Thanksgiving is a time to be truly thankful for family--and many things--particularly for not being a turkey!
My daughter took one look at the turkey in the refrigerator and said “It’s a little small, isn’t it?” Anything larger than 10 lbs. and I’d need to throw out an entire shelf of food. I’m stacking butter and dip, jams and mango salsa as it is…
I was informed that most people eat Thanksgiving dinner around 1:00. The pilgrims in my family began cooking the turkey around 4:00 p.m. I think my ancestors came over on a different vessel--later in the day, too.
I’m a descendant of Zachary Taylor, the 12th President. I’m not sure what time he had his Thanksgiving dinner…he looked well fed though. Back to turkey day...
I’m definitely thankful that I’m walking without my leg cast. My family is the joy of my life, And I’m blessed with friends--both near and far. I’m thankful for all my readers in cyberspace, too.
Last of all, I hope our resident ducks, Cruiser and Whitey will come around soon. They’ve been missing since Sept., no doubt living it up in warmer climes.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving-- and to those who don’t celebrate the holiday, have a great day! Gobble…
Hello, my dearies! Welcome to the Witchin’ Kitchen where I will brew up tales of Hollow’s Night of Yore.
Many harvest moons ago, there lived a family of four in the beach city of Santa Monica, where the foghorn bellowed and the dense fog swirledin ghostly waves, bathing the city in an eerie glow.
Halloween was spooky in our neighborhood. Houses all stacked like dominoes lined the unlit street, with narrow passageways between the houses.
I was convinced a witch lived in one of the houses along the walkway. Her pointy nose and glaring eyes always peered through the parted lace curtains at the window anytime I walked by.
Mom loved Halloween. She wore her huge black witch’s hat, and tied a sheet around her. Raisins dotted her face like old, gnarled warts.
Michael was a pirate and I, a witch--what else? I’m not sure if my Halloween bucket got pirated and pillaged by Michael as I stealthily tried to hide my treats.
Years later, we were living in the hot San Fernando Valley where thoughts of Halloween were brewing yet again. We decorated the house with ‘pumpkin tumbleweeds’. Mom had her warty, powdered face and dad had a few surprises of his own.
When the grandkids came over Halloween night, he told them to go to the closet... Suddenly, the kids were screaming--dad had his prosthetic leg propped up in the corner with an old shoe attached. That always gave dad a laugh.
As I later had my own family, I strung cobwebs, hung skeletons and spiders, stuck a candle in a cow’s skull, and played spooky howling tapes from the upstairs window that could be heard outdoors. Needless to say, there were few kids coming to the door!
It’s that time of year again, in another town where we have Halloween parades up the street of our gated community, and a few kids will come to claim their treats. I have an overfilled pot of candy waiting-- and maybe, a trick or two…
"Doctor, can you help me?" "What seems to be the problem?" "Writer's Block. I can't seem to get my funny on." "Ahh, yes, that could be a problem." "Ok...so what can I do about my writing drought?" "I don't know--can't think of a thing." Big help...
I need an elixir of Rodney Dangerfield, with a double shot of Woody Allen and Carl Hiaasen--something I can't get at Blue Martini! Some people are dripping with humorous anecdotes and one-liners, with little effort, it seems.
I could make fun of myself, I suppose. Tom's been calling me peg-leg. I've become glued to my sofa lately--not by choice. I fractured my ankle recently.
I'd rather be outside in the pool, enjoying the hot Florida sun, or on the Las Vegas trip we had to cancel this week.
So, I've been following orders to stay off my feet. I'm getting into the Cleopatra routine: Enjoying being waited on hand and foot--pardon the pun. More fruit, maybe a sweet tea, please.
I haven't been through a drive-thru in a long time. Maybe I'll get Jen to take me this week--though, with the luck that's been hitting me over the last few months, I'd probably wind up with an 'unhappy' meal! But I digress.
With a collective heave I hoist myself from the sofa, clogging my way to the kitchen to grab the Dustbuster. Cleo left her cookie crumbs between the cushions-- which has taken on the shape of her bum...
I've been sucked into creative quicksand. Sitting on the sofa, glancing out to the back yard, I'm waiting for an instant spark of something funnyto tickle the dormant folds of my usually witty brain.
This on and off period of writing has been the longest bout of writer's constipation I've ever experienced. It hasn't helped that I'd been sidelined by a 'locked'back, and most recently by an injured ankle--thanksto a misplaced tool box.
I've been watching The Weather Channel, and allof the whirling dervish spin-offs dancing off Africa.
Most seasoned Florida residents have grown accustomed to the over-hype--the prognosticationsof the weather men who can't wait for a tropical storm to hit the coast so they can valiantly smack-dabthemselves right in the middle of the event...
Every year the hurricane predictors say we're in for an extremely active season. I just took stock of my hurricane closet: 2 cases of Sam's water, some cans of soup, paper plates and cups and plastic ware,dry foods, as well as 2 propane camp stoves and enough propane canisters.
I also have 3 loaves of duck bread-- I've had to stock up since Cruiser is bringing her ducky friends to the house.If you are a new reader of my blog, Cruiser is a sweetMuscovy duck who chose our house to visit everyday.
She's been cruising around the yard from the lake for over a year. Only recently, Cruiser's brought alongWhitey--and occasionally, another duck we'venot named yet. They are both bread fiends...
Out back there's a swale, a flooded river running along the width of grass. A couple of weeks ago wespotted catfish spiraling out from the ground beneath the water, swimming quickly, then 'walking' into the woods, like something out of a Stephen King novel.
So, here I am, molting, waiting for a simmering idea to boil over, watching tiny lizards and a frog scoot close to the pool's edge...
There's a water bowl outside for the ducks. There was an Indigo snake coiled over the bowl a few weeks ago, sipping away...
Oh, I see two bobbing heads coming around the side of the lanai enclosure, like clockwork. Whitey and Cruiser are peeking over at mebetween the plants... Gotta go feed them...call of the wild!
If ya don't like my driving, stay off the road could've been my slogan when I was learning to drive. Unlike most people who were driving at 16, I was 27-- bulging with expectant parenthood.
Not only was it a tight squeeze, between me and the steering wheel, I was cursed with learning on a stick-shift in my husband's original VW Bug.
While my daughter was busy kicking me in the ribs, I was ready to stick the shifter! Frustrated that I wasn't sequencing that well with the clutch, brake, gas and stick, I'd decided that childbirth would be a hiccup compared to learning to drive that antique.
Tom was an airline captain and I was expecting that he was going to call ahead for special clearance--that an erratically driving female was loose on the road.
I'd managed to run over a row of rosebushes, cut the turn on the corner, causing a flabbergasted pedestrian to jump back a few feet.
Finally, after many driving lessons, I was ready to get my license. Lucky for the man testing my driving ills-- I mean skills--he passed me, out of sheer self-preservation. I guess hormonally-challenged females, this close to poppin', was something he didn't want to face--again.
It's a lucky thing I never became an airline pilot...
Reptilius Wrinkilum, characterized by and resembling shed snake skin, is an affliction shared by those humans who don't look like pancake batter.
Add a little unwanted 'real estate' and behold--it's a sight: Rippled layers of varnished, lizard-like skin that appears to have been squashed by a Goodyear tire, then stretched past the known capacity of nylon and spandex. In other words, miles of beach-tanned, bikini-ed and Speedo-ed torsos, frolicking back and forth under the tropical Florida sun.
The men are a 'whisper' away from centerfold exposure. The ladies prance along with dimpled, 'thonged' behinds-- looks like a Silly Putty convention...
I wore a swimsuit once, more of a flotation device--that, when I began swimming, would billow out--much like the inner tube I used to float on as a kid--drifting between the pilings of the Santa Monica Pier...
Rising from the bathtub-warm waters of the Gulf, I looked like a beached whale. Suddenly all the water dumped out from my swimsuit--along with a slithery Ramora I called Ramon--since it had clung to my ribcage the entire time.
So now, bikini clad, I notice that I'm not far from being in the select classification of Reptilius Wrinkilum--as I enjoy the tropical outdoors. I'm also noticing that I need to work out a little harder, too. Gosh, that almond cookie was sooo good... Sonia, I slipped...
Kidney beans, kidney pie, kidney stones-- whoa, not on my menu! I've never had one of those excruciating episodes and don't intend to.
I think my body is afraid to manufacture stones since I hold my breath and swallow tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar during the day. Gag me...
My son knows when something vile is crossing my lips. Sure isn't a candy bar... The essence permeates from the kitchen to where he's sitting a few feet away.
I've taken to a Dr. Weil and Dr. Oz way of good health, for awhile now, side-stepping the amazing bakery case at my favorite book store.
It's not always easy when I see a delicious apple danish grinning back at me. I figure it's either sacrifice something tasty and live longer and healthier, or dunk into Donut Hole Heaven, and eventually have hell to pay-- waddling around like Cruiser, our resident duck...
I'll have one Dino-Chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, please. Huh? How is it served up--rolled up to my table on a dolly?
It seems that a dino-chicken may be scientifically created one day. A recent paleo-archaeologist discovered a bone sticking out from a massive cliff face--a femur of avery extinct dinosaur...60 million years old. That's a lot of birthdays.
The find was so massive that an excavation crew was broughtto the site. The femur was broken into small workable sections forremoval.
Once back to the lab, the specimens were placed under microscopes. What was discoveredwas active DNA : thread-like, stringy blood vessels--and a gooey substance from the femur's center--marrow. How could that be?
So, I'm wondering, what will the scientists do with this discovery? It's a scary thought to think that some "mad" laboratory scientist could mix up a batch of hybrid dinosaurs. Shades of a future Jurassic Park...? Should Disney worry?
Will there be a super-chicken packaged in the poultry case? Can I look forward to a super-sized roasting chicken, instead of the paltry selection of scrawny rotisserie chickens flashing their golden bony legs and flat chests? One can only dream...
With cell in hand, I enter the number. Press 1 for English. There’s something wrong with that.
The voice lists the menu options: longer than Pinocchio’s nose. I try to remember what options 2,3, and 4 were. I’m sorry, but all customer service representatives are busy. The average wait time is 8 minutes.Please hold... Hmmmm.
Let’s see…in 8 minutes, I can pour another cup of tea, polish my nails, knock down spider-sack webs from the pool enclosure, or go online to order Poisonous Snake insurance. No, not really, though it’s not a bad idea…
Hanging up after 7.5 minutes of listening to bellowing recorded music that rivaled the mating call of a wild yak, I decided that I just saved myself $15.00.
Making the rounds around the pool deck to my padded chaise lounge, I suddenly feel something crawling along my arm.
Looking down, I see a medium-sized black spider, dangling from a web, orbs glaring at me, its spindly legs dancing along my arm. Yikes! I whack it off with a paperback book, then step on it.
Maybe I should opt for poisonous spider insurance…
Where have all the years gone, and so quickly? These thoughts cross my mind every once in awhile, especially now as I've had my 63rd birthday. If I could, would I go back to an earlier time, back to my teen years or my college days?
If I'd had a way of foretelling the future, I may have done a few things differently, change my direction a bit, but then again... If I'd fallen in love at 19 with the handsome Italian fella living next door, whom I felt was in love with me at the time , I'd no doubt have a houseful of kids. But, I might also be divorced—since that was his status a few years ago, and still might be.
If I'd been more motivated to finish college and get a degree, I'd be teaching English Comp right now. When I'd moved to San Francisco in 1970, I was working at a local store. From the entrance I heard, “Nancy, what on God's earth are you doing working here?” My jaw dropped.
It was my former college professor, Jean Wilkinson, who'd had very high aspirations for me. She'd kept many of the works I'd written, and thought I would've pursued a writing career, at the very least. Presently, I'm still writing: short stories and romantic poetry,as well as this blog.
If I'd followed my parents to Oregon instead of moving to the Bay Area, I would've never met my husband, a handsome airline captain,and had our two children. Nor would I have had the opportunity to meet Charlton Heston or Bing Crosby who were customers of mine one day.
We now live in South West Florida, which has changed the direction of my life. I'm a freelance photographer, living a dream I've always had--sequestered in the back of my mind. I'm an artist, too.
Life is often convoluted. You're never sure what each day is going to bring. Ah, to be a kid again...? Not a chance.
I'm waiting for my phone to ring--the call telling me that I'm a contestant on "The Wheel". You know the show--the show where Vanna looks doomed to wear, at times, the most ridiculously outlandish evening dresses. Isn't Outlandish a planet? Nah, but it should be...
I think my luck in receiving a phone call is much like my luck in hatching an egg! Paul reminds me that I had a darn good contestant chance last summer when the traveling wheel was in Naples for a contestant search.
It was a broiling hot day. Jen and I approached the area of the search, Hodges University, sweeping our eyes over the multitude of hopefuls, and decided that standing in the hot humid sun, probably for hours, was not that enticing.
So, on most nights, I'm correctly guessing the answer, usually with only a smattering of letters, sometimes with only 2 or 3 letters showing. Tom and Paul usually can't believe how quickly I can guess. They both think my wallet would be bulging by now, if I were on the show...
Maybe I'll try out this summer--can I wear my swimsuit?
PC gremlins are haunting my HP. The whatzit kind that materializes seemingly, for no material reason!I’m thinking it could be one of several reasons:PSU failure, the fan, or dust bunnies runningaround inside the case.
The pc freezes while online, goes to ablack screen. No apparent viruses present. The monitorscreen will occasionally display gray and white diagonal lines. Coming to grips with this annoying problem is turning my hair grayer and whiter!
Last night on the news, I was very disturbed-- not that I’m not in that present frame of mine with my pc problems!
Some dingbat official decided that Naples’ Muscovy ducks should be eliminated. They are being 'humanely' euthanized.My mouth fell open at the ludicrous suggestion that these cute “citizens” which roam our lakes and parks, are nuisances and highly dangerous creatures! Let me say that there are far more two-footed“dangers” we should be concerned with, particularlythose who cell-talk and drive.
I’ve never been so aggravated. Now, I can understand why Cruzer, our neighborhood Muscovy, has been lying low for a few days. I sure hope she’s got the “spring fling thing”and hasn't been captured.
Love is in the air in the bug and bird world. Luv-bugs are enjoying marathon sessions, mid-air--amazing! Female birds are playing hardto get--their antics are quite amusing, and keepsmy mind off Cruzer’s absence.
Tom is in a chopping mood. Our poorpalm trees out front have been topped--glad he didn’t become a barber… The wasps are building condos in our hot garage. They’re zeroing in on the holes in the garage doors.
Tom is forever swatting them--he’s been stung once already.Yes, it’s another hot day in paradise, and my day is planned around a trip to the Byte Shop for advice, and a dip in the pool. I’m not going to think about pests, gremlins, or house cleaning. Just floating around the pool…
Dad's Rocketdyne pic--2nd on left side, arms folded-- rocket gang!
Thanks for the suit, Ma! 'Headlight' Nan Apple Valley desert When my brother visited with me recently from Arizona, he brought along a folder of family photographs, many of which I'd not seen before.
I couldn't believe how funny some of them were. In many, I had a 'caught in the headlights' expression on my face. Michael remarked that I still fell into the expression when talking about things. Ha-ha...
We reminisced about our childhood in Santa Monica: our house on the opposite side of the upper middle-class neighborhoods, and how that kept so-called friends from coming over for birthday parties; how I got swept up in a rip-current when I was about 5-6, and was saved by a lifeguard; the jelly-fish sting I got one day; inner-tube wave riding; buying candy cigarettes at the corner grocery;Mike's funny Messenger bike and my new one...ouch!
Those were the days of tracking sand back to the house from the beach, fishing from Santa Monica Pier, buying Creamsicles from the Good Humor truck, and catching gross spiders in a glass jar. We played cowboys and indians--I was always 'arrowed'! Mike cut my hair when I was 3 and whacked away my blonde hair.
There were times when we really got into it, typical name- calling. We are like night and day in some ways. He's a used-to-be brunette, and I'm a platinum blonde. He loves to read historical books, and I like 'cozies'.
I said goodbye to Michael yesterday as he stepped curbside at Regional South West Airport. A big hug, some"I love you's", and he was off.
*I’ve been away from my blog because of lower back trouble, LBT as I call it. I remain locked--sure that the 'key' has been tossed! I’m coming back, no matter what, writing my once a week blog--though sitting in my computer room chair is a back killer. I look forward to the M-W-F physical therapy sessions, which includes the highlight of my day-- electric stimulation therapy, or TENS, as it's called. ***********
My brother, Michael is visiting me, so we’ve been having lunch out most days. We drove down to Olde Naples the other day and went to Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café for lunch. We grabbed the last booth--a large booth across from the Restrooms doorway. Figures…
We considered alfresco dining under the thatched umbrella tables but decided it was too hot for outdoor dining-- though a good place for people watching.
While Mike and I ate, I was watching the parade of European tourists move through the doorway. thinking I might spot just one person who might be dragging just a hint of bathroom tissue along the path, usually firmly affixed to the heel of a shoe. It’s a common occurrence, and takes awhile for the person to notice.
Such an event happened to me while returning to my seat on an airplane, which has been so long ago. A young man got my attention by pointing behind me: I’d dragged about 15 feet of tissue behind me, apparently snagged on my clothing. Talk about embarrassing moments, but all I could do was laugh…
I’ve been sort of eavesdropping on people’s conversations during our lunches. It’s been easy since the talker seems to be talking to everyone within 20 square feet of their own table.
One gal was saying that she was picked up for a date in a convertible, and she closed her own door quite hard. Her date said “My, you’re a big girl!”
She was peeved and stewed for several miles on their way to a social event, her hairstyle slowly unraveling as was her temper. Upon arrival, she spent several minutes in the car attempting to smooth many of the stray blonde strands of tousled hair.
Opening the car door herself, she slammed the door as hard as she could. The lady’s girlfriends all roared at their friends’ storytelling. I was nearly done with my Panera sandwich, nibbling on a pickle and potato chip, ears alert to further interesting tidbits, when the ladies parted company and the conversations spilled through the back doors. Tomorrow we may be going to Turner River Road. Not a conversation pit, but is guaranteed to have a squad of sunning alligators, or is it a gaggle? No, that’s geese… If Michael edges up too closely, we may have something to talk about after all!
Insert Part A to Part B, intersected at the hypotenuse of Parts D and C, making sure the tabs are facing inward. Insert screws X and Y--do not tighten, yet. At this stage of art table assembly, I’m ready to leap out the window--even if it’s only a 3 foot drop.
I went on the internet to check on the directions. I thought, just maybe, some other fumbler is struggling-- or has struggled through the directions--no doubt written by a crinkled, beady-eyed old goat, beard falling into his flask of Johnny W, in his 4x4, windowless cubicle.
The comments about the table were glowing: "Easiest table to put together. had it up in an hour." "Couldn’t have gone smoother--great table!"
I’ve spent 2 1/2 days earlier this past week attempting to function like a human and assemble the dang table. I only disassembled it twice! “My aching back” has been a royal pain. I’ve been dueling with an annoying sacroiliac which has kept me away from sitting in front of my desk top PC for any length of time to write my blog.
I’ve spent considerable time dreaming of having a completely organized workspace for my art, photography, and beading interests. I’d been occupying space in my walk-in closet with most of my books and art stuff.
As I spent broken hours trying to figure out the directions of the table--which, it turns out, had an illustration discrepancy--I was thinking of ways to track down the “brain” behind his desk--who, I’m sure, was devising new and more complicated directions for me. Maybe in 3-D?
So, here I sit in my new, ergonomic desk chair for my art table--tapping out my blog on my portable word processor. No, I don’t have a laptop… My slightly lowered rib-tickler level needs a Mento thrown into the mix. I’m hoping for an eruption of humor, even a spit wad of something funny.
The small corner of the bedroom is finally complete with all of my supplies neatly tucked into drawers, and my table, waiting for me to finally sit down awhile to create.
Meanwhile, a letter is waiting to be sent to the mad illustrator and text writer of my wonderful table. I’m almost sure he has a stack under his nose by now…
I’m still getting sap out of my hair from the Christmas tree. Now, if you believe that, I can probably sell you swampland here in Florida--might even come with a pet alligator, or a Burmese Python.
Pythons are open to hunters now. Thousands of these snakes are winding through the Everglades--and even a few have been spotted in populated Florida cities.
I’m not sure what I’d do if I ever saw a python slithering in my wooded back yard. I might give it the directions to a couple of homes where yapping dogs break the peaceful hum of the outdoors.
I don’t like snakes whether harmless, or not. One hot day a couple of summers ago, an unidentified, dome-headed snake lay coiled in the corner of our lanai, by the pool.
I hollered for Tom to remove it. With a bamboo pole, he managed to drape the snake--which was flaring out in attack mode-- and flung it out to the woods. I was hoping for drawn and quartered myself…
I’ve been a few feet from a coral snake, which was snaking its beautiful body along the pool pump, just as I was coming around to feed the chlorinator its weekly biscuits.
I ran 0-30 in a matter of seconds to the garage for a shovel. By the time I’d made it back to the same spot, the deadly snake had winded its way toward the hose in the front yard.
I bashed it a few times, and it defied me, slithering onto the damp grass. I took the pointed head of the shovel--by that time, I was shaking--and jabbed it hard as I could, then shoveled the 3 foot lump and dropped it onto a wooded, corner lot.
Passing gardeners gawked in amazement at my catch of the day. Yes, I’m not a snake fan, nor a fan of anything creepy that has more legs than I do.
With Spring finally here, and hot summer days ahead, I’m also on creepy-crawler, fly-by critter watch. I’m sure invading armies of subterranean fire and black ants are planning their “Nancy” invasions in my yard.
Mosquitoes are busily promoting their species for a juicy attack, along with their co-conspirators, no-see-ums. I’m waiting…
My eyes are growing to the size of golf balls as I stare at the blank computer screen...
It’s not easy dredging through the cobwebby recesses of my brain in the early morning hours, trying to figure out something humorous to write about for my blog--and to think I was writing my blog every day for a few months!
My blog friend, Colin, is prolific--his food blog at: http://wokkingontherun.blogspot.com is colorful and informative, filled with delicious recipes. But then, Colin isn’t an antique like me. His brain is still in diapers…
Speaking of which…
Cruiser, our resident duck, has been bob, bob, bobbing along the back lanai twice a day. She brought her white headed baby with her last week.
Cruiser was quite piggish, swiping whatever bread I was tossing out to her baby. So piggish in fact, that Cruiser has a case of “beano-itis’.
Yesterday, she waddled beside where I was soaking up some sun, and emitted what I thought was a foghorn. She looked over at me, and I thought, don’t you dare pin that ’blurp’ on me!
Speaking of which…
I live in Naples, Fl, a beautiful, gulf coast town filled with senior folk, a natural, tropical atmosphere, early bird dinner and drink specials, assorted cultural events, and cars that cost as much as pocket change in an Arab’s wallet.
So, with all the round-the-clock, delectable varieties of international cuisine and drink, over-indulgence is often a big problem.
Store aisles are often filled with indescribable ‘blurps’. “Air fresheners on aisle 6, please.” I make a quick beeline so as not to get pinned with the unfortunate scent du jour.
Speaking of which…
I’m thinking about my sinner menu for tonight. I mean dinner menu! Stir-fry, I think-- right, Colin? My eyes are now hanging on little springs, flopping up and down as I continue staring at the blank screen in front of me, wondering if Dave Barry ever had this problem…?
I’ve never been very adept at sports. My tennis serve always looked as though I was swatting a swarm of flies.
Ping pong was no better. The last time I played a couple of years ago, the ball pinged more than it ponged. The ceiling tiles were hit more often than the paddle. I nearly lopped the ear off my partner.
Field hockey in high school? Let’s just say my teammates were lucky that their heads were still upright…
Basketball? If it was game legal to shoot into both baskets, I would have been stellar. However, I reigned supreme at volleyball. Being tall helped as I could spike the ball just over the net.
One recent sport I’ve taken up is billiards. I still can’t break worth weasel spit, but I’ve learned enough from pool technique books to plan a shot--often surprising, Physics defying, two-pocket shots, jaw-dropping my opponent. “That shot defied the law of Physics, Minnesota Skinny,” he’d say. I always felt highly complemented since my doctorate friend geometrically planned most of his shots.
I think I finally found my niche… Now if I’d only keep some of the balls from jumping the table…