Sunday, August 30, 2009

Crocs VS FitFlops

Move over Crocs - get outta the way - take a hike. My allegiances have moved completely over to Fit Flops. Yes, they are more expensive BUT they are worth it. And they are not as clownish as those comfy Crocs - sorry. My dear old Crocs have been relegated to pool deck wear and yard work shoes.
Now Fit Flops come in slides.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I spent an entire day (almost) at the new Ikea store in Tampa. What a charming and tiring experience. It started in the parking lot and ended at the exit. Drive your car right up to the exit door and load up your goodies.
Lunch was very, very good and inexpensive. Free refills on soda. OOOHHHH - wonderful.
Two floors and acres and acres of STUFF. All kinds of STUFF. Stuff you need, stuff you don't need and fluffy stuff. After all that walking try out one of their comfy chairs - sit a spell - play a game of cards, balance your checkbook, let the kids run wild ( a little), swoon over the fabulous kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Go back to the cafe for desert or snag an ice cream cone. Try out one of their couches, kick back put your feet up. Then get lost in the self service warehouse. And there is no admission charge.
Ikea has a great idea. And I spent a grand total of $4.23.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

under the microscope

The news of the day is - Michelle Obama appeared in public wearing shorts. I understand she is the first lady and she was on 'vacation'. Does one lose all of their 'self' when they step into the role of 'First Lady'? Shall we sew on a large red scarlet letter to the back of her shorts? And have her walk around in shame for the choice she chose for her wardrobe? Etiquette? Or a slow news day or a news day with nothing substantial to report.
Let's refocus here. The media needs to sell news - make money and keep us informed. Why isn't that focus on what really matters - what really makes the world spin. Like education - the economy - unemployment - recovery from hard times - whirled peas - hurricane Bill.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I am sitting outside, drinking coffee with a splash of half and half ( no more calorie laden creamer ) and absorbing the splendid beauty of the morning. A slight gulf breeze surrounding me. Almost complete silence. In the distance a few birds chirp halfheartedly. No traffic noise, no sirens wailing and no neighbor noises. Quiet. Soft. Relaxing. Just sitting there sucking in all the beauty of a end of summer Florida morning.
I feed the water turtles and talk with them a bit. Sit by Jim's habitat and toss his some fresh plucked grass. Survey his soggy burrows squashed almost flat by yesterdays rainstorms. Feeling cozy and relaxed.
The pale blue sky littered with white tattered clouds. Shards of the morning sun trying to break through. The whiteness not yet above the roof line of the house next door. Still the quiet. Still the slight breeze. Peaceful and zen like. Then the sun makes her appearance cresting the roof line of the house next door. Needing sunglasses to protect the eyes.
Dropping instantly right out of the sky. Was a hawk. A beautiful hawk. A hawk with a mission. He lands right on the edge of the turtle pond. My heart thumps wildly inside my chest. He is magnificent. He is in the wrong place. Splintering my quiet morning.
I walk slowly and light footed toward the turtle enclosure. He tilts his head and gives me that look like I am budging in the breakfast buffet line. Nervous about going closer and worried about my turtles being number one on his menu - I edge closer. He stands his ground and flinches. He flies a few feet away and lands on the fence. That look is shot at me again.
I slip closer to my turtle habitat close the lid and give him that look. His hawk eyes glued to my movements. He dances. He stares. He bounces a few steps away and finally feeling defeat flies away. Jim's enclosure has no lid. How easily could he be grasped in the angry talons and carted away for an appetizer?
My beautiful relaxing morning now scorched by the sun bursting over the roof line where the hawk watches me with hawky eyes and an empty stomach. My coffee cup empty and needing a refill but afraid to leave the turtles to a predator waiting for a meal.

Friday, August 14, 2009


What do you do when insomnia has her evil grip on you? You've counted sheep, listened to soft music, counted to 100 backwards, bought a new bed and tried relaxation tips till the cows came home. What happened to the sheep?
Insomnia clutches at your very being - inside - and shakes you restless. She rolls along to the top of the roller coaster and then suspends you in mid air. The tracks shake, your body shakes but sleep is elusive.
Put up your dukes and fight it with all your might and willpower. Still she holds on with her death grip and won't let go. Toss and turn to throw the monkey off your back - to no avail. Drink this, eat that, do this, do that, do everything but still she drags you down.
Take a pill? No thanks. I will fight this battle on my own. If only a good nights' sleep.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last Nite

The moon a toe of garlic suspended from the heavens - still - silent and glowing with a sense of satisfaction. White cotton batting clouds cling to the edges of the toe garlic moon in celebration of beauty. Tiny, tinny stars sparkle with enthusiasm and hypnotise pale blue eyes to the far away world of night.

Wind is undeniably sleeping again beneath the blaze of lights scattered across the blue blackness of eternal space. The great metal flying cranes of the night sky have taken a detour from their usual pathway. Silence is the main ingredient.

Curtains of air thick and drippy wait for instructions. A knife wielding chef would be unable to dice, chop or slice through the translucent molecules. Every breathe is felt with urgency and delight.

A whirring sound makes its entrance into the perfect picture of night. Mosquito sprays of death foul the air and corrupt the evening sensation. Gaseous odors flow easily with destruction their main objective. Eventually the air absorbs the fumes and the remains fall unnoticed upon the floor of the earth. Solitude and silence are restored - if only for a few moments.

A soft rumbling noise, barely a noise yet, brings forward images of a baby rustling against the soft baby sheets and warm footed sleeping cargo that encase the soft squirming body. A slight sound that brings to the surface a warm tingling feeling. Bubbling like soda pop.

Butter yellow and gumball pink lights explode behind gigantic white taffy looking clouds. The cracking soft as a kittens purr melts with the artistic painting making its way from behind the clouds. Night almost becomes day as the parade of lights continue to splash wildly against the blue black of night.

The toe garlic moon pulses with life while the not so angry light sprinkles fireworks for the audience. Thick chunky air begins to thin and sway with the rhythm of the storm. A musical melody as cymbals clash, drummers drum and the pied piper calls us all to follow. The toe garlic moon takes a bow and fades from the stage.
A slow salty tear trickles down the landscape of skin and smile to the destination of euphoria. An audience of one has experienced the essence of life.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Crimson at the Log Cabin in Port Richey, Florida along with Constantine, Milo and Linda.

Acceptable Risk

I'm reading Acceptable Risk by Robin Cook. It's so predictable - it's vomit provoking. It rates right up there along with V.C. Andrews books. And this book is on the New York Times Bestseller list. What? Are these people breathing in too much smog?

I'm so disappointed in this book and Robin Cook. I'm glad it was borrowed and not purchased, although my time has been stolen for reading this slop. The San Francisco Chronicle has a blurb about suspense mounting as you turn the pages. I must be turning the pages the wrong way or too fast. I have found no suspense just predictability. I am now about 3/4 of the way through the book and the only suspense I have felt is when I left the book out in the rain.

Why do I continue to read this fluff? Perhaps because of my addiction to reading. The summers almost over and my reading supply is running low. I could go to the library. I could do many things. I could put down this book. Is the 'Salem Witch' trying to tell me something.

The book suggest that a dead relative is trying to communicate to a family member and tries to give the illusion that the 'Salem Witch' is watching. I have created an image that appears to be watching. Maybe it is a former (dead) relative leaving me clues or sending me messages.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Training Turtles

I have 6 water turtles and one land turtle. They live in my backyard and have a good life. I sit by their enclosure and watch them for hours. It's great therapy and they all have a different personality. Cooter - a Florida Cooter (hence the name) is the most friendly and aggressive and I think she's a girl. Big Al - a red eared slider is a boy and a bit of a wuss, something went wrong in his childhood. He used to eat right our of my hand but now he hesitates. Cracker - a Cumberland slider is friendly and inquisitive. Romeo and Juliet - yellow bellies are buddies and like to sun themselves, I think they are both boys? Scarface - a red eared slider is the baby and he is bold and goes where no man has gone before. He is the first to try something new.

I have two ponds and the gang can travel back and forth on their own free will. When I clean one pond they all have to be moved to the second pond and this is stressful for them. So, I have decided to train them to move their own carcasses to the other pond without any stress. And it is working. They are exploring their habitat and loving it.

I place food in the pond where I want them to travel and they comply. It takes awhile but I am expecting them to catch on and go a little faster. Sitting and watching the turtles is relaxing and very Zen like. It makes the fast paced world slow down a little bit and remember the race between the rabbit and the hare. Who won? Slow down and enjoy life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weeds are my friend

So I'm starting to believe that weeds are really my friends and not my arch enemy. I look at my lawn and after all this rain it's green. Still water restriction on watering lawns - rain is ever so helpful. Yes, I realize that most of my lawn consists of weeds - but they are green weeds. And if one doesn't get too close to inspect my green lawn - they will never know that the green comes from weeds.

And some of those weeds sprout delicate yellow and red flowers. It looks like I have a flower bed planted throughout my lawn. Put away those spectacles and don't look too close.

Green is good even if they are weeds. Mother Nature must know what's she's doing by having these weeds grown all over my lawn.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Don't Pee In The Pool

I feel like I'm turning into a Howard Hughes basket case. Germs, bacteria and other icky stuff has been on my mind a lot lately. I think it started with the swine flu that is no longer called the swine flu - it's now called numbers and letters of which I don't remember. They changed the name so the association of pigs and health hazards weren't confused. The flu is the flu.

When I go to the grocery store I use the sanitizing wipes and clean off the shopping cart. Takes me ten minutes but I feel better. You know who sits in that little space by the handle and sometimes that diaper could leak yucky stuff and land on my cart. Better clean and safe than sorry and sick. And then that moving belt by the cashier. I get ill just thinking about placing my groceries on that belt.

So I started being wary of people in public that look or acted sick or were picking their noses. I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse. When using public facilities I wash my hands and open the doors with my shoulder so as not to touch dirty knobs.

I have been using gallons of hand sanitizer, washing my sheets in hot water and scrubbing the house with Lysol. Recently I read that you should not share towels. Body crud and other disgusting microns attach their deadly selves to the towels and then jump on to the next person that uses the towel. Do I want my spouses flaking body particles on me? No.

Many hotels are now leaving little notes about reusing towels and sleeping more than one night on the same sheets. They claim it saves the environment. I may be saving the environment but am I placing my health in jeopardy?

From this day forward I will make housekeeping leave me extra towels. I removed all my pool towels that dry on chairs outside after usage (sharing towels again) and washed them all in hot water. I'm using lots of hot water lately. Can't wait to get the electric bill.

Today I read that 1 out of 5 people pee in the pool. OMG! When urine mixes with chlorine it forms a new agent that can attack the respiratory system. Now I am wondering about my asthma. I'm thinking public pools have just been wiped off my list.

So is this how it started for Howard?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Playing in the Pool

Ron's favorite pastime.

Forever Florida - Orlando horseback riding, Orlando Nature Tours, hiking, camping

Forever Florida - Orlando horseback riding, Orlando Nature Tours, hiking, camping

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Training Tigress Woods

Golfing is her specialty and she is only 8 years old. Move over Tiger Woods - you have some competition. She works diligently with the First Tee. Her scores are terrific. And she wins!

The First Tee is an amazing organization especially for children. The volunteers are supportive and energetic.

Roger is Kayla's coach, mentor, supporter and friend. Way to go Roger - thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work Kayla.