Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet Little Bird...

Many of my neighbors walk small, fluffy dogs
tethered at the end of a long leash.
We’ve always had a bird.

For readers who don’t know, we have
a cute lovebird, Daisy, who is allowed
to flit about the screened-in lanai.

She’s adventurous and a little sneaky:
Daisy flew from Jen’s shoulder awhile back,
outside to the woods.

Flying to the highest pine tree branch,
she baked under the Florida sun for at least
3 hours before deciding to fly back to Jen.

Her little escapade injured an area under
the wing at the time, and a trip to the vet
was her next adventure.

Since Daisy’s flight, things actually were
going well--the little cut in the crease under
her wing got wider and deeper.

The drive to the avian vet yesterday was an
eye-opener: I’d never seen so many flashy and
expensive cars drive by Jen’s ‘capsule’--what
she calls her kayak-hauling Mazda Tribute.

We both noticed how many younger people
driving those shiny Ferraris and Lambros.
She’s driven her car almost to exhaustion,
some 100,00 miles, zigzagging like a patchwork
quilt across, up and down the entire state.
I think she’s seen every alligator and iguana, too.

Finally arriving, we hoisted Daisy’s condo-style
cage from the backseat, and entered All
Animal Hospital. After a few minutes
of listening
to Daisy’s frantic chirping, we left.
Daisy requires stitches to close the muscle-exposing
gash under her wing.

This morning, we dropped Daisy off at the vet;
home now, bandaged and is wearing a
transparent cone, which she hates.

Little 'tipsy' has fallen asleep, cuddled up in my hand..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Box Me In...!

One corner of the computer room
is boxed in--with a slowly dwindling stack of
cardboard boxes and tubes of different lengths.

The smell of fresh cardboard still lingers
a bit in the room--I prefer the smell of
freshly baked walnut brownies…

Ebay has hooked Jen and Paul--sort of
a seasonal virus that hits when the new
master fishing catalogs begin stuffing the mailbox.

Questions start spinning my way: ‘“Would you
have a box to fit the fly reel?” ‘
Or, ’ “would you have a PVC tube that
would be long enough for a 6.5’ rod? “ ’
My print tubes are only 2 feet long…

How about selling a book, or a pair of earrings?
With two fishing nuts, tackle gets bought,
used a couple of years, then sold to make
room for the newer, flashier and more technical
equipment. Paul now has Abel reels with fish
scale motifs painted on them…

Wouldn’t it be easier to get a pet hamster or
some mice? No hassles, they take up little room,
don’t have to be hosed off, and they’re pretty crafty--
when they want to run off, they don’t require postage--
they can just pop the cage door open…

Friday, January 22, 2010

Whatever Happened To...?

Calling all geeks, braniacs, hulks, and
ex-cheerleaders! Canoga Park High School’s
class of ‘65 is kicking the 45th reunion
into high gear this year.

I won’t be there.
My geeky senior picture won’t surface into
the ‘ha-ha, you looked funny’ zone.
It was taken early in my junior year, unfortunately.
I was totally different by the time I graduated.

Reunions are no doubt a blast from the past.
I wouldn’t know--I’ve never crossed into the
Time Machine and gone to even one of them.

I imagine the event will be filled with sideline
glances, assessments and offside remarks:
‘Good grief, what happened to her'?
'Bill was such a hunk…’

Amid memories of starched, skyscraper hairdos,
ex-tarts fired up with post-hickey-Monday-
morning locker room stories, who ran off
with whose wife or husband, and who made it
to the silver screen: Mike Larrain [Rosemary’s Baby]

and Barry Cutler [Dynasty], conversations will be
peppered with fond memories.

I have fond, coming-into-my-own memories of my
senior year: Columnist on The Hunter’s Call, Steering
Committee member, editor of Horizons, our literary
chapbook, Writer’s Club president, co-coordinator of
Journalism Day, and off-key member of the Folk Singing Club.
Those were the days…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Highway of Everyday...

Coming back from the Publix market to the car,

some inconsiderate shopper left their shopping
cart smack against the driver side door.
There oughta be a law…

You have to be sixteen to drive, and I think
operators of shopping carts should be forty--
but wait, it was probably a forty-something
that so kindly dumped the cart by the side door.

Parking lots are dangerous.
They’re a veritable battle ground of squeeze-bys,
zippers and slow pokers.

The squeeze-bys see that I’m already 80% pulled
out from my space. Then some SUV behemoth
or a looming, jacked up truck, just barely clears
the back end of my car. Maybe the toadstool car,
the Smart Car, can get away with doing that…

Then you have the zippers: Cars that fly around
the corners of the lot aisles like locusts, just as
I’m pulling out--and the driver swarms around me,
honking! I feel like shoving a banana up their tailpipe…

The slow pokers are those who think they’re driving
in a 1-mile-an-hour zone, or on some desolate
road in the middle of nowhere. Some of these drivers
are yakking on cell phones, while others just plod along …

I’ve seen gopher tortoises crossing the street faster
than these drivers drive! Understandable if the lot is
crowded, but once these drivers leave the lot for
the streets, their car barely hiccups along at 20 mph,
which can be a dangerous thing.

I know what you’re thinking--when I’m 80, I’ll
be one“them”, scooting along the Geriatric Highway.
I’ll wear my little pink hat, have rosy cheeks, and be
taking Mahjong're right!
Bam me…

By the time I drive the 2 miles back home, I’m ready
for a cup of tea. ..and maybe, a Twilight Zone episode...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Menu Madness...

It’s getting harder and harder to figure
out something different to cook for dinner.
I have volumes of cookbooks--too many, having
worked at Border’s bookstore a few years ago.

My meal wheel has been rotating around
a handful of dishes: Spaghetti with Publix
meatballs [I used to make them], roasted
pork loin with pecans, my version of California
Pizza Kitchen’s barbecued chicken pizza,
fish, pot roast and meatloaf. These dishes are
good for the wintry evenings we’ve been having.

When it begins warming up again, and especially
during the humid, hot summer months, I'll keep
the oven off, and the menu gets paired down
to lighter fare, like stir fries, and chicken with
Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce that I
can cook in the small convection oven.

I was thinking who I’d want to be marooned with
on a desert island. I choose Colin Ogg, recipe diviner.
I’m sure he’d make something interesting and
unusual given his clever cooking ability.

So, this morning, I’m wondering what to plan for dinner…
I know! Colin’s Sloppy Joe’s: mmmm, good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fitness Flapper

I threw out the last of the holiday eggnog.
Sad. I really enjoy the few weeks from
Thanksgiving to New Year's when eggnog
is almost flying off the shelves--luckily,
a few flew to my house.

Now, I have to admit, I can see a little
bit of “eggnog” thighs…
I wasn’t able to exercise to the extent
I’ve wanted to--one excuse being, my eye
surgeon wanted me to take it easy for awhile.

Well, the ‘awhile’ has passed, and I’m
forcing myself to our clubhouse fitness room.
I can't stick my head in the sand any longer...

It’s tough to get rolling--it’s easier to stay
home and roll out pie dough!
But, after assessing the slight under arm
droop too, I’m hauling butt over to the
fitness room, despite the frigid cold walk.

The machines I like to use are open, waiting
for me to decide which weight level to choose.
Let’s see…how about a 20# ? Naw...
I slide the selector into the 40# slot to start.
But wait--I have to warm up!

So, I’m rotating my arms like airplane props,
just as a hulking Hulk walks in--and just
about gets popped by my twirling arms.
It’s him or me, so I eyeball him, slowly
blocking his way, moving backward, then
do a quick launch to my favorite machine.

After a few minutes of several reps, I leave
it to go use the butterfly machine, which
he has set to almost 200#’s. Good grief!
And I had the nerve, the sheer audacity, to
look into his steel gray eyes, short of intimidation?

I adjust the weight level to 40#’s, and finish
after 5 sets . My arms are burning.
I figure in a couple of weeks, I’ll have my
arms and legs back in shape.

Cruiser, our resident duck, has been getting
more exercise than me, doing her laps around
the house, hoping that someone will take notice,
grab the bread, and toss her a few crumpled pieces.

The other day Cruiser flew up to the computer
room window, flapping for Paul’s attention.
I wonder if flapping my arms will work,
and someone will toss me a powdered donut…

Monday, January 11, 2010

Schedule Change:

Hi everyone! I've decided to write my blog

on Tuesdays and Fridays. Mondays are slow
wake up days for me...yawnnnn...
I've needed the extra time just to thaw
my brain out from all the chilly days we've
had here in Florida.

It was 31 last night--even our resident
duck, Cruiser was walking funny today!
I know, the temps are far worse elsewhere,
but we Floridians have thin blood--and are
also spoiled from the usually warm,
year-round temps.

So, please continue to read and follow me.
I hope you enjoy and comment on my blog.

Friday, January 8, 2010

This Is Florida, Right?

Florida’s unseasonably cold weather
is causing pest problems for some people.
Ants are taking the high road into warmer
confines, sneaking their spindly legs under
and through the smallest cracks and openings,
making themselves at home in kitchens and baths.

Lucky for us--and them--we haven’t seen
the little trespassers. I double-dosed the house
perimeter with “Don’t You Dare, Bug Spray”…
don’t try to find it in the stores--if you do,
call the head doc, quick…!

I imagine the underground squadrons are
re-grouping for a Spring and Summer assault
in our yard. I’m ready for you buggers…

Thankfully, the icy cold has killed off some
of the mosquitoes and no-see-ums which
plague us through most of the year.
Short-lived, I’m sure, since we’ll no doubt
have the munchers back in full nosh soon…

Rule of thumb and leg: Cover up, particularly
during the warm months! My son, Paul is
sporting bite “tattoos” on his ankles and
legs from no-see-ums.

Our resident duck, Cruiser has been squirreling
herself in pine needle mulch to keep warm.
She usually waddles into the yard with grass
and mulch hanging from her face and beak.
What a sight…

Swatting the bugs aside, the Gulf is 52
unwelcoming degrees, sending pods of
manatees to warmer Gulf waters surrounding
the electric utility plants.

Visitors are disappointed with the weather
and lack of swimming, but are enjoying the
frolicking, friendly animals. A popular
viewing spot is Manatee Park in Estero.

Watch out--it's raining iguanas!
They’re so cold that their frozen bodies go
into a hibernation state, causing them to plop
to the ground. The kamikaze iguanas appear to
be dead, and are often being removed by
individuals who suddenly discover the creatures
springing back to life in their vehicles.

Summer can't come soon enough for me.
My coffee pot awaits, the aroma drifting
under my sniffly nose. I’m still in my
flannel pj's, on morning watch for ol’ mulch face…

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Welcome snowbirds to frigid Florida!

Left the sweaters and coats home, eh?
While in the clothing store I watch our northern
neighbors frantically
searching for sweaters
and sweats--anything
to keep them warm.

When we moved here to Naples in 2002,
we didn’t bring anything that would
keep us warm. Who’d think that Florida
would get so cold? But we were fooled, too,
and tried desperately to find sweats--anything--
that would warm us up a notch.

So, like our visitors, we endured the cold
weather for a few days--but these current
temps are hedging into two weeks!
I miss wearing my shorts and sandals.

I spoke to my Brooklyn friend, Delores recently,
before our cold snap. She was freezing in 23
degree temps and thinking of our 80 degree
weather I was presently enjoying.

Yep, Old Man Winter is throwing Florida
some pretty chill Arctic air, breaking records,
dipping into the low, frosty 30’s overnight.
The gulf waters are empty of swimmers, except
for 300# loggerheads coming back ashore.

We turn the oven on these mornings
to warm the house up. Daisy, our lovebird,
thaws her icy stick feet by the oven.
When I was a kid living in the foggy beach
city of Santa Monica, CA., mom would put
my school uniform on the oven door to warm
it up. Felt so good…

Cruiser, our resident Muscovy duck, waddled
quickly up the sidewalk after spotting me driving
back into the driveway yesterday--she knows
the car since she’s left her “calling card “
enough times beneath it.

After a few pats on her back, I threw her
a few bites of cinnamon bread.
I’m a soft touch…

With a north wind blowing today, as
usual these past few days, I’m snatching
a thick fleecy jacket from Jen’s closet,
since she’s away for a few days.
Feels so good as I slip it on, but with two
other layers, I feel like the little kid in
Christmas Story.
Daisy’s picked her snuggling spot on my

Please Mr. Weather Man, tell us that
our warm days are returning soon…

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year

Christmas came and went quickly.
From gift giving--Jen received pink golf
clubs and a pink bowling ball -- Capt.Paul,
new fishing gear--a new decade rolled out
on the heels of T.W’s 16 over par scandal…

Happy 2010! Or is it Two thousand and ten?
That’s the debate right now, as absurd
as it is. I’m not resolving to do anything,
since resolutions are easily broken.

I have a lot to look forward to in 2010:

*My brother Mike’s visit--watch the alligators, bro!

*The upcoming Wildlife and Wildlands
Art Show at Delnor-Wiggins State Park--
I’ll probably freeze my keester off.
This is Florida, right?

*My Cali friend, Sonia coming to visit, maybe
moving here: Champagne for sure, Sonia!

*Having wonderful email and phone conversations
with Sonia,
and my new New York blog friend, Delores, soap maker
extraordinaire, and
yakking with Mike and the family.

*Enjoying fellow blogger and amazing cook, Colin Ogg’s
blog :
*With my improved vision, photographing
the beauty around me.

I’m hoping that 2010 will bring jobs to my kids,
good health and happiness to my family and friends,
With enthusiasm and inspiration I wish a
Happy New Year filled with promise and
Joy to you all…