Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pixie ponders bras

Yep, bras. If this makes you men squeamish, bugger off. I need to get this off my chest. Yes, pun intended.

I went shopping for bras yesterday. I have all old lady industrial models. I have a few shirts I can't wear as my bras don't compliment them. The bra puckers and you can see it through the fabric of the shirt. I want a pretty, lacy one. I want one that doesn't make me look like Madonna in concert. Hey, cut this old lady some slack. My thumbs and four other fingers can't bend without pain that will drop me to my knees. My shoulder won't move, my knees crunch, my ankles feel like there are sharp needles boring through the bone and don't even get me started on my hip problems. I can't see without my glasses and I'm going to need to start shopping for Depends soon! So, is a pretty, sexy, lacy bra too much to ask?

Apparently it is.

I was ever hopeful. I found 4 to try and took them into the dressing room with high expectations. I struggled out of my shirt which is no small task when your shoulder doesn't want to let you lift your arm more than 3 centimeters. I took the first pretty concoction out of the package and strapped that puppy on. Hmmmm are the boobs supposed to squish out the bottom? I didn't think so and made the necessary adjustments. Not much better to be truthful. On to door number 2. Oh this one was so very lovely. Padded even! Ah no, that one didn't work either. Nor did option three. Finally onto bra number 4. The Pièce de résistance. Pale pink, lacy, padded, pushy uppy to give the girls their best chance at looking good. This was when, even though I've been trying to quit swearing, words actually burst forth from my lips. Yep, all alone in the dressing room even. 'YOU HAVE FUCKING GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!' Ya, I'll put a quarter in the cuss bucket already.

I swear to all that is holy the straps were made of rubber bands. Who does this? What kind of maniacal mind wakes up one morning and thinks 'Oh I have nothing better to do today so I'm going to design a bra in a size 38C with straps made of gossamer!'? Hello? 38C? Need some support here? Need something to keep the girls from blacking my eye if I sneeze! Good Lord, with all the fiber I've been eating lately, if I farted with that on, it could set a reverberation going that could knock the people around me out cold! The girls would be in constant motion all day long. They're old...they need rest!

Otto Titzling & Hans Delving you should be ashamed of yourselves. You started all this!

I'm old and stubborn. I will find a gorgeous bra that will both contain the girls and be pretty. I'm on a mission now.

Get the hell out of my way.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pondering pillows

Why is it so difficult to get a good pillow?

I grew up using down pillows. Two of them to be precise. They're expensive to say the least, and difficult to find just the right one. When they get flat after several months of use, I'm off on a quest to find new ones.

Last year I found a down alternative pillow that was fantastic! Even better, they only cost $16 for 2 of them at Sam's club. I brought them home and they were perfect. So good in fact, I went back to Sam's and bought 4 more sets. I took 2 to Michigan, and left 2 here. The first set lasted about 5 months or so before they got all flat. I broke out the next set for the trip back to MI in May. Oh no, they weren't quite the same. I never really had a good nights sleep. So, last night, I broke out the next set.

OMG they were horrid! Rock hard and just not acceptable at all! So much for all of them being the same! I swear, I'm like the princess and the pea. Pillows have to be perfect or I just can't sleep. I was awake every 30 minutes all night long. Would it really have been so difficult for the manafacturer to make the pillows all the same for goodness sakes???? God only knows what the other set that is still in Michigan is like!

So, today, instead of playing Mah Jongg like I wanted, I'll be out on the great pillow search..... again.

Sighhh it's not easy being a princess...but I guess someone has to do it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pondering pondering

Yes, I'm still pondering away here, it's just that most of my thoughts focus toward Weight Watchers, so I ponder over at puffy pixie! Today, my mind is off on another path, so here I am. These are my thoughts, and my beliefs. I know many don't follow my religious beliefs and that's fine. If my post offends you, quit reading. I'm not out to start a religious battle. This is what I believe, not what I think you have to believe. I'm not telling anyone how they should be, this is how I want to be. There, got that covered...let's begin!

It's a forked path. Left fork is Karma. Yep, I believe. If you're an A-hole to someone, something, it's going to come back and bite you in the ass. If you're a poop to one of God's special creatures (Joshua calls them window lickers which gains him no favor in some peoples eyes!), Karma is going to bite you on both cheeks. Wouldn't it just be easier to treat everyone with respect, kindness, love, and patience? Treat everyone the way we'd want to be treated our self? Wow, that is such a profound thought, someone ought to make it a rule. Golden. Avoid the teeth of Karma all the way around!

The place I work employs a few of those 'special creatures'. No, I'm not one of them, so shut it! I messed with the mind of one of them a few years ago. I know, bad Debby. I just couldn't help myself. She tends the salad bar. She's never lonely as she's got lots of people in her mind to talk to...and she does. She's always babbling away at the lettuce etc. She's more than a bit OCD also. She has to make sure all the spoons on the salad bar point the same direction. When someone fixes a salad, as soon as they've passed, she moves the spoon back to it's correct position. A few years ago, after watching her do this over and over, she went into the kitchen. I ran up to the salad bar and moved all the spoons. She came back out and was a bit agitated. She fixed all the spoons and went back into the kitchen. Ya, I did it again. She came out again, more agitated this time, fixed them again and went back in. Now for the coup de gras, I did it again. She came out, took one look at the salad bar, threw her arms in the air and let out a screech! I knew Karma was after me but good then! It got me on Sunday. I had to work all day with her. It was the day from hell.

I may be old, but I'm not stupid. From now on, I'll do my best to be nice to everyone! Especially the less fortunate and the ass holes. Keep my soul happy, and project that happiness to others around me. Yes, even the people I don't like. I've started saying a little prayer before I open the door to work now. Taking a deep breath, letting calm enter my body, mind, and soul. Some days it's 'God please give me the strength to be the person you want me to be today. Let kindness, love, and happiness flow from me to those around me." Some days it's "God, please don't let me stab anyone with my big, sharp knife today." Hey, baby steps right??

The right fork is a bit foggy. I can't come up with a name for it, but it's what I believe with my whole heart. See, I take time to thank God for the little things that mean so much to me every day. I love sun, warm, blue skies, lovely water, pretty flowers, etc. I try to always take a minute when I see these things to thank God for sending them for my enjoyment. I thank God for the 'bad' things that happen to me too. Why on earth would I do that, you might wonder? Well, here's my opinion. No matter what happens, it could always be worse. I believe that just because something bad happens to me, doesn't mean I'm cursed. It means that God kept something worse from happening. This was the trade off. I believe there's a reason for everything that happens. We don't always know it, it's not for us to know or question. It's enough for me to know that there is a reason. A few examples.

I'm sure you've heard of tinnitus, ringing in the ear? I always thought that would be the worst thing that could happen. It would drive you berserk having a constant, high pitch screeching in your ear all the time. So, of course, I got tinnitus. It was awful, just as I thought. I couldn't sleep at night as the noise was so loud. Every quiet moment was a living hell. I let it control me. Then I thought how stupid that was. If I have it, I have to learn to live with it. I don't want to do a Van Gogh! So, I learned to mask the noise at night with a noise machine or a fan next to my bed. I learned during the quiet times of the day to take my mind off it, to just not let it bother me. I believe that tinnitus is the lesser of health evils. I believe I was 'given' this as it was something I could handle, instead of being 'given' something I couldn't. My friend said to me 'You can't just learn to live with that, you must not have it.' I did, and I do.

I was working in the kitchen a week or so ago. I was chopping away using the largest chef knife in the kitchen, which is very large indeed. I reached over to move a pot on the stove just as my knife fell to the floor. I didn't notice the knife falling as I'd burned my hand on the stove. Of course, when you burn your hand, your whole body moves. I whipped my hand off the stove, moving my body just enough to avoid the 10 inch chef knife that had just impaled itself into the floor. In the exact spot where my foot had been. A tiny burn on the hand or an impaled foot? Hmmmmm I'll take the burn thank you!

Things like this happen all the time. I could bring myself into a level of depression wondering why bad things happen all the time. I choose to think the bad things are really good things. Ya, I'm definitely a glass half full kind of girl!

My son lost his job this winter. One baby at home age 13 months. Wife a few months into a very high risk pregnancy. A house they bought a few years ago that is now worth about 50K less than when they bought it. Grim scenario.

Bad-lost his job. Good-was given a 3 month severance pay package that let him keep his insurance. So much better to thank God for giving him the severance package, than to curse Him for having lost his job.

Bad-Jobless in an over saturated market. He's a mechanical engineer. Auto industry in the toilet. Good-found a new job in the medical field. Praise God.

Bad-three month training period where he had to be away from home M-F leaving his wife, baby boy, and now baby girl home alone. Good-healthy baby girl was born!

Bad-home on the market for 50K less than they paid for it. Even if it sells, they'll still owe money on it. Good-house has been sold. Today, in MI, the way the market is, that's amazing! So, yes, they're out money, but it sure could have been a lot worse. The list goes on.

In summary, I believe everything happens for a reason. I can either be happy and thank God, or I can be miserable.

I choose to be happy and thankful.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deep thoughts

"Tonight I feel like an old violin.
Soon to be put away;
And never played again."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hot flashes


That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You can take the girl out of the trailer...

We're camping.

For those of you that don't know me, or know what our rig is like, let me fill you in. We have a pretty new 35 foot 5th wheel with 3 sliders. It's awesome! I found a picture from the day we got it a few years ago. See below. So, right now, I'm sitting in my recliner with my feet up typing this blog. Ya...it sucks to be me.

Earlier tonight, we'd arrived back at our meager abode after a day of work. Our campground is fabulous. It's got a lovely swimming pool and jacuzzi. The swimming pool has a sculpture of 4 dolphins with water shooting out of their mouths. You can swim through their spit. How cool is that? We've got full hook up here. Water, 50 amp electric, sewer, cable TV, Wi-Fi...the whole shebang.

As I said we worked today and then drove back here. I thought a lovely pre-dinner snack of a wholegrain french baguette with fresh, creamy butter, assorted cheeses, chilled to perfection white wine, and some cold, crisp, grapes would be lovely. How sophisticated right?

So, I didn't have any wine glasses here, in fact, we planned this trip in such a hurry, I failed to notice we didn't have ANY glasses on board. Classy chick that I am, I didn't slug the wine out of the bottle. Oh no no no.

I drank my wine out of a Tupperware 2 cup measuring cup. Finished the whole bottle too by golly!

I had my cheese on a Styrofoam plate.

I had no bread knife so I just tore hunks off the loaf.

Cheese? Slap it on the foam plate next to the bread and call it good.

Napkins? Nah, that's what God made a tongue for.

You can take the girl out of the trailer...but ya just can't take the trailer out of the girl!

Life is so freakin good right now!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Junk mail

It always amazes me to hear on the news that someone was taken in an email scam. I read the things and think how could anyone ever think it's a legitimate offer? How can you think you've won something you didn't enter? They do. Every day.

Let's ponder my junk mail folder shall we?

I have my email set to exclusive. If you're not on my email list, I don't get your mail, it goes into junk mail. I have to look through the junk mail folder as sometimes people on my list end up in there. With me so far?

Now daily, I get mail offering me extra inches. I'm not sure what I'd do with extra inches, I've got all the inches I need I assure you. I get the 'earn your diploma' emails, and the 'lose weight the Oprah way' emails. No thanks, I'll do both my own way.

This afternoon's fare includes the following 19 emails:

Oprah promises I can fit into my skinny jeans in 2 weeks. Um, not unless she's got a sharp knife and a lot of suction hose. I can participate in a free acai weight loss trail. Free is spelled fr33, and weight is spelled we1ght. You know it's legitimate when they use funny spellings on words!

I can of course make more money with a college degree from Topschools.com. Oh yes, I think I shall. Oh, oh, oh, no....Ebay needs eWorkers ASAP...I think I'll do that instead! I'm sure I'll make a fortune and I bet they won't want any money up front!

I can clear up my skin with Neutrogena skinID, get a stimulus package to reduce the debt I owe(thank God, I've been trying to do that on my own with no luck), and it's pet appreciation month so I get free pictures! Wooooooooohoooooooo!

My luck must be changing because I've apparently won a Dell computer. Hmmmm funny, I don't remember entering anything to win one, but I guess I did! I'll just enter my personal information so they can send it to me!

Mr. Abdul Isa has informed me that some American has died with no will. Gasp? Really??? He says: "my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to Mr. Charles Balassi so that the fruits of his labor will not get into the hands of the government. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address, Country of Origin, Residence, Age and Phone Number, and Your Sex." Oh you bet doll face, it's all on the way! I'm going to be rich!!!!! It's 100% risk free, old Abdul assured me!

I'm getting 2 nights free in Ft. Lauderdale, and my Google G2 phone has finally arrived! I don't know WTF a Google G2 phone is, but I'm sure I can't live without it as soon as I send my shipping fee in!! Just in time too as Verizon is offering me really great calling plans!

Eharmony wants to help me find singles like me. Hmmmm I've been married 31 years...I better check into that one. Oh no, forget that, my sex life is sorted as Sexygirl22 wants to get to know me better. I'm adding her to my Facebook account right now!

Then there's one from Don. I'm not sure what exactly he wanted...I'll let you know as soon as I click on the link and enter all my personal information.

Oh crap...I need to run now as if I don't enter my name, user name, password, birth date, social security number, and address, after clicking on the enclosed link, they're going to close my Hotmail account!

They do indeed walk among us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I want to laugh

Those of you that know me, know I'm predominately a happy person. I can't say I've ever been depressed, I don't worry about things. Sure, there are problems in my life, I just don't worry about them as it doesn't do any good. Yes, they pop into my mind, but I'm one of the lucky few that can just say 'oh well, nothing I can do' and move on to other things. There are things I'd like, but I look at those as dreams and not "oh I don't have them's".

I don't have any money. I'd like some. I'm working, Den is working, there is nothing else I can do to get any money, so no use worrying about it.

I'd like to sell my house and live in FL full time. Economy sucks, can't sell my house here in MI. Have to do that before we can buy a bigger place in FL. It's fun to dream of that day.

I'd like Den and I neither one to have to work. That'll happen. It'll be awesome when it does.

I am happy.

I was working today. A grueling 9.5 hour day if you must know. Really kicked my ass. I was tired when I went in and it never got better.

A table of people I know came in. There were 8 of them. They stayed 2 hours or more. They laughed and laughed and laughed. They laughed so hard other people were smiling...it's contagious you know. That's when I realized I've not had a good belly laugh in a long time. I miss that. I do that a lot in FL.

My friends from FL aren't here to make me laugh. I'll just have to do it on my own.

I'm thinking "The Birdcage" might do the trick. It's one of my favorite movies of all times. Ian mentioned it in his blog this morning and even just the mention of it made me laugh.

Yes, I think that's the ticket.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fluffy duckies

I was at the gym today rocking the elliptical. All the cardio machines face the big picture windows that face the road. I was moving as fast as my fat little legs would go and gazing out the window when I saw the duckies.

There was a mama duck and 10 babies. The gym is on a very busy 4 lane road. Mama was attempting to gather her brood together and I just knew she was going to try to cross the road as the lake is on the other side. I looked back and called to Den to come see as he was in between sets. The whole gym came forward and we all watched. I wasn't going to get off the elliptical as I was going strong and still had 10 minutes left. I was so hoping someone that was standing in there watching would run out and stop traffic. They'd have had to do it barefoot though as you couldn't wear your gym shoes outside. We were all barely breathing and watching...she'd gather them and charge for the road then a car would whiz past and she'd back up a bit. She must've made at least 5 tries when the angel stopped. A girl that had left the tanning salon next door threw her car in park and got out. She walked right out into the middle of the first 2 lanes of traffic with her arms up in the air. The universal symbol for 'STOP! DUCKIES!' you know? After they cleared the first of those 2 lanes she moved into the opposing 2 lanes of oncoming traffic and stopped them too. Mama and all 10 babies crossed safely and a cheer erupted from the gym. There was much clapping and happiness.

The angel got back in her car and drove away. I finished my 10 minutes on the elliptical. Mama and babies lived another day!



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Acitvate this!

Those of you that know me, know there are a few things that get my goat. I tend to get pissed off at them RIGHTNOW! I have no patience for a lot of things. Imagine that!

So, I got my new Dressbarn credit card in the mail and it needs to be activated. Did I want a Dressbarn credit card? No, but they gave me 20% off my dress I bought, plus a 20% coupon off the next thing I buy. So, I shall use my 20% off coupon the next time I need clothes, and then probably cancel the account. I'm not the credit card company's dream girl. I pay every credit bill when it's due. Never carry a balance, so they get no interest off me. I only apply for these 'extra' cards if they make it worth my while. That reminds me, I need to activate the Babies R Us card too! Anyway, as usual, I digress.

I call the toll free number to activate my card. Push this button, hit that star, enter this number, give us your firstborn son, you know the drill. Get to the part where it wants me to enter the account number and of course it won't take it. Trick number one, get the customer on the phone and try to sell them something else. So, I'm immediately pissed. Do I want to spend time talking to some asshole when I've already pushed this and pressed that? Absolutely not. So, I'm talking to the asshole of course. He asks me everything I've already punched in. Then of course it all has to be verified, and while that process is taking place, do I want to buy credit card protection. I said NO! Do I want to hear about it? I said NO! So, said asshole starts telling me about it. That was it, twig snapped, last straw broke. I said 'Excuse me Pasquale, I said I didn't want to hear about it.' He keeps talking. I start pressing buttons on the phone and he says 'hello?'. I said 'I told you I didn't want to hear about it.' He says 'oh aren't you interested in credit card protection?' I said 'whether I am, or I am not, is of no consequence to you as 'I SAID I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT'. Does he say, OK, then? Oh no. Mr. I never went to school and this is the best job I'll ever have keeps talking!!! So, I started singing 'Sherry'! Those of you that know me, know I can't sing. I know the words to Sherry, and I sang them at the top of my lungs.

Funny, my card seemed to have been activated at that precise moment.

So, while he kept talking, I kept singing and then I hung up on him.

I feel better. I'm warmed up. I'm off to call Babies R Us and activate that card now!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have a dog

I use the term 'dog' loosely. Firstly, because Pixie doesn't know she's a dog & she doesn't act like a dog. She looks like a dog, albeit a tiny one. Her day is spent laying in her soft bed, sitting on Den's lap, snuggling on my blanketed legs...get the gist of her days? She's more cat than dog. Den says she's a cat that barks. She lives a rough life. This was Pixie a few years ago in the summer. Ian rigged up her own private cabana in my front yard! I think he might have taken this picture...maybe even a few of the others.

This was the lowest moment in Pixie's life. She hated this coat. She wouldn't move in it. We had to carry her outside as she literally wouldn't move with the coat on. Once outside, she just stood there, head down, not moving at all. It was total humiliation in her little world. We threw the coat away.

I thought this would make a good Christmas card. Pixie didn't think so. She was not happy, yet again.

Pixie has a happy place. It's where her Daddy is.

She loves her Mason. This was last year. Mason was 3 months old. Pixie was 8.5 years old.

Is there a point to this blog other than cutsie pictures of my 'dog'? Well yes. This is the first pet I've ever had. People used to tell me things about their animals, and I'd think 'good grief, it's a (insert animal here), for goodness sakes. I never knew the emotions attached to having a pet. I got Den this dog for Christmas in 1999. He wanted a dog. I didn't. I compromised and got him a little dog. He loved her from the first moment he saw her. I got her from the local vet that breeds miniature long haired daschunds. I got pick of the litter. I knew which one was ours the very first time I saw the litter. I gave Den a camcorder tape in his stocking that I'd made as Pixie couldn't come home for 6 weeks. She was born December 22. The vet goes to our church and of course Den had to rush over to them after Mass on Christmas Day. He asked if he could come over and see her right away. I said 'DEN! It's Christmas Day for goodness sakes!' So, we went over there on Christmas day of course. He walked in and Pixie came right up to him. Yep, she was our dog from that second on.

Pixie blew a disc in her back in October of 2007. We had to make a difficult decision in a few hours. It was either a VERY expensive surgery, that might not work, or put her to sleep. We didn't have the money. Den was heartbroken. We held her in a soft blanket and took the golf cart out around the park to discuss what to do. She wasn't in pain. She was paralyzed. Den just wasn't ready to lose her. We drove her early the next morning to a town 1.5 hours away only to find the surgeon/vet wasn't in. He'd gone home. They looked at Pixie, knew what she needed, called the vet, and he came back and did the surgery. It was a long recovery. She's not 100%, but she's Pixie. We're still in debt from that surgery!

My friend Daphne's daughter's kitten went missing a few days ago. I understood the angst. I wouldn't have 9.5 years ago. I'd have thought 'it's a cat for goodness sakes'. Pets are more than animals. They become part of your life. I was very happy to get an email from Daphne tonight saying Wendy the kitten was home! I felt relief.

I guess this is just a little thank you to Pixie. I've enjoyed the 9.5 years. I know I'll miss her when she's gone. I also know I'll never have another pet. There will never be another Pixie.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Still pondering

Just because I don't post a blog here as often, doesn't mean I'm not still pondering. Oh, my little gerbil is running around on his wheel for sure!

Thoughts for today.

When the girl got out of her car at the gym/tanning salon and coyly checked out her reflection in the window, did she NOT know we on the elliptical machines could see her? I'm guessing Carly really wrote the song for her.

Why do I need to pee AFTER I get all the way to the basement, settle myself in my chair and cover up with my blanket?

Why do assholes insist on driving in the passing lane even if they're not A. passing, or B. turning left? It makes it almost impossible to make a left hand turn out of a business. Selfish bastards.

There were more.

Some not fit to print.

I think I need to have a cuppa and chill!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mastering the situation

It's Wednesday.

That means it's Grammy's day to take care of Mason. For those of you that don't know, Mason is my 15 month old, adorable if I might add, grandson. Now, those of you that have 15 month old children, or have ever known one, know they can think they rule the roost. You just have to remain calm, remain in charge, and let them know who's boss.

I had a daycare for about 15 years. I loved it right up until I hated it. The day I woke up and hated it, I quit. I would never, ever, ever take care of a child that I couldn't think of as my own. Love him, treat him with respect and have fun too. If I couldn't look at a child and feel that warmth of love and kindness flow through me, I didn't care for him or her. It wouldn't have been fair to the child, or to me. I loved every single one of my day care kids and raised them just as my own. Taking care of your grandchild is a whole different ball game.

I look forward to Wednesdays for sure. Brian went in to get ready for work about noon today so right then, it became Grammy in charge time. Of course, Mason doesn't like it when his loved ones leave the room, so he screams. Cries real tears even. Looks over at me, and I honest to God just can't help myself, I laugh at him. He looks so pathetic. OK, that pissed him off! He screamed some more...he'd scream a bit, look at me, scream some more. I've learned that if I go get him, he'll just have a hissy fit. So, I just let him scream a bit and then he'll come over to me and things are groovy in his little world again. All this really only takes about 2 minutes...if I can quit laughing at him that is! I'm remaining calm, and in charge for sure.

I fixed him a grilled cheese sandwich and some peas and carrots for lunch. I put 3 pieces of sandwich and 5 peas and 5 carrots on his tray. He perused the cuisine, chose a pea, and began to dine. He ate all that and I repeated the process until all his sandwich and peas and carrots were gone. He tries to feed me peas....gag me. I then gave him a few animal crackers. Did he try to feed me one of those? Hell no! Selfish little bugger! Still in charge I am.

He started to get droopy eyes in the high chair...so cute. Brian needed to leave for work at this point so of course that broke Mason's heart. Big crocodile tears and everything. I took him over to the rocking chair with his milk as he was just so tired. He wailed for about a minute and a half after Brian left...then calmed right down. We snuggled and rocked like this for about 4 minutes. I could just feel the love flowing from me through him. Such an awesome feeling. I turned him around so I could see him and snuggled him that way. So soft and sweet and innocent. Eyes would flutter almost closed and then open and look at me. I'd give him little kisses now and then. I reached down and caressed his very soft cheek. He smiled. My heart melted. He made kissy sounds with his lips so I'd give him another kiss. My heart just filled with love and joy. I could have rocked him like that for hours. I got up to put him to bed. Carried him upstairs and laid him in the crib and covered him with his soft blankie and he grinned. Oh how precious. I stroked his cheek and his eyes fluttered. He gave a contented sigh and I left him to his dreams.

Yes, we were both calm.

I'm not sure which one of us is actually in charge.

I don't think it really matters anymore.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life lessons

I've learned lots from my Dad my whole life. He really was a font of knowledge even though he never finished school.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of him or quote him. Just the other day we went to a Mexican restaurant and Den said he thought he'd have a 'fajeetie'. That would be fajita in Dad speak. I asked if he was going to have some japaleenies on it, another Dad speak.

How is Daddy helping me lately? Well, I've hurt my achilles tendon. I need to try not to strain it. Our living room is in the basement down a steep flight of stairs. My laptop is down there too so I'm up an down a ton of times during the day. Dad had knee surgery a few times and I helped him recuperate. He had to learn how to do stairs. So, now every time I go down or up the stairs, I keep saying to myself, down with the good, up with the bad. I can just hear Dad saying that over and over. He'd pause before taking a step up or down, say that to himself so he'd know which foot to use. Going down the stairs, put your good food down first. Going up the stairs, put your bad foot up first.

Thanks Dad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

When you wake up in the morning and see this

You just know it's not going to be a good day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The importance of punctuation

and capitalization.

So, things are still hairy here. I'm not unpacked, I'm not settled. I've gained a ton of weight and haven't been to the gym in over 2 weeks.

I decided yesterday to take time to play online. So the unpacking will wait a bit longer. Wanted some me time. I have 68 unread emails still. I was cleaning out my junk email and I noticed there was something that said someone had commented on my Facebook. It was someone I don't know and it looked like spam. I thought I'd better check it out. Went to my Facebook page and began to read comments and stuff. That's when I got to one my dear husband made.

OK, let me lay the ground work here. My son Joshua is an idiot. He calls his father Dick. He'll call and say 'Let me talk to Dick'. He got hold of Den's cell phone and now when Den turns it on, it says 'Dick'. Laugh every time we see that. Did I mention Den's real name is Richard and Joshua isn't calling his father A dick, he's calling him Dick. I love him dearly, but sometimes I'm not sure from whose loins he sprang. So Joshua made some disgusting comments about Susan Pelosi's balls on his own Facebook page. Ya, don't ask. A few days previous to that, he'd commented on the 5 people he'd like to punch in the face. Billy Mayes was one of them.

With me so far?

Den can't stand Billy Mayes. Every time he comes on TV to tout one of his products, he just yells. So Den yells back. It's quite funny actually. You just know when you see Billy's face on TV, you'll hear Den beller 'BILLY MAYES HERE!' He never fails.

Still with me?

Den is pretty much computer illiterate. He's getting better, but not by leaps and bounds.

He's got Facebook and he doesn't really know how to use it. He likes to read the comments that people write. So, of course he read Joshua's comment about Billy Mayes. Now, Den wanted to comment back to Joshua, but he really doesn't know how. Does he ask? Of course not. He found a box and typed in it. Oh, did I mention he can't type either? He doesn't know how to use punctuation, and he doesn't know how to make capital letters. He typed in his status box. You know the one that says what you're thinking at the moment? The one that if people have the 'email me when people type things in their status box I'll get it' box? Ya, that one.

So, now on my husband's status it says:

josh I like billy mayes dick

What difference one comma, one period, and a capital D would have made eh???

Yep, I'm so proud.

Friday, May 8, 2009

All good things must come to an end. So must our time at Buttonwood Bay for this season. It took us a week to get things cleaned, stowed, and packed up ready for the 1400 mile journey home. It was difficult, as I was kicking and screaming the whole time! "I don't want to go home" became my mantra. Usually while going for my daily golf cart ride, or bobbing in the pool talking to all the wonderful friends and acquaintances I have there. My last Friday at Mah Jongg I know I said it at least 10 times! Alas, go home we did. Insert heavy sigh here.

Sunday, May something or other (remember in BB it doesn't matter what the day, or date is) we had our last supper with our very good friends Mary & Clair. They just bought a new toy, so flew their son Kevin down to ride it back home. He is the youngin in the picture. I admit, I wanted them to buy the motorcycle for purely selfish reasons. I knew I'd get to ride it for one, and I knew I'd get to meet Kevin for two. What a great 'kid' he is! I should have expected it as his parents are top notch people. I saw a lot of both of them in Kevin, but I saw a really neat person to be around too. He was polite and funny and intelligent. Just my kind of guy! Anyway, we enjoyed a lovely meal at the Olive Garden the night before we left.

We decided to pack food to eat at picnic areas on the way home. I don't like fast food and it's expensive. I made lovely egg salad and homemade cookies and other stuff, some even healthy, for our lunches. I prepared beef stroganoff and cheesy potatoes for our dinners. It worked out famously. Here's Den enjoying lunch.

We had a bit of a cooler debacle the evening before leaving. I have a large, 5 day cooler. I'd planned to put all the frozen food from the freezer in that and also all the condiments, etc. from the fridge in there. I was going to duct tape it closed and figured all would be fine when we reached Houghton Lake. I bought a smaller 5 day cooler to pack all the food we planned to eat on the trip home in. It has a handle and wheels and would be easy to get to the picnic tables and to the hotel rooms at night. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! I had a bit more freezer fare than I thought and it totally filled the larger cooler! I was then forced to put the fridge stuff in the smaller one and even had to throw a few things away. That left us cooler-less for the food for the trip home! What to do at 9PM the night before you're leaving? Dial our friends at the other end of the street that's what! Did they have a largish cooler they weren't taking home with them? Of course they did. Could we borrow it until September? Of course we could. You'll notice the cooler in the picture next to Den has their name on it. They might let us use stuff, but they don't trust me to remember who I got it from! Good thinking guys, I can't remember my own name most days!!!

We took 3 days to get home. Spent 2 nights along the route. Den found something worth coming home for!

I'm not so sure!

Is it September yet?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where did they go?

As you know if you've read my blog before, I live in a very active 55+ community. When we got here in September, we were the first to arrive on our street. It was kind of eerie in it's quietness. During the next month or so, the park began to fill up. At peak season it's fairly bursting at the seams with people. Golf carts whizzing here and there. Tons of people at every activity. People, people everywhere!!!

April 1 begins the migration back north for a lot of our residents. We live at the west end of our street and our friends Mary & Clair live at the east end. We're the last people on Hammerhead Dr. this year. Here you see us both at our opposite ends. Sentinels of the street. This is Mary K. & Clair guarding their end! You will definitely need to click on these pictures to make them bigger!

This is Den and I holding watch at our end.

We have 4 sand hill cranes that live in the park. They usually stay over near the canal. Since all the people have left, they're checking things out up close. They were right in front of our house here.

"Holy crap Louise, where the hell did all those humans go???"

We joke at home in Houghton Lake that after Labor Day you could pitch a tent out on M-55. Here in Buttonwood Bay you can put your patio chair in the middle of the road. Just what I did! Right after I laid our grill grates in the road to clean them. Gotta love being one of the last people here!

We'll be pulling out on Monday leaving poor Mary & Clair to hold the fort down all by themselves.

Farewell Buttonwood Bay. We will see you again in September.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Get your motor running

Head out on the highway

Lookin' for adventure

Born to be wild!

Well boys and girls. I had such a great time today! My very good friend Clair took me out on their brand new motorcycle! Mary, his lovely wife, and my equally very good friend, took the pictures. Today's blog was going to be about Mary in fact, but then the cycle ride happened. You'll all have to stay tuned for the Mary blog.

I told them I'd only ever been on a motorcycle once and that was with my brother when I was 13. I don't remember the ride, I just remember being on it.

I'm old and I forget. I totally forgot I had a small motorcycle when the boys were young. I'm guessing about 1985. It was a 150 and that's all we remember. It was mine. It didn't start well. Once I got it running, I sure didn't want to stop it anywhere...just keep it movin'. I never had a license to ride it. I just did. We didn't keep it long. My Dad tried to ride it. He rode that just like he used to ride my high handle bar, banana seat bike when I was young. Get on it, go like hell, and then fall off. Figured he'd hurt himself with it if we kept it, so we got rid of it. I'd totally forgotten that bike.

Today was awesome and I loved it. I don't think I'll be forgetting this bike, or this ride. Nope, some things you just don't forget.
Thank you so very much Mary & Clair!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

So, Den was driving.....

Those of you that know my dear husband, know he's directionally challenged. He can't find his way out of a paper bag. I've always done the driving so we didn't end up in outer Mongolia or some such other out of the way place. We've been married 31 years and I'm tired of doing all the driving. I navigate sometimes now, and he drives.

Did I mention he can't navigate either? We were in Nevada or Utah or some western state once and he was reading the map. I was on the highway, the boys were snoozing in the back of the van. I should have known I was in trouble when he kept turning the map over and over. Finally I asked if he knew exactly where I was. He said 'Yes, you're sitting right next to me!'. I knew right then we were screwed. I pulled over to the side of the road, took the map and found us. We were 30 miles out of our way, going the wrong direction of course. He'd missed the turn off. So, I showed him where we were on the map, where we wanted to go, and handed it back to him. I got back on the road looking for a place to turn around. Nope. No such luck. We finally went about 45 miles in the wrong direction before I could turn around! So, 90 miles later we were back where we started. I knew we'd missed a turn so asked him where it was. Is it coming up soon? Blow me if he didn't start turning the map over and over again!!! I was hot. Instantly. I tend to not hold in my comments, so out they spewed. He flicked the map open looking for where we needed to go and all of a sudden....poof. Out the window it went! Sucked out like stuff from a hole blown in the side of an airplane! Instant laughter. We were better off without the damn map anyway.

So, we were in Ft. Myers the other day and he was driving and I was telling him where to go. In a nice way of course! We were headed to Sam's club I believe. We were chatting as we tooled along. Somehow the topic of TCBY came up. We used to love TCBY. If you're not familiar with that, it's 'The Country's Best Yogurt'. It was good. My favorite flavor was peanut butter. Every Wednesday was 'waffle cone Wednesday'. Ahhh those were the good old days. I was pretty sure TCBY's all went out of business. Sure sounded good though as it was really hot out. We then started discussing our trip home in a few weeks. You know...idle chit chat.

So, back to me telling him where to go. There was a split in the road. We needed to split to the right and then stay in the right lane for a turn soon after. I said, you're great. You're in the right lane. Stay in the right lane as we need to turn soon. We made it half way through the split and I said...doing good. Keep right. All of a sudden we're in the parking lot of a mini mall! I said 'Not THAT right!!' We laughed. I said just get back out on the road and stay in the right lane.

As he was trying to figure out how to get out of the parking lot....(YES HE REALLY IS THAT BAD!!! ) I said 'Holy shit! There's a TCBY!' He stopped the truck. I said 'OMG, maybe it's kismet! Maybe they'll have peanut butter yogurt!!!' He parked up. We went in. Chocolate and vanilla. Bummer. Would have been so cool if they'd had peanut butter. I told the girl what had happened. That we didn't even think TCBY's were around and how I used to love the peanut butter yogurt and was hoping that's what they had today. She said 'Oh we do'. I just haven't put it on the sign yet!!! OMG it was so good. It so took us back in time. Guess what? It was Wednesday too!!!!!!!!! No, we didn't have waffle cones.....those days are over. We had an awesome (4 point if you do Weight Watchers) small peanut butter cone and it just made our day!

Fate? Dunno but it sure the hell was a great wrong turn! I think I'll let him drive forever more!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Extrovert in action

I've told many people that I'm not shy. I like to have a good time and I usually do. I've also told people that I really don't care what others think of me. Here's proof I wasn't lying!

This is what happens when the oldies get together for a pool party. Food, spirits, good friends. My good friend Clair took these pictures of me and graciously let me use them for my blog. This is Clair right after he shot cake crumbs out of his nose! Man was that awesome! I took this picture of course!

I was born in 1958. I got my first record player at 13 years old. My first album was 'The Partridge Family'. I was into 45's. I had tons, in fact, I still have them in their little pink plastic case! I don't care where I am today, if one of those old songs is played, I can sing along and I know every word. Oh yes, and I do! So, what happens when we're at the pool party and the entertainment starts singing 'Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown'? Well, of course I start singing along at my table! Next thing I know, she's handed me the mic. Do I thrust it back at her in embarrassment? Hell no, I grab it and go for the gusto.

God help the people listening as I can't sing. Oh, that's not fishing for a compliment. I honest to God can't carry a tune. Ask Silverback. He thought all women could sing until he met me!

I have to stand up and get right into it of course!!! If you can see the lady in the background here, I just know she's calling to her friends inside. "Oh my God you've got to come see what Debby is doing now!!!!"

A true drama queen!

I had a ball! Thank God they didn't play Donny Osmond's 'Puppy Love'!! Ohhhhh I've got something to look forward to next year!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another man in my life

My friend Ian took all the pictures you'll see here today. I am so pleased he took them as I get such joy looking at them.

As I led you to believe in the title of this blog, there's another man in my life. His name is Al and he's my doll baby. I fell in love with this man the very first time I met him. It was a Friday night at bunco. If you're not familiar with bunco, it's a game with dice. You need no skill whatsoever to play it. It's just a fun evening out. Apparently you don't need sight either as Al is blind as a bat. I believe macular degeneration is the demon. He rolls the dice like he can see the spots. He can't even see the dice! We all count out loud in this game and he knows to quit rolling when we quit counting! Such a cutie! That very first night he sat down at my table about half way through the evening and I was smitten. He was only 92 then. He was sharp as a tack and very quick witted. I love a man with a sharp brain and a good sense of humor. Al has both. He was making quip after quip and melting my heart the whole time. The clincher came when he said something particularly clever, and of course, a bit off color. I took his hands in mine and said 'Al, you are very bad.' I noticed how cold his hands were. I said 'Oh Al, your hands are like ice!'. He turned toward me, pulled my hand to his heart and said 'Well you know.' That was it....'well you know.' I did know and I was putty in his hands from that moment on! He reminds me so much of my Daddy. Dad had such a wonderful sense of humor and we'd tease and laugh. My Daddy also always used to say 'cold hands, warm heart.'. So, when Al said 'you know', I did indeed know!

This is my doll baby Al.

These pictures were taken at a bluegrass jamboree in our rec hall here at the park. As you can see, Al can still get jiggy with it. He's 95 now by the way. You may notice a walker in the corner of the picture. Oh, it's Al's. He was out for his daily walk. Yes, that's right, his daily walk, alone mind you! He uses his white cane to feel the edge of the road so he knows where to walk. Someone had trimmed palm trees and left them to be picked up, but alas, left them sticking out into the road. All tripped over them and crashed to the pavement. Thank God someone saw him go down and ran to help. They got him to his feet. He insisted he was fine and walked home!!! When his wife got home he told her about his mishap and said he was a bit sore. She insisted they go to the hospital. He'd shattered his kneecap and broke some pins loose from his leg. Remember, he walked home after his fall! Tough old codger! He was in a leg brace and had that walker for a few months. He's without both now. Said he never had any pain at all and is good as new.

This is Rose, his lovely wife. She's in her 90's too I believe. I hope the heck I can look as good as her when I'm 90!!! I just pretend to like her to get close to her man! One time Al told me he hadn't seen her face in 10 years. I told him he had the most beautiful woman in the park. He smiled. You do need to watch her though. She thinks Al is a trial at times as she has to do everything for him. Remember he can't see. He came to bunco one night alone. Rose just dropped him off which was very unusual. Oh my dear I wish I'd had a camera that night! He had little short red and black plaid shorts on with brown socks and tennis shoes. He had a pale blue polo shirt on with one pink sleeve and one yellow sleeve. His jacket was lime green I think. I went over to him and took his hand and said 'Oh Al, Rose must be very angry at you!'. He said 'Oh shit, has she dressed me funny again???'. I thought I'd die laughing. Yes, I informed him, she had dressed him very funny. He let out a big sigh and said 'Well, I probably deserved it.' God love him.

When Al talks, I listen. You never know what will come out of his mouth. I want to know a lot more about his life. I stop by now every time I see him out in his drive. He sits out in the sun in a chair. Just like my Daddy did! I learned last time that he didn't marry Rose until he was 42 years old! He was in the merchant marines. Their only son died last year. That's a horrid thing to outlive your child.

The cool part of our relationship is that when I talk, Al listens!

This was taken right after I'd given my man a kiss. Ian let that be private! OK, so really he just hadn't focused fast enough! I could have photo shopped his eyes, but it's part of what I love about him. He's officially the oldest person in the park now. His birthday is June 17. He'll have a card from me to open for sure!!

Thank you so much Ian for these pictures. I will treasure them always!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I can't remember....

I've been saying that a lot lately!

I'm sure we've all received that email about lapsed memories. You know the one. The person heads out to get the mail and stops to do X along the way that leads to doing XY also, yada, yada, yada. By the end of the day, the person is tired, still doesn't have the mail and has no idea what they've been doing!

Welcome to my world!

So, most of you know I've been trying to get a bit fitter. It's taking a lot of my time and energy, but it's worth the effort. I'm heavy on planning ahead and trying new recipes. Last week I found 3 or 4 I wanted to make. I diligently wrote down what the name of the recipe is, what cookbook it came from, and what page it was on. God am I good or what? I then made a shopping list to get everything I didn't have for the recipes. Awesome planning. I shopped, I got the food.

I made an awesome, big pot of bison pumpkin chili with dried beans yesterday. I made the homemade pasta sauce and got it in the freezer. I've got the eggplant Parmesan ready to pop in the oven. I'm having roasted vegetable & shrimp pasta primavera for dinner and have everything ready for that. I've got more ingredients and can't remember what I'm supposed to be making with them!

I lost the freaking list with the recipes and where they came from!

I just spent at least 1.5 hours looking for it. I know I have a steno pad somewhere. I can picture it. I'm thinking, perhaps, that's where I wrote the list. Can I find that steno pad? Ah no.

I cleared the table off just in case it was there. It wasn't. While I was doing that, I remembered I'm getting my friends mail while they're gone, so I zipped down and got their mail and put it in their house.

It's really windy out, so when I got home I picked up all the things that might blow away outside.

I came back in to look for the steno pad. I was hungry, so went to the fridge to get my yogurt. Fridge was kind of messy so I cleaned that out. Yogurt was good.

I thought perhaps if I went through the 2 recipe books I thought I'd used, I could find what I was looking for. That didn't work. While I was looking at those, I noticed the end table shelves were messy, so I cleaned those off.

Oh! Perhaps the notebook is in the truck! It wasn't, but the truck was messy so I tidied that up.

So, I've now spent a few hours looking for the list and I'm beat. You wouldn't think looking for a list would wear you out. It did. I give up. The list is gone forever.

I have the following items and I don't know why. If anyone has a recipe that uses said items. Please email it to me! I'm pretty sure it was for 2 recipes as I can't imagine those things going together.

1. Sliced black olives
2. 2 bunches of scallions
3. a can of ancho chilies in adobo sauce
4. a package of sliced baby portabello mushrooms

As my friend Winnie the Pooh says, 'Oh bother.' 'Think, think, think.'!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

My Dad was born in 1918. He'd have been 91 today. Now, at one time he thought he was 100, so I guess in his eyes, he'd still be young! He passed away in 2005. I think my Dad was a very handsome man. He had a bit of a chicken neck thing going on in this picture though. My good friend Ian photo shopped it out for me!

This is the 4 Don's. Donald Ray Ellis Sr., Donald Ray Ellis Jr., Donald Ray Ellis III, & Donald Ray Ellis IV. Awesome how long his name will be carried on.

This is Dad on his birthday in 2001. He'd have 2 'toddies' every evening. Whiskey and diet coke. Had to watch his figure you know! I think he got 3 bottles of whiskey for his birthday this year! I was down in Key West and arranged a little birthday party for him. That's my brother Dan and my cousin Paul you see in the picture. There were about 10 others there too.

My sons were back home in MI and they called Grandpa and sang Happy Birthday to him. Here he is on the phone with them during the party.

My Dad had a few loves in life. He loved his nightly toddy. He loved pizza. He loved lemon meringue pie. I made him a lemon meringue pie every year on his birthday forever. Since Daddy died I've gone out every March 27th and had a piece of lemon meringue pie and thought of him. I'm not doing that this year. This year I'm having pizza and thinking of him. I've been hungry for pizza and I just can't fit both pizza AND lemon meringue pie into my new eating program. Dad would approve. We have an awesome pizza place back home called Buccilli's. In fact, Den and I both worked there last summer and will again this summer. We went there for pretty much every occasion. Birthday's, anniversary's, graduations, award ceremonies, even Brian's wedding rehearsal dinner was there. This last picture is of Daddy and I at Buccilli's. There were other people there of course, but as you can see by the picture, we didn't care.

I've always been a Daddy's girl. I miss him a lot. I think of him with happiness and joy though which is an awesome thing to be able to do. I have no regrets. I took care of Daddy as much as he took care of me. We made a good team.

So, tonight when I eat my pizza I'll be thinking of you Daddy. Happy birthday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Life gets in the way

I noticed I'd not blogged here in quite a while. I'm still pondering of course, it's just that what's important in my life right now is getting blogged about on my other blog. Got all that?

I was pondering in bed this morning about stuff. I lay there and thousands of things flit in and out of my mind. It can be a dangerous place.

I was thinking about the first people to eat an egg. I pictured them sitting around a chicken when all of a sudden this round thing pops out of it's hind quarters. Org says to Orgette, 'Oh wow! This thing just popped out of that chicken's ass! Let's eat it!"

I'm guessing that's when the first divorce happened.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paige Abigail Braman

Born this morning.

4 pounds 11 ounces.

17 inches long.

Mama and baby seem to be doing well. Baby is not on any outside support system. Not bad for 5 weeks early I'd say! Hopefully pics to follow.

Grammy Braman is thankful and excited. I want to be there to hold her in my arms.

Great expectations

I'm going to be a Grammy again in the next few hours.

It's very exciting, and very scary. The baby is coming 5 weeks early. It's a girl.

I just had to share this. I'll come back later with the results.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blue skies make me happy

Ya, so I'm not John Denver. Maybe I can't sing it like he did, but I know what I like!

Today was supposed to be an awful day. Thunderstorms, cold weather, can I have a collective 'Yuck'? Oh, probably not as most of the people that read this are in cold, snowy climes and have NO sympathy for my weather woes! Anyhoo....it's a gorgeous day in paradise.

Did it rain? Yep, a little bit. Is it cold? Hell yes, and windy as all get out too. So, what makes it good? The doggone skies are blue and the sun is out! I tell ya that makes all the difference. I just don't even mind a little rain when it's followed by lovely sun.

It's Sunday, a day of rest. I've been to the gym, had a lovely lunch, and have nothing to do until 7PM tonight. I love an uncluttered day! A blank canvas if you will. Oh, whatever will I do? Whatever I damn well please!

Today begins Springfest 2009 here in sunny Buttonwood Bay. It's a whole week of balls to the wall activity. Fun to the max. I chose to skip the strawberry social this afternoon as I've just been doing too good on my Weight Watchers. I could have had it, but I liked the treat I planned instead better. Tonight is a gospel concert. I've gone every year and I've never been disappointed. It's a different group each year and I can't wait to see who comes this year.

It's my only engagement for today.

Retirement is great. I can be as busy or as lazy as I want. That's the key boys and girls, I'm doing what I want.

Life is really good.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Economic stimulus package

I want my own personal one. I also want one for my family.

I'm pissing and moaning today. It's my blog. I'm allowed.

I want my bank account stimulated to allow me to do some stuff. I'm tired of not having any money.

I'd like to go to the beach. It's just gorgeous here today and to be thunderstorms tomorrow. It's 2 hours away, I drive a one ton doolie. Gas is not cheap, especially diesel. It hurts every time I have to fill the tank. My son lives 150 miles down the road and I can't even go see him. It sucks.

I'm tired of paying a fortune for cleaning products, toilet paper, etc. For goodness sakes when did the price of laundry soap and dryer sheets go higher than a night in a motel? Don't even get me started on the price of batteries and energy saving light bulbs! When exactly did a blizzard at Dairy Queen get to be $5??? It's fucking ice cream!

It takes a gallon of gas just to go to Wal-Mart and back here. At least diesel is 'only' $2.21 a gallon now and not $4.85 like it was. It still pisses me off. Get a smaller car? I'd love to. Got an extra 20K laying around? I sure don't.

I've got 3 kids that need jobs. Yes, 3. My oldest boy has 2 degrees and can't get a teaching job. He's working at Home Depot. My second son, a mechanical engineer has just lost his job. One baby at home, another on the way, a huge mortgage and student loans up the ying yang. "Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order please"....will that be his future? My youngest son just finished his college education in April. Can he get a job? Nope. Can I help them? Nope.

Oh I am not poverty stricken. I have a home in Michigan, I share a home in Florida, I have a 5th wheel for the in between home stage. Do I want all that? Hell no. I want to sell my home in Michigan. Can I? Nope. Economy sucks too bad. If you know anyone that would like to buy a 6 bedroom home that also has an efficiency apartment attached and a 3 car garage. Let me know. It's 1/2 mile from the school.

I think I'm done now. I just needed to rant a bit. Aren't I just one big freakin ray of sunshine today?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Feed the Ducks

That is the name of one of the plays the theatre group in the park is doing this year.

In the past, I've been in the plays. I chose to take this year off for a multitude of reasons. First of all, it takes a ton of time! I also didn't like the 3 plays they chose for this year. "Don't Feed the Ducks", I thought was totally inappropriate for this community. It opens with an older man feeding ducks bread while an equally old lady sits on a park bench. The crux of the playlette is the man is tired of living and would like this old lady to take over feeding the ducks for him so he can commit suicide.

OK, now remember I live in a 55+ community. Al, one of my doll babies, will be watching this play, he's 95 and blind and has just fallen and fractured his knee and his hip. We have a plethora of people here without mates. They've outlived at least one, sometimes more. We've got people in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. OK, so they won't get the play anyway! Still, I thought it much too dark a subject for my friends here in Buttonwood Bay.

I went to dress rehearsal last night. I was in a sad mood as I had to go all by myself. Geez, I'm one of the lonely old people in the park myself! The first play dragged. It was over acted, not very funny, and had one of the people I really have a hard time looking at without retching in it. I hope they iron out the kinks before opening night on Monday for sure! I wanted to come home after that one.

The second play began and it was 'Don't Feed the Ducks'. Oh goodie, the play I thought shouldn't be performed at all. Could I sneak out right then??? No, I couldn't. I settled in and resigned myself to the torture. It is a 2 person play and I began to have a glimmer of hope when the lady walked out and sat on the park bench. It was Irene O'Rourke. She's about 102 (OK, she's really in her late 80's probably)years old and one of the mavens of our theatre group. The man sauntered on stage and it was a Dewitt, a gentleman that's always been behind the scenes. Hmmmm I thought, this could be interesting. It was.

Irene did a fabulous job. Never missed a beat. Perfect inflection and projection. She had some really complicated, long, lines. All delivered with ease. She has theater experience, and it showed.

Dewitt did a fabulous job. You'd never know he wasn't always on stage.

I found myself on the edge of my seat hoping that the old lady on the park bench would find a way to give hope to the man feeding the ducks. He was lonely, tired, had no family(his wife died 7 years ago), no friends, ate all his meals alone at a diner where he didn't even enjoy the taste of food anymore. He sat alone at night in the dark as 'why should I turn on the lights when there's no one there to see?'

She did. She did it with humor. She did it with common sense. She did it with caring and compassion, and I think a bit of selfishness. She was lonely also it turned out, so befriending the old duck feeder would help her too. It was lovely. It ended with a planned evening of a bottle of wine, chicken livers on crackers (his dead wife would be asking for her recipe she claimed!), a lovely chicken in a pot with some onions and carrots (the gentleman would find taste in that food for sure she announced), and a game of pinochle with a nice couple down the hall from her. Oh yes, and she also had a fish in the fridge that she insisted he'd need to come back the next night for. He agreed and said he'd bring a really big bottle of wine so there would be enough for two evenings. She left to prepare her chicken livers and he talked to the ducks. He told them he'd found hope and that he'd be around to feed them.

I hope the people in the park that are suffering take some solace in this play. Especially in this park, there's no reason to be lonely. There is a lot to do and a ton of caring people to do it with. Yet another reason I love where I live!

All's well that ends well. Oh wait, that's next years play!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An accident waiting to happen

As most of you know, I live in a 55+ community for 7 months of the year. The average age here I would estimate, is about 75. I'm by far the youngest person in this park. The oldest is 95 and he's my sweetie. I shall blog about him another time.

As a lot of you also know, I've been working very hard on the eating and exercise part of my life. I've started going to our gym here several days a week. We've got 2 treadmills, an elliptical, a stationary bike, and all the weight resistance machines you'd want to use. I just use the treadmill and the elliptical usually.

I was in the gym yesterday using Clyde. That is the treadmill I use. The elliptical is Bonnie, an evil pair to be sure. You are never in the gym alone which is sometimes a shame as I'd love to sing to my music. There was another couple in there yesterday. She'd had her knee replaced and was trying to build it stronger, I'm not sure what he was doing. That's when the accident happened. I just knew with all these old people here that one day there would be trouble in the gym. There really should be a phone in there just in case 911 needs to be dialed. In fact, I think from now on I'll make sure to take my cell phone with me. It was nearly needed yesterday for sure.

I had just finished up my hour on Clyde. I was getting off when the stumble began. I was helpless as Clyde was stumbled over and the other treadmill was crashed into. I could picture the body laying there with blood pouring forth from a severe head wound. There was nothing I could do. The old fat broad was going down, and she was going down hard. Hard and fast.

I flailed about to no avail. My left arm crashed into Clyde and I thought it was broken. My feet were all tangled up by now, I fell off Clyde and my right arm bashed into the other treadmill. I was trying not to go down and hit my head. I succeeded, just barely! I managed to upright myself, and in turning around, I caught my foot under Clyde and down I went....again. This time I was on my ass on the floor. Yep, count 'em up, I was down for the count. My legs were wobbly and jell-o like from my 3.5 mile walk and I just couldn't control my limbs! The lady with the replaced knee just sat there staring. She couldn't help. Her husband had NO idea what to do. I was flopping around like a fish on the shore until I finally hit the floor. My arm was already turning blue. I just looked at them and said 'leave it to me to wait until AFTER my workout to fall off!'

My arms hurt more today. They're not as purple as I thought they'd be. Thank God it's my one day off from exercise. I shall return to the gym tomorrow.

I'll have my cell phone with me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gators, Cows, & Pigs

Oh my!

OK, so it wasn't lions, and tigers, and bears, but man did we have a great day! We went to....well crap I can't remember where we went! It was a working cattle ranch that gives Eco tours. How's that? It was somewhere near Ft. Myers, or maybe Arcadia. It was about 2 hours from here...close enough? I didn't take my camera with me as I really, really, love the visual party for my eyes on these tours. If I take a camera, I'm so busy trying to get pictures, I miss some of the adventure. My friend Clair took pictures and I'm pirating them here. I hope he doesn't mind!

We left at 9:30 in the morning. It was supposed to be a cool day so I took Den's heavy security guard coat with me. I packed some snacks so I could stay on my WW program. I even did my exercise before we left. What a gal! I had a choice to either exercise or eat breakfast. I chose exercise. I took my oatmeal to go and told my friend Clair that he was driving my truck. Problem solved!

We got to the farm an hour early so had time to look about and enjoy the sunshine. What a gorgeous day! The sky was blue, there wasn't a wind, it was just picture perfect! The bus lumbered up to load us in. It was an old school bus with all the windows cut out. Looked like it had seen better days. Actually, it looked like it might have gone through a war! It got us were we were going though, and quite comfortably I might add!

We hit the dusty trail and the very first thing we saw were some pigs. They weren't feral pigs, I think they were escaped domesticated pigs that are just in feral training. I'm sure they become breakfast for the farm hands so they don't get quite so out of hand. Pigs propagate at an amazing rate and they can, and do, cause a lot of damage on a farm with their rooting. These pigs knew the drill well. They knew the bus driver would have corn for them. They came running as fast as their little piggy legs could carry them. First were 4 big pigs, and then, to my joy, came the babies! They were adorable! They were assorted bacon bits. Some were solid color, some multi. My favorite looked like a baby calico cat. He was the runt of the litter and just precious. I was in my glory watching them squeal and eat the corn. Then another group came charging across the road and this batch had even tinier babies! Oh my goodness they were just so cute! Little curly tails and everything. One had a hurt back leg and couldn't run as fast. He came about a full minute after the rest. I felt bad for him. I'm afraid he'll be in a pot with some beans and onions soon. My day, I thought was complete at this point!

The bus chugged to life and away we went. We saw lots of cracker cattle, and one, Betsy, even put her head right into the bus looking for her corn. You can read all about cracker cattle if you like by clicking on that link up there. They got their name from the sound of cracking whips the cowboys used to use to round them up. People would hear the sound and say 'here comes the crackers', referring both to the cowboy and the cattle. How cool is that? It takes little to amuse me as you can tell.

We crossed one stream on the ranch that was a wildlife party! It was brimming with alligators and lined with all kinds of birds. There were wood storks and white herons and anhingas and buzzards. As we sat there watching, 3 white tailed deer crossed the stream. It was amazing to me how all those beasties live in harmony. There had to be at least 30-50 gators in that water and not one of them rushed the venison. The picture here is fuzzy, but you get the drift!

We got to see a baby gator close up and touch it's skin etc. It's surprisingly soft....thinking I might quite fancy a pair of alligator boots!

We were on the way back to be dropped off and I saw an armadillo. It was my very first armadillo. They're all over here and I've never seen one. I was an armadillo virgin! On the way home, I spotted one on the side of the road. No, not dead as usual. He was just burdling along. All of a sudden, I saw another, and another and another! I bet we saw 30 or more! What a perfect end to the day!

We left the ranch and stopped to view manatees on the way home and then had a lovely dinner. What an excellent day. I love being with friends at any time, but the stars had aligned and this day was nearly 100% perfect.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I hate shopping

I really do.

I've never understood women shopping on purpose. Because they liked it. I find it almost torture most times. Today was no different. I needed a few things. I made a list. I fortified myself with 3 hours of Mah Jongg first. Did it help? No.

What was on my list? Crap really, but crap I want.
1. A lamp for the table in the lanai. It's dark out there after about 6PM and I eat out there now. I don't like having the big ceiling lights on...it's just not nice. I want a small lamp to sit on the table and give me light so I can see what I'm eating, but not so bright people from outside can read my book with me.
2. Something shelf like, or crate like, or drawer like that my magnifying mirror can sit on in the bathroom. The vanity is so low I can't see myself in the mirror. I need it to put my lotion on, but I have to kneel on the floor to see in the mirror. I'm too old for that shit.
3. A lamp for behind my chair in the living room so I can see to read.
4. a heart rate monitor.
5. A pair of spandex exercise pants. Thing jiggle that I don't want to jiggle.
6. An iced tea spoon. I like to eat with them. I like the long handle.
7. A tray to carry food from the kitchen out to the lanai.

Did I have success? Hmmmmm let's see.
A lamp for the table in the lanai. I looked at K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Bealls. No luck. I don't want to spend a fortune, I just want to see my freaking milk and cookies at night! I guess I'll stick to candles for now.

A shelf or crate or whatever. I walked my ass off...looked everywhere. Found nothing. Guess I'll keep kneeling.

Spandex? Nope, couldn't find it and wasn't about to ask! I can just see that scene. "Oh excuse me, do you have spandex exercise pants?" Lady turns to answer me and falls over laughing, gasping for air and slapping her knee. No, I'll make do with what I have and hope the reverberation doesn't hurt something higher up.

Found a lamp and a heart rate monitor. Whoopee. Two things off my whole list.

I'll eat with the one iced tea spoon I have and I'm going to use a half sheet pan with a tea towel for a tray. Sorted.

God I hate shopping.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!

Better late than never eh? I wanted to share the Santa's of Buttonwood with all of you. So, here is a bit of Christmas revisited!

And we thought it was reindeer that pulled Santa's sleigh!!!

Florida Santa uses dolphins instead of elves!

Aww, come on, you've heard of a Christmas goose!

Up on the rooftop froggies pause!

Nothing says Christmas like a pink pig!

God I love Buttonwood Bay!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm a water baby

I love the water. I love everything about it. I like how it looks with the moon shining on it. I love how it sounds when waves are churning it. I adore the way it feels sluicing over my body when I'm in it. I know nothing about the signs of the Zodiac, but I know I should have born under the water sign.

Being near the water gives me a sense of peace. I feel at ease. It allows me to calm my mind and think about things that need thinking about. It opens my heart for deep prayer. I suspect some of its charm is that it drowns out the incessant ringing in my ears! I have tinnitus and I noticed yesterday that when I'm at the beach, I don't hear the ringing as the crashing waves drown it out! Yet another reason to love the sea.

We went to Ft. Myers Beach yesterday and it was a picture perfect day. I met a Weight Watcher friend and had a nice chat. They left for a boat ride and we took a walk on the beach. I saw all kinds of different shells and even a horseshoe crab. I think it might have just been the body, but still...it was all in one piece. I studied it. I saw shiny shells and dull shells and tons of sea grape. I walked in the water and enjoyed the sun on my face. The breeze was cool, the sun was warm, the water cool & crashing. It was a great day.

Today I sat in the swing by our little lake here. Again, the sound lulled me. It just washes my cares away. It's cathartic.

I like it. I like it a lot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Be all that you can be

No, we're not joining the military here! Today I'm going to wax religious. If that bothers you, stop reading now.

I'm a Catholic. I refer to myself as a delicatessen Catholic. I pick and choose which parts of the faith I believe in. I, for example, think birth control is a fabulous thing. I don't believe that if an infant dies before being baptized, he or she won't go to Heaven. There are a few other things that the Pope and I probably differ on, but I do believe in the crux of the religion. During Mass, we say the Nicene creed. It's what we believe. I believe each and every word of that creed. That makes me Catholic.

I get great solace from attending Mass. Yes, my mind wanders sometimes. I can't help it, it just does. I usually always get something from the sermon though.

I attend Sunday morning Mass with my friend Mary. I told her yesterday that I was going to go to Saturday night Mass this week instead. I went to a different church. That really messes with my mind. All these new people to look at and, well, just new stuff. Oh, there is Mona and Jim from the park. I didn't know they were Catholic! Oh oh oh there are 4 more people from the park. Geez we could carpool here. The cantor sounds kind of like a cat in heat. Ohhhh pretty! There is sun shining through the stained glass window and it lights up the Lord's table perfectly! Sorry, you see how crazy it gets in my mind??? There was a priest, a retired priest, AND a deacon. Wow...the holy trinity! Sounds like the beginning of a joke! Oops, hope I don't go to hell for that one. Anyway, back to the Mass at hand.

I'm not sure where my mind was during the sermon, but it wasn't on the priests words. It was all about the apostle Paul yesterday. Now, if you've ever listened to anything Paul wrote, you might understand my angst. I think he was on crack. Seriously. I really have trouble following any of his readings. So, usually, when I hear that today's gospel is by Paul, I just kind of zone out. I know. Bad Debby. I finally tried to pay attention, and to my chagrin, the priest was uttering the last sentence of his sermon. Oops again. It was a powerful one though I thought. He said he'd heard Mother Theresa speak once and she said....I think I'll go to a new paragraph here so it doesn't get lost.

"Have you done all you can do? Life is short."

My regular priest, Father Michael, brought 2 plants in one Sunday. One quite dead, and one lush and green. He held them both up and asked:

"How do you look in the eyes of God?"

So, am I doing what I need to do? Am I doing ALL I could do? Would God look at me and see a withered plant, or a lovely full green one?

There are things I could work on for sure. I shall start doing that. I live in a park with old people. Lots of them are lonely. I am sure I could ease that burden a bit if I put myself out a little. I could work on my attitude, my thoughts, my words. There are many things I could do to get my plant a bit greener. Make the world a bit better, even if it's just my little corner of the world.

We've got war and strife in the world. We've got money problems and employment problems. We've got aimless killing and anger in our midst. The world is going to hell in a hand basket. If we all just started doing a bit more, being nicer, being less angry, doing what it took, perhaps we could change the world. One dead leaf at a time.

How about you?

Are you doing all you can do? Life is short.