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'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!!!!!!!