Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Years Resolution

I am being 'Proactive' - starting early and getting all my ducks in a row. I am contemplating my New Years Resolution for 2011. My resolution for 2010 is almost complete. It was get healthier and STOP getting sick all the time. It has improved at least the asthma end of things the back is another story.

So my thinking quest for the next years resolution is producing excellent results. I am still in the fine tuning stage and it will be completed by January first.

It begins in the front yard. My plan or resolution is for my entire yard to take on the ambiance of a Key West cottage. I shall begin on the front yard and slide gracefully into the backyard to have a tropical oasis surrounding my abode.

I have made a suggestion to hubby about this but I believe the idea floated right over the top of his head. This will need some fine tuning. And he has done an awesome-awesome transformation on the front of the house. So I know he will produce fantastic Key West looking results in the front yard.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hubby and I spent Thanksgiving week at Sigsby in the R.V. park - the military base in Key West. My second oldest brother spends his winter life nestled among the throng of other snowbirds at this awesome park. The park sits right on the water at the end of the base. Total seclusion and quiet is what this place is all about. Well, not exactly. The residents or snowbirds who put down their awnings at the military base are quite a collection of individuals.

They come from all parts of the U.S. and all branches of the military. What they seem to have in common is their fellowship and giving attitudes. If one needs help setting up camp their is always a helping hand. Camaraderie at its finest. It's an amazing sight to witness - especially with all the selfishness surrounding our everyday lives. It felt good to be amongst people who cared.

On Thanksgiving Day we were guest to an enormous feast put on by the MWR. The only contribution was a dish to pass. We ate outside under a huge tent as the rain first misted and then poured down to earth. The company was interesting and ever so friendly. I was still in my impressed mode. 'Why can't we all just get along.'
Our holiday week was a true life experience being thankful for what we have and what we can pass along.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Hell

The holiday adventure took off on a happy note the sourness came later. I placed the little guy's doggie bed in the back seat of the car on top of a suitcase so he could have a view and he was well behaved. He barked once at a boat as we were crossing the Skyway bridge - other than that he was just about close to perfect.

Arrived at the hotel after dark and he did his poop - thank you goes to the poop fairy. The hotel was clean and the bed was ever so comfy with the little guy staying at the foot of the bed his doggie bed sitting empty on the floor. I saw no signs of bedbugs - always a good sign in a hotel. Good nights sleep and off we went the next morning to the Keys and paradise.

On the way to paradise I just had to stop at a sandal factory in Key Largo. I got out of the car and immediately wacked my toe on the cement curb. Ripped off the entire top of my little piggy wiggy toe and the sucker bled like Niagara Falls. Hubby found me a band-aid to cover the mess. It still bled leaving my DNA everywhere. Hurt a little also. Actually it hurt like hell. The store was nice enough to let me bring the little guy into the store. Bought nothing as the prices were quite high and the toe was bleeding all over the floor. Continued the drive to paradise.

The weather was awesome on that first day in paradise. A glitch to get on base. Were were sent to Boca Chica to get written and authorized-notorized- proof to enter the base. That took over an hour of filling out papers and interrogation. I stood outside with the little guy with his fold able water dish (awesome traveling tool) till my time to go inside and be admonished by civilians on a military base. In my confusion I left my precious water dish sitting in the parking lot and away we drove.

Thursday morning cloudy and misty. I took the four legged one for a walk along the beach - hoping for a poop out of him. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pain on the top of my foot. I looked down and there was this small black bug type of thing stinging me. I gave it a whack and continued the walk. It started to burn and swell up. I dumped peroxide over the wound which was red and swollen then plastered it with anti itch cream. I waited for the Rocky Mountain Fever symptoms to set in for my demise. Red bumps popped out all over the top of my foot. Life goes on.

Thanksgiving dinner was outside under a tent in the rain. The food was good and the company was intriguing. The speed limit on base is 15 miles per hour - a difficult task at times and always on the look out for speed traps - military.
That night the downpour hit us like a rouge wave - unexpected and not mentioned by the weather people. Everything we left outside was sopping wet including hubby's Kino sandals.

Hubby got a blister between his toes from the wet sandals so shopping was out of the question. His hiking boots were water logged so a search for dry shoes began on Black Friday. He ended up with an over priced pair of water shoes that most likely he will never wear again.

Live and learn - which we are not able to accomplish. The next night or the wee hours in the morning the monsoons came again and YES - we left stuff exposed. Vacationing in paradise is not always easy. Will we do it again? Yes, next month. Although next time I will watch where I am walking and bring lots of shoes and perhaps a tarp.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Please Poop

How sad and a little bizarre that our life has turned into this. Who woulda thought. Our life now seems to be controlled by an eight pound little rescue mutt. A few weeks after he came to live with us and become our ruler we celebrated by ordering pizza. Uncle Dave even came to meet up with the little rascal. The little munchkin was given pizza.

After a trip to the vets office, pills, prescription and less a bundle of money it was presumed the little guy had a delicate tummy. All table foods were off limits. I bought special dog food and life moved along.

Then, I made the fatal mistake. I gave the little bugger a piece of pizza crust. Can't remember what the occasion was for more pizza. But who needs a special occasion to order pizza.

So, the little guy snarfed down that pizza crust like a snapping turtle. A day later he was lethargic, crying (so pitiful) and very clingy. The light bulb went on inside my pigeon brain and I admitted to hubby about the pizza.

The watch begins. When will he poop it out. A search of the Internet begins in earnest. How to mend the tummy of a canine. Mineral oil popped up several times. Off I go to the store and buy canned dog food and mineral oil. Mix it together and wait for the dump. Day two - no poop. More mineral oil and more canned dog food.

More research on the Internet. Of course the little bugger can't get a tummy ache on a weekday - always a weekend.

Day three - more canned dog food and mineral oil. We walk around like fools searching for a pot of gold but in reality we are looking for him to poop. We follow him like a bad dream. In the darkness of the night we follow with a flashlight looking for a drop of the nasty.

Finally on day three it comes out. A little runny. Okay stop with the mineral oil. We are taking the little baby on his first trip across state and we can't have a dog with the trots riding down and interstate with no place to stop and drop a mess.

So we continue our vigil and watch him when he discards his remains in the back yard. Watching and waiting for the mess to thicken and life will get back to normal. Well - maybe. Then - what's normal. Certainly not following a dog around in the dark of the night with a flashlight waiting for him to poop.

So we have become vigilante poop inspectors. What a fine job to have and hold. Wait - don't step in that!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Do It!

I have no idea why the process takes soooo long. I stand outside at 5 AM in my nightgown in the backyard - sometimes very cold or raining - holding a flashlight hoping the neighbors are not watching the episode.

Why can't you just run up to a bush and let er rip? Like most doggies.....
No you take your time trotting out to the back yard and then doing a canvas of the entire back yard looking for the perfect spot. Come on - get over it - just pee. You've held it all night long. Do you really need to sniff every blade of grass? Walk - not run - from one side of the huge yard to the other in search of. What? It's just a place to pee.

Then, the magical spot is found and there is the tiniest bit of noise on the other side of the fence. Your doggie alarm voice blast the quiet morning. All concentration for that perfect spot is lost in a moment.
The neighbors lights go on. Oh NO!!!! Time for me to hide behind a bush. This nightgown is not the best.
I aim the flashlight at a place where if I were a dog I would pee. But -NO. Off you go again scanning the entire yard to piddle.

So the morning pee sometimes takes 20 minutes. UGGGG!!!! What will we do when we take you on vacation with so many strange noises and interruptions. How will the peeing ever take place? Just do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Klutzzz Syndrome

I am superb at performing odd twists of fate. Actually if the truth be told I may end up in the Guinness Book of Records on how to perform stupid fumbles.
A friend sent me this statement and it reflects me like a mirror. Although I am prone to breaking mirrors and then my reflection gets distorted - WHATEVER.

I scream the same way whether I'm about to be eaten by a shark or seaweed touches my foot.

So this morning I let out one of those screams. No shark in my bedroom or seaweed. Unfortunately my bedroom has a door frame - and a door knob - and a door which I promptly shut. On my left hand - hence the blood curdling scream. At least it was my left hand.

How does one do stunts like this? If I only knew! After one of these episodes I often never-ever do the same performance. I move on to other disasters.

Dang.........my finger hurts. It's swelled so I removed my rings. The knuckle will never be the same. I am hoping the pain will ease up and the puffiness dissipates. I mean like - I have to go to work today. I can't call in sick and say "Oh by the way I slammed my hand in the bedroom door." That sounds so made up.

At this moment in time I am typing one handed. How will I make it through the day?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Death by Drugs

How does one cope when life is rolling downhill faster than a vehicle out of control with no brakes? There is nothing to slow down or stop the descent. No barriers to catch the fall - no relief from the inevitable. Rolling down watching the world slip away - helpless - alone or sometimes not so alone. There are others out there to listen and offer words of encouragement when everything seems hopeless. A shoulder to cry on a leaning post of strength to grasp with gnarled hands. They have been there done that and some have lost.

The pain, frustration and heartache overwhelm the soul and turn our most precious seconds into absolute horrors. When you think things can get no worse of course they do. The light at the end of the tunnel has been extinguished. For some sad souls the light will never shine again. The pain the others are left with is at times unbearable.

Hope has shriveled up like melted plastic. Sunny days become nightmares in which we are unable to wake from. Death and destruction litter our lives. A supreme feeling of hopelessness and helplessness cloud our every waking moment. Life as it is turns into a heap of sorrow and so many tears. When will the painful journey end? And please make the end a pleasant experience. For some it is not. A red hot poker burns eternally in their soul.

Drug addiction destroys families. Such a simple statement filled with so much harsh reality and devastation. Sitting by watching the spiral into darkness of those we love darkens our daylight and forever changes how and what we feel. Reaching out for a tiny shred of hope and salvation keeps us going. The hurdles are many and navigation through the maze is a slow process.

Drug addiction is like a raging forest fire and we must put out this fire before the entire universe is burnt to a crisp. Today I have a little hope and faith tingling inside my soul that my loved one will be saved. How many others will perish? My sadness for those is immense.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tax Cut for Americans

I have devised a fail proof plan to lower taxes and improve our health. HHHMMM-----Why didn't I run for Governor of Florida. Wait - I am not a millionaire with loads of money to burn. I am a poor middle class(loosing ground quickly)individual who works my tail off. So my plans is....................

When one renews their license they need to be weighed and if they are not overweight they will get a reduction on their license fees. This promotes better health and less cost for our medical insurance and it will also increase jobs. We will need extra people to do the weigh ins. We can even go a step farther and drug test all potential drivers license renewals. If you are drug free including smoking your fees will be lowered. More people needed to run the drug testing means more jobs.

My next plan will be the grocery stores. Save all your receipts and photo copy them (more jobs in the ink business) and add them to your tax returns. The one who purchases the most fresh fruit and vegetables gets a tax break.

We move on to transportation. Every bike bought will come with a pedometer or bike-ometer and those with miles over 1,000 per year will get another tax break. Bicycle sales will go up producing more jobs. We could put pedometers on all sneakers sold and that mileage could be added to your tax break. Encouragement for children would be putting pedometers on skateboards and in line skates.

This is just my beginning thoughts on how to lower taxes and keep fit. My brain is running on empty and it needs a coffee break.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stump Pass State Park

There are little almost hidden pockets of Florida that still resemble the OLD or REAL Florida as some refer to the last small escapes. Stump Pass State Park is on the very end of Manasoto Key which lies south of Nokomis and Englewood is one of theses little quiet pockets of paradise. It is inconspicuously tucked away at the end of this key and is truly amazing.

Eagles fly over their kingdom while box turtles walk the hiking paths and move out of the way for no one. Herons strut along the beach within inches from visitors. Osprey stare down at you from their perches and flutter their wings. Dolphins put on a daily show close to the sandy beach. Little sandpipers skitter across the wet sand in search of a meal. Egrets pose for photos on branches stuck permanently in the surf.

Shells are placed on overturned tree roots either by nature or human intervention. Shells litter the beach like a lumpy carpet. Sea oats blow gently to the music of the wind. And of course always the nasty deadly sand spurs. The sand soft and cool beneath your bare feet. Except for the waves slipping along the shoreline and an occasional boat their is a supreme quiet that drifts across the land.

One can get lost in the beauty and the wilderness. A little piece of paradise snuggled next to the hustle and bustle of Florida. A reprieve of traffic, high rises and shops is most welcome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey - Hay

Winter is closing in upon Florida. It's cold. I retrieved my spring jacket and gloves from storage. I even put on a pair of sweatpants. The one and only pair I own. I can feel the coldness in the air. My thoughts wandered to my box turtles. The koi have taken refuge at the bottom of the pond and the water turtles are hiding under their overhang. All the critters including myself can feel the seasons changing.

I decided to place some hay in the box turtle enclosure so they can snuggle up and keep warm during the cold Florida winter, I trotted down to the Tractor Supply Store to purchase my hay. The last time I bought a bale of hay was a long time ago so I had sticker shock at the price of one bale of hay. I know all about inflation but this is unbelievable.

I used to buy my hay - one bale at a time - from a local farmer and it was a dollar a bale. At times I thought this was a little pricey. It's hard to price shop for a bale of hay.

My precious bale of hay was almost 7 dollars for one small bale. What? Is there gold in them there bales? Where is Rumpelstiltskin? The nice lady at the register informed me it was Coastal Hay. AND!!!!! Does coastal hay cost more than good old regular hay? Apparently so.

And I thought hay was hay. Come to think about it coastal hay is most likely absorbed salt from the coastal waters and could possibly be filled with a high sodium content. No nutrient labels on my bale of coastal hay. I hope the coastal hay doesn't adversely effect my little box turtles.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

King of the Hill

Sometimes you just know when to throw in the towel. The game is over. You have heard the fat lady singing. Time's up and you have lost. It's a sad feeling. So, now get over it - move forward - move on to the next stumbling block, brick wall and the always waiting next issue in life. Mark the last one off your list of things that will never happen - out of my control or comfort zone.

We did our best - we worked as a team - we tried several strategies - but alas - he won and we lost. Such is life. It was even two against one and still we came out on the down side. Perhaps we gave up too soon. Who knows? Whatever! We will accept our fate and live with the consequences. We learned a lesson. We found out who really is in control and in charge of us and our life. We know who is the boss man and who pulls the strings. Except for when we go for our daily walks then I am in charge of pulling the string.

Actually it is not a string but a leash and I have control. Such a little accomplishment but it makes me feel good. We did come out the victor in that scenario. Baby steps and be happy. He does know which side of his bread is buttered on - not - that we give him bread and butter.

I am glad that he has a happy life. Who knows what went on in his life before us? It's a give and take issue although we seem to be giving more and he seems to be taking LOTS. That's okay. He is now King of the Hill or King of our bed.

Our bed is large and we will just have to suck it up and share our bed with him forever. He's small so the space in the bed that he occupies is minimal. Thank goodness he doesn't snore. And who knows what his presence will do to my asthma or allergies? The fabric has been laid out and cut and he will sleep with us indefinitely.

The joys of adopting a rescue dog are many. Is it easy? No. Is it satisfying? Yes. Statistics says people who own dogs are happier and live longer. We are just rolling on the floor laughing due to the fact that the little mutt has commandeered our bed for his very own kingdom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I live in a tropical area and the weather for the most part is warm and sunny. With that warm and sunny comes critters. More specific - snake critters. Yes - I know that snakes have a place in society but I DO NOT like snakes. Actually they terrify me even the non-threatening species. To me all the species are threatening.

We have snakes that reside in our yard and most of them are black racers. The term 'black racer' means they move really-really fast. And don't ever try to corner a black racer. They are not nice. Many of the black racers that dwell near my habitat are very large. Which scares me even more. I have seen them jump and pop up like a cobra right at ya. This scares me even more.

I do my best to give them space and stay out of their way. They do their thing and I do mine - like stay out of their way. On occasion I see baby black snakes and they tend to scurry out of your way as quick as possible. I like that tactic.
The other day I was cruising the back yard - dressed in the appropriate flip flops with toes and ankles exposed to the wonders of nature. I saw a slight dark movement. I stopped. The teenager black racer was about 8 inches long and not very large. But of course I panicked. I stepped a little too quickly to get out of his way and I guess he felt threatened. The nasty little bugger reared up and jumped right at me. He set my emotions in motion. I let out my sissy girl screamed and jumped which frightened the poor snake even more. He was coming at me. Me dressed in flip flops. I made a fast exit out of the yard.

So in the wee hours of the morning in the darkness when the dog needs to tinkle and just can't wait till the sun shines away all the scary stuff - I creep around the yard. I have my flashlight and watch every place I put down my feet - still encased in flip flops. Maybe it would be a good idea to wear shoes while patrolling the backwoods of my yard in the wee hours of the morning so the dog can piddle. Life would be good if the dog could hold it till daybreak.