Saturday, March 31, 2007

Observation of the Evening: Sea Monkeys!

I think a colony of sea monkeys have taken hold of my toilet bowl. Time to evict 'em!

In the mean time, enjoy my new articles posted on Suite101: Travel With Global Exchange and The Flavors of Boston's North End and this one posted on Associated Content: Savoring the Flavor of Your Florida Vacation.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Why Is There a Stigma Against a Solo Woman Travelers?

OK, the cat's outta the bag. My little trip kicking off Memorial Day weekend I wrote about in this post: Quirky-Kitsch Girl's View: S2S 2007 is no longer a secret (yup, I have an issue with secrets). You see, I'm just soooo excited about it and just had to share it with my family and the office. It's San Francisco to Seattle via Portland, OR. I've been plotting my route, collecting maps, vacation guides and finding off-beat hideaways.

I'm trying to do it as cheaply as possible, too. Trying to keep the whole thing under $1,000, including air, car, hotel, meals and sightseeing. Yes, being a road warrior has its advantages: getting to stay in swanky hotels and collect the hotel points and AMEX points to redeem for pleasure.

(Speaking of reward points, I just learned about Best Buy's Reward Zone, a pretty sweet rewards program. Since we need to buy electronics for work as giveaways and expense them via our credit cards, it only make sense to register and enjoy the perks...I digress...)

Because if I were traveling on my own and paying the tab, I'd either be in a hostel or Motel 6 where they'll leave the light on for ya...

While I'm excited about the trip, I'm still annoyed with the response some women have given me when I tell them I'm going on a solo trip. Even today I got another, "Awe. That's so sad."

What is so sad about a solo woman traveler? Yes, I admit I feel alone sometimes and last weekend I was in my "what's wrong with me"..."I'll never find anyone" mode. (Weddings tend to do that). But I usually don't feel lonely.

It also baffles me when I tell people about the Rotary program which sent me to Japan for a month. I encourage young women to locate a Rotary District and join a Group Study Exchange program but I get, "Oh, I couldn't be away from my boyfriend for that long." Or, "My husband wouldn't want me to be away that long." IT'S A MONTH. NOT A DECADE.

I enjoy doing things by myself because I can enjoy it at my own pace. Traveling solo ensures I see and do the things I WANT to see and do.

It's also a bit empowering and builds confidence. The first time I had to eat a meal in a restaurant by myself was horrible. "Just one?" the hostess asked.

Over time, I got over it because I realized I could either have room service in my hotel room and miss out on what's happening or go enjoy life.

I've spent a good part of my life waiting for others to make a decision and I've missed out. Traveling solo puts me in control.

During the Miami Herald Travel Show last April, I met author Lea Lane who penned Solo Traveler: Tales and Tips for Great Trips. I picked up a signed copy (which sits next to my signed copy of Stephen King's "Cell"). I admit to not having read it but will do so prior to my trip.

So I ask, is it sad for a woman to travel solo? Or am I just a social deviant?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

AC Experiement: What's Exclusive Content Worth?

When I first started contributing to Associated Content there was uncertainty whether exclusive content paid more than non-exclusive. I submitted this article as non-exclusive (after all, it was an awesome experience).

I was disappointed with the single-digit offer and the Content Manager left a comment they were "unable to make a higher offer" because it was submitted as non-exclusive. Being somewhat of a newbie, I accepted the original offer hoping someday I can rework and submit it elsewhere. Plus, I wondered what a difference in exclusive and non-exclusive would be. $2? $5? $10???

Would submitting a piece of work as exclusive and giving up all rights to it be worth the difference in the money? Every now and then I submit exclusive content, if I know I REALLY won't be using the info.

Now, I don't like discussing money matters, it's just not appropriate, however, I did a bit of an experiment. I recently submitted an article as exclusive and was given a single digit offer. It seemed low. I rejected the offer and resubmitted it as non-exclusive.

Today I got my offer. It was $2.38 LESS than the exclusive offer. I realize LESS is not a good thing but my integrity is worth more than $2.38! [It may be worth $5, but definitely not $2.38.] When possible, I'll continue to submit non-exclusive content, at least I keep the rights and can use the content again.

What's making me money right now? Blogsvertise. Despite everyone thinking I'm in a 12-step program, blogsvertise is the "sponsor" I refer to in some of my posts. BTW, if you're in New York next month, drop by and see the blogsvertise folks during the Search Engine Strategies 2007 Conference & Expo(SES NYC) in booth #2016, April 10 - 13, 2007. The booth next to them is giving away a fancy, schmancy car. SES NYC is at the Hilton in Midtown and should be hot...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Reconnecting and Recharging in Sarasota

I've visited Sarasota many times since I left almost two years ago, but things seemed different this weekend. I'm not talking about the excessive building downtown and eastward. Nor the insane traffic. But the difference was the peace I found.

And I guess that's what awesome friends are for: to help remind you who you are.

I made the trip to attend my friend Nicole's wedding. I briefly lived with her and we've worked together, too. We've taken two adventures, one to Washington, D.C. over a Fourth of July weekend and the other to see Jimmy Carter teach Sunday School in Plains, Ga.

I've always considered Nicole one of my little sisters. I'm proud of her life accomplishments and am happy my Lil' Sista has grown up and got married!

Stephanie is my Big Sista because I wasn't born with one. When I moved to Sarasota she took me under her wing, both in work and socially. She and her husband Den have been my rock, through the good, bad and not so pretty. I'm lucky to have them in my life.

"Kashi" [American name: Kathy] is one of my team members from my Oct. 2004 trip to Japan and made the drive up from North Port to see me. We spent the afternoon at the Sarasota County Fair and a downtown crafts festival. Had to visit the fair, full of foods on sticks, including the deep fried Twinkie she's holding.

And then of course, there's Grandma, who had breakfast cooking for me this morning and sent me home with homemade cookies and Easter chocolates. What diet???

There wasn't time to see everyone but someday soon, I'll stay longer. To my Sarasota buddies, thanks for help making my world go 'round.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Book Review: "Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant: The Queen of Sky Blog"

Last year I interviewed Ellen Simonetti, the flight attendant fired for blogging. Late last year she published the first novel in blog format called Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant: The Queen of Sky Blog. You can check out my book review by the fired flight attendant here on Enjoy!

Quirky-Kitsch Girl's Guide to Life Tip:The Lockout

I was looking forward to a trip to the gym this evening. I've been on the road since Sunday with only one opportunity to workout. At 6:30 p.m.ish in non-fashionable workout wear, I grabbed my water bottle, ear buds, towel and drivers license, walked out of my apartment and shut door.


I realized my keys were not with me but INSIDE my LOCKED apartment.

"Don't panic. Don't panic."

Visions of sleeping on my balcony flashed in my mind. Sheltering me from the cold with my hand towel. Then walking to work the next morning in my work-out wear, looking like one of the homeless people around here. At least I had a bottle of water to survive on.

I'm a type C personality (if you haven't figured it out). I like consistency (when I was labelled a "C" I responded, "C's suck!") and get off kilter when things don't go according to plan. This was a test. I think the powers that be wanted me to slow my mind down (I've been stressed and overwhelmed lately) and haven't been taking the time to appreciate and experience life.

I decided to attempt a break in. I had noticed a bobby pin in front of my door for months. (Good thing I don't sweep my walkway). Thinking I could "MacGyver" the lock, I shoved the bobby pin in the key hole, slowly turning and trying to feel a release. Nothing!

"Don't panic. Don't panic."

I walked around to the back of my apartment to the sliding glass doors. I tried to jimmy the lock by pressing and trying to lift the glass doors. Back and forth, back and forth. Nothing.

"Don't panic. Don't panic."

Walking back to the front of the apartment, I see a man coming home from work. "Excuse me. Hi. I locked myself out of my apartment. Do you know what we're suppose to do?"

"No, sorry."

"Don't panic. Don't panic."

My downstairs neighbor is a saviour! I rarely talk to anyone around here. I chitchat with a neighbor two doors down when he's walking his pug and I chitchat with her while doing laundry.

"I did something really dumb. I locked myself out."

Fast forward - she let me use her phone and phone book to call a locksmith. After 30 minutes, my knight with shiny tools arrived. He showed me how to pop the cover off the knob and pop the lock. Good to know!

So single gals, what's your plan if you lock yourself out of your apartment? Do you have a key stashed somewhere? Is there a neighbor you can rely on? Can you break into your apartment? My advice, always carry lipstick. You don't know who the locksmith is...

Needless to say, never made it to the gym.

Spring has Sprung but Where are the Tulips? In Amsterdam!

Ah, spring is finally here. Up North it means flowers galore. Daffodils, tulips, lilies of the valley and other dazzling beauties awaken the northerners from their winter hibernation. Here in Florida, we don't have those flowers and I'm kicking myself for not bringing back tulip bulbs during my layover in Amsterdam last March.

Which reminds me of a site my sponsor just introduced me to,, a resource to book Amsterdam hotels. It also seems to be a resource to booking "cheap and cheery" hotels in Amsterdam. works like other online travel sites but specializes in Amsterdam hotels.'s default currency for Amsterdam hotel rates is in Euros but the currency can be easily converted to Dollars (I assume U.S. and not Canadian). There's also no booking fee.

Enter your parameters for an Amsterdam hotel and lists available hotels in Amsterdam. What's cool is the number of sleeping rooms left in that particular Amsterdam hotel is listed - so you can determine whether you need to quickly book. It's also handy if you need multiple rooms during your Amsterdam visit. You can then read reviews of the Amsterdam hotels in an uncluttered format.

I won't be needing an Amsterdam hotel anytime soon. But for those wanting a taste of wooden shoes, bright tulips and maybe a little herb, appears to be a decent resource to finding hotels in Amsterdam.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Have I Got a Deal for You

Guess it's been more than a year since the TV game show "Deal or No Deal" got America buzzing. I watched a few episodes and couldn't figure out what the big "deal" was.

I thought "Deal or No Deal's" host seemed hot - until I realized he was Howie Mandel! Ew! It's like having a crush on someone then finding out they're a relative.

Maybe I don't like the suspense with synchronized commercial breaks. Or, maybe it's because I know I wouldn't make it as a contestant - I just don't get that excited over a suitcase with a dollar in it. I don't show my emotions (which is a trait I'm sure I inherited from my father, the always calm football coach) and even if I won a million dollars, I probably wouldn't jump up and down and scream on national TV (I'd need some good acting classes).

For those who don't make it onto the set of"Deal or No Deal," my sponsor introduced me to a Web site called where you can play (for FREE!) all sorts of games, including "Deal or No Deal." is a search engine, kind of like Google. Each time you use to search, you have an opportunity to win a groovy prize, like an Amazon gift certificate, iPod Shuffle and the ever popular CASH. Registration is free, too.'s "Deal or No Deal" game is free to play, which means you don't actually win money. But just think of it as a training ground to play on the TV version of "Deal or No Deal."

Like the TV version, you select a suitcase (hoping it's the winner), then pick other suitcases. The banker eventually calls to make a deal. Blah, blah, blah. If you're reading this post, you already know how the TV version works. The sound effects are hip and reminiscent of the days when Ponch and John cruised the California Highway ("ChiPs" - anyone remember?).

Now get your butt over to to play "Deal or No Deal." Warning: the game is addictive, even for this non-fan.

Frustration at the Gym

After two weeks at the gym, burning 500+ calories every other day on the elliptical machine (3 - 4 miles), on the circuit of weight training during the off days, eating only whole foods (nothing processed) and watching my caloric and carb intake, I gained a FREAKIN POUND!!!

How can that happen??? I realize muscle weighs more than fat, but I have totally changed my eating habits. There were three afternoons of cake and four mornings of donuts in the office over the past two weeks and I walked away from ALL of them. I was sick for a couple of days and hardly ate anything (but still managed to make it to the gym). I've avoided the vending machine, cut soda out of my diet and have been drinking at least a gallon of water a day (while peeing like a race horse). Somehow I manage to gain a FREAKIN POUND!

On the upside, clothes feel better and I can sleep better. But it's still frustrating. Grrrr! No more scale for me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm Officially Suite!

My first article posted on today. It explains Rotary International's Group Study Exchange program. While I wrote a similar article over on AC, that was a first person account specifically to Japan and the article is a third person, general account.

I'll be uploading at least one other article over the weekend (a book review) while I have another one in the idea hopper. Stay posted!

Here are a few of my favorite memories of Japan: Karaoke with Matt-O, Kashi and gallons of sake; New Friends at a Piano Bar; Skiing Mt. Fuji.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Any Other Glenn Beck Fans?

Glenn Beck ( I began listening to Beck's radio show out of Tampa when I lived in Sarasota at the turn of this century. Then 9/11 happened and I think it propelled his career. He eventually went national and now he has his own show on CNN.

If you haven't seen Beck's show or listened to his radio program, you're definitely missing out. I find him thought provoking, no-nonsense and never over the top. He's like the guy next door you want to succeed in life.

When working out at the gym, I'm able to watch his show and recently he's been talking about the "meat footprint." You know. You've heard the question, "what's your carbon footprint?" relating to your impact on the Earth. Well, on tomorrow's radio show, a representative from PETA will help Beck understand what his "meat footprint" and how it contributes to global warming. Tasty stuff.

In a way, Glenn Beck reminds me a bit of this guy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ain't It Cute?!

While my parents were in Florida, an opossum replaced the cat in their Buffalo home. Ain't it cute?

Euro Million International: 419 Scam

Here's one of the most recent scam emails I've received, sure to be a Nigerian 419 scam (an advance fee scam originating in Nigeria- pay a fee in order to get the money). How do I know it's a scam? The email address domain is "" - why would an international company be using AOL's aim? Also, there just isn't any such thing; email addresses aren't randomly selected for competitions . Why isn't it personally addressed to me? Plus, wouldn't they have just dumped the winnings into my Paypal account?

Come on people, it's a scam! Why are scammers successful and why do they target Americans? We're greedy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is:

(Customer Services)
Ref: 74UK/957/-00885DT
Batch: DT957/74UK
Zonal Draw No: DT-A2-004-875
Grand Draw No: 915


We are pleased to notify you the draw (#915) of the EURO MILLION INTERNATIONAL
LOTTERY PROGRAM held on 1st MARCH 2007. Participants were selected through a randomly selecting 15,000 participants from an initial database of 300,000 emails, all participants were selected through a computer ballot system from the Middle East, Asia, Africa,Canada, Europe, USA and North America as part our International Promotions Program, which was conducted in view of launching ourselves into the Sweepstakes Industry Worldwide and zoning all participants by their respective continents from across the globe, we produced an extensive list from which you have emerged as one of the winners of the Grand Draw prize.

To ensure a smooth
collection of your winnings, the transfer of your prize is to be handled by our Prize Transfer agents.You are to contact our agents by email/fax or call within a week of receiving this notice. Be advice to keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. [Oops! Guess my skeptisism by posting here is voiding my eligiblity to win]

You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum
of (1,500,000.00 million euros) 0ne Million, Five Hundred Thousand Euros only in cash credited to file number 74UK/957/-00885DT.This is from a total cash prize of 7,500, 000:00 million euros shared amongst the five (5) lucky winners in this category [Oooh! Wonder who the other lucky four winners are?] i.e. Match 5 plus bonus.

Your prize award has been insured
in your favour and is ready for claims. To begin your claims therefore, you are advised to expeditiously contact our licensed and accredited claim agent for Overseas Winners within a period of 7 working days (date of this email inclusive) for the processing of your winning and remittance to your designated bank account after all statutory obligations have been satisfactorily dispensed with.Please be informed that claims not processed within the stipulated period may be forfeited to the pool without further notice. Your claim agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him/her.

You may wish to establish contact via e-mail or fax/telephone with the particulars presented below.

Europointbv Lottery Fiduciary
Contact Person: sr. luis smith
Phone:+34 638 199 889 Fax:+34 940 465 774. [These guys are clever, the country code is for Spain so they have the scammers working in Spain]

Our winners are assured of the utmost standards of confidentiality, and press anonymity until the end of proceedings, and beyond where they so desire. Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality until the end of proceedings to circumvent problems associated with fraudulent claims. [Isn't it ironic? "Fraudulent claims."]

This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and
unwarrante abuse of this program.Any lottery double claim dedected by our monitoring committee will lead to the Euro Million cancelling the winnings. making a loss for both the real winner, and the fake (intended) claimer.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! [Wow! They're really excited, using THREE exlamation points]
At your disposal, we remain.
Very Truly Yours,
Mr. Anton Brooks..

Copyright C 1994-2006 The EuroMillion International Lottery Inc.All rights reserved.
Terms of Service - Guideline

Friday, March 09, 2007

Look Who Wants to Dance With Me!

When I first moved to Tallahassee, I wrote a "things to do" piece for one of the local publications and in my bio I included, I'd "like to dance with the Governor." At the time I was referring to Jeb. It's true, although I bleed blue ("Blue State") I'm a Jeb fan.

In today's mail I received an invitation reading, "Governor Charlie Crist requests the pleasure of your company at the Governor's Symphony Soiree." Oooo! Not only a dance but a "soiree." The event is Wednesday, April 4 at the Florida Governor's Mansion. And I can do this for $100!!! Since I don't have a thing to wear, I'll be passing on the event. Sorry, Charlie. You'll have to save a dance for me another time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

April Events in Virginia

Why did I write about April events in Virginia? I need the money! One of the organizations I belong to has each "graduating" member tasked at raising $100. Rather than dipping into "my" money, I had the brilliant idea of having the members help me by submitting news about their destinations. The result, a quick guide to April events in Virginia. I now have $94 and change to go...

Oh, Goody! I Can Take MySpace With Me!

I admit to having a MySpace profile. I originally registered because my friend Val sent me a link to do so. I later found it an avenue to promote my work on AC. I've also reconnected with friends from my past. But for some reason, I'm not quite feelin' love there.

I imagine if I were a twenty-something, size 4 young woman with perky "girls" protruding from a tank top, I would probably have a different take on it. MySpace seems to feed egos - both that of men and women. It just feels superficial. Well, I can digress on my view, but checkout my buddy Barefoot's take on MySpace.

What prompted this post? Cingular sent me an email today stating for $2.99 a month I can access MySpace from my mobile anywhere! Oh, joy! Think I'll pass.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I Wanna Do This: Portland, OR's "Great Race"

I admit to being an "Amazing Race" junkie. Someday, after I find my travel partner (and the upfront cash), I WILL be a contestant. That's why activities similar to the "Amazing Race" grab my attention.

Through the end of March, visitors to Portland, OR's downtown are encouraged to participate in the city's "Great Race." Follow clues posted at, take photos at the appropriate signs and submit. (Be sure to visit the site for specifics). The winner will be announced on Friday, March 30, 2007 and will win a groovy prize package which includes "dinner for two at Huber's." Hmm, do I have long, lost relatives living in Portland?

*sigh* Wish I could play...

[Photo: Is this the "Amazing Race" box??? It looks like it and I saw it in Vancouver last October].

breathing eaZy

After the third day of heading into the office looking like death warmed over, I took off this afternoon and went to the doctor. "You have an upper respiratory infection, in other words, the common cold," the doctor told me. Well, I kind of figured that.

I left with a Z-pack prescription and instructed to get some Sudafed - after she told me how to make meth from Sudafed. "All you need is a Bunsen burner..."

I wonder what the Waiguoren Critic of South China would be given if he was congested in China. Would a clinic send him home with some herbs to chew on? :)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cool Site of the Week: Ideal Bite

Take a bite outta, "A Sassier Shade of Green." Any site using "sassy" and promoting sustainable living is after my own heart. The site has a free, daily e-newsletter offering green tips for living. It's not your typical granola site, these are hip Gen-Xers running the show, demonstrating that living green can be sassy and cool. I dare ya. Go take a bite!

Are You Insured? Insuranceportal Online

I was chatting with a co-worker today about reducing debt and one way to reduce it is by not incurring additional expenses. Just then, my co-worker's spouse called saying she just got in a little accident.

Oy! Their car insurance rates are sure to increase! Coincidentally, my sponsor (take it as you like) introduced me to Insuranceportal Online ( today. Insurance, whether it's for a car, home or your life, seems to be one of those necessary evils. Well, it's not really an evil. I mean, it seems like a lot of money each month to shell out for peace of mind, but for sanity's sake, I'm all for peace of mind.

As a Florida driver and renter, I'm faced with the challenge of finding an insurance company which will offer reasonably priced car insurance and homeowners insurance. In a way, I feel as though I'm locked in with my current provider because not many Florida insurance agencies are willing to take on clients in hurricane-prone states. Oops! I said the "H" word. I digress...Will Insuranceportal Online help me???

I met with Geico people at a Sarasota art's fair last month. When I asked if they offer homeowners/renters insurance, they replied, "not yet." They still let me play their game and I won a gecko tire pressure gauge (see below) by spinning their wheel. I think my Mom was jealous - she likes the gecko, but I think she was happy with her "So Easy a Caveman Can Do It" t-shirt. (BTW - don't ya love the "Vixen" nail polish by Revlon? I know, I need to learn to stay within the lines...)

So now I have Insuranceportal Online to check out. They act as a broker to find the best rates in car insurance, life insurance and homeowners insurance. The submission form seems pretty simple and unobtrusive to get a rate quote. In my quest to reduce my debt, think I'll give it try.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Update: S2S 2007

I've told you about my S2S 2007 Trip, which begins over Memorial Day Weekend. Each day I get more excited as I learn something new about the destinations. I've received all of the guides, maps and brochures I've requested and am now planning the trip. I can't WAIT! Have you figured out my destinations?

In preparation for the trip I joined a women's-only gym. I want to morph my voluptuous body into a svelte one. During the application process, I was asked whether I was married or had a boyfriend. WTF??? Why would they ask this? Why is this important? Apparently, many women end up at the gym not by their choice, but because the man in their life wants them to go. Reminds me of some other male-dominated society I've been to.

Rather than blurting out, "No, I'm a freak, there is no man in my life," I replied with, "I'm doing this for me," all the while thinking I'm not letting someone else define who I am.

How Suite It Is!

I recently applied to write for and my application was accepted! I'm very excited about the opportunity to branch out and need to get my butt in gear to get writing. I'm not giving up on AC, just expanding my horizons. I also have decent leads for other writing opportunities. Stay tuned...

Blogsvertise: Is it Like Jazzercise?

Of course that’s a silly question, but in the spirit of Dr. Seuss’s birthday yesterday, I’m still in the rhyming mood. I should have spent today at the gym exercising my body (maybe with a bit of Jazzercise) but I’m home nursing a cold (and drinking lots of orange juice with pulp) and exercising my blogging skills.

I’m branching out with blogging and am trying blogsvertise ( to see if it lives up to expectations. After reviewing the site and Googling it, this is how it works:

Bloggers are paid to write about topics/tasks from assigned Web sites. The blog post doesn't have to endorse the reviewed product or service, just mention it with at least three links to the Web site URL. Obviously, the blog post needs to be relevant to the product/service.

Blogsvertise wants at least two to three paragraphs per post with a minimum word count of 75 words. The blogger has five days to complete the task (OK – when I hear “task” it reminds me of the “Amazing Race.” I know, I digress…) and send the link back to “the system” (it sounds so official!). After 30-days, blogsvertise deposits payment into your PayPal account. The blog post cannot be deleted (or they won’t deposit the dinero). And good thing I didn't take this blog in another direction, blogsvertise doesn't play with adult-themed blogs (aka: PORNO).

I should hear soon whether I'm chosen for the task of blogging about their clients.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh, What a Night!

While running through Memphis International Airport yesterday, I thought it would be a good thing to make my connection. I was disappointed I couldn't grab lunch at one of the BBQ restaurants on the concourse, but with a 15-minute layover (thanks to Mother Nature delaying take off from LaGuardia), the only things we had time to do were pee and get our cardio workout (not simultaneously). Doors closed behind us as my work colleagues and I boarded and surprisingly, our luggage made the connection, too.

And then we waited. For about an hour on the tarmac. Finally wheels were up and we were on a roller coaster of a ride. I've noticed with age my stomach has become weak. I sucked up feelings of nausea with each dip, bump and sway of the plane, all the while repeating my mantra ("Planes don't fall out of the sky") and knowing He's watching over. We safely landed.

Fast forward to 1:00 a.m. Big storm rolled in and for the next hour, the most sensational storm I've experienced while living in Tallahassee lit up the sky. I've lived through hurricanes and tropical storms but have never been through anything with continuous lightening for about an hour.

While the wind howled, my hide-out spot was picked out (bathroom) in case I heard a "train" signifying a tornado. I thought I heard it at least twice but realized it was just the wind screaming through the cracks of my windows. Rain pelted the window for a while, either that or it was hail. Thunder cracked with authority. And then there was an eerie silence blanketing the darkness. I looked at my clock and it was 2:01 a.m.

Although I love my bed, I would have traded it for a night of peace of mind.

Now that I'm back, I have blogs to read, posts to catch up on and emails to respond to...

If It Is Spam, I Cannot Stand...

And I will can any spam.

Interpretation: Any spam posted on MY blog will have its ass deleted.