Monday, December 29, 2008

And the beat goes on.........

































Hope you are all surviving the season of our our indulgence. I myself am fried up, toasted oats and shaked, baked, frosted and salted. Done, finis. I am a creature of habit and schedule and all of this craziness and laziness does me in. Firstly, I get myself totally sleep deprived by participating in the hen party my Mom and I hold well into the wee hours and then resuming said party early in the morning. And bloated--can we talk? The food I looked forward to did not disappoint. My brother in law treated us all to a very decadent and delicious Christmas Eve dinner. And I ate the whole thing. Powerhouse Gym awaits me Monday and I plan to knock myself out. Bring it Trainer Tony!! I am including some pics for your giggle. How about that Mickey being a good sport and wearing his cute yet degrading reindeer ears. He totally worked his cuteness and figured out who to pimp for treats--Grampa and Aunt Lisa. Lola spent hours laying under the tree and enjoying the lights and such. The snow up north was incredible as witnessed in the pic of the snow cake, modeled by Carol Merrill. That said, I want to thank all of you, especially my faithful commenter's (xoxoxox!) for your support this past 10 months or so, and also for enduring my lengthy, Christmas memoir post. That thing took on a life of it's own! You have all inspired me by your generosity and humor. Love and Peace to all. xoxo P.S Happy Belated Birthday to my dear bud, Tim!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'll be home for Christmas......


For the first time in years, my whole family will be together on Christmas. On December 24, along with a few other " blessed " events, the stars will line up and we will gather to celebrate. For me, this means the 229.9 mile trek up to Ossineke on Wednesday afternoon, which is currently in winter wonderland mode. I bore quickly with the ride, but as we approach, I admit to getting quite excited. Isn't the anticipation one of the best things about anything celebratory? We will arrive on Christmas Eve where everything must be EXACTLY as I remember it to be. We will descend like rock stars with family in the window cheering and waving. (What? No holding up of lighters?) We will drop our coats like like kids upon walking in the door. Shoes will be in a giant, snow melting pile for someone surely to trip over. My Mom will probably organize the mess before anyone trips and takes a header. It will smell positively delicious as something good will already be cooking. Various beverages (wine!) will be chilled and waiting. I may have called from Oscoda (40 miles south) to insure this is handled, as surely I will be PARCHED upon arrival. Lots of scurrying about getting glasses, ice, corkscrews etc. will be happening and everyone will be talking at once--which is normal for us. We will then converge (cocktails in hand) to the living room to admire the tree. Some of us will snoop for gifts. Then upon settling in to our usual spots, someone will tell my Dad to turn down the t.v. so we can hear each other without the aid of microphones or megaphones. Various snacks will prevent us from perishing before dinner is served. (Mom, again!) Someone will get us all a second round. Although we all talk often, we still find plenty to catch up on. And we are forced to find new subjects because talking about each other,when we are all there, is impossible. I will tell Mom her hair looks great, (true) and Dad will tell me that it looks as though I have lost weight. (untrue.) My brother will regale us with tales from the Ford auto sales front and my sister will fill us in on the holiday parties that she hosted at her restaurant. My brother in law, the dentist and chef extraordinaire, will have some recipes of interest for me and maybe some dental triumphs. Dane's beloved dog, Mickey will patrol all areas and make sure to hoover up all dropped "floor derves." Soon it will be dinner time and the table will be set with the Christmas dishes and again, we will sit in our usual places. Mom will say grace and we will demolish the wonderful food. Then, finally, the plate of Christmas cookies will be placed on the table. No matter how stuffed we are, the flavors of the past will come flooding back. My Mom had to hide them from us growing up, or they would never have made it to dessert time. We may have peppermint stick or spumoni ice cream. Eventually, in a tradition as old as time, the men will convene to the living room and the women will clean up the kitchen. At last, Mom, my sister, and I can chat without interruption! In our next lives we want to be men and just walk away from all domestic chores. NOT-we are all girly girls and have long since resigned ourselves to the injustice of it all. Later we might crack some champagne and toast to our fabulous selves. Some of my aunts and uncles may stop by and maybe a card game will start up. Or we will just tell our tales. Invariably my uncle or dad will have ran into an old friend of mine but will be unable to remember their name. I will guess until the mystery is solved. Not much else will happen. Maybe the cookie platter will appear again and I will have just one more. Like most holidays, we all sort of drift off. Christmas day comes early and we will commence again. Mom and I will go to early Mass while everyone else consumes massive amounts of coffee. We will pray for their lost souls. I will try not to cry at the beautiful spirituality of the mass as well as the families dressed in their holiday best, worshiping the reason for the season. Growing up, we would go to midnight mass and there would always be big, soft snowflakes coming down as we exited church. There were beautiful light displays on the way, and my favorite was the yard done in all blue lights. But I digress, as long as the little children do not sing "Away in a Manger," I should be okay. My Dad will make his famous "slumgullion" (a bacon, egg, potato, and onion dish) when we get home, and all will be stuffed once again. My brothers 3 boys will arrive and Christmas can officially begin. The kids truly are the whole fun of the day. We have planned a treasure hunt that they must follow to collect their gifts. This sort of drags the whole thing out and fills them with excitement. There will be moments where you will not be able to hear yourself think. Finally the gift segment of the day is over and we can commence to more food and drink-not necessarily in that order. If my Gramma Iola doesn't make it over, we will go and visit her. I treasure every year that we still have her with us. 94 years young and still hangin' tough. Rumor has it, she has made me my favorite, Norwegian cookies--berlinakrauncers. We will probably reminisce about the old days when we had Christmas Eve at her farm. She will marvel at how many details I can still remember. Then back to Mom and Dad's for yet another feed. Everyone will be crashing around the kitchen trying to get samples before dishes hit the table. Repeat last nights routine. Some one will wonder what time we are shoving off the next day, and we will probably decide on that. The weather will be checked to make sure we are not risking life and limb. In the morning, we will pack up and head out hopefully taking the left over cookies--if any are left. 229.9 miles later we will be home and start in on our own family celebration--a much quieter event. Dane will check to see what damage Lola has done to the tree in our absence. As things wind down, I will reflect on what a great holiday it has been. Nothing changes, really, thank the good Lord. Merry Christmas to all. Peace and Love, xoxoxo

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Raining Men........


My dear blogfriend, "the walking man" has inspired me to write about gay rights. Regarding "calling in gay", in which WM's post explains rather logically and eloquently why it is not really up to us to judge, but rather accept all choices as a matter of human rights. By calling in gay, we could see how much and how very equal ALL people are. We would miss having our favorite bankers, actors, store clerks, real estate reps. etc. to make our days run smoothly. Please read his writing on this subject. It is right on and inspiring. Now, for a more emotional plea. Why, in God's name, could anyone have issue with gay marriage or gay rights? It's human marriage and human rights. All of my life, I have attracted and been attracted to friendships that could be considered on the fringe. I have been called a bleeding heart, underdog champion as well as that trendy, but insulting term--fag hag. Rather than labeling my friends as anything but friends was more the way I viewed it. I treasure these friends not for the exotic birds they may be, but as the unique, individuals that understand and are comfortable in their own skin. It makes for such a rich relationship when those layers can be peeled back and you can get to the good stuff. Kinda like a fresh, steamed, artichoke heart--understanding the thing lets you get to the heart of the matter with a hot butter bonus. A treasured friend has explained to me that he is not my "gay friend", but my friend who is gay. He doesn't wish to be identified by his sexuality any more than I do. The same friend also answered my question as to why I seem to attract such a varied group. His answer was that my acceptance of all people radiates from me and draws in people like a moth to a flame. I am trusting and trusted. It was probably the biggest compliment I have ever received. I have a uncle and his partner that have been in our lives since I was a child, and they are accepted as a loyal and loving couple. In fact, they have lasted longer than most hetero unions I know. Growing up, it was accepted as different, but okay. I was the "best woman" in a marriage of two of the most in love people I have ever met. The ceremony was touching and reverent and the day was joyous. All vestiges of "normal" nuptials were present--just with better decorations and music. The trials of everyday marriage seem to effect us all, across the board--but the genuine love and respect is evident. Two of my friends that married in San Fransisco have adopted a child born of a very disadvantaged mother, and have given her a loving, stable home. I used to babysit my friend when HE was adopted by my neighbors and now he has done the same for his daughter. How could anyone deem that this couple are not fit to parent this baby that would otherwise end up in the inadequate foster system? They love her wholly and I could not be more proud of them. (Check out his blog at The Daddies' Chronicles.) What cracks me up is the blockheads who think that the everyday banker, gym trainer, or landscaper is not gay or worse? Uh, HELLO. One in nine is the stat used for numbers on this reality. And who ever cares? I have heard a crude but true little ditty that says on this regard, "it's your mouth and I don't care if you haul coal with it." the quoted person means it--he truly doesn't care. Or how about the fools that somehow associate pedophilia with being gay. Totally unrelated. But as usual, ignorance breeds hatred. My mom would probably break the whole thing down to this simple thought, "if you can't say anything nice, than shut your mouth." I usually would agree to that but in this case I would prefer a different tactic. Please express your support as often as you can. We are One Human Family--a Key West motto. And as an old hippy, I maintain, all we need is love. xoxo P.S. A get well shout out to my darling Michelle (Michelle's Spell) who had an unfortunate surgery. Her creative and inspiring writing is missed as well as her lovely photos. Get feelin' better luv, we miss u. xoxoxoxo Dane says, "hopefully they gave you morphine." Damn kid! xoxo

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shoobeedo.....


Most of you probably don't know this about me, but I will let you in on my little secret. I am an inventor. A very frustrated one. Well, actually, it's no real secret and I have been professing such a thing for years-- to anyone who would listen. Time after time, I have thought of so many practical things, only to have dragged my feet and let someone beat me to the punch. Sometimes it's only tweaking the products already out there--always improving on a tired idea. Only sometimes has necessity been my motivator, with frustration being my "mother of invention". Let me share. Now this is a good one. How about a loaf of bread that is half white and half whole grain for us multi-manna challenged families? I buy both types and we don't finish either before it's a medicinal green. That way instead of throwing out some of each at the end of the week, consumption would work out more timely. Or a crystal-like soap granule that you throw on your car WHEN it rains, that would lather, rinse and maybe repeat. No more cursing rain on your clean car--quite the opposite. Our licence plates could have a code number that we could use to call other drivers, immediately letting them know that maybe it's time brush up on their driving skills. "Hey, butthead, you just cut me off!", I could say to the offender. Or, how about, "all right, high-on, my grammas slow, but she's 94!"--for all of those that insist on 45 mph in the far left lane OF 94. Still workin' on that one and the road rage that would inevitably flare up. And the idiots who would just have to make comments totally unrelated to my (poor) driving. Oh, could there be Christmas lights that really hold up to their "guarantee"? 5 years, my ass. Those things go out--or half out within, say, the 2 weeks you have 'em up, and you never keep the reciept. It's enough to drain my already limited patience and make me hit the eggnog--HARD! AT TEN IN THE MORNING!! Can we put soles on my Nike cross trainers that hold up like Ruby Dee's tires? After 4 months said tennies wear thin, and they don't nearly traverse the miles she does. At 90 bucks a pop--it's a total racket. When you get half blind like me, I think it would be helpful if our money was really a different color. Kinda like Monopoly money. How about a hot pink one dollar bill and a purple fiver and an orange fifty? So simple, and it may prevent me from wildly over tipping after a few cocktails. It is silly to think that a child adopted from our own United States could be more affordable and accessible than a child from, say, China or Russia? I know. That's an observation rather than an invention. Could all my hair appliances have retractable cords--or better yet be cordless? The drawer of cords seems so unnecessary and slow up an already tedious process. How about photo i.d. on all credit cards? Wouldn't that make it harder to use the stolen cards? No more ciggies and tennies on my dollar, dude. Or just a thumbprint i.d.'er for everything, including Kroger, Rite Aid, and others requiring you to lug around those dumb store discount cards. My key chain is too cute for those things and my wallet can't hold 'em all. Problem solved. Most of my mornings start with my coffee carafe spilling a few drops each time I pour a cup-no matter how careful I am. Grr.r.r.r.r. It's not a good idea to stress me out when I am fiendin' for my morning fix. From Mr. Coffee to Krupp's, the problem is the same. Or maybe it's just me bein' all shaky and impatient in my gottahavecoffee frenzy--but still. Fix that thing! I'm thinkin' a pay channel package where I only pay for the channels I watch. I have 1000 plus channels currently, but only watch around maybe 30 of 'em. We could choose and pay for just the ones we want. Kinda like ordering off an ala carte menu. I have no use for cartoon networks, home shopping networks and PTL's, but I have to pay for around 40 of 'em just to get the channels I DO want. And how about me getting routinely checked at airport security. Xray'in my purse and shoes! You'd need to run a scan of my brain to see if I am really crazy enough to enact anything terrorist related. I could use my 2 oz. hairspray to blind the pilot if I was so inclined. As if the airport isn't terror enough. Besides, I'm usually all spaced out on Dramamine and yes, a few cocktails to pull off any sudden moves. And can I just grocery shop online and have a cute little dude show up promptly at my driveway, lug it all in, AND put it away. Maybe tie on an apron and whip up a little somethin'somethin' tasty for me while he's at it. If I had a dime for all the times I have gone Krogering, I could easily pay for this "invention." Debbie Meyer came up with Green Bags that allow my organic produce to last for more than 2 days. Hurrah! My hero. Now how hard was that? If she can do it, I can do it too. Please feel free to let me know if you think I am on the right track here. And be inventive about it, will ya? xoxo











Monday, December 1, 2008

Danke shoen.....



A belated Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. The holiday surely held all the best for us. My Mom and Dad joined us for the traditional feast--and I even cooked, with Mom's help. It was a success and we were all sufficiently thankful and sufficiently bloated. The triptophan did it's job, combined with the wine to make a sleepy, quiet evening. We watched "Waitress", and one by one, clunked out. Earlier in the day, my Mom (who was also celebrating her 70Th. birthday), helped me wallpaper my laundry room and my Dad and I engaged in (soft) political discussions. Normal. Just like I like it. Now comes a concept a little harder for me to consider "normal". Black Friday. Ya gotta be kiddin' me. Getting up at 2:30 AY EM to shop? Not a chance. Even I, who like a sale as much as the next nut ball, draw a line at such nonsense. Firstly, NOTHING, barring urination or an early flight to some exotic locale, could possibly lure me out of my white, down, cloud like, nest of a bed. Big deal on the sale items. Did I mention that you can't find a parking spot, and wait hours in line to check out? Like a bunch of lemmings lookin' all sleep deprived and glassey eyed and ready to drink the kool aid. I heard there was an actual death by trampling event, for real, at a Wally World in New York. The store closed for awhile, but then opened again at 1:00 p.m. for business as usual. God forbid that Sam Walton lose a few sales. Pitiful. So ya get 50 or 60 percent off. That shit would have to be free, and even then, I don't think I could launch myself into that fresh hell! Next week it'll be 40 percent off, with no lines and such. Also you can point and click for the same bargains with free shipping (mostly) and no tax on your order. I have to think my time has some value and I don't even have to THINK that my snooze time is more important. So in an event more suited to my lazy, slug self, I have chosen to participate in "Buy Nothing Day" and help do my part in the greening of the Earth by being less of a consumer. Cool. Noble cause easily accomplished by sleeping and buying nothing. I don't even need to run to Kroger, what with the vats of leftovers chillin' in the fridge. Beyond coolness. I am not even purchasing gas or running Ruby Dee today to further "green" and avoid possibly bruising Ruby with a shopping cart or a body. So what to do with a day all open and to myself? Pack off Mom and Dad, and get a shower. Contemplate the possibilities. Maybe a long, nap with Lola, followed by some reading. Then daytime t.v. followed by say, some cold stuffing. Possibly some extended musing. Chocolate will be necessary. Read till my eyes get tired. Doze again. Watch a movie. Break out the turkey. Snooze again till the Pistons. Have a glass of wine. Reflect on my near perfect day. And be thankful...xoxo

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yes, we have no bananas....


I read in the news that a school in New York was setting time aside for the children to "play". Physically and creatively. The old fashioned way, before computers, video games, and unlimited television. It seems that it has finally been noticed that the combination of these things plus shortened recesses and no mandatory gym class is having a bad effect on our kids. Ya think? Let's only hope it didn't take a gajillion dollar grant to research and discover the obvious. I have expressed a fear that upcoming generations would have very little physical prowess or creativity in say, 10 years. Seems all of our advancements and technological growth can be blamed for creating a generation of introverted, chubby, and socially retarded kids. Growing up, (I know--here we go again) in Ossineke, we had one t.v. and two channels. My dad would say, "Jodi, jump up and see whats on 4." Ten minutes later it would be, "Steve, run over and check whats on 7." And so the night would begin. The limited programming (and constantly changin' em) plus Dad's crummy t.v. taste would drive us on to a (gasp!) board game. That happened after we were all sweating from the effort of jumping and running to turn the dial. In addition to board games and cards, we would actually get paper and crayons and draw. I always had a book cookin' to turn to for escape and diversion. We had a small, neighborhood posse--all in similar situations with the telly, and we could count on 'em for bike riding, kick the can, red rover and all those hokey games that left you sweaty and physically challenged. We played outside constantly. This also fostered social skills involving sharing, respect and competitive spirit. We were lean and mean. My mom's monitoring of junk and fast food, soda and portions helped that cause. We had a log cabin playhouse (Dad built it) in our backyard that we played cowboys and Indians and Laura Ingalls Wilder scenarios, taking turns as to what the game would be. In school, recesses involved tether ball and jump rope. Gulping in the fresh air and stretching our legs running to our chosen event was as highly anticipated as lunch hour. And we actually went to the local library and the one at school. You got a library card--and explored books. I still adore the smell of books--both new and old and musty ones, too. It's no secret to anybody what a good book does for your imagination. That's why the books make into movies usually disappoint. But do kids even read anymore? Some do, I guess. When Dane got his first computer/and or video game, I insisted that he read a real book one hour for every two he held a mouse or joystick. He never minded and still is an avid reader today. We exchange books constantly and try to turn each other on to each others taste. It makes for some pretty interesting discourse. As kids, we were further abused by riding in the car WITHOUT WATCHING A MOVIE!! Again, I will trot out those old chestnuts like I Spy, The Licence Plate Game, and good old Slug Bug. Mom and Dad did not get any quiet time or breaks by letting us escape social interaction--not a headphone in sight. On those long drives to Detroit, they were forced to run crowd control and referee said games. Also remind my brother not to even THINK of touching me. Now this was "family time." We lived near a large gravel pit and spent hours excavating precious treasures. Like little Indians we scoured the Devils River banks for wildflowers and mushrooms. We snagged suckers. So are we better for it in our adult lives? I think so. At least our memories tell us so. Today, my sister owns and runs a fabulous restaurant, and is very involved in all it's creative processes as well as managing a large staff. My brother sells Fords and I don't think anyone would ever call him a sleazy used car salesman. He communicates very well and is able to speak to anyone. His interest in people is genuine and he works ethically. As for me, well, I muddle along trying to express myself in small ways. My blog, occasionally painting, interior design, and yoga. I've recently starting boxing and am the proud owner of 12 ounce, hot pink, boxing gloves. Old habits die hard. So, if nothing else, I hope our kids can find a way to create and stay healthy, or at least remember it that way. xo P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom xxoo

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What's your name?......


What's in a name? As kids we liked to annoy my parents by singing that song where you add a name and do the banana, fanna, fo fanna thing. Usually sung at the top of our lungs from the backseat of the car. It was particularly fun to use the Chuck name with the great resulting rhyme. Woo Hoo! We got to swear! I've always wondered about the inspiration for names, and put a lot of thought into naming my son, Dane. I tried not to fall into the most popular name trendy name, but not be too "out there" either. Needless to say, he was the only Dane that year and probably most years at Alpena General Hospital. Still unique, but totally suiting him. Recently, there was a local bust involving a house of "ill play-zhure." The named pimp of the place was a man with the telling moniker of Donjuando. For real. What did that mom expect her son to grow up to be with that type of handle? Laydees beware! And I don't even need to address the celebs with their off-the-chart originality. Their reality is kind of skewed, but at least they have the dough to pay for the hours of therapy that the poor tot will probably be needing somewhere down the line. Better them than me, is all I can say. In my life I have found it curious that I am friends with a Patrick Fitzpatrick, Paul Paulsen, and a Thomas Thompson. I can only guess that their moms didn't want to use an excess of letters, making life just a little easier for them. So, this brings me to Halloween night, where I made the acquaintance of a real life "Jack Dick." There he stood dressed as the bloated, fat, white-jump suited Elvis. The hot bar provided the necessary sweat to make him glisten very realistically, and I couldn't resist telling him that maybe he should lay off the fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He in good nature told me that would be no problem as long as the pills and booze kept comin'. He then introduced himself with his given name. My response was, "Trick or treat? Ha ha, that's funny." No dude, it's my real name. Seems "Dick" is a common name up north and unfortunately, Jack, is too. He shrugged it off and said it only holds shock value the first time. Hmmm.mmm. Isn't that true of most everything? I like names and their implications and have always attached a name to my cars and houses. I like the whimsy and personal identity and familiarity a name provides. The blog names we have chosen intrigue me and gives me a clue as to who we think we are. And the vanity plates around here are just crazy. When I visited Costa Rica, the ticos told me there was no such name as Jodi. They opted for "Julia", pronounced Whoo lee ah. Pretty exotic, huh. I saw on the Travel Channel, a south pacific island, (which one escapes me) that uses 7 core names, and they are based on your marital as well as social status. Yuck. Interesting, but not much room for creativity--which I hope never escapes me. I guess the moral of the story is you can say I can't sing the "banana fana" but you CAN'T say I don't know jack dick. xoxo P.S. Please let me know some of your more interesting name experiences! P.P.S.S One more day till the Madonna concert!!! xoxo

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's time for a love revolution.....



I have never missed voting in an election since my first one in 1976. That said, now let me say this--I ABHOR politics. It all began innocently enough. Politics were a given in our home. My Dad was involved locally and spent years as township clerk, and at the post of trustee. People would actually come to our house to register to vote. It was a family requirement for us to be aware and thoughtful voters. As a under informed, young, crazy, liberal to the max, bleeding heart teenager, Dad and I had many heated debates. And it wasn't always pretty. But I learned the lesson of listening and respecting others opinions--tolerating usually. We most often had to agree to disagree. Quite nice of him, considering that I didn't know the first thing about the first thing. Too impatient to really study the details or watch debates, my opinions were on quite the surfacey level. Without the concerns of social security, job security, taxes and such--(yawn) my views were probably idealist and immature. Fast forward to now. I still could be called under informed. And naive. Difference being that now I KNOW I am guilty. But these things I do know for sure. If things could only go MY way, politics would play out something like this. 1) We would all play nice. I can't abide with the mean spirit of it all. No sticks and no stones. No divas or terrorist name calling. And easy on the dirt digging. I don't care much about candidates personal lives as long as there is nothing too untoward in their past. A little pot? Sheesh--who cares. An avowed wino like me would never be one to judge. 2) I think the electoral college is outdated and I would revise it--still workin' on that one. 3) Instead of speeches and promises that hold no accountability, I would simply like a spread sheet of all candidates past voting and their current plans. You say it, okay, now bring it. 4) following #3, every 6 months the prez would be up for review and a grade would be issued, kind of a check up on said promises. 5) Absentee ballots would be encouraged, and be the primary way to cast. Think of the savings if we all voted and delivered completed ballots ourselves. I don't think we could trust the U.S.P.S. to be 100% reliable, so again--I'm still working on this one. 6) There would be a gag order forced on all celebrities. Shut your effin' pie hole. I know, I know, freedom of speech and all that But, most of us are not smart enough to do anything but follow the stars. These celebs are probably no more informed than me, however, they can surely swing a big one . Hell, once you get the nod from Oprah, like, a bajillion women will blindly trust her judgement--right or wrong. So if you like Bruce Springsteen's music, you must want to take his advice. You just pick your celeb and let them decide for you. So much easier that actually thinking for yourself. 7) There would be initiated a "Love" party. Soley my idea. I hate the fact that you have to be pigeon holed into a "party". Not my idea of a good time. I happen to be socially liberal but financially conservative. Both sexes need to be represented equally. Seems that the testosterone level in the presidency can somehow justify a war and I think that if there were a woman and a man together making decisions, that the soft, compromising side of us girlies could temper the "WAR!!" whoop. We all would just sit down for a cocktail or four and work things out. Sounds silly, but as human beings, bet we could figure it out. 8) R-E-S-P-E-C-T please. For me, political choices are extremely personal. Maybe that's why we vote in private. You won't find me wavin' any freak flag, or spouting my "views", no zealot me,--lucky for you. I venture to say, that we are all different in our pasts, religious beliefs, and financial status and are inclined to vote in a way that reflect this. So, please honor me, and I will honor you. 9) Once a president is elected, try to be positive and support the vote that our country has deemed valid. We need to work together to make good things happen. 10) Be happy that a known political pea brain like me has had her say, and probably will never again. Flawed as it is, it's still the best country in the world. Oh, and about that "white" house. I'm thinking how about at least some pink shutters.. Or a giant leopard rug. Let's have a cocktail and look at paint samples. Now that's something I can get behind. xoxo P.S. only 7 more days till MADONNA!!! Don't just stand there, let's get to it, voguevoguevoguevogue....... xo

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Little Buckaroo..


My Gramma Eve was quite the lady--to know her was to love her. She was of the always perfect hair and pink cheeks kinda gal. Short in statue with a big chest. (hmmm,wonder where I got it from?) She wouldn't be caught dead without her lipstick. When I was about 6, she and Gramps moved to Detroit so Grampa could work with the Millworkers. Thier downstairs flat was somewhere in the area of Schaeffer and Greenfield, if my memory serves me. Gramma found a job at a corner diner and quickly made friends with those who frequented said place, cheerfully serving up greasy breakfasts. I would leave my compadres to enjoy the beach, while I made my way down to vacation with them each summer. But Detroit is so exotic and mysterious I would argue when inevitably someone would dare question my vacation locale. As soon as we hit Bay City, I would find CKLW on the radio and sing loudly, celebrating my 2 weeks of freedom. Swee eee eeee ee eet, sweet city woman!! I also had plenty of cousins to show me around. No one here or up North could understand why I would ever make such a move during the beautiful beachy summer, but, I explained to them that I was lonesome and Gramma and I would take the bus down to Hudsons, and go to Saunders for hot fudge sundaes. I went to the Detroit Zoo, took the boat to Boblo Island and saw Greenfield Village. Bring on the bright, city lights to this small gypsy. More glamour, more glamour!! There were sidewalks and you could roller skate around the block. I made friends with the little black children on the street, and was fascinated by them. (Remember, it's pretty much plain, white bread up north). Gramma used to say that you never knew I was around. Always a plus, I'm sure. As a bookish child, I used to sit in the little courtyard out back and read for hours, only getting up to run thru the sprinkler to cool off, and Gramma would serve me up a popsickle. After she had her afternoon "lay down" and watched her "stories", we would walk up to the corner to Hall's Bar. A dark, smokey hall of a bar that was an unlikely spot for a little girl from Ossineke. But I loved bellying up and ordering my usual. Red pop and plain chips for the little lady. Someone always gave me a quarter for the jukebox and I supplied the tunes for happy hour. Gramma would have two or three cold "shells" and amuse all with her stories and cute jokes --as she was an excellent joke teller, knowing just when to pause and get the laughs. I was so proud of her. "Comical" was a favorite word of hers and we still joke about it, today. Later we would walk back home and get dinner for Grampa. My Gramma was famous for her preference for a Snickers bar for dinner--but Gramps required something more hearty. To this day, I always pass out Snickers bars at Halloween in her honor. Maybe we would all play cards. When Grampa retired, and moved back to Ossineke, we became neighbors again. Ever the party girl, Gramma found a new spot for happy hour. She even dragged Grampa along. After the first frosty mug, she would proclaim, "a bird can't fly on one wing", cueing the bartender to serve 'em up again. And did she love babies. When I had my colicky son, she would rock him for hours and sing the old tunes that she sang to me as a baby. "You are my Sunshine" and "Little Buckaroo" being the favorites. I remember her clutching her rosary and reverently reciting it every Sunday at Mass. The rosary is mine now--being to only thing I ever wanted of hers. Her house was a happy meeting place for getting together and everyone was welcome anytime. I usually stopped by 4 out of 5 mornings for coffee on my way to work, and she could be found up and at 'em making toast and worrying about what to cook for lunch, probably givin' Grampa hell for something or another. And she made the BEST pineapple upside down cake. But old age is not alway kind. Even after developing diabetes (HELLO -OO Snicker bar diet), she remained cheerful and optimistic. It wasn't long after Grampa passed, that she joined him. After 60 years of marriage, how could she be here without him? It was a sad day, but time for her to join in the big card game with Gramps. Years later I miss her and remember her often. I like to think of her as a little angel on my shoulder. One with a smile, frosty mug of beer and a Snickers bar. Love always. xoxoxo

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crazy......







It's Halloween! I've read that it commercially outsells Christmas. Crazy, huh? I think it's appeal is on a much different level. Christmas is so much harder and requires more responsibility overall. Somehow Christmas makes us feel required to maintain a semblance of spirituality and generosity. Red and green and gold and silver are hopefully spirit lifting and supportive of the season. Halloween gives us no such pressure with all that black and even thoughtfully throws in the orange to kinda match up will fall. Halloween encourages us to get in touch with our darker sides and has all the gore to support it. Escapism that is legal! Yard decorating has reached crazy levels with the lights, skeletons, pumpkins and those obnoxious blow up thingies. Artistic expression, just the same as some costumes, I guess. Movies have explored every possible horror--or so I'm told. I walked out of the Exorcist totally nauseated and have not sat thru a horror flick since. Not exactly a great choice for a date movie, however, I did run right out and buy the book and used my own imagination to fill in the blanks that were too visual for me to handle. And my curiosity was suffiently piqued enough to corner our priest and quiz him on the demonic possession phenom. After He recanted true stories of some such cases, I decided that once again, the truth is always scarier than anything we can dream up. Once I saw a flick called, "It Came from Within" at a drive in during High School. Between the usual drive-in antics, (thank God for Boone's Farm) we viewed HUGE leeches that came from within a persons house and dropped out of faucets and shower heads at very inconvenient times--like anytime would be good. The movie didn't scare me, but I abhor leeches to this day. Horrors like war, addiction, starvation, politics, gnomes, natural disasters, plagues, reality t.v. etc. are what truly scares the bejesus outta me. And another thing. Is it just me, or has Halloween turned into an "adult" holiday? With the exception of poor Charley Brown, all Halloween flicks are rated R, and will surely eff up the innocent babes. I had a total of 3 trick or treaters last year, and they were delighted with the full size snickers bars that I handed out. In my old sub, it was not unusual to have say, 200 of the little beggars yellin' at my door. They were mostly cute except the ones old enough to drive, smokin' a square, with no costumes, and no manners either. Can I at least get a Trick or Treat out of you? Have you heard of thank you? But the risk of them slashing your tires or soaping your windows forced you to comply with the goods. Or how about the mom's carrying the infants, faces painted like bunnies with not a tooth in their head to chew candy yet. Okay, mom, if the candy is that important to you--here it it. Probably the most exercise she had since last year, with the exception of conception. Hang on there and I'll get a sip of milk for the little one. And for heaven sake, it's 30 degrees and sleeting, could you put a hat on the kid? Do children still go to those parties where you bob for apples and tell ghost stories? Being blindfolded and touching a peeled grape "eyeball"? Or are all the good parties at the bars where the women are encouraged to dress as tarts and the men are encouraged to ogle? Prizes and jello shots for the most skin!!! My son reminded me of a Halloween haunted house we went to ONE time. Again, first and last for me. It was absolutely horrifying. Stuffy hallways with strobe lights and monsters grabbing you. I hated it and the kids were petrified. Looking up to me to navigate this thing for them was a big mistake. Near tears, we all exited safely, NEVER to go back. There is no way a child could have handled it. I guess cider mills with petting zoos are the new haunted houses. Fall beauty with sugar and confined farm animals, being the fears we know. Enjoy your Halloween in your own way....xoxo

Monday, October 20, 2008

Girl's night out.....




Some of my girlfriends organized a pub crawl this past Saturday in Chelsea and I joined in the fun. Hell, I love to party and the girl talk is usually amusing, so I figured what the hey. Now, you can probably guess that I have put in plenty of time in this arena--and was outstanding at it back in the day. The glory days of disco found us chickies dressed to the nines, drinkin' and dancin' our butts off. Seein' and being seen. Not to mention flirtin' and hookin' up--it seemed so easy and natural back then. The music was invigorating and the dudes were mostly polite partners that were not afraid to spring for a few cocktails in exchange for convo and dances. In a small town, as known party girls, we were minor celebs. (I told you it was a small town!) Preparations for Saturday night would begin on Monday after the fog from the previous weekend lifted. Matters of dress were of paramount importance. We would shop the sale racks at the very limited shopping venues and cull out treasures that could work for our next appearance. Swapping clothes with each other was necessary and we would never be seen in the same thing twice. Starting on Thursday you would start whatever "diet" was goin' on at the time. Usually just jello, or maybe hard boiled eggs. This would let you drop five pounds or so, so that the old bod would be optimum by Saturday at 10:00 p.m. Highlights and perms were carefully timed to be just right. Upon entrance to the bar (there was only one disco) we parted the crowd much like old Moses and the Red Sea. Our regular table was ready and waiting. The disco dudes circled the table like sharks jockeying for posititon. We again had to remind them that we just got there and many bevies would be required to loosen up up. Sloe gin fizzes and lime vodka collins rounds would mysteriously show up and we didn't ever have to get out our wallets. Ah, yes. Soon the "good" tunes would have us all out on the lighted floor under the big ball. There we would pretty much stay until the end of the night stopping only to get another drink and change partners. At cockroach light time, invariably we would be invited to a house party. It was more prudent of us to hold out for the guys who would spring for breakfast. All that starvation followed by drinking strong cocktails and dancin' had left us quite weak. So after breakfast decisions, (usually cottage cheese) we would head home to bed. It was usually noted that although we found top shelf in the bar, we were actually cheap dates in the restaurant. Hey, we do what we can. Promises were made to "see ya next weekend!", where we would do it all over again. Definitely, those we the good times... Fast forward to last Saturday. Pubs were crowded and everyone looked about 12 years old. No one cared about 15 girls out and about and ready to rip it up. We pushed together our own tables. No one send over a round. The karaoke sounded miserable. No one made a move on us. Just ogling and a few winks. Comments about MILF's and cougars were whispered. Not one offer for breakfast--thank heavens, it was 2:30 a.m.! We drove our old asses home and ate snacks without a care of fat, carbs and bloating. Next weekend? Maybe some fall closet organizing, reading, a good movie, or possibly making chili. The crawl is set to be an annual thing, so I have a whole year to get ready for it. Thank God and Mary. Hope its doesn't fall on the night I have to make chili. xoxoxo

Monday, October 13, 2008

You can leave your hat on......or not




Okay, so I'm not a modest person. Never have been. No shock to anyone who has ever known me for more than five minutes. Those rules happen to be ones I personally didn't get to vote on. Now, I am not saying that I am an exhibitionist, (well-l-l-l-l-l) but I just didn't grow up with any body shame. We thought our bodies were beautiful and thus had healthy body images. Our house was plenty large enough for the five of us, but with only one bathroom, there wasn't much room for shyness or modesty. Or much else, really. But we made it work. Our twa-lette was surrounded with that thick distorted glass block so you could do that business in relative privacy. A regular bathtub and shower with a non see thru curtain. We had a double sink with a large mirror that easily accommodated two. And it was not unusual for all of us to be runnin' in and out of there at the same time. It was a synchronicity that Dancing with the Stars couldn't have choreographed. Even with an attempt at a hygiene schedule, inevitably, it would end up getting crowded. We did our best at preserving decorum, but it wasn't easy. Dad was in boxers, and Mom maybe a bra and half slip. Very cat on a hot tin roof-ish. And glamorous to boot. The rest of us possibly just wrapped in towels, or underwear. Everybody just efficiently takin' care of business. So what's the problem? I didn't think there was one till friends stayed over and maybe bore witness to some of the "family bathroom tango". Apparently in some families, robes were always worn by all just in case someone should get a peek at someone else. Whoo. I think Adam and Eve had the right idea, and it must have been a much more temperate climate in Eden--but still. Then that damned old snake had to go and ruin it for the rest of us. Demureness and reticence was born. (okay! I Wiki'd it.) That's not so bad, but what I really hate is the shame that was spawned. Our bodies are natural and should be viewed as such. Angelia Jolie is getting shit for nursing a baby in public. What? Isn't that what the "fun bags" were meant for? I got some of those same looks when I nursed my son. Curiosity--okay, disgust--not. Even in the art I favor, there is a bit of a theme. I mean, a bowl of fruit, some cute puppies, or a lovely reclining nude? Again, anyone who knows me will say that I prefer the nudes. Nude nail polish? Nude hosiery? Nude wall color? No way jay. Don't be crazy,baby. But a little skin, if it offends no one, in my own space, should never be a problem. That's just me--doin' what comes naturally......xoxo




Sunday, October 5, 2008

Into the mystic.......






























October greetings to you all! I came across a really strange, but fun website the other day while mindlessly surfing around. Being that it is October with all things fall and Halloween, I thought I'd share. It's called "The Vampire Name Generator". Crazy, huh? Apparently there are alot of people that feature themselves vampires or just need a name for playing those kind of weird role playing games. Hmmmm. You just plug in your name (amidst lots of little flying bats), and it comes up with a name from "The Great Archives." Now, I have never considered myself vampire-like in any way, but this is too cool. Maybe I actually have a dark side! Curiosity almost killed this kitty, and I gave up my name. The all knowing vampire powers came back with this alter identity for me. It read like this: The Great Archives have determined that you have gone by the identity: Empress of the Night, Known in some parts of the world as: Aphrodite of the Banat, The Great Archive Record: A true child of the night, making merry of the everything that is light. Hmmm. Apparently I was a love goddess! in some minor region of Transylvania that skipped around all night and laughed at all that is light. Yowza! Hope that didn't include lite cottage cheese, salad dressings, fudgesickles, etc. Or maybe those are not concerns of a vampire. All that roaming about all night and blood diets probably keep you skinny! Also on this web site a similar search provides you with your "fairy name". Way more my style I figured, so what the hey. Turns out my fairy name is: Tangle Rainbowshimmer. Well, now. It goes on to also include these facts: She is a fortune bringer. She lives in the bottom of tangled gardens and in hedgerows. She is only seen when the first flowers begin to blossom. She wears tangled dresses of multicoloured petals. She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly. Okay, then. Like making your horoscope--and I rarely read that--fit, by the same method, I will translate my fairy name. As a retired hairdresser, the tangle part is appropriate.Don't know about that fortune bringer thing, but I do feel fortunate, overall. And Rainbowshimmer is so me. Sort of an homage to all my gay friends! And I covet shimmer like a raven, and tend to want to take anything shimmery, back to my nest. If you have ever seen my garden it is most definitely of the tangled sort. I love spring and await my lillies and tulips , so that makes perfect sense to me. And multicolour? Anyone who knows me realizes my extreme love of COLOR!! Ah, what simple fun. Go ahead and try it for yourself. The website is: emmadavies.net/vampire. Or just look up The Vampire Name Generator--just make sure it's the exact one, cuz I tried another and it wasn't as detailed. Let me know YOUR vampire and or fairy name and if you think it in any way applies. I would consider being Aphrodite of the Banat or Tangle Rainbowshimmer for Halloween if I didn't already have my heart set on Beth the Bounty Hunter. What do you think of all this? xooxo

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dirty laundy....




For cryin' in the night, is nothing sacred any more? I am referring to the constant exposure to peoples personal lives. I am particularly annoyed by a recent trend to announce ones sexual predilections to the world. Who the hell cares? Lately it seems everywhere you turn there is "news" about some "stars" sexual preferences. Chargin' out of the closet. I can't believe that anyone feels the need to identify themselves and that they are disillusioned enough to think anyone cares. A friend of mine describes himself as "a guy who is gay"--not a gay guy. This is because it is not what defines him as a person. And I have never felt the need to say that I am a heterosexual female. I label this as "oversharing". And this is deemed newsworthy, why? I don't give a rats ass if you have sex with your parakeet, as long as it's consensual. This constant disclosure is getting on my nerves. These train wrecks are almost impossible to turn away from, but leave me feeling about as deep as a mud puddle. It seems we waste so much valuable time concentrating on what diets people subscribe to, who's designer wear they are sporting, their religious and political beliefs, what they order at Starbucks, and what they do in their every waking moment. Who is in rehab and what is their poison, be it drug, alcohol, eating disorders, etc. An actor has just confessed to a sexual addiction and is seeking council. Sad, but not really my business. It's the nothing left to the imagination thing. I happen to like imagination. Especially mine. It allows me to see things in my own naive way. I prefer my ignorance over the raw exposure of every truth. The mystery of people is far more appealing. And what about those one sided cell phone calls we are forced to endure everywhere we go? Some loud lout " allowing" you do be in on all their trivialities. At least turn on the speaker so I can get the whole story. You can go on t.v. and have your babies paternity finally discovered. Real classy. Your messy house can be displayed in all it's filthy glory while someone else cleans it up for you. Nice. People are getting weighed on live t.v. Yes, WEIGHED!! No freakin' way. You can even sign on your poor, unsuspecting dog for a contest and judication. Judges can insult you while you sing or dance, style hair or design something. Yes, she COULD be a model but she is just too "pedestrian." Huh? Much of these competitions actually house the contestants together and interview their bitchin' about each other and the forming of "alliances". Or any number of real judges will hear your case in court--ON TV! Preside over your divorce? No problem. More "over sharing." And then these same people get the honor of ELECTING A PRESIDENT!!! I've got about a million pay channels to divert me--thank God and Mary. I can almost always find a good movie that serves as an escape when I need it. A pile of books lays in wait, too. And I like to think of it as a little less mindless. Now that I've got that off of my chest, I just need to warn you of something. After I've been "overserved", I tend to "overshare". And I won't mind if you tell me so. Gotta go now to watch the "Sex and the City" movie that I just purchased. Must stay enriched, you know.... xoxo

Monday, September 22, 2008

More than a feeling........







Musings about the wonderful city of Boston. Bean town. Home of the marathon and the tea party! Ah, the lobsta! The chowda!! The beeya!!! Did the touristy thing and strolled thru Feneuil Hall and the Haymarket Square. Haggled with street vendors. Traveled thru "The Big Dig." Took a romantic horse drawn carriage on a midnight tour and fell in love with Nugget the horse. (I fall in love with ALL horses--no offense, Nugget!) Strolled cobblestone streets, (damn, my high heels), and saw the original "Cheers" bar. Ate fresh seafood outside while viewing various buskers ply their trade. Saw rabid Red Sox fans cheering on their boys. Historical Boston is cosmopolitan yet intimate with stunning old and new architecture. I love a walking town--again, damn my high heels! And I must share the BEST thing! There is a Dunkin' Donuts on every corner. Sometimes two. For a pathetically addicted person, this is truly nirvana. After a day and night, we moved the party to Rockport, Massachusetts. Noticed that gas prices were 25 cents cheaper than here! Not really knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised to find a charming, picturesque, artsy, seaside town. Our bed and breakfast was everything it should be-- and more. Typical, gorgeous, large old New England style home with a beautiful ocean view. Our hosts were indulgent and accommodating. Wonderful breakfasts including yogurt parfaits and fresh croissants started our days. They thoughtfully even had a cat--named Blue--so I could get my dose of pet love. After walking and exploring the various shops and galleries, and stuffing ourselves with local delicacies, we would amble back "home". Many hours were spent on the large front porch, in rocking chairs, enjoying the view of the harvest moon over the bay, while sipping our nightcap(s). Among the most stunning sights we witnessed were children. Playing. Outside. It even seemed as thought they WANTED to. Real kids at the beach. Climbing on boulders, digging clams, searching for shells and snails and RUNNING. And not just to Blockbuster to rent a video game. Glad I didn't see one READING, cuz that would just be too much. Little Rockport chilluns' playin' and yellin' with that cute little accent. Should label them as a bona fide tourist attraction in the AAA guidebook. But, I rave. Then, more of the usual--fresh, whole lobsters and local brews to round out this lazy getaway. The new McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport eases the re-entry by being modern, efficient and clean. Back up 94 to home, I can only hope that visitors to Detroit can find the unique beauty in our fair city to take back with them. Be it ever so....um, well.....humble, it's still ours to call home. P.S. check out the groovy lid I purchased in Rockport. And, yes, Dad, I actually paid them for it!! xoox

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simply the best.....


Hey all y'all! I am on a long weekend in Boston with more deets to follow. However, let me take this moment to introduce you to a very special person. My sister-in-law Cheryl has joined the blogosphere! Pause for round of applause, whoo hoos, and wolf whistles!! With encouragement, she has started a sort of advice column for anyone with a question or problem. For as long as I have had her in my life, she has been simply the best listener and problem solver, margarita maker and secret keeper. All excellent skills to be shared with the world. I am lucky enough to use her multi tasking (usually a concept I hate) skills to advise me WHILE fixing me a cocktail! Now, that's a talent I can get behind. Her blog further explains her intentions, so I urge you to ask or comment away. You won't be sorry--girl has got it goin' on! xoxo P.S check her out at consultry-cheryl.blogspot.com xoxo

Monday, September 8, 2008

Black Betty R.I.P....




So, I have retired my old girl. After 5 years of faithful service, my dear Black Betty has been traded in for a newer model. (see 06/01 post for more deets on B.B.) Unlike women, the car version does not get better with age. She was tired and I had worked her hard. She has done her job well and deserves a rest. I hope she gets purchased by a caring person, who will treat her like the old queen that she is. Plenty of oil changes and visits to the auto spa, with only the top shelf "cocktail " at the gas pump. Rest well sweet girl. That said, there's a new sheriff in town! Meet Ruby Dee, my latest and greatest. She is a HOTTIE! My brother, Steve, at Dean Arbour Ford in Alpena, really hooked me up this time! Candy apple red with a black cloth convertible top. Tires and rims that are extra special, and will keep the dudes at Belle Tire from tryin' to upgrade me! The 45Th anniversary year warrants cool, limited edition 'stang symbols on floor mats, dash, etc. Many bells and whistles that I am still figuring out. The upgraded stereo bumps with Sirius radio and my ipod has a built in. Bigger body frame makes the front seat larger overall. Slick matte chrome fixtures and black leather, HEATED seats. Whoo Hoo! And she smells delicious! Mmmm.m.m.m Eau de new Mustang!!! She purrs like my my dear Lola on her faux cashmere blankie! And she is a ROCKET. The 350 horses plus engine gets outta bed quicker than Betty did, and makes merging and passing even more fun. For most of my driving life, I drove used, dependable, gas conserving cars that I could barely make the payment on. They served me well and were cost appropriate at the time. I've only had a few new cars in my life, so I realize my good fortune now. The fact that Ruby cost more than the first house I purchased, most definitely gives me pause. I don't ever take this luxury for granted and even feel sort of guilty about the money. Sort of. As an old hippie, this kind goes against my grain. How to justify? Decadence wears well on me? I am a "car person"? Okay, I really can't justify--only recognize. So keep and eye out for the Ruby chariot with myself and a little Bengal cat ridin' shotgun. Comin' to a city near you, soon! xoxox

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tattoo you...









I have a tattoo. Yeah. I had always wanted one, even growing up. But in Northern Michigan the only tattoos I had exposure to was some biker peeps and my uncle Jim's traditional Navy one--you know--the girl with the sailor hat. Thank the Lord, it was before excessive body piercing, because you can be sure, I would be the girl with all things pierced as well as probably too many tasteless tatts. I now realize that too much of a good thing is well, just too much. I love body adornment, but too often it can appear like body mutilation. My son, asked for a tattoo for Christmas when He was 17. I told him, that yes, I would be happy to pop for it as long it was something I approved of. How about a heart with a "Mom" banner on it? Perfect, in my opinion. Needless to say, He got his bass clef tattoo on his bicep, on his own. Playing the bass guitar inspired his choice, so it was a thought out idea that meant something to him. I doubt He will ever regret it. It gives me pause to see so many people employing this form of self expression--and the things they must be trying to express. Children's names, memorials of loved ones, assorted Disney characters, butterflies, roses, the usual barbed wire arm band, favorite bands, pets, and the such. I could only guess the impression that these themes must have had to prompt someone to have them permanently inked on. So, giving myself permission to get my own tattoo, gave me something to really think about. It had to be something profoundly meaningful. But what? I had no idea offhand. One evening at yoga class, I studied a poster explaining the 7 chakras. Upon reading, the second chakra hit me right between the eyes. It was an explanation that suited me EXACTLY!! So much that I instantly knew that I had found my tattoo. In a nutshell (I promise), the second of the seven energy centers is known as Svadhisthana--meaning sweetness. Awww. The chakra is located 2 inches below the bellybutton on the soft, vulnerable underside. It is the sign of creativity and sensuality. It's color is orange, and it's sense is taste. The element is water and it is ruled by a blue, crescent moon. When meditating, the chant is "Vam'--which is also my maiden name. This all perfectly coincides with my astrological sign of Cancer. I am a true cancerian with a tough exterior and a soft side, too. As a water sign and a moon child, the parallels continue. I love the 6 petal lotus shape of the symbol. So, this is it. Within days I had my appointment at Eternal Tattoo. A few glasses of wine made the whole thing go almost painlessly. My lower back (yeah, I know, a "tramp stamp") sports my yogic i.d. and I love it. It was the first chakra symbol that the artist had ever done. As a recently released guy, his practice on the "inside" did not include many yoga symbols! Imagine that. I only occasionally consider another, but probably will stay with just the one. Please let me know if you have a tatt or how you would represent if you were to get one. Happy thoughts. Peace. xo

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cheeseburger in paradise......




































Today is our 3rd annual Tiki Bar Party at our beach house. Thankfully, it's a hot, sunny day with only a chance of some afternoon showers. The fliers have been designed and passed out describing the event. Ivan and Cory have generously cleaned up our shoreline, making the view even better than ever. Our neighbors picnic tables and tents have been rounded up. Around 5ish some 50 of our neighbors will descend down our hill on four wheelers, golf carts, etc. and join us on our beach for the festivities. Shawn may even bust out his old "Boss Hog" car. The beer is iced. The tiki bar has been decobwebbed and with Mark's always great tunes, will be rockin', and is a great place to belly up to and observe the day. It will also hold a champagne fountain flowing rum punch. (Heavy on the rum!) Much beer, rum drinks and, of course, the mandatory jello shots will be consumed. Cheryl will helpfully give lessons on the art of proper consumption of said shots, should anyone need assistance. Her execution is perfections!! The beer pong table is ready and our last years champs, the ever cute Nicole and Lauren, are ready to defend their title. Local friend, Lenny, and Randy promise to give them tough competition! We run a 50/50 raffle, but usually give 100% of the take to the winner. The "12'ves" gambling game is available for anyone interested in throwing in a buck. Sometimes a foursome will gather for euchre and will take on all challengers. My hot nephews will provide some eye candy for all and attract the younger crowd of local chickies to giggle at their antics. Matt may even provide a "gun show" after a few brews and a little coaxing. Menu plans do not vary. The Milo brothers will grill sirloin "chee" burgers and the hot dogs and corn on the cob for the gang. Local favorites such as Lori's taco salad and Margits special greens are always anticipated. Potatoes, bean and chips round out our menu. At some point, the Sirius Buffet channel, will switch to the Strobe for some crazy disco music, at which time Kirk can be counted on the bust out some of his moves that were well practiced in his day! And wife, Sue, can be counted on to roll her eyes!! It's hard not to join in for some of us old disco queens. (alright, alright, ME!) Our "moonrise" rivals a keys sunset and is usually bright orange in color. This with watching for satellites, shooting stars, and maybe a drunken inspired UFO sighting are also popular events that can be done with very little exertion from a lawn chair. The bonfire will get big and hot as the night cools off. The s'more fixins' will be brought out and we can argue who makes 'em the best. Sometime later, people will start fading off and maybe even nodding out bonfire side as the party slows down. Done till next years bash. Sunday morning can find us all straggling out to guzzle H2O and compare notes. Some of us will be feeling a little less than great. Clean up goes pretty well with friends showing up to help and reclaim forgotten coolers. The grill gets fired up and leftovers brought out. On full tummies, we are free to nap blissfully with no party worries till next year. Hope y'all can come!! xoxoxo

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh Maybelline......






It is well documented that I am a crazy pet lover, so on Monday I received heartbreaking news that my sister's Yorkie, Miss Mabel, had narrowly escaped death at the jaws of a vicious Dalmatian. A Dalmatian? You gotta be kiddin' me. I have never thought of those dogs as anything but a hyper, yet docile mascot of the firehouse ilk. Or on the run from Cruella Deville. But, I was wrong. First, let me explain that Mable is an unusual type of Yorkie as she fearlessly swims, walks in the woods, chases squirrels and does many other non typical Yorkie behaviors. She is love able and sweet, neither yappy or snappy. Seems she was innocently swimming and playing with some kids in Hubbard Lake on Sunday, when said Dalmatian charged up out of nowhere to attack poor, unsuspecting little Mabel. Quite a commotion ensued while the owners clubbed the wicked dog with boat oars in an attempt to free Mabel. The Damn-nation finally tired of shaking and biting her, and threw her aside. My sister, Lisa, was able to pick up a distraught and bleeding Mabel, and rush her to the vet. An hour and a half of surgery was needed along with 100 internal stitches to a 9 pound dog. Shaved and weak, she has proved to be a tough little nut that is on the mend. It is still questionable as to whether one of her legs will be okay. Reports today is that she is eating yogurt and turkey and moving around a little. The owners of the devil-nation were concerned but explained that their dog just doesn't like other dogs. WTF? You KNEW this and still let it run without a leash! Idiocy beyond my belief as well as dangerous. Lisa has filed a police report, but who knows what, if anything, will come of it. At the very minimum the asses should be held accountable for the vet fees. Hopefully they will have learned a lesson. So in closing, please send positive, healing thoughts to poor little Miss Mabel. And to her mommy, Lisa. Also, please be a responsible pet owner and make sure your pet has had his shots and is on a leash. xoxoxo










Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rock lobster... part deux










It's been a banner year so far. The lobsters are large and plentiful. The stone crabs offer another tasty treat and the picture shows some of the largest claws I've ever seen. You only harvest one of his claws and then throw him back to regenerate another one. Hey you veggie types, enjoy cuz no one has to die!! Locals have turned us on to a delicious mayo and mustard sauce that is the perfect dip for 'em. The weather is gorgeous as usual with very little wind making the water clear and the dives easy. This vaycay is flyin' by. I am totally fiendin' for my precious Lola kitty, and while shopping in Islamorada, I got to love on a rescue kitty, helping my "kitty jones". Spending money while petting a kitty all at the same time. Perfect multitasking effort! I have a big schedule today that includes starting on my third book--another memoir--, maybe some meditation, pool time, and of course mojitos around!! Another chance to showcase my multitasking skills! Tonight we are going to Braza Lena, a Brazilian steak house that has hunky servers serving hunky pieces of grilled meat!! I heard the salad bar is about 3 blocks long. Should be a treat... Whatever your day brings you, relax and find your peace. xoxox






Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It was a rock lobster......


A laid back hello from the Florida keys. I will be posting from Islamorada where we are enjoying our annual "Lobsterpalooza!" In case you are new to this craziness, its kinda like rifle deer season up north, but with the ocean and MUCH better clothes. Eww to green camo, and yay to beachwear--or just towels. Hey, we are in the keys where anything goes. Less is definitely more--my kinda place! Locally, lobsters are called "bugs" so I say "Bugs Beware" the Michigan Tribe is ascending to harvest you tasty treats! Just a few fun facts--"lobster season", as it is officially known, opens up on August 06 and lasts till March 31, with the best "hunting" done early in the season. Between 750,000 and one million people descend on the Florida Keys annually for the opener. The Caribbean Spiny Lobster is unlike the Maine version as they do not have claws. You only eat the tail of the spiny and the taste resembles the other kind. The spiny grows to full size in 6 months, so they are a more tender, fresher lobster. We go out diving in the ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, in shallow water, which will be around 85 degrees. So in this bathwater, we dive down and use a "tickle stick" and a net to catch the little buggers. You have to tickle 'em out from under coral heads and rocks and then net them. Unfortunately sharks and the dreaded moray eel also find lobster as a tasty treat and so you must be on the watch out for them constantly. Our rat pack has never been bitten or stung even after logging thousands of hours of underwater time. Knock on wood. There are high spirits and camaraderie in our gang along with friendly competition. All of us are trying for "Lobzilla" and the bragging rights that come along with him. It'll be hotter than hell, but with the Keys breeze, it seems more tolerable than the weather we are now experiencing in Michigan. I only go out diving occasionally and prefer to be known as the "sundeck mermaid". Watching from my second floor deck while reading and enjoying a cocktail is way more my speed. I am generally known as a pain in the ass on the boat, anyways. I am a very reluctant participator of rope throwing, anchor pulling, GPS checking etc. No, I remind the others, I do not go on the boat to work and am therefore, much more suited to shore duty. Besides, it's very dangerous to be cocktailing on a boat with waves, and lobster divers and equipment threatening a alcohol tragedy. It's my job to show up dockside with cold beer, or rum drinks, my camera, and a snack for the parched and hungry divers as they arrive. Then it's boat washing and lobster cleaning--all with photo ops and tall (lobster) tales. After showering off the salt water, we either cook in or head out to one of the many area dining establishments for food and more revelry. Watching the gorgeous Keys sunsets while enjoying the catch of the day, and of course, a cocktail, is the religion at hand. The evening ends with a nightcap on the deck and the setting of the alarm for another early departure from the dock. Other activities may include yoga and some walking. I know of a great yoga studio and SHOULD attend a few classes to help keep this vaycay from being a total calorie disaster. There is a local bar that is Michigan owned, so it's fun to go and check out my dear Tigers, too. Sporting anything "Detroit" is fun cuz everyone gives us props for "representin", and respect from those who know Detroit only by it's reputation. I love to set 'em straight regarding our fair city although I don't think anyone ever believes me. Key West awaits with it's usual trove of treasures. Lots of interesting people to be met and beautiful art to view. We usually partake one day and one night of Conch partying and can be found crawling out to our vehicle with only the D.D. lucid enough to make the drive home. The lobster are safe the next morning after all that debauchery. After 10 days of said nuttiness, I will be happy to return home to at least SOME sense of normalcy. Then all that's left is to plan a few lobster themed dinner parties so we can bore our poor friends to death with pictures and our tales of the deep. So if you are interested in lobster dripping in hot butter with maybe some fresh green beans and cornbread, drop by and bring a cold bottle of white wine, we'll try not to bore you to death. Promise....xoxo p.s. Pics to follow!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame.....


A sleepy good morning from this Tiger fan!! Can you believe that my boys hung tough against those Indians to the tune of 13 innings? 12 to 12 in the twelve at 12 minutes after 12? Yeah, baby!!!!! We joke that in our family, baseball is in our DNA. It's practically our religion. My 94 year young Granny Iola still watches or listens to the Tigers. My Grandpa was a noted ball player and coach that drew respect from many. When living in Detroit, he rarely missed a home game. His sons, my uncles, also played and I was old enough to see their talent. Both of their sons were also stars and I loved cheering them on. My own Dad coached many champion ship teams with my brother playing. Sister Lisa, in lieu of a company Christmas party, loaded up a whole buss with employees and sojourned down for a Tigers game. I crashed the party and much hysteria ensued as it was some of the party's first Comerica Park experience. My, son was a great player and I was a great "team Mom." But instead of the usual pop and chips fare provided by most moms, I doled out natural juice and granola bars--much to my sons chagrin. Gotta eat healthy and grow to be big, bad, baseball players, I would remind them. The whole family would get to the games early and claim spots on the bench. Being in northern Michigan in May constituted the necessity of blankets and hats sometimes. But we persevered thru interminable t-ball games that were both really long and really BORING with little resemblance to the real game. But necessary to get the kids ready for the holy grail of Little League. When Dane pitched, I whoo hooed every strike and antagonized over every ball. There was a sorry incidence once, when he called a time out and stomped off the mound and over to the bench for a confab with me. Seems my loud --and in his opinion overzealous cheering was distracting him from his job. Well, EXCUSE me for livin'!!! As many of us can recall George and Ernie were the voices of summer, always on while Dad was grilling. When Alpena won the Junior Babe Ruth WORLD championships, well, I can tell you our whole town was upside down with baseball pride. Which brings me to the Pudge trade. I HATE trades cuz I get unnaturally attached to the players. I have a theory that I am sure would make more sense. I say, why don't we have a draft like in Little League? Coaches would one by one choose their players from the pool and what you ended up with, you had to coach. No more buying a team. Coaches would coach and train players in their weak spots and build the teams talent the old fashioned way. Players would be on the same team for five years and then we could have a re-draft. In the case of the Tigers, I would personally tend to their "hair needs" (Ah.h.h. Magglio) and also lead yoga classes!! I wouldn't have to see fan favorites like Pudge get sent off before I am ready. So, peace out Pudge, I will miss you with your talent, smile and reminder of who really gets the credit--by your sign of the cross. Our loss is New York's gain. xoxoxoo! Oh, and Whoo Hoo!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can't get enough of your love, babe......


Our dear friends Kelly and Brian got married last weekend. It was a gorgeous day for a beautiful couple. A joyous occasion for a truly connected bride and groom--one that I was honored and proud to be a part of. Yes, I was a bridesmaid--quite possibly the oldest and surely the most jaded one ever. Weren't my shoes HOTT?!! But I digress. As a veteran bridesmaid, this event threw me into reflection on marriage and forever and ever til death parts us. Kelly and Brian have avoided most pitfalls going in as they are a little older than most "first timers", and have been friends first for years. Being more experienced in life, they possess communication and compromising skills that will carry them--also, they are so very much in LOVE. Although I completely support their union, I truly do not believe in marriage on the whole. It's just not for everybody. I think it's a lovely fairy tale with a 50/50 chance at best for success. We are SO destined to fail. So, here goes with my opinion, based on MUCH experience as well as some nature based reasoning. I recommend NEVER marrying before the age of 28 for women and, say, 30 for men. Why? Well, a woman does not even settle on her true personality till around that age. Many of us married young only to wake up one day asking "Who the hell are you?" in the mirror. A man, well, he needs to do what comes naturally and get it out of his system before even THINKING that he has a chance at fidelity. It's just the way we are drawn. I have a theory that marriage is the most unnatural union known to man because of this. Men were designed to "spread the seed" and populate the earth, while woman were set up to bear and nurture the little "seeds." Its just the nature of the beast. Sex and survival being two of our most powerful instincts, it's doomed to view it any other way. Basic and simple, and oh so true. Kinda like poundin' the square peg into the round hole. Anything after that is forced on us by societal rules that deem that we should do quite the opposite. Live together? Ha! How to go nuts in one easy lesson! I think the Native Americans probably had the right idea by housing the women in one tepee and the loincloths in another. Visits were open and liberal and nobody worried about picking up socks or leaving toilet seats up. No fighting over the remote, either. The guys could boast of their hunting and "seed spreading" conquests and the girls could gossip and nurture in peace. Worked for everybody. All doing what came naturally. Unlike us, they were not barraged with images that made them think they were missing something. Or, the pressures and temptations of working outside of the home, television, movies, magazines, computers, etc. And, blessed be, women's bodies were honored in their natural form. What you could see was what you got. So now that we are so "evolved", how can we make this thing work? And where does the love fit in? Love has to be in the form of acceptance, compromise, consideration and respect. And attraction. Kelly and Brian have shown all of these things and more. Everything it takes for a lifelong commitment and to this I say congrats and love, to you both. xoxo

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's My Party.....


So I had a birthday. A BIG one. Always one to keep 'em low key and fuss less, (read: NO PARTY!) this particular one was no different. MY rules. Or so I thought. The calls came in like crazy from friends and family with everyone expressing sympathy and support. A few (drunken!) songs were sung and my darling Emily, age 3, called to wish me a happy birthday, as no day is more important in a three year olds eyes. Some birthday e-mails from my more efficient techie friends. I have a pile of cards that never fail to tickle me. My 94 year young granny sends hers with a return address that simply says "Grandma". It strengthens my resolve every year to be more prompt sending cards cuz it's really cool to receive them on THE day, instead of a week or two late, which is sometimes my style. I recommend one of those calendar books with monthly pouches that hold the appropriate cards--you just have to remember to check it now an then!!! But the biggest surprise--and I usually HATE this sort of thing.... was walking into El Charo to meet my friend Rose, only to be greeted by a small party for a "Sex and the City" themed get together. (Smile and deep breaths, here). She recruited two other friends and it was margaritas around. Cosmos do not work with the Mexicano thing. There were toasts and delicious taste treats. Age comments were kept to a minimum. Rose treated me to a darling personal cake in my favorite flavors. The gifts were sweet and generous. It was truly fun. Now, I am not sure why I get the creepies at the thought of any party--surprise or otherwise--where I am the center of attention. Never having been one to shy away and have rarely "blended in" at any other time in my life, I rather prefer to control my own spotlight. And, I guess it's the old catholic guilt thing rearing it's sometimes ugly head but I just have a hard time when someone deems me worthy of such attention. My Mom is like that too, so I get it honest. It's okay for us to DO nice things, but it's hard to accept them back, along with the perceived pressure attached. This can range from compliments on our appearances to our cooking. Why? It's like some weird form of self flattery or denial or something. Buried under layers of old piousness or self sacrificing. In this world of self indulgence, it strikes me as a very dated ideal. Mine, nonetheless. Anyhoo, the revelry went into the evening with more food, drinks, toasts, gifts, etc. All thoughtful and designed for me. Arriving home tipsy and full, I realized that sometimes letting go of the control is nice and it's okay to give into it. Some things like birthdays are meant to be out of our control and for just one day, I let others do it their way for me. And this old girl LOVED it! Thanks to all of you that respected my NO PARTY wishes. Everything else you said and did was just perfect..Love to you all..xoxoxoxo

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Independance Day...(or rather was).....



Happy Belated 4Th of July everyone. I spent a long, wonderful weekend at our beach house, with all intentions of posting. Armed with my laptop and my new Verizon card, I SHOULD have been able to sit on the beach and do an inspired post. A more serene setting could not be found to ponder the universe and profoundly post about it. Just sittin' on the beach and writing. My attempt to load up was met with a sort of rude message that my modem was already in use or some such hooey. OF COURSE. Pure serenity was broken by me cursing out Verizon, computers, and the general state of world affairs. Rant, rave, rave, rant. Would it be too much to ask? Can't everything just work as it should? I know, computers are only as good as the schmuck runnin' it. To this I say bullshit! Last weekend when this schmuck loaded it all up, it ran as smooth as silk. Yep. No Problemo. So whussup now? Maybe some kind of satellite overload with all the holiday phone and computer users? I don't know, but since I am rather a weak high tech red neck and I had no 12 year old available to save me, I just trashed the whole idea. Didn't imagine I left too many people hangin' on the edge with bated breath for my next thrilling excerpt, anyway. However, that is not the point. I decided to vent my frustrations with a workout DVD. Maybe a little sweat and releasing an endorphin or two would take off the edge. All tennis shoed up with stretchy band thing in hand, I took out the case. OF COURSE, the DVD was not in there!! ARRGH. More muttered oaths. Okay. So, then maybe I will just hop on the 4 wheeler and cruise the beach or visit neighbors. Change clothes, apply sunscreen, and turn key on Polaris. OF COURSE, the battery is dead. Why wouldn't it be? Just a little less cursing. Okay. Having exhausted plans A, B and C, I was left with very few options. The lawn chair, book and cocktail edged out the nap by a hair. Settled in said chair, with a view of the water and my book, I realized, now THAT'S serenity. And perfection. It's all good. The rest of the holiday went rather smoothly and traditionally, with a chicken BBQ, fireworks and a bonfire. The old fashioned way. Good friends, good food and the perfect holiday for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Hope yours was simple and serene, however you pursued it. xo
P.S. Note the hokey, pic. Forgot to get a beach shot! xo