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

Heatwave...

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!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Green Light....

Guess who's comin' to  dinner?  Captain Luis! Luis is our trusted and favorite charter captain and very good friend.  Providing the fresh yellowjack and mutton snapper as well as a luscious bottle of Caymus, I threw down fish tacos with my famous (and only!) dessert-hot brownie sundaes.  Ahhhh, the taste of fish that was swimming just a few hours ago.  I'm happy to be back settling into Keys life.  Late mornings and early happy hours. Reconnecting and catching up with friends that we see only a few times a year.  Sleeping with the door wall wide open, letting the waves lull me to sleep.  Still being amazed at seeing giant iguanas-and hoping they don't find their way thru that open door wall!  Driving over bridges and seeing 6 shades of blue gracing the ocean-with the occasional dolphin jumping.  The smell of mangrove gas that smells like, well, gas-but also vacation to me.  Enjoying the bright colors of the flora in full bloom.  Getting calm with everybody driving so slow-and for a Detroit driver this is hard, and has me chomping at the bit.  But I'm working on that...We've been enduring a cold snap-75 degrees but don't call me a 'Whaaaaaaaaaambulance' just yet, it's warming up in a few days!  Realizing that I am blessed.  Yes, not to be taken for granted, the things that I love are gifts and I feel lucky and blessed to have them and have Randy and special people to share them with.   Sunshine, salt air, good food and good friends and the realization that life, for all it's shit, is good and pure if you just stop, take a deep a breath and smell the bougainvillea.
Peace and love to you all. xoxo

Monday, February 27, 2017

Here's a Quarter...(call someone who care's)

Hi friends!  It's been a long time since dear friends Kara and Vivi were featured as my 'blogstars.'  Vivienne, who is a beautiful and happy child seems to always get her 'Angry Bird' or some such face when she sees a camera!  Thank God she's too young to be a selfie poser...

Speaking of endless selfies and other invasive species, (day to day minutia, political rants, etc.) the TMI we are exposed to is crazy.  It's amazing to me how self important we as a society have become.  We cannot just hold an opinion anymore-everybody must know exactly how we feel about EVERYTHING!  Oversharing and self promotion is crazy rampant.  Are we truly living our own 'reality show?'  And has social media fostered this condition as we are free to share endless pics? (all right, I love the great photography in SOME of those shared!)  Does hiding behind a key board free us up to even more opinions that would not otherwise be so insisted on?

In the real world case of TMI, I recently had a few zingers.  While checking out at a store recently, the cashier leaned forward and said conspiratorially, 'I'm so nervous-today I'm going in for my first ever bikini wax!  I've trimmed back things as much as possible so maybe it won't hurt as much.'  Let that sink in a moment....I've never even seen this girl before!  Does my face or my purchases elicit such a confidence?  Wax on, wax off already.  Sheesh...

A gym acquaintance confided in my that he was unable to do some exercises due to a raging case of hemorrhoids.  Really.  Well good for you for all the self-love.  Gotta watch that, I guess.  And again, why should I be privy to this very personal info?

And while sweating in out at a Doctor's appointment, the specialist that was making sure I didn't have a blistering case of something, looked me in the eye and said, " I have been barely able to go on since my wife died."  Then with me in my paper gown, he leaned over and hugged me while bursting into tears.  I had the very unique experience of comforting him while STILL worrying if I had a fatal case of Hoogala Schmoogala. (I didn't).  I guess Doc took my concerned facial expression as a sign I was concerned about HIM!   What the unholy hell?

So as I shake my head over these little oversharing incidents, I beg you to look at my face in the pic and tell me if you see anything that shows an openness to such behavior.  A look in my eyes, a turn of the cheek?

Seriously, I want to know!!   P.S. Please pray for me as we load the truck with the stuff for vacation along with Mickey and Hazel and head down to the Keys.  The hillbillies take the road again and who knows what adventure this trip will bring!  (I'll try not to overshare!)

Monday, February 20, 2017

All I Really Need...

"All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten."  And it's true.  While visiting my Godchild Nikki's class last month, I could easily see that the life lessons are worked on by Nikki and the kids.  In addition to the basics-sharing, flushing, keeping hands to yourself-the kids worked on art, sang some songs, and a few even curled up and took a nap.  The kids were polite and loving, (I got lots of hugs!) and proud to show me what they were learning.  I am proud to say that Nikki is very engaged and dedicated to her class and the things they are working on.

In reading over Robert Fulgham's list of the 16 life lessons to be learned in kindergarten, the one I like the best is #11.  It states,  "Live a balanced life-learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some."  I love it and it truly describes how I try to live my life.  And I want to thank Mrs. Kalish (Nikki) and my friends-her darling little people for playing with me and letting me feel like a kid again.

Oh, and about #12-"Take a nap every afternoon."  No need to teach me that one!  That's a lesson I've got down cold!  zzzzzzzzz xoxo

Monday, February 13, 2017

Midnight at the Oasis....(2017)

Things are getting back to normal here in Michigan, after a wonderful vacation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  My sleep pattern is not that of an infant anymore-my days and nights are back on track.  After staying in the tallest hotel in the world and visiting the top of the Burj Kalifa, I finally have my head out of the clouds.  My coffee was delicious this morning; even though it did NOT have real gold in it as it does at the Royal Palace in Abu Dabi. The next time I fly, it'll be back to peanuts and being charged for my vino, instead of flowing booze and gourmet menus.  I know the next voyage will be on a regular plane that will be sorely lacking showers and beds.  That shizz is nuts!   Good old Mickey is the main critter here, and he does not have a hump on his back.  (There is a small worrisome lump on his neck however; but that's another vet appointment.  It IS NOT A TOOMAH-spoken like a California governor!)  I'm quite sure that when I go to the beach next month, there will not be two (yes, two) maids available in case I drop a napkin or need to refresh my SPF!  I will soldier on alone!  If Rocco gets me into speeding trouble, I can expect to see a regular old black and white pulling me over-not a Dubai copster in a Maserati or Bugatti.  On my next trip to the mall I will not to expect to see a real live ski resort with penguins strolling about or a gigantic 2 story aquarium with total sea life swimming about.  There probably will not be young arab men buying chunks of gold from a vending machine...That's okay-I hate malls anyways!  Make no mistake-these experiences were totally cool and I would not trade the memories for anything.  I loved my Dubai experience and all that I did and learned. 
But...I will drink my wine freely and not pay 20.00 a glass for it!  I will not cover my hair in church.  I will show off my old lady biceps as well as my knees if I so choose, maybe while swearing like a sailor.  I will not eat sitting on the floor with no silverware or napkins.  (I was HONORED to do it as custom deemed though!)  I will clean up my own messes and cook my own food.  I will try to enjoy our weather and be thankful that it is not 110 degrees.  The middle east is breathtaking and opulent, but as usual-there's no place like home!  Thanks to Lisa and Steve for including me in this holiday.  And for my Arab family:  Eric, Honna, Sedra, Humaid, Mosa, and Theab..Thank you and you old Auntie loves you. xoxo

Saturday, February 11, 2017

No Promises...

Hello Dollfriends!  The JSpot is comin' in a little late this week.  In the eight years I've been posting, I have never missed a week-till last Tuesday.  While in Dubai, I tried to post but my site came up all in Arabic!  So this morning, after being up 27 hours straight (!) while traveling home, I am in the midst of some serious jet lag.

I have lots to share but will do it on my regularly scheduled time on Tuesday when my head is not like a giant cotton ball.  Meanwhile, my your dates be sweet and your camels be friendly!  xo

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tommorow's Gonna be Another Day..

Scarlett O'Hara-a woman I greatly admire once said, "I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow." 

Scarlett a resourceful girl-in-a-green-curtain-gown, was known for putting things off.  And I share that quality as well.  Not the resourcefulness, but the procrastination.

Yesterday, in my cozies, I once again thought of reasons NOT to undecorated my mantle and Christmas tree.  I realize it's past time to do this task, but I needed to read the Sunday News as well as the Macomb Daily.  I hadn't checked my Facebook since, well, earlier in the day.  Some movies I recorded needed my undivided attention.  And since I put off going to Kroger, I needed to dream up a creative dinner option with sparse items in my larder. Sigh... Feeling completely overwhelmed, maybe a nap was in order to clear my head and put things into perspective.  And so it goes...

My bills get paid but arrive at their places just in the nick of time.  I get gas in Rocco only after the bell pongs it's warning about a thousand times.  I pack the night before a vacation-hate to rush into things!  I routinely miss the warm up of my classes at the gym; however, that may not be an accident.  I always put off unloading the dishwasher, a job that takes all of 3 minutes-I know, cuz I've timed it.  Really, it's just poor time management.

I realize how stupid and how much extra stress I cause myself by doing this.  I put things on a list, mull and assess them, worry a little on how I'm ever going to get it all done.  I spend more time planning and stressing than the actual job takes!

But I'm trying..it's a goal of mine to STOP putting the 'pro' in procrastination.  But, hey, ya gotta be good at something-right?  Yep, I'll get right on it. "After all, tomorrow is another day."  Scarlett O'Hara says so, and that's good enough for me!  xo


Monday, January 23, 2017

Way Down we Go...

Hey, I'm back in the land of the living!  Yes, some strong anti-b's have finally kicked out this nasty infection (throat and tonsils) I've been struggling with.  Happy to be out and about and feeling almost normal.

Tonight I attended a training session for Families Against Narcotics that involves the 'Hope not Handcuffs"' program.  Basically, any addict can walk into any police station in Macomb County and be eligible for help.  My training involved learning to be an "Angel", (no wisecracks from the peanut gallery, MD!) that assists the addicts until a bed in rehab is found.  This program has been piloted all over in Michigan, but never to the size and extent of a county the size of Macomb.  I will be called on to sit with and take info to help the person get the help he or she needs.  I am very proud to be involved in such an important program.  I have found my spot in dealing with the addicts.  I love it.  And y'all know...being an angel just comes naturally to me...

Then tomorrow morning, Rocco and I are pointed due north to Ossineke.  Wednesday night I will be speaking my cause to the good people of Rogers City, Michigan.  My book has had a spike in interest lately and I committed to this event last spring.  Hope I can help someone-it's my life these days.

More good things on the horizon and I'll keep you filled in.  Till then, if you get a sore throat that will not let up, run-not walk and get the anti-b's.  It's what it takes to bite this bug in the butt!

Love and peace and I'll try to keep my halo on straight while spending time with my sister and brother!  xo


Monday, January 16, 2017

Both...

Since early Saturday morning I have felt like this: 💀💤💦💫💩😍😖😖😓😑😬😫😩😣😳😴😵.
By tomorrow I hope to be feeling like this: 💋💓💨😄😂💪😈😏😛😜🙋🙇🙆🙏  Don't bother with the emoji's.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Hope tomorrow brings my health restored. xo


Monday, January 9, 2017

Things that make me go hmmmm....#2


How about some musings on this chilly January night?  There are things that simply gobsmack and confound me and make me go hmmmmm..

I can't count the number of times I am driving along and see one shoe in the middle of the lane.  What would prompt a person to dispose his footwear in this manner?  Is the other shoe a mile or so down the road, or still in the car?  Is he now barefoot or sporting just one shoe.  Does he think this does not count as littering?  What the hell is his life, anyway?

How about those people with nice cars that feel entitled to double park?  We all have vested interest in our vehicles but being as ass won't protect them any more than just parking inside the lines.

Who on earth decided that wearing our pajamas in public is okay?  Go back to bed if the effort is too much.

Back in the parking lot-it seems to be apparent to some that the parking lot is a trash can.  I see ashtrays emptied,  fast food bags and most appalling of all, dirty diapers and yes, even condoms strewn about.  Gross, lazy and ignorant.

Facial tattoos and those giant holes in ears.  Ummm, other than Guitar Center or a tatt parlor, how do you ever hope to get a job.  Good luck, my friend.
 
People who claim to 'never read.'  Really, how do you learn things?  Total hmmmmm for me.

Those meat sticks that lay out at the party store for people to fondle and flies to land on.  Who can eat that shizz?  Can you just say bacteria and e coli?

Good chocolate.  Wait, that's not a hmmm, it's a mmmmmm!

Unexpected babies.  Yes, there are women who deliver and didn't know they were pregnant.  Really?  The weight gain, cravings, sore breasts, morning sickness, etc. were no tip off to you?  Hmmmmmm....

Shooting an animal for 'sport.'  If you are not going to eat it-let it live!  I abhor trophy hunting.

The word 'irregardless.'  'Nuff said.,

Child or animal abuse-can't even comprehend.

Overall bad behavior.  This includes bad sportsmanship, entitlement, jealousy, narcissism, lack of compassion.  Grow up already and make some effort to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Thank you all for letting me blow off the steam that has been building up for the past few months.  There will probably never be resolution for my bafflement, but it feels good to vent.

Now, how about those Lions?  xo




Monday, January 2, 2017

Let it Be...

Happy New Year.  Welcome to 2017!  Instead of droning on about goals I may not keep, I think I'd rather look back on what 2016 has taught me.

January, February and March found me meeting with or phoning Mark, my friend and editor as we hammered out the details of my book.  The journey was at sometimes painful and sometimes joyful.  I let the emotions wash over me either way.  It was a wonderful experience with many ups and downs as together we figured things out.  At the same time, in March and April I learned to run crowd control on the construction team that took 6 weeks to complete renovations on two bathrooms in the Keys.  I had to practice pragmatic patience in dealing with the mess and inconvenience of the whole project.  More lessons were learned as I whispered, "it is what it is."

At the end of April the book was finally published and I had a hard copy in my hand.  I could only hope that I did Dane proud.  Spring came and I found a new role as a public speaker as the book took me to restaurants, and rehabs for book readings.  Two television interviews and one radio interview later and I was fortunate enough to hook up with Families Against Narcotics and eventually was honored to be asked to sit on the advisory board.  I have read my words in three newspaper articles and have sent out countless books.  I have since then spoke at two FAN meetings as well as two times addressing an impact panel.  I am so grateful to be able to use my experience to help others.

As summer flew by I endured the political race and all it's folderall.  It was absolutely painful to see such behavior.  Y'all know that I am the least political person in the world and just naively hope we can all just play nice.  We shall see....

As December closed in, I was able to share the holiday with family and not feel guilty about having fun.  I felt strong in the conviction that Dane was with us and would have wanted us all to be happy.

For 2017, I have silently promised myself nothing more than to just 'be'.  Be healthy, be happy, be loved and be loving.  And to accept it all with a grain of salt and a vow to move forward with this thing called life.

All the best things to you and yours for 2017.  It's a wonderful life if we just let it 'be.'