Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The sky has been cloudy and dark in my world for a while now, but things are starting to lighten up. I haven't posted to my blog since the fire at Osborne's in October. It seemed that things were going from bad to worse. September brought Katie's drowning at Wolf Lake. November brought Lori's son's suicide. I was afraid it was going to get worse, so I didn't write. I guess that's a writer's block of sorts.

It's Christmas Eve eve and I'm feeling a tiny bit optimistic that things may be getting better. I hope this season of "Peace on Earth" applies to my world. God knows I'm ready for some!

Then, there's the New Year. Despite the gloom and doom preached by the economists, I'm blessed to have a secure job with benefits and a salary that allows me to afford my mortgage. My heart breaks for those families going through foreclosure. Many of them bit off more than they could chew, and in many cases, they were manipulated to fail and didn't know it.

I'm also hopeful that our new president will deliver on his promises to make our country better. I do, however, worry that the people who elected him will forget what their responsibility is in all this. It really is up to us to hold Washington accountable for the choices they make and the actions they take. It is a time for change which will require that all of us work very hard and watch out for each other if we're to make it happen!

Someone once said that "there is no key to happiness. The door is always open." I think that's true. Very true. And, my Christmas wish is that others will know that, too!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The north side entrance, where customers parked
and entered Osborne's.

The back of the building.
A fire fighter chased me back behind the yellow line.

Osborne's Hardware Store caught on fire last week
and this is all that's left.

It's kind of hard to imagine downtown Davie without Osborne's. And, that's just what we said two years ago when they closed down. The family still owns the property, but they moved the store to New Smyrna Beach. They couldn't take the overcrowded highways and impersonal attitudes of the people who were moving into the area. Which is totally understandable.
This is a family that opened their business in the 1950s during a time when there wasn't much more in Davie than their hardware business, a grocery store, a couple of offices, a feed store and a multitude of orange packing houses and dairy farms. In that era of south Florida's development, traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Davie was a day long trip. It was a different time and Davie was a different place.

I know the Osborne's. Cindy Osborne and her husband opened the business way back when. Her daughter, Cindy Lou, ran it up until the time it closed and she was assisted by her daughter, Kimberly. They offered all manner of hardware and specialized in those things you couldn't find at Home Depot or Lowe's.

I know things change. But, do they have to change like this?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Katie & Mike at the Key West Conference, July 2007

Mike & Katy, one afternoon last winter.
She was all dressed up, looking so pretty!

Mike & Katy --- Katy was the best Teddy, the Turtle, I ever had!
Last week was one of the longest weeks of my life. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the truth: it was a week of death.

It started on Saturday, September 20. I got a phone call at home that my boss’s 19-year-old daughter had drowned. To say it was a shock is truly an understatement. It blew my mind. The first thing I did after that phone call ended was to call my own 21-year-old daughter at college and make sure she was alright. She was fine and I counted my blessings.

Monday, the 22nd was the twentieth anniversary of a life-altering experience. On that day in 1988 my beloved husband stabbed a young man because he thought the boy was my lover. He wasn’t. He was a friend of my then-18-year-old daughter.

The police took my husband away to jail and emergency medical technicians took the boy to Broward General where they misdiagnosed his three stab wounds. By the time they discovered their mistake, the boy was brain dead. In Florida, the law required he be connected to life support for 72 hours, so the family held vigil while we all prayed for a miracle.

Wednesday, September 24 of this year, my boss’s daughter’s funeral was held. I never saw so many people, young and old, paying their respects to her memory. There were photographs of her all over the funeral home and as I sat in the midst of this crowd, I was overwhelmed with grief, old and new, at the loss of these young lives filled with so much promise. Now, as then, I could not make any sense out of the randomness of it all. Why her? Why him? They were so young! They had their entire lives in front of them! Why? Why? Why?

On Friday, the 26th, I was feeling downright morose. It was on this day, twenty years earlier, that a beautiful young man was allowed to quietly leave this world for the next. And, an entire new chapter unfolded for me and my family. A chapter filled with depositions, court hearings, trials and sentences. It would be another three years before I would find any semblance of normalcy in my life.

Today, as I look back on last week’s events, including two anniversaries and a funeral, I am struck by their similarity. While one was a crime and one was a horrible accident, the pain that follows that kind of loss must be nothing short of torture for the parents, family and friends of the departed.

They may never know, but I pray for all of them, every day.
I wish I could do more.

NOTE: I liked taking pictures of Katy & Mike. It was clear that they loved each other and enjoyed their relationship as Dad & Daughter. I'll miss seeing Katy. Especially with her dad.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

There can't be much to say about this day of remembrance, except to remember where I was at the time this occurred. I was sitting on the foot of my bed, brushing my teeth as I readied myself to go to work at Old Fort Lauderdale when the first plane hit. I was watching the Today Show and Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, with very somber faces, announced that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. A split screen had Matt and Katie on the right and the single burning tower on the left.

Another plane ran into the second tower and exploded. As millions of people watched on their TVs, just like me. I stopped brushing my teeth. And, said out loud, to my dog, " This is no accident." I sat there on the foot of my bed, toothbrush in one hand, crossed legs completely still, glued to the images on the TV for about two minutes. Then it hit me. I spoke, to no one in particular, not even my dog. "There's going to be a whole lot of people who are gonna go through what I went through." That was what I thought about in that moment. The senseless, stupid loss of a loved one was going to pervade the lives of who knew how many people... I know this because I've been there. I've had my entire life turned upside down in a split second because of the stupid, senseless choice of another human being.

For me, it's been almost twenty years. For the victim's families of 9/11, it's only been seven years. While time does make it easier to bear, time doesn't erase the hurt. I'm not sure anything ever does. Meanwhile, we must keep on dancing, doing whatever it takes to survive.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin's Hair

They say the best offense is a good defense, so let me begin with a defensive remark: I am not attacking feminism or women's place in the world. I think we have just as much right to be president or vice president as any man. I know men and women think differently, but we have way more in common than we have different. Of this much, I am certain!

With that touchy issue out of the way, I've gotta tell ya' ... Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, needs to do something about her hair. It was the first thing that struck me about her appearance when she began appearing on the web and on TV last week after McCain released her name ... here was a lovely woman dressed as a professional right down to the eyeglasses, and her hair looked like an afterthought. Twisted up and clipped as though it were too much work to pin it up in a bun or french braid it or (Gasp!) wear it down and loose around her shoulders. Puh-leeeeze! C'mon, girl! Get with it!

I googled her photos and sorted through whatever came up, and photo after photo looks like the one you see here. Not polished. Not stylish. Not presidential at all. I didn't write anything though. I started thinking about writing on Sunday and Monday, but I said to meself, "No. Wait. Let her make her convention speech. See how she looks then."

So, I waited. And, what a disappointment. Oh, her speech was good. I'll give her that. But, her hair didn't look the least bit presidential. Sorry, kids. It really is an important issue for a woman executive. Appearance speaks volumes. I remember Annette, from the Mickey Mouse Club, singing the song about "beauty is as beauty does." A woman who doesn't take time with her hair may not take time with other things that are of importance to me, the average, ordinary American citizen.

The stylists are arguing that Palin might be a 'little too long in the tooth' for those tresses of hers, sparking yet another ongoing discussion among middle aged women: to cut or not to cut after hitting 40. Yes, long hair evokes youth, but long hair after 40 flirts with desperation.

Last night's speech, while inspiring and clearly targeted at her opponent, rang hollow. If it was me, and I was addressing the Republican National Convention just to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, I wouldn've gotten a haircut (or trim) and a professional styling. If she did get one or both of those things, I couldn't tell. Yeah, yeah! Her hair was down, but it didn't look presidential to me at all! And, if the truth be known, I want my President to look like The President of the United States of America. Pure and simple!

I'll be watching to see what she does next. And, I'll be listening very carefully to her and her new buddy, John McCain. They surprised me once. Let's see if they can do it again!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In The Pink ...
I've been looking through my photographs from the last couple of years, and I stumbled on this one. I had forgotten all about it until I saw it again, then I remembered ...

I am really bad about taking pictures from the car. I know it's so declasse for "photographers" to do that, but I just can't help myself. When I see something I like, I want to capture the image and keep it!

I remember taking this one well, because it was such a surprise find. My darling husband and I were in Miami, just sort of wandering around, and when we came around the corner, POOF! There was this pink Volkswagen and a pink building and I grabbed the camera and did a point and shoot! And, here's what I got!

I like it ... I hope you do, too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My friend, Janet ...

Yesterday I spent a few hours with an old friend. We had a wonderfully fresh lunch at Mango's on Las Olas Boulevard followed by a personally guided tour through the Museum of Art where my friend is among the winners of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists... for the second time...

Once we'd completed our tour, we were off to her studio which is hidden in a warehouse district just south of the FEC railroad tracks. She had just acquired a huge collection of art and papers from the recently deceased mother of a friend the night before our meeting and it was a reverent yet delightful experience to see and touch this woman's things as Janet poured over them, sorting them into piles. There was a small plastic bag filled with cut-out egg shapes, each one with a random series of numbers typed in the center of the egg. Janet says that "obsessive compulsive" artists are the latest trend. The eggs are proof that these people exist, but I'll be very curious to see how she uses them in her collages.

She had nine of her pieces on exhibit at the Museum of Art and what I liked most about her work is its simplicity of design and sense of history that holds each piece together. One revealed an ancient, moldy book spine combined with a piece of an old envelope while another contained a rusty shape she'd scavenged from a dumpster somewhere. These objects would be totally meaningless if they'd been left as they were, but in the hands of this amazing artist, they are transformed to something else ... something that is all about design.

I enjoyed my amazing day and send many thanks to my friend, Janet Gold. We don't see each other as often as I'd like, but when we are together, it's always inspirational to me and way too much fun!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our ballet teacher, Erica, is leaving town. I brought my camera to the final class and captured this lovely image after class was done. During the center work, I got frustrated with myself because I couldn't complete the combination and got all teary-eyed. I think it came from the realization that she was leaving us and there would be no more ballet class.

Erica has been our teacher for a couple of years now and we've thoroughly enjoyed having her show us the "Cuban way" of dance. She made it look so easy when she demonstrated the moves and she cheered us on to dance, even when it was difficult. It isn't often that you find someone as young as Erica who understands how we "middle aged ladies" long to dance and leap across the floor and feel the power of ballet. It's good for your head and your bod! We're sure gonna miss her!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

bLuE noTes

Life's been a wee bit chaotic these past two weeks. Family stuff, you know? The "makes me crazy" kind of family stuff, that is ...
My darling husband and I have been going to the Starlight Musicals at Holiday Park on Friday nights this summer. It's like a big living room at the park with live music and lots of friends. Each week has a theme, like last week was Jimmy Buffet music by a local band and there were tents decorated like Key West and women wearing parrot hats. This week's theme is "The Blues" and I can hardly wait. It'll be music that suits my mood.
What's really sad about these two difficult weeks is that I've had no time for art. I'm really feeling it, too. I promise that tomorrow I will do something artful to make myself feel better.
Meanwhile, keep on keepin' on ... right?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

Tuesday, July 1st was my darling granddaughter's
sixteenth birthday and we took her to dinner
at The Cheesecake Factory where the waiters
sang "Happy Birthday" to her ...
After dinner, with very full tummys, we took a walk
along Las Olas Boulevard. Here's some of what
my camera and I saw ...
Chico's has these rather stylish mannequins and I
couldn't resist taking their pictures ...

The shop window below, was beautifully arranged and
lit so that even at night, it was picturesque.
Don't you just want to go in and lay down
to sleep, perchance to dream?

See them? (BELOW)
The one with the glasses? That's my granddaughter.
The other one is her Best Friend Forever.
As they exited the shop, a young woman came out
and told me I couldn't take pictures. Hmpfh!
As if ......................... !!!

It's been a rather strange and somewhat bizarre week.
It ended nicely though, don't you think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Obama Tidal Wave

"It ought to begin by being personal."
--- Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail."

I read all of the e-mail messages that come from friends and acquaintances when they're about Barack Obama. I, too, had doubts about him when he won the Iowa caucus in January.

I am taking the time NOW to investigate who he is and what he's about as I move to make my selection of the person I think can best do the job of President of the United States of America. I take this very seriously and do my homework!

I am currently reading "The Audacity of Hope: Reclaiming the American Dream" which Obama wrote and published in October 2006. I am impressed with his writing and the organization of his thoughts and related experiences. I watch, read and listen on a daily basis, about Obama and McCain. I hope that you do, too.

Click here: All Things Considered : NPR

McCain's 23-year-old daughter has a blog about traveling with her father's campaign. It's from her point of view, and it provides some insight into McCain in a "different" leadership role --- the role of "Dad." Go visit.

Click here: McCainBlogette.com

If you have not already heard, Obama has set up a "rumor control" web site in response to all the internet gossip. Personally, I think it's an idea whose time has come. Below is the link. Check it out.

Click here: Fight the Smears Fight the Smears Home

John Adams & The Constitution
I watched every episode of "John Adams," the HBO mini-series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book about our second President and Founding Father, and I am in awe of what all the Founding Fathers did to create the Land of the Free. I have read and re-read the Constitution of the United States of America, which provides a way for us to govern ourselves, and it, too, is an astonishing document, still relevant and operable two hundred years after it was first "published."

Click here: HBO Films: John Adams

Click here: LII: Constitution

Obama appears to embody the spirit of the Founding Fathers. He believes he can do the job of President and it's up to us to decide if we agree with him. It doesn't mean that I've made up my mind to vote for him. I am a registered Republican who is somewhat disillusioned with her party at this point in time. I AM checking him out, trying to get to know him.

I want our next President to be very smart and very well educated. I want a President who understands the economics of our country and the global economy. It's changing rapidly and a technically savvy President can guide us through the maze of changes we are, even now, experiencing. I want a President who is not afraid to talk to the leaders of the other countries. We must engage in dialogue and diplomacy if we are to spread the idea of Freedom upon which our Founding Fathers built our country. Our President does not have to agree with those other guys, but he needs to be talking to them and listening to them ... remember the thing about "keeping your enemies closer"? Our President will be smart enough to do a thing like that.

I want a President who knows that "getting the right people on the bus" is essential to a successful journey. Please check out the 3-page "Good To Great Discussion Guide" and you'll find a sense of what Obama is doing as he prepares to run the business of the U.S. Government. It's a really BIG job to be President, and I really want a President who has his stuff together!

Click here: Welcome to Jim Collins.com

I invite everyone to examine the ideas I've presented here and to share your ideas with me. We have a few months to prepare ourselves for the "Final Hire" on voting day, so join me in the journey to November.

It'll be fun!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm a tree hugger ...

I live in Broward County, Florida, which is located between Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County. Broward's name was made famous by episodes of "Miami Vice," when Crockett & Tubbs chased the bad guys up I-95 "to Broward."

The tree in this picture is the only one like it that I've seen anywhere. And, I promise you that, not only do I get around the county, but I pay attention to trees! I took this photo while waiting at the stop light at Andrews Avenue and North 2nd Street. The property belongs to the City of Fort Lauderdale, but hasn't been used since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It's been shuttered ever since and I wonder every day as I pass by it if they will leave it when they decide what to do with the property. I've seen developers cut down trees with absolutely no regard for the wildlife that might reside in them, the oxygen they produce or the beauty they add to our world, so my worries are based in reality.

I love trees of all kinds, even the "invasive exotic species" that are on the hit list for NatureScape and all the environmental protection people. I understand the reasoning behind the efforts to remove them, but some of them are truly spectacular and should be left for Mother Nature to take down (as in Hurricane Wilma). This tree, though, doesn't look like it's going anywhere any time soon. It's not too tall, it has a wide trunk, and the way the branches are constructed, I think it would take a licking and keep on ticking!

I love this photo. I am discovering that the photos shot quickly, like this one while sitting in traffic, come out the best. If only I could figure out how to duplicate that process so more of my pictures looked like this one! Ahhhh! The mysteries of life ...

Friday, June 6, 2008

... and your point is?
I love pencils.
I have cups filled with them, sharpened and unsharpened.
I have a Mason jar that is filled with colored pencils that I use almost daily.I have an old-fashioned hand-cranked pencil sharpener and I wouldn't trade it for all the electric sharpeners in the world. They just don't do the job as well as the old-fashioned kind do. My favorite leads are soft, 1 or 2HB. I like the way they spread the graphite on the paper, especially when the paper is smooth and shiny. I've collected pictures of pencils from the internet as long as I can remember and decided to just play around in PhotoShop this afternoon. What you see above is the result of that playtime. If you like pencils, too, I encourage you to visit Pencil Revolution.
You'll find lots of great pencil stuff to look at and read about!
Happy Friday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

southern belles & artists

Southern Belles & Artists Southern Belles & Artists Southern Belles
Southern Belles & Artists Southern Belles & Artists
Southern Belles & Artists
Southern Belles & Artists

No blogging for almost a month. No time to take pictures.

No time to gather my thoughts.

And, now, two blogs in one day.

Now, if I don't write anything profound, does that make it NOT art?

There are no descenders in the title. Just a typographic observation...

PlaYinG around in PhotoshoP

I took the photo (top) from the car while sitting at the intersection of U.S.1 and Old Griffin Road (and, yes, there is a "new" Griffin Road). When I got it up on the computer, I found I really like the image, so I started messing around with Photoshop's filters.

The black and white imagebelow is what happened after I applied the "ink outlines" filter.

The color image illustrates what the "graphic pen filter" does to the image.

Kinda cool, huh?
The filters give the photograph a surrealistic quality, making me think of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane back in the late 1960s. Things look different from what they really are.
Now, I must ask: is this art?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pineapple in Paradise

See the pineapple plant? Well, that little baby started from a pineapple top I put in the ground four years ago! FOUR YEARS AGO! It seems a lifetime ago!

I had planted a dahoon holly tree and thought it needed some company. I remember the day, a Saturday in April, 2004, because I wrote about it in my garden journal. The dahoon holly was just barely two feet tall at the time, just a little twig of a thing, and it looked so lonely there next to the clothesline pole.

I just happened to have a pineapple I'd purchased from the grocery store for an upside down pineapple rum cake I was making. So, the next day, Sunday, I decided I would see if what they said was true: that you could put the top of the pineapple in the ground and a plant would grow.

Well, gosh and by golly, it is true! Today the dahoon holly is well over four feet tall (it's a slow grower) and lookee here! lookee here! My pineapple plant is growing a pineapple!

Last year I was utterly convinced that I would never see a pineapple. I had pretty much given up hope. I checked my garden journal each year to remind myself when I'd planted it, and nothing. Then, this year, I didn't check my garden journal for I had decided it was pointless to do so. And, look what happened!

I am just so impressed with Mother Nature! It's sort of like cloning, if you ask me. All it takes is the remnant of the fruit and after time goes by, you get the same fruit all over again! My goodness! But, that does seem quite miraculous to me!

I don't know how long it takes for the fruit to get big enough to eat, but stay tuned! And, you can be sure I'll be digging out my upside down pineapple rum cake recipe!

Monday, April 14, 2008

4 x 4 FRIDAY

Rebecca is 79-years-old and has been one of my theatre-family friends since 1992. She commented at one of our many get-togethers that we are "Framily." There's a group of us who have known each other for ages and we gather for each other's birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms and funerals.

I discovered a weekly art competition, "4 x 4 Friday" and found the current theme inspirational, so I put this little diddy together for this week's theme, FAMILY.

Visit http://4x4friday.wordpress.com/ to learn all about it! Meanwhile, enjoy my "art."

Easy Come,
Easy Go

One day this rooster showed up at the office door. I was certain he belonged to someone, but how do you find the owner of a rooster?
Beats me!
So, I had fun watching him as he pecked around the parking lot, looking for something to eat.
A week went by and I figured that when I returned after the weekend he'd be gone. But, on Monday morning, there he was! So, off I went to get some chicken feed from the local feed store
He hung around for nearly a month and I managed to take a few pictures of him that will make their way into my photo album, but one Friday morning when I came to work, he was gone. When I asked the boss if he'd seen the rooster, he said, "Oh, some guy showed up this morning before you arrived and claimed the bird was his."
So, my little friend was taken away before we could say goodbye.
I have his photos, though, and I'm glad he visited for a while. Maybe it's better when friends come in and out of your life unexpectedly like that. There's a kind of joy in those new relationships, and a special kind of sadness when they're over, but the memories are yours to keep, along with the pictures. So, like the title says, "Easy Come, Easy Go."

Friday, April 4, 2008

On the road
to the weekend!

I was just sifting through the computer folders that hold my many photographs. Sometimes I'm amazed at how good some of these pictures are. It's a funny thing with taking photos; the photographer "sees" one thing and the camera "sees" another. It's when the two are the same that the art part of photography occurs for me.

This photo I shot on my way to work one morning in March. Along Viele Road there are horse ranches and high zoot homes on 0ne-acre lots and it's really a beautiful road to drive, especially early in the day when there's not much traffic. Anyway, it was a foggy morning and out of the mist came these geese, just tooling along, oblivious of the rest of the world. I had the camera with me, so I pulled off to the side of the road, got out and started shooting. With a digital camera, you can never be sure what you've got until you get it up on the computer screen. Imagine my surprise when I saw this cool shot! So, here it is for all the world to see! And, now I'm off for the weekend, like the geese in the picture ... not quite sure where I'm going, but really joyful to be headed that way! Cheers to all!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A nostalgic moment ...

As long as I can remember, I have loved ballet. When I was a little girl, maybe five or six years old, my mother enrolled me in Mrs. O'Laker's dancing school in my hometown of Hopewell, Virginia. And, how I loved going to ballet class! It was my escape from the pain of childhood ...

We had to wear black leotards and pink tights with pink ballet slippers and my mother got me a little pink bag with the silhouette of a ballet dancer on it. I can clearly remember my excitement before each class, knowing I would get to wear my "dancer's clothes" and do plié and jeté, and at the end of class I could try to do a pirouette (to whirl or spin). I remember the day I did a complete pirouette and Mrs. O'Laker didn't correct me or scold me for incorrect technique --- It was a day of complete and utter joy!

I've taken ballet classes off and on for years. Today, some 50 years since that first pirouette, I am still doing ballet. Twice a week I don my black leotard, black tights and my pink ballet slippers and I take class with retired ballerinas who dance much better than me. But, one thing is certain: no one dances more enthusiastically than me! I may not be able to do double pirouettes because of an old ankle injury, but the single I can do is done with as much precision and good technique as I can muster!

I don't have any illusions that I'll dance on a stage, for that's not why I do it. I do it because it feels so wonderful! I love the barre work and I am challenged by the center work. For the hour or 90 minutes of class, I am so busy thinking about which way my foot should point, is my elbow up, are my shoulders down, am I holding my stomach in and lifting up out of the rib cage that I simply don't have time to think about anything else. Ballet is as good for my head as it is for my body and I simply cannot imagine life without it!

The photograph above was recently given to me by an aunt. I'm the tall one. The little girl is my cousin, Sharon, and we were "ballerinas" one day while our mothers were doing whatever it was they did when they got together. The little boy is my brother, Jim, and he is still a superhero and cat lover. He has four cats at his apartment and has always had cats ... as long as I remember.

I have a little mobile hanging over my desk of a dancing fairy with a pink ribbon tied around her waist and little charms with these words:

There ARE shortcuts to happiness
and DANCING is one of them!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gas Guzzlers

I took this picture from behind the wheel of my car while waiting at a traffic light. You can't see the light because the truck blocks my view. It's interesting that this oversized Chevy truck has a Hummer logo on it along with a tiny little bumper sticker above the license plat that reads, "Hi, I don't care, thanks." What do I know about the owner/driver of this bully? I know he's a bully from Indiana and I'll be real happy when he goes back to Indiana. We get so many of these jerks here in Florida and we're supposed to smile and be nice because they're "tourists."

Hmph! Tourist, smourists! He's just too big for his britches if you ask me. I drive a little Saturn that gets 26 miles per gallon and I get pushed out of the way by these bullies on a daily basis while driving to and from work. I try to be gracious and just get out of their way, but sometimes they irk me and I want to slap 'em!

One more month (give or take) and the tourists and snow birds will head back north.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Google "BLOG" = 701,000,000 entries

Nobody's read my blog yet.
At least, I don't think they have, because there's been no comments.
Otherwise, I've not a single, solitary clue how to tell if anyone has been here.
Then again, I didn't start this blog for anyone else. I started it for me.
I needed someplace where I could write about whatever I feel like writing about.
So, there!

One day, maybe, I'll send a link around to some of my friends.
But, maybe I'll find a way to insert a counter first.
That would be helpful, wouldn't it?
Yes. It would.
I paged through some of the "blog" entries listed on Google and, oh, my! there are blogs of every kind out there! Politics, economics, government, artists, writers, blogs about blogging and, of course, the "celebrity" blogs. Gimme a break! If you're a celebrity, aren't you already getting enough attention? What do you need a blog for? Jeez, Louise!
Well, there's my entry for today. I'm still trying to figure out how to be more creative with the photos ... onward!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring has Sprung, Part One

My darling husband showered me with gifts in February. For Valentine's Day he gave me a beautiful heart-shaped ring of rubies and diamonds. I have never received a gift like that before! And, for my birthday, he gave me a wonderful Nikon D80 digital camera and I have been snapping photos ever since! Here's one I took last Saturday --- and, as you can see, the clarity and colors are just amazing. I had been using a Kodak DX7590 (5 megapixels) and I was truly happy with it. But this Nikon (at 10 megapixels) just blows me away! The orchids were from a vendor in attendance at a big historical festival in Davie and I kick myself that I didn't have any money to buy one or two. They were $5 a piece for chrissake! I did, however, get some beautiful photographs of the orchids, so that will have to suffice for now. My next task is to figure out how to load more than one picture at a time to my blog. Hmmm... maybe there's help around here somewhere ...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

a lost hour ...

It's the first Thursday in March and with my early morning cup of joe came the meteorologist's proclamation that this Saturday night we would move to Daylight Savings Time. Oh, joy. That means when I get up Sunday morning at 7:30 to go through the Sunday paper, it won't be 7:30, it will be 8:30. I'm usually done with my Sunday paper by then so I can take care of whatever it is I'm supposed to take care of after I read the Sunday paper. You see, Sunday is the only day of the week where I have the time to leisurely journey through the newspaper. I love the newspaper, but real life gets in the way of reading it on weekdays, so I resort to reading it on the internet during the week and eagerly anticipate the Sunday edition, at home wearing my pajamas and drinking my fresh-ground, home brewed coffee. I like the weight of the paper in the plastic bag when I pick it up from the driveway. I like the smell of the ink on paper when I remove it from the plastic bag. Once I have my coffee cup in hand, I switch on the lamp with its energy saving bulbs, don my red reading glasses and begin to disassemble the paper. The front page. The Local section. The business section and the art & culture section. The classifieds and the travel section. And, joy of joys! the weekly circulars from Target and K-Mart and other local stores comes under separate plastic wrap, just waiting for my purusal.

I put them in the order I like to read them and then I begin with Page One and don't stop (except to go to the bathroom!) until I'm done. The entire process usually takes about an hour. But this week, because I will lose an hour of my life to Daylight Savings Time, I suspect I will have to perform the abbreviated version of reading the Sunday paper.

I like the extra daylight at the end of the day that comes with Daylight Savings Time, but I don't really get to enjoy it for two or three weeks. You see, that's how long it takes my body to adjust. I wake up every morning two or three minutes before the alarm goes off. My internal clock works really well. But it won't be working for the next few weeks. I'll be thinking it's almost 5:30 AM and it will really be 6:30 AM and I will be late!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rainy day in sunny, south Florida

In my all-time favorite movie, "You've Got Mail," Meg Ryan's character declares her love for daisies, saying, "Daisies are the friendliest flower." And, they surely are. Which is how I feel about the world today. Life's like a daisy --- friendly. But only for today.
Today there are no traumas, no crises, no problems that are in desperate need of solving. Today is one of those days when I got my work done at the job and now am confronted with the cold, hard fact that I have to get myself busy making valentines as St. Valentine's Day is only two days away, leaving me exactly one day to do the job!
It's downright ugly outside today. Today (a Tuesday) we have a "warm front" moving across the Florida peninsula. Tomorrow a "cold front" is supposed to sweep across the state, "ushering in cooler air." Last night I watched a newscast from Chicago and their high temperature was eight degrees with 10 to 20 mph winds. The temperature here might (and, I use the word "might" very loosely) ... might reach into the sixties. How I love this paradise where I've lived since I was 24. I'm accustomed to the summer weather, and so, don't complain about the heat. I don't complain about the rain either. I would, however, complain loudly if it were eight degrees! How does one function in that kind of weather? There's no way you could don enough clothes to stay warm, even if you wore cashmere and fur! I wouldn't last three days in eight degree weather, no matter how much I might like a place. I liked Montana ... in June. I liked the NC mountains ... in July. I liked Colorado in August. But there's is no way I could handle that kind of cold day after day. Not this chicken! I'll take a rainy day in sunny, south Florida anytime. I'll take a Florida cold front anytime they pass this way. And, by Friday, we'll be singing, "Here comes the sun!" (Can't you just hear the Beatles refrain?)

Friday, February 8, 2008

birthday blues

Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn't a very happy one though. And, then, this morning, before coffee was drunk, my husband became quite agitated and angry and he was, once again, bashing me, mocking me, belittling me and there was no way to talk to him.
He is so very unhappy, and he seems to think/believe that somehow it is my responsibility to make him happy. Dave (darling husband #3) thought/believed the same thing. And, for reasons I cannot explain, I do not agree with this way of thinking/believing. One person is not in charge of another person's happiness.
I have one of those hokey wood placques from the 1980s that has a "saying" on it that has hung somewhere around me since I acquired it in the 1980s. It has a picture of a sailboat on a calm lake --- very peaceful looking --- and the quote is: "your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself."
I really, truly believe that. Really.
Yet, one after another, I find myself involved with men who hold others accountable for whether or not they are happy.
I just don't get it.
Hey! I'm not happy right now because dh#4 was ranting and raving at me this morning about how unhappy he is in his life. He has to "put up with" my dog, my two cats, my birds, my children, my grandchild, me ... and all he wants is his "privacy." What exactly could this mean? Have I overlooked that he is anti-social? Do I recognize the behaviors of an alcoholic who blames everyone around him/her for the mistakes? How does it all fit together?
Perhaps I'm just not meant to be married. It seems that being married requires that one must give up one's identity. He wants me to become so immersed in his life that there is no place for what I care about, no room for my interests, no time for the activities I enjoy. I thought I was doing that. But, I guess not ...
How silly is this: he's jealous of my dog sitting on my lap. The dog is loyal and faithful and loves me as only a dog can do. My dog accepts me as I am, never asking for any more than I'm willing to give. And, my husband resents the attention I give to the dog. He also resents the way the dog follows me and is never more than a few feet away from me when I'm home. THIS is what he wants! Unfortunately, he's a man, not a dog. And, you just don't treat them the same way. The dog is a dumb animal, dependent on this human being for food and shelter. The man is not a dumb animal and should be independent, able to provide the essentials for himself.
I've given my best. But, I know that sometimes in this life, even one's best is not enough.
I'm tired of being lonely. And, that's pretty much what I've been here lately.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the next day

I dunno.

This is like watching a TV show and being able to comment on the script. I see my granddaughter, who is street wise way beyond her 15 years, struggling to fit in with her dad and his rules. He took away her cell phone and she is on restriction for I don't know how long. He imposed these things because she lied to him, telling him she was one place when she was at another place. I asked him, "What can she do now that you've isolated her from everything? She cannot talk on her phone to her friends and she cannot go anywhere." I tried to lead him to understand that isolating her is not punishment. It's isolation. He is cutting her off from everything. No friends. No social interaction. No activity outside of school. And, it appears he's not providing her with any kind of companionship. How very lonely she must be ...

He's coming over tonight, to pick her up and take her home. I've asked him if we can talk together a little before they take off. Please let the wisdom of my age provide me with the words and actions that will serve them well.

Pretty please?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

my granddaughter is a rebel

I just got off the phone with my 15-year-old granddaughter's father. He's not my son-in-law, because he never married my daughter, but he is her dad. Anyway, this kid is in a lot of trouble. She just recently came to live with her dad after going through a whole lot of crisis type stuff with her mom that included skipping school, smoking pot, shoplifting and lying. Her mom wasn't able to deal with her and they apparently came to blows over something. So, now she's with her dad.

He's got her in a special school for kids with her kind of problems, but the system isn't moving fast enough. While he waits for help for her, she's lying to him about things and doing stuff she shouldn't be doing --- like smoking pot and sneaking off to meet "friends" he doesn't think are good for her.

She's going to be staying at my house tonight, until he can get himself together and think it through. He's already been in trouble with the family courts for the way he's expressed his anger towards her in the past, so he's very cautious about being with her when he's upset.

I'm distressed because I don't know how to help this child. I love her very much, but I'm also aware of how manipulative she can be. She learned it from her mom. Who learned it from me.

Where do we go from here?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Florida Flu

Photo right: a 3-D model of the flu virus

I caught the flu from someone, somewhere last weekend. Maybe they didn't know they had the flu. Or, maybe they were just beginning to feel bad. I dunno ...
The only place I went was Wal-Mart, with my husband on Saturday afternoon. I didn't hug or kiss anyone since I didn't see anyone I knew. Why, I didn't even shake hands with anyone. But, by Sunday afternoon, I was down for the count. Having NOT had the flu since 1997, I was completely caught by suprise. I laid on the sofa Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, taking Motrin for the body aches and headache and moaning and groaning about feeling so awful. My 3-day weekend for MLK day went away. It was "sick time" for this old girl. When I was finally able to get on the computer again, I thought I would look it up and see what this flu crap is all about. Here's what I found: The flu is a respiratory illness caused by infection of the Influenza virus which belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family. Infected individuals usually experience a rapid onset of flu symptoms which typically include: muscle aches, high fever, head ache, chills, fatigue, dry cough and runny/stuffy nose. Symptoms begin within 48 hours of infection and generally occur suddenly; recovery from the primary infection may take up to two weeks. Flu complications can involve secondary infections such as life-threatening bacterial pneumonia or pneumonia caused by the Influenza virus itself. Reports estimate that annually five to twenty percent of the population of the United States becomes infected with the flu with over 35,000 deaths related to complications each year.
I had no clue how bad it is to get the flu. And, that little thing about pneumonia scares me. I did have pneumonia in 2004, over the long Thanksgiving weekend and I learned that it leaves damage on your lungs that never goes away. Pret-ty scary stuff ...
My timing for becoming ill seems ironic, doesn't it? Why can't I be sick Monday through Friday? Oh, no. Not me. I get a break from the everyday, run-as-fast-as-you-can rat race of a job I love and what do I do? Yard work? Nope. Catch up on my laundry? Nah. Clear my always overflowing in box? Not on your life!
Thus far in 2008, I have managed to acquire food poisoning for the New Year and flu for Martin Luther King's birthday. I wonder what February holds for me... President's Day is a "legal" holiday. Will this be the long dreaded bad cold? Or worse? Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I hate underlining

Well, I have been all over the place here trying to figure out how to eliminate the underlining from my post title. Can't find a damned thing that I understand! All this time I thought it was easy creating a blog, then along comes this annoying underline feature and I'm ready to take a ball bat to my computer! Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It's bad enough that people write in ALL CAPS --- long diatribes on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness --- all written in caps which take twice as long to read. Then there are the lovely individuals who use script fonts in all caps. I just love those guys and gals! What are they thinking about? Someone! Please! Tell me!

But, underlining is the most annoying typographic treatment there is because people don't use it properly. And, today, I'm just not in the mood to explain why! Just suffice it to say, I hate underlining.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The post-holiday, mid-January, they're making me crazy blues

It's Tuesday, the fifteenth day of Janaury. Jeez, but it took me long enough to get here, didn't it?

I created this blog back in December with the intention of providing myself with a place where I could write about the things that matter to me and, often, not to anyone else. My intention is to write something at least every other day. I've enjoyed visiting those blogs where the artist creates a new piece of art every day and posts it for sale. Well, I don't have any illusions about being an artist, but I think writing every day (or so) is an important exercise to improve my skills and help me get through all the junk so I can get to the "good stuff," whatever that might be.

So, there you have it. For now.