Friday, November 14, 2008

It's BAR Season!!!

When last we visited our North Carolina house we couldn't help but notice that there were a number of unfamiliar pickup trucks driving slowly up and down our road. Every so often a man would get out of his pickup truck carrying what appeared to be an old TV antenna. He would point the antenna up and down the mountain while appearing perplexed. Once or twice the man with the antenna would clamber over our fence and wander up our driveway. What in the world? We also noted a number of hunting dogs appearing on the property wearing collars with boxes on them. Again, what in the world?

Finally we made inquiries, and discovered that the men were looking for their hunting dogs. The TV antennas were actually the tracking devices for the GPS collars the dogs were wearing. We were instructed to tie any dogs we saw to the fence at the bottom of the driveeway, and the owner would "be along shortly". Okaaaay. We aren't really the tie-a-dog-to-a-fence types, so we were more inclined to feed the dogs table scraps, skritch their ears and walk them around on a leash until their owner showed up. The dogs were really pleased with this plan. The dog owners not so much.

After a few days, a number of dogs, and untold pickup trucks full of men toting TV antennas, we finally asked what was with all the lost dogs. I was holding a smelly, but enthusiastic dog at the end of the leash while waving down a pickup truck. Turns out that the dog didn't belong to this particular fellow, but he did know the owner and would take the dog. Since his dog box was already full of howling hunting dogs he had apparently managed to track down, he put this dog on TOP of the dog box and secured him. I mentioned that there seemed to be a LOT of missing dogs. "Is this the time of year that ya'll train your hunting dogs?", I asked. Pickup driver pulled himself up to his full height and glared at me. (Note: he would have appeared far more imposing had he not been wearing a hat with orange ear flaps and holding a TV antenna. Just saying.) "Lord NO," he explained, "it's BAR season." Ahhh... I see .... Bar Season.

So let me get this straight. These guys are bear hunters. One imagines they turn the dogs loose to pinpoint the location of the bears, and then they.... what?...... spend the next 22 hours driving around the mountains pointing an old TV antenna at the hills in an attempt to round the dogs back up? Perhaps I am missing something here, but does this seem at all efficient? At what point does the hunter actually get to murder the poor bear? Because I gotta tell you, I saw a LOT of dogs that week, but I didn't see the first bear. I didn't see a dog chasing a bear, didn't see a dog tracking a bear, didn't see any SIGNS of a bear. So how does this work? Don't get me wrong, I am ALL for the bear not getting killed, but one really must make inquiries as to who thought this was the best way to track em. It occurs to me that maybe a bear thought up this whole GPS system.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today is election day!! FINALLY it's here! No more ads, no more phone calls, no more fliers in the mail! *capers about in a thrilled sort of way* Rob and I went together this morning, and thanks to early voting there was no line. This was probably a good thing as our polling place is staffed by lovely elderly ladies who do NOT move swiftly. Sometimes I'm not entirely sure they move at all! From the time I handed the lady my driver's license, it was almost 5 minutes before I actually received my ballot. Now, granted, she did stop to notice that the picture on my license doesn't look much like me (yes, I know, I dyed my hair blond). She checked to be sure that Mike had actually cast his vote early (he had which required her to find a red VOTED sticker to place next to his name). She asked if Rob was with me (he was). As I waited for Rob to finish filling out his ballot (he was behind me so didn't get his ballot till roughly 3 minutes after I got mine), I had a nice discussion with the lady at the ballot box about Florida's sound trouncing of Georgia in last weekends football game. I told her I was wearing the shirt I wore to the game 'cause it helped my team win then, so I was hoping for a repeat victory lap.

Whichever candidate you are in favor of, get out there and cast your vote for him. Read up on the local issues and vote to make your community a better place. If you don't bother to vote, then don't bother to bitch! So saith me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adventures In Pooh Pajamas

Why is it that when you need to have any kind of worker come to the house they can NEVER figure out when they are going to get there? Luckily I don't work, so I have the ability to sit around waiting for the cable guy, the plumber, the exterminator etc. Can't imagine what people who work do. Here are some examples.

We were up at our house in North Carolina attempting to vacation. One of the many and various things that went wrong was that the satellite internet was out. Well hell. It's out more than it's on to begin with, but we are paying a LOT of money for the luxury of having non-working satellite internet darn it. Mike spent a jolly half hour or so on the phone with someone in New Delhi who was no doubt named something improbable like Ted. Or Pete. (Because there are so MANY dudes in India named Pete. Why don't they use their real names? But I digress.) Anyway, Ted/Pete can't figure out what's wrong and we have to have someone come up to the house. Of course we could have told you that we'd have to have the guys come out to the house, but there is a process and you have to talk to the improbably named dude in New Delhi before they can come out. Usually a stray cow has crashed into the pole that holds the dish or something like that. They just readjust and we are back in business. Okay fine. So they'll be out the next day between 12 and 5. Yay! Imagine our surprise when the phone rings the next morning at 7:20 or so and it's the satellite guys on their way. They get there and fix whatever was wrong (something about bad wires), but tell us that there is a spiffy new and improved system that is faster and more reliable. More reliable would be really nice. So we schedule them for the next day between 12 and 5. Wanna guess who called at 9 and said they were on the way? Well alrighty then. I mean ONE day I can see the schedule getting wonked up and them arriving 4 hours early, but two days in a row? Really? It wasn't even the same company for God's sake.

Fast forward to today back home in Florida. Our pool lady disappeared about 3 weeks ago and we couldn't contact her. Turns out that something has happened and she is no longer in business. I know this because a nice guy named Rick called and told me that. She had turned her accounts over to him, and he wanted to come over today between 9 and 11 to give us an estimate. This is a good thing because the pool was NOT looking all that attractive. The weather here turned COLD last night. When Mike's alarm went off this morning I was snuggled under an assortment of cats and the dog, all warm and toasty. At 8:20 ish the phone rings. Damn. I struggle to get to it and mumble something approximating hello. A voice says, "I rang your doorbell but you didn't answer." Me, NOT being a morning person, says, "Who the HELL is this?" Whoops. It's the pool guy. So I crawl out of my cozy nest and trot downstairs in my Winnie the Pooh pajamas to answer the door. Hey, if you are going to show up that early in the day you just have to be prepared for Pooh-clad homeowners. Just sayin'. I managed to ask the correct questions and give somewhat coherent answers while barefooted and wearing my hot pink glasses. Took my toes 3 hours to thaw.

What IS it with people? If I had a doctor's appointment at 3, but decided that it would be far more convenient to get there at 10:15, can I reasonably expect the doctor to see me then? Suppose I worked at a real job? If you tell me that you're coming between 12 and 5 then I'm going to leave the office in time to get home at 12. I'm not going to be cooling my heels here at 10. Why can't people just show up when they SAY they are? Is that so difficult? Apparently so.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


::sigh:: Yeah well, it's my blog and I'll bitch if I wanna. We had finally gotten the situation with our cats straightened out. The ones who insisted upon peeing in places other than the litter pans moved into their very own cat house in the back. House is complete with screened in porch, rock fountain, heat and air conditioning and furniture. What cats could be happier? The cats who are still inside were using the litter pans nicely, with a few indiscretions. But frankly if you have cats you are going to have inappropriate peeing at one time or another in one place or another. So we were happy and the peasants rejoiced. Huzzah.

Then my brothers two cats moved in. Fitz is a Lt. Commander in the Navy, his family is now stationed in Australia, and it was going to be expensive to get the cats moved there. I think too that the logistics of it were a bit much for my sister in law to deal with as she prepared to move to the other side of the world with two small children. While I was a little concerned that the new cats might upset the carefully balanced litter pan lives of my cats, I wasn't overly concerned. More fool me. Boots and Grumman arrived and were ensconced in Rob's old bedroom. I set up a show tent for them to feel snug in. We opened the window that looks out at the pool so they could hear the fountains and watch the birds. We hoped for the best. Sadly, the best has not been all that good.

I spent about 4 hours today scrubbing walls, baseboards, floors, tile, fixtures and shower curtains. I'm not at all sure that even with all that I got all the pee up. Somecat, or perhaps more than one cat, is NOT happy at the arrival of the two Gentry cats and they are peeing everywhere. This is not good. I had a complete and total meltdown complete with tears, tossing shit about and screaming. We had worked SO hard, and spent SO much money on getting our house free from the smell of cat urine, and now here we go again.

What to do? Honestly I don't know. I can't keep Boots and Grumman locked in Rob's room for the duration. They show no inclination to come out and be socialized, and Boots has been declawed which is its own problem. Mike found a place that specializes in long term boarding for cats, but it is in New York state. I keep thinking that some kind of brainstorm is going to hit. Or some detante will be reached, but I think I'm going to be disappointed. Stay tuned. ::sigh::

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's THAT Time of Year Again!

Now stop that! I will not have any eye rolling going on out there. Any of you who know me KNOW that mid August begins the Christmas season around here. No, the decorations aren't up, but the shopping has begun, I'm stressing over the Christmas card pictures and I'm beginning to draft The Christmas Letter. Some years we have done such neat things, gone places, seen people, had adventures, that The Christmas Letter just flies off the keys. This is NOT one of those years. I'm going over the year in my head and what comes to mind is that basically we didn't do squat this year. Yes, we went to Maine and had a blast, but that about sums up the excitement for the year. I suppose I could ramble on at length about the water shortage in North Carolina. Hmmm...

The Christmas Cards are yet another adventure in stress. I am a member of an online cat group, and an online dog group. Both groups have a card exchange for those who are interested, and it's really one of my favorite things about the holidays. The cat people for the most part send a generic card with a cat on it. The dog people are far more creative, and those cards almost always feature pictures of the list members canine family members. Herein lies the problem. While the cats are MORE than willing to pose cutely for pictures, Ms. Harley the dog is NOT particularly pleased about having a camera lens perched at the end of her snout. Ms. Harley is not an active dog. Ms. Harley does not caper cutely for pictures. Ms. Harley pretty much just sleeps on the sofa. I just took a picture of her doing that. She looks like road kill. ::sigh::

Ahh it's mid September. It's still 95 degrees and humid outside, but how can the mind NOT turn to Christmas? Let the madness begin!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Travels in Maine

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a different sort of blog post for me. I'm really more interested in sharing the pictures than anything else this time around. I AM a grandmother after all, and I DO have THE cutest grandkids on the planet. And so, prepare for an extravaganza of pictures!! Carry on.

Our daughter and her family, husband Derek, daughters Lea and Sara and son Jake, live in Maine. Mike and I decided that a road trip was in order, so we headed there to visit. Mike, in a fit of optimism, rented a Mustang convertible. He was not the least det
erred by the fact that they were in the middle of 4 solid weeks of rain. I guess Mike knew something nobody else did, because the weather while we were there was perfect! Sunny with NO, let me repeat that N - O, humidity. In my vacation tradition of only getting sunburns in northern climes such as Canandaigua, New York, and Glacier Bay, Alaska, I came home a lovely shade of pink. In another vacation tradition, Maine was having what was, for them, a heat spell. Leave it to me.

Lea and Sara were VERY excited at the prospect of riding in the convertible, at least for the first two days. After that both of them were less than enthused at the tangle their hair became. Mike bought them sporty sunglasses to wear as we cruised about.

Mike had several goals in mind. He wanted to see as much of Keli and family as possible, he wanted to see as much of Maine as possible with Keli and family in tow, and he wanted a hat with a lobster on it. Nothing says, "Of COURSE I'm not a tourist" quite like a huge honking camera and a hat with a lobster on it. At first this proved difficult to find, and Mike had to improvise:

::sigh:: The search continued.

I had set a goal to see as much of Keli and family as possible while eating as many lobster rolls as possible. I took this VERY seriously. In fact the only meal (aside from breakfasts) where I ate anything other than a lobster roll was the night we had steak at Derek and Keli's house. Yum!

We had see the Maine Highland Games advertised. Now for years I have taken the cats to the Highland Games here and it's always a lot of fun. We decided to go. The Maine games featured far less animals than the Florida games. There was a demonstration of herding dogs, but no Highland "Coos", no Scottish Folds, no Scottish Deerhounds. They did have the vendors, the competitions, the bagpipers and everything else we are used to. In fact, they even had WOMEN competing in the events! One young lady in particular caught Mike's fancy.

Guess what ELSE Mike found at, of all places, the Highland Games? The Lobstah Hat! Hurray. We also got one for Jake because with his short hair and fair skin his little cheeks were getting mighty pink!

We went to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath and turned the girls into pirates:

Now I'm just going to post some great pictures from the trip. Please, bear with me!

Here is Jake with Lea. We were at a crowded pizza place, and the kids had to wait an hour for food. These kids rarely eat out, and so they never have to wait for food, but they could NOT have been better behaved!

Here is the whole family. Aren't they fabulous looking?

Mike and I with the kids. We aren't nearly as pretty as Keli and Derek! Note the matching (and OH so attractive) Lobstah hats on the boys.

The kids are VERY athletic. They are always riding bikes, hula hooping, riding a scooter, kicking a ball or doing something else active. There are a bunch of kids on their street, so they always have someone to play with.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Cat, The Suzy Slut Bra, and the US Postal Service

I used to show cats. Showing a cat is, in essence, a beauty contest, and so cats need a bath and a blow dry in preparation for this. Some cats take to this better than others. Some cats are not amused. Lumpy, the cat I was showing at the time this all happened, fell into the We Are NOT Amused camp. Actually, Lumpy is rarely amused. The expression you see in his picture here is his habitual one. He was not a great success as a show cat. But I digress.....

Another piece of back story is our mail carrier Reggie. Reggie has been delivering our mail for 18 years and is a neighborhood fixture. He will often ring the doorbell just to say hi, to deliver a package, use our bathroom etc. Reggie knows everything that is going on with the people on his route. He is a font of information.

That morning I had been getting dressed when I discovered a lovely, lacy, sexy, slutty bra. Now I usually tend toward sensible cotton, $10 bras from Target, so this was a definite departure for me. I was talking to a friend that morning and told her about the marvelous new-found Suzy Slut Bra (hereafter to be known as SSB). I told her how lovely it looked. I was terribly pleased with my find. Along with The SSB I had on a pair of ratty undies, a pair of equally ratty sweat pants and an old t-shirt. I was, after all, going to be giving a reluctant cat a bath.

Our kitchen and dining room are one long room with big windows that look out to the front yard and front porch. It was a lovely spring day and I had all the windows open to let in the cool air. I got Lumpy into the sink and he managed to flail enough that my t-shirt was soaked. Since I was alone in the house, in the privacy of my kitchen, I just took it off. All the better to admire the SSB don't you know. I hauled Lumpy out of the sink and toweled him off, then set him down between my knees, his head pointing out and his tail towards me, me squatting over him to blow him dry. This was NOT Lumpy's favorite activity. He reared up and peed all over me. Intact, male cat urine, which if you have ever gotten a sniff of you KNOW you do not want soaking your sweat pants. YUCK. But no matter, since I am in the privacy of my own house, I just took them off. I did take note of the disparity between the lovely lacy SSB and my gray, torn, granny panties, but no matter, the cat wasn't going to care.

I got Lumpy's back parts dry and turned him around with his head shoved firmly between my legs, me squatting over him in my lovely, lacy Suzy Slut bra and the gray, torn, granny panties. Lord only knows what it must have looked like I was doing to that poor animal. He struggled a bit, and I said to him (out loud of course) "I don't care if you don't like this. We are going to keep at it until I'm good and satisfied." I heard a sort of.... strangled sound. There on the front porch, looking in the front window which was open to let in the lovely spring breeze, was Reggie. Mouth agape, face full of horror he just sort of .... sputtered. Oh dear. I can only imagine what it must have looked like to him, and I'm forever grateful that he didn't call either the Humane Society or the mental health authorities.

Reggie disappeared hastily from the front porch. We never did get our mail that day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Tribute To A Much Loved Dog

I know that many of you have already read this tribute to my much loved Bridge dog Sam Bear, but I don't keep my writing and I didn't want to lose this one. Sam was a Very Special Dog. Very special to us all. Thanks for reading about him.

Sam was my first dog. He was very patient with me as I learned to train and care for a dog. He never quite got the hang of walking at heel, he tended to bound down the street towing me along in his wake. He LOVED to go for "frisks" as we called our walks, and would run to get his leash when he heard the word frisk. He smiled. The way his face was arranged it looked as if he had a permanent grin on his face.

Sam was gentle and loving. He had the softest ears of any animal I've ever met, and he loved everyone without reservation. Sam was a neighborhood fixture riding in my car with his big doggie head hanging out the passenger side window, seeming to smile at everyone we passed. People would always smile in return, he just looked so darn happy. He loved grilled chicken. He would sit next to the table and drool like a garden hose when we had that for dinner. We always shared. He hated to have his feet touched. He would bark fiercely, but the whole time his tail was wagging happily. It was handy when someone came to the door - I would grab his foot to make him bark, then tell the person I didn't know if I could hold back the dog. I just had to hide the wagging tail from them.

Sam loved turtles. He didn't eat them, he apparently wanted one for a pet. He was always coming to the door with one in his mouth. The turtles would be squeezed tightly inside their shells looking quite annoyed as we freed them. Sam was an A Number 1 turtle finder.

His favorite place in the world was our house in North Carolina. He seemed to sense when we were on our way there and got SO excited. When the time would come to leave he would often dash down and sit in the middle of the creek, hoping I suppose that we wouldn't put a soaking wet dog into the car. Then he would howl mournfully all the way down the mountain when we did. He and Mike would hike for hours there. Sam would bound off following his nose towards an interesting smell, but would always circle back to show Mike that he was still right there. Sometimes he would flush out a nest of grouse and bark with delight at his find. He had a corner of the deck where he loved to sit with his muzzle resting on the cross bar to watch the world go by. He's still there. His urn, wrapped in his bright red bandanna, and the headstone carved by my father in law are in his corner to this day.

Sam died of cancer. He had a very aggressive form of nasal sarcoma. It was inoperable, and there was no treatment that would have provided him with any quality time. We chose to let the disease take it's course. We took our cues from Sam Bear. His nose would often bleed, his breathing became labored, but through it all his banner of a tail wagged at us, and he still seemed to have that smile on his face. The day came however, when he let us know that it was his time. We all went to the vet's office, Mike, Rob and I. I sat on the floor and Sam rested his head in my lap, Mike and Rob knelt behind us. He looked up at me with his big, trusting brown eyes and seemed at peace. We all cried when that harsh, labored breathing stopped, even the vet.

Sam Bear was a true gift. There could not have been a better dog to have for your very first, and I will never forget him. Rest in peace Sam Bear. You have been, and continue to be, greatly loved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Musings

Well, after a month and a half in the mountains of western North Carolina I am back home in Florida. Several people have asked me why in the world I came back home, and frankly I've wondered about it myself. I missed my son who is boycotting NC until we get wireless internet and cell phone capability. I missed my husband who came up alternate weekends. I missed my shower in Florida which features good water pressure and water hard enough to actually get the soap out of one's hair (oh come on! that's valid!!). I was tired of bug bites, and I needed a hair cut. The fact that several other groups of people are going to use the house in the coming weeks also meant that I had to come home. So here I am. The morning we left North Carolina I woke up to 54 degree temperatures. Let me assure you that 54 degrees has not been seen in these parts for some time. QUITE some time. The heat is debilitating. On Monday I went grocery shopping, cleaned up the house and generally bustled about until I literally became ill. I don't do heat well. I plan to stay in the air conditioning until sometime in mid-October.

As for the son who I have missed so much. Well, he moved out. I knew that this plan was afoot, and he has only moved about 5 blocks away. From the condition of his room I could surmise that he took none of his clothes with him, and none of his toiletries. Still, moved out is moved out. The house seems empty even though between school, work and social commitments this kid wasn't here much anyway. On the bright side I won't be tripping over his size 12 shoes and won't be subjected to the boom-thumpa-thumpa of his music at all hours. The house seems awfully empty though.

My hair was, as I mentioned, in a state of complete disarray. 9 weeks without a cut or coloring. NOT attractive. I had an appointment set for the Thursday after my arrival home, but my hair dresser's daughter is apparently ill, and she isn't working right now. This isn't as big a tragedy as you may think since this woman took over my hair when the lady who I ADORED moved away. This stylist was..... okay.... but not great. As luck would have it tho, I saw an ad in a magazine for a salon that boasts people WILL ask where you got that incredible hair cut so I gave them a call. Attempting to be as honest as possible I described myself as a plump rutabaga with feet and 4 inches of pure white roots. My new, and FABULOUS, stylist is named Jim. If you ran into Jim on the street and had to guess what his profession was, you would NOT pick hair stylist. (English teacher comes to mind for some reason.) First thing he did was to pick a new color for me that is FAR more flattering than the faded blonde that my old stylist used. Second thing he did was give me an adorable hair cute that, wonder of wonders, I am able to recreate on my own! HURRAY for stylists who are talented that way. We are pleased.

So. Here I am. Mid July in Florida. Welcome home to me. Now turn down the a/c and pour me some iced tea!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hello From Cullowhee, North Carolina

I'm up at our summer house in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The weather, however, is NOT cooperating with me. It is NOT supposed to be 90 degrees on my mountain! It's supposed to be cool and I'm supposed to be bundled into a sweater darn it. If I had wanted to be hot and cranky I could have stayed in Florida where at least we have air conditioning. Still, even with the warm days there is nowhere quite like here. We are so far removed from the rest of the world that you can forget about wearing makeup, fixing your hair, worrying about what to wear. You can just BE. Sleep late if you want to, stay in your pajamas till noon. Spend the entire day reading a good book, or even a not so good one. Nothing has to be accomplished, nothing has to be taken care of. It will all wait. You can see how we are in our own little world here. More as it happens!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Technology Is Not My Friend.

I choose to attribute this fact, and it is a fact, to the onset of old age. In just a few years I'll be able to get free coffee at McDonald's and I feel sure that this is why I have so much trouble with anything at all technological. Take this blog for instance. I have a number of friends who also have blogs. On their blog they have links to all of us who have blogs too. No less than THREE separate people have attempted to show me how to get their links on my blog page. Go back and look. Do YOU see anyone's links? Because *I* sure as hell don't.

For Mother's Day I asked for one of those Aero Garden things. I love flowers and fresh herbs, but I do NOT love to dig in the dirt, run across worms, or be outside in Florida during the growing season. I couldn't wait to set it up. I did the responsible thing and read over the directions before I started doing anything. I laid out all the parts. I felt OH so smug in the knowledge that when Mike and Rob came home I'd have it up and running. Right. I got to the last step. "Insert grow bulb into lamp hood. Do not twist bulbs." Done. Then I plugged it in.

BZZZZTTT, FLASH, BOOM. FIRE!!! Ooops. That doesn't seem quite right does it? One of the big, bright light bulbs appears to be flaming. Clearly THIS is not good.

I call the help line at Aero Garden and talk to a nice man named Nathan First question he asks me is "Is the fire out?" Let's see.... call the fire department or call to report the problem to Aero Garden.... let me think.... let me think....... "Yes Nathan. The fire is out." Nathan remarks on how calm I am for a woman who has just had a flaming Aero Garden in her dining room. Clearly he is not used to the level of disaster that surrounds me. The upshot is that I am to replace the hood (which either caused the bulb to ignite, or was ruined by the igniting bulb) and the two bulbs to them. He said Engineering would want to look at the scorched remains to see if they could figure out what caused the problem. I didn't attempt to explain the ongoing Me Versus Technology theme we have going here.

When the replacement parts arrived Rob happened to be home. He was quite firm about the fact that I'd better try this again while he was here in case of further disaster. Of course everything went just FINE that time. He tried really hard not to look smug. He did not entirely succeed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I spent today reading Final Salute by Jim Sheeler. Wow. If you haven't read it -- DO SO. A book about young men killed in Iraq may seem like the wrong choice for a woman whose younger brother and son in law are both active duty Naval officers -- especially with the son in law currently deployed. I have to say that Fitz and Derek were never far from my mind as I read the book, but I'm so glad that I did. It follows a Marine whose duty it is to go to the homes of those killed in the war and tell the family. The author then stayed in touch with the families as they dealt with their losses. I cried a lot. I wanted to hug my son REALLY badly -- these Marines were barely older than Rob. Major Steve Beck, the marine, is an empathetic caring man, and I think that maybe the families who he had to notify are the better for having had him deliver the news. He really cares. They talked to other people who were not so lucky, who were contacted by uncaring people, who never had any follow up support. He is now Lt. Colonel Beck and has been re-assigned to the Washington, DC area. I hope that whoever took his place is half the man he is, and I hope that his new duty assignment allows him to share his wonderful, caring soul.

The author manages to leave himself completely out of the book. He recorded what the families and the military escorts experienced and left it at that. He won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, and this is well deserved.

Have I mentioned that this book should be required reading for every American citizen? Because it should. We go along and take our comfortable lives and the freedoms we enjoy for granted. But this book brings home the fact that freedom isn't free. Never has been. If you know a vet, or the family of an active duty service man or woman, take a moment to thank them for their contribution to the American Way Of Life. We owe it to them.

Happy Memorial Day. It isn't just a 3 day weekend, or a day to grill out. It's a day to remember those that gave their lives for all of us.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Entering the Blog-o-sphere

Well here I am!  People keep telling me that I MUST get a blog.  Usually I resist anything that people tell me I MUST do.... but I decided to go for it.  I am going to have to become seriously more interesting however, or nobody will ever visit me!   Let's see.....  I'm 49, a fact that shocks me each and every time I say it aloud.  I mean how DID this happen to me?  How did I get wrinkles and age spots and cellulite and those HUGE thighs?  It TOTALLY crept up on me.  TOTALLY.  I've been married for 22 year to THE best man in the universe.  He's patient and caring, smart and funny, and I am so lucky that he chose me to go through life with.  Our son Rob is 19.  He is a really talented artist, but discovered that art school (SCAD) was not the right path for him.  He amazed even himself by discovering that he wanted to read a book, have a discussion, do homework!  So he's going to start at University of North Florida next month.  He also works at the Apple store which he LOVES.  Mike's daughter Keli is 33 and married with 3 of the world's best kids.  No really, they are.  What?  You say ALL grandparents say that?  Well meet mine and I dare you to argue that fact!    Keli's husband is a Navy officer and currently deployed, altho he will be coming home next month.  

We live in Jacksonville, Florida.  I hate Florida.  Don't get me wrong, Jacksonville is a nice place, and if it were in .... say..... Maine I'd love it.  I hate hot weather and I love snow.  Perhaps you see the problem developing?  I moved here with my first husband in August, 1983.  I've been trying to get OUT of Florida since ... oh... August, 1983.  ::sigh::    But luckily we have a vacation home in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  I LOVE it there.  It's so beautiful and peaceful and COOL.  Also, my in-laws have a place there too.  I'm one of the lucky people who adores her in-laws.  Mike's mom has become a mother to me in the absence of my own and is a wonderful constant in my life.

I love animals, I love music, I love reading and playing on the computer.  I love hydrangeas, the smell of lemons, and scented body lotions and candles.  I'm short, I'm a little overweight and I need to get back on track with my yoga practice.  So there you are!  ME!  In a nutshell.  Come and say hello!