I have 2-for-1 quarts of devilishly delicious sugar freeice cream in my freezer. I usually don't buyice cream, or sweets, for that matter. Paul gives me the evil eye when I open thefreezer door. “Shame on you, Mom--don’t eat that stuff.” He’s pinching an ever-so-slight bit of my waistline. Doesn’t that make you want to eat it even more, with long, enjoyable mouth-watering and melting bitefuls? it's yummy junk food and tastes good whenit's been so hot.
Paul is right, though.He's lean, tall and muscular, and thoughtfulabout what he eats. Paul goes for raw organic and salt-free peanutsand sunflower seeds, along with raisins.
You’ll find few goodies in my kitchen cabinets-- that’s because I hide them in my bedroom closet--ha! I love candy fruit slices. You know the ones with sprinkled sugar on them? They’re fat free, so that lamelyjustifies an occasional indulgence. Tom’s idea of a snack is pumpernickel bread witha spread of plain hummus or plain yogurt. He hasn’t seen a lick of sugar in eons. Maybe a microscopic amount… He has great resistance and fortitude whenit comes to his diet.
I figure I had to watch what I ate and drank for 9 months, twice. I know-- that was back in prehistoric times-- but I’m making up for it now. Heh-heh...
Jen and Paul are avid fishermen. It’s Tom’s fault for getting Paul hooked on fishing at the age of 9. He took to it as if he'd been born with a fishing rod in his hands.
Jen followed Paul's footsteps, learning from him and her dad. She is totally obsessed with fishing as is Paul. Jen gets right into the thick of it, fish scales, muck and all. A few years ago she hooked a Burmese Python in the Everglades from her Ocean Kayak. She cut the line.
Fishing is a great outdoor activity. It’s good for your nerves--very relaxing..until you fall off the poling platform, or the bow of the flats boat. That’s only happened to Jen, twice. She is the original Pauline, noting all of her perils…
I used to fish. I caught a beautiful rainbow trout in the Sierras. I didn’t like taking the hook from the fish’s mouth. The tugging and yanking bothered me, since I thought I was hurting the fish.
Jen’s former boyfriend broke the fishing habit by taking Jen on a turkey shoot in Virginia. It was a bitter cold morning, and her Florida blood was aching for some heat. She really didn’t care for the sport. She did bag two turkeys with one shot. Annie Oakley...
When her boyfriend gave her a personal GPS as a Christmas gift, she bagged him soon afterwards. He always wanted to know where she was. That’s one fish--or should I say turkey--that I was glad to see swim off.
Recently I saw a gal in her thirties wearing jeans with carefully designed holes and rips along the legs and just under the seat. Her underwear was peeking through. It looked as though she had tangled with a bull.
I can’t believe that a person would buy “damaged” clothing--on purpose! One pair of ripped jeans was $75 on a department store sale rack. They were badly faded and stringy.
A few years ago certain jean manufacturers were buying back used jeans in any condition for as much as $40 a pair. I couldn't figure that one out.
In California I had enough problems with moths eating holes in some of our shirts. Too bad holey clothes weren’t a fashion trend at the time.
Tom has a favorite shirt that he wears almost constantly. There’s a large hole near the label. It's heart-shaped. Maybe it’ll catch on. He hates to go shopping…
Charlie Brown, the lovable, insecure, hapless, and optimistically challenged Peanuts character, always felt that darkened rain clouds followed him everywhere. His best intentions were thwarted many times and Chuck was often taken advantage of by his peers. Chuck usually invented problems where none really existed. His friends played under sunshine skies, while he fretted unnecessarily over what seemed to him like unsolvable problems. He was a perfect target for bad luck. How many times has Charlie Brown had the football pulled out from him? Good ol' Lucy drove Chuck nuts, and was always ready to dispense her 5 cents worth of advice: "Adversity builds character, Charlie Brown," Lucy would tell him. Despite it all Charlie Brown always kept trying.
How much adversity did Charlie Brown have to endure? When did the sun shine on him? How do you know if you’re a winner if you give up the fight?
Life’s twists and turns often work against us, and seem insurmountable.Sometimes blame for the outcome is placed elsewhere, or on someone else.
There's a little bit of Charlie Brown in all of us. With every rainfall, there’s a rainbow. Nothing is impossible.
Two Thanksgivings ago, a turkey wandered into our back yard on the edge of the preserve. Lucky turkey. A neighbor across the street lives near Heron Lake, which is behind his home. He’s had Eastern Diamondback snakes coming from the lake, making their way into his yard, and he’s fired his rifle at them.
I’m glad that I didn’t tell him about the recent bobcat and bear sighting in our neighborhood. The black bear was lumbering up the main entrance street of our community. Later that day, it was spotted coming out of the bushes at a busy intersection about a half-mile away.
There have been numerous bear sightings in Collier County in the last few months. Some of the bears seem to prefer the country club lifestyle, since they’re often sighted around the resorts on or near the Gulf beaches.
The bear that we’d seen was recently caught in Naples and transported to the Picayune Preserve. It wasn’t long before the discriminating bear was seen in affluent Palm Beach County.
What if homes were really smart homes? Take the kitchen: wouldn’t it be novel if the refrigerator refused to open because a sensor knew that you wanted to grab something disgustingly sweet and caloric, like a wedge of strawberry cheesecake, or triple fudge ice cream? Nancy, you may only have celery or carrot sticks instead. That’s all I’d need--a computer-run appliance with a mouth that talks back to me. I like keeping things in my life simple and uncomplicated.
I know two people who still haven’t programmed their VCR. VCR? Most everything is digitized now, especially television. Digital cable provides hundreds of channels at your fingertips, if you can remember which remote among a half dozen operates the channels!
I love it when the cable box suddenly blanks out, leaving the TV screen with a no signal message. I’m not waiting in traffic, I just want my cable back! So I call my service provider. She's very helpful, slowly describing the steps for rebooting the box.
The TV still isn’t working. Somehow the TV got off channel 3. The agent is telling me to change the channel. The remote’s not working. I go through re-programming the remote for the TV [which I’ve poached from Jen since she’s moved]. I’ve tried 7 codes and none of them work.
Wait…uh…oh…just a sec I mutter to the agent. The radar was blocked by the TV Guide I'd put down in front of the set.
I’m not sure if I’d get along that well in a smart home. I don’t want anything that claims to be smarter than me. As for dessert, I'm heading for the last piece of key lime pie.
Reality shows are getting in one’s face, literally. I don’t care how much money‘s at stake, there’s no way that I’d purposely eat anything with crawly legs, a hard shell--or anything soft and spongy. No way.
When I was a teen, a neighbor gave me a box of chocolates. I popped one in my mouth. It tasted bitter and crunchy. I felt things on my tongue. Mom had taken a bite, too. Janet, our neighbor, was laughing. I asked her what it was we were chewing. Chocolate covered ants…
At a cousin’s wedding, my aunt offered me an appetizer. It was delicious. I’d eaten my first snail--and my last.
We lived in the Bay Area with a mixed cultural population. The media often reported instances of missing pets, apartment fires and hospitalizations. One Vietnamese family was found unconscious attempting to barbecue a missing dog in their apartment.
Two cable TV shows showcase a male host who travels the far reaches of the world, sampling many of the native foods. He has no qualms about partaking of an animal‘s testicles, or whatever is offered to him. He looks so enthused about the dish, too. There’s something revolting about eating a still quivering heart, or sauteed grubs.
I’m sorry, but I walk upright… I won’t eat anything as long as the eyeballs are still glaring at me.
De-worming the pool is great fun. After a rainstorm, worms line the pool bottom. I netted forty-five worms last week. You can tell my mornings start off with a blast… It’s a peculiar thing why worms are on the death march. Don’t they have any sense? I’ve got to get a life…
Lately, I’ve been going through pictures. I’ve been thinking about Jen and the greatfun we had on our two Bahamas cruises a few years ago. The first time I checked out our bathroom, I wondered how do you flush this thing? Not only that, but how do you move around in this cabin? We shared Corona buckets on deck, and compared notes on our tans. We frolicked like school girls on the beach, swinging in beach hammocks. I haven’t seen Jen for a couple of weeks, since she’s moved to Key West.
Jen’s been having a grand time. Her ship has finally arrived. At least, I sure hope so. Paul misses Jenny. They are great friends as well as siblings. They were fishing pals, too.
We’re expecting tons of rain this week. I’ve got the worm bucket ready…
I was pretty uncoordinated as a kid. I’d stumble over a gnat if it was in front of me. At St. Monica’s Girl’s High School, I played basketball for P.E. I was pretty good, except I kept popping the ball into the wrong hoop. The teacher pulled me off the court and put me in the gym basement, along with my friend, Theresa, and gave us ping-pong paddles.
We stunk at ping-pong. Everything but the table was a target. The ball was flying off the ceiling, the windows. You name it. We made so much of a ruckus, the teacher, a dyed-in-the-wool mean-as-a-drill instructor woman [with little emphasis on the woman part] came bursting into the room… I think we cracked a half dozen ping-pong balls. She ranted and roared for a few minutes, saying she’d never known such two inept girls in all of her life. If anything, Theresa and I were enthusiastic.
We both flunked first aid. I could never figure that one out. What’s so hard about putting on a bandage? Oh, you’re supposed to clean the wound first..? But there isn’t a real wound…
I went two years at St. Mo’s before transferring to a closer school. I wonder if Sister Ignatius ever found the bunnies that were bunny-napped from the bio lab…?
Years ago, in Santa Monica where I grew up , there lived a very strange woman in a house close by. She’d peer through the curtains at me as I walked by her house. It was scary since I thought she resembled a witch. She’d screw up her face, all her wrinkles forming what looked like a shriveled up pumpkin. I was sure the old women was crazy, and probably wanted me as an ingredient to her nightly stew. I had an extremely active imagination, then.
It’s funny the things you remember. My dad bought me my first bike on my 12th birthday. No sooner was I joyfully riding down the sidewalk when the neighborhood moron-bully, Steve, rammed into me, trying to knock me off my shiny blue bike. He was a mean one.
My brother had a weird bike. The Thing was red, gearless and made from iron. It looked like it came from Igor’s Iron Works. The bike was a Messenger. He had a crush on a pretty high school girl. He used his hard-earned savings to buy her a necklace, and biked several miles to her house to deliver it.
Michael gave her the necklace. She looked at it and put it down. No thanks, nothing at all. He was crushed. Mike had gone to great lengths and his gallant gesture was refused. Michael always thought she might have seen the ugly iron bike as he was riding up to her house.
Once a week, after school, while waiting for my dad to pick me up, I was in charge of dusting off the Blessed Mother statues in the school convent. One statue was pretty grimy, so I dampened a cloth and wiped away on Mary’s face and garment-- literally wiped away! Suddenly, I had an epiphany.
By the time Sister came by to inspect my handiwork, Sister’s mouth fell open. I’d hastily tried to paint lips, eyes and brows on Mary’s face. The statue looked like it belonged in a Lido de Paris Lounge…
This morning when I opened the side door leading from the garage, an at-one-time large frog was squished flat on the door jamb, like a dollop of pesto sauce. EWWW…
That’s not the first time something like this has happened. There’s a collage of frog and spider innards dried on the jamb. I’m going to clean the doorway today, or paint over the area if it can't be completely cleaned. Yuck...
Outside on the pool decking I found two petrified baby frogs and one lizard. Poor things. Sometimes I’ll leave a shallow bowl of water out for the amphibians and reptiles. The heat has soared in the last few days, making it unbearable to be outdoors too long, unless you’re submerged in a swimming pool.
The snakes are staying underground, thank goodness. It wasn’t too long ago that I was head on with a deadly coral snake. May he Rest In Peace... There may be an underground public service announcement warning all snakes to lie low... Nancy’s out and about.
It’s another beautiful, hot day in paradise. A gentle breeze is blowing. The air is desert dry. I’m sitting on the edge of the pool. There’s a huge Arnold-type lizard staring at me. He’s doing push-ups and inflating himself… Va-vumphh, va-vumphh...
Some of my friends have car navigation systems. I’d love to get one, preferably in a car I can call my own. The back up cameras are pretty nifty, too.
The first time I needed to drive home late at night was from an art class at the local Art Center about 17 miles away. I’m so used to day driving. I’d driven the route from the von Liebig many times, but I was completely turned around. I must have driven in circles for at least 15 minutes before finding the correct street back home. None of the street signs are illuminated by street lamps. Everything looks different to me at night.
I’m definitely a candidate for a GPS. My map-reading skills aren’t that great. The print is too small to read. I Mapquest now.
Someday, I’ll have a new car and I’ll get a GPS installed. With my luck, I’ll probably get a navigation system that will talk back to me:”I told you to make a left turn…” Sounds like my husband…
An older gentleman whom I know, Chuck, told me recently there’s no way that he’ll step into the Gulf waters for a swim. His wife loves the water, but not Chuck. He fears that he may run into Jaws.
In the Gulf, if you swim closer to the shoreline in clear water then an encounter is somewhat unlikely. There was a man who was attacked by a shark while swimming 100 yards out. Good grief! Black tip, bull head, and nurse sharks are in the Gulf waters. Common sense is the key, here.
One of our first summers in Naples, Jen and I were swimming a few yards offshore. We suddenly heard a young boy shouting and crying that something was biting him. Sure enough, there were 1” sized jellies floating near him on the surface and a few had stung him on the legs and arms. The jellies looked like wads of spit on the water's surface. A suntan product called SafeSea can protect you from jellies which are found in Florida waters certain times of the year. That was the first time I’d seen jellies.
I’ve been knee deep in the water and I’ve seen pods of 50 or more stingrays swimming up the gulf, close to the water’s edge. While most people ran out of the water back to the beach, I stood watching the rays pass by, flapping through and around my legs. It was like getting slapped with rubber tires.
Another time, some people started hollering out to swimmers to get out of the water! I know my fins, and knew that what they thought were sharks were dolphins swimming along the shoreline. If I were in California or Australia I’d be more afraid of what might be lurking in the water.
At Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys, Paul, Jen and I were walking through the shallow waters, stepping lightly, avoiding walking over the coral reefs. Paul felt something batting against his leg. Looking down he saw a fish that looked mad. The little fighter was trying to push Paul away from his reef. No way did the fish want us around!
At Hanauma Bay, on Oahu, Jen and I were snorkeling. I was quickly bashed against my silicone mask, pain shooting through my face. My nose was slightly fractured and I had a black eye. The offending source of the attack was a Japanese man who had whacked me while he was snorkeling next to me.
He started laughing when he looked at me. He and his companion were pointing at me, calling me “Fishy Face”… Funny…Benihahaha… I rose out of the water. I wanted to snap his skimpy weiner suit back, sending him flying across the Pacific Ocean. People are dangerous, too!
If you want to play it safe I suggest grabbing your rubber ducky and head for the bathtub…
I love it when the doctor pumps the needle and fluid
That's supposed to put me at ease?
Xrays scare me, too.
Don't you love it when the doctor and nurse quickly
escape the xray room?
I've been irradiated a few times and I'm surprised
that I don't glow in the dark...
Phobias are funny. Some people have a fear of the outdoors; others, of heights. I watched a movie the other night, When a Stranger Calls. It made me think of my own fear of being left alone in my house at night. especially when Tom was flying a trip for several days and I was home with two young kids. The house always creaked and groaned. I won't shower when it's dark, either. Shades of Psycho...
I'm phobic about certain foods, too. Jello kind of freaks me out. It's composed of crushed bone. Bones from what or who ? Tastes great, but I hope I don't morph into Uncle Louie. Apologies to all the living Louie's out there.
One thing I do, though peculiar as it may seem, is I check the toilet bowl. In Florida, you don't know what might be lurking in the pipes. Isolated cases of snakes and small alligators popping into the bowl have been reported. Maybe all toilets should be outfitted with a "bowl occupied" light!
Another thing I wonder about is flying fish. They're flying out of the water for a reason. While I'm standing neck-deep in the Gulf, I'm thinking, What do the fish know that I don't?
I love spooky movies. Not the splatter kind of movies that are so prevalent today, but the 'Hitchcock' style, loaded with atmosphere and impending peril:movies like Rebecca, a Hitchcock spine-tingler, replete with an imposing, mysterious estate. It's the kind of movie you can see before going to bed at night. There's no way I could sleep a wink if I watched any of the Saw horror movies.
Wait Until Dark is another movie that grabs you with creeping terror. The menacing presence of Alan Arkin stalking a blind Audrey Hepburn is enough to make one's skin crawl.
There isn't much about the movies these days that even comes close to the movies of years ago. Granted, today's movies are exciting with all the amazing special effects.
I'm in awe of the creative technology involved. Independence Day is thrilling to watch, and the Bourne movies, too. I'll go to the movies any day of the week to see Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio.
I'll always have fond memories of the Golden Era. It was a grand time of gorgeously handsome leading men and women, actors and actreses not easily forgotten.
Killing insects has been on my mind lately. The unseasonably early rains teamed with very hot days has sent the bug population into hyperdrive.
Yesterday, Tom went to the local State Park for a jog along the beach. No sooner had he returned to use the outdoor shower, when swarms of mosquitoes and black flies began coating his arms and legs.
Within the State Park system the use of any form of insect control is forbidden. The Park is a natural habitat for turtles, lizards, snakes, racoons, and birds. We've learned to co-exist with the bothersome insects, however hard that might be.
When we got home, I think most of the 'airborne fleet' had hitched a ride back home with us. They began zooming and buzzing about the car once the AC was turned off. Well, I had some news for them! Listen here, you're on My turf, now, I thought as I grabbed the can of bug spray.
How crazy it must have looked as I lunged and dodged, taking aim, spraying, then retreating from the fumes. All the flying pests, including their relatives, slowly dropped away.
I know squadrons more will be on the horizon, waiting to infiltrate our home. But, beware--I'm armed...
New visitors to Florida often forget or don't realize about the unkindly welcome that may be waiting for them as they dash out into the sparkling blue waters...stingrays.
Stingrays are prevalent during the months of May-Oct. Swimmers are reminded to do the “Stingray Shuffle” when entering the water. The shuffling feet create a disturbance that causes stingrays to move away. If a sting does occur, a hot pack treatment is recommended.
A few summers ago, my family and I went to Marco Island's Tigertail Beach. It's a beautiful, long, narrow stretch of sand. One must cross a wide passage of water to get to Tigertail from the mainland--which is best accomplished during low tide. Once across, your feet sink into warm talcum powder sand. Tigertail is inhabited by shorebirds of all varieties. It's a beachcomber's and photographer's delight.
Once we crossed over to Tigertail we spent no more than 20 minutes before threatening dark clouds began developing; lightning was suddenly flashing all around the island. Some fishermen dove into the beach foliage, trying to hide.
Grabbing our gear, we walked quickly across the waterway, then ran as the lightning was nearly overhead. I suddenly screamed. My bare foot had grazed across the fork of a stingray, slicing the length of my foot. We finally made it to a service hut on the beach, just in time, before the weathervane atop the hut was hit twice by lightning.
This adventure was not forgotten. The need to plan for an outdoor outing is necessary, especially during Florida's summer months.
I'm looking forward to getting my HP back today. As some of my readers know, the hard drive detoured into Neverland almost two weeks ago. I've been posting from Paul's laptop and using many of his wonderful photos of California locations.
I have learned a very big lesson: back up files frequently. From all indications, HP was able to recover data. I had numerous photographs on the drive, and quite a bit of writing: short stories, poetry.
Paul and Tom love using my pc. Paul wants to load Flight Sim on the pc. He has a yoke and rudder pedals for FS. He'd previously loaded the game on my other pc that crashed 8 months ago. The Gateway was almost 8 years old. I'm holding firm on not loading the game.
I bought the HP for my own use, for uploading my images to micro stock photo agencies. The monitor is 24", perfect for viewing digital photos. I've already sold some images.
I'll have to lay claim to the pc in the early mornings. Then again, I just might buy the guys their own desktop pc...
My daughter, Jenny, took her adorable peach-faced lovebird, Daisy, to the avian vet today. The bird's been bothered with a bad irritation under her wing.
Daisy loves to fly around the pool enclosure. Jennifer took her outside the enclosure one day to sit. Daisy decided to visit the lofty pine trees, and found herself a branch to perch upon.
After 2 hours of bird-smoozing, she flew back to Jenny. Since her excursion that day, she's been pecking away underneath her wing. Apparently birdy had significantly scratched herself and has since been making it worse.
The cream prescription was called in by the vet, and Jenny picked it up, using her own name. "What name, again? We don't have a prescription for Jennifer. There's one here for Daisy Fowl..." Say again ?
Have you ever experienced what I call the 'Poof' Syndrome? One minute you know what you want to say, and the next minute--poof, it's gone! That happens to me sometimes. I also forget where I've put something, and spend needless time searching for it. Which brings me to my husband, Tom.
Tom has a good memory. He can bring up dates from 30-40 years ago, knowing exactly where and what he was doing on that date. It's like he has a mental logbook.
Tom was an airline captain for 30 years. Punctuality and attention to details were of the utmost importance. He was an amazing pilot--one you would have enjoyed flying with.
We took some very interesting trips. Tom lost me once. He always felt the need to venture off to find something to eat--usually fruit.
We were sitting in the train in Frankfurt, waiting for departure. Tom had the sudden urge for an orange or banana. He got off, leaving me. "I'll only be a minute," he said, wandering off. We had less than 10 minutes before the train left the station.
Minutes later, I looked over to the adjacent train, and there was Tom making his way on to the wrong train. I started banging against the window by my seat, hoping to get his attention. Tom finally looked over, spotting me.
On another trip, in Norway, his punctuality didn't matter too much. He got off the tour bus during a short break. Tom huffed his way down the road, hoping to find a vendor. I stayed behind with everyone else. Of course, the driver, Jorgen, wanted to leave!
All the tourists refused to leave without Tom. Soon, he was bobbing up the trail with a bag of fruit. Scrambling aboard the bus, we could see that Jorgen was drunk. He'd had extra time to guzzle half of his 6-pack. Our tour guide, who I called Blue Boots-- because of the iridescent colored boots he was wearing-- told us this was normal behavior for Jorgen. Jorgen loved his beer and link sausages! We sure felt secure knowing that...
There have been some funny twists and turns during our marriage. I'm always walking in the opposite direction of Tom. Maybe that's what's meant by "opposites attract!" My sense of direction isn't good, and map-reading? Not good!
Yes, we all have our moments when our brains take a detour... I'm still looking around for the car keys.