Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joy to the World...

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas, my earth angels. All love, Jodi xo

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gabriel's Message...

Oh, tis the season. After week of crazy parties, I am so happy to chill and catch my breath for a minute. Had a wonderful time at the Detroit Athletic Center for cocktails and dinner and then over to The Gem theatre for the 'All Night Strut' show. The show was delightful and I would recommend seeing it if you are so inclined. Enjoyed a dinner at Luigi's, a favorite dining spot and also spent some time with my 'little' at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas party before heading out to a friends annual holiday party.

And this upcoming week promises more of the same. I actually have get togethers Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, with my family coming in on Friday and a cocktail get together later that night! Whew. I have to admit that I love holiday parties, but this is crazy! I am looking forward to seeing Mom and Dad and having a quiet time at home. Wine, food, church and chillin' will be the order of Christmas at this ranch! Mom has already promised to bring my favorite cookies!

Mark (Walking Man) posted recently a piece called "The Twelve Stanzas of Christmas", that made me ponder all this craziness. I am very lucky to have family that I love and want to spend time with. I am grateful to have all creature comforts and money to donate to try to help those who don't. I will indulge in all things food and drink, realize the bounty and worry about the damage I've done later. In conversations with friends, family and work co-horts, I will listen as much as I speak. I will enjoy the wonder of the season thru children's eyes. Mom and I will participate in Mass on this most reverent day. I will not take the love of friends and family for granted and will try to make more of an effort in those relationships. The Christmas season will remind me to be more loving, and compassionate to those struggling with life-be it addictions, money problems, relationship issues, etc. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Enjoy this week however it suits you. And remember the reason for the season. Much love my muchachos! xoxo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Talk that Talk...

What do you get when you cross a shy prison educator with a dazzling smile, a big, hairy pontifical Detroit poet, and an aging, suburban party girl? Not sure, but throw in gallons of good coffee, hummus and pita bread, and a large fattousch salad (kudos to Cedar Gardens) and you've got hours of talk and laughter. A warm smile from Jim and a bear hug from Mark gets this party started!

I love hooking up with Jim and Mark and am thrilled to be included in their chats about writing and other things. I try hard to absorb their wisdom-world weary as it may be. Jim is embarking on a fresh new chapter in his life and Mark is as crazy and jaded as his poetry. And me? Mostly along for the ride-with just a 'spot' of fun thrown in for good measure!

Erik, Michelle and other blogfriends we miss you, and talk about you fondly. And the rest of you should only be so lucky to join us in the festivities. Trust me, it's worth the price of admission! x bear hug, x bear hug!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls...

In 1966 Jacqueline Susann penned the classic-at least in my eyes-"Valley of the Dolls".

Then, about four years later, I secretly devoured it, incrementally, while babysitting on Friday nights. I could hardly wait for my little charge to fall asleep, so I could get the book off of the bookshelf and turn to the page where I left off. With a fresh bowl of Lays and a cold Pepsi, it was time to catch up with the adventures of Neely, Jennifer, and Anne. I cleverly memorized my page number instead of dog earring (criminal!) the spot where I left off. And I knew that I was waaayyyy to young to be caught pilfering this yummy story! When car lights hit the driveway, it was my signal to close the book and jam it back onto the bookshelf. It was hard to believe that I was actually being paid a buck and hour to enjoy this tale. If that job was available today, I'd take it in a hot, sparkly minute!

The story mixes adventure, glamour, stardom and tragedy in a way that was unimaginable for me. Admittedly, it was only after I read it somewhere, did I realize that the 'dolls' referenced were actually pills and not just a name for the three girls. Also it was said that the book was labeled 'trashy', something I did not notice at the time. I did not see the movie that was filmed in 1967 until many years later, when I was fascinated with the Manson murders, Sharon Tate, being one of the stars in the movie. Sharon was gorgeous and I studied her every move. Horrifically, her life ended as tragically as it did in the movie.

Today, I re watched the movie and I almost wish I hadn't. It's most definitely a case where the book is better that the movie. As usual. I did enjoy some of the glamour with the period hair and clothes. But the plot? Well, it was way more believable when it was left to my imagination. It was kinda campy and totally contrived. Not exactly the trip down memory lane that I had envisioned.

Next time, I think I'll just pass on the idea of an old experience being the same, today. What we have built up in our heads can only disappoint in the re-run.

Tell me Dolls, do you agree?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

All Your Life..

As Thanksgiving weekend winds down, I can say that I have much to be thankful for. Very thankful that the traffic up to Ossineke was light, making the drive much more tolerable for my antsy self. Grateful to see that my 97 3/4 year old Grannie is settling in comfortably at the nursing home, and seems very content. She and I love remembering old times when I was a child hanging out at her farm. Spending time with my family who allow me to show up with only a bottle of wine (or two!) in hand and then treat me to a wonderful dinner. My Mom always comes through with the yummy traditional fare and my brother in law treated me to grilled duck-which is my favorite. Spending time with my nephews, Steven and Spencer, is always fun and they are politely indulgent of all my questions and mauling. Rounds of Texas Hold 'em with them provided some needed laughs, with the Lion's defeat filling in with background noise. The weather was superb, and the view at "Little Rapids" was stunning. It was a day as perfect as they come.

But most of all, I was particularly thankful to get back home, put my feet up and tear into a stack of waiting newspapers. Reading thru all the store flyer's made me most grateful of all that I did not have to participate in the Black Friday thing. I have the luxury of shopping during the week, minus the crowds and have found that most of the sales carry over. I shop very little anyways, preferring donations, instead. And cash always works for my nephews!

And what would I do without Tracey, my darling dancing, weight training, boxing instructor who will attempt to beat off all of the 'damage' I've done with my overindulgence. I love her spark and drive that gets my old ass movin' and groovin'!

To my loyal readers and friends, I am continually surprised and grateful. It's your support that makes me smile. Love to you all. xo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Feeling...

The affair started out innocently enough. No one was meant to get hurt. There was nothing clandestine about this tryst-too many people were involved! There were troubles, to be sure, but in hindsight, I would not change a thing-about The Bathroom Affair.

Yes, the relationship I was in with my bathroom had grown old. It simply was not thrilling me anymore. It was looking very tired and misunderstood. Glancing around at the room, I knew I needed a change. And here's where I started my dalliance with decorating. Just a mild flirtation....

At Decorator World, armed with a giant Timmy Ho's coffee, I perused the dizzying array of wallpapers and drank in their lovely smell that combines fresh paper and glue. I antagonized deeply before stepping out with a chartreuse and silver and faux ostrich print that surely will cost me a fortune and drive me to drink(more). The order was placed and it was game was on! I spent an ungodly time stripping off old paper and patching, sanding, priming and prepping. While precariously perched on the toilet tank, I somehow cracked something, and now the toilet has to be replaced. Damn! That was unplanned. I also slipped in old wallpaper glue and broke my toe. It throbbed painfully during entire process. Of course, the now dull white ceiling would have to go and I strained my mustard applying sparkly silver cloud paint on that bad boy. Did I mention that my ceilings are 8 foot something high? And my toe was killing me? Crazy stretching for a short chick. My Mom-the queen of all things paint and wallpaper, was enlisted, and showed up with necessary tools of the trade to help.

Things were going good until the inevitable happened. With fresh ceiling and walls in place, the counter top was looking d-u-l-l by comparison. So, off I go to about a thousand granite stores before settling on a new chunk of stone. Naturally, the sinks were the next thing to be updated along with new faucets. And wouldn't crown molding be just the thing to set off the new walls? Back to Lowe's I go. Denzel would have to go topless in 40 degree weather to fit in the 12 footers, so my neighbors Jeep was commandeered to procure said molding. And then on to Bed, Bath and Beyond for matching towels and rugs. Online I ordered new art. Where will the madness end?

So currently the plumber, granite installer dudes, (who educated me on the delights of Sicily) and crown molding guy are finished. I can finally get on with my life and end this obession with my now pretty bathroom. And it all started with a little wallpaper.

Wonder what a chandelier would look like in there?..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! xo

Sunday, November 13, 2011


It happens once every hundred years. And 11-11-11 has come and gone uneventfully- for me anyways. The news featured pictures of children happily celebrating their 11 year birthdays on this day and also a baby born at 11:oo, making this numerical anomaly even more so. Many couples took advantage of this day to get married and NEVER, ever have an excuse to forget their anniversary! My friend Sharon did celebrate her birthday, however, not her 11th one! Happy Birthday, Girl!

Do you suppose that 11 is some people's lucky number because of this universal alignment? Seems people are always searching for some sign that will bring them luck. When I turned 18, back in the day, I went to BINGO with my Gramma. There I witnessed people rabid with the 'lucky number' fever! They sorted and carefully selected their cards with certain numbers in mind to aid them in winning the big jackpot. It was amazing that such a random thing as bingo numbers could somehow be chosen with luck and logic to cause a hand shoot in the air with the proclamation of BINGO. And the numbers were not the only thing. Some gamblers had good luck charms and totems that crowded their space. Pictures of grand kids, lucky pennies, trolls, and other assorted goodies were displayed and touched for luck during the games. It was crazy! And what the hell is lucky about pennies? Maybe if you have like, a gajillion of 'em....

So, do you believe in luck or is everything a pre-determined fate? Will the bingo win happen if you just randomly grab some cards, like I did? Or can you make your own luck? Are we lucky in love or have we just finally learned to compromise? The near miss car accident - luck or just good timing?

Weigh in for me, will y'all? Luck or fate. Which do you think sums up your best and/or worst experiences? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dream a little Dream...

Did everyone remember to fall back? Turn the clocks an hour to the left? 'Fall back' into bed is what I say! Yes, it's that time again-one of my favorite 'holidays'. What's not to love about Daylight Saving Time? An additional hour of snooze is the only thing expected of you. No gifts or cooking-just more sleep. That extra hour is my idea of heaven.

Anyone who knows me, is aware of my awesome ability to sleep anywhere. If I am not driving, I can clunk out pretty quickly and have been known to sleep thru 3 states! When I fly alone, I have to notify the flight attendant to begin to wake me up in time to disembark as the jet engines purr lull me to oblivion once we hit cruising speed. I love to go boating and am just fine as long as we are zoomin' along, but once we slow down to a trolling speed-forget it. Again, I am passed out and find it annoying to have to move so people can get bait, rods and such.

Most days, happily, I do not have to catch my dozer on the fly. Usually between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. I can be found enjoying my 'lay down', with Lola, my little cuddle buddy. It is a luxury that I adore and recommend to you all. Seems like sleep deprivation is blamed for most of our mental and physical health issues. So, get busy! Sleep away!

And on a totally unrelated subject, check out me posing with the current Mr. U.S.A. Steve is a gym acquaintance (and hottie) of mine and recently I had lunch with him and some friends. Steve is a paramedic and fireman (and hottie!) who body builds in his spare time. And gives free nutritional advice to us ladies as we swill wine and eat antipasto at Andiamo. His dad, the chef, hooked us up real well and a good time was had by all.

After lunch I headed home for my customary nap. A full tummy and a little vino made slipping off very easy. And I had plenty to dream about. Steve the bodybuilder (and hottie!), you guess? Hell no! Fresh mozzarella and pasta make for the sweetest dreams of all!

Have a great week and happy slumbers! xxoo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Runnin' with the Devil...

Happy Devil's Night! How about this little pumpkin that I put together for friend and fellow Halloween buff, Marty. I saw some pumpkins of this nature pre-made at Micheal's but waited till all the components were 60 percent off to make it myself. Sometimes I shock myself with my sudden bouts of practicality!

As kids when we were stocking up on items for Devil's Night at the local IGA, the cashier would remind us that she knew our parents and that we better not be getting into any trouble tonight. Trouble? Why on earth would the purchase of cheap toilet paper, Barbasol shaving cream, and enough eggs to feed the Dugar family arouse any suspicion? Later on we learned to purchase risky items (Boone's Farm, ciggies, condoms, etc.) at stores where our anonymity was guaranteed. Ahh, the small town lessons learned the old fashioned way-the hard way!

As we struck out on our missions of devilry, things did not always go as planned. Late October in northern Michigan was usually cold and rainy. And we were usually dressed more to look cute than to stay warm. Most often, the toilet paper got more soaked then used for decoration and many an egg was dropped from our cold hands before hitting their mark. Lots of times we ended up throwing them at the boys who were somehow always milling about our circle of girlies. It was revelry that leaded up to the big event that had us hitting up the very same houses for candy. No real damage was done and it was mostly just a way to seem cool and adventurous. And hang out with the boys that were always milling about!

Do kids even participate any more? Doesn't seem to me that today's youth has the gumption to get out there and be silly. Maybe there is a virtual devil's night that can be had while sitting down in front of a computer. Or just maybe some facebook stalking would do the trick. Too bad because being bad used to feel so good! Happy Devil's Night and Happy Halloween! xoxo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Lion Sleeps Tonight...

Can I just share my idea of a perfect fall Sunday? Slept in late (9:00) and woke to the smell of fresh coffee. Followed my nose down to the kitchen where Mickey anxiously waited for me to get my cup before heading out to get the Sunday paper. Marveled at the beauty of the day and the smell of the crisp, fall air and 65 degree temperature. Had more coffee while perusing the paper with Dane. Got as far as I have ever made it on the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. Was treated to a wonderful breakfast cooked by my son that even included the clean up! Decided that a late morning nap was in order. Crashed out with Lola for a heavenly hour before deciding that the day was too lovely to spend indoors. Got in our gear and headed downtown to tailgate with friends and other crazy Lions fans. Ate nachos with yummy Bloody Mary's at Vivio's with our buds. Took the scenic route home showcasing Detroit and avoiding e-way traffic jams. Came back to the ranch, hit the couch and was just plain laaaaaazzzzy. We'll get 'em next time Lions!!

Can't beat that for a Sunday funday! So, how was your day? xo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Knock on Wood....

I followed the Amanda Knox case since the 2007 when her roommate Meredith Kercher, was found brutally assaulted and murdered at their apartment in Perugia, Italy. I was fascinated by the whole idea of a young girl being murdered by another young girl. Motive? Means? Opportunity? Accident? I just had to understand how in the world this could happen. Admittedly the case was hard to follow. Botched crime scene, sketchy DNA, and language barriers are just some of the overwhelming factors in the case. I was constantly confused. I even read a whole book on the case recently and still have come away unclear. Even with lack of evidence, Amanda still came off guilty to me. I learned that in Italy, Amanda was held without bail for 4 years until it was decided that she was innocent.

Four years in prison waiting to be found innocent.....I just have to process that one. Can any of us afford to lose 4 years? Amanda was approximately 21 at the time of her incarceration and 25 at her final release. What did she miss out on in that time? I think of the very same years in my life and it went something like this:

Between the ages of 21 and 22, I broke off an engagement, met a new man and got engaged again and married in the same year. It was a whirlwind for sure, and more time spent thinking and less time at the disco would have been advisable. Between ages 23 and 25 I had a baby and got divorced. Both were wonderful decisions and did not need much forethought. By the end of my 25Th year, I was moving on as a single mother. And the bar now had a electronic bull and bales of hay!!

Back then, I tended to be hardheaded, immature and learned everything the hard way. I have since then learned to slow down, be less impulsive, and ask for help. Amanda did not have a chance to finish her education in Perugia-but I graduated from the school of hard knocks, with honors. Never one for regrets, I can look back on the error of my ways and chalk it up simply to immaturity. It's the very thing that has made me who I am.

But how about Amanda? Did she just miss out on some of life's learning curve? Will she make her life choices more carefully now that she has had so much time for reflection? Only time will tell. Good luck, Amanda. Breathe the fall air of freedom and enjoy your days as your get your feet back under you and move on with your life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby, Baby...

So, having babies is a natural part of life, right? Why then, are we so fascinated by stories of birth and babies? First there was the 'Octomom' in all her in-vitro, secret baby daddy, surgery to look like Angelina Jolie, posing nude to support her brood NUTTINESS. Yes, she was the proverbial train wreck that truly was hard to look away from, especially because the media was apparently starved for real news. Then somehow the fascination continued when the idea of Kate Gosselin and her 'plus eight' became worthy of a television series. During prime time. Really? I hate reality t.v. and this convinced me why. Staged chaos is idiotic and so is exploiting the babies.

A dear friend of mine was one of nine children and tells real stories of growing up in a large family. I know of another couple who had a baby at fifteen years old and then delivered twins nine months later. Can you even imagine being 16 with 3 children under the age of 1? Now that was a wild reality that was survived with love and dignity. (Mom and Dad are still married!)

I read in the paper today that a woman delivered a baby after running half of a 26 mile marathon. Huh? Why weren't you home with your feet elevated eating 'Heavenly Hash' ice cream-my favorite indulgence during gestation. I could hardly 'run' to the bathroom hours before delivering my son!

And then there is that show that shows women having babies that DIDN'T REALIZE THEY WERE PREGNANT! That's the one that blows my mind. I knew I was with child the very next morning when my beloved coffee turned my stomach. I mean weren't the sore breasts, swollen ankles, and the giant pony keg belly a dead give away? I knew a girl in junior high that was doing cartwheels in the yard the night before she had a baby that she was not expecting. Another acquaintance thought she was gaining weight until her stomach ache proved to be labor pains. And both of the girls parents involved were in total shock. So I guess it does happen, but mostly to very young girls. Still, the phenomenon confounds me..

I always wanted a second child, but it was not in the cards for me. I'm anxious for the day to be a 'Nanna' but that won't be happening anytime soon. So, for now my granddog Mickey will have to sit in, or sit ON which is usually the case. Enjoy the gorgeous fall weather friends. xoxo

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Emotional Rescue...

Just a reminder that October 02-08 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. As many of you know, it is my 'cause'. With an estimated 50 million people suffering some sort of mental illness, thats approximately 22 percent of Americans. And millions more are diagnosed with other forms of the illness-as well as those who haven't been diagnosed at all! I grit my teeth at the fact that breast cancer gets the whole month of October. Mental Illness Awareness gets a short blip on page 6. Could we please give 7 lousy days for this rampant, tragic disease? Please educate yourself, donate and/or pray for victims, caregivers and their families.

In other news, 21,000 Detroiters are on the verge of losing their welfare benefits. Really? What in the hell are these people supposed to do? As we support crisis situations all over the world, we have children hungry here in our own backyard. It makes me sick and guilty over my personal abundance of food and the utter lack of worry over it. I can't tell you when the last time I was desperately hungry. And how will rent and utilities be paid? Of course, crime will go up statewide for those left with no options. I know welfare benefits are designed to be a safety net and not a generational way of life, but this could not come at a worse time with our struggling economy. I have friends that suffered from our poor job market, even with a roof over their heads and food in the refrigerator. Detroit has very little employment available in the city and no way for people to get to other places with our lack of public transportation. Child care is an issue. Desperate times will surely call for desperate measures.

At least we have our Tigers in the playoffs and the Lions have 4 wins under their belt-- a welcome distraction. I know, trivial in light of mental illness and lost benefits, but still, a chance for our fair city to shine itself up. It's hard to believe that our million dollar athletes playing in our million(s) dollar parks are just around the corner from people struggling every day. What irony. I wish I knew what to do about it or how to help.

Have a great weekend and be grateful for our bounty, because there, for the grace of God, go us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Can't get Enough....

Okay, so now I've become one of those weenies that take a picture of herself while driving. I was not ACTUALLY driving, but at a light when I tried out the feature on my phone that allows self photographing, by letting you actually see yourself as you do it. Astounding huh?

Actually, the only place it seems I've been lately is in my car. I've put a gajillion miles on poor Denzel Washington this week! Had errands, hospital visits, and shopping junkets that had me runnin' the roads. The shopping included many Lowe's and Sherwin Williams visits as the house is being painted. My front door is now a stunning shade of 'copper rose'-thanks to my Mom who painted all three of my exterior doors! Dodging raindrops from the storms that were in and out of the area made the job even more challenging. Home owning is constant maintenance and I will be happy when the day comes to move into a condo. Girlfriend is gettin' tired...

And then there was that crazy police officer that just had to remind me that Denzel was cruising 5 miles over the posted speed limit, one block from my house. Yes, I got another ticket-this one in my driveway, (how convenient) for my lack of self control. $120.00 was the price of that little reminder, and no, I do not want to go to traffic school to have the points removed. Sheesh, you'da thought I committed a capital offense. It happened during one of our rainstorms and the good 'ol boy got soaked to the skin while issuing said ticket. Hope you don't catch a cold-NOT!

AND then, just to add insult to injury, while attempting to parallel park on a busy street in Royal Oak, I sorta sideswiped the car ahead of me. When will I learn to NEVER attempt such a feat? It was only by the skin of my teeth that I even passed that section of drivers training and apparently I've not improved my skill all thatmuch. The other guy had little to no damage, but Denzel suffered a long scar on his 'cheek'. Grrrrrr.r..r..r.... The Popo was more forgiving this time and did not ticket me. Oh, there was the usual head shaking and tongue clucking and I could read the thought bubble that something about 'women drivers'. Oh, hells bells. Luckily my collision dude is gentle with me and Denzel....

Why is it that the busier you seem, the more likely this shit happens? And since I have slipped my L7 disc, these events were even physically painful. Nothing like a little constant, stabbing back pain to improve your mood. My chiro-cracker and masseuse have helped some, but DAMN that shit hurts! I have a little more painting to do, and with any luck I won't be in traction by next week. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, take a lap around the rosary beads-just do what ya gotta do. I need all the help I can get.. xo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cat Scratch Fever...

Hello all you cool cats and kitties! Take 'paws' as I, the famous Lola Simone Tigerlilly, comes at you as a guest blogger this week. My Mom is having a cat-astrophically crazy week. She is just too busy with her fall projects to drop you a line. Not to be catty, (meow!), but I've barely had my fuzzy little tummy rubbed! I'm 'feline' neglected.. Trust me- the fur is flyin' up in here! Till next time, pussycats, I'll just be purrin' and endurin'....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blowin' in the wind...

When I was 5 and in kindergarten, the principal of our school came into our classroom and announced that our president had been shot. My teacher broke into tears but, of course, as children, we had a hard time understanding. I remember getting off the bus at my Grandmother's house where my Mom was painting her kitchen. As I burst thru the door as the little bearer of bad news, the reaction was less than serious. A drama queen at a very early age, warranted this response, I suppose. Eventually the television confirmed my news and my Mom and Grandparents were very distraught. I can remember it perfectly. Over the years, I have come to understand the brevity of the death of President Kennedy and it's effect on us personally as well as a country. Watching the funeral live-in black and white-furthered the incredible pain.

On 09-11-01, at 8:45 a.m. I was driving to the gym on what would be the last day of normalcy as we knew it. On the radio, I heard that the World Trade Center had been hit. 5 minutes later, I arrived to find everyone looking at the televisions, while the second plane unbelievably hit. It now was apparent that this was no accident. The images would be repeated thousands of times, but I will never forget that first horrific view, where I was, and who I was with. Gym acquaintances that I had very shallow relationships with, are permanently in my memory, as we shared those first images.

On the 10 year anniversary, I plan to take a moment from my usual personal 'dramas' and remember those who lost their lives, their grieving family's, and the fireman and others who put their lives at risk with the rescue. I am saddened but proud of all of them as well as our great country. In my own way, I have to learn and move on, taking note of everyone I love as well as our freedom.

But I will never forget.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dog Days are Over...

Happy Labor Day! First of all, I want to apologize for my lack of blog visits this week. A family emergency has kept me too busy to read and check in with all my favorite blog friends. Hopefully this week things will free me up to enjoy your escapism and wisdom.

So the late starting, extremely hot, summer is winding down. I am thrilled to have shut off the air conditioning and have opened the windows for the lovely fall breeze and sound of the crickets at night. At the beach house, some of the leaves are starting to turn and I welcome the rich shades that will soon be upon us. And the glorious smell of sun dried orange leaves! School starts tomorrow and that means that the daily 2:30 p.m. 'carmageddon' at the end of my street will be in full craziness-note to self.

My flowers are looking tired and I will soon replace them with Mums before putting my yard to bed for the winter. My usual fall house re-org projects loom overhead for the colder or rainier days ahead. In addition, I plan to paint all tree doors on the house-hopefully with help from my Mom, who is a painting machine! In addition to spending time with my Little Sister, I'm going to do some volunteer work at the Cass Community project. I will continue to plug away at my work. (It's getting VERY interesting!)

So much for my planned 'labor'. I will give up lazy days on the boat, and pack up my bathing suits and sandals, in favor of warmer clothes and suede boots. Shopping will be necessary to update the closet-one can never have enough boots!

However, there is one thing that the season will not affect, and that's the power of a good Bloody Mary-or three-with friends. Now if I can just discipline myself to enjoy said cocktail(s) AFTER I've done one of my fall projects! Or not....

Sunday, August 28, 2011


is my favorite color, warbles Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Big tough guy. I prefer more a raspberry shade, but for this blog we will just generally say 'pink'!

Note the Mary Kay pink ride gone cra-zazy. This sporty lady was spotted by dear friends, Brian and Kelly while at Detroit's Eastern Market on Saturday. Girlfriend was workin' the hell outta her pink! Totally pinktastic!

I have always had a kind of love/love relationship with pink. It's the color that defined my gender at the moment of birth. Once I suffered pink eye, first in one eye and then the other garnering me a week off work and some serious ugliness to boot. I coveted the pink Barbie Jeep, but (sigh) had to make a pink Kleenex box do. Pink was an unlikely color for the famous panther, but did very little to curb his suave and debonair style. The same could be said for Pink Floyd and Alecia Moore,who's stage name is Pink. My favorite wig is Cleopatra style -and pink! I have 4 pink flamingos in the yard at the beach house-totally kitchy. I enjoy looking at them while sipping a vodka and pink lemonade-so much more festive than the yellow kind!

When on Mackinaw Island, The Pink Pony is a favorite watering hole. Even in my 'black' stage of wardrobe, my lipstick was still Pink Parfait. John Hughes scored big when he named his 80's movie, "Pretty in Pink". When visitors to Key West become over- served, a pepto bismol pink taxi will get you home safely. Victoria's Secret has a whole line of sportswear called 'Pink", and I enjoy lounging in them while reading 'Pink is the new Blog'. I once bought a cell phone just because it was sparkly pink. I have Bazooka bubblegum pink Everlast boxing gloves that make it hard for the men in class to take my hits seriously. Happily, I've never recieved a 'pink slip'. American Cancer Society uses a pink ribbon as their symbol. And as a lover of Valentines day, pink roses and candy tickle me pink.

So where will this madness end? Luckily for you, my dear readers-NOW. Just shows how much I can run on, rant and rave over just one little word! Hope this finds y'all in the pink as you begin another week. Pink kisses to all. xx

Monday, August 22, 2011


It is very hard for me to justify my usual 'frivolity' this week. I am deeply saddened by the death of Todd Green, who lost his life entertaining us all at the air show this weekend. I watched Saturday's show, from the yard, but thankfully did not witness Todd's terrible fall. Also on my mind is the drive by shooting of a 10 month old baby. It has been reported that the shooting was intentional and a person of interest has been identified. The baby is in the hospital in critical condition. Unimaginable.

Tragic events whether accidental or intentional, are hard for me to comprehend and understand. Why, is my first thought, followed closely by 'what the hell were they thinking'? Altho not exactly the same thing, I have always been fascinated by the abnormal psychology that involves a murder or harming someone. Many bios have been written about serial killers, abusers and the like, and I have read most of them. And I still am no closer to understanding what makes that person tick. Do I even want/need to understand? It's just that we basically start out with the same brains, and environment and heredity do it's thing to such extremes that it scares the hell out of me. And the collateral damage caused to family members as they suffer the life changing aftershocks.

No one has these answers. It's not clear how to handle or punish the people who commit these actions.

Today, I am quietly praying for these people and their families. Also, I am feeling grateful for the blessings and grace in my life. xo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

Recently I read that at the funeral of Amy Winehouse, Carol King's "So Far Away"was played. Being Amy's favorite song, it was the perfect closing for her sometimes sad life.

This being said/read, I started to consider the kind of droll subject of funeral music. Hmmmmm. Being a good Catholic girl, I think that the choices may be somewhat limited to songs found only in a hymnal--depending on the priest. 'On Eagles Wings', 'Amazing Grace' and the occasional 'Morning Has Broken' are popular approved favorites that I like.

At the funeral of a friend that was a fallen policeman, 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' was the sad and appropriate song played. R.I.P. Byron. My friend Rose has said that she would prefer 'Let it Be'-also a nice accepting song. I have heard 'What a Wonderful World' both a funerals AND weddings. If Louis only knew..

So dear friends, please take a moment and let me know what you would have played at your demise. A favorite song or something that sums up your feelings about your life? Do mourners even notice? Do YOU even care? I used to think 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', the Judy Garland recording, would be mine, but now that Israel Kamakawiwo'ole has overexposed it--I don't know. Maybe a Carpenters tune, 'Superstar' being one of my all time favorite songs. I'm gonna ponder. Let me know darlings.

Have a wonderful week and do not die! At least not until you choose your tune. KIDDING!! xoxo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Moment for Life...

They say that getting there is half the trip. Some say the anticipation is better than the trip. My Mom says that travelling with the girls is a vacation, but traveling with my Dad is a trip... I say getting there IS a trip..

Nothing like a good old fashioned road trip to shock and amaze me. You never know what you will happen across. As a person a little-okay a lot-afraid of most things public, travelling always comes with it's share of challenge. Why is it that someone elses dirt is somehow dirtier than my own? I will admit though, that things are better than they used to be.

In order to save time, we try not to veer off I75 too far, so gas and food and motel choices are sometimes limited. The truck stops are now one stop joints where you can safely get all your business done. In the past I would practically have to be catheterized or risk a bladder infection or bowel obstruction before using a public restroom. Remember when you would have to ask for the key before heading out to a restroom only slightly better than a port-a-john on the sixth day of the State Fair? I am relieved to say that the toities are now inside and for the most part clean. I did however, get mistaken for a 'lot lizard' as I wandered down the wrong hallway near the men's restrooms and showers. A nice dude with a big belly and beard pointed me in the direction of the ladies room.

Back in the day, I would always pack all my own food eschewing all truck stop greasy spoons that were likely to precipitate another trip to the aforementioned outhouse. The Flo like waitress would scowl at me as I asked for skim milk, turkey bacon, egg white omelets, fruit etc. Now the McDonald's have yogurt and finally, decent coffee. At a Subway, I saw red wine vinegar, whole grain wraps and guacamole on the menu. Relatively good for you and fast service to boot.

Even the 'better' hotels still have me petrified of bed bugs and overall funk. I immediately remove the bedspread and keep my flip flops next to the bed for walks over carpet that I do not know when it has last seen Hagopian. I also shower with them on. But they are 'pet friendly', so Lola is happy. And you can get wine delivered to the room. Bonus!!

One thing I hope that never changes is the shopping at the truck stop mega malls. I love to snoop thru what someone thinks is needed for road travel. One place even had an in house movie theatre for truckers over their hour limits. I understand the need for those pills that keep you awake, but Viagra-like meds? Ummmm...I guess that's where the 'lot lizards' come in. All kinds of do rags are available in case you get all sweaty behind the wheel. French fried onions are popular with refillable mugs the size of a pony keg. Anything with a Confederate flag seems to be in style. Krispy Kreme are the donuts of choice. Second rate stuffed animals abound in case you forgot to get someone a souvenir.

So, as you can imagine, getting to my condo with my own bathoom and bed is a relief and well worth the trip. And I am finally free to make it barefoot...xo

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Little Sister...

Here she is, Miss the National Coney Island enjoying the finer things in life! On Wednesday, last week I finally met my 'little'. I could not have been better matched. Makayla is a darling 7 year old with a very inquisitive mind. She was shy at first, but warmed up quickly. We have had two play dates and lots of fun. She loves Mickey and patiently stroked him for a full hour while he entered la la land. Lola allowed her to drag her around. We baked Dane a cake. We strolled thru Partridge Creek Mall and viewed all kinds of breeds of dogs. (Partridge Creek is dog friendly!) Makayla's favorite pizza is ham and pineapple--the same as mine! We enjoyed such a pie at the California Pizza Kitchen. After the pizza, she ate a giant M & M sundae! She beat me at two games of cards--match game to be exact. No shock cuz my brain is admittedly a little mushy, plus I was totally enamored with her quick, fresh memory. We bought a large puzzle with lots of kittens for later use. We laid on my bed (with Mickey and Lola) and giggled at Sponge bob Square pants. She 'helped' me dress and do make-up for a fundraiser held downtown. I reluctantly took her home.

Yes, I know this is all new-but I love it. I already have a little sister, five years younger than me, named Lisa, who I love and love spending time with. But, it's not the same. I was too involved with my own stuff to really treat her as anything other than my own personal baby doll and later as a pain in my ass. Makayla gets the good stuff. My match specialist has reminded me many times that the program is not about spending money and I am not her Mother or Grandmother, but more about spending time one on one time. Of course, I want to buy her everything, but will settle for just hanging out with her. She is a total delight.

So, as I pack for our annual trek to the Keys for lobster season, I have my little sister in mind. I hope we have a long, healthy, and mutually respectful relationship. She has her own cell phone(!) so I will call her as I cross each state line to say hello. I will probably buy her a t shirt with a mermaid on it and collect shells that we can do a craft project with.

I think you get the picture.. I will be coming at you from the Keys next week, with hopefully a few lobsters on ice. Have a wonderful week, I will keep you posted on all fronts. xoxo

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Me and Mr. Jones...

Happy Sunday everyone and Happy Birthday to dollfriend and confidant, Kristin who is celebrating a 'big' birthday today. As a contented and happy wife, mother and friend, she takes this day as a logical progression in life. As it should be. Have a great day, Babe, you deserve all the best and I love you. xo

This is a very exciting week in the life of the 'J'! I am FINALLY meeting my 'Little". Yes, I am officially a 'Big"-sister that is! I read in the Detroit News that our area is seriously hurting for volunteers in the Big Brother/Big Sisters program. This is something I have always been interested in. I filled out the very lengthy application and had about 12 close friends and family called for recommendation interviews. I then went in and met my match specialist interviewed me for and hour and a half. I was asked if I had a preference in a child-and I do. I would like a young child and had no race or religious barriers. I informed them that a physical or mental handicapped child would be okay with me also. I then filled out a great deal more paperwork. I have been approved after their careful consideration.

Generally you are given 3 childrens' profiles that you are able to look over and pick from, but on the first profile, I bit. My 'Little' is newly 7 and likes indoor and outdoor activities. She loves to read and is way above average. She is shy but warms up quickly. Perfect!!

So, on Wednesday, I have a meeting with her family, and they get a chance to approve or disapprove of me. We will see I guess. I can't wait. I have been waiting for this day for so long. It will be all I can do to not spoil her rotten with shopping and travel. My brother has joked that she is the 'lucky little lottery winner'! As if....

So wish me well and cross your fingers for me this Wednesday when the big meeting happens. I will keep you all posted on things as this big event unfolds.

In sadder news, RIP to Amy Winehouse, who passed on Saturday. Another wonderful artistic talent lost too soon.

Y'all have a wonderful week, and take the time to celebrate all that life has to offer. xoxo

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Long Hot Summer...

Hey friends. Sitting at Foster's Bar trying out my new laptop with Shawn's free wifi. Had a gorgeous weekend of the usual stuff that makes me happy and am looking forward to a week with some cool events, too. Forestville, Michigan is where I spend lots of lazy summer days before the crazy city life closes in. I love both places equally as it truly is the best of both worlds. But.... the events of northern Michigan DO differ slightly from my life in the city.

I want to share with you the plethora of possible Forestville activities as I see them posted behind Shawn's bar. Seems Kid Rock's Badass Brew is now available here. Good to know...The Kid does rock. Minden City is having a three day festival that includes the ever popular TRACTOR PULL! 6:00 SHARP, the action starts! Now, believe it or not--I have been to said pull and it IS a blast. The whole town plus some of us 'cityiots' show up and cheer for our favorite tractor or in my case, the cutest driver! Whoo Hoo! Go John Deere!

Parisville (Parisville?) Saloon is having their first annual Bike Run and Hog Roast, August 06. Too bad I will be chasing lobsters in the Keys at that time. You know I am attracted to those big, shiny bikes and maybe a little roasted pig to boot. And as a bonus, I can get out that old leather halter top! Ohhhhh, there is even a live band at 9 p.m....

And if that's not enough excitement, there is a 'Horseshoe Grudge Match' going on here at the bar. Inquire within for info. Not for me, thanks. I suck at horseshoes but can be counted on to cheer like a wild banshee. (again, for the cutest guy!)

A computer generated sign also informs us that 'The customers at Foster's Bar and Grill won $42,019 in lottery winnings in 2010'. I can assure you I was NOT part of that group and by a crazy co-incidence, that is almost exactly is the same number I SPENT on cocktailia, pizza, and such! Of course, I'd have to play the damn lotto game if I would expect to be included in that number, but I am way to busy socializing to pay attention to keep track of the numbers involved. Easy come, easy go...

And last but not least, an unpaid bar reciept from some goober who tried to pull a dine and dash after indulging in a few beers and Miss Emily's delicious pizza. NOT advised at this establishment. You will be exposed for your dastardly deed, for all us barflys to note.

So, as you can see, my options are very varied-many possibilities. So very much to consider for my tired, wine-soaked head. But a girl can dream. Of big green tractors with cute, farmer boys. Go John Deere! xoxo to y'all! Summer rocks here at Shawn's bar! xoxo

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stayin' Alive....

At a past post from blogfriend, Charles, we were invited to help him name his latest book. He gave us a few to choose from and then considered our opinions in his final choice. "Midnight in Rosary" is the name that He settled on, and I like it.

So when we were asked to consider how important the name of a book can be, I had to admit that I have many times bought a book based just on the catchy or clever name and/or a beautiful cover pic. Sometimes the font of the print alone will catch my eye. I usually take off the paper jacket on the book--and defiantly remove it when I am embarrassed at a cheesy title that I am indulging in.

So, when browsing at a local book sale, one book jumped out at me and practically landed in my hands. The cover showed 3 raggedy looking children in an old black and white photo and the title of the story was, "The Hypocrisy of Disco". I could not resist. And it was a memoir set in San Francisco about a child growing up during the 'summer of love' by your usual, run of the mill hippie parents. It is author Clane Hayward's first foray into writing. Claude and H'Lane proved to be forerunners in the strange baby name trend and that poor child is still probably explaining that handle.

The story is told of 3 children with different fathers being raised by their mother and various men. They were dirt poor and ate only rice sometimes, while living in shacks without plumbing and electricity. Mostly filthy and lice ridden, somehow their Mom thought this a pure and honorable way to grow up. It never dawned on her that this form of living was akin to abuse, as the kids were scorned everywhere they went. Sending them to school, filthy and barefoot, with a bag of tofu sandwiches for lunch made the children natural targets. Clane develops a heightend sense of her surrounding from all of this though, and treats us to descriptions of smells, sights, and textures in ways that made me feel like I was standing next to her. After being shuffled around from commune to tent to ranch and finally with her true father, and then her grandmother proves to be more of an adventure than I could imagine.

The story is an easy read--sometimes dark, but always with the honesty and trust of a child. Clane persevered and ended up in the armed service and then on to college and teaching school. I love a story with grit that has an ending of triumph. It gives honor to personal endurance and shows that you do not necessarily have to have the perfect upbringing to succeed and be happy. Read this book if you want to be amazed and smile. And find out precisely what the hypocrisy of disco really is.

Yes, I am a year older today. I do not care about the public celebration of birthdays, preferring to be quiet and reflective on the day that marks my birth. Although, you know I love birthday suits and birthday cake. And that's all I'm gonna say about that! xoxo

Monday, July 4, 2011

American Woman....

Happy fourth of July! A few things that make my holiday complete--loaded Bloody Mary's for breakfast, boating with the Ambercrombie models, (aka my hot nephews!) and last but not least, a couple of good books in my hammock! All the things my blog and partywise friend, Michelle, hates about the fourth, are the very things I love. The sun has been perfect and we had 16 people join us for a barbecue. Fireworks on the beach are cool, but not at the expense of Mickey, who hates them. Poor baby. The sky was so clear and there were many shooting stars, which beat the hell out of fireworks for me.

But....on Saturday, a storm that rocked the thumb left us without power for 24 hours showing us how truly and shamefully wimpy we are. Melting ice? What about the beer? No water for showering off the sunscreen and bugs? Egad-a cold water spongebath. Ummm, hauling water from the pump to be able to flush the loo? Oh, this is so NOT working for me. How am I going to charge my cell? Oh yeah, Denzel's car charger can handle that. Candles just aren't cool for anything you really need to see and a much better suited for aromatic and romantic endeavors. And I have been meaning to replace the batteries in the flashlight, of which we have, like, 20 of. Luckily my lighted Ipad enabled me to read in bed, although come morning, SOMEBODY better go SOMEWHERE to score me some caffeine before I detox and get even uglier. Either that or just hang a rope of garlic around my neck and cover the mirrors as I turn into a sunscreen sticky, crazy haired monster. Not anywhere close to pretty..

So, when Thumb Electric hooked us back up, (after numerous calls) I was happy to stroll down Electric Avenue. Make that dance. As kids, we loved power outages and were content to play board games and eat up the refrigerator before everything spoiled. What happened? I don't know and don't care to be tested again anytime soon. I totally feel for those who have truly experienced disasters of the real kind. We truly are blessed and lucky.

Hope y'all had the fourth that makes you happy and contented and grateful. I know I did. xoxo

P.S. Michelle, when running with sparklers, take off those monster heels for your own safety and everyone else's!!! xoxo

Monday, June 27, 2011

Free as a Bird...

After being ousted out of my 'retirement' to help with an inventory in our warehouse, (no wisecracks, Mark!) I am happily back in my regular groove. I caught up on the mundane house stuff and got something in the fridge besides condiments, cremora and styrofoam. Watched the Tigers win the last 2 games and did a old, fashioned chicken bbq with grilled romaine for dinner. Am looking forward to the long weekend with some serious R and R at the beach house. I downloaded 3 new books to enjoy in my new hammock. (pic coming soon!) I need to get back on my journey to finish Dad's side. And I am most certain that TJ Maxx has a few things with my name on 'em..

HOWEVER, my computer has been acting up and my screen is now sporting red and aqua stripes--that my be kinda cute but is surely an ominous sign. Took my chances tonight and decided to live dangerously and do a quick post. I may or may not be able to comment this week as I get this problem worked out. Till later, enjoy this gor-jwah-ness that is our summer weather! xoxo

Monday, June 20, 2011

Money, Money, Money....

A couple of years ago friends of mine, sisters, learned that they inherited quite a sizable estate. A family friend of theirs, that had little family, passed away and surprised the girls with a downfall of trust funds and property. Since the girls were barely teens, most of it is in trust and distributed incrementally. College and cars and expense worries are a thing of the past. Hell, they could even skip college-unless they just go for fun. (a route that I heartily recommend!)

So, how are they handling the new found wealth? By finishing high school and college, and working at their family business. They are the most goal oriented and polite girls you would ever want to meet and I am very proud of them.

Believe it or not, this past Saturday I learned that ANOTHER acquaintance has had a similar situation. Seems someone he was nice to, left him a large bag of money. He will probably retire early and enjoy life. Lucky dude. Hopefully some donations are in the wind, but I think it's too soon to tell. I can only imagine that it takes some time for the shock to wear off and reality to sink in.

And finally, I read today that a homeless man was found--after a two year search to accept his inheritance. Cool for him. I hope he can handle it and that it does, in fact, somehow improve his life.

So now, the big question, dearies. What would you do if you found yourself in an unexpected tax bracket? Donate? Retire? Travel? Save? I know it's an age old party question, but I still would like you to consider and let me know your answer.

Have a great week and remember, "frugal is such an ugly word"..... xoxo

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Feels like the first time....

Two dear dollfriends of mine, Lexi and Elle, experienced their first ever concert this past Saturday. They were among the screaming mass at Ford Field watching Taylor Swift do her thing. They were dolled up and fueled with lots of sugar to make it thru to the late ending of the show. Reports are that they loved it--and you never do forget your first concert with all it's overwhelming nature.

My first concert? The Doobie Brothers at Castle Rock Theatre. Very cool in that loud, damp outside air that left me hoarse the next day. My date drove an El Camino, I think it rained, I know there was lotsa pot and that's about all I remember. Just as well.. I need you Cookies to think back and let me know your 'virgin' concert experiences! Even you old dudes-and you know who you are...

First trip out on the Zodiac was a success and apps (oh, and wine) at Crew's Inn were delicious. Maiden voyage without a hitch. First NBA championship ring for King James may or may not happen-the game is on as I speak. Go Heat! Luis-DO NOT have the big one!

Spent today almost solely on where after a week and a half, I can report almost having ONE tree completed. 8 hours on the keyboard is most assuredly a first for me, but I am determined to finish this journey. Oh-got stung by a bee! The first one of the summer. I always get stung every year and every year I forget how much it HURTS and for how long. Used white vinegar for the homeopathic remedy, but remember my Mom putting mud on the angry red welt when I was a child..

So, y'all let me know about that concert thing, k? I've got to get back to the game! Go Miami, if Detroit can win it, it might as well be you!

Enjoy life, my pretties....xoxo

Monday, June 6, 2011

Never Know...

I have always been intrigued by family heritage and have wanted to dig further into mine. So this weekend, I bought into I don't have any illusions of any family member 'starting out a slave, and ending up a businessman', but who knows? Maybe some blue blood or Scandinavian Queen is in my past! The site offers an international library for 2 weeks, free of charge. I got busy right away and spent roughly 12 hours before completing one of the 6 that I plan to research. The site has all info pretty much sorted out for you and all you need to start is very basic info-a few names and dates- and you are off and running. I started with my Dad's side and was not surprised to find out that both of my great grandparents came over from Norway. I was shocked to read their names on the ships manifest! Khristiansand, Norway is exactly where my Dad's fathers side originated and I plan to visit this port town someday.

After the short trip to Norway where the records dried up, I moved on to Dad's mothers side of the family. What a crazy discovery ending up in France in the fifteen hundreds! France has impeccably kept records that were easy to find and clear to read. I learned that I am squarely 1/4 Norwegian and 1/4 French on my paternal side. I am now delving into Mom's side and can't wait to see what that will bring.

If you have ever had the inkling, by all means go to and check it out. It's absolutely amazing and very addicting. Don't say you haven't been warned. I honestly cannot stop doing it! I am going to do my son's father's side also and it's been rumoured in the family that he is a nephew of the great infamous Jesse and Frank James.

Gotta run, it's off to the wild, wild west for me and I will let y'all know how it shakes out. And by the way, Happy Birthday Dane! Have a glorious week! xoxo

Monday, May 30, 2011

Brighter than the Sun...

Happy Memorial Day! After a long weekend up north getting the beach house and tiki bar opened up, I am finally home and bushed. The weather was pretty co operative and the company was fabulous! The wi fi and air cards-not so much. More than once it was noted that it was almost better when we simply had NO service and lived with it from Friday till Sunday or Monday.

I am just now pausing to remember those who have fought for our country as well as those who simply fight the good fight. My family, friends, bartenders and servers, my pharmacist, and fitness coaches. I love you and thank you all, for making my life more pleasant. Oh, and my lovely lovelies here in the blogosphere. Wether you comment or just read-my thanks to you. xo

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Rapture? So what the hell was that all about? I never bother to get too hung up on these 'predictions' such as this or any other possible disaster. I never got hysterical and stocked up on water and provisions in case of Y2K or even a Michigan snowstorm. Seems we are never snowed in more than a day, and even then I can soldier on without milk and bread for a morning or two. Gives me a chance to get creative with some of those mystery packages in my freezer in fervent hope that one of them is my mom's German Apple Coffee cake. My true worries involve having enough vodka and/or wine to get thru the weekend without having to endure Kroger during crush time. So forgive me if my cynical ass found myself not surprised to NOT have had myself saved-along with the rest of the world. I still have bills to pay, weight to lose and flowers to plant. Business as usual. Thank goodness.

After Saturday dawned without incident, and without any eminent danger, I was free to continue with planned events. I headed downtown to a cool watering hole with some faces you may have met if you follow this scribbling I do on Sundays. It was a belated birthday get down for Michelle of Michelle's Spell, and sister Beth-always a delight- was here visiting. Oh, and of course, Baby Grouchy (Michelle's mascot and possible love child) was in attendance and could be found trying to get a buzz through fur absorption. And at our table, He stood a very good chance of this! Jim of J.R's Thumbprint endured my driving lack-of-skill, where we hooked up with Mark of Walking Man fame and professional hugger status, and I got to meet and get to know Erik of Erik's Choice-totally my pleasure. Twas a fun evening that flew by in what seemed like a few minutes.

Sooo, "Rapture" will continue to be the Blondie tune with the crazy lyrics that we used to sing along to in a Debbie Harry monotone voice. And those friends of mine-thanks to you all. I had a blast and hope we can do it again. SOON! xo

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rock and Roll Never Forgets....

Bob Seger is embarking on his farewell tour tour in Detroit this week; and he is now 62 years old. Amazing! In the greater Ossineke and Alpena area where I grew up, Bob is a local legend. His mother lives in Alpena, so he is a semi-regular out and about. He has been quoted as saying he loves the area because he is left alone, mostly. My sister has played golf with him and my brother has shot some nine ball with him at the local watering hole. All of us have our 'Seger' stories-me included.

One cold Northern Michigan night, a girlfriend and I were out trolling at the Alpena Holiday Inn when Bob walked in and caused a mild stir. He looked good, dressed in a wool trench coat and 'piano keys' scarf with snowflakes in his hair and on his eyelashes. My compadre and I played the scene verrry cool. Well now...Didn't Mr. Bob sidle up and buy us chickies a cocktail. The bartender set down our new drinkies and said that this one is from Mr. Seger. We gave him a raised glass 'thank you' nod and got back a reciprocal 'your welcome' from Bob. The DJ respectfully did NOT put on a Seger track that would have surely embarrassed him. After slamming down his drink, our local legend vanished back into the dark, snowy night.

I grew up with and loved his music and most of his songs evoke a fond memory. From skiing to school dances to hot dates, there was a tune for all times. Just reading his current concert play list is still a walk down memory lane. No offensive language in the lyrics for emphasis, just relevant songs sung from the heart.

So as he brings his final swan song to Detroit, I say sing those old songs, dude. And if I see you out again, this time I am buying the cocktails. xoxo

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mamma Mia...

Happy Mothers Day to all you Moms, Grandmas and special friends of children-young and old. We literally would not be here without you and one day is not nearly enough time to express our gratitude for everything you have done for us.

I was in Ossineke this past weekend for my traditional Moms Day visit and had a nice time with my 97 year old Gramma who can remember most every detail of the birth of her two children. Rock on, Grannie! My own Mom, after raising us 3 hooligans is now a proud Gramma of 8. She sacrificed anything and everything for us and I have the fondest childhood memories you can imagine. After school chocolate cake and milk, wonderful holidays, support in my gymnastic and cheerleading efforts, and family vacations, not to mention constant help with the raising of my son. Mom ran crowd control, refereed fights and kept us from killing each other. And nothing will ever compare to those times. After a wonderful breakfast, I brought my Mother back here with me for a few days visit where we will be enjoying some relaxing, fun time. Plan to shop, catch up on family stuff, and drink a little vino. The Red Wings are on tonight and will need our undivided attention and unbridled cheering if they are gonna pull off the miracle we need to win this series. Go Wings!

I also had lunch (4 and a half hours!) with an old and dear friend that is THE ultimate mother. She adopted a family of three children when they were tots and has raised them to be loving, caring and happy adults. How lucky and blessed were they to have found this jackpot in her loving arms! Baby, your the best.

And then there is my buddy who lost his mother this year. May the memories of his MomAngel comfort him today as he surely misses her. Heaven is richer in her warm presence. xo

I hope all of you had a wonderful day however it shook out for you. Celebrate the love for Mom today and everyday. xo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pink Cashmere...

Crossing Hall road on Saturday, when the waves of nausea hit me, I thought the incessant stop and go traffic of a busy afternoon was causing that feeling in my gut known as 'car sickness'. Somewhere around Pontiac, after walking around a Target parking lot, I decided it really was some kind of fast-hitting flu bug. The fact that I had NO urge to do a 'Target run', clinched the diagnosis. Skipping planned party destination and turning around to head back home was the only 'run' I could get wrapped around. Dry heaving in a parking lot is decidedly NOT glamorous.

Sooo, spent the last two days sleeping and recovering from what turned out to be a 24 hour bug. Watched endless HGTV and read when my eyes could focus. Even treated myself to ice cream without any heed for calories--it really is the only 'flu worthy' food! And finally, at this late hour on Sunday, I am feeling human and even plan to meet Walking Man (Mark) for java and chatties tomorrow. Watch out friends, your ears may be ringing! (Michelle, Jim)

********Just in-Osama Bin Laden is dead! May his evil soul rot in hell.*********

To the rest of you lovelies, Happy May Day. I think spring is finally here! xo

P.S. In lieu of my still wan appearance, I am posting a pic of a mermaid painting I did for dear friends Mark and Marty who accused me of doing a self-portrait. Moi? Silly boys....xo

Sunday, April 24, 2011


My dear old Gramma used to say that on Good Friday it would be dark and gloomy and maybe rain from the hours of 12:00 to 3:00, while our good Lord was suffering on the cross. And this year she was right again.

As kids we observed Lent in all it's formats and never ate meat on Fridays. Lots of creamed tuna on toast with peas, if I recall. We thought long and hard before choosing a sacrifice for the season that would be easy enough to actually do and hard enough to still count. We didn't always make it, but at least we understood the meaning of sacrifice. Good Friday then was a day of reverence and we spent it indoors doing a quiet activity or watching mass on the t.v. Mom would usually be ironing. At promptly 3:00 plus 2 seconds, we were sprung from our vigil and coincidentally, the sun usually broke thru as we busted out the door to play. Another sign that the sacrifice of respect could be over.

Then after the Easter morning hoopla of baskets and eggs, we were spit shined up and hauled off to Mass. For some of those years, women still had to cover their heads, and I loved the spring hats that were on display. In northern Michigan we always pushed the limits considering that the temps were usually quite chilly and possibly snowy. But my Mother always treated Easter as the biggest holiday of all. Even bigger than Christmas-which is, in fact, the Catholic way. We waited impatiently for the hour to pass to go home and get our hands on those chocolate bunnies that were waiting.

I guess looking back, lent and Easter were probably our first lessons in sacrifice and selflessness. Altho I do not officially practice the season in that way, I love the things it taught. These days hold very little sacrifice for me, and being selfless is even harder. Having a wonderful dinner with friends made the day perfect and well, the rest of it I'll just have to work on. I promise.. xo to all of you on this glorious day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Turn the Page....

Dig this pic of JR and I on our coffee and chat recently at Big Apple Bagels. I was all vacation sloth-like while Jim is as lean as a cat due to loooong, daily runs to the beach. I've heard running can help lift your mood but I prefer food and wine--hence the post vaycay chub!!! So how do you actually help a friend who's low? I hate to see anyone I care about in pain, but what really works in the way of helping to ease it? I've been grouped in a very special category with The Walking Man, as an honorary therapist, but all I've done is slurp coffee-that JR bought--and listen. It's sorta like a funeral where there are no words-available or necessary. Desperately, I sometimes fall back on the old chestnuts, you know, all things for a reason and when one door shuts, one door opens and the such. As inane as they sound, there is a bit of truth to 'em. As humans we just slog along thru the mud-or mud throwing-and eventually things even out and seem better. Or maybe it's just that we finally adjust to our new situations. Changes or shake ups in our routines are scary, especially after a long time of familiarity and comfort. Maybe the change has left us more open to something different-and dare we say better. Who can say? Time doesn't heal all wounds, but it does give us a chance to fill our days with new diversions. So much for all my womanly insights as a gal who's been to more than one rodeo.... The only things I know for sure that it doesn't matter what people think of us. It's not our responsibility to care about what they think. Your friends know the truth without being told. xo P.S. After numerous attempts to create paragraphs-what you see it what you get! Blogger refused to place nice. :( P.P.S.S. Detroit sports are rockin' the D! Tigers and Red Wings and new Pistons owners. Oh my...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cadillac Style....

It's April in the D! And that found me in Detroit to join all the revelry associated with the season opener of our Detroit Tigers. Oh, yes, I was. Dressed in polar fleece. Hmmmm...mmm. I could go skiing or to a ball game. Can you believe it was 48 degrees at game time and only had JUST stopped drizzling in time for the fly over. I did have, in addition to the 4 layers, (my Keys blood is so thin!) my groovy soft Tiger blanket that a dude at the mall soaked me for. And lucky for me, it was the blanky that kept me warm till about the seventh inning when the sun finally came out. Normally I would dig right in to the beer and peanuts thing, but when the guy called out, 'cold beeeerrr', I answered with 'hot chocolate'! Large please. Had great seats and saw an action packed game in which the Tigs were victorious. Wish the rest of the series would have continued in the same fashion, but it's early in the season and ya can't win 'em all.

As with most events in Detroit, the people watching reined supreme. Even the parking structure held parties by groups that had no intention of entering the park! The Elwood was packed with crazies gettin' their drunk on and losing their voices. The dude with the tiger print suit was in proud attendance, and the guy that features himself the pimp in orange was wandering about feelin' his pimp hand. The usual amount of tartlets that dressed like it was 80 degrees could be spotted freezin' their asses off while looking remarkably hot--and stupid.

Saturday I thawed out and relaxed, and later hit Luigii's with friends for dinner. And lo and behold, on Sunday the temp climbed to 78! Now we're talkin'! I actually dressed like one of those tartlets and enjoyed the sunshine and dug into the newest book in the 'Earth Children' series by Jean Auel. Some barbecued chicken and a movie finished off a great weekend.

Hope yours was wonderful, too. Spring is here, or almost anyways. Keep the faith, Babes!! xo

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home...

I arrived home on April Fools Day after 5 weeks in the sunny Keys. The weather being the evil joke on all of us. Coming home after being gone that long is a very surreal experience. I have never, ever been away from home that long and somehow the Florida place never really feels like 'home'. I can't really explain it, but it's just not the same. Maybe the lack of any type of schedule is part of it, with daily happy hour being the only set thing. The first 3 weeks were spent helping with a kitchen/living area remodel and went by in an exhausted haze. (It turned out great, by the way.) I didn't get in the pool the whole timeand spent FAR too much time at Home Depot where I am now known as a regular. The next two weeks when I could enjoy the fruits of my labor, I did get in some boating and pool time. Still, it's just not home for me yet. I miss my home bed, with it's down comforter. My Macomb Daily crossword is like a religion to ,and Mickey and I go every morning like clockwork out to get it. Keys Citizen's just doesn't cut it. At home, I watch Fox news with coffee and puzzle while my head engages. Miami news isn't quite as gritty as Detroit news with all it's updates on gator attacks and boating reports. Sunrises at the condo are gorgeous, in fact so much, that I take 'em for granted. And my afternoon 'laydown' is easy here with our mostly gray days, but in Florida you kinda get that, "it's too nice to be inside guilt", altho I can combat that issue with a doze in the hammock or on my pool float. I always have promises to somehow work out, but the sultry weather just makes that impossible for me. How those people can run in that heat and humidity confounds my lazy ass! I can't wait to go to the gym tomorrow and re-connect with my homies-a routine that helps me with my Luigii indulgences, again, that I just can't get in Florida. I love all the fresh seafood, but sometimes a girl just has to have a 'National Coney Island' to help herself get right. Thank goodness, I won't be officially retired (no cracks from the peanut gallery, please) for some time. Just not ready yet. Paradise is paradise, but home is it's own Eden for me. xoxo P.S. someone who will remain nameless (WM) is holding me personally responsible for NOT bringing home the warm weather with me. FYI, I put in the order and it's due to get here sometime this week! I do what I can....xo

Monday, March 28, 2011

Island in the Sun...

March 26, I've read, is an 'official' day to be considered. 'Make up your own holiday' is a novel idea and a good writing prompt for me. Let me see if my lazy, cocktail drenched brain is even able to engage..

Well, for one thing, the month of march is 'Deep Vein Thrombosis' month. Hmmmm, news to me--since I suffer the disorder myself. Just a little info to keep you up to speed on this sort of common, but rarely diagnosed disorder. When I was 35, and enjoying a salad on a lunch date, I just sort of collapsed and was unable to walk or talk. Very scary, especially for my date, Mark who had to CARRY my pitiful ass to the ER. It was thought at the time, that I was suffering from a funky PTSD brought on by a painful breakup..Fast forward 10 years later when it happened again, in an otherwise wonderful life. After 4 days in the hospital and every test known to man, I showed two spots on my brain, due to strokes! I was diagnosed with MS and put on the appropriate meds. Later, a spinal tap (yowchy!) showed that to be incorrect. A blood specialist found the defect and pinned me with DVT and promptly put me on massive blood thinners that leave me bloated and bruise prone. But I am no longer in danger of throwing clots. Just fat and black and blue! I will be on these evil meds forever. A simple, but thorough blood test could have originally found this problem in Alpena, but I did not have insurance at the time, and was basically stabilized and sent home to regain all my faculties. Undiagnosed, one more clot could have been my last.

So, for me, I just choose to celebrate life-as I do every day. You can guess that I have already made up and celebrated, 'Stay Naked all Day' day, and 'Eat Chocolate for all Three Meals Day', and a personal favorite, 'Stay Naked and Eat Chocolate for all Three Meals Day'! You know I could go on...

Let me know what you would make up for your own 'holiday' and what you would do. And if all else fails, get your blood checked while naked AND eating chocolate!!! xo

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Little South of Sanity...

And so it begins...Our annual 'Debauchery, Sloth, and Indulgence' tour, kicked off yesterday. All the usual players are here and ready for fun and sun. The weather report is perfect, perfect, and perfect! The rum and vodka have been installed in our new bar area. And we have ice in the door of the new fridge-more perfect! We finished the remodeling project in a record 2 and a half weeks and are very pleased with the results. It was long days and many trips to Home Depot, but it is finally complete. The new bar has 6 big comfy stools that will surely get broken in during the next 2 weeks. The Zodiac has already been out zipping around the mangroves and we have spotted manatees and a porpoise in our harbor. Not much else is planned other than the usual boating, eating, sunning and Key West visit. I could use and mani/pedi and a massage after lugging, hauling, schlepping, painting etc. I am raggedy! With the work done, more pool time is in my plans, also some reading and a few long naps with Lola. Lazy daze ahead...xo

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shiver me Timbers....

Ahoy, mateys! I realize the official 'Talk like a Pirate Day' isn't until September 19, but since I actually met some real life pirates, I just had to celebrate this monumental event a little early.

While treasure hunting at the Marathon Seafood Festival on Saturday-well blow me down-I found myself awash in pirate love when I met Cap'n Slappy and his beauteous wenches patrolling and pillaging the grounds. Avast! What pirattitude! After trading our best piratese and posing for this photo, I had to quench me thirst and headed my scurvy arse over to the libation tent for a nice cold mug 'o grog. If you are nautically inclined, I would advise you do the same... Arrrrrgh...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rolling in the Deep...

Taking a break from painting and such to enjoy lunch at a favorite cafe. The 'host' is a large, golden retriever that not only escorts you to your outdoor table, but patiently waits in hopes that you will 'tip' him once your lunch arrives. I love lunching outdoors amidst the bougainvillea and lizards while looking like a local in my grubby work clothes.

That's all for now, cuz this working girls has gotta get back to the project-which by the way, is going well. See ya'll next week. xo