Monday, December 25, 2017

Linus and Lucy...

Yes, it's a classic.  Yes, we all know about it and it's nothing new.  We may even have our favorite dancer.  But I can tell you a story that only few know of and some lucky ones have even witnessed.  It is truly a legend-in our minds at least.

Years ago, in the 80's, at a local bar up north, girlfriends and I were enjoying the weekly bar version of the Gong Show.  You know, like a regular talent show but with a rude 'gonging' if the judge deemed you with little or no talent.

The action that night was sort of slow and the emcee was begging the crowd to come to the floor and share their talent.  My squad put our fried, dyed and layed to the side hairdo heads together and realized that indeed, we did have a talent.  Cousinfriend Joyce, bumped the band member off her keyboard and the rest of us hit the dance floor.  As you can imagine, Joyce hunched over, knit her eyebrows and began banging out the song.  Yes, THEE Song.  The rest hit the dance floor and broke out in our finest imitation of the dancers.  We shrugged, we ponied, we running manned.  We flipped our big hair from side to side and generally brought down the house.  That is until the judge gonged us, amidst strong protests from the audience.  Like the stars that we were, and with great dignity, we bowed and waved to our adoring fans.  Someone even sent us over a round-a small consolation prize for our humiliating treatment.

So yeah.. this song and this video will forever be the night when us chickies fearlessly performed a spontaneous and creative talent show performance.  We were the people's choice that night and were even asked to do an encore.  But we knew we could never repeat our 'classic.'  Once was enough, the legend remains and the rest is history.  Merry Christmas, my friends. xo

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Grand Illusion...

Are we turning into wimps that talk more than we do?  Has anyone else noticed what Drama Queens and Kings we've become?  Everyday conversations are full of superlatives and exaggerations that make everything so much more important and well, dramatic.  I need to say at this time, I do not mean to offend anyone who truly DOES have these issues and I don't aim to trivialize.

Here's what I mean....

After the party on Friday night, I was a hot mess on Saturday morning.  Really?  There was nothing 'hot' about it-trust me.  When my condition was pointed out to me, I was not hurt.  No, I was 'butt hurt.'  Charming, huh?  Because I was having trouble finding focus, I must have been a bit A.D.D. And when I finally organized my closet, I was accused of being O.C.D.  And I wasn't just 'busy',  I was crazy busy.

Now, I love good slang just as much as the next person, Dane used to check me on that habit as needed.  If I check out the cute E.M.T. at the gym, I am not a 'cougar.'  A smitten kitten perhaps, but NOT a cougar.  And how do I get my eyebrows 'on fleek?'  Unless a fleek is an eyebrow pencil, I'm pretty sure I don't want it 'on' my brows.  What about the laziness involved by using word mash up to save ourselves having to say two words?  We cleverly say we are 'hangry' to encapsulate our hunger and anger.  Why relax when we can do double duty and 'chillax?'  Is it too much effort to say chill and relax? 

And don't get me started on the use of the word, literal.  I had someone tell me that they 'literally died.'  And yet they were standing right in front of me, warm and in the flesh!  It drives me crazy that the word is so totally misused.

I am trying to make an effort not to overdo the adjectives and superlatives in my speech-starting tomorrow.

But right now, I'm getting a snack and hitting the couch, because I am obsessed with and 'addicted' to the Property Brothers and literally 'starving to death.'

Y'all have an amaze-balls week covered in awesome sauce!!!   xo

P.S.  Hit up Bobcat Betty's for brunch and ignore the false advertising!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Step into Christmas...

On a blustery Sunday, dollfriends Kristin and Susan and I bundled up (note the warm lid) and made our way down to Eastern Market to take in the Holiday Market event.

  We got inside as quickly as possible and spent the next couple of hours browsing the vendors.  Always a sucker for soap, I scored some locally made, organic bars that will make my shower experience transporting.  I shrieked with glee when I saw a t-shirt locally printed that featured Diana Ross and the Supremes.  Anyone who knows me, knows my affinity for concert tees of shows that I've been to.  I saw Diana in 1983 at Cobo hall and she was, and is, a legend.  There was a young teen selling redone cigar boxes and I purchased two for jewelry or what ever.  I just couldn't resist them or his earnest sales pitch.  Locally crafted clothing, jewelry, baked goods, purses, and art were all ours to admire.  It also happened to be a Santa meet and greet, so there were very sweet babies and toddlers dressed in holiday attire to get their wishes heard and pics taken.  Christmas consumerism at it's finest! 

When thirst and hunger got the best of us, we made our way up Woodward to one of my favorite spots.  If you haven't had the pleasure of Union Street CafĂ©, I totally recommend it.  A bellini with grilled lobster and cheese sandwich was the perfect warm up.

Filled with Christmas spirit, I resolved to decorate my mantle and get the tree up.  Yessiree, right after a little couch time, I'll get right on it.  Or not... 

Warm hugs, my friends.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Fast Car...

Do you remember your first new car?  That pristine, glossy thing with that intoxicating 'new car smell?  Getting to drive in a car of your actual choice?  The responsibility and the anticipation is a heady combination. There's truly nothing like it until maybe when you purchase a house or birth a child. 

 Niece Nicole had been car shopping for awhile and on Friday night, my brother, Ford salesman extraordinaire, surprised her with her dream car.  As Nicole stepped out in our garage to grab a Bud Light, Steve had her car at the ready with bows, ribbons and a giant name tag.  Nicole was shocked to say the least that her loaded Ford Fusion was right in front of her.  We had snowballed her into thinking that the car would not be available at her price for weeks but Steve did his magic and made it happen sooner. 

The rest of the weekend was spent with Steve giving her tutorials on all the bells and whistles-an easy task with Nicole being a self proclaimed techie nerd.  And celebrating.  You only get your FIRST new car once and we made it the big deal that it is.

Congrats Nicole, you have worked very hard and deserve this.  We are all proud and happy for you.
Drive safe and go easy on that turbo, Cookie!  xo

Monday, November 27, 2017

Summer in December...

When my niece strolled in last Friday, her first question was, 'Who bought you the flowers?'  I answered her that I sometimes buy myself flowers.  It's a little treat that brightens up my mood as well as my counter.  Hazel The One Eyed Wonder Cat likes to nibble on the leaves and smell the roses too.

With Thanksgiving behind us and the approaching season, I think it's important to take care of yourself.  As women it seems that the bulk of the holiday pressure lands on our backs.  We decorate, shop, cook and maybe host parties-and it's not easy.  Magazines, television and Pinterest having us believe that everything must look and taste perfect or somehow we have failed. 

Having stopped exchanging gifts years ago has largely helped.  I love to shop and feel the excitement without the pressure to find the perfect gift.  I have stopped the Bronner's light show in my yard and now hang a simple wreath and toss out a Solar Shower gadget. But I love to drive down Jefferson and enjoy everyone else's display.  I now decorate only one tree and the simplicity of it makes me happy.  My family generously offers to help with any dinner I host because they know fully well how nervous cooking for others makes me.  I still love to write out Christmas cards and plan to start my (shortened!) list soon.  I get great joy in receiving cards too.  Christmas mass with my Mom is also special to me and I get teary with the palpable faith in the air.

And still....I sort of dread it.  Not sure exactly why.  Maybe with Dane and my Dad not here, I have to face the fact that it will never be the same.

Enjoy things in your own way and most important of all-take care of yourself.  And I'll stop to smell the flowers.
  I'm thinking purple poinsettias. xo

Monday, November 20, 2017

Helter Skelter...

Charlie Manson died today.

As far as I'm concerned, that could be his full obituary.

I clearly remember that in my junior year of high school, hidden behind my biology book, was the book, "Helter Skelter."  (It's no wonder I barely passed the frog dissection!) I was morbidly fascinated by this true story of a diminutive cult leader and his followers that would do anything he ordered.  Before DNA testing, high tech security cameras and computers and even cell phones, evidence had to be put together so very carefully.  It probably was my first foray into the true crime genre that still interests me today.  And the fact that the very glamorous Sharon Tate was a victim, well..that just added to the intrigue.  I have always been curious at how anyone could have the brain that justifies murderous behavior.  In another life, I think I would love to explore criminal psychology-what an addition to my resume' that would be!

I have long since lost any interest I had in ol' Charlie.  He was a sick and twisted individual that did not even deserve to live to 83.  But it was never for me to decide.  He can answer to St. Pete and garner his true just rewards.  I am happy to 'close that chapter' in our history.

With Thanksgiving a few days away, I am thankful for all the usual things-without taking anything or anyone for granted.  Life is too precious and tenuous to do anything else. 

Have a peaceful holiday, my darlings.  xo

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Plan...

Has anyone read any good books lately?  With the turn of the weather plus my pneumonia diagnosis last week, I've been reading and resting like crazy. 

I saw that a favorite story of mine has now been made into a movie.  The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls is the true story of a family struggling to survive with a very optimistic view of things that would take most of us (me included!) to the edge.  I have the story on my ipad, so I decided to reread it-something I don't usually do.  The wry humor and irony of a tale told by a young girl is inspiring and out and out funny.  I seem to be attracted to stories of personal triumph.  I loved it again and can't wait to see the movie which inevitably won't be as good as the book.  I now have moved on to another one of Jeanette Walls books, which is my modus operandi.  Both Dane and I would do that thing where we would binge read a certain author or watch an actor or directors complete works.  Do you do that, too?

It's been a pretty quiet week here at the ranch while I hack my brains out and gobble antibiotics and Mucinex.  Books, movies and the fireplace have been my best friends during this down time and I am looking forward to feeling normal again.  (I know, 'normal' being a relative term!)

Speaking of friends-as Hunting Widow Week approaches, I gotta get hale and hardy cuz I can't be tardy to hook up with my Dollfriend(s) this weekend.  It's our annual girl time.  There will be wine, good food and surely some discussions on what we are reading.  Our hunters speculate that we use this time to talk about them.  As if!  Undoubtedly there will be far more important topics covered, such as a discussion about the latest beauty products and speculation as to whether they will possible change our lives for example.  Maybe even some hot tubbing while doing all the above mentioned. (Hint, hint, Kristin!) 

Gotta work on my health, Babes, the weekend is coming and a girl's gotta have goals! Hug and Kisses-I'm not contagious!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Call it What you Want...

In honor of Daylight Savings Time, I am 'falling back' into my usual coping habits.  As a person who suffers from Seasonal Depression Disorder-fancy name for being in a funk-I have to take care not to get as dark as the days.  So here's my plan: tossing on a onesie, monkeying around, drinking apple cider and eating Randy's Famous (very regional opinion!) Chili.  Throwing on the fireplace and catching up on all the movies I've taped will keep me from going bananas on these short, dark days.  So what's everyone else up to?  Let me know your survival techniques! XOXO

Monday, October 30, 2017

This is Halloween....

With designs on a party,
We packed up and headed west.
To the island of Hemingway to the fabled
2017 Fantasy Fest.

Much destruction along the way, Hurricane Irma did not play.
Our hotel was overbooked-please go down the street, the lady said,
You're upgraded to a suite!  No way!  (Sa-weet!)

Two Sea Sirens, creatures divine.
With Poseidon and Neptune,finer than wine,
with sights on Duval to
do the Halloween crawl.

Steampunk and hippie funk, a pope in a wheelchair;
the sights and the smell,
a nun with no pants,
we're all going to hell.

Angels and Devils and very naughty nurses.  (very!)
Snake charmers and body paint, strippers,
And drag queens with purses.

Elvi, (there were two!) eating ice cream,
Dayglo neon and giant fro hair,
It was all we could do not to just
stand and stare!

The parade was epic, our seats were V.I.P, (score!)
The floats were amazing, and we caught tons of beads.
Now I ask you, who could ask
for anything more?

And then it was done...

Four  sea creatures tired, happy and fat,
Crossed one off the bucket list;
2017 Fantasy Fest,
Been there-done that!

Happy Halloween, my Pretties! xo

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hip to my Heart...

Last Saturday I was surprised to be feted at a surprise gathering in my honor.  As I walked into the Fresh Palate, friends and family gathered to toast me.  Huh, me?  My cousin Shannon handed me a glass of wine and said, 'This is for you.'  I thought she meant the wine..

As I looked around the packed room at all the smiling faces that came from as far as Ann Arbor, I had to take a moment to understand what was happening.  My old friend, Rose McWilliams had me take a seat and presented me with an award her Better Living Massage Center and Spa gives out every year.  I was completely gobsmacked as she explained the basis of the award.  Seems I was nominated and chosen as this years honoree. Rose read the award and presented me with a gorgeous, personalized spa robe along with a certificate for two for a full spa treatment.  But that was not all-Rose created a 'Whispering Mermaid' bath bomb that she will sell at her spa.  A portion of the profits will go to a local charity of my choice.  The name honors the little angel voice that I have whispering in my ear along with my mermaid love.  I tried to explain to everyone that my motives are not as unselfish as they may seem.  I try to help others because the 'whisper in my ear' would have wanted me to.  It simply heals my heart and helps Dane live on through others.

Cards, hugs, more wine and well wishes from a group that brings tears to my eyes for the love and support they have shown me in my efforts to recover from the loss of Dane and move on.  I am humbled and honored and renewed in my efforts to help others recover from addiction and or mental illness.

Thank you to my secret keeping, lyin' for the cause, conspiratorial family and friends.  To my pal Rose-we go way back-for making me feel so special.  And my cousin, darling Shannon for the nomination.  I love you all and vow to "Feel Better and Live Better."  xoxo

Monday, October 16, 2017

Moving Stones...

Last week while sharing Cheryl's retirement, it dawned on me that my 'career' has not been as consistent.  For 39 years she had ONE job.  And while I admire her tenacity, my colorful 'career' has been no less fulfilling.  I may have even learned a few things.  I've decided to try to recall my jobs...
I have-in no particular order worked as:
*A Waitress, yes were not yet called servers.
*A child care provider.  Okay, a babysitter
*A real estate secretary-for one week...never got the hang of transferring calls!
*I taught gymnastics for a summer school-twice.  I still love to cartwheel and stretch!
*I've taught a few yoga classes....Ohhhmmmmmmm.......
*A travel agent and I can still rock the cheap reservation.
*A dental assistant.  My brother in law made it so fun!
*A bartender and I've got the stories to prove it.
*A hair stylist and nail tech, and I still love that business.
*A furniture sales person.  I know how to buy a good mattress and sofa!
*I put in some time in our warehouse-I had an in with the boss!
*I worked as an aerobics instructor/weight trainer and yes, I wore a leotard and leg warmers!
*A roofing estimator and with my dubious math skills, that was a real challenge.
*I worked in retail and gave back my whole paycheck for clothes.
*I was a masseuse, and yes, I was properly trained.
*A writer, 'Love is the Drug' my one and only story of love and hope.
*A blogger-8 years and counting.
I probably have forgotten 2 or 10 other employment opportunities, but I think you get the picture.  I have always regretted not furthering my education (aside from Beauty School and Masseuse Training) but I'll never regret the things I have learned and the people I met.  With my short attention span, my various jobs seemed to suit me.  I loved the exploring and jumping in and learning new skills.  Variety is the spice of life-right? 
Speaking of spice, if I only could land my dream job of cookie taster in a fine bakery.  Now that's a job I could stick with.  Have a sweet week, my darlings! xoxo

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Woman With You...

You've all seen Cheryl and I causin' a  commotion at the beach house.  We laugh, boat, search for beachglass, bonfire, conversate and just generally celebrate life.  There may or may not be wine involved...

But at the end of August this year, Cheryl finally retired.  For 39 years she has been a valued employee of the Federal Government.  When working for the E.P.A. as a co-op student she could have never guessed how her career would have played out.  Yesterday she shared with me award after award that she received for special projects she has chaired.  The days were long and the responsibilities great as she took on these challenges as a single parent of two small children.  39 years...I can't even imagine it.

In her retirement Cheryl has lots of plans.  Never one to sit idle she will pursue a real estate career (passed the test on the first time!) as well as getting her L.L.C. to work as a consultant.  She will finally have the time to read, do craft projects, take a photography class, and advocate for drug awareness.  Unlike myself, she never sits still.

Kenny Chesney sings a song that I think of her, every time I hear it:
Cause I'm gopherin', chaufferin', company chairmen.
Coffee maker, copy repairman.
Anymore there ain't nothing I swear man that I don't do.
Been juggling, struggling, closing big deals.
Dancing backward in high heels....

So now, that chapter of her life is finished.  She's leaving the stress, traffic commute, and deadlines behind.  It's a new day-one that doesn't start at 5:00 a.m.  It's slower, more relaxed with more time to do the things she's dreamed of.  So she'll take it slower, indulge her plans and let life unroll for her.

We are planning a party to honor her next summer, so watch for pics and updates.  Until then, congratulate my Sissy for all she has done and accomplished in her (39 year!) career.  She has worked hard and I am so proud of her.   XOXOXO

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Moments Passed...

The text came in at 1:42 a.m.  'Dad, I'm okay.  Uncle Eddie's okay.'  And the phone went dead.

Bill, who works for/with us has most of his family residing in Las Vegas.  His daughter and her boyfriend go for the big country concert every year.  Since it was her birthday, this year would be no different.

As the shots rang out,  Bill's brother, an off duty detective, realized that it was gunshot.  His wife froze and tripped as Bill pulled her up to escape the frenzied stampede.  Running to their car, bullets were ricocheting everywhere.  They ducked thru a hole in the fence and hid in a nearby apartment complex.

Bills niece, a paramedic, immediately went to work, helping victims as she could.

Bill's daughter was excited to hear what she thought was fireworks.  Recognizing gunshots, her boyfriend got them down to the ground and covered her.  They witnessed the woman behind them get shot in the head.  At a break in the shooting, they figured that they would run while the shooter was possibly reloading.  They managed to make it to their car and escaped to the freeway.

Bill finally heard from his daughter the next day and finally was able to fully exhale again.

Thank God.  And may those who were not so 'lucky' find a way to process this horrible tragedy and familial loss.  My therapist assures me that these events forever change us in one way or another.  Unconscionable events are simply not what our brains are wired for.  I hope that all the victims and families are able to get the assistance they will need to move forward. They are forever changed, as is the whole world.

And I can't wait to hug Bill. xoxo

R.I.P.  Tom Petty and thank you for the songs that I love. xo

Monday, September 25, 2017


Remember when flying (in an airplane) was glamorous?  Well, I do.  You called your travel agent and they competently lead you in your planning and happily handed you the tickets.  You dressed appropriately and were excited for the experience. Upon arriving at the airport, again, an agent cheerfully assisted you and checked your bags-for free.  Security was quick.  You waited and people watched until boarding.  You were greeted by a 'stewardess' who was also called 'the angel of the skys.'  You sat in your seat with a fresh paper cover on the headrest and waited patiently for the booze cart-again free.  If not a full meal, at least a good snack was offered.  It was interesting and fun to feel like a celebrity for a while.

My recent (with the exception of Emirates) airline experiences are the polar opposite.

I make the reservation on line and ticket at the kiosk.  When AA's computer is down and my card can't be verified for free baggage, I am advised to pay the 50.00 and try to recoup it myself.  No, 'I'm sorry, Ma'am' or anything close.  NEXXXXTT..So we wait and enjoy the scene of people who trudge around in their pajamas, short shorts, and such. And don't forget the headphones lest you should have to communicate.

We pack into the tiny seats and risk getting lice or whatever disease from the headrest.  The plane is freezing and when I request a blanket I'm just as coldly informed that they are only for first class.  We'll excuse the hell outta me!  Of course they charge for a cocktail and you have to be ready to catch that little bag of pretzels, because the 'flight attendants' are in an unholy rush.  But sometimes I get lucky and get the ginger cookies..

At the dreaded baggage carousel, tired and over it all, we stand and wait for 20 minutes before some of the luggage shows up.  Another 15 minutes a few more pieces show up-including Randy's bag.  We wait and wait for mine.  Finally we approach the office and the dolt there informs us that, 'Oh, yeah...some of the bags got on the wrong flight.'  Apparently it was too much to walk 20 feet and share his secret.  After the necessary paperwork, I am informed that my bag would be delivered.  Again, no apology or even reassurance.  He didn't dare smile.

Where in the world has customer service gone?  Clearly, you can't pay for it.  I would think that since we now do half of their job for them we could at least get them to crack a smile.  Thank you for enduring my rant. 

Let me know if this is also your travel experience.  Or do I just have 'KICK ME' on my forehead!

Monday, September 18, 2017

'You've got a Friend'...

Back in the day two single mom's were looking for love in all the wrong places.  Tami and I shared each others hope for what life could eventually be for us.  We commiserated, we shopped, drank cheap wine, dined and danced, and dreamed.   Boy, did we dream...

Both hoping for a relationship that would share our goals and more importantly accept our children, finding a perfect mate would be something of a challenge.  We dated and discussed, rued and regretted.  But through it all, we supported and loved and laughed.

Too soon, our paths diverged-in a big kind of way.  I found my forever love and she found hers.  I moved to Detroit and she moved to Italy.  Yes, Italy.  Made staying in touch a bit of a challenge.  But I thought of her often, and smiled every time.  We had found love and were happy.

At my Father's funeral, Tami walked in and surprised me.  As you can imagine, it was like no time had passed.  I longed to hear more of her adventures in life and love.  She has always been my 'Carrie Bradshaw' and I needed to meet her 'Mr. Big.'  And then it happened......

Tami and Don transferred back to Detroit and we have picked up where we left off.  With always the warmest of hugs, Tami and I, as well as Don and Randy have had the chance to continue our friendship.  It is the BEST thing you can imagine.  Tami gifted me with a simple metal and leather bracelet that features an infinity loop.  Upon seeing it, she thought of our friendship.  It means everything to me and I love to wear it with her on my mind.  xo

As Tami and Don are now living in New York where 'friends' meet at coffeehouses and Carrie Bradshaw goes out for Manhattans.  But it's also were two old friends can hook up and share each others lives. 

As the circle goes around, I am so grateful for the finer things in life-the friends that have shared the good times and the bad.  I love where we are now and Tami and I can share how are dreams do come true.  And that's what friends are for. See you soon for a glass or two of wine-the good stuff! 
 Love you, Girl.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Whatever it Takes...

  September is National Recovery Month, a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  Families Against Narcotics is fighting the opioid epidemic and is committed to assisting in recovery from addiction in any and every way possible.  I am proud to be on that team.

With today being September 11, let's all take a moment to remember the families and the victims of that horrible attack.  I know this has been a rough recovery for those suffering as well as the nation.  I pray for healing and peace for all, as well as our nation.

Hurricane Harvey had us all counting our blessings and praying for the relief from the devastation that was brought down on Texas.  Lives lost and changed forever.  God bless them all as they move through this tragedy.

Then there is Irma.  Randy and I love the Keys like no other and have been nervously watching to see how the landscape of our special area would be changed.  We personally got lucky this time with minimal damage to our future retirement home.  We love the area so much and hate to see one single palm frond damaged.  But the Conch's are a tough bunch and will power through this mess.  I only wish I could be there to help.  I thank the Lord for sparing us.  Also, my family in Marco Island that also got away with minimal damage.  It has been a very nervous, nail biting time for us all.

I need to take a moment to thank the many friends that have contacted us virtual or reality, and expressed their care, concern and love during this scary time as we watch the possibility of our hard work literally being blown/washed out to sea.  I love you all and can't express the comfort that your have been. xoxoxoxo

AND to add insult to injury, Randy and I have had some stomach virus for the past 9 days.  Really, nine days?  Yep.  On and off, miserable.  But we are finally feeling better and recovering.

Even Mickey is in on it.  I hauled his cookies to the vet today for a minor surgery and he is home now and recovering nicely.  Ham and cheese treattreats have soothed his pain.

So, is it too much to hope for a solid nights sleep?  Maybe turning off the weather channel for a good movie?  Having a day with no stomach cramps?  Just a normal day with no treat of some type of apocalypse peering around the corner?  

I am physically and mentally exhausted.  But grateful.  As always, things could be worse.  We are safe and warm with power and water and food.  We will recover and life will go on. 

Have a good week-it's bound to be better.  Peace and love.  xo

Monday, September 4, 2017


Hello Dolls and please join me in my Blogaversary celebration!

For nine years, I have posted essays  and as of last week, I hit 500 of them.  Hard to believe that since 2008, with the support and encouragement from dear friends, I started expressing whatever was on my mind.  This usually happens on a Monday night.  I have ranted and raved, told childhood stories, shared my grief, showed off my pets,  introduced all of my Mustangs, attempted poetry, celebrated birthdays and weddings and family parties.  I have took  you all to the Keys, to the Thumb, up North, Alaska, Dubai, Costa Rica, San Francisco, and the Outer Banks,   I have examined the 'little things' in life and came to the conclusion over and over, that those are the very best things life has to offer.  For me, its Randy and my family, close friends, a good book, the sound of waves,  a nice wine, a good laugh, and beauty in nature.

As I look back, I am tempted to edit all of those early typos, but that's who I was then-so I'll leave 'em in for a laugh.  I have printed out the first four years and they are in Jspotted folders.  I need to do the rest when I'm ready to spend about 500 dollars on printer ink! 

Thank you all for your comments and support over the years.  Writing even about nothing, simply makes me happy.  Oh, and cupcakes... they make me happy too! 

Luv u all.  Peace, Jodi

Monday, August 28, 2017

Walk on Water...

 When the Captain of this gorgeous Donzi gave Nicole and I permission to board, we happily ditched our kicks and hopped on.  It was a fun night and I love the lights and the sky in this pic.

But the 'Jspot' is feeling like my usual touch of frivolity would be very inappropriate tonight with the horrible tragedy in Texas.  I cannot imagine the horror of the loss of lives and/or your home.  I am holding my breath along with the rest of the world wondering where this disaster will end.  Again, I am grateful for my dry,safe night where my family is not in any danger, although Chicken Mickey is shaking with every clap of thunder.  I will see you next week for a dose of my usual triviality.

  Please join me in prayers for all the victims and their families suffering due to Hurricane Harvey.  xo

Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Sun...

When the sign said that the happy hour drink special was 'Mermaid Martini' you can bet I was quick to belly up.  With the unrest in South Carolina, the Barcelona tragedy as well Texas, I was feeling the shaky ground that comes with conflict and just plain horrible behavior.  I don't pretend to completely understand the politics, but I question the seemingly disrespectable way we treat each other.  The lack of understanding and pushing of our own personal agenda is not supposed to be more important than human lives.  Have our keyboard lives lessened our social skills and basic communication skills?  Compassion, and listening and just plain politeness seem to be less and less a part of our society.  I ponder, worry and wonder.

So after a week like this, I needed to seriously breathe, watch the water and enjoy my martoonie.  Also at Captain's Landing, the local famous white duck was hanging around along with other regular ducks, swans, geese and turtles.  Just happy little water fowl, swimming and doing what they do.  I find it very zen to watch them and imagine how simple their very survival is.

On Saturday, with a day as sunny and perfect as it could be,  we watched the incredible air show put on by Selfridge Air National Guard.  The Thunderbirds as well as many other aviation specialties were on display.  It was amazing to say the least.  We had front row, catbird seats at the Ernst's who live close by.  The many that were there plus neighbors dropping by, added to the feeling of community.  We ate, drank, and shared fellowship and camaraderie.  As the show wrapped up, the accompanying music had us all a little teary that our country had such dedicated and talented servicemen that give all to offer us security.

As cornflake as it sounds, I left feeling heartened and more secure. Somehow, things just seemed a little better-and safer.  Thank you to the servicemen and veterans for the dedication and selfless service to us all.  You make my world a better place. xoxo

Monday, August 14, 2017

Something New...

I bitched and complained.  I made excuses. I pleaded and I wheedled. There was no way I was going to a NASCAR race.  But, the DeWALT company offered to generously entertain us and provide tickets to cheer on the car that they sponsor.  So, as a good(?) supportive(?) wife, I peevishly agreed to go.  I warned Randy that he owed me BIG for my cooperation.  (I'm thinking Paris....)
The day promised to be very far out of my comfort zone.  I would be rising well before dawn to be a captured audience for a day slated to be hot, loud, and crowded.  And the worst of the worst-the dreaded porta potties.  I probably would be NA'SCARRED' for life.  But as DeWalt's newest and proudest distributer, I would just have to take one for the team.  (Insert a weak fist pump and an even weaker, 'go team.')

Randy and I and niece Nicole made our way to Brooklyn (MIS Speedway) where we were greeted by Don and Shannon, our gracious hosts.  Their attention to detail was amazing!   They set up the tailgater to end all tailgaters complete with a tent of wonderful food and beverages along with a giant grill.  There was cornhole, and an 8 person octo-bong for shooting beer-and no, I did not partake.  As you can imagine, the people watching just got better as the day went on.  I even survived one trip to the porta potties without too much duress.  Randy was treated to some time in the pits and DeWALT outfitted him like one of the pit crew.  He loved it!

At race time, Nicole and I made our way to our seats and inserted our earplugs.  As the cars lined up, I learned that pole position is not just for dancers.  I found myself actually getting caught up with the excitement and Nicole was totally into it, cheering and doing some weird redneck sound.  I also learned that there would be 200 laps.  Are you kidding me?

At about 150 laps later, our driver, Matt Kenseth dropped down in the standings, so  we decided to pack it in.  Hot, sweaty, dirty and tired, it was time to go home.

Okay, I confess to being pleasantly surprised.  Not only did I survive-I had fun.  It proves to me once again that it's WHO you are with-not WHERE you are.  And maybe I need to keep more of an open mind once in awhile.  Maybe...

Thanks to Don and Shannon and DeWALT for a very cool day.  And my wingman, Nicole for her redneck spirit.  (But if you ever make that pig squeal sound again, I will bop you in the head with your Peppermint Schnapps bottle!)

Gotta go Dolls-there are some tickets I need to book!  'Merica!  xo

Monday, August 7, 2017

May we All...

On Saturday good friends Tom, Kara and darling Vivi joined Randy and I for our annual outing to the Farmer's Market in Port Austin.  I hit the market quite often but it's a very special day when we all go together. 
The Thompson Tribe arrived and we spent some time drinking Bloody Mary's while Vivi explored the beach.  Piling in the truck, we drove up the thumb admiring the tall corn fields and windmill farms.  Vivi gleefully pointed out every cow she spotted.  Threading Viv into her stroller, we set out among the farmers, peddlers and artists.  Happily, we stocked up on fresh vegetables, spices, just-made sourdough bread and raspberry syrup.  I flirted with my favorite little Amish boy at his regular stand.  He was suitably embarrassed while I bought most of what he had to sell, including a peanut butter and chocolate cookie bar dessert.  We then made our way over to the artists and vendor booths.  I think we saw every type of dog that there is and I petted most of them. 
The market is truly people watching and doggie petting at it's best.  Next stop was an outside lunch spot where Vivi charmed everyone by playing her version of cornhole.  She picks up the bags and drops them in the hole.  She then fishes them out and totes them to the other end where the process starts over.  Lunching at a shared picnic table, we made friends with the people on the other end.  It truly is a very small world.  Conversation and the view of the lake made a perfect end to our day.  Heading back home, we all agreed that we love doing this together and vowed to keep up our yearly tradition.  That's a promise worth keeping.  xo

P.S. Please forgive my lack of skill in creating proper punctuation this week!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ahead of Myself...

This morning at the beach house we made a very gruesome discovery.  One that was detrimental to my well being and would be the cause of possible near hysteria and mayhem.  How I would survive this crisis was of utmost concern.  What, you ask, could  be the cause of such impending disaster?

We were out of coffee.  Yep.  Not good.  It was pointless at this time to point any fingers at anyone and I needed to conserve my energy.  (RANDY!)  Through my foggy haze I managed to pack up and load up and beseeched-okay screamed-to Randy to step on it to the nearest coffee dispensary.   Remember, we are 'up north' where the caffeine options are sometimes few and far between.  We calculated that the emergency would pass once we drove the 16 miles into town.  As we sped into the bakery and slammed the truck in park, we noticed that the neon did not say 'open.'  After a little bit of hyperventilating I accepted the fact that racing another 12 miles would be necessary to get a cup of Joe.  Finally, we pulled up to a tiny bakery/party store/resale establishment.  The man behind the counter was appropriately dressed in a dirty wife beater but could have been in body paint for all I cared.  We gave him our order and he grunted the amount we owed him.  Randy paid the man while I burned the roof of my mouth and my tongue on my coffee.  Can't say it was the best coffee I ever had, but man, it did the trick.

Later in the day as I drove thru Tim Hortons for a large can of coffee, I thought how the whole debacle reminded me of my favorite coffee haunt in the Keys.  The adorable Cuban couple can barely speak English as they cheerfully greet us.  Everything on the menu is made to order including the best breakfast tamales this side of Havana.  And the coffee...Well you can only imagine.

From northern Michigan to southern Florida from a grunt to a smile, I am happy to have my coffee needs met. 

Have a wonderful week and as corny as it is; remember to stop and smell (and drink!) the coffee.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday to my wine swillin'
hot tub chillin'
workin' out,
and laughin' about
gym sessions and
sunglass obsessions.
Sister of my heart,
I don't know where to start,
except to say that it was kismet 
the day that we met.
My partner in crime,
we mesh and we rhyme.
I have your back and
you pick up my slack.
For all you do
this much is true;
My life is much better
because of you.
Happy Birthday, Dollface! xo

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ice Cream Man...

July is National Ice Cream month, because we needed a 'National' holiday to celebrate the lusciousness that is ice cream.  As if...

As a kid, I remember vanilla ice cream with traditional Hershey's chocolate sauce.  We would smash our sundaes till the ice cream was straight up chocolate.  The perfect combination of sugar and fat, ice cream is a party in the mouth!  The local Dairy Dome (yes, Dome-not Queen) was a short bike ride away and I believe a small cone was 15 cents, 20 if you wanted it dipped in that mystery hard chocolate shell.  Save the peanuts-I still hate nuts in my ice cream. Sweet were those summer days with ice cream dripping down your wrist as you hurried to eat before it melted.  Terrible brain freezes were endured as we gobbled down our icy treats.

Later, as my tastes refined, I craved Heavenly Hash ice cream.  It was the only thing that would calm the incessant heartburn I suffered during pregnancy-nothing else would do.  Or at least what I would have you believe!  Nobody would dare question the motives behind a woman 9 1/2 months pregnant during the hottest summer ever and get out without mortal injury.  Toss her a bowl of the Hash and back off quickly! 

Somewhere along the line my stomach became wonky and I now cannot tolerate regular ice cream.  I now enjoy the occasional gelato with no ill effects.    I indulge rarely, and for that reason, every bite is a heavenly treat.  I normally favor anything coffee flavored, but today decided to go with the Berry Cheesecake.  Cuz berries are fruit and fruit is healthy, right?  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Do you have a favorite flavor?  The weather is perfect so indulge and let me know how you 'ice cream!'  XO

Monday, July 10, 2017

Plot Twist...

It was nothing short of a 'Thelma and Louise' adventure as my niece, Nicole and I  made our way to Bad Axe to renew our drivers license.  Having spent the week at the beachhouse, we figured the small northern office would be the path of least resistance to handle our birthday task.  However; the path was not straight or smooth....

After getting very specific directions to a town we have visited about a thousand times, we found ourselves in the middle of cornfields and those giant windmill turbine  things.  Lost as lost can be.  After consulting with both Siri and google maps, we finally got ourselves headed in the right direction and only needed Rocky to spin about 4 u-turns to do it. 

We 'smiled pretty' and were happy to learn that we did not have to write a test.  Our relief was palatable as we headed to Wally World for supplies.  I had what I was sure was a Robert DeNiro sighting.  Unbelievable resemblance.  Just 'ol Bobby lookin' at coffeemakers along side of me.  He gave me a nod and that crinkly smile as I grabbed up my Krups.  Later at a local thrift store we saw what I am sure was the winner of the RuPaul Drag Race season 8.  About  6'8 in platforms and fishnets, she was browsing the goods.  Nicole and I needed a cocktail and lunch after these crazy and unlikely viewings. 

Fed and happy, we headed back to the beach-this time on the right road.  We stopped at a giant turbine to snap a photo op and admire the gorgeous countryside, replete with wheat fields and a doe
and her twins.  What a perfect ending to our country adventure. 

Happy Birthday, sweet Cookie from your Auntie.  I look forward to sharing more crazy shenanigans.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sharp Dressed Man...

After a sumptuous dinner at the Tiger Den, on my way to my seat I spotted Craig Monroe.  C. Mo.!- I shrieked like a teen at a Justin Bieber concert.  Stopping in my tracks, I was happy that my sunnies covered my star shaped eyes.  C. Mo, I gushed, I watch all the game broadcasts just to see what you are wearing!  Any chance you would let me have a photo op?  Sure, he says and putting down his Caesar slice, leaned over and sweetly posed with me.  Let me see what you have on, I said.  He obliged me with a twirl and we laughed that even with his gorgeous suit, he had on Converse kicks that matched the ones I had on.  We bonded instantly..

I am a sucker for a sharp dressed man.  I love creative, thought out looks on a man that is not afraid to show that side of himself.  Craig's perfectly tailored suit with a crisp white shirt, skinny pants, and a contrasting silk pocket square topped of with his high tops were perfection.  We don't have to even discuss his also perfect physique and whatever cologne he was wearing. (Okay-tiny crush here...)

I told him that he was next weeks blogstar.  He flashed me his smile (more perfection), and got back to his slice.  I made my way down to my seat, still a little starstruck.  We miserably lost the game but I still had a cool 'Detroit Tiger' experience. 

I mused later on how much I love the fact that my husband is also a clotheshorse and an incredibly stylish dresser.  Whether you dress up or dress down-no matter-just own it and be comfortable in your skin and style.  It's a confidence thing.

Thank you Craig Monroe for indulging an old, suburban chick.  You're MY Tiger!  xo

Monday, June 26, 2017

It's not Unusual...

I love the Carpenters.  There, I've said it.  Karen Carpenter had one of the best voices ever-to me anyway.  But it wasn't just that clear sweet voice; it was her lyrics.  Karen sang of love-not sex and her song, 'Superstar' and still can tear me up with it's raw longing.  When Barry Manilow sings 'Even Now' or 'Mandy', it's impossible not to recognize the love and desire in his words.  Diana Ross put her undying love right out there when she proclaimed that there 'Ain't no Mountain High Enough,' to keep her from gettin' to him.  Now that's a whole lot of climbing and swimming!  When Bob Seger sees the 'young hawk flyin' I sigh and clearly recognize his need for freedom.  Hearing George Michael vowing his dedication in, 'Father Figure,' used to make me dream of someone having my back that hard.  The raw passion and romantic images that some of my favorite artists conjure up for me take me to places far away- nostalgic, dreamy places.

Such a contrast to much of what is on the radio now.  Between backin' it up, droppin' in low, gettin' sexed up, and worse, we'll, you get my drift.  I miss the romance and passion from my old crony musicians.  Now, I'm no prude.  I'm a huge Prince fan and nobody did the explicit any better than him-rest in peace.   I've hauled my 'American thighs' to the AC/DC show, fist pumped with Kid Rock and have seen Madonna 5 or maybe 6 times.  I want to go party with Pitbull in Miami-hey, a girl's gotta have goals!  And I love Barry White and everything he stands-or lays for.

So I betcha you'll never guess who I want to see next... Give up?  TOM JONES.  Yep, he's on my list-at the top.  It's where I'm at these days.  No judgment or comments from the peanut gallery.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Love is my Religion...

One of the most peaceful days I have ever spent was visiting the Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.  Respectfully clad, we checked in our shoes and wandered about marveling at the pristine beauty and breathtaking architecture.  Words cannot describe the feeling as we were invited to pray.  It was an experience that I'll never forget.

So it is with great sadness that I hear that London was once again the target of an attack and this one being specifically for religious reasons.  In looking up the name of the Mosque pictured above, I read about the recent renaming of it.  The Shiekh in an effort to promote tolerance has renamed the Zayed 'Mariam Umm Eisa' which translates into English as 'Mary, Mother of Jesus.'  I don't understand these acts at all.  Not a political person, my dumb bunny brain just wants us all to get along.

A tune by Ziggy Marley best describes my thought.  Ziggy says:

Well, I'm done searching now.
I found out what this life is worth, yeah.
Not in the books did I find,
But by searching my mind, yeah.

Love is my Religion.

Prayer go out to not only these victims but for all those effected by the tragedies in London recently.  It is a wholly unnecessary shame. 

Enjoy your week and pray that this violence can somehow be stopped.  xo

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reminding Me...

Have you ever had what I call a 'perfect morning?'  Where it just all seems to come together?  I did, last Saturday at the beach house.  Allow me to share in the perfection..

Awaking to a quiet morning with Randy already fishing, I sat for a full hour, enjoying my coffee, reading a book and watching the sun rise over a flat calm beach.

Soon, I felt motivated to take on the only task I had scheduled for myself that morning.  Reluctantly,  I planned to head to 'town', rent a carpet scrubber and git 'er done.  But stepping outside, the glorious sunshine lifted my mood.  I popped the top off of Rocky and hit the road, but not before admiring the wildflowers that seemed to have popped up overnight. In town, I hoisted the cleaner in the Jeep and resolved to get to work...

Two hours and three antique stores later, I scored a vintage Rolling Stone magazine featuring Guns n Roses on the cover.  I noticed the 'open' sign on the local bakery and decided to drop in for a snack.  Got a great cup of coffee and some fresh baked butter cookies.

Making my way home I noticed a dude on a bike, doing the two thumb texting thing.  Distracted biking?  At least he had a helmet on.  My next visual came in the form of a big, burly Harley guy who pulled over his bike, unzipped his leather jacket and pulled out a Yorkshire Terrier.  Yep, a tiny Yorkie.  Snapped on a leash and proceeded to walk his puppy.  So cute!

Next up was a huge yard sale where the owners had apparently fallen victim to late night QVC and other infomercials.  The owner was sweet and I escaped that madness with a book purchase.

Cruising up the shoreline sippin' my Joe and munchin' butter cookies-gluten be damned, I got all teary when my favorite Bob Seger song came on.  'Roll me Away' indeed.  Arriving back at the beach, I thought it would be a great time to take Mickey for a beach walk and search for shoreline treasures.  He was only too happy to oblige..

By now, the procrastinator in me put off my carpet job till the next morning-today was just too good too waste.  Again, I marveled at the perfection of my complete sensory stimulation. 

What a great day to be alive.

Monday, June 5, 2017

One Sweet Day...

Never had I imagined
Living without your smile.
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive.

Although the sun will never shine the same
I'll always look to a brighter day.
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray.

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day.

Mariah Carey 1995

Monday, May 29, 2017

Sounds Good to Me...

Just got in this morning from Alaska where we took three, yes three, flights to get home.  The red eye out of Anchorage was my first ever ride where I traveled at night.  So I am bushed.  How lucky was I to have a vacation with my family where we ate, drank, explored, shopped, and laughed ourselves sick.  It was a blast and I will share more details when my head is not so jet lagged.

Thanks today to all my family and friends and those I've never met for their service to our country.  I think you are all very brave and I'm proud to personally know so many of you that gave of your heart for our country.  How do you thank someone for giving you your freedom?  I wish I knew.  But thank you again.
See you next week when my head is out of the clouds longer than a few hours.  Have a wonderful week-it's almost June!   Hugs my comrades. XO

Monday, May 22, 2017

Big Fish...

"Art comes alive in the arguments you have about it."    Banksy.

Yes, I admit that I go to Key West for the same reasons everybody goes-the Mojito's, the sunsets, the music and the incredible freak show that is the everyday spectacle.  But what I really love is the back to back art galleries.  Everything from local to fine art can be admired and in my case, lusted after.  Years ago the very first 'real' piece of art Randy and I ever purchased was in Key West.  It was a big deal for us and I still adore the piece. 

This year, while perusing a gallery, we spotted this pic of the classic Ernest Hemingway pose.  Not my usual taste; this one really caught my eye.  While Ernest is not my favorite author-his style is too masculine-he means something entirely different to me.  Ernest represents years of attending the Ernest Hemingway Week, where I participated in readings, running of the bulls, contests, etc.  Whooping it up in Sloppy Joe's where this very image can be found.  We both knew that this piece was our next purchase.  Securing Ernie in the truck, we made our way to Blue Heaven, the place we celebrated our last art purchase.  And then we took him home.

 At our condo, Ernest proudly greets you and is probably the first thing you notice when you walk in.  He sits on a wall between a large tarpon mount and a big marlin mount.  How perfect that the Old Man and the Sea sits between the fish he loved to pursue.

We've gotten mixed reactions on our choice.  Some love him, some are neutral and some have questioned our taste.  But who cares?  Art is in the eye of the beholder and we love it!

Monday, May 15, 2017


You are still a Mom, my friends will say;
but somehow it doesn't feel that way.
The one I nurtured and loved so very much;
is lost to me, his quick kiss and loving touch.
I don't really know what I am these days..
My identity has changed in so many ways
The piece of me that was the best, has
left me alone to stand the test.
To live again, I had to start
to move forward with this broken heart.
In his name, I'll fight this fight
and try my hardest, with all my might.
To love without my only son,
to stay strong and not come undone.
The pain does not ever  'go away'
I carry it with me everyday. 
But in your name, I promise to thrive
and work hard to keep your love alive.
The part of me that's now missing
will always be with you,
But this part is certain-and so true.

Everyday until the end;
My Son, my friend,

I will always be your Mom.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Most Girls...

As a person who is fortunate enough to avoid 8 weeks of winter I know I shouldn't complain.  And I've always been bored by people who use the weather as their main source of conversation.  Is it going to be too cold to go to the Tiger's game?  Is it going to be too hot to go to the art festival?  What if it rains at the outdoor wedding venue?  Is the sleet going to cause the roads to be too treacherous for us to drive up north?  Will our condo survive hurricane season this year?  And my personal greatest fear-is it going to be windy?  I hate and am scared of high winds.  Those of you who know me, know that I will take to my bed with the pets and fervently pray to be delivered from the possible tragedy that could befall me and the furbabies should we have a giant tree crash across the bed.

But really...It's May 8 and it should be spring!  We only have 4 seasons and it's time for a new one!  Past time, if you ask me.  Last week found me moaning and groaning about the gray and rainy days.  Unmotivated and sluggish, I complained and commiserated with anyone who would participate. And I bored the hell out of myself.

As Michiganders we seem to be bonded in our struggle to deal with our unpredictable condition.  It is our true commonality and we are strongly attached to the way in which our weather can sometimes control our lives.  Survivors of crazy weather is one thing we have going for us and I think it has made us all adaptable creatures.

So instead of complaining, I am going to try to live in the moment and NOT wish I was back chillin' with my little tribe of mermaids in the pool where it's 80 and sunny every day.

What fun is that?

Monday, May 1, 2017


As a child, I was always a 'hunter.'  I would search for hours to find a perfect 4 leaf clover.  I loved fall when I could find the perfect orange and red fiery maple leaf and I still remember the smell of the wax paper as I ironed and preserved the glory that nature provided me.   My Grandpa taught us to hunt morel mushrooms and we would walk for miles in search of these delectable treats.  Wild strawberries, beach glass, Petoskey stones, Indian arrow heads, sea shells and the big dipper were ours-treasures that were just waiting for our discovery.

Later on, as my situation demanded, I searched for other treasures.  Bargains on 2 for 1 at the grocery store and clothes that were a 'bargain.'   It was the 80's and Madonna propelled me straight into the thrift store for tattered items and rubber bracelets.  I handily combined fashion with necessity-and relished the hunt for these treasures.  Fast forward 20 years...

I still love a bargain and hate paying retail for anything!  So, after  4 months of hard work, I am happy to announce that my eBay store is up and running!  And I've received a Top Rated Seller ranking!  I still adore the 'hunt' of thrift stores and garage sales, picking out the buried treasure.  The only difference now is that I can do it for fun and not necessity.  And because I am not a collector or a hoarder, it was only natural that I sell some things for profit and fun.  Hence, my store.

The Saucy Mermaid is proud to stock a vast amount of clothes for all sizes.  Guppies and Curvy Mermaids can find what they may want, too!  I am having so much fun using my childhood 'hunting' skill to stock my store.  It was a total and natural fit.

Stop by if you wish.  Go to eBay and search 'stores', put in The Saucy Mermaid and shop 'till you drop.  Let me know if you are able to hunt down any treasures.

Peace from the Saucy Mermaid

Monday, April 24, 2017

Still Got Time...

Imagine my delight when I was contacted by Women 2 Women magazine to be interviewed for their magazine!!  The magazine focuses on women-empowerment, support and recognition.  It is based in Grand Blanc and distributed to 400 locations in and around the area.  I met with and spoke to the dynamic Debra Collins, the Publisher and talked about the possibility.  The interview portion of the deal was easy for me as numerous public speaking engagements has broken that barrier.  One afternoon in January, I got a call asking me to come to Flint for some pictures.  I quickly popped over a few pics that I had and thought surely that would be good enough.  But no, they explained, I would have to do a photo shoot for the cover.  What?  The COVER??  Yep, the cover.  I was to show up in downtown Flint and preferably be dressed in dark colors.  Good grief Charley Brown, this ought to be good.

So Rocco and I made our way north one drizzly, gray day to meet with Susan the Editor and Sheri the photographer.  As equipment was set up, I kind of froze up.  The blog shots I take are much less formal with Randy just snapping a quick pic.  Susan looked me over and pronounced me photo ready and an exposed brick wall was one of the backdrops we started on.  And I stood there stiff as a board.  Susan-who is a natural model-came over to give me an idea of how to stand.  Still it was not as easy as it looks and I have new respect for models and their easy grace.  After about 50 shots, Sheri said she had what she needed.  I was flooded with relief.

We 3 walked down the block to a local restaurant and met up with Debra and Heidi-the Account Executive for the magazine.  I felt like a total star as the girls toasted me and made me feel well, empowered, supported and recognized.  Heidi is like my sister from another mother-we had so very much in common.  As we got further acquainted, I expressed that if Women 2 Women were closer, I would be begging to work with this warm, talented and bright group of women.  Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Elaine, the wonderful writer of my story.

I want to thank my fellow Goddesses for their dedication and commitment.  And for making an old chick like me feel like a cover girl.  xo

P.S. Special thank you to friend, Kristine Sikkema for originally putting me in touch with Women 2 Women.  xo

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Green Light...

Hope you all had an Easter as lovely as Hazel and I.  Mickey was uncooperative-just not havin'  the bunny ear thing, but Hazel didn't mind a bit.  Some bunny had to do it so she took one for the team!

This week finds me closing things up and packing for the journey back home.  But I don't really mind.  After a long and relaxing vay cay, as usual, I am ready for a more 'normal' routine.  We had 12 guests in all-11 planned and one pop up surprise. (Tom Ledbetter!)  We have done everything that the Keys have to offer and enjoyed lazy time as well.  But you know me, homegirl all the way.  I will be happy to pull in my yard and see what spring flowers have popped up.  I miss my family, friends, gym and even Kroger!  And there is that tax thing to prepare for.

So, I better get busy packing up and organizing.  We hope to pull out by sometime Thursday and make our way back.  The pets are gearing up for the long ride in Poppy's big white truck and the attention they garner at all the pet friendly hotels along the way.  And after eating my weight in seafood the last couple of  months, I am ready for a steak!! Hint, hint, Bob Ernst! 

As I see paradise in the rear view mirror, I will wave goodbye and look forward to the paradise that awaits me in Michigan.  I am blessed and grateful to comin' home.

Have a wonderful spring weekend and I hope to see you all soon.  I need to schedule a coffee date with that big, bearded guy, (Mark!) soon.  xoxo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We are Family....

So, yesterday was, "National Siblings Day" and it's been awhile since I've used these corny 'holidays' as a blog prompt-but this one is just too easy.

A quote by Harper Lee from To Kill a Mockingbird expresses the sentiment 'old skool.'  "You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't."

When I hear someone say, "you can't pick your family, just your friends,"  I have always realized my great fortune in having a brother and a sister that are both to me.  Smugly, I can feel sorry for anyone not as lucky as myself.   As witnessed in the pic taken a few years ago at Sloppy Joe's, we always have a blast together.  (And maybe sometimes a little TOO much fun, but hey, we did the Papa H. proud!)  We confide, vent, commiserate, scheme and defend each other to the end.  I could go on and on about our bond, but I think you get the picture.

The bonus of having family that happens to be good friends too is a blessing and I would not trade Steve and Lisa and our relationship for anything!  We have a vacation together coming up and I look forward to the new experience while having 50+ years of memories and laughs thrown in.

Thanks Steve and Lisa for always being the best friends and family I could ever have.  I'd choose you every time-sho' nuff.  Now bring it in for a group hug!! xo

Monday, April 3, 2017


Sunday Funday at the sandbar was in full swing yesterday with boats anchored up, jet skis buzzin' around, Frisbees being tossed and the usual beach tomfoolery.  We set up out camp and enjoyed the view that this gorgeous day afforded us.  Bathtub warm water with just enough breeze to keep us cool and keep the palm trees swaying.  Having friends down to join us only added to the perfection of warm water and icy cocktails.  I love the indulgence of a day where the main event is just sitting around and people watching-that is after gassing the boat, hauling beach chairs, setting up an umbrella, syncing the playlist, icing the cooler, packing snacks, mixing drinks,and applying sunscreen!

And with bellies full of pizza, we all slept like dogs.  Sunshine and fresh air are the perfect cure for insomnia.  And we might just do it all again tomorrow. 

Life is good!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More Life...

What day is it?  Is it 5'o clock?  Does it even matter? I'm a day late with my usual blog!

 With my case of 'Keys Disease', in full swing, most of the time I am totally confounded. Days and nights are as mixed up as a newborn baby with colic. I called my mother one Tuesday and asked her how church was.  Seriously now!

My brother made his annual pilgrimage and friends Don and Shannon were here to join us for St. Paddy's day in Key West.  It was a full on banger with me as the DD. And that's not MY cup
size either!  It's been pretty non-stop and some other friends left this morning.  On Saturday, our BFF's and their children arrive and another 9 days of nuttiness will ensue.  I love it, but man, this old chick is tired!!  Gonna catch up on my sleep for the next few days and get ready to rock.

Got some big (well, for me, anyways!) news to share in the next few weeks for you all.  I am very excited to tell you all!

Until then, y'all have a great week and I'll catch up with you all on Monday. xo

Monday, March 20, 2017

Draggin' the Line...

Another year of our annual 'Sloth, Debauchery, and Indulgence Tour is in the books!  My brother Steve left today and friends Don and Shannon leave tomorrow.  As a regular gig on our tour, we hit Key West for St. Paddy's Day.  Shannon and I posed for a pic with my Scandinavian Sister-by- another-Mother, Inga.  It's not my first rodeo with girlfriend Inga and we have posed many times before; just not on St. Paddy's Day.  Two Scands with an Irish Shannon-just 3 chicks celebratin' the day. 

I gotta give a hand clap for ol' Inga.  Day in and day out she dresses up in all her finery and transforms into whatever she feels like for the day/night.  The rest of us, mostly, wonder what that would be like. 

What or who would I be like if I could unabashedly choose a persona everyday?   Considering that it's barely all I can do to get it together everyday, that effort seems daunting.   Oh, I've had my moments...I wore hot pants and go-go boots ala'' Nancy Sinatra in the late 60's and loved every moment of it.  The seventies were just so-so with the clothes that were quite mainstream at the time.  The eighties brought me out in full on Madonna with the thrift store rage and rubber bracelets.  I was happy to glam it up a little in the 90's.  And today, I can get by with a Keys Tuxedo-cut offs, a tank top and flip flops.

Predictably, I  am comfortable with how I look-not to mention of how very lazy I am.  My effort is minimal but I have never felt more comfortable both physically and mentally.  I am what I have finally become. 

And it's okay, I'll just be the me I have evolved into, and if I need to feel glam, I'll just sidle up to Inga.   Girl has got it goin' on!

Monday, March 13, 2017

La Tortura...

I can't name too many Middle Eastern actors and actresses but I can tell you one thing, the native sellers at the local clothing market in Dubai have NO IDEA of ANY American stars.  While strolling about and shopping, one of the vendors called out, "Angelina Jolie!"  I swiveled my head around half expecting to see her tall, skinny, brunette, big lipped self walking by.  It was a stunning reality when I realized she was NOT there browsing and that he actually was pointing at ME.  Ummmm, I told him that 1) I have never slept with Brad. 2) I am twice her age and 3) I am easily 3 times her body weight.  Do the math...those numbers do not add up to anything close!   He did not believe me.  Really.  He did not believe me.  Soon all the Sook vendors were yelling, "Angelina Jolie!"  It must have been a long day at work or there was some type of hallucinogenic smoke in that hookah.

So I tried on this outfit in an effort to convince them that maybe I was Shakira. (Hey, that's an iota closer!)  I shook my big 'ol hips and snapped my fingers much to the amusement/embarrassment of my family and still-no Shaikra.  Angelina Jolie, all day.  Whatever...shows over, folks.  The entertainment portion of the night is over.  Move along-nothing to see here.

No real moral to this story-just pure silliness.  After a little sun and fresh air today, I'm off to bed.  Let's hope that I have sweet dreams of Brad.  Cuz, baby, I earned it!  xo

P.S. I did not purchase this outfit!