Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breaking the rules

I know it was wrong and I should not have done the dirty deed. There were signs posted all around to remind all of us. And it is against the law. At times I enjoy - breaking the rules - and this was one of those times. Well, I didn't enjoy the results of my insubordination.

Breakfast was biscuits and sausage gravy - a southern thing - or so I presume. I never heard of it before I moved below the Mason Dixon line. White creamy gravy filled with greasy sausage poured over hot home made country biscuits drizzled with REAL butter. Clog those arteries. Actually, it's not one of my favorite breakfast meals but hubby salivates when he even smells the aroma.

So I ate to please him, since he was the chef but there was a whole biscuit left. What to do? What to do? It was near impossible to take it back with us or have it cold for lunch. With biscuits it's hot or nutting.

So very nonchalantly and innocently (not soooo innocent) I tossed the biscuit for the raccoon's that wander the campsite. They were lurking somewhere in the woods or raiding another campsite. After the hearty heavy artery clogging breakfast hubby and I went for a stroll around the park.

If you know anything about raccoon's you know how aggressive and selfish they are. They also know it's an all day buffet at the campgrounds. Sneaky little rascals. For them the bread is buttered on both sides.

Did I mention the word - tent - as in nylon tent with food inside? Remember those cute little racoon's I left the biscuit for. Well, apparently that was not enough. With that long sniffer of theirs our food was beckoning them inside our tent. Zippers mean nothing to racoon's. Nylon tears.

Not only did they raid our pantry they were still inside when we returned, Now what? We banged some pans together to frighten them away. No such luck. I heard their snickering raspy voices from inside our tent or what was left of our tent. It sounded like they were arguing over who would get the chocolate covered raisins. To be on the positive side of the moon, we really needed a new tent. That one had only been used twice.

We sat beneath the live oak tree right next to the poison ivy and waited for the rampage to be over. The neighbors in the next campsite stood in disbelief. Disbelief that I would feed those pesky rascals and break the law. No one could really prove I left them little tidbits - outside the tent.

I have no one to blame but my own foolish self for not following the rules.

Crack of Dawn

3 AM must be that magical time where all those campers without indoor plumbing get up and walk to the public facilities. Noises fill the dark of the night with bushes rustling and the moon absent from the night sky. The march begins toward the outpost. Some carry flashlights and some brave the darkness without artificial help. A parade of weary campers line the dirt pathways and walkways.

I believe somewhat half asleep and in a mind fuzz I trot off at 3 AM to do business. Sadly, we have no indoor plumbing in our camper. Little did I know I would meet the masses at the bath house. I'm strolling along still in a sleep deprived state when I see all the people. Have I missed a notice for this 3 AM cattle call? If I had known I would have been more prepared and my attire would have been presentable.

I walk with sleepers clinging to my eyes and my head intent at watching each step my feet take. I feel a little uncomfortable with all these strangers and me in my ratting sleeping clothes. My thread bare tank top leaves little to the imagination. My bottoms are somewhat civilized.

I slip into a stall and wait for the masses to leave - but - NO. More line up for the coveted spaces. So, the question is do I wash my hands while the waiting line watches my every move? Or do I make a run for the door back into the darkness of the morning? I go for the hand washing because you never know who has left behind their germs. I hold my hands across my chest and slip outside into the darkness. We just have to upgrade to indoor plumbing.

Get A Life

I've seen the writing on the wall. I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel. The owl has not called my name. My enlightenment is complete.
After a lengthy discussion, Internet search and soul searching with friends I now believe I am not in 'hell', as I have previously thought. It sure seemed like 'hell'. Everyday was a struggle to survive and be positive. Bleakness was surrounding me with no place to turn. The negativity was mounting slowly eroding my inner peace and tranquility. So I believed I was in 'hell'.
Now, that I am more clear on the world and where I'm at - peace is blossoming and a positive attitude is burgeoning.
I now believe I am in 'purgatory', not 'hell'. Purgatory you say, is bad, but actually it isn't. At least in 'purgatory' there is a way out. You are not destined to eternal damnation and back taxes. I will prevail. I will pull myself up and out of this pit of despair, gloom and doom. I will - Get A Life, or get my life back in sync.
According to the book of 'Secrets', by Rhonda Byrne - Ask for it, believe in it and you shall receive it through positive thinking. So, I'm asking and trying my hardest to believe and then I shall receive. My suggestion to all - read The Secret and find inner peace.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Responsibility 101

Last weekend with much trepidation we left the house and the animals in the care of our teenager. We were on an island with no phone cell access. I was a smidgen worried, the first time and all. The first time in anything always being a bit dramatic. We walked him through what needed to be done and how the animals were fed and left a note. Instructions about no wild parties or orgies.

To our surprise when we returned the house was still standing, the animals were fed, actually they were overfed. The freezer was completely empty, the dishes were done, the cupboards were half empty and the laundry was done. I was speechless. This 18 year old is maturing and being responsible. Amazing!!! There were three chips out of the new surface of the pool that was somewhat of a mystery - probably never to be solved.

We were happy with this situation. So happy, in fact, that we are going away this weekend, leaving him in charge. This could become a standard weekend activity for us. Maybe, just maybe he is rolling into responsible adulthood.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not Ninja's

I have these 6 great turtles that I love. They bring me an inner peace and lots of laughs. Unfortunately they are not the brightest crayons in the box. They are extremely fascinating to watch. The interaction they have with people and each other is amazing. Feeding time is my favorite time.

When food is involved there is always a feeding frenzy. The smallest one's are the most aggressive. They normally are very 'clickish' except for feeding time and then it's 'every turtle for himself'.

Big Al, is a male but he has the best mothering instincts. The little one's cling to his back and cower beneath him when frightened. Big Al always waits till the little one's get their fill before he eats. He likes to watch the world. He floats lazily around the outside pond just chillin.

Their food preferences are very different. Cooter really prefers the reptile pellets. Louise will eat anything. I try to feed Cooter and Louise off to the side with the pellets and then give the brine shrimp to the babies. They are like wild piranha's. They snatch the shrimp from one another, push each other out of the way and dive to the bottom with their tasty morsel. They have no manners. Their little legs move faster than lightening. Sometimes they take the food and hide under the sunbathing dock. This piece was made special for them by hubby so they could get a good sunbath on top or hide under it for protection.

So Romeo was wild for another piece of brine shrimp and his little jaws were a snapping (good thing he is not a snapping turtle) he was swimming around in a frenzy and he snapped at the pump cord. He shook it as hard as he could and then let go in frustration. Not the flavor he liked - I guess. Good thing the GFI's (ground fault interrupters) work so well.

My babies may not be the brightest crayons in the box but they sure do brighten my life. Also - they don't bark, jump on visitors, bite the mailman, barf on the rugs, whine for food and get in late night cat fights beneath the bedroom window.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Frugality - Fact or Fiction

I see myself as 'frugal', my children see me in a different light - they call me 'cheap.' Perhaps we are all right. I know if I ever win the lottery I will still hunt for sales and use my 20% off coupons. Hubby at times has poked fun at me and my antics - especially the napkins I save from fast food restaurants. He wasn't laughing that time he needed one and I opened the glove compartment and a bunch rolled out.

One Christmas my children bought me two huge packs of napkins and asked me not to horde any more freebie ones. I see nothing wrong with my yellow MCnapkins on the dinner table.

I also save those little ketchup, mayo, mustard, duck sauce and soy sauce pouches. I keep them in a zip lock baggie and they are ready to roll at any time someone says the word -picnic.

What can I say to defend myself? I really don't think I need defending. They can tease me all they want.

So hubby dear, the one that sometimes makes wise cracks about my peculiar habits has topped me one - but good. He's come over to my side.

Today he went on a shopping spree and purchased a beautiful area rug. It retailed for over $300.00. He paid $10.00. Gotta love that guy!!! And the colors were absolutely perfect. A designer could not have done any better - or more better. Family joke -more better.

I was so proud of him. And such a great bargain.

Then he took me aside and whispered look under the couch by the wall. I dropped down on that soft, cushy, beautiful new rug and looked under the couch. I'm thinking the cat had already barfed on the new rug. Just like the sun rising in the East everyday, the stupid cat barfs on all new rugs and new calendars placed on the kitchen counter. You can count on her for that episode - every time.

I'm looking and see no cat vomit but what I do see is a small rectangular patch maybe 2 inches by 6 inches cut out of the rug. You know that sign that says 'sample' on the sample rugs. Well the store removed the sample sign and left this empty space in the side of the rug and sold it for ten bucks. What a bargain. I don't believe too many people will get on my floor and search for irregularities in my pretty new rug. It's hidden and no one will know.

I love my bargain conscious hubby. I guess this could be referred to as - saving the earth - one sample at a time or cheap or my preference Frugality at its finest.

Cedar Key, Florida

Cedar Key is a quaint town off the beaten path, lost in time and perspective. Cedar Key is perched precariously on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico swaddled in salt marshes and mud flats. A time capsule left to fend for its future and past. The town is similar to the song, ‘A little bit country, and A little bit rock and roll.’ Boiling over with enthusiasm and feet stuck in the mud mixture of natives, renters and tourists.
Cedar Key is a working town whose livelihood depends on Mother Nature: not always a helpful participant. For many workers a tidy home and well kept yard is not an asset but a hindrance. The tourist’s seek clean lines, green grass and many amenities. A few of these can be found. Fisherman swarm in as if they were fish during spawning season. Mullet jump out of the water for reasons not clearly defined.
Cedar Key a place smothered by neglect and decay. Trash lines the ditches, the waterways and the odorous salt marshes. Dilapidated buildings cry silently with despair being their only salvation. Restaurants with bland food and overpriced menus litter the harbor like the feral cats.
Cedar Key boasts an unfriendly waitress who talks trash to her friends while ignoring the paying customers with her annoying 'youall' dialect. We want your money but in reality we don’t really give a flip about you. The sign outside the cafe boast ‘this is where the local eat.’ Then, try another cafe and a waitress sports a bubbly inviting attitude. Beckons you to return again and enjoy your stay.
A few campgrounds survive on the edge of destruction and denial barely making a statement. Broken roads filled with potholes, hollow dreams littered with debris, buildings in disrepair and a cottage on stilts in the final phase of death.
Cedar Key is a place overflowing with a salty ambiance and an air of yesteryear: where survival meets the economic decline and modern day mechanics. Sit on the lopsided dock and listen to the sounds of nature and man. Air boats flash by making a noisy statement next to the fishing boats that drift lazily with the tide. The orange evening sun explodes across the sky painting a mural of distinction. Birds cry in misery or perhaps ecstasy. The tides crash with a single purpose against the weary shoreline. Cedar Key ages with a less than graceful edge. In Cedar Key one can sit and inhale the salty air and listen to the music of nature and man and enjoy the fading rhapsody. Cedar Key is a special place where dignity and perseverance flow with the tides.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Silence is Golden

How far does sound travel? Can we recognize a familiar sound when it is not our own? These are just a few questions that have been swirling inside my head. That age old question -'When a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it?'
Do the sounds inside a tent hit higher on the Richter scale than an actual earthquake? Can those nice people 10 feet from our tent flap hear what's going inside our canvas abode?
I know this may sound disgusting, crude and totally inappropriate but it happens. The passing of gas in a tent at a campground in close proximity to strangers. It wasn't me it was hubby. He's always been full of hot air (LOL) but now it seems to be getting louder and more frequent. And he doesn't even seem to care. He lets it rip at the grocery store, the gas station and at small family gatherings.
I walk away in disgust and pretend I don't know him. Or I will verbally reprimand him right in front of the cashier. We roll our eyes and have that sisterly YAYA understanding.
His latest antics have totally embarrassed me - so bad I had that phobia where you can't leave your home, only I couldn't leave the tent. I couldn't bear to make eye contact with our -oh-so-close tent neighbors. What must they be thinking? OMG!!! They may think it's me. So, now I am stuck hiding from the world in this 4ft tent for the entire weekend.
Then, again maybe it sounded like a bird or a fish splashing. I'm still so embarrassed - I cannot face these unknown strangers who I will never see again. I'm glad I packed my craft supplies for this weekend excursion.
I pull out my trusty glue gun and my silver glitter. I search his duffel bag for a dark colored t-shirt. Ha, I find his favorite. With a steady hand I scroll on the back of his t-shirt - HE FARTS ALOT, and then apply my silver glitter to the hot glue words. I swing it back and forth till it's dry.
"Honey, here's your favorite shirt. Slip it on and we'll walk around the campsite."
Off we go into the wild blue yonder, or a quick walk to the Club House. We stroll around talking to other campers and he doesn't even notice the giggling behind his back. My phobia has seemed to disappear.

R.V. tips

The importance of 'Hand Signals' when attaching a camper to the tow vehicle.

Contributing factors for disaster -
1. an unfocused hand signaler
2. loose gravel on a slope
3. no see ums.
4. Crocs

I stood there on the slope amidst the loose gravel in the heat of summer with my mind adrift (as usual) bareheaded, barefooted and determined. Slowly my main squeeze (hubby) backed the truck towards the camper. It was hot as Africa and the gulf breeze went north for the summer. Carefully I positioned my hands in the direction hubby needed to back up the truck. He called my name (actually he screamed, but I'm trying to be positive) and told me I was standing on the wrong side. I step over the trailer hitch carefully or so I presumed and land knee first in the loose gravel. I pick myself up, dust myself off and look quick to see if anyone saw my gracefulness.

I stretch out my arms and begin to direct hubby backwards toward the camper. In a split second (which is super-super fast) a horde of a gazillion no-see-ums appear from nowhere and attacked my person. They bite my ears, my lips, my eyelids and crawl beneath my tank top. Wild with pain and frustration I begin to swat at the little buggers.
This is where the importance of the hand signals comes into play. Hubby swerves the vehicle to the right, then the left, then a hard left trying desperately to keep up with my erratic hand signals. The problem is they are not hand signals but me defending my body against the killer attack no-see-ums.
Hubby has not figured that out. He slams on the brake sending shards of loose gravel flying through the air with the greatest of ease. I think he took out a few no-see-ums but most of them were feasting on my B-positive type blood.
I'm starting to panic and I scream a sissy scream not wanting to draw attention to my predicament. Hubby (the one I would very much like to squeeze) starts using unkind words toward my hand directions. He yells, "Stop It'. But I can't! I'm being eaten alive by something that you can't even see.
He pulls forward and begins backing up again. My hands are flying faster than a politicians tongue. I'm dancing the jig, flailing like a wild chicken and still he follows my hand signals. A very sharp turn to the right and a loud crunch. Oops that was a tree. He lurches the truck to the left and hits the water faucet and cracks the pipe and water spurts high in the darkened sky.
Then not too far away I hear the crack of thunder or is that him hitting another tree? And then, a bolt of lightning strikes within inches of my jerking body. He makes another sharp turn with the truck and slams on the brakes again sending up a rainstorm of gravel. I see it coming and desperately try to take a step backwards still trying to ward off the gazillion flesh eating invisible bugs. I love my backless Crocs ( ) but I'm rethinking their purpose to hand signalers. In slow motion my foot slips silently from my coveted Crocs.
My arms still swatting at the death eaters swing backwards to stop my fall. I hit the gravel with record speed and tumble without the smooth finesse of a ballet dancer down the incline. The water feels cold as Alaska as my body plummets to the muddy bottom and connects with the crabby fiddler crabs. And then, the monsoon rains begin. I sit sinking in the mudflats with raindrops the size of golfballs beating my bruised body still waving my arms at the critters from hell while hubby hooks the camper to the truck.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Here Come Dah Judge

So my first day in court on my new job and I'm wanting to make a GOOD impression. Judges scare me a little - just a little - actually a whole bunch. I wore a very conservative looking suit - very professional. My hair was okay. I wore cutesie little pumps instead of my bright pink Crocs. I was ready to roll.

I forgot the briefcase (that would have been VERY professional) and ended up hand carrying the massive file. It weighed in about ten pounds. I carefully start to get out of my car and my coordination always somewhat out of kilter drops a notch. Must have been those cutesie pumps. I start to weave toward the pavement - face first.

Lucky for me I save the day and don't go flat on my face or spread eagle. I must have spastic muscles or something funky like that because my arms fly up and out - still holding that 10 pound file and it slides ever so slowly across my face. But I did not hit the ground - a great save I thought.

I strut proudly toward the courthouse. Then, the side of my face begins to sting. The pain is awful and I don't deal kindly with pain. I hold tight to the ten pound file and with my right hand I reach up and touch the pained face. I look at my hand in absolute horror. There is blood dripping down my fingertips. OMG!!! I'm bleeding to death on the court house steps.

I keep my hand on the side of my face and try to be discreet as I drop the ten pound file, two cell phones and my car keys into the plastic bin the security guard holds out for me. At this point in time I have dripped blood all over one of the cell phones and the corner of the ten pound file. I kept my hand firmly placed on my face to contain the deluge of blood.

I walk through the metal detector praying that it doesn't go off and they force me to do some strip search. The deputy gives me a strange look but lets me pass. I walk down the hall leaving a trail of blood in my wake. I sneak into the ladies room to assess the damage.
Oh, yuck, half of my cheek skin is gone. She's bleeding like a stuck pig and court starts in 20 minutes. I grab a paper towel and dab at my pathetic face. Hurts like hell. The bleeding continues. I grab another paper towel dampen it and hold it hard against my damaged cheek.
I get into the elevator with more strange looks. I can hear their thoughts -'that bimbo's going to make a great impression in the court room.'

I slip into Court Room 3B and take a seat in the back. I push the soggy paper towel against my throbbing cheek. I will not cry. For some wonderful unknown reason my case was delayed for an hour. I rush back to the bathroom to attend my wound and my bruised ego. Wouldn't I make a GREAT first impression with my face all bandaged up like a mummy.
The bleeding stops but the side of my face is ugly, red and bruising. Maybe the judge won't notice.

My time has come and I walk sideways to the table right in front of the judge. I try to turn my body so he cannot see the damage. I feel like a fool. I turn my notes over to the attorney and see the bright red stains along the edge. She says nothing. I shrink a little in my seat. I feel like the judge is staring at my wounded face. The case is rescheduled and I make a beeline for the door and my cutesie little pump catches the corner of the chair. I fall flat like a pancake.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fecal Matter - matters

It was bad enough when I found out that lemons are encrusted with tons of fecal matter. I promptly asked for my water without any lemons. Most wait staff have a difficult time remembering my request. So, I am left to fish out the fecal encrusted lemon from my water and hope for the best.
NOW!!! I have heard that the University of Arizona did a study on - shopping carts. I wish I could be hired for these types of positions. The findings are disgusting, revolting and vomit provoking!!! 2/3 of ALL shopping carts are riddled with fecal matter. OMG!!!
I bring my own (recycled cotton) bags to the grocery store - to save the environment and my small part of the world. I guess I will have to purchase my own little shopping cart, like the one's those little old ladies use.
Where is all this CRAP coming from?

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I've been reading the book - 'The Secret'. I'm desperately following the secret rules or trying as best as I can. I ask - I believe - and I receive. I haven't actually received what I have asked for but I will be persistent.
I do feel a calmer aura around me and a calmness within. I'm looking for a little bit more than calm. I'm looking for a lifestyle - a place to be and as yet I have not achieved that success. I will keep asking. Like - oh - 100 hits a day on my website would be way too kool. Or better yet make a living at what I love to do. WRITE!!!
It strikes me as rather odd that the book of secrets reads somewhat like the Bible. Almost a religious experience. Or praises to a higher being - not necessarily God. So I wonder what came first? The bible or the secret?
Is the bible fact? Is the book The Secret fact? One fact is many people are buying this book and many have bought bibles and somebody is making lotsa greens from these purchases.
Perhaps I do not believe enough for either of the books to move me along my spiritual path. What's wrong with me? 'Git er done'.
I will continue to read and practice the words from the book -The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and see where it takes me. To a higher level of income - I'm hoping!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yertle the Turtle

I loved reading 'Yertle the Turtle' to my children when they were little. Somehow, someway I have ended up with 6 turtles in a pond in my backyard. They are better than any prescription drug you can buy for lifting your mood. Each one has their own distinctive personality. I love going outside in the morning with coffee and just watching them. It's my meditation period, a little calm before I start my day.
Louise, a Florida Cooter is my rescue turtle and she is very 'pushy'. "Get outta my way, I'm coming through." She eats anything.
Cooter, a Florida Cooter (still a baby) is the boldest of all the turtles. I can put my hand in the water and he climbs right into my hand. He does not like brine shrimp.
Cracker, a Cumberland Slider is the nervous one. She is like a shrinking violet and Big Al is her protector. She will take brine shrimp or leave it.
Romeo & Juliet, yellow bellies and the babies of the bunch (my Valentine's gift from hubby) remind me of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They are very aggressive at feeding time. They fight like siblings. Theses two go crazy for brine shrimp.
Big Al, a Red Eared Slider, is my first and my favorite. He reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull ( another bedtime story for the kids) his approach to life is to sit or float and smell the roses. He just floats around his domain watching and chilling. He waits till all have eaten before he begins.
It's amazing how something as innocent as turtles can calm your feelings and make you smile and lust after life.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pumping Iron

It spit and sputtered and sent out a jettison of bubbles that drifted slowly across the water dispersing into oblivian. And then - silence! No gear grinding, humming noise, gurgling, popping and metal against metal causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. So quiet - you could hear the hum of the air conditioner two doors down. Total quiet - too quiet. The all too familiar hum was gone. The pool pump had taken its last burst of energy and slipped silently to the underworld. A world where broken machinery clutters the landscape like weeds in my flowerbed.

Mr. Wonderful (he's mine) dismantled the sucker and spread the greasy parts across the kitchen table. Why he doesn't use his workshop is beyond my reasoning. I guess he likes to spread his projects around the house just to let me know how busy he is. So, with all his expertise he couldn't put humpty dumpty back in working order again.

Dollar signs loom like skyscrapers in my mind. How much do pool pumps cost? Do we sell our soul to the devil to purchase one? Take out a third mortgage (the second mortgage is to buy gas for the vehicles) on our house? I can't live here without that pool. I need that pool. I deserve that pool.

So off to the pool supply store for the bad news. But soon, oh so soon the humming will start and block out all the other neighborhood noises except for the sirens and we will be back in the swim of things.

Happy Father's Day

Whose your daddy?

1. Why'd ya do it?

2. Did ya do it?

3. Was it a mistake?

4. Was it and accident?

5. Are ya glad?

6. Are ya sad?

7. Would ya do it again?

8. Are ya sure?

9. Do ya admit it?

10. Do ya enjoy it all?

Thanks sweetie for being my babys daddy. You are da bomb!!! Now, let's go have breakfast and enjoy your day. Remember - I don't cook.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Eastern Shore

Easton, Maryland is a town near St. Michaels, Maryland where parts of the 'Wedding Crashers' was filmed. I have been to Easton and stayed in Easton several times. I do prefer St. Michaels. One can almost feel the conservatism in these small towns. But never did I know that in Easton what one does in Easton doesn't stay in Easton like Las Vegas.
The Eastern shore has its own kind of ambiance, rules and moral codes. Where does our VP choose to live? It certainly is a strange mixture in that there part of the country. Beauty abounds also. Then, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholdiths in Easton don't want to see all that skin.
Apparently there is this little town ordinance about men and women going topless in town and public places. Now, if you are just visiting or passing through - 'How would you know'? I do believe that if women are prohibited from baring it all in public that law should apply to men also. It's not fair. Women's lib, women's rights - whatever!!! We need to be treated as equals!!!
So beware when traveling through or stopping for entertainment in this sleepy little town perched on the Eastern shore of Maryland. When you stop at any of the wonderful restaurants for their delicious crab cakes put that shirt back on.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What was trash - now eclectic trash

How my creativity saved me money - or - how to survive being cheap. I needed an umbrella stand and having little cash to spare and being on the skimpy side of the moon - I improvised. And I did a darn good job improvising and saving the planet one plastic bucket at a time. Pat myself on the back.


Lightweight Umbrella
Large Plastic Container (bucket) with lid
Sand or (weighted materials, bricks, stones, broken concrete)
PVC Pipe (optional)

Any large plastic container with a lid will work. Chlorine pool tablets come in a large bucket with a lid. Take a small piece of PVC pipe; make sure the umbrella post fits snugly inside. This can be used for balance and strength. Measure for the PVC pipe from bottom of bucket to approximately 3 inches above the lid, it can be higher or lower depending on how much pvc pipe you already have. Trace with crayon or marker around the diameter of the PVC pipe on the lid in the center. Drill or cut around the marking in the center of the lid to fit in the PVC pipe. A sharp knife can be used to cut the plastic lid.

Place the cut PVC pipe in the center of the bucket (lid off). Fill the bucket with sand, rocks, gravel or any other usable material. I used left over play sand. Slip the lid over the PVC pipe and seal. Place the umbrella pole into the PVC pipe.
You can place the umbrella pole directly into the lid and then add weighted materials into the bucket and not use a PVC pipe. It makes removal of the umbrella easier with the PVC pipe in place.
This works great with small to medium sized lightweight umbrellas. You can paint or decorate your white bucket to match your d├ęcor or mood.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Flip Off

I am so depressed and saddened. I have just read that - flip-flops are bad for your health and body. Oh no, what shall I do? Listen to medical authority (?) or listen to my soul? I've known for eons that high heeled shoes were bad for you and I do agree with that scenario. But flip-flops. An icon of sun and sand. 80 % of my footwear wardrobe is comprised of flip-flops. I have donned flip-flops since childhood. Now - I find out I will have body deformities from these sole lovers. Wat is the world coming to?

Bottled water is bad for us along with too much caffeine, sugar, sugar substitutes and high energy drinks. Plastic bottles, plastic bags and soon Tupperware will cause cancer. I have to stay out of the sun stay away from camping trailers (mostly those used for Katrina victims) all cleaning chemicals are on the list right next to cell phones.

The good news of late is that CHOCOLATE is good for you - it just makes you fat. The flip-flop theory has me torn. How can anything so comfortable and sometimes reasonably priced and pretty kool looking be bad? Will flip-flops now come with a warning label? 'WARNING" these flip-flops may be hazardous to your health and foot well being.

There are some 'warnings' I just will not abide with. I shall start a new group -Save our flip-flops!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nick Bollea

Let's compare Nick Bollea's life to John Graziano's life.

Nick is confined to a cement block cell for 8 months.
John is confined to a bed for the rest of his life.

Nick has a slot in the door where his food is passed through.
John has a feeding tube.

Nick is traumatized by solitary confinement.
John is permanently confined to a solitary life.

Nick has no T.V. or VCR.
John may have a T.V. but he can't see it.

Nick's recorded phone calls are a matter of public record.
John makes no phone calls as he can't speak.

Nick wants house arrest instead of jail time.
John has permanent house arrest in bed.

Nick complains that the public is picking on him and hurting his feelings.
John doesn't complain about the nurses and doctors picking at him to save his life.

Nick wants to produce a reality film when he leaves his jail cell.
John's reality show is permanent.

Nick's new home is only 8 1/2 x 16 1/2.
John's new home is a twin size bed.

Nick has lost 10 pounds since his incarceration.
John has lost his life since his incarceration and his is permanent.

Who gets the most points for unfair treatment? Nick certainly feels he is being treated poorly. I do agree John is being treated better with tubes and monitors attached to most of his body to help him function (barely). Nick's only contact is with his family. John is in limbo.
Drive fast, disobey the rules and pay the price.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


My wonderful spouse bought me a beautiful foam raft for the pool. The rafts we have were getting old and beginning to show their wear. This new one was think plush foamy stuff in a vibrant blue. My favorite color and I'm pretending he remembered but most likely that is the only color they come in. I can dream!!

It looks lovely against the new blue pool paint and the new tropical blue umbrella I purchased. So we have this tropical theme going on around the pool.

I looked on the underside of my new blue raft and noticed a 'warning' sign. 'WARNING', in big bold letters - slippery when wet. Hmmm, who would of thought? A pool raft that becomes slippery when wet? And why? It belongs in the water and water is wet? I'm wondering if in the future it will be on the recalled product list? Perhaps I should not get it wet.

It just strikes me as rather odd that a raft made to be used in the water comes with a warning sign - 'slippery when wet'. I guess it took a rocket scientist to get the idea of this raft and then the legal department to adhere a notice.

I will try to remember when I put the raft in the water and it gets wet that it will be slippery. No drinking and lounging in the pool for me.