Monday, June 21, 2010

Escape from Alcatraz

The turtle pond is getting a much needed makeover. Actually the whole thing is being reconstructed by hubby. He is so good. The old ponds were removed and a temporary pond was set up for the little buddies. The non-permanent pond was placed in the side yard in the full sun with a buffet of minnows to help them cope. Turtles - at least my turtles do not like any type of change or movement of their habitat.

I go outside to check on the buddies and give them some veggies and I notice Scarface the youngest and smallest is AWOL. Never underestimate the climbing power of turtles.

I am in panic mode. Oh no another lost turtle. I thought I had lost Jim the box turtle but he was found safe and within the confines of the fence. We run around the yard in search of Scarface. Horrific thoughts scrambled inside my head. The road, the traffic, the dogs and other predators. I was sick. My baby exposed to all kinds of terror.

He's no where in the yard. This throws me into a total panic mode. Where could the little guy have gone? And then out of the corner of my eye ( without contacts) I see a small rock two driveways down. The rock moves and then so do I. There was the little darling just sunning himself in the neighbors driveway.

I picked him up and gave him a thorough tongue lashing and placed his sorry little butt back in the non-permanent pond and covered it with a screen. Their new home should be finished by late today.

Goats on the roof

I like tourist traps - the tackier the better. Like Pedro at 'South of the Border' in South Carolina and 'Hole in the Wall' in Utah. 'Perry's Nut House' somewhere in one of the New England states - don't remember which state but I remember the store. Bought the kids t-shirts that said - 'I escaped from Perry's Nut House'. They are just a fun place to visit. I found another tourist destination in Tiger, Georgia. Tiger is near Helen, Georgia. It was cute. Beyond the cute I bought this really, really awesome t-shirt. On the back it says - "Old Goat's Wife'. LOL. 'Goats on the Roof.'

Besides memorable t-shirt's they have Amish food -mmmmmm. The cheese curd was heavenly. Fantastic Amish furniture and Goats on the roof. Yep, a roof covered with grass and goats a grazing on them.
And the website plays dueling banjo's - scary - very, very scary. I think they have a t-shirt that says - 'Keep Paddling I Hear Banjo Music.'

Mine for gems at this fantastic location. Get some red Georgia dirt on your hands. Wash off the dirt with some homemade 'lye' soap.

Anyhew - ifn your in the mountains of northern Georgia, Tiger, Georgia to be exact - git r done and visit 'Goats on the Roof'. Don't forget to feed them there goats living on the roof.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coupon Craze

You would think an innocent trip to the grocery store would not become a nightmare. Well, that's exactly what happened to me this morning. Actually it wasn't quite a nightmare but an insult - same thing.

I paid for my groceries and the clerk hands me back the receipt and coupons. I'm always on the look-out for coupons. One is salad dressing - okay - I'll use that one. And the next coupon is for adult diapers. OMG!!!

I look down to see if any bodily fluids are dripping down my leg. Negative on that one. I sniff to see if perhaps I have a fluid waste odor. Negative on that one. I know my roots are showing but hey what does that really mean?

Do I look like a person that needs depends? Have I aged that much since I looked in the mirror this morning? Is the cashier just being a smartpass? Wait I think the coupons come out automatically.

Is it that grocery stores believe that at 7 AM in the morning that only senile seniors buy groceries? My embarrassment is tremendous. Perhaps the surveillance camera caught me using the restroom three times while shopping and thought I needed some assistance. Whatever - that coupon is going straight to the trash.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Code Red

Being Floridian flatlanders - I guess we be knowning not much about them their mountains in Georgia. We see this sign that says 'Soapstone' Welcome - Free Information. So I'm thinking it's a 'Welcome' center to the Georgia mountains.

It's about 9 AM and the gate is closed. HMMMMM. There is a very nice gentleman in front of us in a truck. Perhaps he is a mountain man? He gives us the code to enter the gate and in we drive. #1003 Mountain man in the truck is nowhere to be seen. We start driving around looking for a building and we see nothing but houses and an office that says Real Estate Office.

Now we're thinking this ain't no Welcome center and off we go back to the gate to exit the premises before we are abducted. Hubby punches in the code #1003 and nothing happens. Often he gets confused so I get out and punch in the code. Nothing. The gate is motionless. So here we sit in the truck early in the morning on private property where we obviously do not belong stuck on the wrong side of the tracks or locked gate.

I look at another sign that states - Video Surveillance - we are watching you. Okay. I look around for the hidden camera and it must be hidden up on a tree limb or something. So I start to do jumping jacks so the fool sitting in some windowless room watching the surveillance camera sees we are in distress. Nothing. No gate movement no security force descending down upon us to toss us out.

I instruct hubby to hop over the fence (8 feet) he's a good athlete and try the code on the outside to see if the gate opens. He sprints (not exactly) over the fence. He punches in the code and the gate opens and I put the pedal to the metal and hit the road. I think I hear the sounds of banjo's behind me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The travels of Tuffy

It was the last day of dog sitting ‘Tuffy’. He was still in one piece with everything still attached. I think he had a very happy week at our house. He was fed, petted, played with, went in the pool, went for his nightly walk and got to sleep at the foot of the bed. He even played with the cat and didn’t get his eyes scratched out. Getting him to swallow his medicine was a different story but it was done.

I was feeling bad that he was left in the house all day with the television on and the cat that despised him. Not much to do all day but miss your family and wonder why they left you with almost strangers with the cat from hell. Sometimes I wonder what pets really think about. Tuffy accepted us but I could tell he missed his real owners.

So, for some unknown bizarre reason on the last day of Tuffy’s visit with us – I decide to take him for a ride in the car. Do I know if he likes car rides? No. Do I know if he will behave in the car and not throw up? No. I just felt that he needed a diversion from the cat and a lonely quiet house.

Off we go into the wilds of the Florida highways. Driving in Florida can be a dangerous encounter. Those old people get confused with the brake and the gas pedal. Get out of their way – is a good motto. I’m driving down a fairly busy and chaotic road with Tuffy in the co-pilot’s seat. I’ve got the air blasting in his face blowing his long curly ears in a wild looking fury. His tongue’s hanging out and he has all the appearance of have a great joy-ride. And then – for a reason that has not registered inside my jumbled brain his windows rolls down. Holy Moly! I swerve – slam on the brakes and drive off the side of the road. I receive strange stares from passer-bys. They probably assume I’m one of those old farts that can’t remember which pedal is the gas and which is the brake. And all the while Tuffy is hanging out the window and I go into a panic mode. Did I bring his leash? No.

I grab his collar and pull him back inside. How in the hill did that window go down? I push my button and roll it back up. Tuffy has survived. I pull back on the road and proceed with caution to our destination. Tuffy jumps back up at the window and his little white paw lands on the armrest and down goes the window again. AHA!!!! He knows how to push the button. Where is my childproof lock system on this car? Wait –he’s a dog.

How can I drive home with him in the co-pilot’s seat trying to escape? And me the driver being clueless about childproofing my car – oh what a dilemma. I reach over and pull Tuffy on my lap for security reasons. Now I can’t see the road. I wonder if I could put him in the trunk? Probably not a good idea. One more day and I need to keep him unscathed. I put him in the human seat belt and head for home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Raspberry Lemonade

There are times in my life when my self-esteem, self-confidence and my fragile ego takes a nose dive down under. Way down to the bottom of the ocean floor where plankton live, pirate ships rot and strange creatures survive. Sometimes I just amaze myself with what I cannot do.

Today I was having the munchies and the cupboards were bare and it was my first day of summer vacation. I had a need that needed to be fulfilled. I know the difference between wants & needs. I needed-wanted raspberry lemonade – desperately - I was craving it big time. Raspberry lemonade is definitely on the needs list.

We have frozen raspberry lemonade in the freezer and we have this awesome big green Margarita machine. Do I know how to use it? No and no again. So my ineptness with using machines and television remotes curls up and bites me in the nose. Off I go to the store to purchase store bought raspberry lemonade - not to be confused with the raspberry lemonade made in the big green Margarita machine – the one that I don’t know how to use.

We all have to make sacrifices in our life. I do know how to use the ice maker and add shaved ice to my delicious raspberry lemonade. Well, maybe not - but ice cubes will suffice. Now, if only I could work the remote for the t.v. I could sit back, relax drink my raspberry lemonade and chill.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blue Heaven

I don't know why I expect life to be fair, an easy ride and smooth sailing. But it isn't. I keep waiting for a day without issues, heartache and total calmness. It eludes me. So I search for my own little piece of the pie somewhere inside myself and move on.

The news is beyond depressing and I sit by and watch as our wonderful earth is destroyed by greed and stupidity. I view the creatures that are dripping with oil and wonder - why do we let this happen? I try to be responsible - but others take no responsibility for there actions or in actions. Is the bottom line just money?

Newspapers add to the doom and gloom of the world. A focus of positiveness is hard to find in the reading material. So here I sit typing away my grievances and it makes me feel a little better or at least points me in the right direction.

And then there is the ever present family dilemmas. Oh - for a reprieve.

Today I am happy because.....
1. I got a real cute haircut last night and hubby thinks it's sexy.
2. No school today or for the next two months.
3. The Internet is no longer down.

I have so much to be happy about that my list is almost endless. If only the bad stuff would fade away with that last school bus pulling away from school with a boatload of students. HA!!!

The Blue Heaven appears right before my eyes. And I drift away to a place that is a combination of tranquility and craziness.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This time

You know it's going to be a bad day when you realize you put on your undies inside out. Two hours after the fact the realization hits you. How could this happen?

CRS, SFB, or just plain riding in an elevator that never quite makes it to the top floor. Been waiting for a dream to seep into my life. Would the wind be at my back? Could I get you off my mind - this time? Jonathon Rhys Meyers. Some times concentration fades away to plethora. Plethora is such a vomit provoking word but it fits the thought.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. But for the life of me I can't remember what? Hurry through life and miss those small opportunities like the sliver of moon that I witnessed this morning hours before the sun woke up. Out there in the unknown shining upon the King of the earth. If one doesn't look quick they could miss the opportunity.

It's the first thing you see when as you open your eyes. The last thing you say as your saying good-bye. Something inside you is crying.... If you hadn't found me I would have found you. Elgar/Something Inside - Steve Erdody & Jonathon Rhys Meyers - from the movie 'August Rush'.

So switch out the tighty whiteys and start all over again. Focus. For once in my life I was the king of the earth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Allegory of an alligator

An alligator walked into a middle school in Tampa the other day. The staff locked him in a bathroom. Perhaps – just maybe this gator heard about the great education students in Florida receive from their underpaid and over worked teachers and wanted to learn. So what do we do but lock him up. Don’t even think about his creativity and persistence of getting into a school without his inoculations or proof of residence. Lock him up. I certainly hoped they checked the facilities to make sure no children were inside.

I would just freak out if I found myself locked in a bathroom with an 8 foot alligator and I had no hall pass. And then, the undone homework issue would rear its ugly head just like the gator before he snaps. I guess this is what one would deserve for cutting classes. It would be the last time a class was ever cut, especially if the you got caught smoking in the boys’ room and you were a girl.

I did that once – not smoking in the boys’ room or even getting caught – I just went in and took a peek at what a boys’ bathroom looked like. I was curious like the gator. The thing was in Catholic school you had to follow the rules. That was the one and only I broke and never did get caught. T.G.

Back to the alligator and his trespassing woes – today a smaller one was found in a parking lot at a Lakeland dental clinic under a car. Maybe the little guy had a toothache and had no insurance. Very similar to Pasco County Schools taking away the employee’s dental insurance plan - they might as well they have taken away almost everything else – let those teeth rot away. You don’t need teeth to teach.

That’s it – the alligator was applying for a teaching position.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Follow the yellow brick road

Life is like a roller coaster. Twists and turns, starts and stops, bumps and jerks, fast and faster, at times it can suck the breathe right out of you. Upside down and your adrenaline is pumping like the burst oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Wait - they have capped it - kinda - sorta - maybe.

Rolling along at the speed of sound with the wind pushing against your face causing lips to flap and a very bad hair day. The rush is on. A jerk to the right and then to the left. The G force has pushed you over the edge and back again. Then, the slow creep up the straight incline and you know what happens when you get to the top - down you go again. Faster and faster out of control.

The roller coaster comes to an end and off you go on to the next thrill the next uncertainty. Legs are a little wobbly but you adjust. Life itself can be wobbly and uncertain but so like the roller coaster it ends and we go on. We each have specific avenues of searching out and finding our peace. Some of those avenues may be positive and some may be negative. What you do after disembarking from that roller coaster is the pathway to the land of Oz or the depths of doom.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rules is Rules

Rues is rules. We all should obey the rules. Or at least pretend that we are abiding by the rules. There are rules for everything - even how to act properly. And rules should make sense and be justifiable. I do try to follow the rules. That is the posted rules - rules that I know about. Then, there are those unwritten rules. How does one address the unwritten rules.

Let's look at the swimming rules for the Florida state parks. Some seem senseless. Who makes these rules? Why are they not all posted? Are some rules made johnny-on-the-spot? Does a twenty year old lifeguard make the rules and then demands that his 16 year old underling enforce these silly rules? Rules is rules but still they need to make sense.

At Rainbow River state park you can only take snoodles in the crystal clear water. Why not floaties? At Blue Springs state park you can take just about anything. No rules are posted. Take one step outside the designated swim area and you are immediately escorted from the park. This rule is posted and is one I would never mess around with.
At DeLeon Springs state park you can take huge rafts In the water and take food and drink in the water. Where are these rules posted. At Weeki Wachee Springs the rules are well - absurd. When floating down the lazy river which is just a roped off section of the river you must STAY in the tube. No snorkeling. No swimming. No snorkel gear in the lap lane. Well that rule depends on which lifeguard you talk with. One said yes and one said no. Okay buddies - get your rules straight. And absolutely no congregating in the refreshing water on a serious hot day at the end of the lazy river. Why? You are just sitting in your tube enjoying the day and not exiting the water. No one is around and you are obstructing no one or the flow of the river. What gives with this stupid rule? Who made up this rule?

Is there a rule committee that decides these rules? What is there criteria? Do they have facts to back these foolish rules? Like sitting in a tube for five minutes in the water causes water pollution? I want consistency and facts with my rules.
But yet we have no rules for polluting our water and killing our marine life with oil spills. Rules is rules. We do need them but they need to be sensible.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Damn Birds

On so many levels the movie - The Birds' burns into your psyche. For most of us that have seen the movie (time and time again) it has etched into our thoughts that birds truly can be devious. We are like prey vulnerable to their tactics.

I'm getting this feeling that I am in a permanent Alfred Hitchcock movie of the birds. In my backyard - actually it's in my neighbors back yard but this tree has engulfed over into my space. It's a huge tree and provides some privacy. Lately the tree has become home to - the crows. Not just one or two but an entire flock - sometimes I have counted 12 black crows. They are loud and big. I suspect they could cart off a little yappy dog or a small child. Of which I have neither.

The tree has become this roosting spot and it is giving me the creeps. Unable to contain myself the other day I started to throw stones at them. Off they flew only to return a few hours later. They congregate and shriek at all hours of the day. I had thoughts of shooting at then with my b.b. gun but I am out of b.b's and that would be cruel.

Lately I have been noticing lots of crows in my neighbor, at the grocery store and along the road feasting on road kill. Too many birds with a bad attitude are invading my space. I wonder what they are conspiring to do? They seem like birds on a rampage. At times like this I am wishing I never watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie - 'The Birds'. Are they out to get us? Perhaps I need to purchase a little sports car to use as my get away vehicle.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Green Bike

The Green Bike

by Colleen Braun

My wheels are deflated and rotting away like my soul
that is shredded without any purpose. The chain is
rusted causing all movement to end like my feet that
are planted in a hopeless situation. A lonely green
bike is hidden away in the back of the garage like a
secret hiding so much pain and sadness. Open the
doors and let in the light, puff in some air spritz on
some oil. Embark on your journey and ride with the
wind like this is the beginning of life again. The little
green bike once broken and silent is revived yet again
and the sadness encompassing my soul has lifted with
the wind.

Look but no touchy

Life - there is no getting around it - until there is no life and that would be dead. It is so much easier to dwell on life than death. Our life is surrounded by smelling the roses -or in my case smelling the gardenias. And then there is the life that is surrounded by a blanket - wool blanket - of smothering proportions. Sometimes that is me when I can't breathe but then I whip out my inhaler and life goes on.

Back to the gardenias - one of my favorite flowers. Gardenias are fantastically and magically over abundantly fragrant. You can smell them miles away. Not exactly miles away but far enough. I have one on my desk at work. It's been there for four days and the aroma is still strong.

It arrived on my desk quite by accident. A student did a 'no-no' - bent the rules - more like breaking the rules right down the middle - and picked the luscious beauty right off the tree in the playground. Since I was enjoying (not really) my much dreaded recess duty very near the said gardenia bush - sucking in the sweet smell - the dirty deed transpired. If one has to do recess duty it is much-more-better doing it standing by the gardenia bush. In the spring it's the azalea bushes but they have no aroma. Or it could be that's when my allergies and asthma are in full swing and I can't smell a thing.

So said student picked the gorgeous white aromatic bloom - with this huge smile plastered on her little face - I understand the pull but she knows the rules.I'm sure she was mesmerized by the beauty and aroma of the gardenia. Kind of like when chocolate is placed before you and you have no will power and it is scarfed down in seconds. Will power or lack thereof is a scary thing.
Most flowers are wanna-be a gardenia's just like this flower in the butterfly garden at DeLeon Springs state park. It isn't even close to being gardenia status but it sure is pretty.

I confronted her about breaking the rules and she had no comment. That 'I couldn't help myself' was etched in stone on her face. Not wanting to toss the fragrant bud in the trash can it went straight to my desk. So her bad became my good. Hopefully we will have more rule breakers today as my most wonderfully fragrant flowering is drying up.

Words of wisdom - advice for the naturalists - words to live by or just plain nonsense. Stop and smell the flowers just don't pick them unless you want to make the recess duty very happy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Bluest Eyes

If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison

Very similar to - 'You can't fight city hall.' Or make love not war. Or - when given lemons make lemonade. Recently I have gotten hooked on raspberry lemonade. Yummy!!! Place it in the margarita maker and let er rip, pour it in a fancy margarita glass and let the imagination roll. Many times I have difficulty keeping the imagination under wraps.

So I sit outside in the heat of the day, melting like a marshmallow over a campfire - and sip my luxury drink and let my mind slip away. Actually my mind slips with out the raspberry lemonade but with the raspberry lemonade it slips into a much more tropical locale. And I have the bluest eyes Ms. Morrison.

Not that having the bluest eyes gets you much out of life but they are my favorite color and so is the ocean. I can see the connection. Sometimes my synapse's don't come together. While sipping away at my raspberry lemonade which frequently causes brain freezes I pretend I'm sitting on a beautiful peaceful beach with the lovely blue water lapping at my feet - but then I remember the oil spill in the gulf and I feel the sadness wash over me.

Take away my raspberry lemonade and my imagination but please don't destroy the oceans, the lands and the animals.

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Look thru the window

Get off the couch - go to the window - pull back the curtain - and look at life. It could be passing you by or floating away and you will never even know it. There is soooo much out there to see - enjoy - feel and become one with. Visit a state park and relax and appreciate all they have to offer. This weekend admittance to all National parks are FREE. Go for it.

Forget about the politicians who promise you the world on a silver platter when in reality life comes at us on a paper plate. And plastic forks that sometimes break and we have to improvise. Deal with the dilemma. Use your fingers. FLASHBACK!!!!

Out on a boating expedition once upon a time ago and I took Chinese take-out to munch on. We dropped anchor in the middle of the HUGE lake and started to dive in - to the food. Wait!!! No eating implements. You can't eat rice with the fingers. But you can scoop rice up with a broken fortune cookie.

Get out of the backseat and sit up front and meld with the world as it spins by you. Don't be left in the dust. Anyways - the dust is bad for your allergies and breathing in general. Suck up all that fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. Forget about the distractions and all the negativity that is piled up in your luggage. Open those drapes and live a little or a lot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fountain of Youth

We went park hopping this past holiday weekend. One stop was at Blue Springs state park in Orange City near Deland, Florida. It was awesome. Hubby went swimming in the crystal clear spring water (72 degrees). Is he nuts or what? After the swim he mentioned his hair was fluffy from the spring water. I never knew he even thought about his hair.

Day two we went to DeLeon Springs state park. The highly claimed 'Fountain of Youth' that Poncey is said to have found. I soaked my feet in the fountain of youth to mend my bad big toe. Big bad toe is still big and bad. I never win with lottery tickets either.

We rented a paddle boat to tour the river. Not an easy task to steer the boxy barge. I have this light bulb go off inside my head - it was dark and cloudy but no lightning yet. So it was one of my thoughts and not a storm. Well, sometimes my thoughts are stormy but.... I'm thinking we could paddle with a paddle boat up the Intracoastal waterway from Florida to North Carolina and get in the Guinness Book of Records.

We would need sponsors and lots of them. I would surely need to make a hefty profit off of this adventure to even consider it. Imagine being in the Guinness book of Records for paddling that far - in a tippy - uncooperative plastic boat. Perhaps it was lightning flashing and not my scattered brain.

While paddling with a group of other paddle boat enthusiasts - they came across a baby gator. That's him to the right of the photo. I wonder how many gators we would encounter on our trip up the Intracoastal waterway? Maybe I should think about the excursion.