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A Day at the Beach

2 Aug

I have had an on again, off again love-hate relationship with the beach my whole life.

During my earliest childhood years, I lived with my mother in California and we were constantly at the beach (totally free and very clean back in those days).  My mother made headline news when she (7-8 months pregnant with my sister) and another woman pulled a shark that got into the shallows on to dry sand.  His jaws are still hanging on a wall in the local Naval museum (don’t ask which base, they’re all a blur).

We camped on the beach and stole creatures out of tidal pools to dry on the roof and become home decor.  There were dune buggies and bonfires every night, and deep holes dug into the sand in the shape of hearts behind the dune furthest from the beach that were filled in each morning and dug afresh (and if you can’t guess how they were used, your childhood was severely lacking in social beach etiquette).

I loved the beach, but was wary of the tidal current, which we called the rip tide and which I imagined was a giant frog (rip-it!) that grabbed your legs and pulled you under water (bless that six-year-old imagination).

I spent two different years of my later childhood living in Florida with my father and step-mother.  We lived on a canal (where I was certain the Creature from the Black Lagoon lived and was creeping across the backyard to my window at night when the dolphins came into the canals to splash and play) and, like every other family, we had a speed boat.  I don’t remember going to the beach to just fry in the sun or frolic in the waves, but I do remember trying to learn to water ski on inland lakes, ocean fishing (puffer fish are really cool!) and clamming along the coast.

As a young adult, I once spent every weekend of an entire summer at Second Beach in Newport, Rhode Island.  At the end of the summer I had turned from lily-white to a nice shade of ivory.  I far more enjoyed the little beach on the Newport bay that had a beautiful lawn, a meager six-foot stretch of sand, and water filled with phytoplankton that we would stir up into a phosphorescent light show at night while skinny dipping.  Star-lit and moon-lit walks in the dark along the edge of the surf was my prime beach time.

I have now lived in Florida as a mature adult for 21 years.  During that time I have been to the beach twice, once in Ft. Lauderdale where I lounged on a sea-side chaise under a huge umbrella and was brought drinks and food by cute cabana boys (I braved the sun once to dip myself in the water and hastily retreated) and once on a fishing trip with my best girl friends, including one baby.  Understand this:  We did not fish with hooks.  We didn’t actually want to catch (and thereby handle) any fish.  We loved casting and reeling, and of course we had to drink beer!  And we moved our fishing activities to inland lakes and rivers after Kelly ate a substantial amount of (hopefully) helpful pro-biotic sand and I had diaper duty.

So yesterday I went to the beach with my best friend ever.  Alice and I have the same complaints about the beach, such as burning to a crisp after 5 minutes in the sun wearing the heaviest sunscreen available is not fun, having sand go places it shouldn’t outa (and having more of those places as we age!) is not gonna happen, and after going into the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, neither of us is willing to put one toe in the scummy, brownish water of our Central Florida waterfronts where you can’t see Jaws until it’s too late.

Here is our idea of the perfect day at the beach.

  • Turn on Garmin and have him take us to New Smyrna.
  • Follow a sandy track to the tiny parking lot of our favorite seaside dive bar (and no, I’m not saying where because everyone would start going there and we want it all to ourselves!).
  • Sit at the outside bar, which is tucked under enough roof that the sun can’t get to you until late afternoon.
  • Order refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • People-watch with a horrified obsession.
  • Look at the ocean.
  • Look at the sand.
  • Enjoy the cool ocean breeze.
  • Order some lunch.
  • Order more refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • Flirt with old men who chat us up and want to pinch our asses (Alice declines gracefully saying they should probably start with a pat on the fanny).
  • Crack jokes with the bartenders.
  • Crack jokes with each other.
  • Order more refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • Relax and let the alcohol burn off.
  • Get a cup of ice water and tell Garmin to take us back home.
  • Take a nice long soak in my roman tub (alone, dirty minds!) with wonderful smelling bath products and a refreshing alcoholic beverage.
  • Have a nice bit of nap (don’t get your hopes up:  alone again).

Paradise perfected!


Some Good Advice

20 Jun

Thinking of cornfields in Ioway…d41aa368b64cd983a9ed51955eaff50b

Halloween Smack Down!

26 Oct

Found on a Fantasy Artists of Etsy Team for-members-only discussion board:

Somebody the other day was making fun of me for how boring and predictable a pirate was for Halloween. I nearly stuck him with my sword.


Him: You’re a pirate for Halloween, how boring and predictable!
You: Oh, I see you’ve decided to be an asshole. How boring and predictable.
Him: No, that’s not my Halloween costume!
You: Who said anything about Halloween?

See how business-minded we are?  Ha ha!

Thanks AJ.


Some Answers Are So Simple

19 Oct

I received this email from my friend Ginny today:

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was?

Turns out, doors are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

It’s not aging, it’s the DOOR!

Whew! Thank goodness for studies.

Thanks Ginny for sending this so simple answer that explains all my senior moments!

I Love Simon’s Cat

13 Oct

I love cats.

In fact, I love cats so much that from the minute I could decide what type of pet I wanted, I’ve always had a cat beside me.

That was until my cat, Missy, died.

That was when two baby Sun Conures moved in as her replacement who (1) were as adorable as the Tequila Sunrises they resembled, (2) I taught to make kissy sounds and a few indecipherable words that only a Mommie could recognize, (3) liked to climb inside my shirt and nibble “peek-a-boo” holes while (4) making sweet chirpy, cooing noises to each other and if they were tired, (5) slept on their backs  cuddled together (first in a brown bag with the end rolled to keep it open and later in a PVC pipe hanging from the ceiling of their cage).

Otherwise were in no way cat-like.  In fact, they were bird-poop messy in and out of their cage, and developed the habit of screaming at the top of their vocal range just because they could.  At no point in their lives did they curl up at the foot of my bed or tuck themselves around my tummy when I was sick, or kindly cover up their messes and bathe themselves without splattering water on everything within a five-foot range.  They molted and had food flinging contests, and if the mood hit them, they could give you a nasty bite.  Most unsatisfactory, in the way of cuddly pets.

Yet I loved them for themselves and, not trusting a cat to snack on them, I turned to the canine world for some cat-like companionship.  Having never had a dog, let along raise or trained at dog, I was quickly trained instead.  The birds, however, I eventually sent off to live in a bird conservatory where they, each being female and having started to lay infertile eggs, could enjoy the amorous attentions of male Sun Conures.

However, while my three Yorkshire Terriers are, indeed, cat-sized, I still miss my cats.

Image my happiness today when I received an email asking me if I had yet discovered Simona’s cat.

Never having heard of Simon or his cat, I hopped over to YouTube to check them out:

This is so exactly like every time I’ve ever introduced a kitten to one of my older cats!

Now I can live vicariously through Simon and his cat companion without having to empty a litter box.

If you prefer your cats to be immobile, check out the books (there are three) on Amazon.

Thinking of Iowa

22 Aug

For my faithful Scarecrow Knight

Quote of the Day:

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?

W. Clement Stone

From your Faerie Queene

Help!! I’ve Fallen

17 Aug

Fortunately, I was able to get up, but I have to say, it was a close call.

I’ve been stumbling over my own feet for some time now, what with the ocean-in-my-ears equilibrium problem and all, but I had yet to actually land myself completely on the floor until today.  It was not graceful.

In fact, it was a battle to the end.  I must have twisted six different ways on my way down, trying to take everything on the night stand with me, which just gave me more stuff to land and die on.

I sprained my right wrist pretty powerfully, so I gave myself an infusion and packed it in ice.  I’m sending up prayers to the Divines Ones every five minutes that it doesn’t swell.  If it does, it won’t stop at the wrist and if it stops at the shoulder, I’ll be thankful.

I don’t even want to look at the huge welt I can feel on my right cheek, and said cheek is not on my face.

I bonked the back of my head, too, but since it was the last to meet the tiles, my momentum had slowed somewhat and it suffered the least damage.  Of course, it’s already so damaged, how would I know the difference, eh?

I hate to think it might be time to get one of those panic buttons to wear around my neck like a belled cat.

Aging is not for the faint of heart or weak!

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