Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crystal Ball Gazing...

Publisher’s Clearing House sent me a flier a few
days ago revealing the possibility the P C H van
might be in my neighborhood soon.
My GPS tells me the van is somewhere in the
middle of America.

It’s exciting to think that I might finally be the one
whose entry is drawn, whose doorbell is rung, and
who opens the front door to smiling faces, live video,
and a big fat check.

I’ve been waiting for 21 years.
Of course, I was always the one waiting for
Santa Claus to appear.
For the cost of a stamp, who knows?

I envision myself caught in a bath towel with my
hair turbaned--or answering the door with Daisy,

perched on my shoulder, nibbling my neck,
leaving her’ present’ in plain sight.

Another bulky PCH envelope arrived in the mailbox today.
I flipped it into the recycling container.
I can always enter online and save a stamp…

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Excuse Me, But..."

Embarrassing moments. We’ve all had them.
I remember an incident at Saint Monica High School.
I was participating in an awards ceremony, and I
was waiting off stage with some other girls.
My name was called eventually to receive a religious honor.

I was petrified.
My legs were glued to the ground beneath me and
my feet wouldn’t move forward. I very gawkily forced
my white buck uniform shoes to move across the stage.
I think I blushed every shade of red during those moments.

Another time was on a flight to New Zealand.
There had been a long, dancing line to use the bathroom.
When I eventually went in and came out, I was
walking to my seat--unspooling almost the entire
roll of sub grade toilet paper which had somehow stuck
to the edge on my clothing…

A handsome male passenger alerted me.
I looked back to see that I’d left a runner of at least
20 feet along the length of the aisle.
What could I do but laugh at myself!
I’m sure that most of the passengers were too
embarrassed to initially bring it to my attention.

There have been times while on a dinner date before
I was married, that I had something wedged between
my front teeth. I tried for what seemed like endless minutes
to force it out--all the while holding my one hand coyly
in front of my mouth. I finally tugged it out, and felt safe
enough to withdraw my hand and smile across the table
at my date. He sweetly told me,
You have something stuck in your teeth…”

Why is it that one never forgets those Kodak moments,
but birthdays and other important things float out of one’s brain?

Friday, September 25, 2009

By Hook Or By Crook...

With the current state of the economy, it's
propagated more criminal acts across the country:
Bank robberies,convenience store holdups, carjackings.

If I had to, I’m not a weenie about defending
myself--depending on the event, of course.
I know of some good defensive actions
one can do with their hands:

*The heel of a hand can be shoved up under
a person's nose. May be the end of him, however...

*Put all of your finger tips of one hand together
and thrust them hard into one's eyes, ear, or
on the carotid artery.
These moves may deter the attacker just long
enough for one to get away.

Back in 1970, after moving to the Bay Area,
I was confronted while walking home from
a movie; an old guy tried to manhandle me.

I kept a sharp hatpin in my pocket
my aunt had given me given me for protection.
I grabbed it and jabbed him in the side with it.
He ran off, yowling.
No one messes with this gal…

Jen found herself in a bank situation once.
She was taking the store night deposit bag
across the mall parking lot to the bank.

The front door was locked--the sign said Closed.
People were sprawled on the floor.
Jen ran back to Papyrus.
A few minutes sooner and she would have been
in the middle of the robbery.

Flipping channels one day, I caught the
Rob and Big show on TV. It's an amusing program.
Rob had a net gun which blasted a net several
yards away, capturing Rob's massive bodyguard, Big.
How effective and cool was that?

Too bad someone can’t develop a personal defense
product, besides mace and pepper spray.
I was thinking of a small canister, which becomes
activated when thrown at the perpetrator, enveloping
him/her with a noxious chloroform-based spray,
thereby knocking him out.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Holey Haute Pants…

I went shopping for a pair of jeans yesterday,
and found three--until I discovered holes in them.
Moths in Marshall’s??
No, the jeans are supposed to have holes in them.
No holes in the price, though.

I remember throwing clothes away that
had holes in them. Years ago, some
companies were buying back your old jeans.
I thought that was odd, but mailed some in.

I walked over to Petites, and began looking.
A woman in the petite section thought I should
be shopping in the Misses section, since I don’t fit
the size category for Petites.

Taking two pairs of size 4 pants to the fitting room,
I slid into them. I’m tall but small framed and
can wear some petite sizes.

The clam digger khaki pair and Lee jeans fit
like a dream. I continued to look with a wide smile
on my face, since the lady was still peering at me.

I could use a new jeans skirt.
I found one skirt that looked vaguely familiar to me.
Same stitching and pockets…could it be?

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Friend, Guerline...Remembered

I'm posting once more today on a sad note.
My beautiful and dear friend , Guerline Damas,
32, along with her 5 young children ,
were mercilessly murdered Thursday in her
home here in North Naples.
Her husband, Mesac Damas has fled to Haiti,
and is considered a definite person of interest.

Guerline worked at our Publix supermarket.
She was sweet and always wore a smile
for everyone. She exuded warmth to all,
and was especially interested in knowing how
my family was doing.

I spoke to Guerline Thursday as she left
the store to go home. She gave me one of
her loving hugs and wished me a happy weekend.
I'll miss her so much.

Hell On Two Feet...

I was in my favorite bookstore café
Saturday enjoying a pleasant conversation
with a friend who shares my
interest in photography.

All of a sudden, from my friend’s row
of seats, a very nasty man stood up
and told us both to "
Shut up! I'm trying to read."
Judging from his speech, he must have just
been transported from way up north or
maybe an alien planet. He was so rude.

I told him to lighten up--the café is a social
atmosphere with some degree of noise:
Music playing, ice machines cranked up and
children playing about...
that if he wanted
it quiet he should go to the library or to church.

He used some profanity and threw out
a few goddammits whereupon I explicitly
told him not to take God’s name in vain.

He said, "What God ?"and walked off fuming,
as I told him he should go to Rosh Hashanah
services, instead.

Naples is a relaxed, happy and laid back coastal
town where
nearly everyone wears a smile.
So if any uptight grumpies out
there are planning
to visit, leave the attitude at home, grab a

swimsuit and try not to swim with the sharks…

Friday, September 18, 2009

Through The Looking Glass...

I was always the kid who sat in the back
of the classroom according to last name.
Problem was I never could read what was
written on the chalkboard.

Sister would scribble math examples on
the board which looked like hieroglyphics
to me. Forget reading the homework assignments.
It used to drive the nuns nuts...

Every night I called my best friend, Gloria
to get the homework, which drove her
nuts after awhile.

After a couple of years of squinting like
a weasel and pulling at the corners of my
eyes to see anything, I had my eyes checked.
Yep, just as I had thought in my 10 year old brain--
I was blind as a bat.
Nearsighted, to be exact.

Not only was I skinny and the tallest girl in my
class, but also the Girl Who Wore Blue
Rhinestone-embellished Glasses.
The lenses were so strong and thick
that they gave the appearance that my
eyes were pinched together, like a goldfish's.

Nothing much has changed since then.
I’m still 5’8”--haven’t shrunk a millimeter,
and my wire frames are parked on my nose.
I don’t look like a goldfish, though.
The lenses now make my eyes appear
slightly larger, which is good.

The only difference now, because I’m older
and living in a high UV state, I need
cataract surgery in a couple of months.
I should be able to see much better than I do now,
which is like seeing the world in 3-D.
I’d be a great asset working at Pixar…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Nose?

We’re approaching runny nose season.
My first encounter with a drippy faucet
was yesterday.
I’d just paid for a magazine and the bookseller
cordially bagged the purchase--after he had
sneezed an Oscar-worthy sneeze into his hand
and wiped his nose with his bag hand.

Yikes! I took out a Kleenex and used it as
protection for holding the bag.
I imagined all the germs enjoying Pastel Journal,
multiplying into little pods, like in the movie,
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers...

When I got home I sprayed Lysol into my car

and on the magazine.
Over the top? Heck no!
Not with swine flu flying around.
Even ol’ Harry Reasoner couldn’t escape the virus.

“Season” is fast approaching when thousands of
people, particularly ‘snow birds’ descend on Naples.
This coastal town will soon be bumper to bumper--
on the roads and the beaches.

So far, there have been very few cases of the flu
in our town on the gulf.
So travelers, please be healthy when you decide
to travel anywhere.
Don’t fly, especially--keep the town you intend
to visit a healthy place.

Thanks. Ah-Choo…

Monday, September 14, 2009

Food A Salt...

I’ve been making a noble attempt at checking
food labels before I buy anything.
Paul and Tom are also careful about what they eat.
They have cut way down on things they used to have
more often, like deli meat sandwiches.
Sodium is the big decision breaker--and the first
thing I look at on a food label.

Why is there so much sodium in food?
The shelf life must be 100 years…
If salt could prolong human longevity, by now,
I figure I 've got a good shot at living until I’m 300.

Soup always tips the sodium scale.
I ‘X’ it off my list.
Occasionally, a TV dinner comes in handy, but TV
dinners are loaded with sodium--even those which
are supposedly healthier for you.
One dinner had 2300 mg.-- good grief,
can you imagine the size of the salt shakers?
Some little lady at the food company must use a
hose to spray all the salt on the dinners…

Grocery shopping takes me longer, but I figure
I’m saving quite a bit since my cart is mostly empty
except for salad fixings, Tilapia, fruit, soymilk,
unsalted butter, fruit juice jam and unsalted sprouted
wheat bread; also, trans-fat free Voortman dark chocolate
chip cookies, Shredded Wheat and Uncle Sam cereals.

Sounds like an exciting cart round up.
As I wait in the Express line, there’s a bulging
cart that’s been allowed, waiting in front of me.
Everything known in the artificial food world is in that cart.
By the time I reach the cashier, she smiles and says,
You and your husband don’t buy much…”
I’m thinking, thank God

Friday, September 11, 2009

Raindrops Keep Fallin'...

Florida reached the peak of hurricane season
on Thursday. Thankfully, hurricane predictions
have been way off this summer--not to say it
still couldn't be a possibility. Our worst hurricanes
have occurred in mid September-October.

Every summer, Tom cringes at the thought
of another hurricane season when the predictions
are revealed by the National Hurricane Center.

He says that I can’t bury my head in the sand about
the possibility of still getting one this season.
I don’t think about it so much.
What’s scarier are the heavy downpours we get
sometimes, like yesterday.

Naples got 2” of rain and the thunderstorms were
shattering. I’d met up with a gal friend for a late lunch
and became stranded at her place.
Electricity flickered for hours until 9:00 p.m.
when the storm let up a bit.
By the time I got home safely, I’d passed
by three severe accidents.

The back yard is a pond, teeming with tadpoles.
The woods are noisy with cicadas and frogs.
Cruiser is wading this morning, enjoying her morning feast.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ducking Out....

Paul and I are attempting to train Cruiser,

resident duck, to ‘do its thing’ on the grass.
Cruiser’s favorite spot is right behind Paul’s
specifically under it.

We chase her from the garage with a push broom.
She snorts at us as she's flapping off...
It would be nice if said pooper would help
fertilizing the lawn.
It’s the least the mooching duck could do.
She leaves her molting feathers everywhere

Paul would love to train Cruiser to mow the lawn.
It’s a tough job on these hot, 97 degree days.
Rain makes the lawn grows twice as long, and fast--
mowing it almost twice every nine days is a nightmare.
Weeds poke through and defy any treatment we use.

I’m thinking about getting a goat…

Monday, September 7, 2009

BBQ 911...

Today, the air will smell of smoky barbecued chicken,
dogs,burgers and steak.
There’s nothing like the tantalizing aroma of grilled
meat circling one’s nose…

I tried barbecuing once, or twice.
Actually, I used a hibachi grill--some
cheap grill I had picked up just to see if
grilling was my thing.

It was Memorial Day, 1988, and Tom was
flying a trip. Paul was at his friend’s house.
Jen invited her gal friend over since I declared
that I’d take the girls to Coyote Point in
San Mateo for a barbecue.

I was armed with briquettes and free-range
chicken breasts. I prepared the bed of briquettes
and lit them.
I waited. I waited some more…

Fifteen minutes had passed and not a hint
of a lit briquette. While the other successful
barbecuers were already scarfing up morsels
of golden brown meat, I was forlornly standing
over the dead zone, pale chicken just lying there.

I packed up the chicken and the girls, and drove
back home. The hibachi was small but I could at
least grill up 3-4 pieces of chicken.
I’d not used the hibachi yet, so…

I lit the briquettes.
Someone at Coyote Point
had told me I should use a little lighter fluid, so…

Flames licked up and out almost 2 feet from
the hibachi.
I screamed.
Thank God the decking was concrete.
I’d never been so scared.

Convinced that grilling wasn’t my bag,
I put the grilling grids of my stove in place
and turned the stove on.
We had the best chicken that day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ducking The Storm...

Recently, we had the mother of all storms.
Lightning hit all around the area with deafening
cracks of thunder.

Our resident duck, Cruiser, wet and bedraggled,
had just made its third pass around the house,
hoping to beg Paul or me for a tortilla chip
or bread handout.

The noisiest crack sounded overhead, sending
Cruiser running like its tail feathers were on fire.
Cruiser! Fly duck, fly!

The storm dumped 2” of rain in 30 minutes--
Cruiser's contribution, 3 clumps
Water on the lanai came almost up to the
sliding doors, before finally seeping through
the drain channels on the decking.
The rain lessened, but the boomers were still
making me jump.

Cruiser came back a few days later, its
butt-waddling, bobbing-headed self cruising
by the computer room window.
She caught sight of me and picked up her
webbed feet, swaggering to the front door.

This weekend is promising a tropical wave, due
to sweep Florida’s east coast over to Naples.
I better clue Cruiser in…

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On Ice...

If I were to be reincarnated someday I’d probably
come back a fuzzy, multi-legged, slithering eight-eyed
monstrosity: a configuration of the numerous bugs,
insects and snakes I’ve killed over the years.
I would be stomped, sprayed, or whacked for sure.

Some people have signed on for cryogenics, hoping
to be brought back to life someday.
That takes trust and a huge investment.
I doubt if any of that will ever happen--if anything,
the frozen lab owners are thawing in some exotic paradise
several times a year…

With my luck, I’d stay frozen…
unless Romanian mad scientists found me first.
I sure wouldn’t want to hear, “Vlad, Let’s Do Lunch…”

You never know what the future will bring.
Instead of freezing people, I sure wish someone
could figure out how to make a frozen dinner
with just a trace of salt and lower cholesterol...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Beginning...

Yesterday was a wonderful day for me.
I met a fellow blogger who is visiting here in Naples
with her family from California:
Sonia Marsh,

For two hours, among the beautiful surroundings
of her hotel, The Bellesera, we talked about
our lives, dreams, kids, and love of writing.
The margarita was delicious, too!

I came away from the meeting feeling absolutely lifted
by this incredible lady. Sonia's conversation inspired
and re-focused my dedication to my book writing.

To Sonia, thanks again for everything...
And to my faithful readers, I will be blogging
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, allowing me
the additional time to assemble and illustrate my book.

I hope all of you will continue to follow and read
my humorous adventures...
I appreciate you all and love reading your comments.