Monday, December 30, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

First of all today, on this freezing Monday, I would like to thank Mark, a.k.a. The Walking Man for my blatant rip off of his blog idea.  Thanks Buddy, I owe you one! xo

As 2013 winds down, I will do my best to sum up my personal 'end of year list'.  I am not sorry to see 2013 come to a close as it was a trying year at best.  Experiencing the calendar year of holidays and events without my Dad and my Mother-in-law was surreal.  As Dad's one year of passing came up, a large Manhattan was toasted in his honor as we marveled at how strange it was without Dad planted in front of my fireplace feasting on cookies and nuts-with his own large Manhattan in hand.  And without Patty, who always swooped in with a mountain of presents for us all.  In her absence, I decorated a small tree festooned with all of her costume jewelry and a picture of her near the star.  It seemed that she was smiling down at us all.  I am going to qualify this whole thing as the 'good'.

The bad....The overall holiday depression and desperation that leads people to do extreme things.  I know things like murders of children and home invasions happen everyday, but it's always a sharper contrast with a backdrop of Christmas carols.  The insane neediness of family's wishing for blankets and jackets and food in the midst of my own glut is completely depressing.  Nothing I can ever do will ever be enough.  God Bless those in need and I hope their new year reveals hope and compassion.

And do you want to see ugly?  As I show up at the gym on Thursday, the place will be packed.  Altho I will put in many a mile on the treadmill going nowhere, I hate it when 'my' parking spot is full and I have to trek across the parking lot.  Patience has never been my strong suit, and waiting my turn aggravates me to no end.  I like to get in, get done, and get out, and all the 'resolution people' will totally slow me down.  I love it when January is done and the place clears back out to just us regular idiots.  Gotta learn to play well with others...for awhile anyways.

As I spend New Years Eve (my least favorite holiday of all!) quietly with a few close friends, I will toast in 2014 with wishes of health, happiness, peace and love to all.  xoxo



Monday, December 23, 2013

Something About December...

 
 "We Three Kings"?  Hardly..3 party buddies-totally!  That's a scenario just about as likely as me dashing thru the snow in a one horse open sleigh.  Or decking my halls with boughs of holly.  (Okay, I did do a little 'decking'!)  Or singing yuletide carols.  So, what's with Christmas carols being so completely irrelevant?  Me rocking around my Christmas tree is even highly unlikely-unless I were to get into my cups and then anything is possible!  And has anyone heard any jingle bells lately?  Roasted any chestnuts?  It's about as likely as a child getting a stocking with some nuts and an orange.  

I've been listening to the 'Love' channel on satellite which is playing all Christmas music.  Can't help but wonder why the best songs are the old 'chestnuts'.  Familiar tunes with words worn smooth by years of familiarity. The spiritual carols are my favorites and I suppose that's because they are traditional.  Many artists have tried to get me to like new songs, but they never seem to work.  Run DMC, the Beach Boys and Micheal Jackson-to name a few, just should not even try.  

 My Mom and my brother are driving down tomorrow and I'm praying that I75 won't find them stuck in a total 'carmageddon'.  As I host the holiday this year, I will try to keep some family traditions alive. For instance, my family prefers meat pie on Christmas Eve, so we will have meat pies.  If anybody feels up to it, we will drive around and admire the neighborhood light show, something do if we are still awake later.   We will go to St. Peters for mass.  Likely, the conversation will move to Christmases past and we'll speak of memories of my Dad.  Nobody, but nobody enjoyed a Christmas cookie like he did.  And having his family around him was always enough to make him happy.  But I digress... On Christmas Day we will have peppermint stick ice cream and my Mom's famous sugar cookies.  My sister in Florida will call and we will all talk and wish she was here.  That about wraps it up.

But I look forward to it all.  It passes by in a flash and my house will be quiet once again by Thursday morning.  The cookies and memories will linger as they always do-traditionally.... xo

Merry Christmas, my darlings.  Be happy and content.  xoxo

Monday, December 16, 2013

That's What I Do...

Hello my Sugarplums!  Hope this finds you all snug as bugs in rugs on this cold, snowy night.  I have just came off a week of nutty scheduling that found me attending parties four nights in a row.  That's even heavy for me.  But I persevered and made it to the other side.  By Sunday the end was in sight and tonight I am happy to be in front of my fireplace with my snuggley blanket. 

Wednesday we had our company Christmas party and it was a blast, as usual.  I love touching base with our employees.  Everyone was in a festive mood as fittin' the season.  Thursday was the annual Big Brother/Big Sister Party and my little sister and I tore it up playing skee ball, laser tag and bumper cars.  It's an event we look forward to every year.  Friday night, found us at Andiamo's for the Scinta's Christmas Show.  If you ever get the chance to see the Scinta's-don't miss it.  They are a Las Vegas act that combines comedy, impressions, singing and dancing.  They could get Scrooge AND the Grinch in the spirit of the season!  Saturday the snow made hauling our cookies to Ann Arbor a little treacherous, but I wouldn't have missed our nieces nurse pinning ceremony for the world.  I am proud of Nicole, as she has finished nursing school-no small feat.  She is the perfect combination of beauty, brains and compassion and will make a fine R.N. xo

Whew! I tell ya, I'm getting to old for this craziness.  Not sure when it all got to be so exhausting, but it is.  I have a quiet week ahead and that's just fine with me.  With my tree lights on, I want to just chill, slow down, and read the new Amy Tan. 

Have a wonderful week, my friends, doin' whatcha gotta do!  xoxo

Monday, December 9, 2013

Georgia...

Can I just say how much flying cracks me up?  On a short trip last weekend, I once again had to laugh at the incredible nonsense of it all.  At the Detroit check in, I was informed that I had been randomly selected for priority boarding.  This honor would allow me to bypass the nonsense of shoe and coat removal and xray of my two ounce liquids.  Whoo Hoo! I never 'win' anything and was happy to skip this scenario for once.  But of course, it was too good to be true. The buckles on my boots beeped and something in my suitcase-that was never identified- necessitated me opening my suitcase for a search.  This is Detroit and you can never be too careful.  So much for the special treatment.  And the security people were not even nice about it. 
 
 I love the insistence of buckling those wimpy seat belts as if they could possibly make a real difference if we were falling out of the sky.  The same goes for the 'upright seat' and tray position that must be observed in takeoff and landing.  Can't imagine how those things can possibly effect the safety of the flight.  I guess it's a power trip for those poor flight attendants for  putting up with people like me.  Especially amusing is the admonishment that we are not to congregate outside the lavatories.  As if!  I hate having to get anywhere near those bathrooms!  Move about the cabin?  Where?  And somehow, there is always those people that do not respect the polite code of planning and deplaning.  They charge up before their group is called, only to be sent back to wait.  On the way out, those same people try to cut ahead of their row to get off the plane 2 minutes before their turn.  So rude!  But thankfully, amidst all the organized chaos, we enjoy safe travels.
 
Atlanta, Georgia's huge airport is a pleasant surprise.  A greeter immediately welcomed us to Atlanta and wished us a wonderful visit.  Equally pleasant were the people at the MARTA public transportation center.  They pleasantly explained the system to us and, again, welcomed us to Atlanta.  The same hospitality was extended over and over again as we navigated restaurants and such.  Detroit could take a lesson in this southern charm.
 
On the way home as I sailed thru 'priority boarding', I was told to 'come back and visit us again real soon'.  And you can bet your sweet peaches, I will!  xoxo


Monday, December 2, 2013

Away...

Happy December my lovelies.  As usual, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family.  My brother in law and sister did not disappoint and for this I am grateful.

I did not and probably will not ever participate in any Black Friday shopping.  Friday morning found me sleeping off my food coma and then drinking coffee and catching up with my Mom.  I realize that the deals are wonderful, but I'm simply not motivated enough to handle it.  Slipping into Target today to get tree lights today does not count.

 I've explained this before, but the holiday season has been made considerably easier having made the decision years ago to not shop at all.  My family doesn't even exchange gifts preferring to just spend time together without the hassle of trying to buy for each other.  I love the food, lights, music etc.  But shopping for those of us that aren't needy means nothing to me.   Cornball as it is, at Christmas, our presence is our presents.

That said, I am looking for a good, honest cause to donate to.  When I lived up north, it was easy to adopt a family and be sure that the gifts stayed local.  I don't trust big companies that pay their execs to handle the money because it seems very little money gets where it is meant to go. 

Do any of you have a favorite local charity that you are comfortable donating to?  Please let me know here, on facebook or (gasp!) just call me.  Muchas Gracias.  Love and joy to all. xoxo

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Feel Lucky...

Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my lovely Mom.  At 75 years young, she can still kick ass and take names.  Mom has more energy and gets done more with her day by 9:00 a.m. than I can manage all day.  She works out and walks regularly keeping herself is great shape.  I loved it when I lived two doors away and could drop by anytime for her wonderful cookies and homemade bread.  We can count on her for anything and I can only aspire to be more like her.  See you on Wednesday night, when we can celebrate your birthday and Thanksgiving as well.  xo

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  It is my favorite holiday, only second to July 04.  We will all be together at my sister and brother-in-law's for a day of feasting and football.  They are fabulous cooks and I don't mind being kicked out of the kitchen.   I'm sure some of our thoughts will be of my Dad, as we celebrate the holiday without him.  Nobody loved to eat more than him and he was a pro at the turkey carving.  And he always left room for pie.

I have plenty to be thankful for, on Thursday and on everyday.  I have been blessed with all the best things life can give.  Love, family, friends, contentment and security are things that I will try to never take for granted.  These things, plus turkey dinner and a glass or two of vino will surely keep me sated for another year.

Enjoy the holiday.  I'm thankful for you all. xo

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hit 'em up Style...(oops!)


Can I admit to totally having a girl crush on D.I.Y.'s  Rehab Addict, Nicole Curtis?  Totally.  Oh, yeah, she's my kinda girl.  Originally from the Detroit area, now living in Minneapolis, Nicole buys and restores old houses to their former glory.  The show follows her through all phases from purchase to sale.  I admire all the tools she can run and the projects she tackles, all while sporting rockin' boots and cool 'Detroit' gear.  As I demo'ed my bathroom this past week, I had to wonder WWNCD? 

 In my own personal reality show, my bathroom was coming along nicely.  But this rehab addict needed a break.  Numerous trips to Lowe's and endless Amazon shopping for fixtures had me beat.  Tired of running up and down a ladder and inhaling drywall dust, a hot bath and a good book sounded perfect.  I was just scraping the primer off my elbows and gel stain off my fingernails, when the 'call of duty' came.  Girlfriends want to party!   Now this project demands some real action.  Buck up little soldier!  Faster than you can say 'chrystal chandelier', I snapped that ladder shut and gave myself a little makeover.  You think that was easy?  Oh hells no, probably the biggest challenge of the day!

A little glamorous chicky confab and a few cocktails later, I was as good as new.  And a few jello shots didn't hurt the cause any either.  Laughing, catching up, and a pic or two with my beauties, was the perfect ending to the week of very unglamorous bathroom hell.  Girl time can do that.

Later at home, I looked in on my half done bathroom and smiled.  And as I kicked off my boots, and ditched my hat, I knew I'd be back on that ladder again tomorrow. 

Nicole Curtis would be proud.  xo

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diva...

DISCLAIMER!!!!  (To completely understand this post, you may have to harken back to my Oct. 31, 2010 post called 'Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud.'  I fully realize that I am an idiot that gets overly attached to and even name my Mustangs.)  Please indulge and bear with me.  I thank you in advance. xo

My affair is over.  I knew from the moment I saw him 3 years ago, I had to have him and there was no turning back.  I adored his sexy, sleek look and fast temperament. That mustang had a body like Arnold with a Denzel face!  For three torrid years, Denzel Washington and I carried on like no one was watching.  Our tryst took us to the Keys for the winter and, recently to a quick getaway to Canada.  I loved his black, badass self.  And, Lord help me-he was as smooth as silk. 

Our parting was a mutual thing, (okay, the lease was up!) and we will always remember the good times. We bonded one last time over a drink, (gas) and a bath together (the car wash).  It was bittersweet but oh so fun while it lasted.  But I'm really not the cheatin' type and Denzel is free to make someone else feel special. xo

I made a new 'buddy' on Friday that is helping me move on.  'Sasha Fierce' is a hot little thing with a cool attitude.   She is a racy little diva that promises to keep me on the straight and narrow. With her platinum good looks and hot accessories-we are going to PAAARRTAAYY! 

And, again, I thank you all for enduring my craziness.  xoxoxo

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wake me Up...

 
It was an initiation to 'Hatteras life' that forced me into trolling around the docks in pirate garb weeks ahead of Halloween.  I think I passed the test.

This week we are being forced to adjust to 'daylight saving time'.  On Saturday night-in case you are not familiar-we turned our clocks back one hour.  I admit to being totally confounded as to the reason this makes sense.  I did love getting one extra hour of sleep, but I feel like it takes me a good week or so to truly adjust.  I do not like changing all the clocks in the house and have even been known to just leave 'em till spring when they right themselves.

  I woke up Sunday morning confused-even more than usual-and had to check my iPhone to clarify the true time.  I remember as kids, being late for church (oh darn!) without any technology to help us out.  We would try to stifle our glee at least until my Mom pulled out of the parking lot, her with a furrowed brow and us planning what to do with our unanticipated bonus hour.

  I realize we are supposed to be saving energy, but I really don't see how.  I seem to have the lights and telly on even more as I have trouble go to sleep but then curiously waking up an hour earlier.  Our waking hours will still be filled with the activities we were doing before the change.  Are we saving energy really, or just going along with an outdated plan?  I hated going to school in the dark and it just seems more dangerous than ever to send children walking or meeting a bus.  Maybe it's just another was of giving us winter worn Michiganders something else to look forward to when we can finally 'spring forward'. 

 Should this practice be done away with or do we have to keep doing it just because we always have?  Let me know what you think.. Happy November!  xo 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Magic and Loss...

R.I.P Lou Reed.  I have to admit to being a late comer to his music.   Growing up in northern Michigan with one f.m. radio station, severely limited my exposure.  Later on his distinctive voice and style made it easy to recognize his music.  I actually read more about his life in bits and pieces as much as listening to him.  I have always been curious about 'all things New York' (plan to visit the city soon!) and Lou's face and style seem to typify that feeling.  He was cooler than cool.  I am surprised that he lived as long as he did given his crazy lifestyle-and surviving a liver transplant.
 
So how is it that at my age, with relative good health, am I such a wuss?  Saturday night, dressed up in skunk costume and my comrade trussed up in her peacock outfit, hit a friends annual Halloween bash.  Never disappointed, the party had many characters, wonderful food, and the most awesome decorations ever.  The 'punch' was flowing and a good time was had by all. 
 
Why, then, at 12:30 am I hedging for the door?  Yawning even.  Now this is getting ridiculous.  We had plans for an early tailgating party before the Lions game on Sunday, and I knew I would be dragging ass if I didn't get some sleep.  Soon.   So like a skunky Cinderella, I hauled my cookies home to go to bed.  Lame, I know, but I just can't seem to cut it anymore!
 
 Sunday morning came too soon, and I groaned as I got up and got into gear for the next round of festivities.  The invite only party found me charging to the bar for a quick screwdriver in hopes of a wake up and attitude adjustment.  The nice chef made my omelet custom ordered and to perfection.  More screwdrivers came next.  Me and my gang trudged down to Ford Field with anticipation and hope.  Anticipation of a long game and hope that we could cut out early. 
 
With one minute left on the clock, us chickie's persuaded the guys to leave (finally!) early.  And don't you just know it, our team pulled off whatever they needed to do to come from behind and win the game.  I was too tired to barely care.  I was exhausted and the couch was calling my name.
 
Late night and early mornings just don't work for me anymore.  I have seriously fell into the routine of a Florida retiree-party time starts and four and ends at 10, not the other way around!!
 
So much for my 'Walk on the Wild Side'.   xo
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Escapade...

This past week I was lucky enough to experience a visit to a place I've always been curious about.  Everywhere I vacation, I seem to leave a piece of my heart-and this trip was no different.  Cape Hatteras National Seashore has always held intrigue for me.  I have always been attracted to the ocean, particularly it's shoreline.  It's a place sort of like my precious Keys, but sort of not.  Incredible beauty, fresh seafood, world class fishing and a laid back attitude are the commonalities in the two places.  The biggest difference is the beaches. The Keys are built on coral islands with very little actual beach.  But,  holy crow, the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen were outside my door.  Miles and miles of wide, white sand beaches.  I spent hours strolling, picking shells, petting dogs and talking with other beach freaks.  It was a blast to see the shore fisherman with their totally rigged vehicles and they were happy to share their techniques with me.  I was advised where to find the most sand dollars and sea glass.  The slow, lazy pace is totally how I roll and I can't help but love the southern manners and drawl.  In fact, a few more days there and I would have picked up a little accent of my own.
 
  As I re-enter normalcy, washing the sand from my clothes,  I can't help but daydream about that gorgeous place.  Lola, who I usually never leave, is sprung from the boarding kennel and is not too much worse for the wear.  She's crabby, but I'm sure she will forgive me in time. If you ever get the hankerin' to hang out in simply one of the most beautiful shores ever, than do not hesitate to visit Cape Hatteras, it's lovely ocean beaches are waiting.
 
Enjoy your week and thanks for indulging my little travelogue.  I am grateful for you and all the beautiful aspects of my life.  xo   P.S. forgive my lack of paragraphs today, (Mark!), blogger is not co-operating!
 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Only the Good Die Young...

My friend of 40 years is gone.  Warren passed away suddenly and has left us all with the huge task of moving on in a world without him.  We are from the same small town and our relationship was rich with common friends and old stories.  The hole in my heart is large and very jagged, and he pops up in my thoughts constantly.  I hope by writing this, I can get on with some healing.

Warren was a one of a kind-a free spirit in every way-living life on his terms.  Warren took chances and did things that most of us just dream about.  He rode his motorcycle with the wind in his hair and was never afraid to explore new places and meet new people.  And once you met him, you would never forget him.  His blue eyes and slow smile lit up every room he ever walked into.  You had to lean in to hear his soft voice, but it was always worth it.  An old soul and a modern day hippie, Warren was famous for saying, "right on". 

You could count on him for anything-just ask my brother, his long time best friend.  He was a man of simple needs and great talent.  He could build a house from the bottom up and everything in between.  He was known for his hugs-he'd bend down and I would get on tiptoe to make up the difference in our heights.  Warren used to say that he was 'freakishly tall'.  And he was!  Back in the day, he could talk me into dancing non stop for hours. 

  He was a founding member of our annual "Sloth, Indulgence and Debauchery Tour" for the past 12 years while on vacation in the Keys.  Memories of our antics will have to sustain us this year, as we somehow carry on without him.  He could crack my back better than any chiro ever has!!  Warren was a lover of all things in nature.  As kids we hung out at the beach,  picked wild strawberries and mushrooms, and snuck alcohol.  Warren was an amazing chef and could whip up the best pancakes and shrimp fettuccine alfredo ever.  He cooked simply and with love, and when he cooked, I would gladly clean up. He spoiled us all with his yummy delights.

He knew the words to every song you can imagine.  I'll never again hear the song, 'Cripple Creek' without remembering me and Warren, half tuned up, belting it out.  It was one of the many little traditions we had that made our friendship special.

  I'll look for him around every corner of Key West and smile as He lives on in the stars and warm breeze.   I'll toast his memory with love.

Till we meet again, good friend.  Right on.   xo



Monday, October 7, 2013

Ghostbusters...

On M25, in the thumb of Michigan lies the tiny burg of Forester.  Not much to see as you pass thru except The Forester Inn, The Forestore and the cemetery.  This small, but once large lumbering community is home to a local legend.  Founded in fact, in involves the suicide of a young local girl. 

In 1876, 16 year old local girl, Minnie Quay fell in love with a sailor that docked at the pier in Forester.  Known as a bit of a wild child, Minnie clandestinely met with her boyfriend, until her parents resorted to locking her in her room when his boat brought supplies to town.  Legend has it that her sailor's boat took to a stormy lake one night when Minnie was on lock down.  She never got to say goodbye.  The boat was tossed around in high waves and wind and finally capsized.  The whole crew drowned.  5 months later while babysitting her brother, Minnie, dressed in a white nightgown, walked down to the pier.  She waved at neighbors, and much to their horror, threw herself into the icy waters of Lake Huron. 

The local, as well as the national legend is that Minnie's ghost is heard calling her lover while strolling the shoreline.  Many have reported seeing her image doing such a thing and some have seen her actually in the water.  She is said to be looking for women to enlist in her search. 

Minnie has also been sighted around her grave where people constantly leave money and gifts on her headstone.  The old Quay home has been known to have the usual haunting.  An original Quay family member has indicated that lamps swing, rockers rock and things randomly move at Minnie's will.  The shoreline pier, the house, and the grave site are sought out by curiosity seekers and her story was recently featured on "The Dead Files."

My search also revealed that Minnie has a Facebook page, a song written about her that is complete with a video, a poem and more recently a book.

Whether it's true or just a thumbtastic legend, the story brings notoriety to Forester and makes wonderful campfire story fodder.

Do you have any ghost stories or experiences in the paranormal?  Do tell-I'm dyin' to know! 

Happy fall, my dears. xo

Monday, September 30, 2013

Om Shanti...

Greetings of peace.  To get into a meaningful explanation of my interest's deep, mystical meaning would probably bore you even more than I usually do.  I will try to keep it simple.

 I happened across a crossword clue that asked for the answer to 'meditation in motion'.  Yoga.  Of course.  Years of high impact aerobics, competitive gymnastics, and even (gasp!) running, put this old hippy bod searching for a different way to move.   After experiencing many teachers, styles and theories, I found Tim-- as if he was lost!! We share a mutual passion for the ancient practice and have spent many long hours at Borders and Caribou Coffee studying and discussing all it's aspects.  He is pictured on the right with myself and uberyogi Bryan Kest at a recent seminar.

Tim has taught me the meaning of the word "equanimity." We have delved deeply into sutras and chakras, inspiring me to identify with and have the second chakra tattooed on my back. (see post  'Tattoo You' dated 09/01/08 for details!) It symbolizes the very essence of me. Yoga is over 5,000 years old, and is a very self enlightening practice that teaches inner peace thru non competitiveness. Basic principles are much like the "golden rule".  The physical benefits are immeasureable--suffice it to say--the entire body, all of it's systems, muscles and even organs are stimulated and opened up. Kinda like an inside out massage.

 It is also quite sensual--it just plain feels good. Living in the moment without regret or anticipation helps me to enjoy the simple things. Cheesy, but true. Yoga teaches calmness in the face of adversary and pain, as well as non judgement of self and others. Meditation simply helps me get right.

 Do yourself a favor, and give some time to allow some of these aspects into your life--you won't be sorry.

The divine spirit in me honors the divine spirit in you.  Namaste..  P.S. Shout out to my ever fabulous yogi, Tim. I don't think I've ever thanked you for the changes you have spurred in my life. Keep it up, Babe, the world needs you. Check out Tim's blog at iamtimclark@blogspot.com    xoxo

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chances are...

Last Friday, which happened to be the thirteenth, was the 34th. anniversary of my brother's brush with death.  As a matter of fact, Steve remembers seeing the white light before he was sent back to finish his life.  Other memories of that night came back in bits and pieces over the years for him.

34 years ago on a dinner break from his job, Steve, my cousin Ray, and friend John made a very unfortunate connection with a train.  Yes, a train.  As in Detroit and Mackinaw train lines.  And the boys were not driving a Hummer-quite the opposite.  A little Ford Pinto, the kind that blew up if it got rear ended was the vehicle they were packed into.  Heading to a party store, they were caught totally unaware as they crossed the tracks in sync with the train.  The warning lights did not go off to warn them.  The guys were dragged down the tracks for 28 boxcars at approximately 28 miles per hour.  The car was trashed and by the grace of God, all three boys survived and lived to tell the tale.  John lost vision in one eye and died a few years ago from an unrelated cause. R.I.P.

My cousin Ray walked away with minimal injuries and my brother, the driver, suffered the worse.  Steve ended up with 5 broken ribs-some with multiple fractures, a punctured lung, a broken clavicle, and head trauma caused by blunt force.  (Oh, so that explains it! teehee.) 

Needless to say, our family was scared spit less as we charged up to the E.R. to find him happily in and out of reality due to liberal doses of morphine.  Recovery was slow and painful. 

Today finds my brother the father of three boys and Ford salesman extraordinaire.  He is an avid fisherman and joins us in the Keys every March for our annual 'Sloth, Indulgence, and Debauchery Tour.'  Steve is also wonderful golfer having recently won a club championship.

Yes, he hit a train, but was lucky to have lived to tell the tale. I still double check when I cross a track and say a quick prayer.  You can never be too careful on that day. 

Hope your week goes well and all of your Friday the thirteenths are lucky. xo

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Small World...

Holy bulging biceps Batman!  Here's the fastest and easiest was for me to feel like a petite, 'lil thing-park my cookies on Big Mike's lap! I'm instantly a delicate little flower.  Works like a charm and sure beats the hell out of Santa!  You can imagine my surprise and delight when I ran into my friend at our local bar/hangout up north last weekend.  Mike is the owner of the gym that I work out/socialize at.  It's a small world after all..

I think all of us have a crazy story of being at the same time and same place of someone expectantly.  I once ran into a friend at the dog track in Tampa.  Both of us were hopefully placing our bets when our eyes met.  Those odds were even slimmer than me winning anything big at the track that night.  Years ago, my cousin found herself in an elevator at the Pontchartrain with none other than Rod Stewart.  How cool would that be?  I've ran into Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker at non concert places, but hey, they live in the area.  Same goes for Anita Baker at the Caribou Coffee House in Grosse Pointe.  Bob Seger bought me a drink years ago. IN Alpena.  That was a little weird, but I heard that he had family in the area.  Sometimes when I have a wonderful day with grace and luck combined, I will say that the 'stars aligned' and offer up a little thank you.

John Green has this to say regarding 'coincidence'.  "It's hard to believe in coincidence, but it's even harder to believe in anything else."  I think I agree.

So what do you think?  Do you prescribe to coincidental thinking or just shrug it off to crazy cosmic timing?  Fate maybe?  Luck?  Kismet?  Have you ever had a situation that seemed to be one of these options?  Let me know whatcha think!

Have a lovely, blessed week, My Darlings and may all of your coincidences be happy ones! xo

Monday, September 9, 2013

Farah Layla...

Why do we always want or at least think we want something other than we are?  I have always longed to look exotic.  As a short, blue eyed blond, such a thing was almost impossible to pull off.  I was told I looked 'girl next door' and 'all american'.  I felt common and dull while my beautiful porcelain skinned, black haired Irish girlfriend thought I had it all going on.  (Yes, Therese, I mean YOU! xo)

Well the grass was surely greener on Sunday when my very exotic and cosmopolitan family visited from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  I finally got to meet Sidra, my tiny great niece.  She is named after a tree in heaven, but she is our little piece of heaven on earth.  I have never met a happier and more content baby as we all passed her around and smooched her incessantly.  Nephew Eric and his gorgeous wife Hanna and Sidra were at the tail end of their 6 week vacation.  The first two weeks were spent in Europe where they enjoyed a cooking class in Bologna and treated the family to their new skills one night at dinner.  Last night they cooked some regional favorites of theirs that are now favorites of ours!  I am patiently waiting for my dates to ripen.

There was plenty of 'grilling' going on other than on the Weber.  I asked them all of the questions I could think of regarding their life.  Customs, beliefs and such are quite different, and very interesting to me.  Eric is a househusband that does ecological consulting on the side.  Hanna is in finance and specializes in acquisitions and mergers.  I truly needed more time, but I am very grateful that they could fit me in at all with their schedule and the complications of traveling with a 7 month old.  And Hanna is expecting their second child in February, so it might be a while before they are back in the states to visit.  I hope to visit there someday.

I come away with one thing for sure.  No matter what our differences are, our similarities are much stronger.  Family, food, laughter, respect, fun and our children are universal to us all.  I am honored to be part of such a diverse, exotic family.  I miss you all already.  Safe travels back to Dubai and I will think of you all often and fondly.  Kisses to my irresistible Sidra.  Your All American auntie loves you! xoxo



Monday, September 2, 2013

Crossroads...

Happy Labor Day my Darlings!  Hope you had a relaxing, long weekend doing whatever makes you happy.  I had my traditional time with family, friends and food.  Ahhh, life is good and I am blessed.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending our friends, "up north, redneck" wedding.  Their words-not mine.  And it was a blast!  First we went to a small, country chapel I had never heard of in a small town with the same notoriety.  It was perfectly lovely-a simple ceremony where the bride and groom said the age worn smooth vows that can choke me up every time.  We then moved on to their cool-as-hell schoolhouse/house for the reception.  The dress was casual and four wheelers were a common mode of transportation.  The weather was perfect as was the barbecue feast of pig and corn on the cob.  And the open bar was none too shabby.  And what beats a luscious wedding cake?  It's one of my weaknesses (well, one of 'em)!  A giant bonfire was roaring and the hay wagon was circling giving anyone interested a tour of the property.  Horseshoes and jello shots both were met with crazy abandon.  A giant ice luge kept the vodka just above freezing.  At least that's what one participant TOLD me...Don't know where they found the dude on the guitar, but he was nailing every song he sung.  What a treat he was!  A cute, singing cowboy was the perfect touch.  As the guests trickled off, the newlyweds were able to retire to their favorite honeymoon spot-home. 

I am always honored to be a part of the special day that is a wedding.  And that day was no different.  Best wishes for a long and happy union for Natalie and Lee.  Stay in love, Dolls. xo

Monday, August 26, 2013

Doggy Dogg World...

Rut roh!  It's officially National Dog Day and Mickey is happy to once again be a 'blogstar'!  What could be sweeter than a day to honor man's best friend?  Even tho the mighty Mickster is officially my Granddog, he deserves the title as Nonnie's Best Friend.  We love that mutt that Dane rescued and adopted 9 years ago.  He is a Ghetto Terrier-by our definition and he has wiggled his way into our hearts.  Mick is a great listener, cuddler and eater of treats.  He loves a good walk down the path and is very obedient after he has watered about 20 trees along the way.  His brown eyes are deep and tender when he looks at us, and it seems he knows every word we say.  He has been a loving and loyal companion to Dane and a welcome visitor to Nonnie and his Grandnonnie.  Mick is always up for a nap and/or a treat.  He tolerates Lola.  He is the best dog ever.

Recently friends had to put down their beloved 12 year old Golden Retriever and are now welcoming a new puppy into the family.  They just had to put their crazy dog love somewhere and Doc Holliday is the lucky recipient.  16 year old Misti said goodbye last week and her family is still in mourning for their gentle, good girl.  Dogs love you like no other and it is crushing to lose them.  The minute we acquire a dog it's only a matter of time till we have a broken heart.  But it's all worth it as they think we are the greatest thing ever.

Do you have a special dog in your life?  Share if you will...

Enjoy this last week of summer.  After Labor Day it somehow just seems over.  Ahhh, but the luscious fall is on it's way. xo

R.I.P. my old friend Mark Cousineau who at 51 years old, was way to young and way too loved to have crossed over.   Please, watch out for motorcycles and their drivers.  It can all end in a flash. xoxo Mark and may peace be with you and your family and friends who love you so very much. xo

Monday, August 19, 2013

Knock three Times...

I read recently in an AARP (what the hell do they know and how in the world does this apply to me?) column that suggests '50 things you should not do after the age of 50'.   And right off the top I am guilty of two heinous offenses.  Last week while rollerskating, I fell down in a half split that looked much the same as the picture of the lady in the article.  All pell mell, looking like a deer on an icy pond, I skinned my knee and likely pulled something in my groin.  Nice.  Will I heed advice and learn some lesson from AARP advisors of all things old age?  Not likely, as I plan to take my new skates out again-this time at a roller rink without curbs and rocks.  My second offence was not nearly as detrimental.  Jello shots.  The article advises that over the age of 50, one should not 'do' jello shots.  Whaaaaat?  I can assure you I felt no mortal peril after downing 3 at a party last Saturday night.  However, after putting chicken on the grill and promptly locking myself out of the house with no shoes and no phone, I concede that some brain cells may have been harmed as a result of my jello adventures.  Thank goodness, my neighbor had a glass of wine at the ready to ease my frustration till me and the chicken got rescued.

The best way to feel young is to spend time with my darling nieces on a rare visit to Michigan.  Aeryn and Elie made me see the beauty of the day, as I joined them in fishing, rock hunting, grasshopper and dragonfly captures, apple picking, and of course eating.  I was treated to two little songs sung in Korean with a translation following the tunes.  The girls are beautiful, smart, inquisitive, polite and very well behaved.  (Kudos Jacob and Julie!)  I'm blessed to have them in my life even if it's only once in a while. xo

I think AARP should consider the things that you SHOULD do after 50 instead of that stupid cautionary warning.

 Maybe if I have the jello shots BEFORE I go rollerskating?  It's likely that the outcome will be better!

Have a wonderful week and do something totally 'age unappropriate'-borrow a child if you have to! xo

Monday, August 12, 2013

These Dreams...

In Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir and movie by the same name, "Eat, Pray, Love", the question explored is an exercise in in self discovery.  The main character, played by Julia Roberts is living every woman's dream at a chance for a self involved journey for enlightenment regarding our true selves.  Now, it's not very realistic in the way that she can drop her job and marriage to bravely forge out on her own for a whole year.  Yes, I think we all come to a time in our lives where just running off and learning sounds easier than plodding along in reality.

In the movie, during a dinner with friends, someone asks the guests to describe themselves using one word.  No one has to think long to come up with their descriptive word for how they see themselves.  Except Julia's character, which is sort of the point of the story.

I thought I would give this thing whirl....How about friend?  Too easy, and besides I don't think that really describes how I feel about myself.  Mother and daughter is who I am by circumstances that I did not create, so that won't work.  I too, want to learn to speak Italian and am curious to travel there and many other places.  I am basically contented-but that somehow translates to complacent-which I am not.  Opinionated sounds loud and brash and not really dreamy enough.  Dreamy?  Dreamer?  Yep, maybe so.  I dream of many things simple and otherwise.  I dream of a day when my family will know true health and happiness.  I dream of learning and experiencing.  A world of peace and understanding and acceptance.  I dream of a perfectly organized closet where everything still fits. (Hey, it's MY dream here)!  I want to paint one good picture, learn at least one new language,  and finally finish one knitting/crocheting project.  Change some one's life a little.  Dreamer with a side of 'doer' thrown in to make some things actually happen.

Yes, I'm going to go with 'dreamer'.  How about you.  Think hard on your personal possibility and let me know where you land on this one.  It's really easy to name someone else's words, but not so much when it's our own choosing.

And speaking of dreamer....Julia's character gets in a bike/car accident in Bali with a vehicle driven by Javier Bardem.  It don't get much dreamier than that my friends!  Sigh.  But I (dreamily) digress.  I'll be waiting to hear what you think, so don't let me down. 

I know-you wouldn't DREAM of it! xo Love to you all, Darlings.. xo

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet Melissa...

Last night I had the chance to get in touch with my roots.  And no Babes,  I did not get my hair color touched up and no, I was not on Ancestry.com.  Gotcha guessin'?  Well curious minds, I waitressed.  Yes, you read right-waitressed.  A crazy situation at our up north hangout had our favorite waitress, Sweet Melissa, running herself ragged.  She was in the unfortunate and impossible situation of being bartender, buss person, salad maker and waitress to a very busy bar.  The poor chickie should have been losing her cool, but that's just not Sweet Melissa.  Her sunny disposition and cute southern drawl makes her a wonderful worker.  However, enough was enough and she was quite pleased when I offered to help.

 After taking a giant pull off my vodker, and a refresh on my lip gloss, I hit the floor to see if I still had what it took.  As you may know, I have waitressed and  bar tended on and off since I was 15 and breaking child labor laws, but that was a looooooong time ago!  Happily the skill is just like riding a bike-in my case, a very old one!  I was workin' it old skool as I slapped down menus, took drink orders-and then ran to the bar to make them.  Turning in food orders came back as natural as vodka and soda with a twist of lime.  Patrons were patient and gracious as they could see we were stretched a little thin.  I cleaned up some tables, found extra ketchup and gave out quarters for the Skill Claw machine.  Handling a busy bar is the ultimate in organization and multitasking but somehow the plethora of demands were met.

  It's almost a rush when it dawns on you that it all worked out and everyone is fed and happy-I know I was when finally I sat down to my vodka and pizza.  Waitressing is honest, hard work and I'm not ashamed to have done it and would do it again.  It's instant gratification and once again reminds me why I always over tip.  Thanks for the experience Sweet Melissa!! xo

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stars Dance...

Can you believe that August first is on Thursday?  Where is our summer flying off to?  Are you doing the things that you looked forward to all winter long? 

Sometimes living in Michigan where we endure long winters, it's easy to daydream about just what we will do when it actually warms up to a temperature that allows us to do more than seize up and run for heat.  I always have visions of ice tea on the deck while enjoying a great summer read.  What's more real is the fact that my ipad gets a glare, I'd rather have a vodka, and sweating isn't really fun.  How about those 90 degree days?  It was like a sauna up in here!  I imagine hours of yard work with a straw had and garden gloves, tenderly caring for my plants.  In reality, I hurriedly weed and quickly plant new flowers.  Not a lot of love as I slam 'em in the ground before the sweat on my forehead blinds me completely.  Mickey has missed out on our walking path treks due to the fact that Michigan humidity rivals the Keys in July.  Besides, it's hard to walk and use my inhaler at the same time.  I've been out on the boat exactly once.  Life just got in the way of that one.  Denzel Washington has gone topless a few times, but it's even been to hot for a convertible-this lesson I learned while getting a little pink once in a 4 minute drive to the gym.  My goal of painting the beach house and staining my deck will probably be postponed till fall, allowing the paint to dry at a normal rate.  Some of the cooler nights recently has allowed me to enjoy stargazing.  I love it when it's clear enough to get that feeling of insignificance and wonder that the stars provide. 

So how about it?  What has your July been like?  Have you had a s'more?  Read a good book?  Enjoyed a bonfire?   Let me know how your summer is going.  I love to hear from you!  Happy August to you all, my friends. xo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Airline to Heaven...



Yesterday we laid my mother in law to rest.  Patty had battled various cancers for 10 years and finally 'won' the fight by gently going to sleep. 

She was a woman that was well loved by family, friends, pets and the community.  Her life was rich and full and we have spent the past weeks hearing her recall stories about her past.  She was generous and would truly give you the shirt off her back.  Her gardens were lovely and her pride and joy.  Patty was a woman of very strong faith and committed in her belief that heaven and it's garden was waiting for her. The above pic is one we took on one of the last nights of her life.  It was my comment that it looked like heaven, visible to us but calling for her.

We are finally home and trying to adjust to our new reality.  Weeks of too much driving, eating out, worrying, deciding, waiting and sitting around have proved to be more exhausting than a busy, regular day of regular activities.

Rest in peace, dear Lady.  You are loved and will be missed by us all. xo

Monday, July 15, 2013

Va Va Voom...

On Saturday I had the pleasure of celebrating the birthday of my sweet niece, Nikki.  With all of her crazy 25 year old exuberance, we boated and drank champagne on the calm waters of Lake Huron.  Nikki is a nursing student and currently works at Mott Children's Hospital where she aids young cancer patients in the fight of their lives.  She has won numerous awards from both her teachers and patients family for her gentle, compassionate care.  I am very proud of her and love seeing her use her brains, beauty and charm in such an important way.  She is very focused and her future looks as bright at the sky on her special day.

As I sipped champagne and cheered her on in her antics, I got to thinking of myself at that age.  Wow, what a difference!  When I was her age,  my life read like a bad country and western song.  I had a baby on my hip and was going thru a divorce, getting out of a short, ill-fated marriage.  I had no education, no job, no money, and nowhere to live.  Oh, and an old Jeep Wrangler. (I loved that thing!) All that was missing was the 'Christmas lights on, my front porch all year long'!  Completely clueless and as unmoored as the buoy in the picture.  Yep, that was my reality.   I made stupid choices that somehow seemed so right, at that time.  Going to jobs because I thought they were 'fun' and living on happy hour free munchies were just not going to cut it now.  Babies need much more sustenance than cheese curls and pretzels, and they can cause you to grow up real quick.

The story ends well, thanks mostly to my parents who housed and fed us, and babysat Dane while I attended cosmetology school and bar tended to save money.  But the real question is why didn't I set my sights a little higher earlier on?  I blithely skipped along and just was sure that everything would work out.  Education and the college experience is one of the only regrets that I drag around today.  Yes, I want to travel more-but there's still time for that.

I guess it's the old 'if I knew then what I know now' thing.  Sigh....Who knows?  Hell, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!  Maybe I'll just be Nikki's old auntie, blithely skipping along and cheering her on in all of her crazy adventures.  Wishing the very best for you, Dollface-you deserve it all. xoxo

Monday, July 8, 2013

Every Saint...

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future", is a favorite quote of mine, by Oscar Wilde.  His poetry and quotes are easy for me to love as they are a reflection of his decadent, glamorous and humorous lifestyle.  Poor Wilde was actually imprisoned as a result of his homosexuality, back in the day.  I can't even imagine this injustice and the strides we are making towards sexual equality pleases me very much.  Wish Oscar would have lived to see this and I'm sure some whiskey would have been raised in a toast to our progress-slow as it has been in coming.

Sinners and saints-aren't we all?  I suppose the quote could easily be interpreted as a 'nobody's perfect' ideal.  I think it gives the nod to both all of our faults as well as our humanity.  It also speaks to our spirit which is flawed but with always a chance for redemption.  How about equality?  Maybe Oscar meant it as an equalizer to provoke tolerance in us.  We all have a story about someone who did everything wrong and then lived to right those wrongs.  Or maybe we just learn from our mistakes.  I don't know, I just like the forgiveness and hope the quote invokes. 

So my darling sinners and saints, do you have a favorite quote?  Let me know if one especially rings your bell!   Have a decadent, glamorous and humorous week.  Oscar would have loved it! xoxo

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blurred Lines...

Happy July!!  It's with mucho enthusiasm that I welcome in my very favorite month.  It's 31 days of perfect summer and all that it entails.  July 04 is my favorite holiday and then the next week marks my Birthday Week.  The weather could could cooperate more, but other than that, it's all good.
 
After a nice long weekend at the beach house, I come home to be totally news starved.  We do not get newspapers up north and only have a television to watch DVDs and old VCR movies.  This weekend I caught the "Gone With the Wind" sequel aptly named "Scarlett" for about the third time.  I still love it.  But I digress...
 
Upon arriving home, I throw in a load of laundry and put away the refridgerables.  Reading the newspapers actually hurt my tired eyes so I just fire up the laptop to catch up on things.  Hmmm.... Charles Pugh was spotted at a coffee house in Seattle where he did not attempt to hide in the least.  Strange, with all the speculation about him here in Detroit. The annual Jobbie Nooner debacle on lake St. Clair started off with a man dying on the island as the festivities were about to begin. Surely alcohol was involved but a tragedy nonetheless.  Hope it gave some of the other revelers a cause to pause.  Jessica Simpson finally birthed that baby for being as pregnant as a whale for about 14 months or so.  She joined the celebrities who insist on a 'unique' name by naming the poor babe, 'Ace'.  Like celebrity parents aren't enough to live down!  Alec Baldwin went off on and now is apologizing for yet another rant.  Who the hell cares what that idiot says and how do we get him out of the news?  Just an offensive, self serving, puffed up idiot.  So, how do you really feel, Jodi?  Snookie has a new fitness routine and Miley Cyrus has publicly threatened her dad.  Niiiicccee.  That's what is to be expected when you take Yahoo hope page as your news source.  But I'm tired so lite news is all I can manage before getting a good nights sleep.  So that is what I aim to do.  I'll tackle the hard stuff with the stack of papers waiting for me in the morning-after coffee.
 
Have a wonderful July, friends.  I hope those million firework stands are not an indication of how many home fired ones we will have to endure.  And what is the point of blowing off fireworks during daylight hours?  Don't get it.  In fact I hate it.  I like my colors on July 4th evening at dusk.  A sky full of color that can make me oooh and aaahh for about 10 minutes and then I'm good for another year.  Stay safe and enjoy the holiday. xo
 
Oh, and a very Happy Birthday tomorrow to my 'little sister', Makayla who turns 8!  Have a wonderful day full of love and joy and we will celebrate soon. xo
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yeezus...

I have never experienced pain.  Oh there was the forgettable, fleeting pain of childbirth and maybe a couple of cracked hearts along the way, but no real 'pain'.

 Things have changed this past week.  Back pain.  And it's the worst.  (I know I'm not telling you anything, Mark!)

Last March while painting a bedroom in Florida, I experienced a stabbing sensation in my lower back.  Okay, so I'm achy for a week or so.  No probs.  Pass the Aleve, please.  BUT the ache has progressed to the point of pain.  Yard work, gym time, fun time-it's all effected by a dull, stabbing pain-and apparently my activities have aggravated the situation.  Even shopping hurts!!  Weakening, nauseating, and  breathtaking pain that follows me everywhere.  My x rays show a bend in my spine and some moderate disc damage.  Some nerves are involved.  I don't really get it, but she assures me that we will work our way thru it.  Gradually.

So, 3 times a week I trudge into the chirocracker to receive warm compresses, a roller table, massage, and an adjustment.  The results are slow in coming but sometimes it doesn't ache AS much.  Wine seems to help-imagine that!   I have a totally new respect for anyone who suffers in this way. 

I know Mark, (Walking Man) has had surgery and still suffers from his injury, but does anyone else suffer from this horrible malady?  I need your stories and support, so let me know!   And for heaven sake, do not ignore symptoms that can later come back to haunt you.  xo

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Both Sides Now...

"Bows and flows and angel hair.  And ice cream castles in the air."  This Joni Mitchell tune is one of my favorites and certainly the one that came to mind on Sunday.  While relaxing in my hammock, I was treated to an almost periwinkle (just that word can make me smile!) sky, full of fluffy, soft, white clouds.  The breeze was just gentle enough to slowly morph them into shapes.  I saw a wolf, a mustache, a bunny and a fish.  One cloud blew me a kiss with it's full lips.

The song's lyrics can give anyone pause.  Haven't we been both transported by the very thing that can sometimes disappoint us?  Weather is the first and most obvious thing that comes to mind.  The beautiful illusion Joni sings of is barely visible when I see it out the airplane window.  Money can be a curse and a blessing at times.  I've heard great beauties claim that their looks have hindered them, when all I could see was great genes.  Love, tragically, is usually a double edge sword with the power to heal us or break our hearts. 

I believe that possibly nothing is as it seems.  Our perspective colors the subjective pictures in for us.  Life's lessons can teach us to look deeper than the surface for the true meaning of things.  Being a 'glass half full' kinda gal, I prefer to enjoy the illusion but recognize that most things are a lot of smoke and mirrors.  Harsh reality is well, harsh- and I prefer to view it from my 'Princess bubble'.

Or in my hammock, lost in the clouds.  Enjoy your week.  I hope its full of only the softest, fluffiest and periwinklest of things. xo

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Supermodel...You Better Work It...

Spent a loverly evening out with my nieces.  My family is so wonderful that it simply amazes me.  Both of my 'supermodel' nieces work in toxicology in Ann Arbor.  Laurel's husband is an ear surgeon for the U.of M. and Lindsey's hubby is a rocket scientist.  For real.  Poor smart Joe, is the but of many family jokes when anything in question is referred to 'Joe-he's the rocket scientist!'  Joe and Linds are moving to Switzerland for a year while he works on a project that is too top secret to even share with the family.  So, they are in the process of buttoning up their lives here for a year.  Cats are boarded, condo is rented, cars are sold.  And all of us have a new vacation possibility.  Good luck darling Lindsey and Joe.  We will all miss you, but wish you the very best of a very cool adventure.

I hope to visit-never been to Europe, but have always wanted to.  Skiing and chocolate are two of my very favorite things in life.  Skiing while eating chocolate would BE my favorite thing!    Just gotta brush up on my yodeling!  xo

Monday, June 3, 2013

We Can't Stop...

Anyone read any good books lately?  It's not even the heat of summer yet and that's all I feel like doing.  All chores and errands are done hastily so I can sit on my muffin and read, read, read!  Up north they would say that I'm 'lazier 'en a cut dog'.  And they would be right.  Reading is my reward for everything.  I take my reading along with me to any appointment that I may be stuck waiting and it's all I can do not to break it out in the line at Kroger.  Surely my reading would be less offensive than the people treating me to one side of their insipid phone conversations!

This past week I have read three books that have let me escape the daily minutia.  The first was a autobiography by Amanda Knox describing her version of the murder in Perugia, Italy while she was there in college.  I followed the story originally, fascinated at how 'Foxy Knoxy' could be possibly linked with the possible drug fueled, sexually motivated murder of her roommate.  Amanda has been pimping herself and her book all over television lately and piqued my interest.  The books I read originally had me thinking she was guilty as hell, but this story gives me pause.  Maybe her 5 years in an Italian prison gave her time to think up a great story, but it does throw up reasonable doubt that she had any involvement.  She is being summoned back to Italy where she is going back on trial.  Not sure of those particulars yet, but I'll be ready when it happens.

I also indulged in a great beach read called 'Reconstructing Amelia'.  The story is one involving a teenage girl's suicide.  That is until her mother receives an anonymous text saying that she didn't jump.  The tale covers mother/daughter relationships, peer pressure and general coming of age.  I had hoped to delve into Amelia's mental state more than the book did, but it still proved to be a very interesting read.

Over the past weekend, I sunk myself into a story called 'he's GONE'.  A seemingly happy couple's relationship is dissected when the husband disappears.  Without a clue, he simply vanishes.  The wife is left to examine anything and everything that could have possibly happened.  She questions the very core of her beliefs regarding the life they shared.  It is written with constant and relevant metaphors and I enjoyed the style.  I had figured out what had happened before I read the ending which is unusual for me-but that wasn't what the point of the story was.  The process of point A to point Z, was the tale.

Two snaps, a wiggle and a twist on all three.

So what holding your interest in the literary world these days?  As always, I want to know.  Enjoy your week and take time to escape into a good book.  You know, I will! xo


Monday, May 27, 2013

American Soldier...

Happy Memorial Day!  To all of the men and women who have bravely gone where I would never have the guts to go and fought to give us all that choice.  I enjoy all the freedoms that our veterans so honorably defended and am grateful and humbled by such unselfish service.  God bless you all today and everyday.

My Uncle Dan is a Vietnam war vet and I was ten years old at the time.  I clearly remember writing letters to him and anticipating letters back.  And I got them.  He fought in the front lines and was a platoon leader.  This was a very scary time for my family when all we could do was write and send care packages.  We carefully would pack up my Mom's wonderful baked goods and other favorites and send it off to those exotic addresses.  We later learned that he generously shared this bounty with others.  Thankfully he made it back, but not before seeing the horrors of war.  To this day I cannot watch 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Platoon', or any other movie depicting war. Just too realistic and heart wrenching.   We were, and are, very proud of Uncle Dan.

A friend of mine, Tom, fought in the Gulf War.  We communicated with letters also.  From his left handed leaning scrolled notes and television coverage, I felt very close to that war/skirmish.  How very strange to be able to 'see' the war and not just imagine it.  (My silly crush on reporter Arthur Kent a.k.a. 'The Scud Stud' made it even more interesting!

A dear friend, Dava, also a veteran, just got her son home from Iraq.  He is finally safe and in her loving arms.  What a relief and once again, we are very proud.  Welcome home Derek!

And to those of you that have had friends and family die in any war, know that their efforts are not forgotten.  Happy Memorial Day. xo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Circle of Life...

It's with a heavy heart and deep sympathy for our friends Bob, Kristin, and daughters Lexi and Elle, today, on the loss of their beloved pet, Wyatt.  As the quintessential golden retriever,  for 13 years he was a loyal friend and companion.  He will be missed by his family as well as many friends.  Knowing that he is in a better, pain free place only helps a little.  God bless, Old Boy.  You loved and were loved so very much and it was a blessing to have had you in this world.  xo

What is it about our attachments to our pets?  I once lost a dog and could barely function for days.  My heart was broken.  Pets insinuate themselves into our lives in a way that can hardly be described.  The joy and unconditional love from a pet is like no other relationship in our lives.  We are instantly super heroes.  Their routines become our routines as they blend seamlessly into our days.  Like children, we anticipate their needs and they know just when to throw a special look our way.  A dog-or cat-looks at us with the most loving, trusting eyes that reflect back the very best part of ourselves.  I read a quote that says, "Be the person your dog thinks you are."  We can at least try. xo




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Like it...

How fabulous is it that it is finally spring in Michigan?  I've totally got spring fever!

 My dollfriends and I are enjoying the first bonfire of the season and you can tell by our smiles that we are happy, happy, happy!  Or maybe it's what is our cups...

My magnolia is bursting out with its gorgeous pink flowers and my irises are ready to bloom their snowy, while petals.  The nurseries are callin' my name as flats of perennials are ready to be purchased and planted.  I spend a crazy amount of time designing my big flower pots and am on the hunt for some large elephant ear plants.  Dramatic yet glamorous is the look I am aiming for!

And equally important, my lazy winter mood is finally lifting.  Yes, I think I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Being in the Keys for five weeks almost saves me, but I still struggle to endure these gray, cold days.  I just feel like cuddling up and napping.  And most days I do.  Are y'all bothered in this way? 

I am carefully sorting thru books and loading ebooks, looking for beach reads in preparation for long, lazy afternoons in my hammock where I plan to escape into the world while enjoying the one I am present in.  It's heavenly. 

Seems like most of us are breathing a sigh of relief as we anticipate about 7 months of lovely weather.  It's what makes Michigan worth hanging out in!  I love it!!

Gotta run, dearies, they have pink flamingo's on sale at ACO with my name on 'em!!! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Doggie Style...

I had the strangest experience on Friday night.  While dozing on the sofa with a belly full of pizza, I woke suddenly.  The Tiger ball game was on and I was listening to the commentary.  Suddenly my heart started racing while my palms began to sweat.  I was completely overcome with the feeling that my Dad-one of the greatest Tiger fans ever- was near and watching the game, too.  Like here, with me, on the love seat.  It was so very real that I almost heard his voice arguing the call.  Just as quickly as it came, the feeling left me.  The whole thing was oddly comforting and I hope it happens again sometime.

Now I wonder...Was I dreaming?  Was Dad's spirit really with me in such a palpable way?  Was it nothing more than simple missing him and being reminded of him through our common interest?  Is this part of an adjustment period of sorts?  Don't know, but it was comforting and I loved it.

I have always believed that some of our energy is left here after we pass on.  Have any of you ever experienced anything like this?  Do tell, Darlings, I really would like to know. xo

P.S. What's cuter than dogs in cars?  I saw these two in the keys patiently waiting for their owner to finish shopping.  Our old Mickster would have stormed the Kmart to find me for sure!  Even the dogs in the Keys are laid back! xo





Monday, April 29, 2013

Spiders and Snakes...

Once I saw clip that featured a woman who was afraid of pennies.  Yes, pennies.  Her reaction was crazy and seemingly unreasonable.  My son Dane's neighbor is deathly afraid of toads.  He gallantly and gently rescues the poor creatures from the crazy screaming lady.  Poor little toad.
 
I like to think of myself as a relatively brave person.  Not a worrywart, adventurous, and a little gutsy.  I have worked hard to train myself not to worry about things I cannot change.  That may seem a bit laissez faire, but it works for me.  I would always take the dare and race down the black diamond slopes.  I was the kid who would swim out the deepest knowing that I would be able to swim the distance back in.  Never had a fear of water and even scuba dive-in the ocean.  I could jump off the highest swinging swing and run up the longest ladder.  I have flown in a tiny 3 seat airplane and loved every minute of it.  No fear of heights here.  Learning to drive in the snow doesn't scare me a bit.  Just go slower and watch out for the other guy.  I can easily do a MRI even though it scares many people to be in that coffin-like tube.  And I've gotten used to shots, although I still hate 'em.  Spiders?  Snakes?  Bees?  Wasps?  Nada.  I don't relish public speaking but managed to bite the bullet when I eulogized my Dad in front of a rather large group.  Not so bad, really.  I am an adventurous eater and will try anything on (or off) the menu.  Well, not hundred year old eggs or fried cockroaches, but most other things.
 
But every year at this time I must face a fear that makes me queasy.  Invariably while shopping for my spring flowers I must face 'them'.  Some deranged person has deemed that those little gnome creatures are appropriate for yards and gardens.  With their beady eyes and squished features and pointy hats, well, they just creep me the 'eff' out!  I made friends Tom and Kara remove one from thier cottage yard before I could comfortably visit them.  I refuse to book with Travelocity because they use one of those little creeps as the mascot.  I have nightmares that there is one of them in my closet that chases me around.  I simply hate them....
 
So now, true confessions my Dears.  What scares you?  And be specific.  And if I ever visit you, please sweep all gnomes from your yard before Denzel Washington pulls in.  Happy Spring! xo
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Love shines Down...

Hello dear readers-I am finally home after a few 'earthy' days.  I've been up in Ossineke doing all things earth.  Monday afternoon I spent with my godchild's kindergarten class on their celebration of Earth Day.  We were read a story, we did an art project, they almost killed me in gym class and we studied and ate some things (fruit) that grows on trees.  I then had some intense attention from a princess, a mermaid, a doctor and some friends that gave me a little a friendly little blood pressure and reflex check.  Nikki is an awesome teacher and her little charges, all 23 of them, love her.  Thanks class, for an awesome afternoon!

On a totally different note, this morning we interred my Dad.  It was a sunny morning in an old, country cemetery where my Dad was  blessed from ashes to ashes and dust to dust, literally.  It felt completely right to end the celebration of  his life in this way.  Flowers and trees were beginning to bud and birds were chirping.  An old horse was just over the fence watching the proceedings as he munched fresh grass.  Dad was laid to rest with his wife, children, sisters and extended family witnessing.  Back to the earth-as it should be.

I am very introspective tonight as I feel tired and grateful to have experienced what seems like the full circle of life.  New life, old life and everything in between is wonderful and special on our wonderful, beautiful, earth.

Let's work together to keep it that way for generations to come. xoxo

Monday, April 15, 2013

Could it Be...

Thoughts and prayers tonight for the victims of the Boston tragedy.  I barely have words to describe the fear I am feeling.  I am sick and rocked to my core.  xo

Monday, April 8, 2013

Scream and Shout...

Tonight finds me ending my vacation.  I'm packed and leaving in the morning.  I'm tired and ready to get back into a routine that doesn't include sleeping in, rich food and daily happy hours.  As usual, I am ready to get back home.  The drive back isn't nearly as fun as the ride down and for just a hot second, I wish I was flying.  But Lola would rather ride.

Since before vaycay, I have been engrossed in the Jodi Arias trial catching it live on HLN.  Being a true crime/court t.v. addict-I have been glued.  The story involves all the juice that keeps us interested.  Sex, murder, religion, questionable mental states, lies, and did I mention sex?  Jodi has finally admitted to the murder of her Mormon lover and after changing her story twice, they are finally getting down to the truth.  She admitted to killing Travis, so now it's just a matter of the death penalty or life in prison.  Jodi's defense have spend hours and boocoo bucks trying to prove that she is mentally unstable and possibly a victim of domestic abuse.

So where are you all on the question of death penalty?  Is rotting in prison all of your life payment enough for taking a life or do you deserve to pay in kind?  What if she WAS abused?  Does that make a difference?   It's horrible and devastating for both families and friends involved.

Can't wait to see how this all pans out in the court.  I'll be away from the telly for a few days, but will have plenty of time to listen on the radio.  Sounds exciting, huh?  This Jodi thinks so... xo

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mirrors...

 My last week in the Keys, finds me still aspiring to become a beautiful mermaid.  However, parts of me do not want to cooperate.  My hair refuses to become long and flowing and in fact needs a good salon treatment to prevent it from totally frying off in this heat.  I can go topless, (or totally nekkid) on my sunbathing deck but well, let's just say, that the old girls don't looks exactly like the ones pictured.  We are not even going there in regards to the tight little fishie bum!  And the sun does nothing to make my skin compare to hers.  Later today, when go snorkeling on the reef is the closest I will become to a Queen of the Sea.  Beeotch.  Sigh....

That will not prevent me from enjoying my guests as we do what we do while feeling smug that it's 20 something degrees back home.  So till next week, it's hot days and sultry nights.  Salt air and blue sky's.  And one old Sea Hag... xo

Monday, March 25, 2013

Girl of Glass...

Had a ball today doing the arty thing.  Friend Pam and I visited a local glass art gallery and took a class.  The studio is filled with light and gorgeous glass works by artist Stephanie.  I have played around with glass by doing mosaics and such, but never before had I fused glass.  With Nora Jones and Sade on the stereo, Stephanie gave us a short history on glass-it's been around since 500 B.C., followed by a tutorial in glass fusing.  I designed 8 pieces and observed as she fired them.  She then added bales to the glass allowing them to be strung onto a necklace.  I loved it and it was a total two hour escape from reality and I recommend art as therapy to anyone.  Try it-you'll love it! xo

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beer Thirty

Tomorrow Randy, my brother and Warren leave for Michigan, officially ending the annual "Sloth, Indulgence and Debauchery Tour" for another year.  I will be staying on.  I've had a blast the past ten days, but some down time will be fine with me.  Every year, I swear it gets harder to keep up the pace required to 'relax' on vacation.  I simply cannot hang like I once could. 
 
 I have completely embraced the Florida custom of 'Early Bird' happy hours and dinner.  This time frame I used to find amusing as the 'old people' hurriedly made their way in for half off drinks and appetizers.  I don't understand that schedule in Michigan, but it is beginning to make sense here in the Keys.  The fresh air and sunshine find me yawning around 10:00, necessitating in a very early start to most nights out. This schedule perfectly coincides with the nightly sunset celebrations-an event that requires a waterside seat and numerous cocktails to be properly viewed.  The beauty of the sunset over the water is breathtaking and certainly deserves to be appreciated. 
 
Clap, clap. Whoo hoo.  That's gorgeous, now can I please have another rum runner? 
 
Early Bird also is a  financial boon.  My rum runner goes from $5.50 to $11.00 after 7:00 and the same percentage applies to food.  $12.00 for conch fritters? Sheesh!  It's crazy but genius, really.  The way I see it is that the old people and cheapskates can fill the restaurants and bars and get their food and drunk on and then make way for the people that didn't get off the boats or beaches till six o'clock.  Less waiting for seating and a bargain to boot.
 
Tonight we found a spot that served my wine for $2.50 and a great little salad for $5.00.  Dinner and two drinks for ten bucks is a bargain anywhere and with the money I saved maybe I can buy a kicky little sarong or some other necessity  Happy and thrifty to boot-that's me!