Monday, December 28, 2015

On my Mind...

My darling niece, Nicole knows me only too well.  Dig the groovy mermaid scale socks and journal that she gifted me on Christmas.  I love them and I love her!

Although I'm a few days early, I want to wish all of you a fabulous Happy New Year.  May 2016 bring you joy and happiness and the realization of your dreams.  Big or small, realistic or abstract, fantasy or reality-we have to have hope and dreams to carry us through the sometimes mundane days of our lives.

As for me, I plan to keep on keep'n on, one day at a time.  And when the going gets rough, I will dream of the ocean, blue and warmed by the sun.  Envisioning myself swimming freely in this embryonic state beside the creatures of the sea with my hair flowing behind me.  I will be without worry or care, sadness or grief.

That's my dream.  What's yours?

P.S. "Always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid....then always be a mermaid.  My personal credo! xoxo

Monday, December 21, 2015

O Holy Night...

Hoping and praying for all to feel peace and contentment this Christmas.  May everyone know the love and support of family and the warmth and acceptance of good friends.   Amidst the commercial mania, may we all remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.   May our departed loved ones be dear to our hearts and watch over us.  Let us all be thankful for the gifts we enjoy and pray for those in need.  Let us all be safe, contented and healthy.  Merry Christmas, my dear friends. xoxo 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sweet Jamaica...


Well my, my, my.  What's better than December 15 being National Cupcake Day?  And what a sweet writing prompt!  I love cupcakes.  They are just the perfect portion of cake, saving me from that second slice.  One and done, perfect!  Cupcake shops have popped up everywhere selling all flavors of these little delights-and they are no real bargain.  The price alone reminds you of what a treat they are.  I have even seen them served in place of traditional wedding cake.  There is even a baking show called D.C. Cupcakes with contestants vying for the honor of the perfect cupcake.  An old friend of mine was called 'Cupcakes' in high school, not because of her baking ability.  Her perfect posterior earned her the moniker.  Gayle and her 'cupcakes' brought all the boys to the yard!  (Gayle, see I don't forget much either!) 

I am one of those people who consider sugar as a food group.  I simply crave it.  If you gave me the option of a steak, seafood, carbs or salad, I will take sugar as my first choice.  Everything else in the meal is just a means to the end.  I am the happiest when I've had my taste of sugar.  I read somewhere that as we age, our taste buds lose their ability to distinguish flavors.  But not our sugar receptors-they actually increase their sensitivity to sweets.  I guess that's why most elderly people seem to have candy dishes and baked goods at the ready.  Can you imagine the dilemma I will face in my old age?  I will still have to be at the gym even if I am pushing a walker!!

Hey sweet readers, time to fess up.  Do you enjoy a cupcake or two?   Do you share my sugar obsession?  My favorite cupcake flavor is red velvet.  What's yours?

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Good Stuff...

This past Saturday we had the pleasure of attending the wedding of friends' son and new daughter in law.  Held at the Colony Club in Detroit, the affair was lovely.  The love in the air was almost palatable as the bride and groom exchanged vows.  Later I noticed paper towels in the restroom that read, "best night ever."  Reading this sentiment got me thinking...

Is your first 'official' night as man and wife really your BEST night?  Isn't everything on high anxiety and a little abnormal?  Have you yet experienced enough to have it be the best?  Aren't you even tired from the days' frenetic events?

I think down the line, the bride and groom will rethink this cute sentiment.  As I ponder it, my wedding night (either of them!) certainly do not qualify.  It was more of a beginning with many questions that only time and experience could answer.  Saying vows and a great party are just the start and really not a very realistic marker for how things will be.  And age will change what qualifies as 'the best'.  Even though they looked their very best with stunning dress and hair and makeup at a beautiful venue with amazing food and a happening D.J. surrounded by their best friends as well as family-to me, it still doesn't qualify.  It's hard to believe, but that party is just the first of the life experiences they will share.

Some of my 'best night's' involve none of those things.  Quiet bonfires on a warm night that I look back on fondly.  Relaxing together after a 12 hour road trip.  Pizza and a movie at home with the pets.  Admiring the blue of the ocean on our deck.  These are a few of my 'bests'.

And just as good are the knowing looks of understanding that Randy and I exchange where no words are even necessary.  It doesn't take a hundred people to make it happen.  Being in sync after years of experience are the moments that mean the most to me.

The little things are always the 'best'.  Congrats to Jeff and Meghan.  The best is yet to come!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Where you Belong...

Happy December Darlings!

How 'bout this group pic of my family on Thanksgiving?  How did you fit everyone in, you maybe asking?  Well, even if you're not, I'll tell you.  A selfie stick.  Yes, the very thing that I had previously deemed totally useless, neatly did the trick.  That gadget comes with a remote control so you do not have to have a freakishly long arm to get the shot!.

The smiles on these faces came from a place of happiness and contentment.  My sister Lisa and her hub hosted another fantastic day at their home in the woods.  I got to catch up with my nephews, who I do not see as often as I would like.  We ate, drank wine and played some crazy board games. Even the cold and sometimes drizzling rain couldn't put a damper on our Thanksgiving fun.  Some other cousins dropped by for a visit and cocktail.  Spent some time in old photo albums laughing at our mullets and other fashion faux pas!  It was a simply a perfect day.

Thankful for all of it and praying for the grace of God to allow this day of abundance to remain the traditional event it always is for us.  I realize and do not take for granted how very blessed I am.  With the unrest in the world, I pray that everyone know peace and love.  xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

Love's in need of Love Today...

After being 'separated' since Labor Day, sister in law extraordinaire and I finally hooked up!  She arrived at my house on Saturday afternoon and we spent hours catching up.  Then, after a little fluffing up, climbed into her little red Jeep and made our way downtown to the Joe to catch the Stevie Wonder, "Songs in the Key of Life" concert.  Did I mention that it was the first blizzard of the year?  Yes, it was a slow ride with greasy, unsalted roads full of Detroiters re-learning how to drive in the winter.  But we made it and waltzed into Andiamo for a little pre-show wine and dine.  Later lady luck blessed us as we found a front row parking spot near the door and did the dumb chickie thing by running in heels up the stairs to the Joe.  It is certainly true that being a woman has it's own share of self-inflicted torture!

After finding the nearest booze line, we located our seats and got comfortable.  Stevie was only a little politely late.  The stage was filled with 30 to 40 people at all times including his band, back up singers, a choir, the string section from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as lovely dancers.  Stevie Wonder is pure love-in case you didn't know it.  He just is a giant love sponge.  He spoke of his wish for world peace and love.

He sang all of his tunes perfectly and I was surprised to hear that he still had his pipes.  His band did solos that showed off their particular talents and the vocalists treated us all to a verse of their favorite tunes.  Stevie's show was the sixth concert I have been to this year and I'm happy to say the last.  I think he is the last of the musical legends that I need to see.  He was fabulous and even did a few of his cute 'blind' jokes.

His songs make me smile and remind me of specific times in my life and I'm happy to have had the privilege of seeing and hearing him with Sissy.

He's simply a bundle of love-and I think that's just what the world needs right now.

Thank you, Stevie.  You truly are a Wonder. xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

La boheme...

My thoughts this week are in Paris with the families of those who died or were injured..  Senseless tragedy is like a death to me, causing me to re-evaluate the important things in life and face my mortality.  If you lost your life or the life of a loved one tomorrow, what would you change today? 

I am trying to do my best to be the best I can be.  Being the most impatient person in the world, I will try not to sigh and shift to foot while in line for my coffee.  Instead, I will be grateful that I can afford that overpriced luxury.  I'm gonna make an effort to be nicer, you never know what's gone on in someones' world that effects their day.  I will be slower to judge and quicker to accept.

And I promise to be more thoughtful.  And I will pray-not only for Paris, but for all of the world's suffering.

Have a full and grateful week, mon ami's.   xo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Be One...

As a tired and uninspired blogger I was drawing a blank tonight.  I got nuthin'.   For an easy prompt I checked out the old 'National Bullshit Day' calendar.  Today is actually National Orphans Day.  Really?  Now what the hell am I gonna do with that?

After consulting the official 'Orphan Handbook', I found some names of interest that I wish to share with you.  Aristotle and Moses were orphans.  3 U.S. Presidents, Jackson, Hoover, and Hamilton were without parents as well as Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X.

Literature orphans included Tolstoy, Keats, Edgar Allan Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien and William Wordsworth, to name a few.  And in entertainment I learned that Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Faith Hill, Ice-T, Marilyn Monroe, and Trent Reznor all were raised without their natural parents.  Steve Jobs and Dave Thomas had the same start in life.

I think that is a pretty impressive little list of names!  Brains, leadership capability, strength, beauty, and creativity are strong veins of commonality.  Don't know exactly if their origins helped to form these strong characteristics, but it certainly has to be considered.  Maybe the people who DID raise them were influences that helped shape them.  Either way, I think it's cool to consider.

Nature or nurture?  Nuclear family or the next best thing?  It's all debatable and relative.

Hope you enjoyed this little 'orphan' education. 

Have a wonderful week, Dolls! xo

Monday, November 2, 2015

Times to Die...

Happy November!  What a crazy few days it has been.  Friday night found us in Ann Arbor for one of the coolest and most unique wedding celebrations ever.  Friends Stephanie and Chris pronounced their vows in a Halloween Eve themed nuptials.  Held at the Michigan Theatre, the old gothic setting was perfect.  The black and silver decorations punctuated with decorated black branches were elegant.  I loved the black cake with the hugging skeletons on top.  The snack bar was open and we all had fresh popcorn and 'theatre' candy as well as cocktails.  The strolling buffet was an incredible mixture of roasted root vegetables and pulled pork sliders with everything in between.  Shot glasses with various desserts were mouth watering.  A ten piece band on the stage played everything you could wish to hear at a wedding.  Needless to say, it was an amazing event.  All the best to the bride and groom.

Saturday found us with another rainy Halloween.  Friends hosted a garage party and I was surprised at how many children braved the elements.  And there were plenty of treats for us big kids, too!

On Sunday, helped some friends move into a condo while marveling at the perfect weather that obscenely held off till after Halloween.  It was all a Michigan fall day should be.  (It would have been nice if the Lions would have won, though!)  I also took a moment to consider All Saints Day.  Remembering family and friends that have passed made me melancholy as I considered my loss and heaven's gain. 

And on Monday, I had a coffee date with Mark.  (Walking Man)  Mark has been helping me with a very special project that I will be sharing with you all soon! 

Life goes on, one little moment at a time.  The spooky, the sweet, the beautiful and the reflective-it's all good.

xoxo

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Way...

What possesses a bald guy to drop his lid on  me one second before the flash goes off?  Dig me n Mark (Walking Man) lookin' silly after a two hour caffeine fueled visit.  It had been over a year since I got together with Mark so we had some serious catchin' up to do.  And, as usual, if you weren't with us, we talked about you shamelessly.  Were your ears ringin' Michelle, Jim, Erik, and Charles?  All love-I assure you.  This week, as I talk about a movie involving 'walking', it's just fitting that I show off my favorite walking man.

I rarely review books and movies but this week I make another exception.  I am on a roll with my fascination with hiking trails.  5:30 a.m. found me awake and scanning channels for something to fall asleep to.  I discovered a movie called, "The Way".  It involves a hike on the El Camino de Santiago, a hiking trail that starts from France through  the foothills of the Pyrenees and ending in Santiago.  In Santiago there is a cathedral that houses the remains of the apostle James with a mass celebrated every day for the hikers.  It is a gorgeous trek, 500 miles I think, filled with luscious scenery through mountains, small villages, vineyards and farmland.  It is full of symbolism and religious iconery-that appeals to me every time.  On the Pacific Crest Trail as well as the Appalachian Trail outdoor camping and carrying your own food is the reality.  On the Camino, there are hostels and restaurants available as you walk from town to town. Wine seemed to be awaiting all the weary trekkers as well as lovely baguettes. I actually aspire to do this trek.  For real.

 I don't really want to give up much about the actual movie, but I was totally enthralled.  The acting, the scenery, the soundtrack and the gripping message is very powerful.  I think it will effect everyone differently for just as many personal reasons.  I absolutely loved everything about it.  Please 'On Demand' or Red Box or rent it as soon as you want an uplifting, beautiful message.

Then, of course, let me know how you feel about it.   Warm fall hugs, my darlings!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Hills...


Recently I have read two books regarding hiking.  The Pacific Crest Trail to be exact.  The 2,650 trail that leads from Mexico to Canada is an immense hiking effort.  The books I read are "Girl in the Woods" and "Wild".  I absolutely loved both stories with all of the trials and tribulations involved. 
 
The pics above show Dane and I on the Appalachian Trail, where we participated in a mere 12 mile hike.  Both of the girls on the P.C.T. encountered snakes and we found a small garter snake.  Also in both stories the girls had demons that they felt they could reconcile on that long hike.
 
Dane and I, however; had no demons to expunge.  We walked simply for the experience and exercise.  And it was amazing!.  Our 12 miles were an accomplishment for us and we finished sweaty, and tired, with a story all our own.  It never would occur to me to rough it for 2,650 miles through  the desert and the snowy mountains.  Nope.  Not me.  Getting rid of my 'demons' would never involve sleeping in a tent, eating mostly oatmeal, rationing my water, nursing foot blisters, and carrying a giant backpack.  Yes, the two characters 'found' themselves on the trail, but I would have lost my mind.  As much as I love the outdoors, my comfort level is much larger than that.
 
Still I highly recommend both books.  This weekend I watched the movie version of 'Wild'.  I enjoyed it, but as per usual, preferred the book by the same title.  The movie simply does not have enough time to show all of the details that the book does.  However; I did enjoy being able to put a visual to the imaginary picture I had of the P.,C.T.  With Reece Witherspoon as the lead character, I loved the visual depictation.  I hope the "Girl in the Woods" gets made into a move, too.
 
I wholly recommend both books as well as the movie.  It's totally escapism, that for me struck a realistic nerve.  If I was 20 years younger, I would surely attempt that very walk.  But not to discover or find myself.  I would do it for the challenge of it. Very little challenges me physically these days,  save maybe for my boxing, boot camps and various gym workouts, but I would welcome the chance to try.
 
What challenges you  these days?  Do you meet the challenge or do you ignore it as a chance gone by?  Let me know what moves you.   xoxo

Monday, October 12, 2015

Heartbeat...

I try not to make this weekly blog thing just about the things I've done it the past week.  Nobody needs to read about the minutia of my world.  But this past weekend was pretty damn special.    A family wedding, found my sister and my Mom traveling south of Standish to join me in the festivities. Lisa and Mom got here on Friday in time for lunch.  After unpacking their car we settled in for some serious catching up.  I always am interested in the news happenings in Ossineke as well as my sisters restaurant, Rosa's.  I was thrilled with all the wonderful lettuce Lisa brought me from her greenhouse and the 10 quarts of tomatoes that my Mom had canned for us.  I love these little tastes of home.  Soon it was time for cocktail hour.  Randy got home from work and we sat down to the lasagna dinner that I was brave enough to cook for these two wonderful chefs.  I am a nervous cook, but all seemed to enjoy my dinner.  With a big day ahead, we retired early.  On Saturday we were up early and out the door to do some shopping.  I rarely shop on weekends, but I gamely chauffeured Mom and Lisa around town.  We laughed and had a ball over nachos and margaritas.  It was then that I realized that the lines had blurred a little.  We were not only family-but good friends.  Soon it was time to leave for the wedding.  Weather wise it was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding.  I love this side of my family and there they all were, turned out in tuxes and finery.  We enjoyed being part of the lovely ceremony and reception.  Hours were spent catching up with those we never see enough of.  We even danced a little.  On Sunday, we did a little more shopping and then came back to catch a movie we had been wanting to see.  Later we went over to Mac n Ray's for dinner.  Coming home, we sat at the kitchen counter/bar while I whipped up some cookies.  I can hardly believe that after 2 1/2 days, we still had stuff to gab about.  This morning, Mom and Lisa packed up and  headed back home.  Today and tonight, my house is strangely quiet.  I miss them already and look forward to Thanksgiving when we will be together again to feast, drink wine, and catch up on each other's world.  I am here to tell you that absence does make the heart grow fonder.  My family is my support system and I couldn't do it without them.  I feel very blessed.  Congratulations to my darling cousins, Aubre and Sean.  You are beautiful and I wish all the love and happiness to you both as you start your life as man and wife.  The day was superb and my heart is full of joy from seeing all my family.  Love to you all.   xoxo
 
 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hands of Love...


The topic of this week's post is very near and dear to my heart.  This week is National Mental Health Awareness week.  I'm sure everyone reading this knows someone in their family or circle of friends that is or has dealt with mental problems. 

I have been on this soapbox for years and I do not need to rant on again here.  Just let me say if you know someone who is suffering, encourage them to get help.  It could be an evaluation by their regular doctor that could lead to a recommendation for a psych doc.  Some churches offer counseling.  There are support groups that are very, well, supportive.  There is much to learn as a patient or caregiver.  Sometimes just being a good listener can help someone who is suffering.  Do what you can, but most importantly do not ignore. 

If you would like more information, look up National Alliance for Mental Illness.  N.A.M.I. is a pet cause of mine and I am happy for the awareness that they are bringing to the world. 

Thank you, one and all for allowing me to run my personal service announcement.  Have a safe and healthy week.  Love to you all.  xo

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sixteen Candles...

Well maybe just a few more that sixteen!  On what may have been the last gorgeous Saturday night, gal pal Kristin and I made our way out for a last summer fling.  No, not that kind of fling!  Had a bite of dinner before hooking up with the birthday boy himself.  Kurt is our trainer and we couldn't miss the opportunity to buy him a vodka or two.  Kurt instructs in a 'flow' style but nuthin' was flowin' that night except the Goose.  And yes, we got a little loose. 

Us broads split early before we turned into October pumpkins and left Kurt to carry on his party without us.  Hope your night was as special as you are, Buddy.  We will see you on Tuesday for our regular beat down.  Happy Birthday, Kurt!  xo

P.S. I am celebrating a little 'day' myself.  Can you believe that I have published 400 posts?  Yep, I can hardly believe it myself.  Thank you all for your support thru my celebrations, sadness, rants and stories.  I love ya'll bunches. xo

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sweet Pea...

On Sunday night, in Ossineke, Michigan, I had some dreams come true.  Old friend, Bruce Anscheutz opened his home and whitetail ranch to me and some family and friends.  At six p.m. we met at Bruce's gorgeous home and watched as many deer, including bucks, does and fawns came up on his porch waiting to be fed.   Two fawns had their nose on the windows as they waited for Bruce to fix their bottle.  I got to feed Sweet Pea.  She was the sweetest and hungriest little baby I've ever seen.  As an incredible animal lover, this was pure joy for me.  Sweet pea let me feed her, hug her and kiss her head.  I was in heaven.

Bruce started out Whitetail Way as a game ranch, raising and managing deer for game hunters, but has sort of evolved into a petting zoo, with deer, sheep, goat, and ducks.  The animal live on gorgeous acreage and are spoiled by Bruce's loving care.  He knows all of their names and histories and I even witnessed a big buck give him a kiss.  These animals are the world to him and he treats them lovingly and respectfully.  He is as dedicated as a farmer as twice a day he must check the fences and feed these animals.  He generously opens his home and property to those of us that love animals.  Bruce has a train that rivals the Detroit Zoo train and we all pile on with our beer and ride around spotting the animals.  On Sunday the weather could not have been more perfect as we enjoyed the woods and deer.

With a husband who hunts and being a wife who not only cooks but loves venison, this kind of presents a conundrum of sorts.  Growing up on my Grampa's dairy farm, I've always squirmed a little at eating beef.  But I eat it, if I don't know the name of that particular bovine.  The same is with deer.  Randy hunts in big woods and the animals are not pets.  They are wild animals and that, I must hold onto.

Bruce brings much joy to local people who bring their children over to witness this awesome spectacle.  He is a knowledgeable and gracious host.  It's is the coolest thing ever.

Thank you, Bruce for sharing your babies.  I loved it and you are the BEST! xo

P.S. Hello to darling Sweet Pea! xo

Monday, September 14, 2015

For Those About to Rock...

We salute you!  Holy Hell's Bells!  Can you believe AC/DC is still rockin' it hard?  Can you believe our old asses still are?  Well, believe it.  Ford Field was the site for this crazy sight.  The boys were Back in Black and did not disappoint as they beat out every one of their tunes that made them famous.  Beers were spilled and the air was thick and 'suspect'.  The users looked the other way.  There were fireworks and the inevitable cannons. And don't forget the bell!  No introductions, no stories, no nuthin'.  Just 3 hours of hard drivin', kick ass rock.  Brian Johnson looks and sounds just like he did 20 years ago-newsboy cap in place as he delivered the vocals.  Skinny little Angus came out in his usual attire and systematically stripped down, thankfully stopping at just his shorts as the show went on.  His trademark step still brings the audience to it's feet.  Sweating like mad, he ran around with that fish out of oxygen look on is face and flopped around  like a dead fish while madly not missing a beat.  The people watching was supreme with all of us old rockers relieving our glory days. 

I didn't even have the show on my radar, but jumped when the tickets became available.  Glad I did it-don't want to do it again.  Those old boys Rocked Me all Night Long, while totally kickin' my ass!
Taylor Swift, Eagles, AC/DC with Madonna in October and Stevie Wonder in November.  I'm just about 'concerted' out or will be soon.

How about y'all tell me about your first or favorite show?  I'll be waiting... xo

Monday, September 7, 2015

I Can't Feel My Face When I'm With You....

Yikes can you believe Labor Day is here and gone?  How on earth did it get to be September?

In celebration, 3 girls, 3 guys, and one very cute Bebe, had a morning Bloody Mary (well, not the Bebe, of course) and headed up to Port Austin for a little round of action at the farmers market.  This particular open air market is rated one of the top five of it's kind in Michigan.  The vendors are amazing with everything you can think of for sale, as well as arts, crafts, and antiques of all kinds.  I have my favorite Amish stand with my favorite little Amish boy selling his wares.  It was the last one for the season, so we were anxious to stock up on the fresh goodies.  We found fresh honey, organic spices, gorgeous tomatoes, venison jerky, alfalfa and bean sprouts as well as mixed greens.  Princess Vivienne scored a darling handmade mermaid costume at I can't wait to see her beach photo shoot.  Our men patiently carried around our goodies and treated us to lunch later. 

With lovely co-operative weather, there couldn't have been a more perfect way to spend the day with family and friends-including one special Bebe!  If you ever want a fun Saturday morning, head up to Port Austin and take in the market, and you may even 'Spot a J'!  Hope you all had a wonderfully, long, and relaxing holiday.  xo

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cheers to the Fall...

An icon is gone.  Cedar Grove Tavern in Hubbard Lake, Michigan suffered devastating losses in a fire on Sunday morning.  Located in the cedars of Hubbard Lake, the tavern has been a popular bar and eatery as long as I can remember.  Back in the day, I was a regular.

The bar was simply a local legend.  Owner Jim, could be counted on for a warm welcome every time I strolled in.  A hug and a kiss and a promise to 'misbehave' were exchanged.  The dance floor was the scene of many sweaty, crazy times as some of the best local bands played on.  Me and my posse of chickies would run crowd control most Saturday nights. The pizza and hoagies were epic after, or even before a long night of antics.  Pig roasts and talent contests added to the fun.  It was locally the best Halloween party with all of us turned out for some costumed craziness.

My first (legal) drink at 18 was at that very bar.  Jim feigned surprise that I was 18, since I had been in and out of there and maybe imbibing for years.  The hug and kiss were extra large size that day.  And I totally misbehaved.  Randy and I, in a totally kismet moment, met at that very bar.  The story of the 'citiot' and the local 'swamp angel' is one we have retold many times.  We held Dane's 'up north' family graduation party in the side known as 'Tiki Jims'-and unlikely name for a northern Michigan bar.

But Jim is gone and now so is the bar.  Things are awfully quiet today in the swamp, and all we have now is our memories.   But damn-they are fond ones.  xoxo

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chasing Faith...

After attending a fundraiser for Cass Community Social Services, I couldn't wait to settle down with the book written by Faith Fowler, the founder and pastor.  I had met her at another soiree, but this time there was a book and I had to buy it and get it autographed.  The night was an incredible success in all ways-elbows were rubbed, money was raised, flesh was pressed (who, me?), with plenty of good food and libation.
 
I dug into her story immediately upon arriving back home.  The late hour plus a full belly, allowed me to only get about 3 chapters in.  By mid morning I was finished.  The story outlines Faith's 20 year involvement with the Cass Corridor programs, church, and it's people.  She is a visionary that has done everything you can imagine to create and expand a program for the homeless.  She has unselfishly organized food, jobs, clothing, education and spiritual guidance for anyone who needed it.  The chapters are short and to the point and filled with Faith's wry humor.  Wonderfully warm and personal.  I found it very inspiring and renewing reading about someone who has actually made a difference.  Please read about her/and or her book if you get the chance.
 
And I can't wait to see all the new murals and street art going on downtown.  I love the color and creativity happening.  I plan to get down there and check it out while the weather is still warm.  And did you hear that there was a tiger on the loose at the Packard Plant?  Really?  I can't imagine the risk of having that feline there just for a photo shoot.  Ridiculous.  Someone could have been killed, all for the sake of a 'ruin porn' setting.  I remember when there was a cow that escaped the knife at Eastern Market, but that was a whole another situation.  That bovine had every right to be on the run.  At least the tiger thing ended well, and maybe a lesson was learned.  Maybe...
 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Cheryl and I will continue to solve the world problems over large Bloody Mary's.  I'll let you know what we come up with!  xo
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Best Day...

 
Friends of mine know my love all of all things 'nursery'.  The scents and beauty of the plants and flowers can lift my mood anytime.  I love to plan new looks for my yard and often steal the professional planter ideas.  So when I saw this little quote, I had to giggle.  "A dirty hoe is a happy hoe."  Yes, indeed.  I can totally relate as I spent 4 very hot and sticky hours on Sunday working in my  yard.  For the first time ever, I have a garden for vegetables.  My family is big on vegetable gardening and even have a hydroponic greenhouse.  I love going in there and picking lettuce and tomatoes-in February!  So this year, they hooked me up with some starter tomato plants as well as some green pepper and hot pepper plants.  I have them in colorful pots on my deck.  So far I have harvested enough tomatoes for our salads and some green peppers, too.  My kale and lettuce are doing well and my herb garden is going crazy with all this humidity.  I love cooking with fresh herbs.  Basil and rosemary, parsley and mint.  My strawberry plant, however, has only yielded me 2 strawberries!  But it's fun.  I water the plants daily and enjoy watching them grow.     And speaking of grow....How's that for a segue?  My darling nephew, Julian Oliver is growing like a weed.  And like the flowers, he also has perfect skin coloring and smells delicious.  At one month old when I saw him, he is just perfect.  Mother nature just never fails to totally astound me, and baby Julian is no exception.  Flowers, plants, vegetables and babies-we are all growing.  In these dog days of August, what else can we do?  Hope you all are enjoying your summer, doing whatever makes you wonder.  xoxo                  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Goodnight Sweetheart...

Weeks of stomach pain landed me in the E.R. last week.  It's been ages since I had to spend the night at the hospital for any reason, but I was looking forward to some relief and some much needed sleep.
The hospital is a warm, safe place with lots of people that are so much smarter than myself that will take care of everything...Right?

Upon arriving, I fill out the forms that seem redundant since all my info is on the Beaumont website.  Okay, well, we certainly have all that straight.  They slap on a information bracelet and I'm on my way. Next I get to change into the proverbial, ugly hospital gown.  Thin as a tissue with an open back for all your stuff to hang out of.  With the hospital air conditioning blowing at steady 62 degrees and a wind chill of 46 degrees, I was freezing my exposed ass off.  And I found it rich when the nurse with the polar fleece North Face jacket on asked me, "Are you warm enough, Dear"?  She generously brought me a heated blanket that retained it's warmth for, oh, about 12 seconds.  Then the E.R. doc asked me the same questions that were just on the form I filled out.  I patiently repeat my answers.

 My blood count required me to have two bags of plasma, which made a nurse take my blood EVERY HOUR all night, along with my vitals.  This coupled with my roommate blaring her telly all night, left me exhausted.  And needless to say the bed was not my Beauty Rest mattress!  I endured the plastic pillow and soldiered on.  For some reason they felt it necessary to hydrate the hell out of me with an I.V. pouring liquid into me at a rate of about a gallon an hour.  This was hardly convenient as I unplugged the thing and made my way to the bathroom every 13 minutes.

 My lunch was orange jello and my dinner was orange popsicles.  Orange is the new food trend apparently.  I actually found out I like orange jello-so that was cool.  Not much else was exciting as they scanned my bracelet about 352 more times.  You would have thought that thing was a Tiffany!

And why do you never feel clean at a hospital?  I couldn't wait to get home and shower and sleep in my cushy bed. 

The docs and nurses were nice enough.  The testing was relatively painless-it's controlled chaos as they give me Nascar style attention with their oxygen and needles.  For the thousandth time I repeat my name and birth date.  I still don't know why I have a persistant tummy ache.  We will keep exploring, I guess.  Hopefully, I can do it on an outpatient basis.

Pray for me Darlings.  At least I'm not pregnant!  xo


Monday, August 3, 2015

28 Thousand Days...

On a billboard of a building on Woodward Avenue there is a large chalkboard with 91 lines.  The words, "Before I die..." and a basket of pastel chalk beckons you to consider.

Much harder to do than a bucket 'list' that allows you many choices.  This form of street art would like you to fill in just one line.

So I ponder-what do I want to do before I die? 

Travel?  I've done a little, but want to see Europe in the worst kind of way.  Norway, my ancestral home is of great interest to me.  But I'm a homebody at heart, so I don't think that's my number one aspiration. 

Not being a great cook, I have always wanted to make a decent lasagna.  Recently I came across a stove top one that was easy enough for me to handle.  I've made it three times and I think I've nailed it.  So, no.  No domestic endeavors.  The lasagna was my tasty nirvana!

Writing something meaningful would be very cool; however, as I approach 500 blog essays, I think that the goal is met as best as I can meet it.

Winning a Grammy is completely out of the question due to the fact that I am virtually tone deaf.  For real.  I will never rock it out or lounge on a piano in a hot dress and croon a smoky ballad.  Grrrrrr-never gonna happen.  Be thankful for that one, peeps.  Which leads me in to the instrumental part of the program.  I want to slap that bass just like Dane did!  My buddy Tim taught me a few things about a djembe and I participated in a few drum circles.  That's all I got.

I have no illusions of curing mental illness, world hunger, or animal abuse.  I do what I can but it will never be enough.

My goal of reading the classics is stalled while I dig into biographies and summer beach reads.

I keep falling back on the one thing I can actually do.  Contentment and peace of mind is within my grasp.  I will continue to use all of the above endeavors as well as meditation to get there.  I feel it will be a life long pursuit as I feel that it is a moving target for me.

Before I die I will be utterly content and peaceful.

How about you?  What will you do?  xo

Monday, July 27, 2015

One of These Nights...

Here I am, busted, while enjoying my afternoon lay down.  No shame.  I'm a napper-I love it-and I wake up refreshed and rocked.  After Friday night, I needed it even more than usual.

Friday at 5:00 found us at the Green Dot Stables in Detroit.  This crazy little horse stable themed restaurant is quite the unique venue.  You can choose from approximately 30 types of sliders with various French fry options.  Everything on the menu is $3.00!  We loved it!!

By 7:45 p.m. with beer in hand, we were seated, eleven rows up, thank you very much, in anticipation of the Eagle's concert.  That's right.  The EAGLES!!!  One of my all time favorite bands and I can barely contain myself.

Respectfully, the show started promptly at 8:15-no diva-like behavior here!  At an average age of 67!, these guys still 'have it'.  You would think it was 30 years earlier as Glen, Don, Tim, Joe and the others did their stuff.  They could not have been any cooler.  When Tim sang, "One of These Nights", I almost cried, with memories of my 18th. year flooding back.  I could tell you where I was, who I was with, what we were doing and even the smell in the air when I was listening to that tune for the very first time.  I closed my eyes and was carried away in the moment.  The contact high of all the pot didn't hurt the situation any either!

Like traveling, concerts can be just too much bother for me.  The parking, the crushing crowd, the overpriced beer, etc. get on my last nerve and make me swear off events.  Hell, I recently watched an AC/DC concert on HBO and it was kinda, like, good enough.  But...this was the EAGLES.  And I love 'em.  They are and always be the voice of my adolescence as well as a total class act.

At the 'Hotel California' encore, I cheered my ass off with teary eyes, as more visions hit me.  I was in a white denim jumpsuit with a rainbow necklace, sporting my best Farrah Fawcett doo.  The bar was smokey and hot and so was the guy I was mashin' with on the dance floor.  Ahhh......

  I loved it, it was worth it, and I will never forget it.  Go if you have the inclination. xoxo

Monday, July 20, 2015

Strip it Down...

WARNING!!!  To all my loyal male readers-you just might want to sit this one out.  Avert your eyes.  Skip it.  Take a week off from the jspot.  Or, just be brave and forge on.  This is territory that will probably make you squirm.  Welcome to my world...

I have had it with the inappropriate, unnecessary insulting, and embarrassing commercials about feminine hygiene.  Really, it's just us chicks that need to be concerned about things 'downtown'?  As if!  C'mon.  What man is writing these things?

Okay, all the girls playing sports in white clothes during their 'time' is understandable, but we get it and know how to shop for it.  It's required and we handle it without outside advice.

Now, can we just talk about 'Poise' pads.  Honey, it's got nuthin' to do with poise.  And, again, we got this.  Don't men ever have those issues?  A little 'unpoised' moment?  Do they maybe need a little pad in the boxers?  I don't know and I don't think I want to.

Vagisil-that itch you can't scratch and that embarrassing odor.  Really?  Cuz I've seen more dudes openly takin' a quick paw at their stuff with little or no embarrassment!  I bet that not once have those funky monkey's considered the need for a little freshener!

And how about the three girls that come out and stand behind three topiary plants?  Well-not to worry ladies, Schick has come out with a handy dandy razor that is perfect for trimming up your little 'bushes'.  Really, now.  I can bet there are plenty of guys that could use a little manscaping, but somehow they simply are not called upon to get those hedges in shape.  It's okay boys-you can borrow our Schick or just fire up the weed whacker!

I find the whole subject so totally sexist.  I think that all 'areas' deserve to be ummm...groomed and fresh.  Not just Miss Kitty.

Oh, and don't let me forget my favorite.  I can't think that we need to discuss our vaginal meshes, bladder slings and the possibilities of lawsuits regarding these things.  Until men start meshing, suspending and shoring up their junk-I DON'T WANT TO GO THERE!  Sheesh....

Okay, that's my rant for the week.  Guys, be a sport, and please consider your possible  need for a trim here, a little pad there and spritz everywhere.  Hygiene equality for all, I say! 

Just don't say I didn't warn you.

OX for all you dudes that made it thru!  You are among the few and brave.  And I love ya all.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happiness is such a Mess...

I have been on the move quite a bit lately.  In April I was in the Keys, in June, I vaycayed in North Carolina and in July, I spent the weekend in Maine.  Whew.  For me, that's a lot of traveling.

Do I enjoy it?  Yes and no.  I love seeing new friends and the people that I meet.  Cool new experiences are, well, cool.   But... I think I have finally figured out what it is that I don't like.  It's the constant awareness that I must have to be somewhere at a specific time.  As a true commitment phobe, as well as airhead-I find this exhausting.

 I must leave the house at x time to be at the airport.  I then locate airlines parking, park and put the little parking identification slip somewhere safe so I can spring Sascha Fierce and split the scene when I get back.   Next up is my airline terminal.  I must check in with proper I.D. and get my boarding pass.  I then have to clear the crazy security, (okay, I got a TSA freebie this time!) and find my gate.  I then must eat and get back to said gate in time to board.  All this must take place with my I.D. and boarding pass at hand while carrying a large purse and dragging a suitcase.  Finding my seat and stowing my carry on is up next.  Upon landing, I retrieve my suitcase and find the ground transportation floor.  In Metro Airport this may involve a tram, and escalator (2x!), and elevator, along with 2-4 of those fast walking things.  I then must find the appropriate pick up area along with the correct bus to ferry me to the rent-a-car kiosk.  After signing more paperwork then I did to buy a house, I am directed to a lot with number of my rental.  I locate the care and then spin around a parking structure for an hour to exit said structure.  Okay, now I have to figure out how to get to the hotel and go thru that check in.  I have my confirmation number, credit cart and I.D. handy for all of that.  Sigh..okay, I'm in...

But.. when I leave the hotel,  I have to remember my key-with no room number on it-and what the hell car I'm now piloting. 

Only now, do I feel relaxed enough to enjoy wherever it is that I am.  And enjoy I did.  In Maine, I visited Laura on our birthday's.  Yes, she is my birthday twin and we vowed we would celebrate her 50th. together.  We had a blast at the party honoring my friend, and partner in Keys crimes.

Happy Birthday to my dollfriend, Laura.  You were totally worth it! xo

P.S. Welcome to my new nephew, Julian Oliver Wightman, who was born on July 09, just 10 minutes short of sharing my birthday with me.  I can't wait to meet you baby boy! xoxo

Monday, July 6, 2015

Me and Bobby McGee...

 
 
 My favorite holiday has gloriously passed, making me thankful and aware of my freedom.  Press, speech, religion etc. are privileges that we often take for granted.  While-as usual-avoiding anything political, I thought I'd share some of the ways I also identify with the word 'free'. 
 
I hate that we are free to purchase 'fireworks'.  I abhor loud noises, and firecrackers and M80's do not qualify.  All that noise is worthless without the beauty of the colored sprays of light.  Every year some wanna be pyrotech blows off a digit.  Besides, they hurt Mickey's ears.
 
I try to live as freely as possible and exercise my free will as much as I can without being too obnoxious.  Truly, sometimes it's better to shut up than be right.  Free advice is nice, but much nicer
when it is solicited.  I ask for friends advice all the time and try not to offer if without being asked. You know what they say about opinions-and it's not too nice! 
 
 I love those dumb tear outs in my fashion magazines and try all the free samples they can send.  My very favorite Sunday mornings involve the Detroit Free Press with all that that name implies.  Free loaders?  Not so much.  Pay your fair share.  Try to give more than you take.  And please don't hog all the free mints at the door of P.F. Chang.  Free People is one of my favorite brands of clothing, but it is most definitely NOT free....
 
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.  Janice sure thought so.  I think that it is really more of a choice than that.  A free lunch?  Where?  That's cuz there's no such thing!  A poster on my wall once read, "If you love someone, set them free.  If they come back they're yours; if they don't, they never were."  The seventies were full of those dippy sayings, and me and my little gal pals nodded sagely at the truth of it all.
 
Hope all of you can find freedom regardless of your situation.  I've come to learn that it is all in our heads.  Yogi has especially taught me that and there are countless quotes regarding that particular nirvana. 

Thank you all in your support of me and my little freedom of speech and press.  Expression, to me, is the true freedom.  xo

Monday, June 29, 2015

Graceland...

What a week this has been!  We can finally celebrate the Supreme Court passing the ruling for gay marriage to be allowed in the United States.  What a monumental step for us all.  I hope this ruling brings much happiness and justification to all couples that this affects.  Also, may it bring us all closer to universal love, compassion and understanding.   This double rainbow on Saturday night was perfection in all it's beauty and symbolism!
 
On Monday morning,  I saw a young adult male, walking down Gratiot in full clown makeup.  Yep, regular clothing, but a face full of clown white, complete with a red nose.  He looked happy enough sauntering by with his backpack on.  Maybe he was one of those crazy Insane Posse Clown groupies, but it was 8:45 on a Monday, so I can't imagine there was a concert anytime soon.  So, okay...whatever makes ya feel like a rock star.
 
And how about that 500 pound pig rescued from a home in Detroit?  Poor little (?) porker was living in deplorable conditions.  I can only guess what nefarious reasons there was behind keeping, and abusing that porcine pet.  I have since learned that the 'lil porkocono has been relocated and renamed and is now free to live his life out in a normal way.  I will never understand how anyone could mistreat an animal in that way and I am sure that somewhere in the 8th. circle of hell, a special place is waiting for that idiot.
 
And lastly, this afternoon at Target after giving a young man five bucks for the bus, (yeah, sure...) I found two ones and a ten spot blowing across the parking lot.  BO NUSSS!!
 
That's about it for my random world.  Everyone have a safe and Happy July 04!!  xo
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Song of the South...

Last week this northern girl got schooled in the 'southern way' by 9 southern belles.  

Class was held last week at a beach house in North Carolina.  The first lesson I learned was that the  legendary southern hospitality is no joke!  The Belle's made me feel completely at home.  They seem to effortlessly consider each others needs.  From getting each other coffee and cocktails, to patiently listening to each others personal issues-they were sweetly and fully engaged. 

The next thing I observed-but cannot subscribe to- is packing at least 3 times the luggage needed.  Me and my carry on were grossly underdone.  All outfits must have the matching jewelry, shoes, and purse!  A fresh bathing suit is necessary for each day and the coverup, jewelry, sandals, towels and beach bag must resemble a Vogue fashion shoot.  And, 100 degree weather still calls for a full face of make up.  I may have flunked that class.

Anything derogatory is softened by the proverbial, 'bless her little heart.'  For example, you may have to comment about someone's mismatched outfit.  It would go something like this, "She just must not realize that that outfit just doesn't do a thing for her-Bless her little heart."  So much nicer than me saying 'what the eff is she thinking'!  The same goes for rude waiters, slow bartenders and crude men.  You simply smile and talk about it later at home on the porch.  Or not....

And you will rarely hear a Belle curse.  Anyone who has known me for a minute, knows that I love to swear and certain words can usefully be uttered as a noun or a verb.  It's not attractive, I know-but it's who I am.  Extremely unladylike and most certainly unBelle-like.

Porches are a big part of the Belle life.  These chickies will literally sit on the porch all day.  It is the hub of all activity.  Cocktails, snacks and chatting all happen on the porch-even when it's hotter than the eighth circle of hell.  Get gorgeous, get a cocktail and get out there-ah do declare!!

So what do I take away with a week of "Belle School"?  I have learned to slow down a little,  speak a little sweeter, pay attention to detail, and relax on the porch.

And what did the Belle's learn from me?  Just to accept my rough, gritty self as an honorary Belle.  Thank you Rose, Laurie, Mary, Mischka and the rest of the girls for an amazing week.  Class dismissed!

It was amazin' and and ah loved it-bless your little hearts!  (I'll try to forgive that sweet tea and cheese grits thing!)   Southern Sisters Forever!!! xoxo

Also, congrats and welcome baby Mila to friends Kelly and Brian.  Can't wait to get my hands on that little darling! xo

                

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fire under my Feet...





The "J" can be spotted in the Outer Banks this week where she will be enjoying a vacation on the beach with some gal pals.  She will be back next week with all the glittery, glamourus, details.  xoxo

Monday, June 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mr. President...

 
Happy Monday and Happy Birthday to the one and only Marilyn Monroe-who would have been 89 years old today.  I have a picture of her with the quote, "I don't want to make money, I just want to be glamorous."  I love that.  I also have a black and white pic of one of her most iconic poses.  I have read probably 3 biographies on Marilyn and have investigated the conspiracy theories regarding her death.  ( I do believe it was accidental.)  She was an outwardly beautiful, warm, intelligent and bawdy broad-as her good friend Frankie S. used to say.  I wonder how her life would have panned out had she lived.  R.I.P. Marilyn.

Also, good news!  My dollfriend, Michelle is back!  Yes, after a long absence from the blogosphere, her Michelle's Spell is active.  As one of the original supporters of the j spot, as well as a good friend of mine, I am happy to see her return.  Check out her blog for some always amusing adventures of her and Baby Grouchie.

Have a good week and please keep me in your thoughts as I close out the hardest year of my life.  Love to you all. xoxo

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remember the Heros...

 On my way home from the beach house, I stopped in Port Huron at McDonald's for a bathroom
break.

And a chocolate shake.

OKAY-and a small fry.

In line next to me was a man wearing a Vietnam veteran t-shirt.   I asked him if he was, in fact, a veteran.  He told me that he was in the Marines and served in Vietnam.  I thanked him for his service and bought him his lunch.  Whoopee-I spent five dollars and 17 cents on a man that unselfishly sacrificed for our country.  Now who's the hero?  Teehee!

He was polite and gracious as he thanked me twice.  I wished him a Happy Memorial Day and we both went on our merry way. 

Such a small gesture on my part did leave me with a smile. 

Hope your day gives you something to smile about and if not, for cryin' out loud go get yourself a chocolate shake and a (small) fry! xo


Monday, May 18, 2015

Doll Parts...

                 
 
It happens a couple of times a year.  A wave of creativity so strong it has me clipping Micheal's coupons.  And I hate clipping coupons.  It seems such a responsible and thrifty thing to do, but somehow I never have those little discounts with me when I need them.  I stand at the counter and dig thru my wallet just to come up empty or with an expired coupon.  But I buy the stuff anyways.  Paint, brushes, canvases, wreath making supply and such.  I have made two 'D' wreaths, one for me and one for my Mom.  The baseball themed wreaths now grace both of our doors.  I happily painted, hot glued and ribbon tied myself into contentment.  My neighbor Shirley brought over 2 yard toads and some frogs on a branch that had faded.  I busted out my paints and gave all the critters a makeover complete with a special effect that will leave 'em sparking when the sun hits them.  I love to just disappear in the effort.  But when I saw a picture on Pinterest of doll head planters, I had to try to create them.  Friend Marty is know to have a taste for the bizarre, so I knew they would have a home amongst his black petunias and other dark foliage.  I did feel a little strange, buying dolls from the Sal Val only to behead them and give them full lobotomies.  Then came the makeup and piercing before planting back their 'hair'.   "Going Postal" then next day aired them to an unexpecting Marty.  In addition to all this nonsense, I have been haunting local flower nurseries to find what's new for my flower beds and pots.  I also am full on organizing garage, basement, beach house and more.  Like I said, this happens to me every spring when the flowers bloom-so do I.  So that's some of what I've been up to this spring.  I plant to wrap this all up by June 01, where I will switch over to my Dog Days of Summer routine that includes much laziness and many books.  Anyone else inspired? 
P.S.  As as happened in the past, I cannot indent or space out paragraphs.  I apologize for this and swear I will get me some computer 'edjamacation'!   xoxo Happy Spring!! xoxo
 
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nothing Without Love...

On Mother's Day I had the pleasure of honoring my Mom-wonderful Mom and friend that she is.  She is always there for me and the older I get, the more like her I am.  And that's fine with me!

I have always felt that being a mother was it's own honor.  From the very creation and of a child, a mother signs on for the incredible responsibility of nurturing, caring, loving and teaching.  I loved being a mother.  I am still struggling when someone asks me anew, "do you have any children".  I stammer and stutter and get all teary.  Not yet sure how to answer that question with grace.  But, I'm working on it.

I want to thank some very special people this week.  Darling Michelle, who has been so very supportive to me this past year and always.  I love my angel, Angel Girl! xo  Jaime, who always is generous with goodies, cards and sweet words.  You help me keep the faith, Girl. xo  My Mom, brother Steve, sister Lisa and brother-in-law Steve, who wrapped me in a weekend of family and love.  More family and friends offered hugs and support.  My phone blew up in supportive texts and my facebook page and Dane's Remembrance page were filled with lovely words.  I received cards with the most heartfelt of messages.  Dollfriend Kristin-your words, I will never forget.  You know me so well and perfectly addressed what I was struggling with. xo  And if I've forgotten anyone, I apologize.  Oh!  My husband, for his constant acceptance of me and my tears.  Thru his own grief, he is always there for me.  The flowers were lovely, too! xo 

Thank you all for helping me on this heart hurting day. 

And Dane, for 31 years I was honored to be called your Mother.  You are my heart and it was the best thing ever. xoxo

Monday, May 4, 2015

Royals...

I love the royals.  Princess Grace, Princess Diana, William and Kate and Harry and little George,  even the old Queenie, I love to watch.  Prince Charles and Camilla?  Not so much.  Not much style and or glamour going on there..But the dignity and tradition and proper behavior get to me a little.  So unlike the way we do it here in the good old USA.

So as a whacko who follows the Britian monarchy, I want to welcome Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana who was born May 02.  Such a sweet baby!

Coincidentally, our own little sweetie, Princess Vivenne Marie Thompson was born on the same day to our dear friends, Tom and Kara.  Congrats to all and I can't wait to get my hands on little Vivienne.  There is simply nothing like a baby to inspire a fresh new look at life.  I am very excited to watch her grow, while seeing our friends turn into parents.

 Happy Cinco De Mayo tomorrow and a very special Happy Birthday to my Sissy by another mother Cheryl.  Cheryl is my sister in law, confidant, inspiration and support team, and partner in Margarita crimes.  And trust me-there have been a few!  Have the bestest day evahh and we will eat cake (and bitch about it later) and drink margaritas soon.  Love you so very much, Doll. xo

Y'all have a blessed week and enjoy our upcoming spring weather.  I love it!! xo



Monday, April 27, 2015

Color in My World...

We were out with friends when the Bruce Jenner interview aired.  Having missed it, I knew I could catch it on On Demand when I had the time.  Today I watched it.

The issue of gender confusion is not new to me.  Starting with  the Jeffery Eugenides novel, "Middlesex" and then some other reading, I have managed to educated myself quite a bit.  I also know personally a family that is going thru the issue with their small child.  After their son started showing signs and vocalizing his wishes, his parents explored everything possible.  They have accepted the wish, and are raising their son, now as a girl.  What an amazing thing that she was born to parents that understood and supported her.

Bruce's interview was as much about his identity as the education of the viewer on transgendering.  He bravely gave a face and a heart to his struggle.  Bruce seems finally at peace and is looking forward to living his life authentically.  His hope is to educate and help others in any way he can.  And I hope he does. 

Bruce then left us with this final thought; "When you think of me, please be open minded.  I'm not this bad person.  I'm just doing what I have to do."

Go Bruce, be yourself and be happy.  xo

Monday, April 20, 2015

After Her...

When I read that one of my favorite authors wrote a fictional book about a serial killer, I was fast to download it.  I have enjoyed quite a bit by Joyce Maynard including a memoir of her time spent with J.D. Salinger-very fascinating stuff there!  And her newest novel called, "After Her", to me, was riveting.

The story tells an involved tale of two sisters coming of age in the late seventies in Marin County, California.  The girls live in the foothills of the mountain where women are being murdered.  The girls father is the lead detective of the crime that is happening literally in their back yard.  The story is based on a real serial killer that has been named, "The Trailside Killer".  The story explores the family dynamic as well as two girls living thru it all.  I loved the investigation as well as the girl's involvement and the relationship they share.  There were a few twists and turns at the end that may have been predictable to some, but caught me off guard.

The fact of the matter is: I am much too much of an emotional reader to give a real review.  This is why I rarely have the confidence to do it.  I seem to connect to the characters and give lots to leeway to the actual plot.  Also, I am attracted to stories involving sisters and their dynamics. 

Giving my inadequacies, it's got to be enough to simply say, I loved it!

Read any good books lately?  Let me know about it!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Riptide...


 So long till next year to my beloved Keys after an extended annual Sloth, Indulgence and Debauchery Tour.  It is the longest time I have every been away and I am happy to have slipped out on March and half of April!  But, as usual, I am happy to be home.  As a creature of habit and a true homebody, I'm most happy here.

But it sure was a good time.  Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  Daily happy hours and fresh fish.  Laughing with friends and family.  Sleeping with the warm salt breeze blowing on me.  Reading all afternoon without guilt.  Observing incredible flora, birds, and ocean creatures including the biggest starfish (modeled my darling mermaids, Lexi and Elle!)
 I have ever seen!  And how wonderful it was to spend Easter Sunday hanging out at the sandbar with 'my ass in the water and my toes in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand'!  Yes, life was certainly good that day! 

But I'm home and content.  Also blessed and grateful.  xo

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hemingway's Whiskey....

During lunch yesterday on our way to Key West, I spotted this amazing boat that was so befitting of the day.  Ernest was also immortalized by Kenny Chesney in a song by the same name.

Wandering the streets and seeing the places that he haunted and loved always makes me think of him, enjoying his whiskey and telling his tales before stumbling home.  I have enjoyed a few 'Hemingway Days Festivals' where I attended some readings of exerpts from his books.

But... I really have to say that I do not care for Ernest's style.  He is such a man's man and his writing style shows it.  The only book I have ever got thru (barely!) was 'Farewell to Arms'.  Wanting to experience the Hemingway style, I plodded along, but did not really enjoy the story.  Ernest invokes a very sparce, no nonsense way with words.  While I do not care for overly descriptive prose, I do prefer a little more detail.  I then read The Paris Wife in hopes that I would get a better understanding of ol' Ernie.  In that story, there were few, but telling details regarding Ernest in all his philandering glory.

I think the idea of the hard living, gypsy soul that Ernest possessed is actually the story that intrigues me most.  Living in Paris, sailing on the Pilar and catching giant sailfish and marlin, drinking and womanizing are the true story to me. 

Do you have a Hemingway story that you liked or disliked?  Let me know your Hemingway Experience.

"All things truly wicked starts from innocence."  xo

Monday, March 30, 2015

My Favorite Part of You...

Happy Birthday today to my brother, Steve.  It won't be necessary to say how old he is today-let's just say he is my younger brother-by 18 months.  I can clearly remember being a big sister to that curly haired, hyper little boy.  As a big sister, Steve, was like my own personal baby doll.  I watched over his every move and anticipated his every need.  He did not speak until he was 3, not because he couldn't, but because he didn't need to.  Steve wants milk, Steve is hungry, etc. etc. etc.   As his real live Chatty Cathy, I took care of everything.

Fast forward 50 years or so and you will find us hanging out any chance we get.  We have vacationed together for the past 13 years and we have no intention of stopping the fun anytime soon!

As a little side note, this week was also National Sibling Week.  My sister, Lisa joined me here for a quick visit, so I had the pleasure of vacationing with BOTH my siblings!  How often does that happen?  I feel sorry for 'onlies' who miss out on having a sibling.  There is nothing like close friends that just happen to be family. 

I've heard it said that you can't pick your family.  Guess, I just got lucky.

 Happy Birthday little brother.  xo

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You will...

My buddy Matt is 100% Irish, so when his visit coincided with St. Paddy's, we headed down to Key West to celebrate his heritage.  Along with others Irishmen-true and faux, and one Norwegian  girl, we did our duty.

As usual the people watching was supreme with nutballs decked out in their finest Irish themed finery.  The revelry was probably unmatched this side of Ireland!  Matt even threw down an authentic Irish jig at one party and then on Tuesday (after a few lunch cocktails), got a large shamrock tattoo. Somehow, he blames me for this, but I am, as you know, innocent.  I just located, read the reviews, called and set up the appointment, and dragged him to the parlor.  I also conferred with the tattist on size, color and design.  I'm sure the artist thought my tipsy ass was a pain in his ass.  But, the tattoo is perfect!!

All my company has gone home and I have a few quiet days before my sister, Lisa joins us on Saturday.  Then look out Keys, there will be 2 Norwegian girls on the loose!

Have a good week and take time to smell the clover-I mean roses. xo

Monday, March 16, 2015

No Way No...


All sorts of crazygood reasons to celebrate this week.

 Last Friday, on March 13, all Detroiters in the know, acknowledged this as the date that is the numerical same as the area code associated with Detroit, 313.  Not sure exactly why this is of great note, but well, Detroit can give the nod to anything positive these days.  Coincidentally, it was also Friday the 13th.

Then, the very next day on the 14th of March, someone declared this National Pi Day.  Again, I'm a little gobsmacked as to why some nerd thought we should recognize this day nationally.  As a total math dunce, I chose to run out and buy an overpriced, but delicious apple crumb pie.  Whoo hoo-works for me!

And just when you thought all the hysteria was behind you..  On March 15, while I was blithely making my way thru the Marathon Seafood Festival,  the coolest thing evah.....I spot a real life mermaid.  Yes, there she was selling sea shells or some shit by the seashore!  OMG, turns out she loves a good photo op and was all too pleased to pose with me.  Dreams do come true people!

So anyway, now that I've survived this trifecta, or hat trick if you will of nuttiness, what do you think will happen tomorrow?  Yes, me and my merry band of revelers will make our way to Key West to be Irish. There will be the wearin' o' the green, and the singin' o' the songs, there may even be the drinkin' o' the whiskey, as we celebrate St. Paddy's Day.  Erin Go Braugh and all that.  God save me..

 Have a great week and watch out for mermaids, leprechauns and unicorns!  xoxo

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wrapped up...

Hey, who loves puppies more than anything in the world?  Yep, this girl!  When friends and German Shepard breeders, called and said that their new litter was ready for visitors, I was out the door FAST!  I grew up afraid of German Shepard's, but these little darlings posed no threat.  As I approached the wading pool they were in, I gave full respect to the mama and let her sniff me up and down.  She seemed to approve, so I started scooping up her sweet little furballs.  They were all a puppy(s) should be.  They were soft and cuddly, they smelled delicious, and had that marvelous 'puppy breath'.  At one point, I just climbed into the pool and let all 5 of them walk around and lay on me.  I can tell you this-it's the closest thing to heaven that there is for me.
Thank you Daryl and Tammy for sharing your perfect puppies with me.  I am happy to hear that they were all successfully adopted out to loving homes.  What's better than knowing that they will be loved and cared for?  Call me when you have another litter and I will show up again and smother them with love.
 
Have a wonderful week, y'all and take the time to snuggle something or someone you love.  It's the best! xo

Monday, March 2, 2015

Towards the Sun...

The irony of a beautiful ice sculpture is that it's too cold to enjoy it.  The weekend they carved them, the temps were at an all time, record breaking frigid.  There isn't enough hot chocolate and Baileys in the world when the wind chill is -20 degrees.  I love watching the carving live and am absolutely amazed at the talent these artists have-in the freezing cold.  I managed to see some of them the following weekend before the local dipshits smash or tip them over, and it was awesome.

By this time next week I will be enjoying the balmy weather in the Keys.  I am anxious to get away for an extended vacation-it's what we have been working for and dreaming of.  Lots of friends will be visiting and the usual Key's antics will take place.

 Here's my irony.  I have misgivings about, well, just not being here.  Home is where I feel the closest to Dane and somehow I feel as though I'm leaving him behind.  There is something so very final about this and I am choked with emotion once again.  The responsibility that kept me from a long holiday is the very thing I miss the most.  I'm still feeling without direction.  Totally rudderless. 

 Pray for me friends, that the sun provides the balm to soothe my broken heart.  Thank you all for listening and sharing my pain.  It helps so much.  I love you all.

And to Dane, you know where to find me Honey. xo

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sugar...

On a ridiculously brisk Saturday afternoon, friends and family gathered to eat wonderful pastries, sip luscious Mimosas and enjoy a crazy cool hot chocolate bar with amazing fixings! Day drinking with sugary treats?  Whatever was this crazy party?   Shockingly, it was a baby shower! 

Gone (thank God) are the days of rubber chicken and wet green beans affairs.  How about a mixed green salad, fruit and chicken strudel?  We all groaned about calories for a second before tucking into  the delicious chocolate mousse.  There was nary a pink and or blue confection in sight.  There was no bingo games or the such that caught grown women cheating for a dishtowel.  The 'games' were cute and involved imagination as we wrote wishes for the baby's future.  I won a door prize that had wine, glasses, snacks and all the fixin's for a little partaay.  How very cool and useful.

Many helpers including a very handsome husband, (Tom!) made the gift unwrapping go quickly and efficiently.   Mom and Dad were adorable and gracious as they thanked us all for the loot and coming to celebrate the birth of their first child.

The whole baby shower/cocktail party wrapped up in 3 hours including lunch.  Let's hope and pray the baby's delivery goes similarly!  Can't wait to welcome baby Vivienne to the world.  She is one lucky baby that will undoubtedly be surrounded by the love of her parents, family and friends.  I try not to feel sorry for myself as a realize once again, that I will never be a 'Glamma', but Autie J. will have to do. 

And can we talk about the Mommy?  No schlubby maternity wear here!  Kara looked fabulous-a true Madonna.  Beautiful, healthy, fashionable and glowing.  She makes it look so easy!

I felt honored to be a part of baby Vivienne's pre-welcome into the world.  Thank you to Tom and Kara for this.  xo