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