August 30, 2004

Toys In Baghdad

Chief Wiggles announces that the toys have finally made it to Baghdad!! And they have pictures!!

While the situation with Atlas has not been completely resolved, according to the Chief, the lawyers are still working on it.

Posted by Tammi at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)

Best Laugh I've Had in a LONG While

You have got to read this. Seriously - it's the perfect way to spend a few moments on a Monday.

Click over to Laughing Wolf, read the warnings (and heed them) and then follow the link.

Honestly - it's so worth it!

Thanks LW!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:33 AM | Comments (7)

THIS is a Must Read

You have got to read this editorial on

It starts out with this:

A whirlwind seems to have engulfed the Kerry’s campaign blowing it off course and threatening to submerge this floundering vessel. Senator Kerry as a young naval officer never faced a tempest like the one he has encountered coming upon him with the fury of a Hurricane Charley in waves of criticism lashing at his actions both during and after his brief service as a swift boat commander. Judging by the Democrat’s furious reaction to this unexpected change in weather in poll ratings, this political storm of rebuttal is doing some real damage to the facade that has been the Kerry campaign. The public must also be bewildered and wondering why Kerry’s Vietnam involvement of over 30 years ago should rate such high importance in this year’s campaign. It matters for two reasons. One, because John Kerry says it does and two, because this deep-seated emotional drama has given the voters a glimpse into just what John Kerry’s “One Amerika” might entail.

Then there is this:

Why does this remain a fervent issue after 33 years? Because John Kerry remains unrepentant of the harm and disgrace that he personally has brought upon so many who honorably served their country’s interests. His small-mindedness and selfish ambition prevented him from seeing the enormous good that was within his power to do.

And it just gets better.

Seriously - click on over and take the time to read it. Yes, it's an editorial. It's someone's opinion. But it's one that I agree with, and one that is worth putting out there for others to see.

Posted by Tammi at 08:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Taking My Medicine

After my delightful evening with Bou and her boys, I had to put the game face on and hunker down to prepare for an ugly training session. (I'd much rather have gone to Sea World and seen the Manatee poop!)

On the drive home, I started running through my presentation. I've given this particular training about 12 times now, so I know the content. But one can never be too ready, especially when you know you're not heading into friendly territory.

Had trouble sleeping, just kept running every possible scenerio through my head - wanted to make sure I had everything covered and didn't end up standing in front of everyone with my virtual pants around my ankles.

Got up around 5:30 and realized I didn't have any coffee. Holy Shit. Folks, this is not a good way to start the day - EVER. So I made a pot of tea and just tried to focus. Stopped by Publix to pick up my coffee cakes (that I had called ahead for) and, wouldn't you know it - they didn't have what I needed. So, I bought a couple of crumb cakes and headed out.

I arrived at 8:30 for my 9:00am meeting and went in to prepare. Took the cakes into the break room and put everything out. First thing I noticed? No one would talk to me. Seriously. I'd say hi - they'd look right through me. Ok, I can deal with this.

Headed over to the product I was training on, checked to make sure it was working correctly, took notes for follow-up and got everything ready.

Training booklets, check
Backup documentation, check
Black book for notes, check

I really wanted to grab a cup of coffee from the break room, but given the vibes I was picking up, I thought that might not be appreciated.

I walk the floor, checking my product, taking notes, attempting to engage some of the Sales Associates in conversation until, finally, it's 9:00.

Everyone gathers round and I stand in front of the group. In my minds eye, looking down, I felt like that prisoner standing in front of a firing squad without the blindfold. I would have the luxury of seeing the bullets as they sped towards me.

I start out the presentation with an apology. I tell them I understand they have not recieved the attention they need, or deserve. I will not offer any excuses or reasons, it's time to put up or shut up. I'll be visiting regularly from now on and will allow my actions to speak rather than my words. Now is the time to move forward and let them know how grateful I was for the opportunity to talk with them about this product.

In to the training we dove. It was not pretty. Not one positive thing was said. Not about the product, not about me. Shots were taken, but I managed to stay standing. At one point my credibility was questioned. And it was by someone higher up in the store. They all but called me a liar. In front of everyone. That is the one time the smile slipped and the "look" was reveled. I looked this person directly in the eye, lowered the tone of my voice and gave the date, time and facts surrounding the event we were discussing. Ended the statement with "that was the week before I went into the hospital".


I then smiled, looked around and moved on.

After it was over I spent another hour talking with those that would talk with me. Some of the Associates have some very hard feelings towards me, I don't understand why, but I'll deal with it.

When I left I sat in the car and chain smoked 3 cigaretts, then stopped and got a LARGE diet coke. Came home and just crashed. Literally - I slept for 3 hours that afternoon.

But the hard part is over. I taken my lickin' and kept on tickin'. In all honesty it didn't go as poorly as I thought it would. I can do this. But ohhhhhhh that was so hard to face on Saturday morning. I don't EVER want to have to do that again.

Posted by Tammi at 07:50 AM | Comments (8)

Lofty Company

A while ago Harvey established the Little Right Wing Circle Jerk, which was founded on these 2 principles:

1) Information found on blogs is at least as accurate as information found in the mainstream media.

2) It's morally wrong to hijack someone else's blog.

He has announced his choices for the First Ocassional Jerky Award, and your humble scribe is named. And I'm in some pretty incredible company. WOW.

James Lileks of The Bleat

Matt of Blackfive

Lynn of Reflections in d Minor

Jeremy of iRi

Bear at The Truth Laid Bear

Again, what lofty company I've been placed in. I highly recommend you head over to Harvey's, and witness this first every Jerky Award for yourself.

I do believe in the power of Blogs. And I have to say, I believe in those that I read. Some are for fun, some are for education and some are a combination of both. But those that are on my blogroll, those that I read daily, I have faith in. I believe what they tell me - oh not blindly. But I don't have to. They have proven themselves over and over. They provide links and research. To me, they are a valid and important link in the chain of communication.

Thank you Harvey. Thank you very much.


Posted by Tammi at 07:23 AM | Comments (3)

Letters From NYC

Michele at Letters From NYC is right down in the middle of the protestors at the RNC.

She tells us about the frustration of just trying to get home from work with the circus in town. 12 protests as of Friday, and it doesn't even really get going until today!

Here's some information on a Bomb Plot that was foiled, and not even reported on for the most part!!

For a glimpse into what she is Seeing and Living with DAILY during this convention:

For the first time I saw momentary states of anarchy at various locations. The whole point of rallies and protests are for people to express their opinions, so they can educate those who are not aware of their point of view. What has amazed me is what little of that is going on and how virtually no information is available as to who they are and what their protest is about. The unifying motive/theme for the protests seems to be their hate of Bush and wanting the troops to be brought home tomorrow.

And there is more here.

This isn't some "news event" on TV. This is her life. This is what she and her friends and family and thousands of others must contend with daily until the RNC is over.

Keep Michele and all those in NYC that are just trying to live their lives in your thoughts and prayers. Keep checking back with her to see what's REALLY going on in the street. Leave her a note letting her know we're thinking of her. I can only imagine what she's seeing hearing and dealing with.

Posted by Tammi at 06:48 AM | Comments (1)

August 29, 2004

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

And he's comin' in July 2005!!!!

Today's the last Saturday in August so I thought I ought to click over and check out how my Bucs are doin. Oh I fully realize they beat Miami Saturday, I only wish I could have been there. No, I need to check on the status of the QB's and the Wide Recievers, see how Joe J is doing, you know, catch up on things.

Well let me tell you - I had one very nice surprise. They are announcing a 24hr cable network just for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!! Unless you know me really well, there is no way you could possibly know how excited I am about this.

I will watch football and football content shows anytime I can get one on the TV - well that and when I have time.

Folks - I think I just found hog heaven. And I only have to wait for a year!! WooHoo.

Posted by Tammi at 08:21 PM | Comments (1)


I'm the first to admit I LOVE a good time! I missed all of that in my 20's. Heck, I went from traveling with a (bad) band, doing the hotel circuit, to wicked step mother in the course of 6 months at the age of 22! Talk about a life style change.

So, when I got my divorce in my early 30's you can bet I had some things to make up for. I went out every chance I got. I loved the clubs,the drinking, the dancing, the drinking, the music, the drinking, get the idea. A lot of my friends from home advised me that I was behaving more like a man after a divorce than a woman. WTF does that mean?? Women can't cut loose? Yeah, right!

But I find now when I think about a good time, it's a totally different scenerio. It still involves music, but a bit quieter - so we can have a conversation. It still involves my friends, but in a setting where we can relax and just enjoy each other's company. There's still a bit of drinking, but I wake up the next morning with no after effects - we sip cocktails not slam shots.

I have an event coming up. It's a good friends bachelorette party. A group of us are meeting for a nice dinner then hitting Pleasure Island. We've all "played" together often, as we were on the same team at work and did a lot of traveling en-mass. But I'm not really looking forward to it. (can I say that out loud?) Oh, I know I'll have a great time, but I'd rather get the chance to talk with them, find out what they've been doing since we were split asunder. How are the kids, the husbands? You know - talk.

Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy puttin on the ritz as it were. Hell, my wardrobe is still 1/2 "party" clothes. But, I just don't know if I have the same level of excitement I had for the whole club scene. I love to go dancing, but it's different. I don't want to go with a "pack". I want it to be a special evening. You know - intimate.

I hate to think this means I'm getting older. I prefer to think it's a gentle mellowing. A realization that the focus should be on the people not the event. Whatever it is, it's really surprised me. I don't know when that shift occured, but it's obvious now.

So I think I'll plan a nice little gathering, a spot of dinner, some drinks, good music on the stereo and some people that just make a room light up. Yeah, now THAT sounds like a good time.

Posted by Tammi at 10:12 AM | Comments (7)

August 28, 2004

No, not again.....

I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Posted by Tammi at 07:58 PM | Comments (2)

What Draws Us?

Blonde Sagacity has a beautiful post up covering some very good questions. Why are some of us so drawn to the military bloggers? What's behind a little boy's obsession with GI Joe? When do we develope this love for our Military? Are we born with it?

Go and read it. She talks about heros, admiration, gratitude. It's beautiful, it's moving and it needs to be shared.

Posted by Tammi at 11:20 AM | Comments (1)

I had the BEST time!!

As you may remember, I met up with Boudicca and her crew last night for dinner. It was the best evening I've had in a very long time.

*BTW Teresa, I was wishing you could be there! That would have even made it better! We missed ya!*

Let me start out by saying Bou has the sweetest, cutest boys I have ever met. I'm not kidding. They charmed me from the get go.

It started out a bit crazy, but it was all my fault. I wrote down the wrong hotel. Caught up with her on the phone and straightened everything out quickly. I arrive and let her know I'm in the lobby. They head on down.

It's funny - I didn't see the boys at first, but recognized her immediately. And all I knew was that she was petite. She looks exactly as I pictured. Then I saw those adorable boys. Have I mentioned how much I love kids?!?

Anyway - we get all the greetings out of the way and then comes the very important decision on where to go for dinner. I'm easy. Plus, I remember how difficult it can be sometimes finding a place that meets the approval of children. Son #3 wanted steak. There was no doubt in that. He made sure we knew exatly what he was looking for. And ladies - lock up those daughters in a few years. This boy is gonna be a ladies man - that is obvious with the first smile and look he throws your way. After hearing what everyone was looking for, we head out to Houlihans.

We get settled in and orders are taken and the fun begins. Son #2 is kinda quiet. So I ask him if he's the strong silent type. He just gives me this sweet smile and nods his head oh so slowly. OK - he's not really! ;-) He began to regale us with wonderful stories of jelly fish and a test that he doesn't remember what it was about, but knows he did really well. Then we start to talk about all of our various injuries and what hurts more and who has the best scar. I laughed more than I have in ages.

And Son #1. *sitting here smiling and shaking my head* What a darlin' he is. (Bou, don't tell him I said that I don't want to embarrass him.) He is so well spoken and tells the best stories. We had a nice chat about Boy Scouts and why his brother is in but he's not. We talked about school, and (again) compared scars.

All in all I think Bou and I said maybe 10 words to each other, but I so enjoyed that meal.

They decide they want to swim. Will I come and watch? You don't have to ask me twice. I was having so much fun it would have taken an act of congress to get me to leave! So back to the hotel, bathing suits located and goggles choosen. Off to the pool we go.

The boys swam while Bou and I had our chance to chat. Folks, let me tell you. She is one hell of a lady. Funny, smart and, well just everything that you pick up on in her writing! And yes, we talked about ya'll too!!! But I'm not spillin' any beans. Just know, we agreed. We are both really glad we started this little hobby and appreciate our "family" so very much.

Anyway - it's time to call it an evening. They need to get up early for SeaWorld, and I'm heading to a very difficult and stressful training class early the next morning. As we walk to the elevators and I say, once again, what a great time I had Son #3 looks at me with those beautiful eyes and asks if they will see me again on Saturday.

I melted. Heck, it's been so long since ANY male asked that, but for it to be this sweet boy I was done. I had to say no, explained that they were off to Sea World and I had to work but told them NEXT TIME they had to come to my house. My pool needs little boys to play in it and my grill needs something to do.

Bou laughed and said they'd probably hold me to it. I certainly hope so.

All in all - a WONDERFUL evening. Bou - if I didn't say it often enough last night, thanks for letting me join ya'll. It was exactly what this weary road warrior needed.

Posted by Tammi at 10:55 AM | Comments (5)

Saturday Question of the Day

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes:

Which is your favorite of the Four Seasons and Why?

No Negatives Allowed. No, I hate summer because..... nope. This is the Happy Thought Post!!

My favorite season is fall. When I lived up north I loved the changing of the leaves, the crispness of the air. I couldn't wait to go and take the drive through the country and see how beautiful the trees were, all dressed out in their best colors. Windows down, the air just felt lighter.

I remember raking big piles of leaves, building bonfires at night. The best camping is always September. New jackets, hoodie sweatshirts.

Hayrides and halloween! As a kid, I would always start constructing that precious and all important Christmas list right around October 30. Needed time to make sure it was just right! :) The anticipation of the holidays really starts to build.

My favorite part of fall? Football. Saturdays watching the Irish kick ass! (well, we did for a while there - it's my fantasy, leave me alone!) Sunday afternoons spent gathered around the television, everyone sporting their team's gear, tables piled high with any number of munchies. Cheering and coaching your team along. Good natured heckeling, challenges being issued and it never failed, someone would start with the "remember when and we'd all have to listen to the Glory Days recollections of a fan whose team has seen those better days.

Yeah - I love the fall.

What about you? What's your favorite season?

Posted by Tammi at 06:20 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 27, 2004

Funny Stuff

Go and read this, then read this.

Blogdaughter Lee Ann is showing that wit I know so well. Hurry - we all need a few good laughs today!

Posted by Tammi at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

I was gonna surprise you...

but since the cat is out of the bag I'll spill.

I'm havin' dinner with Boudicca and her boys tonite! Yeah!!

She is being the wonderful Mom that she is and taking the boys to Sea World. So we're gonna hook up for dinner tonite.

We've talked on the phone, and I have to say - it was like talking to an old friend. So I'm sure we'll have plenty of laughs and conversation. Plus, I can't wait to meet the boys.

This is going to be a blast!!!

Posted by Tammi at 12:41 PM | Comments (4)

Freedom Calls Foundation

What a very cool thing. I first heard about the video calls in a post over at Sgt. Hook's. It really touched me to read about how much those few minutes seeing his wife's face meant to him. (original story on his old site - it's gone. But trust me, it brought tears to my eyes.)

Now, over at Keystone Military News I find out about the foundation that makes these calls possible.

Think about it for just one minute. You are seperated from those you love for a long period of time. Every day is a gamble. Every day you wish you could just see their smile, look into their eyes. Think about it. Then click over and see what you can do to help make this happen for more of our men and women away from all they know and love - and for those families waiting and worrying each and every day.

Posted by Tammi at 09:49 AM | Comments (1)

Carnival of the Recipes - Week 2

It's Here! It's Here! And there are many many good things AGAIN!!

Head on over to Beth's place and check out all the goodies!!!

Geez, I hope I have enough ink in the printer!

Posted by Tammi at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

What A Girl Wants

I've been thinking about this post for a while now. It actually started with this piece over at Boudicca's Voice about Relationships and why woman gravitate to bad boys so often as well as a comment I left there. My blogfather, Harvey, suggested I do a post over here in response to that. Then I see this post at his place talking about the length of time between when you meet someone and make that matrimonial leap. Got me to thinking.....

I'm divorced. Have been for almost 9 years now. I'll be very honest, when I decided to leave my husband I truly believed I would be single for the rest of my life. Why? Because I will NEVER settle again. Never. And, despite what anyone may think, I don't do "social" real well. Oh, I'm fine in a work environment, but I can be a bit standoffish out in the real world. The reason for that - trust. Or lack there of. But that's another post. I also realized that what I am looking for, actually what I need in a partner is very difficult to find.

Let's be base and talk about the physical first. I'm 6'2" tall. I wear heels. I don't want to feel like a giant. I want to feel "normal". So I have a 6' minimum. Seriously. I know that limits the field, and I'm alright with that. My ex was shorter than 6' and I've dated a couple of guys that were also. After a while it became an issue for THEM! Now let's be serious, I haven't grown since I was in college - way long time ago. I've been this height for many years. I wear heels and don't make any secret of it. So the fact that my height becomes an issue to them after a while tells me that they have other issues to deal with, and that just happens to be the one they can articulate.

That leads to other, more personal criterias. I am looking for a man that is secure in himself. Has opinions and is not afraid to express them. Has lived life and has learned the lessons. I am a strong woman. I have strong opinions and yes, I do express them. I want someone that will not be afraid to disagree with me. I want someone who wants things as badly as I do. And is willing to go after them. I don't want a victim, I don't want another child. I want a Man.

BUT, that being said, there is a difference between strength and brutality. There is a difference between wanting things and wanting to control things. That is where so many woman inadvertantly fall for those "bad boys". I know I did. A couple of times. The first one took a while to see clearly, the second I cut and run in short order.

Now, I don't believe I'm being shallow, but it's highly possible that I'm wrong. There are reasons I feel the way I do, things I've experienced that I don't want to experience again.

I enjoy conversations. Very much. Especially intelligent, thought provoking conversations. To have those, one must be talking to an intelligent person. Don't you agree? I enjoy humor. Hell, if you talk to someone that knows me well, the first thing they'll comment on is my sense of humor. I need to laugh, I need to hear others laugh. Humor requires intelligence (at least the humor I enjoy). I have social engagements. Yeah, times when I am forced to mix socially with my customers and other professionals. I need a partner that can hold his own. I want to know that, if we get seperated, I don't have to worry. They can carry-on without me and do just fine. Sounds silly? Well than obviously you've never been in the reverse situation!

I need someone that I can trust. Someone that keeps their word, and says what he'll do and do what he says. Pretty simple. But hard to find.

I want somone that has a life of their own. That I can share, not dominate. I love little calls during the day just saying "hi" or "love you" or "how's your day". Not those calls that accuse or belittle. I want someone who cares about my life but doesn't want to run it.

I've lived alone for 9 years now. When I was married I was not allowed an opinion or a life. I like having my independence. I like saying what I think and feel. I want someone in my life that understands and respects that, but also insists on the same treatment. That's called partnership, that's respect. I bring a lot of living to the table, and I want to continue to grow and learn. Sometimes that is best done seperately. Girls nites out are a good thing. So are boys nites out. It keeps things fresh, it keeps things real. You can't live each other's lives. At least I wouldn't want to.

I don't pretend to speak for anyone else. This is what I'm looking for, this is what I need. I have a good life. I'm just fine by myself. I'd love a partner to share it with, to add sunshine and such, someone to hold during the rough times, someone to dance with in the good times. But I won't settle. I don't need to.

Posted by Tammi at 08:07 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Did You See It?

So did you watch the replay of the opening of Kerry's testimony on C-SPAN last night? Did you catch the "warm-up"? I did, and I really want to share my thoughts on this.

Son Of A Bitch. Yeah, that about sums it up.

I don't watch a lot of T.V. so it really was an event for me. I grabbed a bottle of beer and my smokes and settled down on the couch with as open a mind as possible. I don't like Kerry, I've mentioned that before, but I also had never seen or read his testimony and felt it deserved to be heard. I don't like to judge a person without knowing as much as possible.

Son Of A Bitch.

So, they start out with the ads. I watched the first SB Vets ad, which I had already seen on line. Then it's a Kerry campaign ad. Slaming Bush. OK - I've heard that one before. Another SB Vet ad. Saw that one before too. Then they have a Kerry ad showcasing McCain and Bush, where McCain is talking about how Bush really hurt him in the 2000 primary's by allowing a fellow Veteran to state that McCain had forgotten the Veterans. He looked at Bush and told him he should be ashamed of himself.

Stop. Right. There. I remember when that happened, and I too was a bit disappointed in Bush over that. But, what the hell is McCain doing in a Kerry ad? You all may have seen that one already - but I sure as hell haven't. Plus, help me understand how that will show me how Kerry will run our Country. How does that demonstrate his leadership ability? How does that show where Kerry stands on the issues?

But I digress. Let's move on to the testimony. It made my blood boil. It may have been over 30 years ago, but it was everything that I heard it would be. Here is a transcript of the complete testimony. I could give you a blow by blow reaction to each thing he said, but who really cares about that. I'm just the average American that is trying to understand the issues. I'd rather you read the testimony yourself, form your own decisions and then offer the same to others that have not read it for themselves.

But what I will tell you is that what he did was wrong. Wrong Wrong Wrong. And I am addressing his testimony and actions not anything else. What he shows here is that he is capable of ANYTHING to further his purpose. It was obvious to me that he was angling for a political career at this point. More than obvious. I cannot believe that someone who has as much American Blood on his hands feels that he deserves to be our President. And I can easily see how the our enemies in Viet Nam used his testimony for their purpose. Hell, they might as well have sat down and helped him write his speech.

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

They then opened the phone lines after the replay, they had a line for Bush supporters, Kerry supporters and Veterans. I had to walk away from the T.V. at that point. I could hear some of the calls from the office, and wanted to call in myself, but didn't think I could pull off a rational reaction to the show at that point.

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

Bottom line. He Sold Out His Team. He Sold Out His Brothers. He Sold Out America. Yep, that's my opinion and you aren't going to change it.

I'll put it in simple real world terms. If he were interviewing me for a job, I'd turn it down. I would NOT work for someone like that. I'd never trust them. Ever. So you can bet, given the fact that he is asking Us to hire Him I'm going to do my part in making sure he doesn't get that position. I thought that way before, but hearing his testimony and re-reading it later sealed the deal for me. I DON'T want him to be the person that has this country's future in his hands. I don't want to have to trust HIM to keep me safe.

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

Posted by Tammi at 07:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

I Learned Something, again

I've always heard it said that you should learn something new every day. Well, one place I go each day to learn a fun fact is over at Wait 'til Next Year. And he got my attention today. Let me share:

A cultural centre in Amsterdam has installed sensors in its toilets that tell users if they're taking too much time.

And when someone is spending a lot of time in the little room, one can hear him make funny remarks such as 'Do you know that during this 50 minutes you've spent in the toilet, 50 people have died in wars all over the world?'

Just imagine this. You're sittin' on the throne, maybe a little hung over or just really still sleepy. You're either reading or drifting in thought and suddenly a voice starts telling you maybe you've been in there too long?!?! A voice? As in someone talking to you?? While you on the crapper???

I have a friend that has serious bathroom issues and this would make her head explode. Having lived in a dorm and a house of woman, I don't have a problem holding a conversation while "doing my business" but I'm a bit creeped out by the whole idea of this. Timing me? Telling me little "facts" while I'm in there.

No, I think I'll pass. Oh, and any of my friends thinking of getting one of these? Be sure and post some sort of notice. You might not like the reactions you might get!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 04:25 PM | Comments (3)


Thanks to Greyhawk at Mudville I've got something to watch on TV tonite.

C-SPAN is airing the Viet Nam Hearings from 1971, featuring none other than that famous Presidential candidate JFK. Oh, and as a bit of introduction, yeah, they're showing the Swift Boat Vet's ad.

Hmmm....popcorn, beer, pillow to scream into. Yeah, I'm ready.

Seriously, we need to let as many people as possible know about this. Let them hear him for themselves. It starts at 8:00pm EST.

Posted by Tammi at 03:36 PM | Comments (5)

A Real ROAD Warrior Day

I'm so tired. Really, that's probably the understatment of the year for me, but it's the best I can come up with.

Traveled to SW Florida to visit some of my stores down there, to apologize for the lack of service they've seen lately, to let them know I appreciate their continued support and to make sure everyone was doing alright after Charley's little visit.

The visits themselves went very well. The first two stores are made up of long term employees. They know their stuff and really make me think when I'm in there. I like that! Plus, to me it speaks volumns that in a retail enviroment the turnover in this account is so very small. Good managers make good sales people. I wish I could spend more time down there.

The only really thoughtless thing I did - I dropped my cell phone when getting out of the car. Yeah, it was pouring, I mean pouring. I gather my stuff together and my mind is on a million things. Open the door, get the umbrella up and stand up. WTF?? Oh Shit. There goes my pretty new picture phone floating down the raging river that has developed in the parking lot. So there I go, oversized golf umbrella, bag-o-shit slipping off my shoulder, skirt and heels, chasing this damn phone through the pouring rain. I finally caught up with it (no I didn't fall) and made it inside. The phone is ruined. And No, before you ask, I didn't have the insurance. I know, stupid stupid stupid. But I didn't have the money at the time I bought it and every penny counted. Oh it still counts, I'll just be counting it out for the new cell phone.

After visiting the two southern most stores we headed north to Port Charlotte. Port Charlotte took a very heavy hit when Charley blew through and it was a sobering sight, to say the least. I couldn't take pictures since the dropsy episode, and for that I am sorry. Let me see if I can even begin to describe what I saw, heard and smelt.

The closer we got to the area the worse the smell was. Even in the car with the windows up and air circulating It Stunk. It smelled like shit. It WAS Shit!! That and the Gulf of Mexico had been so stirred up that everything from the bottom was on top, the beach had dead fish and just stunk. I have seen a lot of damage around here - but nothing like I saw in Port Charlotte. First thing that struck me was the piles and piles of trash. Insulation from buildings, siding, carpet, you name it, it was piled up. Then, as you're driving through business districts you see hand painted signs declaring that they are Open For Business!!! Signs offering free ice and water. Every where power crews scrambling to restore electric. Roofs being repaired, even as it rained. Blue tarps were everywhere, trying to keep the damage to a minimum. Everywhere you look, vehicles with ladders. Texas, Illinois, Georgia. Everyone had that dazed, exhausted look. But there was something else in their eyes. Determination. And Gratitude. At one point I hear a woman on the radio call in and request Lee Greenwoods, Proud to Be An American to thank all those that have come down to help the victims of Charley. Geez, that started the tears to really flow.

We pull up to what used to be my customer's store. It's a tent now. These people are working out in this heat and humidity, dealing with storms almost daily, using port-a-potties with no niceities what so ever, and they greet ME with a smile. They thank ME for coming. I've never been so humbled. I just shook their hands and told them how sorry I am. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. PLEASE tell me if I can help. I left all of my pens there - I was supposed to share with the stores in Orlando, but these folks didn't have any pens!! I think the other stores would understand. I dug through my back seat and found some pads of paper, so I left those. I found a couple of "gifts" from a while back and left those too. Heck, I even checked out the magic trunk to see what I had. Sometimes it really pays to never clean out your car.

We stayed and chated with everyone for a while before heading back to Orlando. I just cannot express the class, courage and fortitude these people showed.

The drive home was a long 4 hours. Especially without a phone. I think that's the longest I've been without the opportunity to talk to SOMEONE in over 2 years. But I got a lot of thinking done. I thought about some posts I'd like to do. I thought about my business and what I need to do there. I thought about my friends and family and any number of other things. Even with the raging storm (yes another one!) and the insane traffic, I got a lot of thinking done.

But my final thought when I pulled into my driveway was how good it was to be home, and how very lucky I am.

Posted by Tammi at 07:35 AM | Comments (3)

August 25, 2004

When You're Good, You're Damn Good

Dana has done it again. Yeah - Linkifield Lyrics!!! This time it's Rough and Ready

It was Dana that inspired my attempt at this, and I'll tell you what - that was one of the hardest posts I've ever done. Damn, I don't know how she does it!

Go check it out - the links are great! (and you might even recognize a couple of 'em).

Posted by Tammi at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

Going Strong, but more to do

I just checked over at Hook-A-Thon and see where they have already raised $1,060!!!!!! WooHoo!!

The Latest and Greatest information is posted here.

While it's great so far, there is so much more that can be done and That Takes Money. So keep checking over there and do what you can. It's a very good thing.

And Dana - can I just mention how wonderful I think you are?! Oh, well, I do!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:12 PM | Comments (1)

THIS is Priceless

I found this news story over at my blogbro's place, Closet Extremist. Johnny_Oh - great post!!

Seems the police chief in Najaf doesn't like the reporting coming out of that area. So, what's he do? He pulls in a couple dozen reports and let's them know of his displeasure. Did I mention the police stormed the reporters rooms? Oh, and at gun point? No - go read it for yourself.

Thanks for the tip Johnny_Oh!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Funny Email

Don't know where this started, but I thought it was too funny not to share!!


Posted by Tammi at 07:11 PM | Comments (4)

August 24, 2004

This Week's Recipe

Since I'll be out of town, I thought I better get my recipe up now. This week I'm going to do a dessert. A Yummy Dessert. A very quick, very easy, very yummy dessert.

Fruit Cocktail Cake


1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (16oz) Fruit Cocktail - DRAINED
1 egg

Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all the ingrediants together - EXCEPT FOR THE BROWN SUGAR AND chopped nuts. It will seem dry - you'll notice you add NO LIQUID. Don't worry, it's so moist you won't believe it. Trust me.
Pour into a 9x9 ungreased baking pan. Smooth out top. Sprinkle brown sugar and chopped nuts over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 mins.

I serve with Kool-Whip.

Often times I will double the recipe and use a 9 x 13 glass baking pan.

Posted by Tammi at 05:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I saw this over at SlagleRock and thought of Harvey Immediately!!

Go head Harvey, check it out. Consider it a late Father's Day present.

The rest of you ought to click over too! You'll laugh and have the same thought I did!!

Posted by Tammi at 03:37 PM | Comments (5)

He's Home! He's Home

Sean at Doc in the Box is home from the Sandbox! Home safe and sound. Well, back here anyway. He's currently looking for a home. But he's back. I'm so glad. Posting should resume soon. Heck, I'll just keep clicking back to see the HOME SAFE AND SOUND post!!

Welcome Back Sean. Job Well Done!!!

Posted by Tammi at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)

It's a Date!!

The first Carnival of Recipes was an outstanding success!! We're doin' it again. Have your entries to Beth by Thursday, midnight. :)

Posted by Tammi at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

Calling It Off

I heard this morning, and found confirmation here, that President Bush has requested that the SBVT's pull the ads that have been gleaning so much attention in the past weeks.

Bush is quoted as saying:
That means that ad and every other ad. I don't believe we ought to have 527s. I think they're bad for the system," Bush said on Monday in Crawford, Texas. "I frankly thought we'd gotten rid of it when I signed McCain-Feingold" campaign finance reform.

Bad for the system? I think so - it opens the door for crap like this. That's right folks, is pulling in the star power. Maybe they should check with Alice Cooper before starting these ads. His quote may focus on Rock Stars, but I'm thinkin' many of those so called Movie Stars fall into the same group.

What I think is funny is that the SBVT has Veterans that served with Kerry or were effected BY his actions telling Their story and how They feel. Yeah, their pulling in people that make a living telling stories and pretending to be other people to manipulate the public. Big Difference, in my mind anyway.

I think the best thing about the FoxNews article is when President Bush says:

Bush said that he thought Kerry "served admirably and he ought to be proud of his record," but it remains undecided whether that will extinguish the political firefight that has built over Kerry's service in Vietnam.

That's class. It's not true and Kerry brought it on himself, but still that's class. That's My President.

Posted by Tammi at 07:19 AM | Comments (4)

August 23, 2004

Hey, Where'd that come from?

I didn't have the 2nd asshole when I left the house this morning!!

Yeah folks - it was one hell of a day. I'm just so glad to be back home in the comfort of my cluttered office, preparing to crash in my peaceful bedroom.

Let's see, what made this day so "interesting"? Well, I had a consumer issue to deal with in Daytona. Nothing I couldn't straighten out, except I made one little mistake. I'm so used to giving my Sales Associates my cell number, that while talking with this lady, I gave it to her too!! MAJOR RULE: Do NOT give consumers you're personal cell phone number. She's called me 4 times already today. I met her at 3:00 this afternoon, for crying out loud. They haven't even made her damn bed yet, the order hasn't been sent to the factory - What Could Possibly Be So Wrong, that she's calling that often already? I don't have an answer for that, but I'm sure I'll figure it out sometime in the next week before her bed is delivered.

Then, while dealing with this same consumer my boss calls. Folks - this is never good news. I don't hear from him unless there are problems. Yep - we got problems. Seems my major customer called corporate today to "tell on me". There is one store in this chain in Orlando that hates me. The store has nothing but woman managers and they have hated me since I first walked into that store. Even before I was their rep. I've told the corp. guy that calls on that account nationally, I've told my boss. They Hate Me. Plain and simple. Why? They don't need a reason - they just do. It's so bad that I am ALWAYS sick to my stomach just before I go in to see them.

Well, it seems like these ladies have been busy. They called their RVP to say that I've blown off appointments, haven't done any training, nothing. Oh, and this isn't the first time they've done this. One time I spent over 4 hours in this particular store, when they reported the visit to corporate, they showed 45 mins. Yeah - cut me short 3 hrs and 15 mins. When I've tried to talk to them they have admitted they will lie. They will do what ever it takes to keep their butts out of the sling and get what they want. Oh, what do they want? A different rep from my company. In particular, the rep they used to have - who left to go to one of our Competitors. Guess what girls! Ain't gonna happen. You're stuck with me as much as I'm stuck with you.

So, here I am in a store with a consumer standing not to far away. (I don't usually answer my phone in a store, but I was hoping this was the answer for this lady's question.) I'm getting the once over from my boss who ends the conversation with "I don't EVER want to get another call like this about you - EVER. Is that clear?" Yeah, crystal.

Now I have to figure out how to deal with this store, and these women in particular. It's a new situation for me. Not to sound to "inflated" but people don't hate me. People like me. They find me charming and sweet and funny. (yeah, got them fooled, don't I?!?) How do I get past my reluctance to visit this store? I'll tell you.

I'm calling them in the morning to schedule whatever training it is they want for whenever they want it. I'll be there 30 mins early, standing at the door waiting for them. I'll bring breakfast. I'll also bring a call report that will be completed during my visit (showing length of call) and they will have to sign it when I leave. I will smile, I will be nice. I will take their shit. I will then come home and drink heavily.

Is it Sunday yet??

Posted by Tammi at 09:55 PM | Comments (8)

The Tax Man

I got this link via my GodFather. (who rocks by the way). Gives some interesting facts regarding the two Presidential Candidates and their views on taxes. Some I knew, some I didn't.

It's rather ironic that he sent this today. I just got my first check stub since they straightened out my pay issues. Oh yeah, got to the gross. Nice, very nice. Looked at the net - WTF?!?! The net was only about $150 more on a sizably larger check. Why?!? Taxes. Yep, I get slammmed. And I have no deductions. None. But you know what? I'm not gonna complain. Now that I know my check is right, it's the boundary I have to live with. Make more money, pay more taxes. That's the way it's supposed to work. Do I like it? No. Hell no. Would I like to pay less? Yes. Very much so. Do I want to see another tax increase? Not in a million years. That's just another reason I will be voting for Bush. He seems to have a better understanding of economics than Kerry does. Bush understands that if there is more money in my pocket, I'll be sure and share it with the rest of the economy. If there is more money in my pocket I will happily contribute more to charities that work to help people help themselves. I don't have a problem paying what I need to to keep this country safe and running as smoothly as possible. I do however, have a problem paying more money to make it possible for others to do the things that I cannot afford to do. But that is another post altogether.

Anyway - just thought I'd share this little clip with ya'll.

Posted by Tammi at 09:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's A Contest

Thanks to Blonde Sagacity I found a link to a contest that is being put on by the Washington Post. Best Blogs Politics and Elections. Very Interesting. They are taking nominations up until September 3rd and voting begins September 27th. Winners will be announced October 25th.

Now, maybe I missed this last year, but I'm amazed that Blogs are getting this kind of attention. I know I know, we're being included in the National Conventions, but still - this I'll continue to watch.

So I'm popping over now to make my nominations. BTW - Registration is required, just to keep it fair.

Posted by Tammi at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Damn, This Says It All

Blackfive has an OP-Ed written by Marine Maj. Glen Butler, published in the NY Times. Since it's subscribtion only, he has posted the entire piece.

Go and Read It. It says it all.

Posted by Tammi at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

A Bit About Charley

Both Florida Cracker and Boudicca have updates on what is going on with the recovery efforts after Charley's visit a little over a weekago.

Here is a link that will take you to the contact information for FEMA.

Strengthen the Good has their first charity opportunity posted. It is the Gulf Coast Community Foundation in Venice Florida. They are matching all donations to it's Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund up to $100,000. This is a great opportunity to get money to the victims and help in the massive relief efforts needed.

I spent some time Saturday driving in the Orlando area and saw a lot of the damage first hand. Again, this was just in Orlando so I can only imagine what Arcadia and surrounding areas south of here look like.

There are still people without power - in the city. Crews are still working round the clock to restore power, but as the daily storms continue to pass through the area, trees continue to fall and powerlines continue to be destroyed. You see the ground is saturated, the trees roots systems are weakend and it doesn't take much for them to come down. The problem is still critical, and there is no way of knowing if or when one of these beautiful 100+ year old oak trees will fall.

I was not able to get any pictures Saturday because of the storm we were having. My friend and I, while enjoying each others company, still had a rather interesting time of it. In the course of 30 mins. we had water in the streets and parking lots that came up to the top of the wheels of her car. There was no "getting out of the rain". The winds came out of no where, and it was eerie seeing and hearing the emergency vehicles screaming by. You see - It's Not Over Yet. Even if the media has moved on, this is still our day to day existence. It'll be a long long time before things get back to normal. If ever.

And all this rain. I keep thinking about those that are waiting on the insurance companies before they can repair their homes. The water and wind damage keeps accumulating. If they were lucky enough to not lose everything during the heart of the storm, the likelyhood of increased damage is strong. That's why I am supporting the Mennonite Disaster Services. This is a group of people that are actually IN central Florida helping to rebuild and comfort the victims. They are HANDS ON. Clearing debris and rebuilding. The volunteers are local and they need funds to support this effort. Here is the link. The website is set up for donations, even for our Canadian friends. This group is here for the long haul. They are an incredible group of people and I wanted to give you the opportunity to see for yourselves what they are doing. I am also adding this link to my side bar until the effort is completed.

Schools are starting back up this week. Some are meeting in churches and other public buildings until the original buildings can be repaired or rebuilt. It's important that routine is re-established quickly. Especially for the children.

I will still be heading to SW Florida on Wednesday, my trip today was cancelled. If at all possible I will get pictures, but as I'm traveling with Corporate clients I don't know what kind of opportunity I will have.

Overall, things get better every day. But as we keep saying over and over and over - it's going to be a very long haul.

Posted by Tammi at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

Great Discussion

My Blog Bro Johnny-Oh at Closet Extremist has a couple of very interesting posts up about Retail and how to deal with those pain in the ass customers that ruin everything for everyone.

As I stated in his comments, this is very near and dear to my heart. I spend about 50% of my job training Retail Sales Associates (RSAs) on sales and sales techniques. Part of that training is about my product, but the largest part is about how to deal with all types of customers and especially those problem ones.

Now - I hate working retail. Let me just say that up front. Oh, I can do it, but I hate it. What a tough road to hoe.

I spent my first years in this business working with Mass Merchandisers, WM, Kmart & Target. I worked on the store level, handling brokers that were in the store, making sure everything was beautiful. But I quickly discovered that in some of these accounts it was vital to spend as much time as possible in the stores with the RSAs and giving them as much support as possible. The nice thing is, I could take their issues to the upper management, without naming names or getting anyone in trouble, and make changes in their policies.

There is nothing worse than a nasty customer. NOTHING. Some people just feel that it is their God-given right to make other peoples lives miserable. And, my personal opinion is that the only time they feel powerful is when they are in a store and can make someone else jump to their demands.

I've always told my RSA's to walk away. Don't give in to them. Get security or management to handle it. But what about those situations where that isn't an option? My advice? Still walk away. Leave them standing there looking like the ass that they are. Let them make a scene. Other customers will immediately realize what is going on. If you are nasty back at them, all the other customers see is you being nasty. There is a good chance it will leave a bad taste in their mouth and they won't be back. Oh, and they'll tell others. By refusing to play the idiots game, you ruin all they were trying to do. You take away their power.

But then again, that's just my opinion. I've seen it work. I know it's hard. Believe me, there is nothing tougher for me to do than walk away when I'm right and I have something to say. I do so enjoy putting idiots in their place. But in this particular situation it's best to just walk away.

Anyway - I thought you all might enjoy the discussions going on over there so I wanted to point it out. Click on over and join the fun. I'd love to see what you think!! Thanks for putting those up there Johnny-Oh!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:38 AM | Comments (3)

Signs of Desperation

Well, it seems that the wacky have tried to make a stand. Pitiful is all I can say. The Protest Warrior website has been hacked. Oh, and they didn't stop there. They have posted a pretty extensive list of members and their email addresses. They are calling for email, fax and phone bombing. That's real mature, don't you think?!?! Bastards. Deperate bastards.

I joined Protest Warrior because I believe in what they stand for and how they are standing for it. We don't threaten anyone, we just show up and offer another point of view. No threats, no violence. Just peaceful options. But I guess the wacko's can't deal with that. This reminds me of a bully on the schoolyard realizing that they are losing and desperately yelling, "Oh yea, well watch this" and proceeding to make an ass of themselves.

This is pitiful. Just downright pitiful. And worthless. Yeah, it's not going to stop us, hell - it won't even slow us down. If anything I think it will bolster our cause.

Laughing Wolf and Da Godess both have great posts up discussing this - go check em out. Oh, and if you have signed up for Protest Warrior, now would be a great time. (HQ Site is currently down, but keep checking!) Imagine their reaction when our numbers actually GROW because of this. Ahhhh I can hear that Dean Scream now!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:11 AM | Comments (2)

I Love These Videos

Curtesy of Sarah at Trying to Grok I found yet another great video, this one is on the 1st Infantry's Home page. The music is Johnny Cash "I Won't Back Down".

I loved this song before, now it's even better.

Posted by Tammi at 07:42 AM | Comments (1)

August 22, 2004

A Nice Change of Pace

Yesterday was such a nice change for me. I had my training class in the morning. Handled some issues, answered some questions and basically built a bit stronger relationship with this particular store.

Driving home I decided I just didn't want to deal with a day in my office by myself. I wanted to have a bit of fun.

So I called my friend that doesn't live to far from me and asked if I could come over for a bit. Perfect timing. She wanted to do some running and we always did enjoy doing that together.

So we meet up at her house and off we go. We took a drive up to Altamonte Springs and popped into a fabric store that she loves. I am not a sew-er at all. I used to have to make a lot of my own clothes and I hated it. I will make curtains if I have to but I don't enjoy it at all. But still, I love to look so that's what we did.

Drove back to Orlando proper and saw much of the damage still evident. Oh My - so many beautiful old oak trees gone. So many houses all but destroyed. That wasn't so fun.

Finally we make it to the top secret meat market and produce store. Oh My Goodness. I love this place. They've been around for about 35 years and this place rocks. I'd been here before, but couldn't find it on my own, so we're going to start going together 1x a month. Listen to this, you can get 8oz NY Strips, beautiful - $2.99 each. Pork steaks, gorgeous, 3 for $2.99. I bought some sirloins, pork steaks, 2 Tilapia fillets, 2 HUGE sweet potatoes, some plumes and a packet of snow peas for less than $10.00. Oh Yeah. All fresh, all good quality. I'll be eatin' good for the next 2 weeks.

We laughed and insulted each other. Got very catty and basically acted like girls. As we were leaving the meat market the heavens opened up with rain. I mean it dumped some serious water down. Then the wind picked up. We were stranded in the parking lot of the bakery for about 45 mins. Listening to music, talking about what we've been up to, remembering things that we'd done. LAUGHING!!!

I had forgotten how much I enjoy something just that simple. I haven't been able to spend an afternoon like that in a very long time. Once I moved to Tampa over a year ago, my friends were all too far away to be able to pull something like that off. Plus my schedule was such that I just couldn't fit it in.

So now I know that at least 1x a month I'll be able to have a great Saturday afternoon just being a girl. Oh, and we're also scheduling in a day of mall crawling. That's not so fun for me, as I spend so much of my work life in malls and such. But I love shopping with her, and I'll just stay the hell out of the mattress departments.

Yeah - I had a Saturday!!!! So today, I'm having a Sunday. I've got my coffee poured, my bathing suit on and I'm headed out to the pool deck. Gonna take my book and just sit out there as long as I want.

Don't care about laundry, don't care about vacuming, don't care about dusting. Today is all mine!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:05 AM | Comments (4)

I Love Friday's

I know, I know. It's Sunday, but I was sorta busy yesterday and didn't get a chance to bring this to your attention.

I Love Fridays. Not because it's the start of the weekend, as those don't really happen for me. One reason is because so many people DO get weekends and they are usually in a pretty good mood on Fridays. Another reason is because I know my training classes are usually conducted on Saturdays and I enjoy those most of all. But the main reason I love Fridays is really very simple. Friday Musings. Yep. I look forward every Friday to following the thought process of Lex over at Neptunus Lex. These posts are always insightful, funny and thought provoking. They make my week.

Plus it's the perfect post for a Friday. You have all weekend to read, savor and reread. So do yourself a favor. Click on over and take a gander. If you have the time, go back and read through the entire category. There is some really good stuff there. Like I said. The perfect Friday post.

Posted by Tammi at 07:46 AM | Comments (1)

An Email Recieved

Iraq War News posts this email that was recieved. Take the time to go over and read it.

It confirms thought processes and motivations that I've suspected, it shows that not all is unappreciated, and it offers some explainations that need to be understood.

I'm not going to try and select an excerpt to go here, I'd much rather you click over and read the entire thing.

Posted by Tammi at 06:50 AM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2004

Saturday Question of the Day

Got away from this for a bit, time to get back at it folks! :)

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes:

Which do you prefer; quiet rainy Sundays at home or fast past Saturdays with friends/family? Why?

I love to spend time with friends. I love to go and just cut loose and have a good time. But I'll admit, I simply adore rainy Sundays. Even if that means I can't go out on the boat or to the beach. I love those Sunday afternoons, with a steady rain, not to heavy. Music on the CD player, usually something smooth, blues or jazz or if I'm feeling sappy some good old fashioned love songs. Light my favorite candles and snuggle down on the couch with a good book. A homemade pot of soup simmering on the stove. Ahh yes. That's very nice.

Unless of course it's football season, then all 4 TVs blaring and fantasy football running on both computers. :)

What about you? Which do you prefer? Care to share why?

Posted by Tammi at 06:57 AM | Comments (8)

Funny Email

There is a drive to boost voter awareness of the candidates for our
Nation's highest office.

This weekend, if you are in favor of Bush, drive with your lights on
during the day. If you are in favor of Kerry, drive with your lights
off at night.

Posted by Tammi at 06:15 AM | Comments (3)

August 20, 2004

It was a good day

Things started out pretty good today. Got up in plenty of time, rounded up my stuff for my class, blogged a bit and off I went. I had a new hire training class with my largest customer and I always enjoy those very much.

Pretty good class. They are new hires from all over the southeast so I better do a pretty good job training them. If I don't my fellow reps will let me knw about it! :)

After class was over the Corp. Trainer called me aside. He explained that one of the secrtary's had major damage after the storm. She didn't have rental insurance and a tree came through her bedroom roof. I asked to meet her.

He takes me to her office, introduces us and steps out. I look at this very sweet woman, who I know for a fact works so hard to make both vendors and her employer look good.

I smile and say I hear you need a bed.

She nods.

I tell her to go to her closest store and decide which one she wants and let me know. I'll make it happen.

This woman constantly does for others without ever asking anything for herself. I knew her name and her reputation but had not had the opportunity to meet her yet. She's called 4 times today to say thank you.

One of her fellow workers called to ask if there was a limit on what she could choose. I said the only limit was what bed she wanted. Anything we sell on their floor is open to her.

I feel so good about that. It just gives me such a "glow" to be able to help someone. I wish I could do this for more people. I wish there were some way I could just blink my eyes, wiggle my nose and fix so many of the things that have happened in the past week. But I can't. So I did what I could and I feel really good.

I don't tell you this to brag. I just wanted to share a bit of my glow!

It was a very good day.

Posted by Tammi at 08:19 PM | Comments (5)

Carnivale of Recipes

It's posted, it's posted. I'm going to gain 25lbs just trying them all, but Beth @ SWWBO has the first ever Carnival of Recipes posted.

There are some very good looking recipes up folks so click over and prepare to get hungry.

This is all I could think about the entire drive back from Daytona!! And it is every bit as good as I thought it would be.

Thanks for pulling this together Beth! What a great idea.

Posted by Tammi at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)

Comin' Home!!

Sean, over at Doc in the Box found out he's comin' home, and it's actually when they said he would! (this time)

I'm so happy for both Sean and his girlfirend Sarah. It's been a long haul and it's almost over. Stop by (they both have blogs) and congratulate them.

Oh, and Sean even put together a list of lessons learned. Go on, bet ya have to laugh!!

Posted by Tammi at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

How 'Bout Some Good News!!

Looking back over my posts from yesterday and the two posted earlier this morning I realize I need to lighten this up a bit. Holy Cow!! I'm actually in a pretty damn good mood this morning, considering it, 5:30 and I've had 4 hours sleep and 3 cups of coffee!!!

I didn't mention that yesterday actually turned out to be an incredible day, filled with forgiveness, irony and smiles.

I have a new customer that has been somewhat neglected lately. OK, maybe somewhat is not a strong enough word, but it gets the point across. There have been some issues getting his account set up and getting product to his showroom. Yeah, pretty much it hasn't happened. That's right - the guy's got an empty store. Things have finally been straightened out and I'm meeting with him today to get his order placed and he will be up and running next week. This store will feature my product and should do a good clip of business. He was not in the least bit angry at the delay. He was pleasant and humorous. I kept trying to apologize for the delay and he just laughed. Not a cynical laugh, a genuine, heartfelt chuckle. He wouldn't accept my apology, said it was completely unnecessary. WOW. I don't hear that every day.

I called a friend I hadn't spoken to for a while. We had a chance to catch up and talk about her brillant and talented son. He wrote a movie. Yeah. And they filmed it this winter in New Orleans - he directed it. He also worked on the rewrites for the movie coming out Son of the Mask (the sequel to The Mask). We are very proud of him. We must have spent half the conversation discussing the premier and what we're going to wear. (OK, the what we're wearing thing was my contribution to the conversation.) No sooner did we hang up than she called me back. I could hear the excitement in her voice and figured we finally had a date for the launch of this film. No...still waiting, but she did hear from Rob. Seems he fell into a bit of money. Yeah. He went into one of the movie studios and pitched an idea he has. Nothing solid, nothing on paper, just an idea. They paid him $300,000 now and he'll get another $700,000 when the movie is completed. That's $1M for an idea!!! Just an idea! Hell, I got lot's of those - I wonder what they'd pay me!!

I'm the first to say I don't like the Hollywood scene. I personally think too many of the so called stars take themselves and their views a little to seriously. But this is a man that I've known for 10 years. All he's ever wanted to do is write and film movies. He is a natural born story teller, and is all about the entertainment. He's got no political aspirations, no hidden agenda. He was telling his Mom when they did the test screening for Waiting, his film, he sat and listened to the audience's reaction. Where he expected chuckles they laughed out loud. Where he expected them to laugh out loud it was so loud they missed the next couple of lines! He kinda sounded like Sally Field accepting her award a few years ago - "Mom, they liked it, they really liked it!"

This is about a dream coming true, and I'm so happy for Rob and his mom!

THEN, I actually found a gas station with gas available. At regular pricing! WOW. But that's not the best part. As I was waiting in line a couple of guys walked up behind me. You could see how exhausted they were. Filthy, sweaty, tired. I heard them talking and realized the southern accent wasn't a Central Florida southern accent, so I turned around and asked them how they were doing? They said they were pretty wiped out. I saw that they were wearing tee-shirts sporting the name of a tree removal company, so I asked where they were from. Nashville - they arrived early Saturday morning. Just another example of the many people that left home and family to help us clean up the mess Charley left behind. So I bought them their cokes. The one guy told me I didn't need to do that. The other guy chuckled and pointed out that by the tone of my voice there really wasn't any room for negotiation. (nice to know I still got "it") I just told them that it was the very least I could do and thanked them for their time away from families in the hot humid Florida summer.

Driving along afterward I was feeling pretty good. Stop at McDonalds for dinner and while sitting in the very long drive thru line the car in front of me stalls. It's a young mother with 2 small children. Instead of anyone getting upset, honking horns and such, the guys in the cars behind me got out and pushed her THRU the line and into a parking place. Then one let her use his cell phone!! Wow - you don't see that every day.

So I'm getting ready to head out to my training class. Nothing like some forgiveness, evidence of a dream coming true and some genuine good community spirit to put a postive light in my eyes.

Posted by Tammi at 05:36 AM | Comments (5)

Stamping Out Violence

Did you know there is a postage stamp that not only brings brings attention to the problem of domestic violence, but at .45 each stamp contributes all proceeds to the Department of Health and Human Services to support domestic violence programs? No? Well there is.

This stamp was actually designed by a child, and has been available since 2003.

In my work with my local Domestic Abuse Council, I've seen how important every dime is in fighting this growing problem. Not everyone has the time to volunteer or can make a lump sum donation. But most of us have to buy stamps! So next time you're in the post office picking up your stamps, spend a few cents more for each and make a difference.

(image in extended entry)

Friday, August 20, 2004.jpg

Posted by Tammi at 05:23 AM | Comments (1)

Gentle Reminder

When I was getting my DL replaced yesterday, and updating my address they asked if I was registered to vote in my new county. CRIPES!! I wasn't. I had completely forgotten about that! I got that taken care of immediately.

But, ya'll are registered, right? Make sure.

When I was on the phone with a couple of my friends talking about our days I mentioned about the registering to vote and they weren't sure if they were or not!! I urged, ok I TOLD them to get that corrected ASAP. No matter their political leanings they need to make sure their voices are heard.

Now I realize the majority of people that visit this site have very strong political views, and are properly registered and everything is buttoned down tight. But do me a favor, humor me. I live in Florida, so I don't want to take any of that for granted. :)

Every election is important. But a Presidental election is critical. This particular Presidental election is unlike any I've known in my life time. And I'll warn you right now, the only people I believe have the right to bitch and complain about anything in this country are the ones that vote and participate in the process.

So, just double check that you're all set for this November. It never hurts to be sure.

Posted by Tammi at 05:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

A Letter and Some Words

Ok, ya'll have to head over to Blonde Sagacity. She has an open letter to Kerry that is really, really good. And then click over to the comments. One hell of a debate going on. But then again, that's usual over there.

That is one of the things I love about her site. She has a good mix of readers, they don't agree and battle lines are drawn. But it stays pretty civil. Most of the time.

So click over and read the letter - even if you don't want to weed through the debate in comments (although I'd recommend it. They are pretty well researched comments!)

Posted by Tammi at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

Amish In The City

Now I have to admit I didn't get a chance to actually sit down and watch this last night. I had it playing in the living room and turned up so I could hear it in the office. (Damn, I seem to do that a lot anymore) Anyway, here are the few impressions I had.

Did ya hear them speaking Pennsylvania Dutch? Did ya? I heard it and ran into the family room. It's been so long for me. Grandpa and Grandma spoke it a lot, and my aunts, uncles and mom did out of respect for them. (Well, and as Grandma's alzhiemers got worse that seemed to be the only language she could remember.)

I could never speak it well, but I had no problem understanding it. Mom always called it lazy German, but I don't understand more than a few words in German and I could follow the Dutch no problem. Anyway that was a sweet walk down memory lane.

I was surprised to hear Mose say it was going to be a tough decision for him to go back to the Amish. He said he had always thought he could not live in the world and maintain his faith. Well, that's what they teach you on a daily basis, so that didn't surprise me. Now he's realizing that his faith is just as strong out in the world as it was before. I just never got the feeling that he really enjoyed what he was seeing in the world. I still think he'll go back. Family and faith are too important to him, and if he doesn't return he'll be shunned. No contact. None. Not with ANYONE in the Amish community.

The "english" are still showing (to me anyway) their bad side. I'm not impressed with them at all, but then I tend to be a bit protective of the Amish kids. I have to keep reminding myself this isn't a contest.

Anyway - the highlight for me was just hearing the Dutch. Ahhh sometimes I miss my Grandparents very, very much!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:34 PM | Comments (2)

Constant Change

Today started off a bit rough. I realized that I still had not replaced my DL after losing it on the trip to Chicago in June. Oops, I've been driving around with just my passport for ID. Then I realized my birthday was last month which means my tags expired. Oops. Please realize we have more police officers in this area than I've ever seen. Also, I am headed to SW Florida next week, were things are a real mess. I figured I had better correct those two oversights before I really came to regret it. (can you say jail. Yeah, this was cheaper than bail!)

So I headed out to the only DMV office I could find open. On my way I get a call from my plant in North Carolina. All my drop ships for my customer down in Port Charlotte have been modified. Now, instead of shipping to Port Charlotte everything is coming through Orlando. I spent all afternoon yesterday making sure that everything was set and that there would be no problems.

DAMN IT!! Why the change? Everything was set perfectly, can't they just leave well enough alone?????

That's when she tells me one of the warehouse workers in SW Florida died yesterday. Between the heat, all the trucks to be loaded/unloaded he just couldn't take it. He wasn't a normal warehouse worker and it really strained him.

I could only sit there in traffic with nothing to say. I felt so terrible. I immediately said a prayer for his family and friends. My friend in NC knows me well enough to know I was kicking my own ass over what I said and really tried to reassure me that it's alright to be human. Still.........

So everything is changed now. Tomorrow is Daytona and the East Coast. Saturday is training class and central down town Orlando. Sunday and Monday I'll actually have off. Then Naples/Ft Meyers on Tuesday.

But I can't stop thinking of that person that died yesterday, and me throwing a fit because my plans changed. I fully realize I didn't know the whole situation when I spouted off, but let's be honest for a moment. How many times do we react before we know the details? How many times do we react based on how it effects US?

Note to self, I think that's my next self improvement project. Hold reactions back until you know the facts/details. It's easier on everyone involved.

Posted by Tammi at 08:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Charley Update

The most important thing right now is to get power restored. Here is a link to the Orlando Sentinel that gives a county by county breakdown (for Central Florida) on the status of that restoration. Like I keep saying, it's going to take time.

I've also heard that the cell phone companies are granting credits to customers that have over run their minute usage. With no phone service in many areas, and cell coverage spotty at best, that is only the right thing to do. What I hate is that many that have not been effected as badly will take advantage. It's just the nature of the beast.

Residents of Sannibel and Captiva islands have returned to their homes to survey the damage. But access is limited. Luckily, from what has been reported so far, most of the damage is enviornmental. Some structural damage - of course, 145mph winds! - and one half of Captiva has been cut in half by water.

As I stated earlier, I'm going to be heading to the Daytona area today, to check on my customers. Monday and Tuesday I'll be down in the Port Charlotte and Naples/Ft Myers areas. I will be taking photos and will share what I find at that point.

Right now it's a matter of getting the power restored as quickly as possible, keeping water and ice flowing to the victims and relief workers and standing together to rebuild our communities. If I hear of anything other news I will post it as soon as I return.

Posted by Tammi at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

Item Up For Bid - Updated

Hook-A-Thon has the most incredible wall hanging on auction right now!! It's only up there until Wednesday, August 25th.

Go check it out! It was donated by the wife of one of Hook's soldiers.

Yeah, I've bid on it. I'm thinking that the firehouse that my sister works out of would love to have this baby hanging on the wall of their TV room.

Come on, make me work for it!!!

Hat tip Hook-A-Thon
(originally posted 8/18/04)
UPDATED - 8/19/04

Alright, I've been checking on this auction and can not imagine the fact that my opening bid is still good. It's starts out at $5! Now the way Ebay works, I've put a higher bid in but until someone else starts bidding on it, it stays at where the opening bid was set. There have only been 22 views of this item so far, and that's just a down right shame.

This is a very cool wall hanging, and for an absolutely GREAT cause. Come on Folks, get every there, check it out and bid bid bid. If you can't do that, get this auction posted on your site so we can spread the news. The auction is up until August 25. Now I know full well that a lot of people hold off and wait to bid until the last possible minute, but we need to let more people know it's there. Drive the traffic!!!

This is easy. Just post and link. We do that all the time!

Posted by Tammi at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

Mexican Manicotti

Here is my submission to the first ever Carnival of Recipes. It's very yummy, and always a crowd pleaser.

Mexican Manicotti


1lb of ground beef
1 can of refried beans (not the large can)
1 package of taco meat seasoning
1 box of Manicotti noodles
1 16oz jar of salsa - what ever level of hotness you prefer.
1 package of shreaded cheese (I prefer the mexican cheese blend)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl mix raw ground beef, refried beans and taco seasoning. Remove manicotti noodles DO NOT PRECOOK and stuff with ground beef mixture. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER STUFF AS NOODLES WILL BREAK.

Place stuffed manicotti in a 9 x 13 baking dish. (I prefer glass, but either works)

When pan is full, pour jar of salsa over stuffed noodles. Fill empty jar 3/4 full with water and pour that over also. This should cover the noodles.

Sprinkle cheese over salsa. Be generous. :) (Everything is better with melted cheese!)

Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated over. Bake for 1 hour (some ovens cook a little slower so just start checking it after an hour).

I serve with sour cream on the side.


Posted by Tammi at 09:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What A Bummer, to say the least

I got an email from Bonfire this morning. For reasons all her own she hit the big red button and deleted her blog. Yeah. I read that and about craped just thinking about it.

She has/had so many great posts out there.

I just sent her an email back telling her to jump right back on that horse and get going again. You know what? She's already done it.

Hey Bonfire! I'm so glad you're back. Just do me one favor 'kay? DON'T TOUCH THAT RED BUTTON. When you start questioning things, push away from the desk, shut off the computer and pour yourself one of your favorite beverages. You are too good to be gone!!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:58 AM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2004

Carnival of Recipes

I'm gonna join a carnival. And no - not as one of the freak side shows!!

Beth over at She Who Will Be Obeyed is starting a Carnival of Recipes. I'm so in on this one. I love love love to cook. But won't cook for just myself, so it's a great opportunity to cook for those I love, ya'll. Even if it is cyberly.

So, here's the deal. Post a recipe to your blog by Friday 6:00pm C.S.T. Make sure you've linked back to Beth at SWWBO or (in my case) post a comment with the link so she knows it's there.

If you don't have a blog, you email her (address on her site, via this link) and she'll get it posted.

Yeah, Yeah. I'm going to ruffle through the old cookbooks and cards now. Damn, I may need a dust mask - it's been so long!!

Thanks Beth. This'll be fun!!!

Posted by Tammi at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

That's Not Good

I clicked over to see what bloggy goodness Bryan Strawser had for today to find that his site has been hijacked.


Now, I'm the first to admit I'm not the most computer sauve person on earth, so if it's a joke I'll eat my crow. But it looks pretty real to me.

Damn shame Bryan. Come Back Soon!!!

UPDATE 8/19**Never Minda, he's back now!

Posted by Tammi at 07:36 PM | Comments (3)

I'm Goin' In

Well I just found out I'm headed to ground zero for Charley next week. We have trucks going in to coordinate with one of my customers and I need to be there to make sure everything goes well. From what I understand, my customer is working with The Red Cross and we need to pull off a logistics miracle. That's on Monday morning.

Tuesday I head back down with some of my corporate customers to Naples and Ft. Meyers. I'm kinda the ambassador of good will, letting the sales reps know that I care and survey the damage for myself.

I've been ordered to take pictures and I'll share some with you when I get back Tuesday nite.

I'm not really thrilled to be going. I feel like I'm traveling into the belly of the beast. But it may be the best thing for me. I've seen a lot of the damage here in Polk County and Orlando. Tomorrow I head to Daytona and surrounding area so I'll be checking out the situation there. But I don't want to SEE it. Not really. I know what it was like at my house. (BTW, I found out today that the winds over my house were clocked at 100mph, with gusts on top of that.) I've seen so much already. But I have to.

So the plan is, I'm going to stop by Publix on Sunday and fill my trunk with gallons of water. Fill my coolers with ice. It's not much but it's something. I can't go down there empty handed. I also think I'll pick up bags of chocolate. Chocolate always makes you feel better. Any other ideas? I don't have much money right now, so unfortunetly I can't do all the things I'd like to, but I NEED to do something.

Slowly things are coming back to life around here. I ventured to the far west side of Orlando today, and will be down town on Saturday. Trying to stay out of some areas until the traffic lights are working again.

Anyway - wanted to see if any of you had any additional ideas for next week.

Posted by Tammi at 05:45 PM | Comments (5)

Holy Cow

I am shocked. Amazed even.

I mentioned earlier about my friends that are getting married in November. I'm still just tingly over the whole thing.

Well, she just called as asked me if I would sing at their wedding! Me. Tammi.

Now, yes, I've sung before. I was a music major in college and actually earned a full scholarship on my voice. But folks that was over 20 years ago. I smoke 2 packs a smokes a day, and haven't performed professionally in almost 20 years.

What's really amazing to me is the only time they've heard me sing is during drunken karaoke. And I do mean drunken.


So, she's selecting songs now and will let me know what they want. Wow. Wow.

I'm so touched. I'm so honored.

I've got to start practicing.

Posted by Tammi at 01:01 PM | Comments (7)


GOOD NEWS on the economy.

According to Forbes, things are looking up economically. Oh, the Kerry camp still claims otherwise, but it is getting better. Bit by Bit.

But then again, you've heard the old saying - how do you eat a bear? One bite at a time!!

We've still got a ways to go, but with everything involved, GWoT, Hurricanes and the general seasonality of the economy - I'm taking this as a very good thing.

Posted by Tammi at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)

A Thank You Like You've Never Seen

I am so proud of our men and women that serve in our military.

Here is a video "Thank You" from one of those great men to US! Yeah - He's Thanking Us!!

Go and watch. But take a kleenex.

Thanks for the tip Hook

Posted by Tammi at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)

We Heard

We've finally heard from my cousin and his wife in North Port. We've been very concerned as no one had heard a word from them since about an hour before Charley made landfall.

What a huge relief.

Posted by Tammi at 10:01 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

In Case You Didn't Know

EARL IS GONE!!! Earl is gone!!

He broke up and his remains are scattering into Central America!

Huge Exhale. Big Relief.

That's about the best news I've heard in a week.

Posted by Tammi at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

Some Information on SW Florida

Boudicca has a post up talking a bit about what's going on in SW Florida right now. She has friends with family there, and gives an update on the conditions.

She also reminds us, that while things are moving along, it's slow going. And watch out for those low lifes trying to take advantage!!!

Posted by Tammi at 07:55 AM | Comments (2)

Oops, I did it again

Ummmm......I had another kid. Yeah! I'm a Blogmom again! Wow, I'm just a blogbaby factory anymore, and I couldn't be prouder.

Blogless friend Lee Ann has taken the plunge. She's got her very own place, Lee Ann's View and it's coming along nicely.

I've been telling her she was made for this since I got started. She pops in and leaves wonderful comments, and recently has started branching out and reading other sites.

Yesterday, she sent me an email about something she was very upset about. She wrote that maybe she did need a blog. I sent her's URL. Next thing I know the phone rings and Voila she's up and running!!!

And I do mean running!!! She's already got 2 good posts up and I'm eagerly awaiting the wit that will be displayed.

She's very well spoken, not just a little bright and has the most delightfully twisted sense of humor!! Ohhhh I see lot's of bloggy goodness in our future.

So head on over and welcome her to our world. And then keep checking back. You'll enjoy her writing and her wit - and man does she have a way with a rant. I can hardly wait!!!

Congratulations and WELCOME Lee Ann. As I aways say, you are a bright and sparkling gem - now EVERYONE will know!!!!

UPDATE: People have been clickin' over to visit our new addition and it's really been cool! In her Comments Bloggradpa Harvey mentions the suggestion to add an "About You" page (ALWAYS A GREAT IDEA) because "All kinds of people are going to be sniffing around here pretty soon, so you might as well tell them who they're sniffing." That comment prompted this response via email:

(Glad I took a shower this morning! I used soap, deodorant AND perfume...and I didn't even know I was gonna have company!)

See what you have to look forward to!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 07:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Utility Workers

As I was driving around Kissimmee yesterday I was amazed at the number of utlitity trucks around. I know, I know - I just posted that there are over 6,000 utility workers here, focused on getting the power restored. But it's still just an amazing sight.

Yet, even with all the extra help and the number of hours these people are putting in, it's not enough for many people. On the radio I am constantly hearing people complain "I haven't even seen a utility truck". I read it in the paper - people are blaming politics, race, and income! Come on folks. Let's look at this for a minute.

You will NOT hear me say many nice things about my ex husband. Mainly because there aren't many nice things to say, but I digress. He was a lineman for an electric contractor. When Andrew hit, they were on the road within 2 hours. They were called to LA, as Florida had plenty of help. They drove through the night in the line trucks. Not a comfortable ride. They had no notice if they would be called in or not. Oh they knew there was a possibility, but nothing certain.

They are called away from their homes and families, and really have no idea when they will be back. Most do NOT have direct deposit, so the families have do not get that weekly paycheck. My husband was gone 16 days in LA. That's 2 weeks without his check. He was home for a week and then called out for a freak ice storm and gone another 16 days. I had to work, keep up the farm, take care of the animals and keep an eye on his family.

The normal stormbreak schedule (at least 8 years ago) ran something close to 18-20 hr days, 4-6 hours off to eat and sleep and then right back at it. This is Florida in August. It is hotter than hell out there, and then add the humidity in and it's unbelievable. They are in that heat for 18-20 hours. They will take a short meal break, and they have some gatorade and water on the trucks but it's all business while they are on shift.

After a shift, they will often stop and have a real meal, in air conditioning. I've seen people actually confront these workers and yell at them that they have NO BUSINESS talking a break while the power is still out. Come on folks. These guys and gals are working long, hard hours. Add to that the fact that what they are doing is DANGEROUS and they need that break.

Not to mention the fact that they are doubling up in hotels. And I'm not talking the fancy resorts. They are usually put up in what ever is available, and those aren't always the nicest places. It's crowded and they are exhausted. It's a bed, a shower and phone to call home.

So just what am I getting at? Patience. It's hot, it's dark but help is here. It just takes time - no one is being ignored, no one is being punished. They have a grid, things have to be brought back up in a certain flow and they are working that flow as quickly as possible.

Instead of making things harder, why not try these ideas. If you see a power crew waiting in line for a meal - give them your spot. Don't make them stand there and wait. The sooner they are served and rested the sooner they get back to work. If you can - drop off cold drinks to them. I'm driving around with gallons of water and a cooler with gatorade and cold water in the car. If traffic permits, I stop and pass it out. Show them our appreciation. It means a lot to them.

Posted by Tammi at 07:29 AM | Comments (3)

Today's Charley Update

Here is a round-up of what I have found in the aftermath of Charley.

*Hospital's are overwhelmed. 10-15% increase in ER traffic in Orlando and the surrounding areas. ER's are reporting an increase in stomach issues and urge everyone use either bottled or boiled water. There are still several areas without power, and until told otherwise, Do Not use tap water for cooking, drinking or ice. Another urgent issue is carbon monoxide poisining. Use tools and generators in well ventilated areas.

*Power is being restored across the state. It's not coming as quickly as everyone would like, but given the serious damage that has been done, but the crews are getting it done! In SW Flordia, North Port, just north of Punta Gorda was back up and running yesterday. In Central Florida, parts of Kissimmee and Downtown were back up and running. DeSoto county is still totally without power. It's a slow process. There was a lot of damage. To date there are over 6,000 utility workers, from 7 states, working around the clock to get power restored.

*Water and Ice are becoming more readily available. There are still lines for gasoline, but each day the situation improves.

*It's tough getting a hold of insurance adjusters. Some are being told it will be two weeks before someone can get out to look at the damage. In other instances, some people can't even reach their insurer. The situation is compounded when you remember there are snakes and critters that are also looking for homes. So, the choice is to either secure you're home to keep from incurring futher damage, not to mention make it safe, and risk the possibility that your claim will be denied because of those actions. Many people are just fixing the damage themselves and are not even going to file a claim.

*Many people have lost their jobs, or been layed off due to Hurricane Charley. So many of the business that were wiped out will be unable to re-open. Other industries cannot begin to function until power is restored. Agricultural workers have seen this years crops destroyed and there is no work.

It's still a matter of "one day at a time" and will be a long road to recovery.

SOURCES: Orlando Sentinel and Bradenton Herald.

Posted by Tammi at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)

We Learn from Watching

I've always believed that. We learn from watching those adults around us.

That's where a child picks up important lessons, like keeping promises, following though, loyalty. You know, those important things in life.

Harvey gives us a glimpse behind the curtain of his past and introduces us to his father. Ahh Harvey, thank you so very much for sharing him with us!!

What a wonderful man! What a great example to follow.

I think "Beloved Wife" got herself a pretty fantastic guy!! And now I understand why, he had a great teacher.

Posted by Tammi at 06:34 AM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2004


WOW! To date, Hook-A-Thon has raised $730 to pay for the Welcome Home bash planned for next year.

The latest auction was a complete blog package. Check out the Armies of Liberation's new digs. Very snazzy.

More auctions to come, and those magnets are still available!!!

What a very cool idea! I know I check over there every day - yes even lately - to follow the progress. Are you?

Posted by Tammi at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

I Didn't Tell You!

I've been so bad. I never told you that I'm a new (and first time) Blogmother. I'm so honored.

Machelle announced last week, when she started her blog, that I am her Blogmom!! Wow!

She has been a commentor here for a while now. Even moved with me off of blogspot. I have always enjoyed her comments, she just adds that little something that was missing. I was THRILLED to see she opened her own place.

And she is off to a GREAT start. She's got a regular posting on Today in Automotive History, funny stories and great political tidbits. She's smart, she's funny, she's well informed. What more could you want?!?!

The only thing that scares me is that, according to Machelle, Harvey is the father. Hmmmm.....makes for some interesting Bad Example Family Gatherings. I'm gonna have to lay off the Gold for a while. ;-)

Thank you Machelle for the great compliment. You're off to a roaring start!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:44 AM | Comments (4)

It's Time to Get Back To It

I had some trouble sleeping last night and I realized part of it is that I just haven't been laughing lately. I know, there are other things contributing to that, and honestly there hasn't been much to laugh AT. But I've always been one to understand that humor and a postive attitude goes a long way in getting through tough situations.

So, here's the deal. I'm going to try and get back to "normal" posting. Oh I'll keep you updated on what's going on with Charley. But I am not allowing myself to simply drown in this.

Since Friday I've done nothing but look at, read about and research what has happened, what is happening in regards to Charley. It can be overwhleming and I know damn well it's not healthy. I need to step a way just a bit and try and find some sunshine.

Like I said, I will keep you updated, but it will probably just be one longer post in the evenings. I'm now on the hunt for funny, happy, heart warming stuff. I want to smile. I want to laugh. And by george, I'm gonna.

So for those that are regulars here, I'M Comin' Back. For those that are looking for information on Charley and the relief efforts, I'll do the very best I can to give you a good daily summary.

It's time to open the drapes and let the sun back in.

Posted by Tammi at 08:13 AM | Comments (1)

Something to Make Us Smile

My friend Lex is so proud. And he has every right to be! Yesterday his oldest son took the oath. It was his first day in the Navy.

Go and congratulate a very proud Dad.

Congratulations Lex. Congratulations SNO!!!

Posted by Tammi at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2004


I found these 107 photos of the damage throughout the state.

It shows some of the damage in Orlando, Daytona, Maitland, Kissimmee and many others, as well as Punta Gorda. Some of this I saw today, as I was driving.

Some I'm sure you've seen other places, but this is the most extensive photo gallery I've found covering the entire area.

Posted by Tammi at 07:53 PM | Comments (1)

Watching From Iraq

Ok - this puts it in perspective.

I found this, again in the Orlando Sentinel. It's a story by Capt. Steven Alvarez, currently serving in Iraq. It tells of what he went through as he watched Charley as he traveled closer and closer to his wife and son, while he could do nothing but watch it on a computer screen.

There are the two final paragraphs:

But my worst memory here thus far will be the day that Charley came to Orlando and came within a mile or so of my family. From Baghdad, watching the horrific pictures of homes crushed by trees, vehicles kicked about like soda pop cans and the angry weather flattening everything in its path made me think.

I finally know what my wife endures on a daily basis. Although I am safe, what she sees isn't comforting. I experienced the uncertainty, the fear and the urgency to hear her voice. But I went through that for one day. I can't imagine living that way for one year.

This really gets to me.

Posted by Tammi at 07:33 PM | Comments (1)

Watching From Iraq

Ok - this puts it in perspective.

I found this, again in the Orlando Sentinel. It's a story by Capt. Steven Alvarez, currently serving in Iraq. It tells of what he went through as he watched Charley as he traveled closer and closer to his wife and son, while he could do nothing but watch it on a computer screen.

There are the two final paragraphs:

But my worst memory here thus far will be the day that Charley came to Orlando and came within a mile or so of my family. From Baghdad, watching the horrific pictures of homes crushed by trees, vehicles kicked about like soda pop cans and the angry weather flattening everything in its path made me think.

I finally know what my wife endures on a daily basis. Although I am safe, what she sees isn't comforting. I experienced the uncertainty, the fear and the urgency to hear her voice. But I went through that for one day. I can't imagine living that way for one year.

This really gets to me.

Posted by Tammi at 07:33 PM | Comments (1)

Even More Ways to Help

Boudicca has an updated list of organizations that are looking for contributions and volunteers to help the victims of Charley.

I've been in contact with an organization that will be providing volunteer carpenters to assist in the physical rebuilding. This will be a long process so they will need assistance. I'll put more information up as soon as I finalize what information I have.

Posted by Tammi at 04:58 PM | Comments (1)

Shame on Me

I missed this. I absolutely missed it.

Florida Cracker is blogging Charley from down in Lee County. Those who are looking to get an idea of what things are like down there - pop over and give it a read.

I'm just sorry I didn't notice until today.

Posted by Tammi at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Orlando and Surrounding Areas

I wanted to bring you what information I've been able to get on Orlando and the surrounding area's. I did hear that the Orlando airport reported gusts of 145 mph while the storm was passing over. That is unbelievable considering how far that is from where the storm came aground.

Here is an article from the Orlando Sentinel. It gives a county by county breakdown of information. I'll post the points that jump out at me.

*Also, hundreds of sewer lift stations, which pump sewage to treatment plants, are dead because of the power failures, and the sewage is beginning to back up and leak at the lift stations. More than 200 in Orange County are thought to be leaking already.

"With more than 400 [lift stations] out, that pretty much means sewage can be backing up all over the place," said Bill Toth of the Orange County Health Department.

*There were also several structure fires blamed on careless use of candles.

Orange County:

*The estimated $3.2 billion in property damage in the county turns out to be more than the $2.7 billion estimated for coastal Lee County.

*"Several ice manufacturers have suffered damage as a result of the storm," said Jerry Demings, Orange County public-safety director. "Ice is in short supply across the state, and we are just awaiting shipments."

Seminole County:

*County officials estimated damage in unincorporated parts of the county at $250 million. The county's seven cities are still assessing damage.

Osceola County:

*Anarchy ruled Sunday at many of the traffic lights that remained out, including along busy U.S. Highway 192. NOTE: This is the Kissimmee area folks - Disney. Disney is up and running, and there are a lot of tourists here, already unfamiliar with the area. Add all that together with no Traffic Lights! Yeah, I'm staying off the road unless I have to!!!

*Adding to the misery, raw sewage backed up into many streets Sunday because there was no electricity to power the sewage-pumping stations, said Brian Wheeler, general manager of Toho Water Authority, which provides water and sewer service in Kissimmee and some other parts of Osceola County.

Heavy storms Saturday and Sunday afternoons made things worse.

Polk County:

*Damage-assessment teams in the area have been able to get to only one-fifth of the area, slowed by tending to residents without food or water or imperiled by ruptured gas lines.

*The hurricane damaged three power plants in the county and downed transmission lines and county-service lines.

Volusia County:

*Up to 80 percent of Deltona remained without power, and Ormond Beach and South Daytona reported about 70 percent without electricity. In Lake Helen, where large trees cover much of the city, up to 90 percent of residents remained without power.

Go and read the entire article. I just pulled out information I thought might not be known outside of this area.

Posted by Tammi at 01:55 PM | Comments (2)

Well, That was a short day

Hey Honey! I'm home. Not as long of a day as I planned. I did get to Sebring to visit my customer that I was so worried about. They are fine, the family is fine, the house is fine and the business is fine.

The drive down there, however, was an eye opener. I know I had said I would take pictures, but with the traffic and lack of power (no traffic lights) it just didn't seem like a very good idea. So instead I'll tell you what I saw.

I headed south down SR 27. Just north of I4 I started seeing a lot of signs blown down, but business up and running. Just past I4 it was like a different world. More signs but no power. I will say that sturctural damage alone SR27 was much lighter than I anticipated. However, the groves were hit hard and there is much work to be done. There are several travel trailer parks, and those didn't fare so well, some buildings missing roofs, awnings or just missing. But again, not as much destruction as I thought I'd see.

One thing that really struck me. As I drove south Ambulances were headed north with their lights on. I can only guess they were transporting patients up to the hospitals away from the worst of the damage, where this is power. Where there is room.

I couldn't really turn off of SR27. They are asking people to stay out of these areas unless they need to be there, and I don't want to add to any of the problem.

Lake Wales, again from SR27 was hit. However, it looks like the Florida Natural OJ Plant held up pretty good. Some metal awnings were blown away and of course signs were down. I smiled when I saw Donald Duck standing on the roof, looking like he was doing the twist. Darn, he's a sturdy sucker.

Going into Sebring I was worried. But again, not as bad as I thought. Met with my customers, shared stories, a hug and a couple of tears and I left feeling better knowing they were alright.

Now I did make one tactical error. On my way south I picked up gallons of water (didn't know what I'd find) and got myself a large Diet Coke. So I make the 50 mile drive to Sebring, drinking drinking drinking. Had my visit and started north. Drinking drinking drinking. (you see where I'm going with this, don't you?) So, of course I'm looking for a public bathroom. No Power. Nothing open. No bathrooms. Oops. I keep driving north, nothing. Farther north, still nothing. Finally I spot an Eckard's. They're Open. Running on back-up power, but open. Stand in line. They were letting people in one at a time to purchase what they need on a cash only basis. Just lights, no air. Finally I catch the woman's eye and mouth "do you have a rest room?" She giggles and motions me forward. As we walk to the back of the store I just kept saying thank you thank you thank you. MUCH BETTER.

As I'm listening to the radio and talking to my friends across the area I realize I can't really go any where else today. Most of my customers are just getting open or still waiting for power. I talked to as many as I could reach - everyone's ok. With power outages as bad as they are, Downtown Orlando is a mess to drive in. I don't need to be down there adding to it, when no one needs me there right now anyway. Those that are open know I care, and will be there ASAP. They know how to reach me.

So, I'm home. With about the worst headache I've had in years. I'm going to take some motrin and lay down for a bit. But I wanted to get what I saw down before any of it slipped away.

All I can say is I was so very lucky.

Posted by Tammi at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)


Wow. I can't believe it's Monday. What a weekend.

Today I'm heading into the Orlando area to check on my customers. I called many of them on Saturday but, as expected, I didn't reach very many.

I found a disposable camera while I was hunting out batteries before the storm. I'll take that with me and see what pictures I can get of this area and downtown Orlando. I'm sure the worst of it in the Urban areas will be cleaned up by now, but I'll still give you an insiders glance. I'll also be in Daytona this week and will let you know what I see over there.

I'm having a bit of a problem actually focusing on BUSINESS. I need to. It's about to get very, very busy. I was talking with Bou last night and she reminded me of something. Sales are going to be picking up in the very near future. As people gather their lives and homes back together they will need new mattresses. While I do like more sales, I HATE it when it due to someone elses misfortune. But, the vast majority will have insurance and that is who will be paying for those purchases. But still........

So, I'm signing off of the bulk of today to get ready and head out the door. I'll let you know what I see when I get home this afternoon.

Posted by Tammi at 07:07 AM | Comments (3)

Another Part of the Story

What hasn't really been talked about in regards to Charley and the damage that has been seen, is the agicultural hit that will be taken.

Here is a link to the Miami Heralod story that touches on this point. (registration required: email is; password, nopass- thanks to bugmenot).

A few facts:

Agriculture is the 2nd largest business in Florida, behind tourism.

The seven counties hardest hit by this storm produce 35% of Florida's citrus crop. Foks - 35% or the oranges and grapefruit grown for orange juice and the produce stands in YOUR local grocery stores. Also, much of that is also distributed world wide. What was destroyed was next years crop.

Also - did you know that Florida is a huge player in the cattle market? Yeah, in DeSoto county alone the herds were valued at $40 million. And that's just one county. These figures will only get worse as we move past the human emergencies and start looking at the bigger picture. They are reporting that the larger cattle farms are looking alright at this point, but it's hard to tell with the communication problems currently being experienced.

But let me just give you a glimpse of what we could see. In the small town of Arcadia, located in DeSoto county the citrus crop is valued at approx. $100 million and they think 60%-70% of that crop is destroyed. Add to that the number of small cattle farms that were hit so hard and it is almost over whelming. It IS for those that were hit the hardest. Yes, there is insurance, but many of these people were just getting by. To start all over again takes time. And that makes for a very long haul.

Posted by Tammi at 07:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Websites for Information

Here is another website to get information on getting relief and assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. This is the DISASTERS Section of FEMA Site.

It shows which counties have been declared disasters, tells how the relief effort is coming and gives contact information.

This is when it starts to get really tough folks. The drama is over and the day to day battle of just surviving is in full gear. Remember, it's very hot down here. The humidily is difficult in the best of times. Power is still out to the majority of these areas, water is still short and most victims have not much more than the clothes on their backs and what items they could grab, if they could even do that.

I will post organizations that will be helping in the relief effort. We should start hearing more in the next few days. For my more local readers, a commenter at The Command Post shares that Florida Power and Light will match any donations made dollar for dollar, up to 250K. Here is that website. You can mail that coupon in when mailing your payment.

Posted by Tammi at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2004

She Knows of What She Speaks

Boudicca has an excellent post up with some great information about Hurricanes. She tells the facts, some of which I really don't like to hear, but hey - this ain't no rose garden. Even paradise isn't perfect.

She talks about the Big T's, the lightening, being prepared and worst case scenerio.

Great post Bou!!!

Posted by Tammi at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

Word from Cape Coral

Jennifer at A Collection of Thoughts shares an email from a friend of her's who was in Cape Coral during Charley.

Go and read it. Leave a note for Earl letting him know how glad we are that he and his family came through this as well as they did.

Thanks for sharing this Jen.

Posted by Tammi at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

You Must Watch This

Some of you that have never been through a hurricane or anything like it cannot imagine what it was like. I didn't see the worst of it, and it scared me more than I want to remember.

Well, there is a video that you need to watch. It's on the Bay News 9 website. Scroll down to the lower right hand corner and click. It's a video of what a couple endured during the storm. Watch it. It's amazing.

Posted by Tammi at 09:22 PM | Comments (2)

More Volunteer and Relief Information

I've been posting bits and pieces of information over at The Command Post regarding Hurricane Charley and the Relief Process.

This post will link you to a list of phone numbers and local (SW Florida) drop off points for supplies.

I'm running out of posting steam, so please follow the link.

Posted by Tammi at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

A Bit More Information

FEMA has now declared 25 counties in Florida as disaster areas. That's good news for those victims further inland. Aide will be more readily available for the rebuilding efforts.

Storms rolled through central Florida this afternoon - 2000+ lightening strikes recorded in an hour with more than 3" of rain in spots. According to local news additional rain will coming in off of the gulf in the Punta Gorda & North Port areas now.

They are expecting to put a figure to the fatalities in Lee County sometime tomorrow. One optimistic thing is that many people in the hardest hit areas had left for the summer, so it is possible the number will be lower than expected.

The Bradenton Herald is a very good source for information, so I wanted to make sure you had that link available to you.

Still looking for grass roots charities that will be able to offer relief and aid to the victims. The Red Cross is still requesting monitary contributions and that information can be found HERE. They are still the quickest way to get water, food, shelter and comfort to the victims. I will update with additional information when it is available.

Posted by Tammi at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

On and On

This is the time of year in Florida that we see storms almost every afternoon. While it's never really pleasant, right now it's the last thing that so many people need as they try to cope with all that has happened in the last couple of days.

We are seeing another band of storms, currently in Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough county's headed east. This will take them directly over portions of Polk, DeSoto and Orange Counties - still reeling from Charley. They are reporting excessively heavy rains and very strong winds.

As the rain and wind just keeps coming, please continue to keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers. Right now it's in the low 90's/upper 80's, very humid and the rain, wind and lightening will not help in anyway. Shelters are being established, but it's still a process. Many have not had the opportunity to even put temporary roofing in place, so what wasn't destroyed by Charley might very well be damaged by the continuous rains.

Posted by Tammi at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Read This

Val at Babalu Blog has this post up remembering Andrew and a moving story oh how desperately help is needed.

At the bottom of the post he lists items that will be needed. Important Note: At this time, they are only asking for MONEY. There is NO PLACE to Store ITEMS that are donated. A list of Grassroots Organizations that are working to get relief to victims is being pulled together. As soon as more information is available it will be posted.

Thanks Val for sharing this.

Posted by Tammi at 12:39 PM | Comments (1)


Ok - President Bush is currently here in Florida viewing the damage and speaking with victims.

I have the news blaring in the background. Craig Crawford of the Congressional Quarterly is currently on MSNBC. I just heard him say that while it is important that President Bush view the damage, it is MORE important that he be SEEN viewing the damage. Also - how Pres. Bush 41 didn't react as quickly, and part of that is due to the fact that Florida had a Democratic Gov. at the time Andrew hit. Not to mention that our current Gov. is Pres. Bush's brother.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS! Honestly - I don't care WHY he's here, what his reasoning is (even though I personally believe it's just the type of man he is) I DO care about the fact that he is here.

Posted by Tammi at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

Local Update on Hurricane Charley Aftermath

Bay News 9, the local all news channel has been issuing updates. I figured since some many can't get to this information I'd provide a link to their web page and give a brief run down.

The Lt. Gov had a news conference just moments ago. Points of interest:

1) 7M pounds of ice have already been distriubted. Food and water are also available to victims.

2) 1.1M are currently without power. 900,000 have been restored within the last 24 hours. A timeline is being constructed to layout the plans for the restoration of power. It's important to note that it isn't just a matter of down wires. Substations and transformers have been destroyed. It's matter of reconstruction and that can take time.

3) No update on the damage to the Citrus Industry. (or other argicultural industries). This will be very significant. The majority of fruit supplied for OJ is grown and produced in this area. Also - Plant City and surrounding area is a large supplier of strawberrys and tomatoes. More info as that becomes available.

4) FEMA has already been distributing money to victims. If you or anyone you know needs to register for assistance the contact number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For the speech or hearing impaired the number is 1-800-462-7581.

5) The state of Florida is serious about price gouging. It Will Not Be Tolerated. Violators Will Be Prosecuted.

Locally - Flager County, on the east close is also feeling the effects of Hurricane Charley. 50% of residents are without power and it will be approx. 1 week before they will see complete power restored.

The Orlando Airport is functioning now. There was sustained damage to the passenger transports to and from the terminals as well as the outer gates. The airport opened yesterday, but it would be prudent to check with your airline to verify scheduling and such.

Hardee County, is now experiencing flooding due to the large amount of rain that has been delivered. The town hardest hit is Springhill. No extensive damage at this time, just standing water. But with more rain in the forecast it bears watching. Also - please remember, in Florida we have snakes, spiders and gators. They have been uprooted and distrubed with all the havoc that has been wrecked and it is important to be watchful.

That's all for now.

Posted by Tammi at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

A St. Pete Perspective

Deb at Debwire has some excellent posts on Charley and the damage that has been recorded.

Great Job Deb and I'm so glad you're all right!!! Keep up the great work!

Posted by Tammi at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)


I just spoke to my friend with family in Arcadia. Her family is physically fine. Her mom had just gotten off work at the hospital an hour prior to the storm hitting. (Remember, the hospital got hit pretty hard in all this.) They lost a lot of trees and fences but the house and family are alright.

Her brother lost a large portion of his roof, his fencing, his shed and his boat. The family (with 4 children under the age of 4) is alright and currently staying with my friend just outside of Tampa. However, the family right behind them did not fare so well. The husband was killed and the wife is in the hospital in critical condition. More faces that go with this disaster. It becomes just that much more personal.

Posted by Tammi at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

More Ways to Help! - UPDATED

Many people are a bit gun-shy of giving money to the Red Cross, so I wanted to link to this post at The Command Post that gives a list of other organizations that are offering help.

Also as this story points out, The Command Post is working on another project to allow people to help.

More as it comes available.

UPDATED 10:41am: It's Official. The Command Post is looking for ways to help the victims of Charley. They have created a website just for listing ways that we can help. If you know of an organization that is working to get aid and relief to the victims of this monster leave a comment here or at The Command Post. After verifying that everything is on the up and up info will be posted so that everyone has the opportunity to help.

Posted by Tammi at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2004


Well, the worst of today's mess looks to be over. There were several Big Ts spotted on the ground this afternoon but no damage reported. But then again, it's kinda hard to tell in the majority of Central Florida. You wouldn't know it by the news coverage, but it's not so good around here either (but that's another post all together).

I'm exhausted. Absolutely and completely. Last night after Charley had visited me, blown through Orlando and danced in Daytona I laid down to try and sleep. But I kept seeing the red line at the bottom of the tv screen announcing more storms and the possibility of some Big Ts. Finally they announced the all clear and I rolled over and slept.

I woke up just as tired as when I went to sleep. I couldn't figure out why. I refused to believe that pacing around the house wore me out that much. As I thought about it, I realized it was the fear. It kicked my ass.

The fear started when I realized we were going to be hit with a hurricane on the SW coast of Florida. It was taking aim at St. Pete and Tampa - places that are home to people I love. Oh, I figured we'd get some "backlash" but my concern was focused on them.

As Charley gained in strength so did my fear. Damn, some of them are so close to the water. Shit. I'm over here in the middle of the state, people are being evacuated - I Can't Get To Them. I Can't Stop It.

Then they announce that Charley is Cat. 4. Son Of A Bitch.

No! Now he's looking at making landfall in the Ft. Meyers area. That was my territory for a while. I have a lot of friends/customers in that area. Wait, doesn't Matt at Blackfive go down there? I wonder if he has family there! (yes, he does but he posts that all are alright).

I sat glued to the television (when I wasn't updating a post) watching Charley come across the state of Florida. And each area he hit/passed wasn't just a town to me. It was a collection of names and faces. People I know. People I love. My fear for them was stronger than I can put into written words.

Arcadia - my friend's mother works at the hospital that was hit. I still don't know if she's ok. I've been to that town several times. One of my favorite places for arts/crafts. I haven't seen anything much about that area today.

As it passes Sarasota/Bradenton - I heave a sigh of relief. My cousin, her husband and 3 children. OK. Good. Very good. My friend LeeAnn and her husband - everything is fine. Outstanding. My friends J & M with her 2 girls, home safe and sound. Yessss.

St. Pete - my cousin and her family. No problems at all. Everything just fine. Thank God.

In each area the faces of those I care about flash through my mind. I visualize where they live and try to calculate the possibilities. I check each name on the list as the storm continues on it's path. Safe. Unknown. Ok.

That was when I realized that the path of this storm was headed my way. Seriously. It was going to be here soon.

Now the fear was selfish. And believe me - I can honestly say I've never been that afriad. I was alone. And I don't mean just in this house. Most of the houses in my part of the subdivision were empty. When I looked out my front window it was like looking at a ghost town. We hadn't been told to evac. It's just most of these homes are rented out to tourists and they were g.o.n.e. Can't say that I blame them.

All of a sudden the wind started picking up. Lost power for a few minutes. Didn't panic, just sat in the dark listening to the sounds. Power came back on. That happened a few more times, and then it was just steady on for the rest of the evening.

I had the TV on. Everytime that buzzer went off, in 3 minute intervals, I would jump.

But the wind. The wind. It was so loud. I had asked someone earlier, how I would know if there was a tornado. I'm out in the middle of nowhere, there are no sirens or alarms. They said to listen for the sound of a freight train. So all day, as soon as the first storm band came through I'd mute the TV and listen for the train. During the height of the storm I remember thinking "shit, I won't hear if a tornado is coming, the wind is too loud." Then I realized I really didn't need to worry about that. It was doubtful that a Big T would do much more than that wind was trying to do at the time.

As the storm worsened around me, I sat on the kitchen floor with my pillow and blanket. I sat in the kitchen because I could see the sliding glass doors in the family room and the plate glass window in the living room. The wind sounded like it was tearing the roof apart a piece at a time. (luckily, there is no damage to the roof. I'm amazed) The wind at the back door sounded like someone was standing there, rattling the door furiously, trying to force their way in. At the front window, you could hear the give and take. I figured that window was going to blow out at any minute.

It lasted for an hour. One of the longest hours of my life. From the time the wind started to get really dangerous, until it settled back to a calmer roar, it was an hour.

I spent that time sitting on my kitchen floor, alone, crying like a baby. That was fear.

Today as the thunderstorms started rolling through again, and I hear of the tornados, I was afraid again. I kept getting up and walking to the sliding glass door. I kept hitting mute, listening for the train.

Watching storms has always been one of my true pleasures. When I was young, Daddy really worked with me to teach me to respect their power and admire their beauty. My Mom is very much afraid of storms. He didn't want me to suffer with that kind of fear. Today, for the first time I understood how Mama feels.

But I'm not going to let it win. I can say I have more respect than ever for the force and power of Mother Nature. And I can also say I didn't see one thing of beauty in yesterday's storms. I'm hoping by writing this all out the fear will begin to ease it's hold.

Posted by Tammi at 06:45 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Hey! What about us???

I'm hearing about Punta Gorda, and all of the devestation. I'm hearing about the disaster areas. I'm not hearing that much about Central Florida. I'd like to know why.

I know they filed the paperwork for the Disaster Area's with FEMA before anyone really knew what was happening around here. But this is not a wealthy part of the state. It's rural. Mostly orange groves and such. Lake Wales is the home of Florida Natural OJ. That area is mostly blue collar workers. That assistance is needed just as badly in Polk County as anywhere.

Was the Govenor and his team in Polk County? Did they see for themselves the devistation that was done? Why didn't we hear about that?

I heard on the radio that finally on SR 27 just south of I4 there was a gas station open. That's huge news for them! I heard about a line of people outside a Publix grocery store, just hoping they would open. They couldn't. No power. Did you hear about that? I didn't think so.

I want to believe that the lack of news regarding Polk county is because of the lack of power, phone service and such. But, a part of me wonders. It's not so romantic in this neck of the woods. We have groves, and cows and open fields. No waves, or sand and the sunsets aren't as beautiful as they are over the water. Still, there's a story here too.

I saw a brief report on the destruction of the airport in Lake Wales. They used a Tampa reporter to fill the spot. That's all I've seen so far. In Arcadia, they did a phone interview with a business owner and had a brief flyover shot from a helicopter.

The thing that really makes me angry is that people aren't seeing how bad it really is. Yes, the damage in Lee and Charlotte Counties is horrible. But I hate to tell you this folks, it's worse than you realize. I believe when the damage totals are finalized from the whirlwind tour of Charley the numbers will be much higher than you would imagine.

I'll be watching. If anyone hears anything on the national news please feel free to drop me a comment here. If I'm wrong about feeling this way, I will be thrilled to correct this.

Posted by Tammi at 05:49 PM | Comments (3)


Warnings just flashed. Strong thunderstorms with accompanying tornados are moving across Polk County in wide bands. Just what we need.

This isn't good. My God, how much more can people take?

Posted by Tammi at 11:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

After All That


TS #5 is following the same path as Charley. That's the little whirly thingy just north of S. America. Looks to be upgraded later today. Hey folks. Meet Earl.

Earl? Stay the hell away.

Posted by Tammi at 10:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How to Help

Blogless friend Lee Ann is much better at gathering the details than I am right now. Here is a comment she left in a previous post with the best advise on how to help.

Call the Red Cross and make a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund if you want to help. They don't want "things" because no one has a place to store them. Please just make monetary donations and they'll be passing that money along to the people who have been devastated by Charley. They'll make sure they get a place to stay, money to buy food and to start to rebuild. This is going to take a while to recover.

If anyone has family or loved ones that are missing or have not been able to get into contact with, remember phone lines are down and cellular service is very spotty at this moment. Phone the Red Cross at 1-866-GET-INFO.

If you have loved ones who need help, call the same number. Here is the link to the American Red Cross for any and all information.

Again, right now all they are asking for is money. They'll secure water and other needs, but its going to take money to get people to somewhere safe and begin to heal.

Stay safe, hug your loved ones and when your told its a good idea to evacuate your home, do it! "Things" are replaceable, people are not. It's that simple.

(emp. mine)

Thanks Lee Ann.

Posted by Tammi at 10:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Damn Lucky

I've started this post about 10x this morning. I keep deleting it and just sitting here looking at the monitor.

I walked around the neighborhood and we were very, very lucky. Especially when you consider that Haines City, just 8 miles down the road from me was slammed.

I live in Polk County and it got hit pretty bad. This is a link to Bay News 9 and it has some pictures.

Punta Gorda was just destroyed. And the body count is growing. I keep hearing that no one understands why people were still in the trailer park that got wiped out there. (So far, they believe there are 60 bodies about in that area.) Keep in mind, everyone thought the storm was hitting nearer to Tampa, there was very little notice that it would take a turn and hit there, and no one expected the strength that it held.

I don't know how bad it was in Orlando yet. I do know Kissimmee and the Disney area took a bit of a hit, but it's not so bad, from what they are saying at this point.

I've talked with everyone but my one cousin in North Port, just south of Sarasota. We're still trying to contact him and his wife. Amazingly enough, I saw more of the ugliness than they did along the coast there.

I've called and left a message for my boss, letting him know I'm alright. I've also left messages for several of my team mates that were in the path of this monster. Haven't heard back yet.

I'm watching FOX and MSNBC and can't stop crying. The destruction is overwhelming.

Lake Wales, the home of Florida Natural OJ, is destroyed. Sebring, hit hard. Haines City, bad.

This is a link to the Orlando Sentinal. It's a timeline that is being constantly updated, and the only real information that I can find for this area. The news is centered on Lee and Charlotte Counties. Polk County is getting some coverage, but not enough for my taste.

I'm torn. My little area is fine. The woods behind my house got hit pretty hard. I stand out by my pool and see the snapped trees and debris over there, yet on this side of the gully everything is fine. I don't want to go out and get in the way of the clean up. Just 3 miles down the road the real destruction begins. So, I'm making phone calls and staying put.

I am very emotional today. I feel grateful that things are so fine here, and so very guilty for feeling that way. Thousands of people are homeless. As many as 100 people have lost their lives. I need to help.

And help is needed. WATER. Water. Water. Call your local Red Cross. Find out how to help. Blood, Water. But don't try and donate THINGS. What is needed now is the money to fill the needs of the victims. I'm hearing on the radio where to go and get gallons of water, but I'm telling you - it won't last long. The water plant in Haines City has been hit, and a notice to boil water is in effect. I can do that, I have power. Most of the people that are in that area don't, so they have nothing to drink. It's hot here today. There are children here, senior citizens. People need water.

OK - I'm rambling, and most of that is because my emotions are strung out. So I'll stop now. But I really want to thank everyone that left comments and stopped by yesterday to see how things were going. I mean it when I say it helped to keep me from feeling like I was all alone in that mess.

Posted by Tammi at 10:00 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 13, 2004


I think he's gone now. Like a bad date he showed up, raised some hell and then snuck out.

The wind isn't nearly as strong. In fact I can hear the rain for the first time in hours.

And exhale.

It's pretty dark out but from what I can see I don't think there's any real damage here. I'll know better in the morning when I can walk the neighborhood.

They're are saying he's right by the Orlando Airport, with wind gusts of 105. So it's not over yet.

And they are calling for severe Thunderstorms for the next few days, but I'm alright with that. That I can handle.

So....this will be it for the evening. Gonna let everyone know I'm alright and then pour myself a big ole glass of wine and go to bed.

Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and words. I can honestly say I didn't feel completely alone through all of this. Thanks.

Posted by Tammi at 08:30 PM | Comments (7)

He's Here!!

According to the Weather channel Charley is 10 mins away from showing me his eye. I couldn't figure out why I have power until I realized everything is underground here. Yipee!! So, I'll take what I can get.

The wind is terrible. I can't see beyond my sliding glass doors, and I really don't want to get to close to them right now.

I was doing alright until my friend called earlier today crying that I was right in the path. OK - now I panic.

I've been pacing like crazy and can't seem to sit still. The alarms on the tv are going off every 3 mins.

My corp. husband called to check on me. He lives in Lakeland, which only got a sideswipe. His neighbor's house got wiped out by a tree.

So far, my family is all safe. I had time to call everyone before things hit here.

Anyway - I just wanted to let you know I'm here. So is Charley. I don't like him. He can leave any time now as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Tammi at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)


I just realized.

It's Friday the 13th.


Posted by Tammi at 03:27 PM | Comments (1)


They are reporting a 10' storm surge in Naples right now. That is south of where the eye is currently located, in Charolotte Harbor.

So far, damage is pretty bad. The reporter in Ft Meyers is saying it is worse than expected.

On the local front, at least for me. All trailers are being evacuated in Polk County. Now, I'm in a house. But still - that's a pretty drastic step. Please keep in mind, many of the people the evac'd Tampa and the coastal areas came HERE. So I4 is a mess. All the other interstates are gridlocked. It's starting to rain very heavily and we have the Big T warnings. I don't know how these people will be able to even reach the shelters.

Posted by Tammi at 03:23 PM | Comments (4)

First Wave

The first storm band just went through. Geez. It was kinda scary. I was trying to pull together some stuff for my "safe space" and all I could hear was the warning buzzer on the TV. Rather unnerving to say the least.

We had some Big T's touching down and heading my way. BTW - I'm on the weather channel pretty regularly. If you're looking at the map of Florida, I'm near Davenport. Between Orlando and Tampa. They've been showing the intersection of I4 and SR27. Yeah, that's right where I'm at. (just in case you're following along at home)

I can see the next storm band coming this way. Charley is hitting Sannibel and Captiva right now and heading straight for Charlotte Harbor. I feel so bad for those people. This morning it was a Cat 2 and looking to blindside Tampa. Now, half a day later it's a Cat 4 and knocking on their door. There's going to be a lot of damage. Hopefully the loss of life won't be too bad.

They are saying he will stay a hurricane as he comes across the state of Florida. Disney and Universal Studios could suffer some major damage. Plus, everyone from the coast headed here to avoid the storm surge. Well, it looks like that's about all they're going to be missing.

I made sure and packed a bag, including my work boots. No matter how it effects here, there is going to be some heavy duty clean up work to be done. I rode down to Miami a couple of times after Andrew to deliver a truck of water and another truck of baby formula and diapers. I'll be there to help with this clean up too.

Anyway, thought I'd pop in while there was a break in the lightening. I'll let you know as it goes on. It shouldn't be here for another few hours, at least.

Posted by Tammi at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

Not Good

They just announced that Hurricane Charley is now a Cat 4 hurricane. Keep in mind Andrew was a 4 or possibly a 5. Either way, folks we are looking at a very serious situation.

It does look like the eye of the storm will miss Tampa. However, I am even more concered as they are calling for the eye to come ashore between Ft. Meyers and Sarasota. That is where the bulk of my family and friends are.

I'm not going to kid you. I'm very worried about them. It wasn't so bad when it was a Cat 2 and looking to hit a bit north. This is now a 4 and heading right for them.

Around here the skies are getting very dark. The first tornedo was spotted about 15 miles south west of me, but looks like that one will miss this area.

I'm going to go back to the TV.

Posted by Tammi at 12:31 PM | Comments (4)

It's Time

Well, they just issued the first Big T warning for this area. The rain hasn't even started here yet. Winds are starting to pick-up. Getting close to 30 miles an hour here, is what they are saying.

Charley is still 120 miles south of Bradenton but the storm lines are extensive and we are already starting to see it. I'm about 60 miles North east of Tampa, and Tampa is about a 60 mile drive north of Bradenton, just so you have some perspective.

I'm pretty sure I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Posted by Tammi at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

Devastating News

Well, now I know it's serious.

They just announced on the all news channel that they will be canceling the preseason game between the Bucs and the Bengals tomorrow.


I can't believe that had to even be announced. It's just a preseason game, it doesn't even really count.

Now if it was the Bucs vs. the Eagles I might have a bit more to say about that. :-)

BTW - Check out the Intro on the Buc's Website! It ROCKS!! Ahhh, football. thinking pleasant thoughts of men in tight pants, QBs LBs DLM, to keep my mind occupied.

Posted by Tammi at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Ready and Waiting

Ok, I'm sure some of you are about sick and tired of popping over here the last couple of days and hearing about ole Charley. But I have to be honest, right now he's pretty much the focus of everything in this neck of the woods.

My cousin and her family and hunkered down for the long haul. They shouldn't be effected by the storm surge (thank GOD it's looking to hit during low tide). My cousin in Sarasota and her family boarded up the house and headed for shelter. I can't reach them but talked with her Mother this morning and they are doing as well as they can with 3 kids in a public place.

As I said earlier, my blogless friend LeeAnn and her husband are also hunkered down and should be clear of the surge.

I finally located my other friends and they are a bit more inland at her parents and out of the worst of harms way. Their home, however is not. We can fix the house, I'm just happy they are alright.

I can't reach my friends in Tampa, but I'm sure that's because they are getting everything ready. Lots of prep work, especially when you have boats.

I haven't heard from any of my friends in Jacksonville after yesterday's Big Ts and they are likely to get hit again tonite. That has me a bit concerned.

Me? I've been to the store, have everything stored away or sunk. I have plenty of water and food. Candles, batteries and flashlights.

It's funny. The store was insane. And it was almost all tourists. Gotta say, it was actually kind of entertaining. I was already in half way decent shape. I just needed water and storm food. So I also picked up a book, tuna and chicken in a pouch, some cookies, chips and more soda. Oh and water. I grabbed some smoked sausage and ham. I'm ready. But the carts around me? gallons and gallons and gallons of water. Cases and cases and cases of beer. No food - oh wait, I do recall seeing most carts with ice cream. Yeah, ice cream!

When it was finally my turn to check-out my clerk smiled and told me I got in just in time. They are closing at 11:00am.

Me: nothing like a storm to make things interesting.

Her: you ready?

Me: Yep, stocked bar, case of beer, this food and a good book. My lap top should be ok for a while (as long as cable doesn't go out) Plenty of candles and a really great bottle of wine. Now all I need is company! ;-)

She laughed and we got to bagging. The guys behind me were from England and just a bit freaked out by all this.

But all in all I'm as ready as I can get. So, it's just time to wait and see.

I may not be able to get back on line for a while after it all hits (worse case scenerio) but will check in as soon as everything clears.

Posted by Tammi at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

What did he just say??

Ok, I had to stop what I was doing to tell you this. I've got the TV going to our local all news station so I know what's going on with this Charley dude.

They are doing an interview on the street sort of thing. They ask this one tourist guy what he thinks about all this hurricane stuff. His response?

I'm mad. I can't believe this is happening. I won't come back here ever again.

WTF?!?!? Dude! It's a flippin' Cat. 3 hurricane!! A storm!! A force of nature! Believe me when I tell you, this was not a part of the planned festivities. We didn't conjur this up with any regards to you, one way or another.

Geez. People just continue to amaze me.

Posted by Tammi at 08:29 AM | Comments (5)

Storm Update - Updated

Well shit.

I have one cousin and her family that live in Sarasota. Many of my close friends live in Sarasota and Bradenton. My cousin that is more like a sister lives in St. Pete. I have several friends in Tampa.

Hurrican Charley is now slowing and gaining strength. They have upgraded him to a level 2 and I've heard that by the time he hits Florida he could well be a level 3.

My cousin in St. Pete has lived here in Florida, along the coast, since she was 13. She doesn't get spooked easily. She just called. They are starting to evacuate St. Pete. It's highly possible/probable that her section will be ordered to evacuate at 5:00am tomorrow. She, her SO, her son, his GF and their baby, her daughter and her boyfriend are coming here.

I got the room. It'll be tight, but hell, we've all hung out at her house for entire weekends and that house isn't as big as this one is. That's not my concern.

They are saying that this area will be on the eastern side of the storm. The news is talking serious flooding and intensely high winds for this area. I've already mentioned the Big Ts.

The thing is, there really isn't any where in Florida to go that won't be effected. I saw earlier the damage the Big Ts did in Jacksonville today. I have several friends there that I can't get ahold of. That kinda worries me.

So, I'm heading to Walmart to get storm supplies for 7 additional people. I decided to move my grill into the garage so that if there is a power outage we can at least cook. I've got coolers (I'm a boater, of course I have coolers) so that will help. Damn, I've got a lot of work to do.

UPDATED 8/13 8:04am: I spent the larger part of the night on the phone with my cousin in St. Pete. She wanted to wait until we knew if they would be evac-ing her particular sector before they took off. With the baby and all, it just seemed to make sense. Now, all bridges are at a complete standstill and it looks like ole Charely is going to be upgraded again to a Cat.3. So, they are hunkered down and riding it out where they are. Say a prayer.

I've called some of my friends in Bradenton. Blogless friend LeeAnn and her husband are in the white zone and pretty secure. I can't get a hold of my other friends - hopefully they are still sleeping. There aren't any major bridges between Sarasota/Bradenton and here so I've put the call out to get loaded up and head this way.

They aren't sure exactly where he will land, this storm of ours. Tampa isn't looking good, and where I just moved from is one of the areas that is being evacuated. I'm glad I'm not there.

I got a very touching email from my blogsister Boudicca this morning with more hints and lists of things to make sure I've got taken care of. That really meant a lot. Thanks Bou.

Laughing Wolf called and told me to get myself to the store now! He's right, I've got to finish this shopping and get everything else into a secure area. Thanks Wolf!!

I'm inland so I won't have to worry about the storm surge at all. Not like everyone else I love. But....we got the winds, we got the Big Ts. So, I'm just going to do what I need to, and hope that it was all over kill.

So - I'm moving this to the top of the page and will update as I can.

Posted by Tammi at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)


Sgt Hook tells us about the helicopter crash that killed one soldier and wounded many others. Keep them and their families in your prayers.

While following his link to the Fox News story I came across this story about an Iraqi boy that fed informatoin to the American Military to help break up a cell of insurgents that were really pounding our troops. The leader of those insurgents was the boy's father. That is an example of winning the hearts and minds of the New Iraq. We need to say a prayer of thanksgiving for that one.

Posted by Tammi at 12:22 AM | Comments (3)

Slow Down, Damnit!

Boy, did I learn a lesson today. I've got to slow down when I'm commenting.

I was over at my blog brother, That 1 Guy's place and he had a great post up on reflections and such. Well my very witty Blogfather, Harvey, left a quip about T1G must be good looking so don't post a picture, we'd go nuts.

I read it and am laughing out loud and shoot off a typical Smart Ass Tammi remark - Shut Up! That's not so bad in itself, but I didn't soften it with a smiley or anything. I went back and read through the comments today and about shit.

I knew I was laughing out loud. I knew I was kidding. But I keep forgetting, ya'll can't see me. Ya'll can't hear me. Damn, I hate when I do stuff like that.

So learn this lesson from me - always remember to be overly sure that sarcasm and teasing are well identified.

Harvey, I would never intentionally be mean or rude to you (well, that you didn't approve ahead of time, but that's a different post altogether). I'm so sorry for the way that came out.

Damn, I REALLY hate when I do stuff like that.

Posted by Tammi at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2004


Lex is back from vacation and has a very thought provoking post up. Wow.

He gives us a brief history on MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and asks some pretty hard questions. Click over and read it. Then just sit back and think about it. Really think about it.

Then put in your two cents worth.

Posted by Tammi at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

Important Announcment

I have discovered a so called NY Pizza place within 5 mins of my house. I called, I can get a 12" thin crust cheese pizza for $7.

With football season coming up, and my intense love of pizza this may just be the best news I've had in a long, long time. Remember, I'm out in the middle of orange groves. I got a little town center plaza at the corner and nothing else for 10 miles. Not a lot of choices, and no such thing as delivery.

The guy that answered the phone is from Jersey. I can tell. Hmmmm. I'm very excited.

I gotta go pick it up and also get a menu. If there is fried raviolli on the menu I don't see any immediate weight loss in my future.

I'll let you know.

UPDATE: Pizza - pretty damn good. Really, really damn good. Very limited menu, but they have a Margherita pizza that I will be trying in the near future and Bruschetta. I watched them make it, I can't wait to try it.

This isn't going to be so rough after all. Good Pizza, good Chinese, just down from the house. Call ahead on the way home and Voila! Dinner.

Posted by Tammi at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

Very Interesting

This story at Online Journalism Review is very interesting.

It features and interview with Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine discussing some points that came to light during the Aspen Institute's Conference on Journalism and Society back in July.

It makes several interesting points.

I especially appreciate the discussion on how, to many, blogs are more reliable than news media - then goes on the list the reasons.

I believe that, because that is exactly how I feel.

When Smash posts something, I pay attention. Same with Blackfive. Why? For several reasons, but high on the list is the fact that they talk about what they KNOW. They have established credability with me. Time and time again, they've said it and they've been right. Not only that, but if something is mistaken, or misspoken - THEY ISSUE A CORRECTION. Right there, in front of everyone. They say it. That matters. A lot.

Same thing with Laughing Wolf. He stays with what he knows. He shows us the links and tells us where the information is available. Creates credibility.

My War is in a class by itself and needs no explaination from the likes of me. But those MilBlogs are sources of information for many of us. Look at the blogrolls of the sites you visit. I'm willing to bet many of us have the same names listed. That speaks volumes.

There are many more blogs that I read to learn and research what is going on. I Love what Kat at The Middle Ground and ALa71 at Blonde Sagacity put into their posts. They outline the research, you understand where they are coming from. Again, it adds to the credibility.

I don't pretend to be a hard hitting, information site. I don't have the time to do the research I feel necessary for those types of posts, and I make no apology for that. My post, and many of those I enjoy are there for that very purpose. Enjoyment. We tell jokes, we vent and rant and celebrate. Oh we mention what's going on, but I'm willing to bet No One would bet the farm on anything I write about politically. And that's the way it should be.

Anyway, I just found this article very interesting and thought I should share it with you. Blogging is here to stay, and a real force to be reckoned with. Mainstream media should be paying more attention.

Posted by Tammi at 03:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My War

He's Posting!!
And it's GREAT!!!

Posted by Tammi at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

Confession to Clear the Soul

I figure after the story below, you all think what a mean and terrible person I really am - so I might as well tell you the story of the meanest more awfulest thing I've ever done in life. That way it's all out there and we can just move on. Plus, better safe than sorry with this storm comin'!!

Ok - you all know I have a little sister. She is 4 years younger than me a quite a bit smaller. Anyway, as with most little sisters, she could be somewhat annoying, to say the very least. Always following me around, always wanting to do what I was doing, play with MY friends, talk talk talk talk talk. You get the picture.

We lived on 3 acres with 150 trees. Along the back 40 was a field with horses and houses along the other side. Pretty quiet. Pretty secluded.

So one day my little sister decides that she is going to play Tammi's Shadow. My least favorite game in life. I say something, she repeats it. I do something, she mimics.! Always had.

So, I ask her if she wants to play a new game I just discovered. She readily agrees, after all, I'm the coolest big sister, no one smarter or funnier (I feel so guilty looking back).

I grab a rope and we head to the back 40. At the very edge of the property is a row of trees. I stand her up against one, opposite the house so one one can see what's going on. I tell her to hold one end of the rope, close her eyes and count to 20. I run around the tree, pulling said rope tight and securing her there with little movement available. When she opened her eyes, I was standing in front of her, hands on hips, glaring. NOW....Leave Me Alone!!!

Did I mention I was 11, and she was almost 7? No? Didn't think so.

I then went back up by the house and played for the rest of the day. Never giving a thought to what I had just done.

Now it should be said that we lived in the country and this was back in the days when you could let your kids run and play. All the neighborhood kids basically lived at each others house so it was a real break for parents. Not like today.

Anyway, come dinner time Mom calls us in. I go in, wash up and sit at the table. Mom is standing at the dining room window looking for Dawn.

Tammi? Where's your sister? Is she over at Terry's?

No. She's just a little tied up right now.

I never missed a beat and had the straightest face you've ever seen.

After a couple minutes Mom hollers again and starts out the back door. I'm sitting at the table eating. I glance out the window and Mom is at the edge of the garden running. Oops. I see Mom tugging at the rope and carrying Dawn back to the house. She wasn't smiling. Double Oops.

She comes in, runs Dawn a warm bath, gets her dressed in her favorite jammies and fixes her a tray and puts her to bed. All this without saying one word to me. After she gets Dawn settled she comes back to the dining room. Still no talking.

I stand up and walk around her to my bedroom. On the way I grabbed the paddle. She was right behind me.

Let's just say - I didn't play outside for a very long time after that. My only activity was church. Not even going to mention how difficult it was to sit down.

And not a word was ever spoken.

Dawn and I actually laugh about it now, and I always end by telling her how sorry I am about that whole thing. Geez, what a terrible child I was.

Poor Mom.

Posted by Tammi at 11:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

A Funny Story

Well, at least it's funny to me. I actually went back through the archieve to make sure I hadn't blogged this before. I think I'm safe.

As we brace ourselves for Charley's visit I'm reminded of my only Northern Hurricane story. It happened after Andrew hit a few years ago.

Now I am the first person to say that there was and is nothing funny about Andrew and the havoc that ensued. Except this little personal story.

My ex-husband was a line-man. He worked for a contractor up north and often got called out to cover any mass-emergencies. After Andrew hit, he was pulled down to LA to help rebuild the power infrastructure down there. So he packed his bags (ok, I packed his bags) and off he went.

We were never what you'd call a close couple. But he did at least call home every 24 hrs or so to let me know he was alright. Well, that and to check on the cat. One evening he calls and asks me if I had ever heard of fire ants.

No, can't say that I have.

Well, he was now very well informed on every aspect of them. Let me explain.

First and foremost, my ex-husband was from the hills of south eastern Kentucky. A little town you may have heard of, Hazard. He's a country boy. Add to that the fact that he was a lineman and a "bit" of a drinker and you have the poster child for Good Ole Boy. (with a mean streak)

So, he's very comfortable out in the "wild". He's down in the swamp and trying to put up some new poles to run the wire. Being him, he had to take a shit. So he walked a ways off and dropped 'em and copped a squat. Right on a hill of fire ants. You can only imagine what happened from there.

So, as he's telling me this I start to laugh. I started to laugh harder. I dropped the phone I was laughing so hard. He hung up. Didn't call back for the next 16 days. I hurt his feelings.

Now, I realize after encountering my fair share of fire ants, the pain that he must have been in. I also understand the intense discomfort for weeks afterwards. I apologized for laughing.

But if you knew him, you'd know it was Karma saying - "Up Yours Asshole!"


Posted by Tammi at 09:29 AM | Comments (2)

I've GOT to Start Paying Attention

I'm not a dumb girl. I'm just busy. So imagine my surprise when one of my co-workers called and asked if I was ready for the storm?

Storm? What storm? We get 'em every afternoon - it's the flippin' rainy season.

No, she was talking about Hurrican Charley. View image. Well, shit. But it shouldn're really effect me, I'm no where near a coast (much to my chagrin). Then I turned on the weather channel. Well, holy shit. It doesn't show it on the map I linked, but on the local channel, the little yellow line for the path - yeah, right over my house.

Now, when I lived in Bradenton we had several scares and actually had a pretty bad tropical storm hit on 9/13/01. That was the worst I've seen, ever. I'm in my 2nd floor condo, trying to watch the national memorial services after 9/11 when all hell broke loose. About midway through the service I lost power. Luckily I have an old Watchman TV so I went into the bathroom, sat on the floor with candles and flashlight and watched the service. Meanwhile my cell phone is ringing off the hook because I'm trying to ship truckloads of juice up to the relief workings in NYC and DC. With the weather I got trucks that can't leave, trucks that are missing, not to mention just trying to keep my day to day stuff going well. I keep checking out my lanai windows and see the tops of palm trees flying by. All of a sudden I hear a huge CRACK and the building shook. I run to the front of the house and find that I'm cut off. A tree has fallen across my steps and I'm trapped. Took 3 days to get things back to a semblance of order.

So you'd think I'd pay a bit more attention to this sort of thing, especially during storm season. I do feel a bit better since Boudicca admitted she was in the dark about it also, until yesterday.

The thing with where I live now is we get it from both coasts. We are truly Central Florida. That's why we get all the storms in the afternoon. The crap coming in from the gulf and then from the ocean meet right about here. That was not mentioned when I was looking at this house.

The thing with Charley is that, unless he shifts a bit more westward, we are on the eastern side of the storm, with is the worst part. There is a chance it will shift (and put many of my friends and family in the path) but not much (which puts me right there.) They are warning of extrememly high winds, very heavy rain and tornedos.

So, here's the plan. Putting the pool furniture in the garage. Getting some bottled water, just in case. Stopping to pick up batteries. Have more than enough candles, just not my favorite scents, but I'll make due. I did go finally and buy a regular land line phone, versus cordless. My cell phone doesn't work at the house and if the power goes out I need to still be able to make calls.

I think I'm ready. I'll pick up some food that doesn't need to be heated or cooled. I've got plenty of Diet Coke and Cpt. Morgan so I'm pretty sure I can entertain myself. It should all be over by 2:00am Saturday so today is just getting ready, Friday is riding it out, Saturday RAIN and Sunday clean-up!

I know! Storm party at Tammi's. I'll make up some Hurricanes!!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:43 AM | Comments (4)

August 11, 2004

She Did It! She Really Did It!!!

I'm working a half day at home (in case you were wondering why so many posts this morning) and decided to check Technorati, just to see who loves me.

I see this blog linked to me called Quality Weenie. What?!?!

So I click over and it is one of my favorite commentors and commentor partiers Machelle!!!!


Stop on over, she's just getting started. Say hi and let her know how welcome she is to the Blogsphere.

Ahhh Machelle - I'm so glad you did this. Another addition to the blogroll!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:59 AM | Comments (3)


As I've bitched and moaned about over the past few months, I have this printer/fax/copier/scanner thingy from hell. Well, it's working now. However, I haven't testest the scanner part of it. So guess what! You are my test subjects.

I've got a picture of my sister and I taken back when I was 4 and she was 1. I'm want to see how this works so....Welcome to a Blast from Tammi's Past.

BTW - the chair in the picture? There are 2 and my parents bought them back in the early 50's. I've got one sitting in my office and the other in my guest room. Comfy!!!


Check out those slippers!!! Even at the tender age of 4 I had style! :-)

Posted by Tammi at 09:21 AM | Comments (5)

Belated Birthday!!

I messed up. Yesterday was Dana's birthday and I missed it.

Well it seems that she has her very own Pretty Princess tale and you gotta see this. A couple of my favorite people are "stars". Talk about Perfect Casting!!!!!

Funny stuff. I wish I had that kind of imagination. I love the internet - so damn entertaining!!

Happy Birthday Dana!!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:27 AM | Comments (2)

No, not in this life

I found this interesting piece of gibberish at Doc Russia's place.

People, in NY, gathering in groups to cuddle? In their PJs? With strangers? Oh, hell no!

(cold chills running down spine)

Now, I am a touchy feely sort of person. Not as much as I used to be, but a good hug is always appreciated. By someone I know. By someone I like. Not by some stranger in their pajamas! Yick

But I especially enjoy Doc's response to the whole idea. Doesn't surprise me one bit.


Posted by Tammi at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)

Hole-y Hot Dogs

I was sitting in bed last night just trying to go to sleep and all these weird thoughts are whirling through my head, kinda like a roulette wheel. Well the ball settled on red 6 (don't know if that exists, I don't play roulette) and the topic was "What's up with me and loving to feed people?!?!"

I had friends for dinner the other night. It was so nice. I cooked. I love to cook. To the extend that when I was calling on steel fabricators (smaller shops) I would cook for them instead of buying food. I would offer a lunch for the shop - and show up with my crockpot full of BBQ pulled pork, some sides and at least 2 homemade cakes. I quickly earned the nickname Betty Crocker.

As all women in my family, I started helping out in the kitchen as soon as I could reach the counter and not hurt myself. It begins with cookies, stirring, putting on the pan, arranging on the cookie plate (this at the age of 6). Well, I helped cook my first MEAL when I was around 9. Mom worked evenings so it was Daddy, sister and I. Daddy couldn't really cook, I just didn't know it. To this day I like my fried potatoes very very crunchy. I like my toast double or even triple toasted. Daddy burnt everything - I was 9, what did I know?!?

Anyway, this particular evening I begged to help with the "real meal", dinner. Dad thought about it and said yeah, I could cook the meat. So while he was burning the potatoes, I got to work on the hot dogs. I filled the pot with water and placed it on the stove. I drug a chair over and stood up on it so that I could be in a better position to see what I was doing. Daddy and I standing side by side at the stove - cooking some dinner. :-)

I take a hot dog out of the package and start to poke holes in it with a toothpick. I'm not talking one or two holes, I poked some serious holes. It's a wonder the damn thing hung together. I then carefully placed it in the pan of water and start on the next hot dog. Daddy is watching every move I make. Finally after a couple of these, he asks: "sweetie, why ya pokin' holes in the hot dogs?"

Well, Daddy, I want this dinner to be really really good. You do really good potatoes and I want the hot dogs to be good too. So, I thought if I poked holes in all the hot dogs the juices would flow through and they would be really really juicey.

Daddy looked at me very seriously, and nodded. "seem's you've been thinkin' 'bout this. Sounds like a good idea".

We went back to our dinner preperations. I set the table with everything we need and candles. Daddy lights the candles and we call Dawn to dinner. After we say grace we fill our plates. I'm so quiet (very unusual) and just watching Daddy. He puts a hot dog on his plate and then takes a bite. You could cut the tension with a knife. I'm watching and it good? Is it really good? Daddy looks over at me and smiles.

Baby, I think this is the very best, very juiciest hot dog I have ever had. In my WHOLE life.

WHAM That was it. I was hooked. I've been cooking and feeding people ever since. I love nothing better than to have people for dinner, cook a big meal, sit around the table talking, laughing - and to have someone tell me how much they appreciated the meal. That they enjoyed it.

Fast forward to many years to count......I live alone and have a pretty hectic schedule so I don't get to cook as much as I like, especially for company. So to put on the ritz for an evening was so much fun. I have somethings that I always get asked to make, BBQ, Lasgna, baked spagetti, pork roast, my polish pork chops, but I also always enjoy trying a new dish. And when I do, it's funny cause I feel like that 9 year old standing at the stove poking holes in the hot dogs and hoping that my idea works.

Posted by Tammi at 07:01 AM | Comments (4)

August 10, 2004

Some Encouragement

I've told you about the incredible MilBlog My War. It's caught on like wildfire all over. Well, CB had a bit of a scare today - seems he got called into the BC's office. Go on over and read it. Then leave a comment or shoot him and email. He's thinking about hanging up the blog. Oh, he wasn't told he had too, he's just got to run the material past the Plt Sgt but the BC actually seems to be a fan.

The whole experice seemed to shake him up. But really, go and read it.

I was browsing through the 142 comments left (at 11:00pm EST) and found this comment from Apocalypse Now:

Hey Charlie Bravo, just checked out your site for the first time. I heard about it from some guy in my company. Anyways I was there with you when the shit went down in Mosul. It really brings back that day vividly for me. I was scared shitless too, even if i was only in the drivers hatch. Anyways I'd like to thank you for putting the word out, the news really didnt do us justice. Its nice to hear good things about our unit for a change (go to hell SOF). I hope you continue to share our experiances, it is very well written and I enjoy your work.

Is he making a difference? Does what he's writing matter? Oh Hell Yeah.

Within his post he mentions that he was sitting in the cyber cafe and saw that the soldier sitting next to him was on line reading His Blog! And the guy had no idea he was sitting next to the author!! How very cool is that!

So anyway, go on over, read about his day and leave him a note. Yeah, he's already got a lot of them over there. But you know what - he's in Iraq, he had a bit of a fright (major understatment) leave him a kind & encouraging word.

Posted by Tammi at 10:19 PM | Comments (3)

Random Thought....

I wonder if it was intentional that the root work of analyst is anal??

Posted by Tammi at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

Good News Good News

I am a die hard romantic. To my bones. Always and forever. Yep, that's me.

One of my favorite activities is going to a wedding that I know will last. A union where there is equal measure love, respect, thanks, and focus. Well, one of my very good friends has met and proposed to the woman of his dreams and they are getting married in October up in Pensacola. Don't know how I'll fit it in, but you can color me there!!!!

But....I got some really great news earlier today. When I worked at Tropicana the guy that hired me on was one hell of a man. Kind, thoughtful, funny, smart, good looking, focused, successful - I could go on and on. I had never worked for anyone that I respected more than he. On our team was an analyst that I really admired. I found out after we had been friends for a while I wasn't on the top of her list for people she wanted to hang out with at first. But a week in Bentonville AR with me, and we became lifelong friends and allies. Over the years my boss was promoted and the team split up. However the three of us remained very good friends. In fact - if I had a little brother I couldn't love or admire him more than I do this man. An her - as I sit here remembering all the fun I've had with her, what I've learned from and with her, how often she has turned my tears into a smile and kept me going all I can say is WOW. On my desk I have a picture of the three of us on our last business trip together. We were in New Orleans and doin' Burboun St that night. (maybe after I know ya'll better I'll tell that story.) We are smiling and drinking and just enjoying the hell out of each other.

Well today she called to tell me they are getting married on November 12th and will I be there? Will I Be There?!?!? Does Pooh love honey? Does an elephant have big ears?!? Hell yes, I'll be there! AND....they're getting married at Disney - 15 mins. from my house. I CAN TAKE A CAB!!!!

So, while they remain nameless at this point - Congratulations my friends. NO ONE could be happier, No One could be prouder. No two people deserve the happiness you share more than you do. (damn it, I'm crying again)

Posted by Tammi at 06:41 PM | Comments (4)


Have you seen this video yet?

It's not about politics. It's about honoring our Hero's. Remembering them and their families.

Thanks to Jennifer Martinez for the link!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It's a Good Question

My blogbrother That 1 Guy is back! (Damn, we didn't get the place cleaned up in time, from the comment party - sorry dude!)

He askes a good question "what would you do to keep your grown child from marrying someone who YOU deem unfit?" Man did that get my mind a whirling.

We are dealing with that in my little family right now. My oldest niece is 17 and involved with someone that, yeah in our mind, is not fit. It's causing a lot of problems with the family, as we all have strong, differing opinions.

She is a beautiful young lady that has had a very bad life. External circumstances and a father that is more interested in himself and how he can manipulate situations for his own betterment have come together to create a sad, lonely underconfident person. So she meets this guy and falls in love.

At first glance it doesn't sound so bad, right? Did I mention the kid's father is one of the largest drug dealers in my hometown? Did I mention that when I met him it was more than obvious that he is a gang-banger? Did I mention that he refuses to work, and that she is working 2 jobs to keep them in money so they can do things, and have things? No? Well, yeah that's how it is.

My Mom reacts by just crying. Crying, crying praying praying. She has always been the pray-er in the family. She listens when A needs to talk, but A won't talk about a lot of stuff, very private young lady. Mom will deliver the Mama Vi lecture about looking past tomorrow, but it falls on deaf ears.

My sister - she has said it's A's choice, but that she will disown her. Hands down.

The father (for want of a better word) let's the kid move in and freeload, because he's half afraid of him.

Me? Well, from this distance it's tough, but here's my attitude. I don't like him. Nope, not one bit. I met him, took he and A to dinner. Found out about the job thing and asked what kind of job he was going to get. His response - can't find anything he likes to do, so he wasn't really interested in working. Plus A was taking care of the money stuff. Oh No. No Way. I "gently" suggest that he needs to get a job, at his age and in this situation he needs to be carrying his weight. I let him know that in my opinion, a real man steps up to the plate and does what needs to be done to support his "family". (they aren't married yet, but this does not bode well for future plans). Oh and did I mention that he considers schooling and education a waste? Yeah, he feels his dad is a success and he didn't finish school. (OMG!!!)

I told A I didn't like him. No sense lying about it. But I also told her it wasn't up to me. I want her happy, safe and secure. I can see that he makes her happy (?) but I'm not seeing the safe and secure part - I need him to start working on that.

Oh, and if you thought seperation and time might make things better, think again. Before he turned 18 he did 6 months in Juvi. She waited for him. Wouldn't date, wrote daily and worked as many hours as she could so that they could celebrate his release.

You know, when she was first placed in my arms I looked at this beautiful baby and promised to love and cherish her always. I swore to protect her and give her the best life I could. This does not fall within those plans. Not anywhere on the map I had in my mind.

But I'm also not willing to write her off. I love her. Always have and always will. I will not drop out of her life, if they do end up getting married (which it looks like will happen) she will need me even more. But I can place limits on my support.

I don't have to give THEM money. I don't have to set up their house or make it easier for them. I can offer HER a safe place, with no I Told You So's. I can offer advise WHEN ASKED. But I won't be 2 faced and I won't make her choose. Ever.

They are currently living together at her father's house. The plan is to move in with his family next year and then in the summer get their own little apartment. She is currently making $6 an hour at both her jobs, no training or skills to speak of. I can't imagine what kind of home they will be able to afford. I don't have a problem with starting out slow and working your way up. It builds character and helps you to appreciate what you've accomplished. It's just I don't see how they will be able to get out of that situation - especially after the babies start coming, and they both want babies. Lots of babies.

So anyway - what do you think? What are your suggestions on this type of situation? How would you handle it?

BTW - Thanks T1G for the thought provoking question.

Posted by Tammi at 08:25 AM | Comments (7)

August 09, 2004

A Post That Answers Some Questions For Me

Ok - this is going to take a while, but those that are interested in REALLY gaining some insight into Kerry and How Viet Nam Continues to Define Him Personally and Politically needs to click over the The Middle Groud.

Kat has put an amazing amount of research and thought into this piece, as she does with everything I've read so far. I learned a lot here, followed the links to the articles she used for research and was amazed at the line that developed.

Like all American's at this point, I know Kerry was in Viet Nam. I knew he was in the Senate, I knew he "caused some problems" during President Reagan's term and I certainly remember his hatred of President Bush Sr. What I didn't realize is the chain of events involved. What I had never looked at was the common thread.

I can hardly wait for Part II to be posted. Make yourself comfortable and get over there and read this. You'll be glad you did!!!

Great Post Kat!!!

Posted by Tammi at 06:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Yeah, This is my territory UPDATED

I had heard about this story over the weekend, but didn't hear the details.

6 people between the ages of 18 and 34 were found beaten and or stabbed to death (or both) in Deltona FL. over the weekend. The "main" target of the attack, a 22 year old woman, was beaten so badly even dental records could not assist in identifying her.

You want to know why these 6 people were killed? Hmmm? Well it seems these 4 losers - 1 27 yr old and 3 18 yr olds - were squating in the vacation home of the main targets grandparents. She showed up one day found them, called police and they were removed. They left behind some clothes and an X-box. Erin Belanger, 22, removed the items and took them to the home she shared with roommates. The freeloaders returned several times to the vacant lot, contacted Erin and threatened to beat her with a baseball bat and even went to their home and slashed their tires.

So here's my question. Why were these worthless sons of bitches even out after the string of threats and damage? And over a f*cking x-box?!?!

I'm at a loss. Completely. I don't understand the thought process of the bastards that did this. I don't understand why the police didn't do more. I just don't get it.

And, of course the article includes a family member of one of the SOBs saying that they can't believe the child did this. There was no evidence of violent behavior, it must be they fell into the wrong crowd. STFU!!!! Someone is not this violent on a spur. Nope, and I'm sure someone thought Jeffery Dahmer was a real sweetie too.

Damn, this just really distresses me. Not to mention I'm headed to this lovely town in 2 days to make calls. Hmmmm...I know how it works in rock paper scissors - does a gun beat a baseball bat?

UPDATED 8/10/04: Commentor Mark leads me to Bryan Strawser's post on a follow-up of this story. Seems the Probation Officer and 3 supervisors have been fired. Go, read the details! Thanks Mark! I owe ya!!!

Posted by Tammi at 03:49 PM | Comments (10)

Back At It

Well today is the first day back after being sick, stuck in Atlanta and then the back woods of Georgia and having a house full of people. In other words I can settle in and get back into my routine.

I had some friends over for dinner last night, we spent the afternoon/evening talking, catching up and watching some movies. Oh, and I made a really good dinner! Very nice.

Went to bed early for me, had trouble falling asleep, but still managed to get about 5 1/2 hours in before the alarm went off.

Heard that chirping this morning and immediately hit the snooze. Then I sat up in bed and said (really) "Time to make the donuts" (I know, I'm a dork). Got up, hit the switch on the coffee pot and off we go.

I've got an early morning training class for 20 new hires at one of my larger department store accounts so I printed out all my literature, rechecked my training bag and got dressed. Here I sit, locked and loaded for a fun day of training and apologizing.

And I got lots of apologizing to do. It's been 3 weeks since I've done any major store visits. And when I did it was to put out fires. Well, I've still got fires, but 3 weeks of freaking out over what wasn't being done forced me to look at the way I run MY business. I made some changes.

I got the printer/fax thingy running and I spent time Saturday just printing out all my reference sheets and logs. I reworked my run schedule and set everything up in my calendar so if anyone wants to know what I'm doing when all they gotta do is look. I printed a copy of the schedule out so that I can double check everything before I commit to eliminate any possibility of double booking. I miss my palm pilot, but can't afford to replace it right now, so we're doing things the old fashioned way. It's what ever it takes to get this shit organinzed.

I discovered there was a bit of a problem with my pay since the promotion and move. My checks have been a bit lower than before the change and I thought it was because the months of May and June were pretty bad in this industry. Boy, was I wrong. Seems when the old boss set my budget (my goals that my pay is based off of) he doubled the budget on my biggest account. The new boss noticed it while we were in Atlanta and had a fit. Yelled at me that I should have told him. Hey - I was new to this pay structure, no one had explained it to me and to make matters worse - they haven't started mailing me my weekly numbers so I had no point of reference. Anyway - it's fixed now. Even though sales were slow in July I'll still at least make base pay and should be able to handle things a bit better. The bad news is, no retro pay make up. The budget is the budget is the budget, until someone changes it. Damn, they got a lot of free work out of me, that's for sure.

Anyway, it feels pretty good to be back in gear again. It'll be tough this week, getting out there and running like a mad woman, but at least it will be controlled chaos. I've set my 2 weeks rotation schedule so that I'm home at a decent time every evening but 1 each week. I have a fire day or office day scheduled 1x a week and have scheduled in my day off (Monday) beginning next week. Since I took last Friday off to be with my family I'll make that up today.

The secret is to fit everything in so that you leave time for issues and still hit all your calls. The next couple of calls in each store will be a matter of explaining why I haven't been there without making excuses. Honestly, they don't care that I've been sick. They don't care that I had out of town meetings and my family was here. They care that they haven't seen me and feel like no one gives a damn about their business. And this is one of those situations where actions speak much louder than words.

The only thing I haven't really figured out is how to catch up on all the administrative stuff. I've got tons of paperwork to catch up on and that will take the evenings. I'm hoping that all will be caught up and corrected by Friday night. Then I should be able to maintain with just an hour after runs each day. Not bad - now if I can just get the people in corporate to understand how important it is that they finish what they've started and get it out! Everything hinges on them getting stuff back to me. I go. Should be interesting, to say the least.

Posted by Tammi at 06:20 AM | Comments (3)

August 08, 2004

Would You Use It?

Here's a picture of a public toilet in Switzerland that's made entirely
out of one-way glass. No one can see you in there, but when you are
inside, it looks like you're sitting in a clear glass box. Would you use



Posted by Tammi at 10:52 AM | Comments (9)

Another No Brainer Folks

I've mentioned the Hook-a-thon to help raise money for a blow out when Sgt. Hook and the troops come home from the Stan. Well, there are some very cool magnets up for sale right now, at some great prices. They even have bulk shipping. I'm thinking they will make great little give outs for those customers that I know well enough to share my politics with and not get in trouble.

I sent a link to some of my friends and one guy is ordering enough for the office. I think it's a great idea. And what a deal - cool magnets, great price, FANTASTIC CAUSE.

So....get over there and get cha some.

Posted by Tammi at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)

I'm So Proud

I've mentioned before that I was a music major in college to begin with. I was lucky enough to go to a high school and be involved in one of the best music programs in the country. We won numerous awards, not just to choirs but the band also.

Well, one of the girls I was in choir with has a Music Academy in Kentucky. Here is their web page. The woman that runs the school has been a friend of mine since Jr. High. She is hands down one of the best pianists I've ever heard, and I've been fortunate enough to know many.

Not only that, but her voice is like that of an angel. I remember hearing her sing and thinking God had out done himself.

Well, I'm thrilled that she is passing on that love and knowledge. If you are living in this area and either you or your children are musically inclined CONTACT her.

Music in one of the greatest gifts we have. If you have the talent - nuture it, don't waste it. Take it from someone that learned the hard way!!

Posted by Tammi at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Doc Russia Says It Like It Is

This post at Doc Russia is perfect - "Are we winning?" or "Don't call it a comeback" ( - It's the response to all those neighsayers that are trying to say we're in over our heads, that we are losing this War on Terror.

I'm with Doc. We Are Winning.

Posted by Tammi at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

Another Funny Email

Hee Hee

This so made me smile!!! Don't know where it originated and I know I've seen it before, but it still makes me smile!


Posted by Tammi at 08:01 AM | Comments (2)

Funny Email Joke

I got this via email from a friend of can probably see why we are friends!!!

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes,
crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their
beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft
background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of
caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and
deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells, dipped in caviar, into
the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen
and left.

When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss
for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything; cleaning and mopping and airing the place
out. Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam
cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere.

Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during
which they had to move out for a few days, and in the end they
even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit... Repairmen
refused to work in the house...The maid quit...

Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided
to move.

A month later, even though they had cut their price in half,
they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got
out, and eventually, even the local realtors refused to return
their calls.

Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to
purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man, and asked how things were going. He
told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely,
and said that she missed her old home terribly,
and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in
exchange for getting the house back...

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed
on price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been
worth...But only if she were to sign the papers that very day.

She agreed, and within the hour, his lawyers delivered the

A week later, the man and his new girlfriend stood smirking as
they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their
new home...

...including the curtain rods.

Posted by Tammi at 08:00 AM | Comments (4)

August 07, 2004

I Love This Piece

I'm looking through ebay since I have a few minutes and there's a bit of a storm brewing outside.

I haven't been out there in ages. I clicked on one of my old searches and, let's just say I can't ebay anymore. I love this piece. I want this piece. I've wanted it for a very long time, now I really want it. There is a spot in my family room that is just made for it. But I can't. Not for a while yet.

But still - I love this piece.


Every time I see this it just touches me. (no pun intended ) It moves me, and I can't put it into words. It is one of my favorite sculptures ever.

Posted by Tammi at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

Kleenex Alert

I'm catching up on my reading. I always enjoy my visit to the site Iraqi War News as it not only gives the news on what is going on, but it shows us the human side, allows us to meet some of the Soldiers Angles. It's a great site!

I clicked over just now and saw this link to a video entitled Messages To Heros. I had to watch it twice. The first time the tears were flowing so hard I couldn't see.

It's a reminder that supporting our Troops also means supporting their families. They are holding the home together, while worrying and missing their loved ones. They are heros in their own right!

Thanks Patti, for sharing that. It's one of the most moving things I've seen.

Posted by Tammi at 01:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My Letter

I just posted a link for you to drop a comment/letter at SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse for the troops. My letter is in the extended entry. Where's yours??

How can I even begin to say Thank You? I can I show even a portion of my gratitude and respect for all that you are doing?

The sacrifices you have made, and continue to make on the behalf of this country and ME take my breath away.

Please know that you have the support, gratitude and respect of so many of us, not just in the U.S. but across the world. Don't allow what you see and hear (or don't see and hear) via the media convince you that we don't care.

Hundreds of thousands of us think of you daily. Hundreds of thousands of us recognize what you are doing and are grateful to our souls.

We are here. We are waiting for your return. We appreciate everything you are doing and love you - even without seeing or knowing you.

I can't walk through an airport without seeing a Military trooper and not saying Thank You. I can't think of enough things to do to show my respect and care.

This is such a little thing, but hopefully it will show you that you are not alone. Never alone. Your are appreciated and respected.

God Bless You All!

Posted by Tammi at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)

Write A Letter

It's easy. You're sitting at the computer, and here a quick and easy link!!!

Go HERE and leave a letter in comments.

I want to thank Kat at The Middle Ground for the email letting me know about this. I'm behind on posting and emails but I personally think this is something that we can jump on.

So head onh over to SlagleRock and get a letter into comments.

This is easy folks and IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)


The family just left. Yesterday I took the day off to spend with them. We went shopping for my neice's birthday - what a disaster that was. How can she be a member of MY family and hate shopping as much as she does?? Who'da thunk! Got home and my cousin, her daughter-in-law and grandson came over. We did some of my favorite things. Arranging funiture and nesting. We all love to do that, plus I'm told it's entertaining as hell to watch me putter around.

Last night we sat and watched movies and talked. This morning, rushing, finish packing, primping of hair to show off new cut and running for a plane. They should make it just in time, but it'll be close!

Right now, there is not a sound in this house but the hum of the air conditioner and the clicking of this keyboard. Weird. It just feels empty. However, I only have 3 boxes left to deal with, we completely switched the furniture from the living room to the family room and it was the perfect fix. 90% of my candles are out and placed so the house is smelling wonderful. My favorite art work is hung in just the right spots. It feels like home.

But it's so quiet.

It's so empty.

I think I'll call some friends over for dinner.

Posted by Tammi at 09:01 AM | Comments (2)

Saturday Question of the Day

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes:

What is the one thing that never fails to put a smile on your face?

For me it's a pretty easy answer - oh many things make me smile, but depending on my mood sometimes I'll miss it.

But when I hear the laughter of a child the muscles on my face relax and a softness comes to my eyes. Every time. No matter how difficult the task I"m doing, no matter how sad, or distracted I am - the laughter of a child gives me that moment of joy.

It's like exhaling after a deep breath. That feeling of relief, like you were waiting for it.

That's what the sound of a childs giggles or laughter does for me.

What about you? What is the One Thing that never fails to put a smile on your face?

Posted by Tammi at 07:01 AM | Comments (5)

A Day to Remember

Today is August 7th. It's been 32 years since the accident that took my father and my mother's youngest brother. Daddy was 41 and Uncle John had just turned 26.

My uncle had a young wife and a 18 month old daughter. My aunt took the men to the airport and watched the small plane take off. She looked down at her daughter to pick her up and when she looked back the plane had already crashed. They were gone that quickly. She doesn't remember any of that.

I've told you about my father in other posts. He was an incredible father, and pretty great all around guy.

We miss them both every day. But today - even after 32 years, we mourn.

Posted by Tammi at 06:55 AM | Comments (3)

Perfect Post for a Saturday

Sgt Hook makes us laugh

Thanks Hook. I needed that!

Posted by Tammi at 06:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004


There's a party in the plannin'.

Our favorite Hook tells about a plan for a shindig to welcome home his unit. Damn, sounds good enough that I may just take my vacation and head out there and join them!!

Dana and Pam have set up an "auction house" to help raise money to pull this off. The plan sounds great. They want to have a 2 day party, on the beach for the entire family. We need to step up and help out.

So Go Here and let's put our money where our hearts are. These families have given and given and given. The least we can do is give them 2 days to remember.

Posted by Tammi at 09:10 AM | Comments (1)

August 05, 2004

TMI Zone - again

Boudicca has a great post in honor of our Blogfather Harvey. Yep, that's right. It's about Breasts. As usual, I've something to say on this.

I come from a family of very well endowed ladies. Oh yeah - they got it goin' on! I do not resemble anyone in my family. Ave. height - 5'3", I'm 6'2". They look like women, they have curves and breasts and such. I don't - oh I got hips, you can't miss them. But I'm not well endowed. Nope, not at all.

And I like it that way. I saw how much they have all suffered over the years, watch what they wear, the bra's that aren't always so attractive. You know what - I wear strapless dresses, halter tops, pretty lacy bras - I can wear anything I want. And on those rare occassions the dress needs a bit of umph - they make bras that take care of that too.

Best of all - I'm 42 now. Minimum sagging, still wearing strapless dresses and halter tops. Yep. They aren't aging too bad.

But I've always taken grief from the family. I remember on my 16th birthday - my most conservative Aunt (who also has the best sense of humor) gave me a beautifully wrapped package. I opened it and inside was a training bra with little "reserved" signs embroidered on the cups. Yes - she took the time to stitch the word reserved on both cups. That was kinda embarrassing. But, as time went on I learned to give as good as I got.

In Lulu's this week, I saw the male obsession in action. There was a girl. Pretty, not a knockout, but pretty. Not overweight, but not in any semblance of "condition". But this chick had boobs - and she let everyone know. You couldn't miss 'em. Every guy in the group turned around in his chair as she walked by. One guy actually tripped as he was walking. You know what - good for her. She's got 'em, might as well take those puppies out for a walk. As for me, I laughed my ass off. One of the guys I'm friends with asked me if it bothered me.

Bothered me? Why?
Well, all the guys more than noticed and you are a little less than endowed. Doesn't that bother you?

My answer - hell no!! By the time she's my age, she'll wish things were different.

I dated a boob man once. He loved nothing more than giving me a rough time about what I didn't have. Finally, about a month into the relationship I decided to pull a little trick. My roommate at the time had one of those water bras. I borrowed it, added one of my favorite low cut sweaters and met him at the door. To me I looked like some kind of freak - he was in 7th heaven. After dinner I had to go and change. I just didn't feel like myself. He kept commenting on the difference until I finally just explained that if he wanted breasts yet wanted to still date me he would have to purchase a water bra for himself because I'm not changing a damn thing about myself for anyone.

I figure - use what ya got ladies!! That's what it's there for. As for me, I'm happy just the way I am.

Posted by Tammi at 07:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Must Read

First and foremost - after reading this I have NOTHING to complain about. Nothing, not a damn thing. Holy Shit.

My favorite line in this story? His final note: I don't think CNN's report of only 12 dead is accurate.

Go to MY WAR and read a first hand report of what happened Wednesday in Mosul.

UPDATED NOTE: The soldier mentioned in the post that was wounded in the stomach is a friend of Sarah @ Trying to Grok. It would be a good thing while you are being thankful for the safety of the soldiers and praying for the wounded to drop by and leave a little support for Sarah. Hattip: Jim @ Parkway Rest Stop - thanks for the reminder!!

Posted by Tammi at 12:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

"Be careful, little lady"

Hey~~ I'm Home!!! And more thrilled with that than I can say. I feel like I've come through a time warp.

I've been up in a small town in Georgia, just about 80 miles north of Jacksonville. It's a small town. It's a quiet town. It's funny, when I was walking through the parking lot, I swore I heard banjos - but that's another story!!

We were having a team meeting to see our brand new state of the art plant. And it is pretty damn impressive. 202,000 sq. ft of mfg. space and the office space is unbelievable. Everything is state of the art, and hell - I'm very impressed. We had a sale, so we were on the phones for a hunk of the day on Tuesday and then Wednesday afternoon. With meetings and presentations floating around in between.

But this is the funny part. No Where in Town or by the plant can anyone get a cell signal. No WHERE! 14 sales reps, 1 regional VP and one Divisional VP and no cell phones. Oh and did I mention no internet hook-up in the rooms?! No, I didn't! Well, it seems the company will not allow us to connect via "roaming", and our dial-up doesn't have anything set up for this little town. The hotel had FOX News (surprise!) but no HBO or internet capability.

In other words - I'm So Happy To Be Back In Civilization!!!!

I did talk to my boss. We discussed what's running through my mind. I've been told that I'm being a bit emotional and need to just step back and take a breath. I've lost my confidencel, so he tells me. I swear if I were in Victorian times they would have given me smelling salts and had me rest before I become "overwhelmed" in my "delicate condition". It's been a while since I've been condensended to so badly.

We went out to a local sports bar and had dinner and played some pool on Tuesday night. I enjoyed the hell out of it, in the beginning. Country music blaring over the speakers, fried food every where I looked, pool table in the corner and a nice little dart board on the side. I was hanging with a couple of the guys and getting ready to take my turn at the table. Good Times. Sorta. It seems the guys are a bit afraid to let their hair down around me. That's kinda different for me.

I have an earthy sense of humor. In fact, it borders on twisted. I also love to cut loose and have a good time. I WILL NOT let all my guard down unless I know someone has my back, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying the hell out of myself. But these guys don't know me. They are afraid to tell jokes or stories around me, they are so worried about being politically correct that it's awkward. (but yet, they are condensending as hell) The divisional VP even said the words - "be careful little lady" when I was shooting a bit of a tricky shot on the table. Yeah - he said those very words. Yeah - he's ok, I didn't hurt him (but I did sneak in a shot of Gold after that one!) So - it all spun into an evening of me sitting at the bar with some of the locals telling stories and laughing at really bad jokes. My team thought I had lost my mind.

Anyway - I'm home again. I've got some stores to hit this morning and then I'm taking Friday off and celebrating my neice's birthday. I'm just so glad to be back.

Posted by Tammi at 07:57 AM | Comments (7)

August 02, 2004

Change is in the Air

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.... Yipee. Another 3 days wasted out of this week in meetings I really don't want to go to. Oh well. Now, if I can just make my customers understand why they haven't seen me in so about starting out behind the eight ball!!

I am not a fan of company meetings. Nope, not at all. Oh I realize they are a necessary evil, I just wish they were better planned. It urks me that I was up in Atlanta last week - with some down time - and now I gotta take another 1 day for travel, 1 1/2 days of meetings and then home Wednesday night. I got work to do folks!!

The secret to this type of sales is consistancy and relationships. I can't get consistant because I've been putting out fires during June (well, that and moving). July only had about 1 1/2 weeks of calls, between being sick and meetings. August ain't looking so good either. And...if I'm not in the stores how will the sales people ever really know how wonderful I am?!? To know me is to love me!

I'll go. I'll listen. I'll take notes but I'll be consumed with what isn't being done. All the paperwork, the visits, the training. Oh My Goodness. It's looking like a month of 7 day weeks. And then the summer is over! Where did it go? I missed it.

I've been in meetings, fighting fires and chasing my tail. I've been putting together training classes that I don't have time to conduct. I've been spinning my wheels.

So - I'm going to take a huge risk. I've been thinking and thinking and thinking what I love most about my job. What makes me the happiest. What I really want to do. I figured it out. It's training and presenting. You know, formally. I've just got to figure out a way to tell my boss I need to change lanes. Oh, it won't happen for about a year, but I need to start laying the ground work now. And....if they won't agree to that career path I start poking around in another direction. Does that scare me? Hell yeah! I really enjoy this company, my team - love my product. I just hate the rest of it. To be perfectly honest - I hate prospecting. I like handling big accounts. I like the consistancy. I like getting to know a company and helping them grow. It's what I do. These $20, $30 thousand dollar accounts don't interest me. I can't help them, I don't make an impact.

Anyway, I'm out the door. And making a plan. It's a 4 hour drive so I've got plenty of windshield time to plot it all out.

Posted by Tammi at 10:24 AM | Comments (9)

August 01, 2004

Funny Email Joke

Thanks to my blogless Sister we have this bit of humor to start out our week.

What happens when you:

1) have nothing to do

2) own a sharp knife

3) have a large lime

4) own a patient cat

5) drink too much tequila

6) and it's football season?


Posted by Tammi at 10:49 PM | Comments (4)