Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Florida Fun

Okay, I think this beats my frog in the toilet story. Nice to know this occurred just a bit north of us.


In other news, our neighbors lawn, which they just re sodded a couple months ago, is slowly being destroyed by a two foot long nutria (which is essentially a giant rat). It is burrowing under their lawn and apparently, according to google, can be quite ferocious. Joy! Upon discovering this, our neighbors called animal control. But oops, there is no animal control in Hillsborough County. Double Joy! Especially since we live right near a conservation lot, which is brimming with critters of all kinds.

Okay, who's comin' to visit? Come on...

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. Several things have recently transpired in my life that have provided much food for thought. I'm fortunate to have a strong group of friends that I value dearly. Now that we have moved to FL, all of them are far away, which makes keeping in touch challenging. I'm at a phase in my life where I am constantly busy with the care of a toddler (soon to be preschooler, gasp!) and preparing for a newborn on the way. I know come July, craziness will set in and keeping in touch with anyone will be that much more difficult for those first months of newborn haze. But the experiences I've had the last several weeks have made me more determined to do just that.

I recently received an email from a friend forwarding ultrasound photos of another mutual friend. I was delighted to her that my friend was pregnant and decided to email her. We had been friends back when we were both living in San Francisco. It was so great to hear back from her and catch up on the last few years of her life. I've thought of her often over the past several years, but we had dropped out of touch. I'm now very excited to watch from afar as she becomes a new mom and experiences all the joy (and challenges) that brings.

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with another friend whom I talk with several times a week. She was feeling really down and frustrated as her daughter was having some health issues and she felt like she wasn't providing healthy enough meals for her family. This is something almost every mother I know struggles with. Now that I'm a full time SAHM, I have much more time to pursue my passion of cooking. And one thing I'm trying to do is incorporate more veggies and healthy recipes into our weekly meals. So I sent my friend two books that I thought would help her jump start the healthy habits. I knew she wouldn't have time to get them right away and so I made a quick order on Amazon and off they went. When I got the call that she'd received them, it made my day that she was so happy about it. I didn't expect anything in return, it just felt great to do something nice for someone I care about.

And in true karmic form, last week, I received an unexpected care package from another girlfriend. She totally made my day! We all know how great it is to get an actual letter in the mail these days, since it's so rare. To receive a package on top of that was spectacular! It was some soothing Burts Bees belly butters for expecting moms and one for the new baby. I was so surprised and touched by this thoughtful gift, I had just this huge smile on my face while reading the note. I'd been meaning to call my friend for a few weeks to let her know we'd found out we were having a girl, but for one reason another, hadn't gotten around to it. I called her that day and we had a great chat. She's one of those people that everytime I talk with, I'm thinking, why don't I call more often?

Then, a few days ago I read this piece on my friend Sherry's blog. She too has been thinking about friendship and like me, is far from many of her girlfriends. I keep up with Sherry mainly through her blogs and love hearing about her life in Ireland. Again, she's a friend I don't regularly chat with, but if you're reading this Sherry, do know I think about you often!

Good friendships are very rare and I think more difficult to keep strong when distance and time become a factor. Once one has a family, trying to keep up with the day to day pace of work, kids and home leaves most of us little time or energy to call or email old friends. But if you stop to think about it, not much is more important in our lives than our relationships. So if you're reading this, I encourage you to email or call a friend you've been thinking about this week. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, April 07, 2008

You've Got Mail

Well, Dean actually. He was greeted by this big daddy a couple days ago.

Meanwhile, this afternoon I discovered that only in Florida can you be walking out to your mailbox to post a letter, startle at the lizard in the mailbox enough to jump and have a total stranger who happens to be walking by right at that moment say "lizard?" and smile. Gotta love the lifestyle here.