  This guy was out having lunch and was hit with a heart attack.  Whammo.

We left to get back to the office.  We both left with this man and his situation weighing heavily on us.  We hoped he was ok.  We hoped the people he was having lunch with are ok.

I assured my coworker that I knew he was in good hands because the fire department is well-equipped and I felt sure that man was in good hands.  And, that’s with my bias aside because my husband works for the department.  I know they’re good at what they do.  I trust that they did everything they could to help that man.

I don’t know for sure what the outcome of his situation will be.  I do know that I was taking life for granted today.  If everything happens for a reason, then that may be what I was supposed to learn from this man’s situation.

I don’t know who he is or even what he looks like, but he will remain in my thoughts.  Life is precious.


My Roaring Twenties


A week ago, on May 26, I turned 30.  As this milestone birthday approached, I was initially a little frightened of it.  I didn’t want to have to say I was thirty…and later thirty-something.  I watched as many of my friends turned 30, and I was inspired by many who pledged to rock their thirties.  Then, I decided to do the same.  In fact, I realized after much introspection that I am 100% happy to have my twenties behind me.

I have taken some time to reflect on that decade of my life.

For starters, turning 20 was just “eh.”  I was beyond my teen years, but still not of a “respectable” age.  Meh.  Indifference.  Basically still a teen in college.

My 21st birthday was one of my more memorable ones.  My parents took me to Vegas, where I gambled and we saw shows.  I also went to Red Rock Canyon for the first time, which I believe changed me forever.  During this trip, even the last 20 minutes before going to the airport were memorable.  Here’s a brief summary:

Mom: Help me get rid of some of these dollar tokens.  (back in the day when they had tokens instead of tickets…I’m old, I know)
Me: No, I’m tired, just cash them out.
[Mom shoves the tokens into my hand and says “play” with that “mom” look in her eyes.]

I didn’t play dollar slot machines.  Pennies and nickles were my speed.  I was just learning.  Walked over to a machine and sunk in three coins (max bet).  clunk, clunk, clunk  I hit for $7 and thought that was pretty good…so I cashed out.  Still ready to go I looked over at my mom who signaled me to just play.  To the next machine.  I sunk in another max bet, and played for awhile actually hoping to just lose the money I had.  I sat there in a dumbfounded stupor (which isn’t hard to do after 10 days in Vegas) pressing the Max Bet button repeatedly.  The good news is the machine was letting me play…which is good. 

The next thing I knew, the Max Bet button stopped working.  I banged on it some more and nothing.  My mom looked over at me gasping.

Me: I broke it!!  Malfunction voids all play!  I lost all that money! [as my mother approaches my machine, I thought she was going to be upset]
Mom: No, hunny, you WON!!!  [as she laughs in excitement, shaking me]

We examined the payout thing at the top.  Yep, I won $2000 just before our cab pulled up.  All of the attendants and many of the staff came over to congratulate me, as they had become familiar with me during our stay. 

It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

At 22, I had a quarter-life crisis.  I’m not sure many folks know, but I had a near breakdown and a full on crisis.  I had too much going on, and learned in this year of my life that I truly, most certainly, cannot control everything.  I was working two jobs, graduating college, trying to get into grad school (what was I to do with a BS in Psychology), and going through a major breakup after four years, dealing with a PSYCHOTIC roommate who threatened to kill me resulting in anxiety attacks and charges filed for assault.  To top it off, my Nana died.  That crushed me.  In a nutshell, things were exactly opposite of how I had envisioned they would be at that age.  I thought I would be getting married…starting a life…and certainly believed my Nana would be there to see my college graduation AND my wedding.  I am what I call a recovering control freak since this year of my life.  Still wishing I could control things, but content in knowing some things are just beyond me.

At 25, I struggled with knowing I was a whole quarter-century old.  That was mind blowing to me.  Seems silly now…but it freaked me out.

After 25, things seemed to turn around.  I just let go and decided to “just do me.”  I didn’t need anyone.  Family was my foundation and that was all I needed.  I became independent, perhaps to a fault, as I worked to pay bills and make something of myself…and for no one but me.  I dated around.  I met lots of people, and learned many lessons.

At 27, I met the man who would become my husband.  He is the calm in my storm and I have no idea where I would be without him.  My family loves him and, despite saying he didn’t like cats, my cat has taken to him as the alpha male.  Yes, he stole my heart and my cat!  No worries – we got another one who is my shadow…an annoyance.  🙂  I asked for it.

Since then, wedding planning and buying a house have been our major milestones together.  Two levels of hell I wish to never experience again.  =)  I also made some conscious decisions to eliminate a few people from my life.  I determined that they were cancerous to me and that my friendships with them were very one-sided (meaning I was the only one putting in any effort and I was the one who could be relied on through thick and thin).  That’s ok.  It had to be done.

So…I’m actually really looking forward to my thirties and I am happy to see my twenties in my rear-view mirror.

Here’s to rockin’ my thirties!

Update: Violets


Two days after receiving the violets I noticed two of the three blooms are wilted.  I suppose that was supposed to happen…right??

I mean, flowers wilt.  I didn’t think it was noteworthy so I didnt get a picture.   Also, I figured it was the beginning of their demise in my care.

This morning I woke up to find one of the cats playing with something.  Upon inspection I discovered it was a leaf from the violets.  *sigh*  As if I needed help killing them.

I figured they ate the violet and wondered if they’re poisonous.

But, when I checked, they hadn’t eaten it.  Secretly, I wish they had destroyed it.  Then the death of the violets would not be my fault…not directly anyway.

Here are the violets now: