Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Years Party At The Kickstart Saloon!

Come on down to the Kickstart Saloon on US 1 in Ormond Beach and ring in the New Year!

Entertainment provided by Red Stripe Mike!

Free champagne at midnight!

No cover!

Festivities start when you arrive!

Have no plans? You do now! Hope to see you there!

Have a Happy Safe New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our Annual Bikes And Blues With Mickey Jones To Benefit..

St Jude Children's Research Hospital is just 4 months away!

This year our events will be held the weekend of April 5th and 6th, with our Bike Event being held on Saturday hosted once again by The Iron Horse Saloon on US 1 in Ormond Beach. Our Golf Classic will take place on April 6th at Pelican Bay in Daytona Beach off Beville Road.

We are currently looking for Bikers, Golfers and Sponsors to help make this the biggest event yet.

To see what's in store watch this video...

If you would like to join us or help out with a sponsorship, you can contact me or Rock Hartley, like Mickey said, "Together We Can Make A Difference"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

North Atlantic Right Whale's Are On The Move In Florida 12/27/2007

My favorite "snowbird" is the Northern Atlantic Right Whale, and they have already started to arrive here in Florida!

I receive Right Whale Sighting Update emails from Joy Hampp, Project Coordinator of the Marineland Right Whale Project here in Marineland, FL.

I recently asked Joy if it would be OK
if I began posting her updates, (in my own words). Her reply was it would be fine, "We would like to get the word out.", so here I am!

The Marineland Right Whale Project Officially began on December 9th
of this year with the sighting of a mother/calf pair in St. Johns County, FL. The pair moved north to St. Augustine Beach, stuck around for a little while then went south to Matanzas Inlet. When the spotter team left the whales, the whales were still very slowly heading south. The mother whale was ID'd as Right Whale #2753, Arpeggio.

On December 10th, Arpreggio and her calf
were spotted further south in Flagler County, near Beverly Beach Camptown which is located just north of Flagler Beach. They then headed north to Painters Hill for a little while, then back south to Flagler Beach again where they hung out for about 45 minutes then headed back north then out to sea.

Arpreggio must be super proud of her baby
as she continued to show it off on December 13th St. Augustine Beach and Matanzas Inlet again! She was reported to do three "spyhops" then swim off...

On Friday, December 14th the sea was foggy, but the pair were still hanging out off the Northern Florida shoreline. As the fog lifted they were spotted by residents of the Surf Club at Matanzas Shores, my friends from Marineland confirmed our proud mama and calf and stayed with them until sundown.

Saturday, December 15th, they were once again spotted north of St. Augustine.

Apparently Arpeggio and her baby were spotted a few times in Ponte Vedra the following week, then on December 23rd they were spotted back in our area in Crescent Beach. They traveled to the north end of Butler Beach where they turned south for parts unknown.

On December 23rd another whale pair were spotted in the Daytona Beach area! They were identified through "TV news helicopter footage" (per Joy Hampp) as Right Whale #1701 and the calf she gave birth to last year! Joy states: "While not common, there have been a few mothers in past seasons that have returned the following year with their calves."

Christmas Day appeared to be very exciting for the Marineland Right Whale Project. Arpeggio and her baby showed up again in front of the Surf Club at Matanzas Shores. Once again the volunteers followed them north and south until they disappeared.

Then, later in the afternoon a call came in from Hammock Dunes, another sighting. This time three Right Whales, The Projects "first SAG (Surface Active Group) of the season!" The team stayed with the group watching the three interact until sundown.

Now we are all up to date! This is my 2nd year receiving the emails from Joy and I am thrilled at all the activity the Marineland team is seeing.

They have already spotted 7 whales this season, last season their total was 34 confirmed right whale sightings, 18 mother/calf, 7 singles, 6 pairs, and 3 SAGS. I'm not sure what the Right Whale numbers are up to, I believe it is around 400, when I first got interested in this species it was 350. Yes, 350 of this particular species of whale in the whole world.

The photo at the top of this post is a photo I took 2 years ago of a mother and calf that came by my office in Ormond By The Sea. It could be a whale named Piper as she was in the area that day with her calf along with a 2nd whale and calf. If you are driving along our coast and see a sight like the whales pictured above, one sure way to tell if they are Right Whales is when they exhale they will spray the water into a V spout.

If you are lucky enough to see this, please call The Marineland Right Whale Project at
You can find contact info for Joy Hammp or Jim Hain here

Living With Addiction ~ Part XV

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part XIV ...

It was either 3 yrs ago today or tomorrow when my ex packed up a small U-haul trailer and our two dogs and left for his hometown up north. That was one of the best/worst days of my life.

He had made me a deal, he would pay my car insurance to help me make my bills. I thought that was the least he could do for me after what he put me through.

Before they all left, I sat on the floor in the corner of my bedroom and held Shadow tight and just cried.

(The ex offered to let Shadow stay with me, but that damn dog loved him so much she would get depressed when he was out of town. How could I keep her away from him? I'm just not that selfish.)

Shadow had enough of my blubbering after a couple minutes and went bounding out of the bedroom, unaware what was happening.

I of course continued to cry and he came in to cry to console me. I told him to just leave, go... I didn't want him near me.

I guess he thought I was sad at him leaving, (yeah, he was that into himself) I was sad at the fact Shadow was leaving. She had been in our lives since she was old enough to leave her mama, 6 or 7 weeks old. Just a tiny black ball of fur, raised by two cats.

I remained on the floor for a good 15 minutes after I heard the car pull away, making sure it wouldn't return. I didn't want my last memory of Shadow to be seeing her in that car pulling away.

Once I was sure they were gone for good I jumped up from the floor and started to clean house. No, I don't mean with a broom, I mean with strength I didn't know I had.

The first thing to go? The bedding! I had purchased new bedding with my Christmas bonus and had it in my trunk. Any furniture he left behind, I pulled right out the front door straight to the street.

My visiting girlfriend was still here, she thought at first she would help, but decided to stay out of my way. (She later told me I had scared her.) I was a woman on a mission. I did find quite a few of his things that I boxed up and put in my outside storage in case he ever noticed it missing.

I wasn't done until the house no longer looked like he ever lived there. It felt damn good, When I was done, I felt like a ton of weight had been taken from my shoulders. I felt free for the first time since 1989. (the year I met my first husband)

My father was coming soon too. I was so looking forward to it. I would no longer be embarrassed of my home or anything else in my life.

A new year and a new life were waiting for me... but I didn't have him totally out of my life just yet...

Past Posts in this series:

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII
Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX
Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI
Living With Addition ~ Part XII

Living With Addition ~ Part XIII
Living With Addiction ~ Part XIV

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part XIV

In Living With Addition ~ Part XIII, I told you how I finally got the courage to tell my ex I wanted out of the marriage. He was using again and of course denying it, even when I confronted him with the evidence.

Since I was the one who wanted out, I would be the one moving out. We weren't paying a lot for our half of the duplex we were living in, at least by Volusia County standards. I began looking for a place of my own, and looking and looking.

I had until after Christmas to find a place, he wanted me to stay thru the holidays and dummy me gave in. I figured this way I had time to look.

It really began to frustrate me, both living with him and not being able to find a place I could afford. He was basically driving me nuts, the only time I wanted to be home was when he wasn't there. On the weekends I would hit the beach the minute I woke up and hope he would be at work when I got home.

Then one day around Thanksgiving, I had about given up hope on finding a place to live, when he told me he was moving back north.

Yes!! I didn't have to move! He was leaving a couple days after Christmas.

It shouldn't be too bad, my girlfriend from NY was coming for the holiday so I wouldn't be alone with him. The only bad part about him leaving was he would be taking Shadow our cocker spaniel and Noel, the lab/shepherd mix. Other then that, I couldn't wait for him to go.

My girlfriend arrived Christmas eve in Jacksonville, delayed of course. We got back to the house late, don't really remember what we did.

Christmas morning, the little kid in me woke early as she does every year and got the rest of the house up for coffee and presents. I then began making our Christmas meal. As our meal was cooking, my girlfriend and I decided to watch Pay Per View all day in our pajamas.

They had a good selection of movies on, even some Christmas ones. So as I was baking our bird I was also snuggled in my recliner with Shadow in my Christmas PJs enjoying a very lazy day. We decided to make it a tradition. Christmas in PJS!

My friend had a friend in Jacksonville, he came down for dinner and I believe spent the night as he ate too much turkey to go home safely. My girlfriend is a baker, she bakes the best treats, no scratch that, the yummiest treats and made us wonderful homemade truffles for dessert. It was a good meal for sure.

Even though it was a semi tense Christmas it wasn't a bad one. The ex was on his best behavior. We were all friends for the moment and were able to put aside our differences for the holiday.

Just a couple days left now in this marriage from hell, but not the end of the story....

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII
Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX
Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI
Living With Addition ~ Part XII
Living With Addition ~ Part XIII

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Break In The Addiction

I've taken a small break in writing the Addiction series.

Putting it all out for all of you to see has actually has brought me some, no, a lot of healing.

However it has also brought in some nightmares. You know the kind where you wake up sweating and breathless?

One I had ~ it wasn't the ex who was shot it was me. Another, there was a lot of drugs everywhere. Even though I've not written anything in a week, I had one the other night that I thankfully don't remember, but I know it took me a good hour to feel comfortable enough to go back to bed.

I know that all that has happened in the past, and now I have a life that when I was living in that past I could only dream of having. (See, dreams can come true!) I know they are just dreams and nightmares and those can't hurt me, but they are still scary just the same.

I have Steve who is so supportive of me and treats me like every woman wants a man to treat her. With lots of love and respect.

My parents are extremely proud of me right now and where I am at in my life.

I have the respect of my Broker/Owner and my Broker/Managers along with a string of Real Estate agents that I work with.

I really can't ask for anything more, now can I? I'm the lucky one, and yes, I am a survivor and damn proud of it.

I guess I never realized how badly the events of those 7 years affected me mentally. I know that some folks fighting addiction realize who they've hurt and to what degree. But, I can guarantee you that person I was married to had no clue.

How many others are out there like me?? Have they healed? Have they forgiven? Have they forgot?

I still have more to tell you on this story, today just wasn't the day, I know you understand. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Living With Addition ~ Part XIII

Continued from Living With Addition ~ Part XII

When I started this series I thought it would only go about 5 or 6 posts. I had no idea it would grow to become the monster it did.

Hurricanes Charley and Frances had come through the Daytona area and did a pretty good job of uprooting homes, property and lives.

They made me realize what was important in life and what was trivial. Hurricane Jeanne was on her way now, she was a small storm compared to the last two, but I had had enough.

At some point that September of 2004, I don't remember if it was between Frances and Jeanne or after, the ex fell but he wouldn't admit it. I busted him dead to rights too.

You see, when he used, he would fall asleep sitting up, straight up, right smack in the middle of doing something. Then, he would jerk awake and continue doing whatever it was he was doing when he fell asleep. For instance, lighting a cigarette.

Once I saw this I waited for my chance to search the house, when I got that chance I found the evidence. The container of liquefied drugs he would inject with a needle just like he used to do.

Yes, I went ballistic. I put the container back and waited for him to return home.

When he did, I waited for him to go in the bathroom and take "his time" in there. When he came out I confronted him with the container once he started to "nod off".

He back peddled as hard as he could, I wouldn't hear any of it. He tried to tell me it was allergy pills. He thought I was that dumb.

Even the people at the meetings were telling me he was back using again. I wasn't even going to the meetings and word was getting back to me. (I did go to his 1 year anniversary meeting, some people there thought that he didn't deserve that one year chip. This happened between hurricanes Frances and Jeanne too.)

This stopped for a couple weeks, then one night we were trying to decide between pizza and Wendy's for dinner. He didn't want to go pick up so we were going to get pizza. His sponsor called, he told his sponsor he had a headache, the next thing I knew he was more then willing to go get Wendy's.

Yeah, I was born yesterday.. The next day I found the container of liquid in a new hiding place in the bathroom.

I told him that night I wanted out. He cried, he swore he wasn't using. I told him I didn't believe him, I saw the proof, he couldn't hide it from me. I didn't love him anymore, it was time for me to go.

Addicts don't get it.

They think we're blind to their actions and even after 7 years of watching them we don't see what they are doing. They will lie through their teeth to get what they want from you, to get you to do what they want. Only you can break that cycle.

I was about to do that very thing...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII
Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX
Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI
Living With Addition ~ Part XII

Living With Addition ~ Part XII

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part XI

No sooner did we get power restored and our county partially cleaned up from Hurricane Charley then another hurricane came knocking on our door.

Hurricane Frances decided to grace us with her presence for 3 very long days during Labor Day Weekend. Although she wasn't a very strong hurricane, since she remained over us for 3 days
with continued winds and rain she caused more damage in our area then Hurricane Charley even thought about doing.

This is poor Shadow trying to do her thing in hurricane force winds..

Of course with Hurricane Charley still very fresh in our memory, the ex didn't even think about leaving me alone.

At this point however, I didn't care if he left or not. In fact, after the first day of us being couped up in the house and now having no power I asked him to go where ever he wished.

By the second day, I actually asked him to get me out of the house too, that's when I took these photos.

After seeing this street signal in the middle of US 1 and feeling the actual force of the winds, I didn't like not being home with the animals and asked him to take me back home.

He didn't know that I was considering getting out of our marriage yet.

I remember when I got back to the house and he left, sitting there with the dogs and cats I liked being home without him.

I had not as of yet made up my mind though.

Once the storm was over, it was time for me to get out of the house and I went Beachside to check on our office.

Our building was still standing, but heavily damaged. We had lost the roof. We would be closed for at least a month, like other Beachside business's

I believe it actually took 3 weeks to restore power to the Beachside after Frances came through. Even if we could work in our office, we wouldn't have power.

Luckily we have 3 offices and I was able to work out of another one.
Back at home, my birthday was coming up once again. I was still not celebrating it after the events of 9/11/01.

The ex wanted to do something with me to make up for the year before but after what I been through the last year and two major hurricanes he was the last person I wanted to be with on my birthday.

I wanted to go to Marineland and just spend the whole day there watching the dolphins, alone. What I didn't know until I got there was that Hurricane Frances also did heavy damage to Marineland and it was shut down.

I was halfway to St. Augustine, so I just continued north. I got myself some good ice cream there some cheapie jewelry and had a nice day.

Little did I know a third hurricane was on the way along with a relapse and my way out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Whose Your Look Alike?

Monika McGillicuddy turned me on to this site, so I thought I would give it a try. It surprised me who the computer rated higher as my look alike. I never heard of the person (can't even remember who it was now) and I didn't think I looked anything like her.

However, when I saw the similarities between Debra Winger and me I was floored..

Take a look!

Granted I used a photo with poor resolution but still, I thought this result was pretty cool.

Give it a try and let me know who you look like.

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI

This is a continuing series I have been doing about what it was like living with my ex husband, who was addicted to prescription pain medicine. So far he has done things like throw himself down a flight of stairs, set his hand on fire, and shot himself in the stomach to get pain pills.

The last post I did he was active in and seemed to be making an effort to stay sober after what seemed an accidental OD on Ultram in February of 2004.

Over the summer I would go very early to the beach on the weekends and leave about the time it would start to get crowded and hot. I started to look forward to those days of quiet, just me and the ocean though I didn't know why.

Things at the house had been going very well. He was going to work, going to his meetings and staying sober, but something was changing.

Then Friday, August 13th came along. We were prepared, but how prepared can one be for a hurricane? The day before Hurricane Charley decided it was going to move towards SW Florida and come across the state and exit at Daytona Beach. All this was to happen on Friday the 13th.

The morning of Friday the 13th, Charley hit SW Florida as a Cat 4 hurricane. (at one point it did hit a cat. 5 for a few minutes) It devastated the town of Punta Gorda then began coming towards us and I was terrified.

The ex was still at the Salvation Army and had to go to work. He was going to leave me home alone and go to work. He wasn't making much more then minimum wage, it wasn't like this was a real important job. I was livid. How dare he even think about leaving me home alone with the animals while this monster storm was bearing down on us.

He left at about 4PM, the outer bands were just coming in, I wouldn't even talk to him. I just sat with the news on and my computer up watching every move Charley was making on his march across the state.

Two hours later the ex was home, I was very relieved so were the animals. I understand there isn't anything he could do to make the storm stay away, however I didn't want to be alone.

Charley finally hit us around 10PM and was gone by 11PM. We lost power around 1015 and I went to bed and believe it or not went right to sleep. My dad called from TX to tell me the storm had passed and couldn't believe I was asleep.

For some reason at some point after the storm had passed we had to go to the ER again. I only remember because we had no power and it had only been 2 days & I was waiting in my car because I was angry at him about this ER trip. I remember sitting in my car and listening to the radio, I remember people calling in complaining they had no power and how angry I got at them.

People had no homes left, some had no roof on their house, some lost their lives, and these people who have a roof and a small inconvenience of no power are whining.

That ER trip, for whatever reason we went, was the last ER trip I made with him. This was the beginning of the end of everything I worked to save over the last year.

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII
Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX
Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Friday, November 30, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part IX

At some point after that ER trip in January my ex lost his job that had brought us to Florida.

It was really no big deal,
I couldn't stand his boss or the boss's wife. Funny thing looking back now, my ex wasn't much different from them.

His birthday fell around NASCAR's biggest race
, the Daytona 500 and I was able to get him a ticket and he was invited to go with our friends.

He was like a kid in a candy store
. I figured he deserved it. He had a whole new attitude and was attending the AA meetings every day, talking with his sponsor, doing what was right.

So I thought...

He had a blast at the race
, came home all smiles and exhausted, all of them were smiles. I don't remember who won, but I remember everyone had a good time. He was exhausted though, he been at the track since 8am and it was about 8pm so he went straight to bed.

Thirty minutes later I heard a strange noise coming from the bedroom, at first I thought it was Shadow, the cocker spaniel snoring. When I heard it again I went in and looked and it was the ex having breathing trouble, almost chocking.

I took his head off the pillow and tilted his head back so his airway would have a less restricted passage and once again called the same friends I called the last two times, the very same friends he was with that day. (I did call his sponsor also, but no answer) Our friends advised me to call another friend that had 11 yrs sober and 911.

Yep, here we go again..

The friend I called
said he would meet me at the ER.

I had the EMT's take my ex to a closer ER
, I wasn't about to make the same mistake I did last time.

The EMT's asked what he was taking
and I gave them every bottle of medicine that he had. At this point he was back on the Depicote along with anxiety meds and something else that I can't think of right now.

I was asked to wait in the waiting room, while checking him in they asked me what he was taking and I told them they had everything.

It seemed they didn't believe me.

Our friend showed up and we waited maybe 10 minutes
before being called in. (making the total wait 20 minutes) The Dr. met us in the hall, I gave him the OK to talk in front of the friend explaining his presence and he told us my ex had overdosed on something called Ultram.

I knew that Ultram was a prescription pain medicine, what I didn't know that it was in the narcotic family and that it was a synthetic type of morphine, or that he was taking it. I'm sure my ex knew it was a narcotic.

I was shocked, but not angry. Why? Who knows. When we walked into the the room he was totally alert and smiling, yes.. smiling. He was surprised to see our friend, but happy that I had called him.

I remember my ex specifically asking our friend with 11 yrs sobriety if he had to pick up a *white chip because of what happened and our friend said "no.. you made a mistake"

The ex's story was
he had a headache from all the noise at the track and he had taken 4 Ultram instead of 2. We believed him at that moment, I don't believe it now, I don't think our friend ever did.

*(In AA, when you first join or return to "drinking or drugging" then go back "in to the rooms" you pick up a white chip)

When we got home, he actually seemed to be thankful that I saved his life, he seemed truly scared he almost died that night. I think it really hit home a few weeks later when his own sponsor died suddenly of a heart attack while at work.

Things were OK until summer, he found work at the Salvation Army, it didn't pay well but it was work. He got a new sponsor who I never met and still attending his meetings regularly. He appeared to be working the steps and doing what he was supposed to be to get well.

It was the beginning of the end though....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Living WIth Addiction ~ Part IX

Continued From Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

A new year (2004) has begun and with that new hurdles are put up.

One evening my ex was taking a nap
, I don't remember what prompted me to go in to the bedroom but I noticed something was not right. His lips were very pale, he was breathing, but not breathing right.

I tried to wake him, he wouldn't wake up
. I attempted to call his sponsor and got voice mail, I left a message then called the same friends I called back in September. They were near by and came right over. They had me call 911, at this point his lips were blue.

The EMT's asked where to take him
, I didn't know any better, still only a year new to the area had them take him back to the same hospital he was in back in September.

Apparently he "came to" on the trip to the hospital
and was not happy to be at the same hospital that put him in a rehab facility after a psychiatric ward.
They would only allow two of us to go into the ER with him, my friends husband and I went in. Apparently my friends husband (dressed in his leathers and do-rag) made the hospital staff nervous along with my ex's behavior, a security guard also came in.

At some point we got it out of my ex that his "head hurt",
the Dr. wouldn't treat him until he did a drug test. After all, the hospital knows my ex's past.. He did the drug test and passed, nothing was there that wasn't supposed to be there, however my ex was really mad he had to take one.

The Dr. would only offer him over the counter head ache medicine
to help his headache, this upset the ex even more. He began to cause more of a scene. We were then asked to leave the ER and hospital.

The four of us decided to go to another ER that was less busy
and wouldn't treat the ex like a leper was treated back in the 1600's.

Upon arrival at the 2nd ER, we filled out the paperwork,
he was brought in right away. He told the Dr. EVERYTHING that happened at the first hospital and how upset it made him. Boom, here came a security guard to the waiting room.

The Dr. called the 1st hospital to confirm his story
, the security guard watched us in the waiting room, a male nurse sat with my ex and they talked. Everything was fine. The security guard left, I got called in to the room, my ex was calm, the Dr was friendly.

The Dr. gave my ex a neck brace
, it seemed to relieve pressure. He was also not going to give any type of narcotic to my ex, however he had a better bedside manner and made my ex feel like a member of the human race again.

We never did find out what caused this first trip of the
year to the ER, but if you come back you will find out what caused the 2nd ER trip the next month......
Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Natural Flea Remedies

Living the "Gypsy Lifestyle" I have, I've learned a thing or two about these pesky insects we call Fleas:

The first one this is that nowhere is immune from fleas as long as you have a pet, even if the pet is constantly indoors.

I lived on the 21st floor of a condo in Hawaii back in the 80s and my cat had fleas. Yep, those lil buggers hitch hiked up the elevators on my jeans to my unit then lived happily on my poor kitty until I got rid of them.

I never had a problem in CA, TX, even Upstate NY and I had 2 dogs there, then I came down to FL, welcome back fleas.

Things have changed quite a bit since the mid 80s and days of dipping and fogging. Thank You So Much! Man was that a chore, have you ever bathed a unwilling cat before?

Not Fun!!

Then fogging your house
, you had to leave your home for 4 to 6 hours while you fogged the home until all non human life forms were dead, and then you had to wash the dishware and utensils (didn't you?).

Now we have Advantage, Front Line, Sentinel and other Veterinarian prescribed flea meds that makes life so much easier.

Hey folks, please do not use over the counter flea remedies, please!

There is one brand out there I put on a cat and she started foaming at the mouth the minute it touched her skin, I immediately stuck her under the sink (UGH!) and used Dawn to get the stuff off her. I just learned yesterday a flea shampoo made by the same company has been known to kill pets, then found this article this am from MSNBC I will never use over the counter flea meds ever again.

But Advantage and Front Line are so expensive you say, and it's putting poison on my pets! you cry... My house is so clean you can eat off my floors! you protest (that means the fleas can also) It doesn't matter, fleas don't discriminate!

Ok let's look at some ALL NATURAL things to use instead of pesticides to keep your 4 legged baby flea free....

Garlic! Yep if it's good enough for vampires it's good enough for fleas. When I moved here to Florida I had my 2 dogs and 1 cat, I was told a sliver of garlic (fresh) a day with the dogs food would stop fleas from infesting the house. During the time I did think to use the garlic trick and it worked, but dang those dogs had some bad doggie garlic breath. Some even recommend adding Brewers Yeast to the garlic too. They say the fleas don't like the smell.

Ok Too Late, I have Fleas in the house..

Treat the yard! Sprinkle diatomaceous Earth all over the yard, you can purchase it in large bags at any pool supply store apparently. You can also mix it with salt if you wish. I've found this on a few websites.

Put mothballs in your vacuum cleaner bag, if it has bags. I have a bagless vacuum and I empty the container every time I use it, fleas can live in the bags or containers and will get out.

Sprinkle a little salt on the carpet, it'll kill the fleas and eggs, let sit overnight, vacuum then dump the bag, or bagless container in the outside garbage. If you have hard wood floors, sweep them thoroughly.

Borax also does the same.. but it isn't as safe if you have small ones that play on the carpet.

Cedar chips around your property line also are rumored to stop fleas from getting into your yard. Sounds like an invisible fence for fleas huh? Too bad the dogs invisible fences aren't as cheap.....

You can lead a flea to water but he can't swim! Place a large dish of water with a drop of dish soap in the water on the floor when you go to bed (out of the way of traffic areas) and a small lamp next to it with a 25 amp bulb.

Fleas are "drawn to the light" when they jump towards the lamp they land in the water, the soap in the water makes them sink and drown, gives a whole new meaning to "go into the light!" It is recommended to do this a few nights in a row.

Please don't think that removing the animal removes the fleas from the home. It doesn't work that way. The fleas lay their eggs in the carpet, not on the pet. If you are going to fight the flea battle with natural remedies, you need to fight it on the carpet.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

It's now October of 2003, we're in a new rental home, his scars are beginning to heal and he is attending AA meetings with a temporary sponsor. I mentioned in Part VI at one point he felt he didn't have a drug problem and he was angry that people thought he did.

It was suggested that he go to AA instead of NA for reasons I can't discuss, I can't tell you if I think things would have been different either way. It was a fight throughout the month of October for him to go to the meetings.

It really sucked that I would actually have to throw in his face what he did in September, I hate to do things like that. It got him angry, but he would go to the meetings and I would go with him. I would watch his face to see if he was "getting any of it".

Finally, he found a permanent sponsor, a man named Dave. Dave had been through the same addictions my ex has and then some. It seemed like a good match. The ex began going to meetings 7 days a week and seemed to be "getting it". He began to spend a lot of time with Dave his sponsor and began "working the steps".

December came and my office always collected canned goods for a local charity, this year we decided to collect for a family that rented from our office that had really hit some hard times.

The food we collected for them was specifically for a Christmas dinner, then we also got small toy presents for their grandchildren that just moved in with them recently.

The office heard my ex had access to a Santa suit and decided him and I needed to be part of a "miracle". We were to play Santa and Mrs. Claus with the food and deliver the food to their home just before Christmas Day. We were up for that.

We loaded the SUV with all the food and drove over to the house. My ex, a rather short skinny Santa knocked on the door with one box of food as I waited at the truck. They knew me, I wanted them to be surprised so I waited before I brought my box in.

As we brought more and more food in and the games and toys for the children, they did realize who I was and figured out where their dinner came from. The tears flowed and the thank yous came.

It was not only going to be a Merry Christmas for them but for us as well.

More To Come . . . .

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part VI..

When I last left you hanging, we had been evicted with 2 weeks to find a new home and my ex was beginning AA meetings. He had just come home from the hospital.

I mentioned in Part IV that I had dug the bullet out of the bed so that he would see it when he got home, "a reminder of what he did that day and how it affected me". Mind you, the bullet was squished from going through him and the mattress, at this point it was a small chuck of metal. I had left it on top of a shelf above the kitchen sink.

Supposedly he didn't see it right away, I think it took him a few days. We were both in the kitchen when he allegedly first spied it on the shelf. He picked it up and asked why it was there, I told him the hard truth and it "upset" him. He said that he never wanted to see it again and threw it as hard as he could from the back door into the yard.

I don't think he got it, do you?

As luck would have it, our friendly neighbors across the street spotted a rental and told us about it. We went to look at it and it wasn't bad. We called the owner, told him about ALL the pets, not a problem he said. Within 2 days we were writing a lease.

The move was at the last minute, we were finished at midnight on the final day of our notice. Our new house was a duplex, smaller then the beachside bungalow we were renting but I already liked it more. Perhaps this is what we needed... A new start..

Maybe things were going to finally get better?

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ The Series

To those of you new to this series~

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV
Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

The events I am writing in the posts leading up to now all happened in and before 2003.

I am happy to let you know that this is not my life now.

I still have much more to tell you and will continue the posts after this Thanksgiving holiday.

I have much to be thankful for and don't want to dwell on the past today. I am sure you understand!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Blessed Thanksgiving
More Free Graphics at

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part V

My girlfriend and her fiance (at the time) that came the night of he shot himself is a member of "The Program" better known as AA. They wanted to help my ex rise above all this. They had been beating addiction for awhile now and thought he could do it too. He was willing to go to a Friday "Speaker Meeting", I was too. It was going to be a two person battle, I wasn't going to give up just yet.

A couple days before this meeting, I called the house ~ no answer. I called a couple more times, still no answer. Becoming suspicious and working close to home, I went to the house, pulling up in time to see him getting out of a taxi with a prescription bag in his hand.

Needless to say ~ Pissed Off didn't begin to describe what I was feeling. I went back to work fuming. When I got home that night he was sober, he told me he flushed the pills. He saw how hurt and angry I was. I don't know if it is was true or not, I do know I saw no drub abuse at that time.

Just when I thought things may start to smooth out, I got called into a closed door meeting at the office by the company Broker/Owner, the bookkeeper and my office manager. I thought oh no, now what did I do?

Property Management had to tell the homeowner of the house we were renting of the incident. The gardner/landscaper as I mentioned before was scared to mow the lawn and our next door neighbors called the office and said we screamed at each other every weekend. (This coming from a woman that dragged her young son around by the arm all the while screaming at him?)

The homeowner wanted him out and the Broker/Owners lawyer also advised her that it was in her best interest that my ex move out. In looking at our lease we discovered I was not on it, why? I had no idea. I thought I was. Had I been on the lease I could have stayed, mind you that would not have happened, but it was nice to know I wasn't the one being kicked out.

Once again, I had lost control of my life, we had 15 days to find a new home and move. We had 2 dogs, 3 cats and 1 job. We weren't sure if he would have a job when he was allowed to go back to work and living in FL isn't exactly cheap.

The next night our friends picked us up for the Friday Speaker Meeting in Daytona. This is when his denial set in. He was very going through the motions, pretending to listen, doing what was expected of him, trying to fake me out. I was forewarned of this, I don't know that he actually picked up his white chip at this meeting or the next one he went to.

His anger was soon to set in though. In his eyes he had no problem, no addiction. He didn't need to go to those meetings. This didn't happen til after we moved though.

Still More To Come....

Image Courtesy Of

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV
Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

..Continued From Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Once he was let out of ICU he was admitted the hospitals Psychiatric Ward. There his new doctor evaluated him and called me on a daily basis.

I explained to the new doctor what went on in New York and how well things went with the old doctor, the Bi-Polar diagnosis, the meds he was on then etc.. It was then this doctor asked me to come in to meet with him and my ex.

My ex wasn't cooperating, he would just lay in bed and feel sorry for himself. The new doctor thought maybe I could get him out of bed and on the way to recovery. All my ex wanted was pain killers. After all he had major surgery to repair the damage that bullet did and a 12 inch incision to show for it, plus an entrance and exit wound.

Apparently the only time my ex would get out of bed was when it was med time and to use the restroom. He knew exactly what time he would get his pain killers, and like a dog begging for a bone he would be at the nurses station for those pills

I agreed to go in, and keep my anger in check. Even though it was September 11th, 2003, my birthday. Our honeymoon was to be in 2 weeks, a cruise someone gave us as a wedding present. I couldn't reschedule the cruise because of the timing, the tickets had just been issued. Not even with a doctors note.

I go meet with him and the doctor, I don't remember that particular conversation. I do remember the ex had nothing to say. He sat there trying to make us feel sorry for him. The next day, the doctor phoned me to tell me that he didn't feel my ex was Bi-Polar. He didn't show the classic signs. He told me my ex is addicted to pain meds and needs to go to Stewart Marchman for rehab, and that was where he was sending him when he was released from the hospital.

Dummy me, still not wanting to believe, even after I all had been through told the doctor that my ex didn't need to go to Stuart Marchman, he needed to go home. Oh my ex was good all right. All addicts are when they want you to believe something. They can fool a lot of smart people.

The doctor led us to believe he would come home instead of going to rehab, then about 2 weeks into this ordeal I get a phone call from my ex saying he is at the rehab center. He's upset, he feels betrayed, he wants to go home.

I bring him some clothes, after all he went to the hospital with nothing. I tell him he just needs to do what is asked of him, then he can come home.

10:00 that night, a knock on the door, it's him... he tricked them into letting him come home and took a cab.

I couldn't keep this secret from my neighbors, my work, or my landlord. We rented from the same place I worked. My neighbors that I knew and company were supportive, very supportive. However 1 neighbor, (who I thought about calling DCF on) told lies to our Property Management office about us and our landscaper was "afraid" to come mow the lawn now...

More To Come...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Continued from Living With Addiction Part III

I don't remember sleeping that night. I remember it was around midnight before we got back to my friends house from the hospital. I just wanted to get home to the animals, mainly the dogs.

My girlfriend took me home early the next morning to let them out and feed them, then off to the airport to get my mom. At some point during all the chaos of the evening before, Mom had called his family up north to let them know what happened. She told them she was on the way and would let them know if they needed to come out too.

We went from the airport to the hospital and ICU. We stood outside ICU with the nurse assigned to him for a moment and talked. The minute he knew we were there, the moaning began again.

I asked the nurse if he had been doing this all night, she said no. I think it was then the realisation of what was happening hit me. I don't know this for fact, but I believe deep in my soul he did this for pain killers.

I didn't want to stay any longer, I wanted to go home. I had someone coming to look at the bed to see if it could be cleaned. In this day and age with blood labeled a bio-hazard it was going to be a pain to get rid of it without an explanation.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend had made arrangements for my mom to stay at a local condotel on the beach. They decided no one should sleep in the house. Again, I had no say, and no will to fight them.

Mom had called his family up north, gave them an update. "No, don't come. He is in good hands at the hospital, all you would be doing is sitting in the ICU ward." Thank you mom...

We got to the house, my friend that cleans carpets and sofas showed up, "nope, we can't get that out, best to get a new bed. Why did he do that?? I had no answer, what was I going to say? I wasn't sure at that the time myself.

Mom didn't want me to sleep in that bed, she wanted me with her that night. Once again I couldn't sleep. I wanted to be home. I didn't care about the bed.

We stopped by the hospital once a day for a few minutes. The same thing would happen every time, the moaning when he knew we were close, it would stop when he thought we were gone. We got a new bed, I had to cut out the ruined portions of the old bed before it was to be picked up and put them in plastic to be disposed of another way.

Before I cut the bed up, I dug the bullet out. I was angry, he was going to see it when he got home, a reminder of what he did that day and how it affected me and the animals. We had new kittens, 4 months or so old at the time, probably under the bed when it happened.

I was angry alright, he could have hit one of them in his selfishness. Where was Shadow when he did this anyway? What if he hit our cocker? Noel was in her crate, she was ok...I thought my world had been turned upside down, but things were about to get even worse..

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

I gave you a hint of life living with an addict. My ex was had a pain pill addiction that I lived with for 7 yrs.

If you've not read part one & two, please do so so that you can possibly understand part three.

The beginning of September of 03, three months after we got married the proverbial bottom fell out of the floor of my life...

I came home from work to find our Cocker Spaniel waiting for me on our recliner slowly wagging her tail instead of jumping up and down at the door like normal. I walked into our bedroom, he was lying on the bed, blood oozing from the right side of his stomach, a rifle laying to his left.

He had shot himself.. The sheriff arrived first, a young tiny woman, gun drawn to make sure someone didn't shoot her. Then the paramedics and fire dept. show up. As my girlfriend pulls up a helicopter lands in the middle of our small street.

I felt as if I was in the middle of a bad dream.
They placed crime scene tape around my bedroom door, loaded him in the helicopter, Shadow was becoming more animated and my Lab, Noel had yet to come out of her crate but not barking at the chaos in our house. The helicopter was taking off, I don't think I could have heard a barking dog if it was next to me.

I was no longer in charge of my life. I was taken to a police car and questioned for about 30 minutes about my ex. Why would he do this, was he suicidal, has he ever done things like this before? I just wanted to run back in the house and be with my dogs and cats. I wanted to be left alone.

A big spot of my bed was covered in blood, my friends didn't want me to spend the night there, I didn't want not to. No one gave me a choice in the matter. They would take me to the hospital to see how my ex was then to their house.

At this point I was too mentally exhausted to argue. I was now a marionette, pull my strings, I'll dance for you.

My mom was on her way from Phoenix, she had been called or called while this was happening. I don't remember if I spoke with her or not. She would be arriving in the morning.

By the time we arrived at the ICU it had been 5 hours since all this began and he was out of surgery, he would live. I don't remember if I was upset, confused, mad or all of the above. The minute he saw us he began moaning in pain. We didn't stay long. Take me home..

To Be Continued..

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

This is part 2 in what will probably be a 6 - 10 part post on my life living with a prescription pill addict.

Yesterday I posted
Living With Addiction ~ Part 1 and left you with the fact that the doctors would believe there was pain, and would find reasons for the pain every time we would visit the ER or doctors office.

At one point he was referred to a specialist who diagnosed my ex with Bi-Polar disorder. The doctor placed my ex on all sorts of medication to treat the disorder, including klonopin to treat a "panic disorder" on top of the bi-polar. Things actually went very well with this doctor. He was no nonsense and what he told me made sense.

I looked up everything I could on the internet on Bi-polar disorder. A lot of what I read fit with the behavior I lived with. The mood swings, etc.. there were also things that did not fit, he never talked real fast and there was also one other thing that did not fit, but one doesn't have to have every symptom.

While under this doctors care, the pain pill issue seemed to have disappear completely too. However, like I said, there were those 3 days every week in New York City so there is no telling what happened then.

We planned our upcoming wedding and unexpected move to Florida. Unfortunatley the good doctor didn't move with us...

He did try to find another doctor like the one he had in NY, but even I didn't like the ones here. I can't remember the isssues we had with them now though. Maybe he or we didn't try hard enough.

Things quickly ran downhill within months of arriving here in Florida~ he threw himself down a set of stairs at work, set his hand on fire, just to name a couple things ~ just to get high. The stair incident got him Oxycontin by the way, he would go through 30 pills in about 4 days.

From there it from bad to worse...

To Be Continued...
Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

I lived with addiction for years, I am writing about it now for a couple reasons...

1. I hope writing about it will help me relieve some of the anger I still harbor inside.

2. I hope that I can help just one person in my situation overcome the hell they are living in.

The 2nd person I married was a prescription pill addict. He would do incredibly stupid things to get his "fix". In the beginning I was either blind, stupid or just plain unwilling to see the truth on what was going on in our lives.

We lived together in (NY state) for quite some time before we actually got married. There were several trips to the doctors, several trips to the pharmacy's, and several ER trips. He had a Dr. in "his pocket" that would pretty much give him whatever he wanted at one point. Once a month he would get Demerol for his so called headaches and a continuous prescription of vicaden.

In New York state, doctors have to turn over certain prescriptions like Demerol to a certain authority this way the certain authority knows that the doctor is not over prescribing the drug to people like my ex. The prescription is actually written in triplicate. I guess you could say they have a prescription drug watch dog. I'm sure they have the same requirements for Oxycontin. This is why he could only get Demerol once a month. He would liquefy the Demerol and inject it with a hypodermic needle and proceed get high.

The injection sight would often become infected as he didn't put a lid over the liquefied Demerol, and contaminants would get into it. On four occasions the infections became immune to antibiotics and had he to be operated on...

Oh goody! More Drugs!

I believe at some points the friendly drug doctor had cut him off looking back now. Things could be quiet for months at a time. You see we lived about 2.5 hours north of New Your City, however he went there pretty much every week for work. I didn't know what was up when he was there.

Of course, when he would get desperate, something would happen so he could get his drugs.
I remember one occasion, waking up in the middle of the night hearing a man saying "SIR?" repeatedly. Shadow, our cocker was barking wildly and blue lights shining on and off in my bedroom. We kept a 357 and Colt 45 in the house then and both loaded, I didn't even think to grab one when I put on my robe and went to the top of the stairs.

I yelled down, "What's going on?!?!"

A familiar face poked his head around the corner, and he replied, "Police Ma'am, are you alone up there?" Good thing I didn't grab one of the guns huh?

Long story short, I was alone upstairs, my ex was laying face down on the floor downstairs with the phone in his hand and the glass was broken out of our coffee table. The police thought there was an intruder.

I knew the police and EMT's because of my job and the fact that we lived in a very small village.
The EMT's offered to let me go to the hospital with him in the ambulance, I declined. I said I would meet him there. The doctor in the ER said he had a severe migraine and some sort of issue with a vessel in his eye. He prescribed loratab and imatrex. The imatrex was not covered by insurance and loratab is generic & therefor cheap so I picked up the 2nd. The imtrex was $100.00 for 3 tablets and was a relatively new drug for migraines at this time.

This was one of the problems though, every time we went to the ER the doctors would back him up with his pain complaint.

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX

Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI

Living With Addition ~ Part XII

Living With Addition ~ Part XIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part XIV

Living With Addiction ~ Part XV

Living With Addiction ~ Part XVI ~ Freedom?

Life After Living With Addiction ~ Part 1

Life After Living With Addiction ~ The End!

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Florida's Other Snow Bird ~ The Northern Right Whale

Late December to early March is known as Snow-Bird Season in Florida. People that live up north most of the year spend 3 or 4 months here in Florida away from the bitter cold and snow.

Some of these Snow-Birds aren't human, they are the Northern Atlantic Right Whales. They spend their summers in the Bay Of Fundy then in October pregnant females and some juvenile female & males begin their long migration to Florida. We sometimes begin hearing of sightings in Georgia around the beginning of December and start to see one or two whales here in Flagler County, FL in January. In March they begin to go back home just like the Snow-Birds, except the whales who came to give birth have their newborn calves in tow, unlike the Snow-Birds.

A little Northern Atlantic Right Whale background:

The Northern Right Whale got its name around the 1800s by being the "right whale" to hunt because they "move slow (about 15 mph), stay close to the shoreline and float when they die" Therefore they were over hunted...

Their recovery rate is slow, they are still in danger of ship strikes and fishing nets.

They are slow in reproducing, some years only 5 calves were reported to have been born.

There is now what is called an "EARLY WARNING SYSTEM" in place that involves several agencies, independent and government run. This system is in place in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts. Ships at 300 tons or more have to report in when they enter the whale's habitat.

In Florida, the US Navy sends out an automated message to all ships in the area with locations of the whales if they are the area and how to avoid them.

Becoming entangled in fishing nets is a huge hazard. One Northern Atlantic Right Whale, "Kingfisher" was horribly tangled 3 years ago when he was here. Rescue attempts were made to untangle him, but failed. He came back 2 years ago, not as tangled but still in danger, once again they tried to get the ropes off him. You can read the story here.

This article is the most recent I could find. I keep hoping he gets spotted again, he is a local celebrity. We all want to know how he is doing.

I had never heard of this species of whale until February of 2004 when one was spotted in the ocean out of our window at our Century 21 Sundance "Beachside"office in Ormond By The Sea.

She wasn't breaching or showing off. She would surface every 15 minutes or so, take a breath and go below the surface again.If you were looking in the right place in the ocean you could tell she was coming up for air before you actually saw her.

A phone call was made to the wife of one our agents, 30 minutes later a gentleman comes in and introduced himself as Frank Gromling with the Marineland Right Whale Project. He tells us we are watching a Northern Atlantic Right Whale and he thinks she is birthing a calf judging from her behavior.

He then tells us this whale is endangered (this species has been protected since 1935); there are only about 350 in the world!

I felt very special this day. I got to see 1 out of 350 existing animals in the Atlantic Ocean. Think about the odds folks.

She was within our sight of our office 4 hours that day. We don't know for sure if she gave birth. Before Frank left he gave me the 800# for the Marineland Right Whale Project along with his cell #, "Call me if you see any more whales." I did see two other whales, not Right Whales, I did call him though.

The following season I got a call from my Broker/Manager who was driving south on A1A towards the office. She told me to get in my car and head north, there are at least 8 whales about 3 miles away from our office, bring my camera! I did bring the camera, but I had a Kodak Easy Share with very little zoom power, my photos didn't show a lot, just what looks like logs in the water with a occasional tail slap from far away. The next day the Daytona News-Journal had a photo of a whale from the same SAG (Surface Air Group) and it was incredible. I decided I needed a better camera for next year.

Valentines Day of 2006 was a treat! (and my new camera was ready) We had a mother and calf stop by the office for a couple hours. I called Frank who was out of town, he in turn called Jim Hain, a scientist from Woods Hole, MA (Jim comes down to Florida to spot and record Right Whale information). Jim called me back and told me a plane was on the way and he would be at my office shortly, could he have the address? (A plane? Frank knew by now I knew my whales, they sent a plane up on my word alone!) He also told me there was another mother/calf duo in the area, how exciting! Two babies! We watched this pair for 2 hours, the baby played near its mom, occasionally waving to us.

A week later a big splash from the ocean caught my eye about 8:30AM. I looked out and saw this:

I called Jim, told him to hurry, we have a whale that is putting on an incredible show! I was told this was probably a juvenile male. He also stuck around about 2 hours then headed to Daytona Beach. The Daytona News Journal caught up to him at 3PM and he was still showing off!

I began getting email updates from Marineland after the 2006 season was over, I believe 5 calves were spotted during the 2006 season.
My 2007 season was quiet, but for the spotters it was quite eventful. I now work away from the ocean, with a promise if there is a whale sighting I would get a call so I could come see it. The Beachside Office also promised me they would call the sighting in to Marineland.

I was out at the Beachside office one day so I decided to go north on A1A and see if I could find my Spotting Friends. Sure enough I found them, and Jim was also there. They were watching a female about a mile out with some very strong binoculars. I got to see my whale for the year, I was a happy girl!

Joy Hampp, Project Coordinator for The Marineland Right Whale Project,
sends out updated emails throughout the season and a recap at the end. I received the recap the other day and asked her permission to quote from the email for my blog:


The current count on number of mother/calf pairs this season is 20. The South Carolina aerial survey team spotted the 19th Mother/Calf pair at the end of the season and the North Carolina team photographed calf no. 20 on 21 April with a female that had not been seen in Southeast US waters before this and has not been matched to the right whale catalog. She could be a new addition.

Of the 20 mothers, 8 or 9 gave birth to their first calf. The average calving interval for this season is 3.6 years.

The total number of whales seen in the SE US is believed to be 112, including the calves, and some 72 other individuals, although this number may change once matches to the catalog are complete."


In the nine weeks of survey, volunteers logged 1,683 hours of survey. This year, we calculated the number of volunteer hours, since most surveys have more than one volunteer participating. That total is 4,480.

We had 34 confirmed right whale sightings, 18 mother/calf, 7 singles, 6 pairs, and 3 SAGS. In 81% of the sightings, we successfully photographed the whales for identification. Once again, mid-February was our peak in number of sightings for the week. We saw 5 different mothers, including the first sighting of BK23 with a calf.

Our new AirCam logged 50 hours in 16 flights, flying about 3,000 total miles. The airplane responded to 8 sightings reported by volunteers and captured 2 unique sightings, one right whale and one humpback, all later in the afternoon and beyond the effective sighting range of shore spotters.

Special Spotters See Cetaceans Successfully!

In a cross-calibration analysis between the airplane and the shore spotters, we have learned that it appears that the shore spotters see 100% of the whales that are present within the effective sighting range -- when the airplane flew, it did not detect any whales that had not been already reported. And on days when the shore spotters had no sightings -- neither did the airplane. What this means is that the volunteer sighting network (and all of you) are very effective! This is good news, and congratulations!

In addition, shore spotters accomplished these sightings in a less-than-ideal-weather season. We seemed to have had more windy days and more days where winds came from the east, tending to generate more whitecaps. We also recorded our longest follows in all 7 seasons this year, with 2 follows lasting longer than 9 hours each."

A "follow" is when Jim & Joy follow the whale until the whale goes out to sea, or the sun goes down. They will either drive along the beach or use their plane to follow the whales.A big thanks to Joy Hampp, Jim Hain and Frank Gromling along with all the volunteers involved with this wonderful project. It has been a wonderful educational experience for me and I hope for all who reads this!

More Recent Posts:

Have Arpeggio And Her Baby Returned?

Proud Mom Arpreggio, And Her Calf Still Cruising Florida's Coast Line!

North Atlantic Right Whale's Are On The Move In Florida 12/27/2007

Franks Whales by Frank Gromling

Northern Right Whales in Florida With quotes from both Jim and Frank

The Marineland Right Whale Project