Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's To Die For...

I have 2-for-1 quarts of devilishly delicious sugar
ice cream in my freezer.
I usually don't buy
ice cream, or sweets, for that matter.
Paul gives me the evil eye when I open the
freezer 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 when it's
been so hot.

Paul is right, though.
He's lean, tall and muscular,
and thoughtful
about what he eats.
Paul goes for raw organic and salt-free peanuts and
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
justifies an occasional indulgence.

Tom’s idea of a snack is pumpernickel bread
a 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 when it 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.

Fish Scales A La Mode...

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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just Give Me Chocolates...

Some people are moving targets.
I'm like a walking magnet.
It's like some heat-seeking device is
homing in on me.
Odd events seem to materialize before my eyes.

I ordered a coffee and muffin in a "B" bookstore cafe.
Taking the first bite, I found I'd bitten down
on fingernail clippings.

I parked the Camry in a Walmart parking lot
which is only a few blocks from the beach.
When I got back to the car, it looked like a squadron
of B-52's had released bomb loads of pelican poop.
The shiny Lexus and Mercedes parked
alongside my car were unscathed, of course...

I found metal shavings buried in a can of tuna once,
and a small chunk of glass in a can of fruit.

Whether it's the luck of the draw, the luck of
the Irish--whatever it is--
I'm It.
Seek and you shall find...Me.

Mosquitoes are everywhere:
buzzing around our yard and garage.
Telling my neighbor how bad the mosquitoes are now,
she replied,"What mosquitoes?"
I'm moving two houses away...

Recently, while waiting in line at a department store,
the cashier took the person behind me.
I always had a feeling I was invisible...

A few years ago, Jen borrowed my new digital
point and shoot camera to use at the beach.
Just as she was walking along the shoreline,
a rogue wave engulfed her, dousing my Canon.
Digitize that!

Such is life.
Just once, I'd love it if a vat of warm, dripping chocolate
smothered me...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ready To Wear?

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…

Friday, June 26, 2009

Say Again?

Excuses For Bad Driving:

*There were flies buzzing around my face.

*I didn’t know that was a sidewalk.

*The accelerator got stuck.

*The coffee spilled in my lap.

*I was talking to my wife’s divorce lawyer.

*I was avoiding a turtle crossing the road.

*A Bald Eagle flew in front of the windshield.

*The GPS told me to make a U-Turn.

*I had a sneezing attack and was temporarily blinded.

*I had to take a pill.

*I’m late for my wedding.

*The ice cream melted on the steering wheel and I couldn’t grip it

*The car ahead of me with 20 people was going too slow.

*I didn’t see the Smart Car.

*Driving in the wrong lane: he had his brights on and I couldn’t see.

*I was going to be late for the Early Bird Specials.

*The cap on the beer bottle popped off because of the heat.

*I was plugging in my dvd player.

*My cat started rubbing his claws on my leg.

*I was taking a picture of the alligators.

*The car in front of me said How Am I Driving, so I called him up.

*I just had my eyes dilated.

*I tried to honk, so I had to use my finger.

*The sign in the car window said,
Naked man on board

*You can’t ride the shoulder?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blue Skies Ahead...

Charlie Brown, the lovable, insecure, hapless, and
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
. 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.

Lifestyles Of The Bearly Rich...

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Twilight Zone...

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
disgustingly sweet and caloric, like a wedge
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.
Most everything is digitized now, especially television.

Digital cable provides hundreds of channels
your fingertips, if you can remember which
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
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.

Anyone want their VCR programmed?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fifi On The Half Shell...

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
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
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.

Anyone missing a pet…?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Up, Up And Away...

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 great fun
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
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,
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…

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Long Ago...Seems Like Yesterday

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…?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Memories That Go Bump...

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…

Those were the days…

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And The Heat Goes On...

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.

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.

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...

I’m getting a hot flash…!

Honk If You're Lost...!

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…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ba Da Da Dum...

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”…
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…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Boiling Points...

It’s been extremely hot and humid lately.
We’re in Stuart, Florida for Sunday-Monday.
It feels like we’ve been transported to Hell,
it’s so uncomfortable.
I wish I could shed my skin.
Paul ‘s fly fishing this Monday morning, at Bathtub Beach
on Hutchinson Island.

It’s 9a.m. and the temp is already 87 degrees.
Tom and I are watching the manatees swim by, while Paul’s
hooking up on snook and tarpon.
The bath house is under renovation, otherwise we’d be swimming.

After an hour or so of being deep-fried, we leave Paul
and we head to the historic downtown waterfront area
on the St. Lucie River.
Jen had told me about the cute shops and galleries.

The breeze is blowing, cooling our damp skin.
Tom is an outdoor, no shop kind of guy.
He wants to be in the High Sierras, smelling clean and cool
mountain air and swimming in June Lake.
Tom has Nordic-Germanic blood.
He would’ve been a great Mountain Man, like Jedediah Smith.
Tom and his dad used to swim in the cold, San Francisco Bay.

Florida is the polar opposite.
Water temps hover at 90+degrees in the summer.
By noon, the air temp has reached 95.
The heat index is 102.
We look like we’ve just come out of the drink, our clothes
are hanging in damp folds.
We dart in and out of the frigid stores.
The people in Stuart are sweet as punch and I sure
could use a rum punch or mojito about now, but alcohol
makes me feel warmer.

After another hour of hot-footing the town and eating lunch,
we’ve plunked ourselves in an air-conditioned library.
Tom reads Barron’s and I catch up on Dave Barry books.

We finally pick up a very hot and tired Paul, and begin
heading home.
We’re trying to find a gas station with cheap gas.
Sometimes I feel like we’re the Griswold’s on vacation.
We blunder into the first station, promising 4 cents
back with cash.
Ha-- only if you pay at the pump, which Tom doesn’t.
Just a block away we see gas 8 cents cheaper.
That makes Tom even hotter under the collar.

We’ve made headway onto the 95, until…
a multiple car pileup has stopped us.
Of course, the two left lanes of traffic are merging over
to our lane. We’re not going anywhere.
We’re traveling at worm speed…
After 20 minutes and several demolished cars
and suv's later, we’re driving non-stop.

Finally, we’re on Alligator Alley.
Naples is a good hour and forty minutes away.
Meanwhile I’m watching cruising alligators in the canals.
I've counted 12 already.
There’s something comforting when you finally make it home…
the driveway never looked so good.   

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Going Once...

I'm after ants, again.
Not your typical black ant, but swirly ants,
better known as sugar or crazy ants.
They're nearly microscopic.
And nuts!
They swirl around like Whirling Dervishes.

Jen made the mistake of leaving a half-finished
soda can in her car. The next day, I think every
crazy ant in Naples was feasting on Coke.

Daisy, our lovebird, enjoys a tropical seed mix.
She's kept in the lanai during the day.
By evening, much of her seed has scattered
from her cage to the decking.
Daisy is an enthusiastic eater.
The seed attracts scores of crazies.
It's an ongoing battle.

There doesn't seem to be an insect or reptile
alive willing to help me eliminate the ant problem.
The lizards are bug-specific.
So are the tree frogs.
Not interested.

These ants are indeed crazy.
They're even attracted to dried glue--dried anything.
They've strayed into my old pc a few times.
What on earth could they possibly find in there?

Yes, I think ants were put on earth to drive us crazy.
Too bad some research program can't use them.
How about the Space Program ?
Maybe the ants could be put in orbit.

What about Cyberspace?
Maybe I can sell the ants on Ebay...

*No new Blog on Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rock On..!

Everything is done on the fly, it seems.
Some people shave and eat while driving.
Bluetoothed drivers, whose laptops are perched
on the console, are hitting the roads.
It's a get it done world.

What did primitive man do?
Yorg had real problems.
Imagine trying to start a fire.
No matches for him.
Sticks and stones were rubbed together for heaven
knows how long, before Yorg blew his top.
His nagging wife, Yakk, banished him to the
wild more than once when he had his fits,
to hunt for some horned creature.

What about communication?
Yorg had a leather pouch filled with stones.
If he wanted to call up a fellow caveman, he'd sling
a few stones, whacking his friend upside the head.

Travel was tough, too.
Poor Yorg spent hours bashing and honing the edges
of a boulder until it would roll.
That eventually became a useful device, especially when he
finally figured out how to get a donut hole in the center.

And most enjoyable, too--when he put Yakk
in the middle and sent her rolling along ...

On The Road Again...

I noticed a new pet shop the other day specializing
in exotic and unusual animals.
It wasn't too long ago that a Burmese Python exploded
from ingesting an alligator.
Within the Everglades National Park there is an
approximate python population of 30,000.

A few years ago, my daughter Jen was kayak fishing
in the 10,000 Islands, just southeast of Naples, FL.
She hooked into what she thought was a huge fish--until she
brought it up. Jen had snagged a Burmese Python.
It had a girth of at least 20". I can imagine its length!
She cut the line and let it drift off.
Pythons have been found inside of small airport hangars,
suddenly frightening whoever was inside.

Iguanas, purchased when small , are often released into
the wild when they get too big.
There is a growing iguana population in Southwest Florida.
Sanibel and Captiva have a few reptiles wandering around.
The 6' plus iguanas find their way into back yards.

Just recently, I happened to see a small iguana running
inside of our community.
He was headed for the Clubhouse.
I wondered who was was splashing in the pool after dark...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beware Of "Cat"

Warning! House protected by vicious dog!
Don't those warnings grab you...by the throat?
In our neighborhood several large, mean looking
dogs stay outside on their properties.
Apparently an electric fence keeps them out of bounds.
The rapid, loud barking from these animals is enough
to warrant a heart attack.

Neighbors up the street have what I call a
wind-up dog, named Max.
They have a Beware of Dog sign in their yard.
Beware of what?
If anything, the dog would make a good squirrel
nabber, or a doorstop.

I like dogs, but well-trained dogs.
Max needs an attitude adjustment.
The owners have encouraged an aggressive behavior
in Max particularly to the waste management trucks
that come by.
They think it's cute to see Max all charged up.
He's outside, like clockwork, chasing the trucks down the street,
barking like an AK-47 at an ungodly hour of the morning.
Anyone who happens to walk by is a target.

A few evenings ago, wandering around the back and finally
to the front of our house was a large bobcat.
Sleek and fearless.
My kind of "guard dog"...

"Kitty", go visit Max.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Phobias Du Jour...

I have a fear of anyone associated with needles.
Doctors and dentists, especially.
I love it when the doctor pumps the needle and fluid
squirts out.
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?


*Dear Jello--all in jest!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Mouthful...

Some people are adept at using slanguage or incorrect
grammar in their conversations.
Phrases like "Ya know what I'm saying...?" is commonly
reiterated and means nothing.

In 1996 in Oakland, California, there was an outcry over Ebonics.
Protesters felt it was an excuse for learning grammatically
correct English.

Students wanted this sociovernacular officially
recognized as a language in school studies.
Thank God Ebonics never made it to the school curriculum.
What would have happened if Shakespeare had penned
the phrase "Yo, Romeo! What up? Peep dis..."
It makes me cringe.

Expletives are part of our language, unfortunately.
The beauty of our language has been integrated with filth.
I credit its abundant use for lack of something substantial to say.
I've always had an affinity for words.
Words can color, describe, resonate.
Words can inspire and motivate.

I credit two wonderful English Comp teachers: Ann Singer who taught
at Canoga Park High School in California and Jean Wilkinson,
my professor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Ca.for furthering
my love of the English language.

Over The Rainbow...

I've always loved having my family around.
We're scattered about the country.
My brother, Michael , a niece, Julie and nephew, Brad, live in Arizona .
Two nieces, Laura and Kirsten live in Oregon.
I try to keep in touch with them more often.
My son, Paul is living with us now and Jen has recently become a Key Wester.

When Jen told me she was moving from her condo, my heart sank.
She and I are close and we really enjoy doing things together.
I trust Jen with her judgment and hope her new path
will be happier.

As much as everyone means and has meant so much to me,
their lives are important.
It's not easy to know which direction to take, but one has to
trust one's feelings and believe in God's plan for us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Now And Then...

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

Romance was in the air.
I miss that...

Friday, June 5, 2009


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...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

By The Sea, By The Sea...

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.

And don't forget The Stingray Shuffle!

**Photo courtesy of Capt.Paul

Take A Number...

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...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Not Only Mosquitoes, But...

Other minor irritating things:

*Tall movie-goers or people with big hair sitting in front of
me at the movies, after coming in late.

*Bubble gum smackers and snappers.

*Beverages, mostly coffee that's been purposely emptied on the sidewalk.

*Drivers who cut me off in traffic.

*Drivers who take up two or more parking spaces.

*People with way over 10 items in the Express Checkout.

*People who hold the place in line for more than 1 person.

*People who dump their exotic pets in the Everglades...Big problem.

*Talkers who don't let me get a word in edge-wise.

*Sneezers and coughers who don't cover their mouth.

*Those long-winded Christmas letters from people you hardly see.

*DVD's that quit with only 30 minutes left.


*Drivers yakking on cell phones, while balancing food in their laps.

*Chips in bags that 's mostly air.

*Rebates that never arrive.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Daisy Who?

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 ?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where, Oh Where...?

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.