Sunday, June 29, 2008

Save the Beach~Part 2

Remember Beach Renourishment? It is still going on and the dredging has moved up the river, here is what that looks like.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Volusia Administrators Take Pay Cut?

Well some of them anyway.....check it out here and please scroll down to read the comments at the end of the News Journal Article.

It is a little too little and a little too late for our schools. Where is the school board and the Staff?

Here again is The Superintendents ORG CHART if that does not make you say...WHAT? Check out the STAFF. Our stellar Superintendent has 17, yes count them 17 people on her "staff". That does NOT include the admin people. Did not see any of them on the paycut list. But look closely, the COPY CENTER LEADER with her whopping 30,000 something salary is taking a cut.

The whole thing is pretty insulting to children, parents, taxpayers, the 220+ educators that lost their jobs.

COME on Margaret, you can surely do better than that.....if you are waiting for a gold star forget it. How many of your pay cuts are "double dipping" - see the comments on the article for more info on that!!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Great Music at The Chill Bar

One big event I forgot about.....this Saturday, June 28th, 9pm. Go on down to The Chill Bar on Flagler Ave and check out Minister Theory. I heard a little of them last weekend in Daytona. Great music, nice people. The Chill Bar features microbrews, great wine and cigars for you aficionados out there.

All Kinds of Friday Stuff

Ladies, go on Oprah and download a free copy of Suze Orman's book, Women & Money. It is good only til 8pm tonight so don't delay. She is on Oprah today as well.

Jr Lifeguard camp in New Smyrna was a roaring success. The kids had a blast!

My son attended, and then he plays baseball in the evening. This can create some issues. For example on Monday and Tuesday his shoulder hurt, Wednesday he had a rash in an unmentionable area. This required a call to his uncle for male "rash" advice, a trip to the drugstore and alot of moaning, for just a minute I thought he was giving birth without benefit of drugs. Thursday it was better and today "it" is back. So I walk into my living room earlier and he is sitting on the couch sort of wrapped in towel, reading the can of Cruex.

He says "MOM" (every sentence starts with Mom) I said, "YES"....he said, "Mom, I think we need to contact Poison Control." (Yes I am rolling my eyes), so since he was reading the can and not writhing on the floor in agony, I calmly said, "WHY"..."because I accidently sprayed this stuff in my eye." I am trying valiantly to contain myself at this point. So I said "can you see?"

So this kid has the nerve to say to me "well, Duh Mom I am reading the can."

I could no longer control myself, I said "well at least you don't have to worry about a rash in your eye."

He was not as amused as I was.

This Saturday is the Art Walk on Flagler. It is always a good time.

Whatever you do make it a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beachside Park Update(I hope this is it!)

The City Commission voted last night to purchase the property at the end of Esther Street for the new park. It was approved by a vote of 3-2. It has some serious citizen opposition because of spending. will provide a place for people to park and enjoy the beach. My son is attending lifeguard camp, dropoff and pickup is at the Flagler Ave Parking lot by the lifeguard station. It is fine in the morning, but totally ridiculous in the afternoon, nowhere to park, traffic jams, people mad when you stop. This being one of the only places to park near Flagler takes its toll on Flagler business. This will help! This park will be a great addition to our area!

Good job least three of you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Have You Tried to Get Health Insurance?

If you have employer based health insurance, be happy, be very, very happy. Until the last two years I have had group health, since I went to work for myself I have had to carry my own. The first year I was stupid. I bought into a policy with MEGA Insurance, this company has minimal coverage, low premiums the first year and then they hit you with a huge increase with your renewal.

So when I moved to Florida I shopped around. Found a great agent in New Smyrna Beach, his name is Jim and he is with Berlin & Denys.

He told me to get my children on their own policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield of FL, so I did, it is a pretty good premium, pretty good coverage. After my son had an emergency room visit they raised my rates a few dollars.

So I have another company because BCBS denied me last year, at a dr visit my blood pressure was a tad high, I cannot imagine why, I was moving, getting divorce all that stuff....this year my doctor advised I apply again with BCBS, since the coverage is better and I am in good health. I was denied.

WHY, because I regularly visit my doctor. I get my Blood Pressure checked regularly and so on in order to be sure I stay in good health....well according to BCBS I go to the doctor too much. He says I am in excellent health and a great risk...but according to them I should not go see him if I want insurance.

Talk about oxymoron.....the best part is when you apply you have to pay the first months premium....if you are denied they DO NOT refund it until you call and ask. So, one would think that if you are denied, you would immediately send you your money back....NOPE, gotta call and ask for it.
So...if you have group insurance, be happy, very, very happy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Beginning of the End

The systematic dismantling of the News-Journal has begun. The stock report was discontinued last week, this week they have announced layoffs, the closing of the New Smyrna Beach and other local offices and sadly enough for us the end of the Daily Journal. This is the section dedicated to New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Southeast Volusia County. They are preparing the paper for sale. I wonder what it will look like when all is said and done.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Do You Ever Wonder

I have heard that the Lord does not ever give us more than we can handle. There are days I wonder, because I have had tough days, but I have made it through them...
Then one day something happens and you say..WHAT are you kidding me??

I have a friend Beth, I met her the first week I lived in NC, she brought me into her church, she and her mother welcomed me into a VERY tight knit rural NC community, I became close to their elderly aunt, they are wonderful people, they help others, are selfless and kind no matter what and although they have had their share of heartbreak, they have always kept their faith and done what is right. Her husband, is a huge volunteer in the community, he is a volunteer firefighter, he coaches youth baseball, he volunteers at his church, he is just a wonderful man.

Back to my friend Beth, her son is in 3rd grade, her daughter in Kindergarten, she has a tumor on her spine, in her spine and they have no idea what kind it is or what the outcome will be. I know that her children are younger than mine and she cannot be more than 35. I know that they deserve to have their wonderful mother, I know that I do not understand why any kind and loving God would do this to someone who is so wonderful and allow those not so nice people out there to live a full and happy life. He must have a bigger plan. I hope one day I can see it.

I know that she told me today that she feels it will be ok, some how some way. I am going to try and hand it over to a higher power as she is doing and believe it will be ok.
Please stop and say a prayer for Beth and her family, if you are not the religious sort just stop for a minute and think some good thoughts for her and her husband and her children.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beachfront Park-one more update

Just when I tell you it is done, I find out I am lying....New Smyrna City Commisioners are STILL debating the park at the end of Esther. The News Journal has it here.

Lynne Plaskett does not want to give it up. It is a great project, I agree with her. Our new MAYOR however says it is 7 million dollars for 52 parking spaces. IT is much more than that and I think she shows her true colors and what is important to her with that statement.

They may decide on this on Tuesday at the next meeting. I will keep you posted.

First Day of Summer

Welcome to Summer! The temperature has said Summer for several weeks but the rain every day is what really brings Summer to Florida. So today on the first day of summer, it is raining.

It should be raining on Volusia County School Board and our wonderful Legislature for the school disaster. If you did not see this Opinion in today's News Journal you need to read it. Ms. Hizer gives a great perspective on what has happened in our schools. It is very sad.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Camp

Speaking of Samsula, along with Pepper Picking, there is a great summer camp out there. Marcody Ranch located at 3804 Pioneer Trail is having summer camps each week this summer. My daughter takes lessons there during the school year, and she is attending the camp this week. She has had a fantastic time. They ride, do crafts, play games, have water activities and ride some more. They are learning about the care of horses, grooming, all sorts of horsey things. They have 12-15 openings a week and you can call Hope at the ranch to find out what weeks are still open. If you have a horse crazy girl I highly recommend it, it also runs from 9am-5pm, Monday thru Friday so it is a FULL day of activities.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pepper Picking Party

Monday, June 23rd head on out to Samsula for the annual Pepper Party, the pepper picking festivities begin at 6pm with a stuffed pepper dinner at the SNPJ Lodge on Samsula Rd. This annual festival is a tradition held at the end of pepper picking season. The bar will be open and music will be provided by.....Kenny and the Depends, really, I don't make this stuff up. Adults are $8.00 and Children under age 12 are $4.00. For more Samsula Businesses and Events, check out Samsula Online

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oil, Florida and Charlie

I think Charlie Crist is an idiot.

Charlie has not really done anything that he promised when he was elected....but he has been a party to the TOTAL destruction of the schools in Florida, he has been instrumental in the undoing of class size restrictions and putting our state DEAD LAST in children's healthcare. GO CHARLIE!!

So just when you think he cannot do anything worse....he DOES! Now Charlie has changed gears again, he is now supporting offshore oil drilling in Florida. IT is mind boggling how much he can waffle in order to become the Vice President. Read about it here...and understand, that 68 million acres of APPROVED areas for oil drilling are not being used.....

According to the trio of idiots(McCain, Bush, Crist)....this new support of Florida oil drilling will SAVE the country from our obnoxious gas prices....that is BEYOND ridiculous. Did you see the profits of the oil companies? Lets contribute to their profits and let them drill in Florida.

I should be clear, I am a registered Republican, for obvious reasons that is certainly embarrasing. I cannot vote for Obama, because, a vote for Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. BUT, then again, I cannot vote for McCain, who is contributing to BIG OIL profits and the further destruction of our state. . It is truly sad that we have no options. Why in the world do we as citizens sit here and allow a substandard govenor to wreck our schools, and now contribute to the destruction of our environment.

This new LETS SAVE THE WORLD and DRILL IN FL option is all about taking the focus off of the dismal and ridiculous OIL IS SCARCE propaganda..... This country is NOT using over 50% of its oil leases. IF we use them, the oil company profits will decrease, big oil wants big money, take a look at the multi-billion dollar profits. It is certainly disgraceful, when many people cannot afford to drive to work.

Charlie has sold out and is kissing up to whoever he has to in order to get to Washington.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deadliest Catch

Do you watch Deadliest Catch? I know, this has nothing to do with New Smyrna Beach, but I love this show. I watched it here and there last season, but have watched the whole thing this season, in fact, if you missed it, you could catch up on the whole season, this past Sunday on Discovery. So, yes I annoyed my children and watched something like 10 episodes, maybe more on Sunday. My daughter kept coming in the room, "so what kind of crab are we catching now?" We went from Brown to King to Opilio(not sure what those are)....she was bored so she kept looking them up on the internet to see who eats them and how much they cost. Midway thru the day long marathon, she started packing her stuff, we can make more money catching crab in Alaska she told me.

I see only a few problems, I don't like to be cold, she hates to be cold. I love to fish off my dock in sight of land, I am thinking a freezing cold boat in the Bering Sea will not work for me.

But it sure is fun to watch people fish in 100 mile an hour winds and 40 foot seas....makes me love Florida all that much more...and the Publix Seafood Department.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rain, Finally Rain

After watching everyone around us get rain all last week, we finally got some today. Excellent all afternoon rain in New Smyrna Beach. My pool dropped from 93 degrees t0 87, wonderful!

Don't forget the Seaside Fiesta on Flagler, this Thursday evening. There is something for everyone, check back on Friday for pictures from the events.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day

Today is June 14th, Flag Day. You can read about Flag Day and its history here. Flag Day was first observed in the 1877, I found one site that said 1885 was the first Flag Day, it is basically a day to celebrate and show respect for our flag. My daughter who was born on Flag Day informed me this morning that she does not think anyone really celebrates flag day. She thought this was sad. It is kind of sad. I tried to find any sort of Flag Day special events in our area, none to be found. At least none that were widely publicized.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Weekend Events in New Smyrna

There is alot happening this weekend, we have a big birthday and of course Father's Day. Another birthday and holiday go by without any sign of my children's father. Luckily they have Grandpa and their Uncle.

There are bands or special events at The Garlic, Gilly's Pub 44. Merk's Bar and Grille, OM Bar and Chill Lounge, Stella's and Peanut's. Check out today's Accent for a total list of area club happenings.

The New Smyrna Beach Police Department will hold its 2nd annual Motorcycle Skills Competition on Saturday from 9am-3pm at NSB High School. It is free and the public is welcome. They will have refreshments and sell T-Shirts to benefit Special Olympics.

If you plan on swimming in lakes or ponds, please read this. With the onset of hot weather Volusia County has issued a warning about the dangerous amoeba that killed three children in 2007. Be aware, not only are lakes and ponds a risk, but a poorly maintained swimming pool can also house this creepy critter. Know where your children are swimming.

I found this online newspaper this week
interesting features and opinions, it is updated frequently and has some good information.

As always it will be a nice weekend for the beach, remember your sunscreen and swim near a lifeguard. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Are you having a bad day? This should help!

Amazing Adam Bender who is 8 years old can teach us all a few things.

More Wordless Here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Enrollment Is Down?

Wonder why enrollment is down......The News Journal reports today that our favorite school superintendent Margaret Smith says Volusia Schools will face even more budget woes. This according to her is due to declining enrollment, some 1,415 less students and it will probably be worse before the final numbers are in.

Now Margaret, do you think some of these people are taking their children out of the county school system because of the cuts. Children want to play sports, have music opportunities and other special programs and extracurricular activities. Busy kids stay out of trouble.

Oh and class matter how you cut it 220 less teachers across the county means bigger classes. Bigger classes make it harder to teach, those that need extra help fall through the cracks and those that are above average are not challenged, there is just no time. It puts the teachers in a terrible situation.

With a budget shortfall, cuts are inevitable but perhaps some more thought as to what should have been cut might have been in order. I do not think I saw any big salaries or administrators getting cut, check out this org chart, what are these people doing? I did see the ridiculous idea to cut coffee pots and personal appliances. That was a brilliant idea there Margaret. I know of one elementary school in this county that would probably do better without its Principal. I am sure that salary would pay for three second year teachers and several coffee pots.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is what is left of Lake Delton, the actual lake is gone. I find that to be amazing. (Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / June 10, 2008)

If you have seen any news you have seen this house falling in the lake and washing away, I imagine watching that happen is like watching tv and seeing your house burn in a forest fire. (Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / June 10, 2008

This one makes me sad. Fish are struggling to survive this nasty mess that Mother Nature has created. (Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / June 10, 2008)

The Chicago Tribune has many more photos that tell the story.

You can read the whole story here.

Here in New Smyrna Beach and in most other states in the south we NEED the rain desperately, and it won't stop in areas where they are literally drowning in it. It has to make you wonder....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just Call Me Stupid

I have this really great man who details my vehicle, he also does several of my friends cars, he comes to your house, he has two regular guys who work for him. They are great, they do a fantastic job for a reasonable price. So...on Friday I arranged for him to wash and clean out my truck. He came with two women, my regular guys were apparently at the car lot cleaning new cars. They were nice enough and did their usual great job, I paid him and gave the girls a nice tip. All was well.

Today, my doorbell rang and one of these two women from Friday is at my door, she asks me if I have any work she can do for me. I said no, but thank you. She starts crying and tells me she has only two diapers left and is there anything she can do for $10.00. I know what you are thinking....but...I am an idiot, I have had 4.00 or less in my checking account. If it were not for my parents and brothers I would have been hungry a few times. So, I felt sorry for her, my growling dog should have been a clue...I gave her 10.00 and sent her on her way. Go ahead, say it..I am a moron....

Fast forward...she went to my friends house whose car they did Friday too, same story, his wife was home and she sent her packing, and called the man who owns the company, he called me, long story short, there is no baby and no diapers, he got suckered too, he let her work on Friday for him as a favor to a friend. Since then she has been hitting up his customers for "ten bucks". He is mortified and totally apologetic. Wants to bring me my 10 bucks. I told him, it is certainly not a reflection on him and I certainly do not think less of him because he got SUCKERED too.

I know there are plenty of people out there that are desperate to take care of their children, keep their homes, buy gas to get to work, and an assortment of other situations....I would love to give them ten bucks. But someone who takes advantage of a kind man who is trying to earn a living and then comes to my door, makes me feel sorry for a non-existent baby, there is a special place waiting for her, I hope she enjoys it when she gets there.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First Turn

We had to run some errands in Daytona yesterday so we stopped in at the First Turn Steakhouse and Sports Lounge in Port Orange. It is located at 5236 S. Ridgewood Ave, about a mile south of the Dunlawton Bridge. They have a race themed restaurant and bar and an Outside Tiki Bar. We got there about 11:45am, there were a few people at the bar and one party at a booth, the bartender/server told us to sit anywhere, she took our drink order and lunch order quickly and was very nice.

We waited it seemed a long time for our order since we were really the only ones in there, a man who appeared to be a regular came in and sat behind us, he got his food superfast, I think the being a regular thing helped. But we did finally get out food, the chicken wings were huge and delicious. According to my children, the fries were "the best" and worth the wait. I had a large garden salad and picked at their wings. The salad was bigger than "large" and full of the garden.

It was good food at a good price, service was ok if you overlook the wait time. We will go back for sure.

They don't have a website that I could find. They are a short drive from New Smyrna, if you haven't been check it out.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer Events

With school getting out it is officially summer in New Smyrna Beach, for some of us that means summer camps, more baseball, the beach, the pool, all that kid stuff. There are some fun events coming up on Flagler Avenue...HERE is a great schedule of events for the whole year.

One that is happening this month that is worth checking out is the Seaside Fiesta on June 19th. Flagler Ave will close from 3-9pm and the local merchants have food, drink and special events for all. I hear it is a good time.

The Summer Concert Series in Riverside Park has begun, here is the schedule. This is every Thursday at 7pm in Riverside Park, bring chairs or a blanket, maybe some bug spray!!

There are a BUNCH of great summer camps going on for kids, horse camps, art camps, Volusia County Parks, DBCC, Marine Discovery and more, I have a comprehensive list that was put together by the Hometown News and the News Journal. Email me if you would like more information.

Stay Cool and have fun!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Don't Forget The Teachers

School's out tomorrow, my third grader made a great point this morning. She said "Mom, school is out tomorrow, don't forget our teachers." I am ashamed to say I almost did. Each year the kids pick out a small gift for their teachers and we also give them a gift card. I almost forgot. Luckily I have a 9 year old who has the memory like an elephant and often serves as my conscience.

Volusia County teachers have had a really rough year, they are the victims of our brilliant government leaders, the voters and the school board. Much of what is happening to them is not their doing, my son's teacher is losing his job at the end of the year, he is young energetic and enthusiastic. There is a lucky school district out there that is going to get him, through all the turmoil, and knowing he is losing his job he has taught on and done a great job.

I believe that it takes a special person to be a teacher, they sure don't do it for the pay or the take a minute and recognize your children's teacher. They will appreciate it, it does not have to be fancy or expensive just let them know you appreciate all their efforts.

Updates & Interesting Stuff

Only two more days of school, I am trying to decide if I am happy or sad. On one hand the never ending battle to "get up please, you are going to miss the bus" is over, but it presents a whole new set of problems when you work at home. Keep them busy is all I can say!

On to more interesting items of local note...

All you Gator hunters out there, you have til Tuesday to get your Gator permit. Florida Fish and Wildlife has about 4,500 to sell on a first come first serve basis. Gotta get me one of those! Gonna kill me a gator. HA!

Good news is that the proposed and planned park at Esther Street and the ocean has been rescued. The city Community Redevelopment Agency saved them with 1.3 million dollars of funding for the project. Great job, the area needs the park.

Have you bought tires lately? I have not purchased a set of tires in....well never. I think by the time my tires wore out I bought a new car, but my new economically smarter self (this means poor) is keeping the current vehicle probably forever, or until the wheels fall off. SO, in hopes that I can keep the wheels from falling off I had to buy tires this week. Talk about sticker shock, when the price of the first set of tires sent me into hyperventilation, the folks at Stuart's Car Care located at Washington and US1 took the time to price about ten different brands and types for me, they checked the manufacturers recommendations and held my hand while I made a decision. This involved several phone calls to my parents and brother as again I am tire challenged. I am happy to say, I will have new tires today and it will again be safe to drive over 60 mph.

Enjoy the day! It will be one of the last with peace until fall!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Stumble

Here are the results of this weeks Stumble

Nutrition Data

This neat little link will tell you lowest and highest gas prices in your zip code.

Gas Prices

...and then this week's totally useless information

Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art