Monday, April 9, 2018

Florida, 2018

 In no particular order (well, maybe reversing the timeline).  This is Gulfport.  A small community very near our rental.  Such a fun place to hang and we did that a lot.
 Our last evening in Gulfport.  What a beautiful view.
Don't we look serene.  Florida will do that for ya.
 Not sure we would have ever found this place if a friend of a friend didn't recommend it.
 All the food, and I mean everything, is made from scratch.
 A park we hadn't been to in a few years.  Nice to touch base again.
My bestie, Kathi.  We've been buds since the early 70s.
 Fort DeSoto.  Hadn't been here for 8 years.  Outstanding.
 A park downtown St.Pete where we love to walk and watch.
 Loved this restaurant in Gulfport.  We sat on the porch pictured below.

 A new addition (the equipment, not Petey) to the downtown park.
 Augie chillin' at the park.  He likes to watch too.
 A favorite in St.Pete.  Home of the "hubcap" pancake.  Yes, I had one.

 Sunset at Madeira Beach.
 This store/restaurant is a favorite.  It's wild and wonderful.  Made the Sicilian I'm married to a happy man.  We visited several times.
 John's Pass out on the beach.  Stores, restaurants and people.
Petey bought a folding bicycle and spent a lot of time riding on the Pinellas Trail near our house.
 Kathi introduced us to luxury movie watching.  We loved it!
 Had to check it out . . . cuz, Dead Bob's.  Fun place, decent food.
 One of our favorite places in Gulfport.  It is always hoppin'.
I love palm trees.  I'm fondest of this particular kind.

All in all, Petey and I agree that this year was the best ever.
Counting the days until our return.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Random (non-political) thoughts

The first "random" thought isn't actually a thought but a tip.
Yeah, a tip from Ellie. I can feel your excitement.
It's a breakfast tip.  I went for a long stretch of time not eating breakfast.  Particularly when I was employed by the public ed system.  Particularly when I was working at the middle school - high school level because lunch was so damn early.  
I could not eat breakfast at home and then eat lunch at 10:20a.  Just not possible.
So I went without and ate like a ranch hand during "lunch."
I've been retired since 2006 and was still skipping the morning nosh until a year ago.
I was thinking I needed to give it a try again.  My friend, Mary VanderVeen, was extolling the virtues of Kashi GoLean one day so I checked it out.  I decided against going the milk and bowl route, though, and sprinkled some of the cereal on top of Greek yogurt.
I'M IN!!! 

Here comes a random thought.  I was thinking about the word "pretty" the other day.  Obviously it is used to describe something or someone who is pleasing to the eye.

But it is also used, constantly, in place of "very."
"That restaurant was pretty awful."
"I'm pretty tired; can't climb that mountain today.  It's pretty high."

Don't you wonder how subbing "pretty" for "very" ever came about?

Post Olympics: I'll confess, I didn't watch much of it.  I "pretty" much waited for clips on Good Morning, America.  We did, however, watch some curling.  Much, much more interesting than I thought it would be.  "Pretty" exciting, too.

Packing for an extended stay away from home becomes way more stressful as one ages.  I think it has something to do with forgetting stuff ALL THE DAMN TIME.  

How long has that remote mic been attached to ear buds???  My bestie, Jeremy Dutkiewicz, enlightened me just last week about this "pretty" cool piece of technology. I'm not a huge ear bud user but the mic has allowed me to make calls during Augie walks without having to take off my mittens to do so.  Also, picking up poopies during the walks is a lot easier now that I don't have to juggle the phone.  It's a whole new world.  I got to enlighten my older sister, Stacey, since she knew nothing about this mic thing.  I love paying it forward.  

I think I'm done with random thoughts.
I hope you have a "pretty" nice day today.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Me and my watch

I've worn a watch for many, many years.  I'm not sure how old I was when I got my first watch but I wouldn't be surprised if it was when I was in junior high.  I'm pretty sure wearing a watch at that age was cool.  That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

I've had the stretchy band, the leather band and the bracelet arrangement.  Loved them all.  I felt naked without my watch.

I've noticed since the cell phone craze started that the young 'uns don't wear watches because - well, they always have their phones. No need to take up wrist space when your cell is right there.  
All. The.  Time.

A while back I had an issue with my watch quitting on me.  I thought it was a battery problem until I discovered my watch had solar power.  I did the research on what you're supposed to do when your solar watch poops out and that seemed to help.  

Until recently.  I did the whole bit about setting it on a window sill to catch as much sun as you can here in Michigan during the damn winter. I also turned on the high intensity light that I use to make beads with but neither option worked.

Then I thought - should I actually try going without a watch?  Will my life continue without incident if I do? I actually own a cell.

Then the pluses occurred to me .  It would end the frustration I've been experiencing of late when I look at it and the time is way off. After some squinting I realize the second hand isn't moving. Frustrating.

Not wearing a watch will certainly free up wrist space which means MORE BRACELETS!!!

Lastly, no watch may signal to the younger generation that I'm as cool as they are.

Humor me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Homage to Jazz

Not the music - the exercise.  That's Jazzercise, folks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with the music but ya'll know me well enough by now to know it's all about the Blues for me.

I'm talking about the experience I have 5 times a week - when real life doesn't get in my way - to sweat, sing and dance.  It's fun as hell and good for me, too.  A win/win.

This ain't your granny's exercise program either. That's not to say there aren't grannies there - they're there by the handful.  Probably more of them than the young ones (probably because I only go to the morning session) but that's the beauty of Jazzercise.  It's an all-ages work-out.  

This morning I was between a 20-something kid and a lady in her early 70s.

I started going to Jazzercise back in 1990.  Back when we wore spandex and those leg warmer things.  The unitard.  The thong looking leo on top of shiny tights.

For the record, I never wore those thong things.  I never thought my butt could handle it.  Or the poor suckers that stood behind me.

Back in the 90s I was gettin' it done with high impact and high intensity.  Time has a way of changing life and I no longer crank it out with high intensity but I'm hanging onto the high impact.

Honestly, now that I'm not bouncing anymore, I really feel like I'm getting a better work-out.

I've said this many, many times:  Jazzercise lets you age through the program.

I'll stay as long as possible.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Same Rules Apply. Or do they?

Growing up we were schooled in table manners.  I'm pretty sure we were although I have to admit I don't remember any specific instruction.

I'm sure "don't talk with your mouth full" and "no elbows on the table" were inferred if not mentioned out loud but that was probably the extent of our education.

On to Stephens College for Women where Miss Manners went in to overdrive.  I will freely admit that I haven't hung on to a lot of the lessons I learned there but the one I remember well is:  you can reach for something on the table as long as your backside (fanny? bottom?) doesn't leave your chair.  Words to live by, right?

So tonight at dinner, with elbows on the table, I was wondering how many people relax their table manners when they dine alone.

Do you do things you wouldn't do in a restaurant with people watching or when you have dinner guests?

What brought this to mind tonight - besides the elbows - was when I stuffed a quarter of an orange into my mouth which caused my cheek to bulge in an unsightly way. I would have cut it into dainty pieces if I was out in public.

Or if you're in a hurry have you ever eaten a meal while standing at the sink, leaning and chewing? And if it's a sandwich did you even bother cutting it in half?

I won't even get into drinking from the milk carton while standing at the fridge with the door open.  Now that's disgusting!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017


I was just chatting (texting) with my friend Cathy Godard and she mentioned bitcoin.

I've been hearing more and more about bitcoin lately and I will confess, right here and right now, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Does it mean you pay via the internet with $$$ that's not really $$$?

Do you "deposit" real money somewhere and then you transfer it to someone else?

There's apparently a value to this bitcoin pretend money.  Like the stock market?

So I suppose one must set up some kind of an account.  And I suppose that will mean another user name and password.  Really?

We hardly ever write a check anymore.  That I can wrap my head around.  Paying bills automatically from our checking account and direct deposit to the same account is totally convenient.

Will bitcoin make my life even easier or complicate the hell out of it?  Maybe age is a factor.  Many of the senior citizens (Petey and I are included in that club) are all about being savvy.  We're semi-savvy but the concept of bitcoin sounds daunting.

Not sure I'm up for it.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Soft Stalking

Interesting title, eh?  Aren't you dying to find out what it means?

Ok, I'm going to define it - my way.

I love music and I have a handful of artists that I greatly admire.  I follow them online to see where they might be performing and then Petey and I jump in the car and take off when possible.

If a musician's web site has a "contact me," I'm all over it.  Why not?  I send my compliments and almost always hear back from them.

I was absolutely captivated by EG Kight.  I email-stalked her until Petey and I could finally get down to see her in KY.  We've seen her several times since then.  She let me sing with her IN MY LIVING ROOM!  We've become friends.

We got the Blues bug the first time we saw Delbert McClinton on TV.  We were hooked.  We just saw him in Ann Arbor Tuesday night and it was the best ever because we were incredibly up close and personal.  When we saw him in KY (same venue as EG but a different time) he was staying at the same hotel we were in.  Can you see what's coming?  Yup.  I saw him across the parking lot and ran screaming toward him.  It's a wonder he didn't call the cops.  He was gracious and gave me a kiss.  I didn't wash for a week.

I met Greg Nagy (a MI fella) at a benefit concert a number of years ago.  I made it a point to speak to him and we fell in love.  Can't you see it in this picture?  Ok, maybe not love but darned close.  I've lost count how many times we've seen Greg perform and enjoy the hell out of him every time.

We only got to see Ann Rabson once with the Uppity Blues Women.  She was amazing.  I knew she and EG were friends so I used that (and my elbows) to make my way to her during the break.  I must have said something very amusing to make her laugh so but 30 seconds with her made me realize she was just that way.  She died some years ago but has certainly left her mark with wonderful lyrics.  She actually wrote a song that EG and Greg recorded on EG's latest CD.
There's a sub category to the "soft stalking" - it's called "mild email stalking."  That is reserved for authors mostly but that's how I met EG too.  I have sent many emails to authors telling them how much I liked their books and have always gotten a reply - and not one of those canned emails either.
Hey, who doesn't like an atta boy?

So, I'm wondering if stalking is too rough of a description of what I do.  
Maybe I'm just a persistent, adoring fan.

Whatcha think?