Sunday, December 31, 2006


The Pedal to the Metal
This year has absolutely rushed by. Never has a year slipped into oblivion so quickly as this one. Looking back on my entries I can not fathom that one particular entry was made a year ago! It can't be so! I recall vividly sitting in my car with the CD blaring so loud the car was rocking. I can feel the heat of a excruciating heat wave this past summer suffocating me. How is it that 365 days have turned into such a blur of color, emotion, disappointment, redemption, journeys and a brief chapter in my history?

January 2006......I was dreaming of Jamaica. The first month of the year was over before it began. I was given a new sales trainee to take with me and show him the ropes for a week. I was thrown into memories of The Boy of yesteryear that I was given to train and ultimately corrupted. I came face to face with the realization that I live in the past. snowed and was cold and I dreamed of Jamaica.

March came in like a lion!! and found me celebrating another birthday and another St. Patricks Day. This year it was spent in Cleveland with my sister Omega and two other friends. We went to the Agora and were late for the Saw Doctors!
They played and played and afterwards Leo came into the bar and I.....well, I already revealed what a fool I can be. Had the proof in a picture on the cell phone, but somehow in between the ride home in our Limo with our new found best friend, Les and the drinks afterwards at the Marriott, the photo got deleted from the cell phone! Joe and family along with the newest member, Tinkerbelle, participated in the Louisville St. Patrick's day parade. A blast. I completed two legs of the triple Crown of Running, the 5k & 10K. My birthday is in this month and I finally bit the bullet and sprung the cash for a Nikon D-50. Then she went out like a lion.

April found me looking forward to traveling to Louisville and completing the Triple Crown with a 10 mile run. I did finish it, but it was not pretty. With the Kentucky Derby Festival was on the horizon and my daughter and I attended the Cherokee Triangle Arts Fair. Spring finally arrived in Indiana, (I was concerned).

May was jam packed with a million things! But for brevity's sake, Bridget and I went to Florida to spend a week with my best pal from college. It was fabulous fun. We went to the Tropical Heatwave and the Saw Doc's were performing!! Also went to Louisville for the Memorial week-end and stumbled upon BeatleMania on the Belvedere!

Then is was summer and June....Bridget was engaged!! And they decided to get married in August! Holy Smoke. I had a moment of absolute joy helping her find a wedding dress. The perfect one. That is all June besides a dreary trip to Dayton that was rainy and cold! How could I forget the annual trek to Tennessee and the family gathering of all the siblings and their off-spring. Fireworks and food, the much anticipated Treasure Hunt, boat rides and tubing, hot fun in the summertime!

July was a blur. 4th of July, the Three Rivers Festival, trip to Kentucky to visit the folks, tried a detox diet that had tremendous results but is not for weenies. And Bridget called off her engagement, broke up with S. and took up with C. I have not recovered because I love S. Bridget entered into a downward spiral that she still has not come out of. Kids....I use to be one, so I just pray it ends soon.

August!!! Once again, The Dublin Irish Festival! And the Saw Doctors...again! Three times in one year. Unbelievable. Joe rode his motorcycle over to spend Saturday with me at the festival, as I was abandoned by everyone else. Omega chose the Loolapaloosa in Chicago over me! Damn her!! I got a ticket at an intersection that had been set up as a trap all summer. Damn ME!! So I bought a new car for good measure.

Then it was Autumn....and September. Joe and I go on a cruise to the Bahama's.. I went to court for my ticket and in a fit of defiance decided to fight it! Stay tuned for February! My Mom had a birthday which demanded another family gathering. Suddenly it is ....

October In another fit of some sort, I decide to end my AOL journal which I have been plugging away at for three years. I just had to learn to let go. Halloween came and went. October came and went.

November, my Dad celebrates his 87th Birthday. Thanksgiving finds me traveling back to Kentucky to spent it with my family. Even though it was just a few weeks ago, I don't recall anything spectacular about November. It did not snow, as it did last year.

December and the holidays! Realize that if I am going to have a tree it must be artificial. And guess what? It's a good thing! Travel again to Kentucky for the holidays and have the best Christmas ever. Not only me, but my nine year old is an excerpt from her thank you letter to me....

(writing about last year)..."That was a good Christmas...........But not nearly as good as this one."

I realize that 2006 had a terrific first half, and then something happened to me. I believe I have taken Bridget's break-up (down?) much harder than I should. I think I am depressed about the implications it has forced on me from her. I am blue about several things and realize that I have to do something to alter the path I have chosen to walk the past five or six months.

Nothing like a new year to serve a wake up call.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I know you think I have been neglecting you. I feel you think I have been paying too much attention to the BLOG. I would plead with you to understand, to realize that it is only you who realizes my secrets. It is only you that I bear my soul. You carry the truth.

I miss the feel of the pen on the paper.

If I were one who made New Year's resolutions. If I were one who did not have dismal results from the best intentions. I do not want you to fall in step with "loosing weight" and "being a better person" and (gag) being a better employee.

I will not bull-shit you.

You, Diary, know who I am.

Only you.

You who know how to read between the lines. Since I was about nine or ten.

I look at the dates of my last entry. Three weeks ago. Gosh. I did not enter the night last week when I went outside into the back yard and looked towards the West and waited for the Space Shuttle to show itself. It was coming from the Southwest.

I gyrate towards the south.

I have never found my .... bearings in the North.

I looked towards the SW and there you were. You blasted suddenly ( and I do mean once you were not there and in the next breath, there you were) into sight. You were brilliant. It looked as if two triangles were joined together. Later I remembered that you were to be viewed moments after you and the Space Station disengaged.

For several minutes I watched you streak across the heavens. It was a brilliant night. It was barely dusk, the east it was black , and into darkness you plunged. I was spell bound. I lifted my head to the skies until you disappeared into the North east.

How backwards everything is up the North.

And surprising (in case you are reading, and you know who you are, though I doubt you read).

Joe gave me the greatest Christmas present. A Sirius Radio!!!

Last summer I was in Tennessee enjoying the annual family four day gathering. My sister Omega has been given this satellite radio by her husband, the King. We were sitting on the back of the house, listening to the music. (I was unaware it was satellite) Another song began and I stopped talking and listened. It was Bob Dylan's "Mozambique". It had been a long time since I had heard that song! The memories...the memories. Why has no other radio station ever played that song?

Because it's not satellite.

Now I have satellite.

When I set it up, I faced the antenna towards the North. The sound was terrific for about 10 minutes and then breaking sound. I was so angry! I was yanking the cradle, the antenna and moving everything about. Then it dawned one me. I am trying to face the North! Hell I live in the north! Face that antenna straight up!

By God, it worked!

I love my husband.


Enough. (hahahhahahah)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


(Old Tradition of All Grandkids having Photo Taken wearing Santa Hats)

When our family gathered for the Thanksgiving celebration, my sister Kitty suggested that we give our parents a unique Christmas gift this year. It was her brilliant idea that each of us write about a family memory and present it to Mom and Dad at Christmas. Afterwards, Kit would make a scrapbook that included each one.

It was not quite what I expected. Yet the result was nothing less than astounding. The essays, the memories, the love letters were equally moving and magical. From the youngest age seven, to me the oldest (I will never tell) each one was a touching and often funny singular perspective on life as a member of our clan. Childhood memories intertwined with those more recent and those of the in-laws and their observations.

We put the written pages in the middle of the family room and mixed them up. Then each of us choose one and read it aloud. Then we made Mom and Dad guess who wrote it.

I have several favorites. My niece absolutely blew us away with her creativity.

"One in a magical Kingdom in far away Tennessee lived a King with his Fair Queen....". It was simply brilliant as well as fun and entertaining.

Her mother wrote a sweet and poignant piece about a Christmas angel that her family had on the top of the tree for as long as she could remember. They nicknamed the heavenly plastic being "Grace".

Imagine her surprise when she first entered our household for Christmas so long ago and there on top of our tree was a replica of Grace.

She knew she had found the right family.

I loved that.

She even had pictures!!

My brother Pat read his own (sudden case of shyness over took one of the children) and finished it with this sign off "Pat Pat the Water Rat". I almost burst out in tears remembering my Dad singing that when Pat was very young and it was almost impossible to get him to come out of the swimming pool. I had not heard it nor thought about it in a long long time.

Obviously it was a huge success and my sister deserves all the credit. It is assumed, with out discussion, that this will become a family tradition for every year to follow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Once again, have absolutely nothing to write about, so I am just going to let my fingers do the talking........

I thought I was not going to have a Christmas tree this year. My husband, the big Grinch, put his foot down and said he did not want to have a live tree and then six months afterwards of needles mysteriously appearing and stabbing him while he unsuspectingly walks around the house bare foot. Being the brooder that I can be at times, at first I brooded and felt bad, then I set out and looked for a fake tree. I found a beautiful one at Home Depot and when I went back Saturday to purchase it, it had been marked down!!

I'm much more in the festive mood now that I have my tree up. And it was so easy. Even though the package was missing several sizes, somehow I made it work! I was able to place the tree closer to the wall by eliminating branches. It was cool.

I have noticed that with the Hubs schedule coinciding with my schedule for the past several months we are spending a lot of time with each other and even after nine years I marvel at our differences. How did we ever get together????

First, we fight about Netflix. I though I was going to have a nice cozy week-end night when I could cuddle up on the couch with a soft quilt, the tree glowing in the corner, and an egg nog in my hand and watch an old Katherine Hepburn movie called "Summertime".

But nnnnnnoooooooooooo.

Old Mr. Grinch went and changed the queue and what I pulled from the mail box was not the romantic movie I wanted, but Feast of Death: James Elroy.

Holy Methelusa.

I love to read. But reading is a very solitary activity. So I take my book, (EAT,PRAY,LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert)and sit in the living room while he is channel surfing and watching his NetFlix monopoly. I can't read and listen to his constant chatter about this or that on the TV. Crazy stuff, like do I remember who was the ultimate bad guy in HEAT? When do I first remember seeing Angelina Jolie? Why did'nt someone tell him Thelma and Louise was more than just a Chick Flick?

I can only read a page or two in an hour.

And when I put the book away, all is very quiet and if I try to say anything, its "Shush".

Holy Methtlusa.

If you have not already, please go check out the Carnival being held at The Bestest Blog of All Time!

P.S. Sorry for all the spelling errors, I am at the public library and the spell check is blocked.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


For this weeks Sunday Scribblings..........

I'm sitting on the back patio of my Aunts home in Houston Texas.

I'm alone, scared and pregnant. I am determined to have my baby despite the fact Mike does not want to get married. I have moved 1,200 miles away from home. It is early March. Instead of the frost lingering on the near dead ground and the purple crocus teasing us with the hope of spring, it is pleasantly warm and the air is perfumed with gardenia.

The future is as uncertain as the sex of the child I am carrying.

I'm confused, overwhelmed with doubt, sad and slightly bewildered with the surroundings and the path I have chosen.

Being with child has not seemed possible. I am three months pregnant and not showing. There has been no morning sickness. It is as if it is a big mistake.

My hands are folded over my stomach.

I feel her.

At the time I did not know it was a her.

Something was fluttering inside me.

There it was again!

I was astonished. All the self-doubt and confusion lifted.

Five months of anticipation began.

Monday, December 11, 2006


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Besides the handful of girls in my class, I also had friends outside that sadistic little circle. I had the Girl Scouts! And I got to be the star dancing the Irish Jig!

I am the little one on the left, Brenda-Kay is on the right and Dottie is the tall Amazon in the middle.

Dottie was in the class before us in school which meant she was more worldly and sophisticated than us.

She danced a mean Irish Jig.

I loved it that she would invite me to parties and sleep overs at her house. Our parents were friends. That meant we were thrown together and we better like it.

Like it or not, the sleep overs were groovy. We would listen to our LP's and 45's and teach each other all the new dance steps. We were a regular mini-American Bandstand sweating it out to the Twist, the Jerk, the unbelievable fun Monkey, Pony, the Swim, and my favorite the Skate. Not to forget the Hitchhiker.

I first heard Mr Tambourine Man performed by the Bryds in Dotties kitchen late one night from the huge radio station out of Chicago that you only received late at night.....and on a bounce. It always faded out at the best parts.

I smoke my first cigarette with Dottie when I was twelve. We slipped them out of her mothers cigarette case. Tareytons. The taste worth fighting for.

We climbed up in the tree house and took our very first drags. Nothing was ever quite the same from that moment on.

I was a bonafide bad girl now.

And Dottie the bad influence.

St. Paddy Day is March 16th this Year


Guess who is coming to the States this March??? The Saw Doc's e-mailed me earlier today!!


Thanks for your email.

The good news is that The Saw Doctors will return to the USA in March 2007.
The following dates are now confirmed with a couple more to follow in the
next couple of days. They play Cleveland on March 16, i.e. the day before St.
Patrick's Day.

March 8 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere

March 9 Northampton, MA Calvin Theatre

March 10 New York, NY Nokia Theatre

March 15 Boston, MA The Roxy

March 16 Cleveland, OH House of Blues

March 17 Chicago, ILL The Vic Theatre

At the moment I am not sure about the Tropical Heatwave in Tampa - my advice
to you would be to keep a check on the website in the coming couple of weeks.
We will be updating all the information shortly and any more confirmed USA
dates will be listed on the website

I'm so there.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


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Imagine a little girl, driven from the bosom of her family and forced to go to school! Actually, I think I was looking forward to it. My mother too. So much so that she sent me a day early for that first day!! How she could have gotten the day wrong? The public schools started a day ahead of the Catholic School, so maybe my Mom just assumed since the bus was coming, I belonged on it. Finally one kid out of the house!!

I remember that first day of school, hanging out with the Nuns, taking all the chalk erasers outside and beating them silly. Then making the long walk home.

The next real first day I got to meet all the kids in my class for the first time. I thought that my one day jump ahead of everyone would make me the Teachers pet, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Every nun and teacher chose Brenda Kay (the angelic looking child next to me, I am receiving First Communion) as their favorite. Every single one of them.

And so did we, the Original Girl Posse.

Someplace somewhere there must be written and explained the mysteries of the Theory of Three. For seven long years I lived the highs and lows of this phenomenon.

Everyone wanted Brenda Kay as their best friend. We wanted an exclusive arrangement. Brenda was drunk with this power and played us against each other for almost the entire time I attended Grammar School.

First she would be friends with Missy (The angelic blonde in the second row, she had on gold shoes while the rest of us had white flats). Being exclusive friends meant everyone else was shut out, the outsider (me) would have to hang out with Twin (in the second row behind me) and Cynthia (the freckled face charmer unfocused on receiving the flesh and blood of Christ, but looking good for the camera).

By being totally shut out, I mean totally. They would not acknowledge your presence nor look at you. If you spoke they would look at each other and say, "Did you hear something?" and then laugh wickedly and run away to the swing sets and leave you seething.

Gaining back into the position of the Best Friend was a tricky business. First you had to be acknowledged again. This could be achieved with a special gift, such as a cookie or a cupcake from your lunch. Other times, it meant handing over a precious pencil sharpener or mechanical pencil (I can still feel in my hand this red mechanical pencil that was three beads and highly coveted)or Holy Cards that were particularly fancy.

When it was your turn as the Selected one you got to play the cruel game of shutting out Missy, banishing her to play with Twin and Cynthia.

I swear to God, this went on for years and years.

Cynthia left after second grade, her family moved away. She was replaced with Freida, a country girl with 10 brothers and sisters!

We could never play together peacefully and there was always a foot race for the swings, a shoving match to see who got to sit by who on the Merry-go-Round, and much jockeying for position at the picnic tables for the lunch hour.

Don't even get me started when Brenda Kay decided she liked boys better than girls!

Brenda Kay left the Catholic Grammar School right before seventh grade.

The drama left with her. She was always the smartest girl in the class, now that was up for grabs. She always had her pick of the boys, now they were despondent and entirely icky again. No more playing Beatles and Monkees on the front porch.

Everything calmed down to a normalcy that was foreign to those left behind. Our Star had been removed and it was dark without her.

Ah, Brenda Kay, you shaped every single female companionship I have had since.

At times, this was not a good thing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


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Woman Posse

One of my favorite blogger friends, Paul, suggested I do another series based on all the hints of "much more to the story" on a previous entry. Well, I might do that one later. I have been turning the phrase Woman Posse over and over in my head since I wrote those words last week.

And an idea was born. An idea for a series (which I love so much!!).

Look at the above picture. That was a birthday party in progress, I'm not certain who's birthday it is, but that is really not the point. The point is......LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOYS!!

Three of them are my brothers. The one showing his dramatic bro "T". The fat baby in the upper left corner in my Mom's arms, my littlest bro "P". Next to the belly showing show-off is the oldest brother, "N". The rest are family friends and neighbors.

At this point I have no sisters.

I do have ...... (now here it becomes a little complicated. I want to use real names, but I think maybe I should not. After all, I am using real photographs and that is exposing the guilty enough)....Twin.

I use "Twin" because we looked so much alike as children that at times when I look at an old photo and it takes me awhile to determine if it is me or her.

I am in the foreground holding Twin's sisters hand. Twin is behind us.

Same haircut! What the hell, did our mothers confer and decide the best thing to do was make all off us look exactly alike??

Anyway, this is my new series....All my gal pals because I needed them badly living with a bunch of brothers.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I sat straight up in bed and shouted, "MOM!"

I was startled. I never do things like that, shouting in my sleep. A glance at the clock told me it was 5:45am, plenty of time left to sleep in.

It stayed with me all day, that feeling of trying to reach my Mom. I only had to pick up the phone and call, which I knew I would do in the evening, for our weekly chat.

Being 300 miles away may as well be 3 thousand at times.

Something in me was avoiding the call. I finally made it.

They had a difficult time waking up Dad in the morning. He was very weak, could not pull himself up. His blood pressure was somewhere in the 40's. Later I learned his pulse was a scary 42. He was in the wheel chair all day. They could not make it to church. The Angel, Jeannie (the nurses aide that Mom found several years ago) called all day long to check on Dad.

I realize that one day I will wake up thinking that this day will be like all the others. I'll get ready for work, go to work, I'll carry on with tasks the day demands. And then the cell phone will ring. I know it will be my sister Kitty, I'll not understand anything she is saying because she is crying.

Then that normal day will change into the day that everything changes.

Its been over three years ago Dad suffered from congenital heart failure and we almost lost him. It was almost six weeks before we were able to bring him home. He went to a re-hab hospital to regain strength and learn how to walk with a walker, pull himself up out of bed, feed himself etc. etc. All those basic things that we take for granted become a small miracle when practiced by someone who was so close to death.

Then very soon after he came home he had a stoke. The time spent in the hospital are worse than anything imaginable. But he managed to come home again and one of the ER room physicians suggested that a new drug just released to treat Alzheimer's be given to Dad.

It was like a miracle. It breathed new life into Dad.

Several months after that, again on a Sunday, his blood pressure dropped so low that he could not be waken up. The ambulance was called and once again he was admitted into the hospital for observation.

It was then that the Wicked Nurse gave us a piece of advice, do not call the ambulance any more when he begins to go. It's his time, she was trying to tell us, and it is their profession to cheat the inevitable if they can, but our family must make a decision about the quality of his life.

I wanted to get in her face and tell her that if it was her Father she would feel differently.

Years later, I have forgiven her for her bluntness. Because I have a better understanding now.

They did not call the ambulance this Sunday. And he bounced back.

I am not prepared. I think I am, but I am not.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


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Another week-end approaches so it is time for another Sunday Scribblings!

The lift off is this phrase....."In the last hour..."

I immediately envisioned the last hour before any vacation I am about to embark upon. I have no idea why this pushed its way out the waiting room of my thought factory into the audition stage, but it did and it got the job!

In the last hour before the last vacation, I was at the computer trying to print out our boarding passes to the Ship. The site kept blocking me and I was crying. My tears were dripping on the key board. Earlier that week I had tired to print them out and the ink cartridge failed. Failed might be too kind a word, the ink cartridge died. Maybe you only have one chance to print the e-ticket and that is it!

Joe was becoming annoyed at the delay, after all we still had to drive to Chicago to catch our flight. He reasoned that we had our passports, the cruise was paid for, we would get on the Ship!

In the last hour before Bridget and I were to go to Florida several years ago we drove to Louisville and my brother-in-law was going to drive us to the airport and save us the cost of long term parking.

We arrived early and parked the car in the back alley (if you know Louisville, you know all about back alleys) At the time they were doing some landscaping to the back yard and Bridget and I tried the back door and found it locked. We set up on the back porch waiting for B-I-L to wake up (it was very early, like 5am) and chauffeur us. A lot of time passed and I became worried and tried the door again. Still locked. I decided to try the front door and then and only then did I realize we were at the wrong house!!! We hustled over next door and got in right away to find a very concerned B-I-L waiting for us with coffee!

It took while for Joe and my relationship to advance to the point where we were comfortable to travel together to family functions. After two year and a half years, we went to Colorado for a family wedding (I have a big extended Irish-Catholic family). When all was over and it was time to go home back to Kentucky, the morning of the flight Joe was up and wanted to go to the airport. He did not want to miss the plane!

I spent five hours waiting to fly out of Denver.

That was only the beginning. Ever since then I have come to realize that Joe likes to be at the airport in time...(early)... for the flight. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time in airports.

The funniest and worst time, was when we got there at 1am only to find out the airport in Chicago (international) is locked up till 5am! WTF!!!!

It's International!!!

I had to sleep on some ugly hard plastic seats waiting for Air Jamaica to open.

Before flying out to Ireland we spent many of the last hour's pretuning in the International terminal with my sister and above mentioned B-I-L and their two young children. Their flight to Shannon left before ours to Dublin.

Young five year old Brendan walked away from us in his red and white Hawaiian shirt (easier to see among the masses)turned and waved good-bye, "SEE YOU IN IRELAND" he yelled!

I am very fond of that last hour before the take-off.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Soundtrack of my Life

Being smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boomer Generation made for some fantastic music. My whole life seems to be accompanied by a sound track, for music has been a major part of my life since I can remember.

As a grammar school student on the front porch of a two room school house waiting for the buses to arrive to whisk us away home, we use to imitate and pretend to be the Beatles, the Monkeys, Herman's Hermits. "Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter", Brenda Kay sang the lead with Missy and me doing the harmony.

In High School our class theme song was "Brown Sugar". It was necessary to enter the smoking lounge, (aka the girls bathroom) singing, "Yea! Yea! Yea! Wooooo!!!" We laid around the swimming pool during our summer breaks with our transistor radios pumping out Blood Sweat and Tears and CCR. We rode around town with the radios blaring at full blast flooding the town with the lyrics to "Sugar, Sugar".

We laid around in dark rooms listening to the Beatles White Album. We played Spin the Bottle with Led Zeppelin in the background.

Things got a little more serious in College. We had 8 Track tapes then and were able to carry our music with us in our cars. I recall fondly Z Z Topp's Tres Hombres album being played over and over as we drove to Land Between the Lakes in Terry's lime green Pinto, with the windows rolled up smoking the longest biggest fattest joints we could roll. When we opened the car doors the smoke bellowed out.

We danced and gyrated to the Dobbie Brothers, on chairs and table tops, "I'd like to hear some funky Dixie Land Pretty Mama come and take me by the hand, by the hand, take me by the hand............" in a complex called the Winchester Apartments, which actually were 10 two room bungalows. Everyone wanted to live there and the waiting list was .... well, very long.

We partied there every night.

No wonder I flunked out.

We went over the state line into Tennessee, (the legal drinking age at that time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, was 18)to The Cotton Club and crammed ourselves into the cinder block building. We drank cheap bottle beer while a band called Clap hands Here Comes Charlie belted out the songs by Chicago. We danced like lunatics doing crazy dances like The Funky Chicken and the Penguin.

There was a BlueGrass Period thrown in there at one time. I can appreciate a good banjo. Has anyone ever seen Bela Fleck? That guy is hot. Tony Rice and Keith Whitley are a couple of people I got to meet and be part of that scene for awhile.

From there I graduated to The Stones and stayed there for a long time, until Prince came along and blew me away.

Aerosmith became the background noise to my life about the same time I purchased my first walkman. I began running and jogging at that time. To this day when ever I hear Chip Away The Stone I want to jump out of my car and run around it at break neck speed a few times.

Music was so important to me for the longest time! Even when I succumbed to disco in the late 1970's, it was okay because along with that comes a mental image of the only time in my life I got to hang with a posse of women! It was a period in our lives when we all landed back in our home town. We haunted the Disco's of Lexington at the time, Greensleeves, Stingles, the Library, Johnnie Angels. We'd get out on the dance floor with each other and get down!

Somehow it began to fade out, not so important anymore I suppose because I finally became an adult and responsibility was pressed on me. Yet, in the background there always was the hint of the sound track, like the ebb and flow of the tide.

This past summer just because of a few moments and a fragment of a conversation I ventured out and looked for a Bob Dylan CD. I found Bob Dylan 1975 and when I popped it in my the car Cd player, it did not come out for a week.

There was the most beautiful angelic woman singing with him. I kept listening over and over to "I WILL BE RELEASED" wondering if this knock out talent was still singing. Imagine my shock at how stupid I can be when I realized it was Joan Baez.

I have been picking up all the Bobby CD's I can find since then.

While traveling home for Thanksgiving I heard the nicest piece of music and I thought to myself, that sounds a little like Dylan.

It was. I pulled into the first Walmart and bought the his latest release, Modern TIMES. It has not come out of my vehicle CD player since.

It is mellow. Oh so mellow. And perfect. A masterpiece of brilliant lyrics and soothing music, a little jazzy at times, and then surprising country like. Old country. Willie Country.

I guess with age comes the permission to mellow out.

If its good enough for Bob, then it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I scrawled some things down in a tiny notebook while I was driving. I am hoping that the chicken scratch will spark the memory of why I wrote it down in the first place. They are suppose to be themes for essays!

1) Two names

2) White noise

3) Bob Dylan vrs. Buena Vista Social Club

4) System jolt with Amazing Race

5) Love affair lately with books about Africa

6) Worthy adversary

7) Deer Nation

I should be able to pull a post or two out of that! And I should write a list daily of the nonsense that flies around in my head as I drive.

Because, God knows there is a lot of nonsense up there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Mothers Hands

I looked across the table at my Mother stirring her coffee. Around and around, the spoon clinking against the sides of the mug. She had a dreamy look on her face as she was drifting into the past, telling me about her mother who was an astute investor. We were talking about things that are sad, yet inevitable. Probate, inheritance tax, estates, selling rare books on the Internet.

I squeeze the prospect that she is preparing to leave this earth and arrive in heaven (where God will meet her along with St. Peter at the pearly Gates) out of my mind, my thoughts, my reality.

I know she will live forever. I live in denial. I like it here.

In her hands I see my own. My own hands foreign, hers so familiar. Those hands that first held me, cleaned up the messes, chased me around with a paddle, soothed an illness with jello and chicken noodle soup, rags soaked in alcohol ice water and applied to a feverish forehead, grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2, hold a rosary, hand out the dollar bills to the grandchildren, moped up the blood from a head gash my brother so proudly presented to her, "LOOK MOM!! BLOOD!!!".

Those hands that were the center of attention right before her by-pass surgery of several years ago. My brother and I stood over her as she lay moments from the operating room, pleading with her to allow the orderly to cut off her rings, her wedding band and engagement ring, the irish claddagh ring. So long she had kept them on, they could not slide over her knuckles. She shed a tear as they took them off and handed them to us.

I held them though out that excruciating day. A day of 14 hours that seemed like 14 million hours.

Until the doctor came and escorted us into a room and told us she was okay.

I burst into tears of relief, so afraid that he was going to deliver bad news.

Those hands, laid out on the table on either side of the coffee mug, rings in their rightful place, are looking so much like mine anymore that it scares me and soothes me at the same time.

I reach out and squeeze them.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another Rant

Before I rant about the most current thing that has pissed me off, Blogger is about to receive one too! I had to maneuver through more screens than I am use to to arrive here! I had to tell them I am not ready to make the switch to Beta yet! I'm not ready!!

Now, what I really want to rant about is BLOGLINES.

What is up with them? I think more than 2/3 of my feeds are not updated anymore by this service. I have to manually link to each one to see if anything new is poster.

This is just not right!!

I use to love and brag about Bloglines.

Now I suppose I will have to find another service.

Does anyone use one other than Bloglines?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Sound of My Addiction... the click click click on the keyboard as I cruise around E-Bay.

I gave it up last year and then found another site that made me break my vows of abstinence, Steal it back. I finally weaned myself off of that and had gotten through the withdrawal when my husband discovered The BIDZ site.

Good lord!! I went crazy until I could get it under control! (though I did find some amazing earrings for so cheap!!)

Now its back with a vengeance.

I was just cruising some blogs, minding my own business when I read an entry about a pair of boots someone had ordered over the Internet and was disappointed when they arrived.

It kick started a memory of a favorite pair of boots I had a long time ago, a beautiful pair of Frye boots somehow I talked my parents into buying for me as a Christmas present. They were wonderful and I wore them for many years, had them resoled twice but then they cracked on the upper body. I took them to a shoe cobbler and he put a patch on them. I hated it and eventually put them into a Goodwill box before moving to Florida (this was a very long time ago).

With Frye boots on the mind I went to their web site. Do you have any idea how expensive those boots are these days???? I could not believe it, but I suppose in 1978 dollars, they are probably about the same.And I did not see the version that I had oh so many years ago anyway.

Is there anything you can not find on E-Bay??

There they were,not one but several pairs of vintage campus Boho cuffed boots! So I bid and just now I found out I won!

They are not cracked, but look exactly like mine. Which means....kind of rough.

I really never dreamed I'd win them for $13.50. Guess there will be a lot of elbow grease involved breathing life back into them.

But they are going to look fabulous!

Coming Attractions - before and after photos of Frye Boots

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Inspiration for Word Worthiness

After so many years of maintaining a blog it becomes tough to come up with subjects to write about. I have to hand it to those blogs who chug along with a bottomless pit of ideas and experiences that are word worthy.

I guess I'll have to pull myself up by the boot straps and stop whining. The longer you put off writing the harder it becomes to pick back up.

I'm choking! Somebody, give me a subject!!

Smart Aleck #1 has given notice and is no longer part of the crew at work. They found a replacement, but it did not work out (never ever mis-represent yourself on a resume anymore ---- they do back ground checks!). The second choice did not even return phone calls! (I suspect the drug test scared her off).

I work in an industry that is male dominated! The job at one time was very physical. And, if you have the mis-pleasure of working on the other side of the job, it still is.

I have worked in several male dominated industries, but non as macho oriented as the Car Industry. I survived about eight months and was taught lessons that will last a lifetime. Those SOB's would steal a car sale right out from under you as you went to grab the keys for a test drive.

I use to be a nice person. Until I worked in the car industry. I'll never forget the first time I requested that another sales person follow me outside so I could have a private word with him, away from the prying eyes of the others. I was able to articulate that if he ever screwed me over like that again, I would make his life miserable. And if he didn't believe me, just try.

It felt so good. I had never been so assertive before in my life, and the power of it made me drunk with energy and pride!

I wish there had been such a thing as blogs back then, because that Showroom was a Situation Comedy waiting to happen.

Maybe that is where I will find some inspiration....the old Chevrolet Show Room! and the cast of unbelievable characters who made up the sales staff.

And I hope they hire in another woman. I am lonely among all the boys.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


"Hero" is the theme for this week Sunday Scribblings. I find myself looking forward to the announcement of the subject every week. I find that it gives me one full day of thinking about what I want to say, rolling it over in my head, looking at it from different angles, going in one direction and then discarding that and heading in another. It is a pleasant day of reflection finding so many different paths to explore.

I immediately began to list the hero’s that are very personal and have touched my life. My parents, my Nana, my extended family, a teacher here and there etc.etc. etc.

Then I though about the people from the media who have caught my attention for their heroics. Cathy Sheehan, for her determination to show the government that there is an anti-war atmosphere in this country, immediately came to mind.

And that kid from New York, who despite being autistic, was a member of the basketball team and in the last moments of the last game of his senior year was finally put in. In his words, he “was on fire” and scored 20 points in a matter of minutes. I loved that. I loved seeing the crowd go wild, storm the court and carry him off on their shoulders.

I admire the fact that neither one of them ever gave up. That they did not falter in the face of adversity and misfortune.

That when it was time they Caught Fire.

Inside each of us resides a hero. I don’t think we are programmed to think this way. That we feel it is boasting or unbecoming to feel that we have characteristics that certainly qualify us as hero‘s. Each day we overcome our own personal circumstances, and act in certain ways that are definitely in accordance with those parameters that surround the idea of hero or heroic.

Raising a child is one of the most heroic things a person can attempt. It is the first time in my life when I was not at the center of my universe, she was. I always put her first and on that handful of times where I feel I have let her down, they still hurt and I will take those to my grave.

Every day each one of us does something that is outside our normal routine. Sometimes they are just little bits of kindness and considerations, holding doors open, letting people merge in traffic, smiling at someone, thanking someone for doing their job, cooking your spouse that special thing they like, holding your tongue when you want to say something caustic, going the extra little bit that makes the difference when you do not have to.

We all catch fire when we are called upon to step up and operate outside our comfort zone. Then just as quickly, we slide back inside that familiar place called ourselves.

We all have hero’s under our skin, residing in our hearts.

And I salute every single one of us!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fat don't Fly

Sitting around the family table after the satisfying group effort Birthday meal for my Dad, I was listening to my two sisters discussing a forthcoming ski trip to Salt Lake City.

They were tossing back and forth the various pro's and con's of Utah vrs Colorado. I was only half paying attention, stuffed full of mashed potatoes and grilled chicken. Adrift in the warm feeling that accompanies being satisfied and among those you love the most in the world.

Through this blanket of contentment I thought I heard my sister Omega say to me, "Why don't you come along too?"

I immediately had a flash back to several years ago when I signed up for some elementary beginning ski lessons at Paoli Peaks.

It was all bad.

I had dressed as if I were heading to the Artic. Granted it was very cold, in single digits, so my outfit was warranted. I had bought ski pants, ski socks and ski gloves. I had on long underwear and blue jeans under the pants. I was layered with long sleeved t-shirt, blouse, my wool Irish Fisherman sweater and topped off with a wind-weather-water proof jacket. I was not going to get cold.

In short time, the sweat was pouring off of me.

First off, I put those boots on and stood up and.....could not walk! How the hell are you suppose to walk in these things!! I watched some little kid do this spastic kind of shuffle and I did the same. I did it as long as I could to avoid putting on the skis.

Eventuality I had to.

Our instructor made us walk up the hill sideways. He made us fall down on the frozen snow to teach up to get ourselves up. He took our poles away!! He made us hold on to a rope and haul our asses up to the top of the bunny hill. Then, we skied down. Or tried to, with the tips of our skis pointed towards each other to learn speed control.

Mine kept crossing each other and I could not stop once I reached the bottom of the hill, The instructor had to catch me every time.

I was sweating a river under all those clothes due to the relentless and unforgiving physical activity.

When were finally given our poles, I flung myself down the hill with my two weapons flaying around like windmills as I screamed with terror and exhilaration.

They were taken away from me again.

I finally fell down and hyper-extended my thumb. (It took forever to heal).

When I finished my time travel back in time,I was looking at my sister with an expression that registered somewhere between, "Do you want to kill me" and "You must be kidding".

I finally answered, "Fat don't fly".

"Not Ski Jump, you big baby!........."

She painted a cozier picture than what I experienced at Paoli. She will not ski either because she can't (hmmmmmmmm, knees?) but she is going to read a lot, hang our at the bars and learn to ice skate, go swimming every night and chill out in the hot tubs.

I'm tempted.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

The Sunday Scribble this week is to examine and interpret the following anyway we wish.

"I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman).

I had a vision of an airplane flying over a beautiful tundra,(it looks like Africa), and a woman (me), dressed in safari clothes, especially that cool hat, doing battle over the steering controls!

The metaphor is engaging and interesting, but I can not get the image of me flying a plane into the side of the Cameroon Mountains out of my head.

So I segue to Shakespeare:

This above all: to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day; Thou canst not then be false to any man.

And then I segue to my Dad, who I wanted to write about anyway.

Today Joe and I travel home to Kentucky to attend two monumental birthdays. The first, our grandchild Tinkerbelle is celebrating her first birthday and the second, my Dad is celebrating his 87th.

Every Fathers Day, every Christmas, every birthday we celebrate with Dad I wonder if this is the final one we will spend together as a family intact. My mother loves to retell my fathers recurring dream, for he no longer can articulate the memory, that at the age of 90 he will pass away in the back of a church, and my brother N. will find him and bring him home.

Each of us six siblings has an exclusive kinship with our father.

As I grow older and allow myself to understand it, I realize that he passed on to us the desire and drive to follow our hearts, excel without apologies, and always strive to be better than we presume ourselves to be.

"You're a "OUR-FAMILYS-SURNAME"!" He'd tell us with his finger in our face and fire in his startling blue eyes.

I miss my Dad. He is locked in a high tower of dementia, his memories sadly ripped from him. Sadly for all of us.

I dream of him at times. He is always at the prime of life. That is the way I want to always remember him.

And to never forget what he tried to instill in each of us when he taught, To Thine Own Self Be True.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rainy Day Woman

Today was one of those days that you wish you never wake up to again. It has been a very stressful several days at the job. In the end things worked out. No one died.

I like that attitude towards work. When I would get upset and worked up, my ex-co-worker would remind me no one died, and no one is going to die.

It was not my customers that got to me today, but the Head Honcho.

My supervisor motioned for me to follow him out into the warehouse, which I did, thinking that I was going to be reprimanded for talking too loud about some other bull shit I had to put up with (people can be so rude on the telephone when they are not looking at you! When you are just some faceless servant to them. Someone to listen to their whims and demands and bitch at you about your company. Some people have a lot of nerve. Sometimes I crack under the assaults and give some back. Most the time I try to insult them so that they only get it after they hang up the phone if they ever get it at all) and I was letting off some steam.

But it wasn't that at all. The Head Honcho over heard my super asking me if I had checked my voice mail and I answered honestly. No, not last night and not this morning.

The HH told my Super that I had not listened to a voice mail he had sent out and I had questioned him about it.

I told my Super that my co-worker, one of the Smart Alecks, had announced that HH had left a voice mail and when I went to listen it was not there. What's a girl to do?? I asked HH about the voice mail! He told me it was an e-mail.

I relayed this to my Super while my face began to turn red. He shook his head and said I had it backwards, it was a voice mail, not an e-mail.

I retrieved the e-mail and dangled it in front of my Super. (because I am a self righteous bitch). "I'll need that", he told me as he took it from me.


Am I being written up ....yet again !!! This shit is getting very old and to think the HH is from the south!!

First I got all of us written up for not turning in my weekly report because (I always have a good excuse) I went to Cleveland for the Saw Doctor concert!!! I asked my Super afterwards to please not write the Smart Alecks up, to just let me bare the brunt of the HH's wrath. He replied that in the past the Smart Alecks had neglected to complete their weeklies on time, so it was justified.

The Smart Alecks did not deserve it.

The second time was over an oil change in the vehicle. Of all stupid things. I have another good excuse for this one.....the procedure up here is different than down there!! So my oil was long over due according to the mileage...and it is well noted in my dossier.

For a long time now I have had the feeling that the HH is uncomfortable around me. Why? Who the hell knows. God knows I am a very talented slacker. Maybe the HH suspects. I don't know.

I don't like being ignored in the hallways and always having to be the first to say "Good morning" or any other type of recognition. He hardly makes eye contact with me.

Maybe he is secretly in love with me.

Yea that's it.

It's been a very long time since I have ranted. Thank you for the opportunity.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Women Really Want

The questions that has been asked for centuries if not millenniums, "What do women really want?"

I believe I found the answer quite by accident while in the office. It is really so simple! Women want a good man, one they can laugh about when comparing stories with other women.

This is how it happened! My office "in the back" is very tiny. Just large enough to squeeze in four desks, two cabinet files, and a fax machine. Oh, and the four of us. Three very good looking men, and me.

At various times I am concerned that I am going to "cut the cheese". Ever since that first time, when I knew I was in peril of humiliating myself in front of them, I have used extreme caution with what I put in my mouth during the day so I do not shame myself that last hour in our cage.

It was the Indian Corn that did me in. Who would have thought that this particular brand would not agree with me. I suffered. I would jump up and run into the rest room and then return.

I was home free until.........

God, was I humiliated! To the guys credit, they ignored me. Though, deep in their hearts I'm certain they wanted to fall on the floor laughing. Because they are guys.

Red faced I went to the "front office" where all the woman are (they secretly run the entire business from there!!)I told them what had happened and how embarrassed I was and how I could not go back there.

"Oh for God's sake", B. the office manager cried out.

"None of them would be embarrassed! They love to cut farts!! This is my husband."

And she lifts up her leg, scrunches her face up and says, "PPPPPPPLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLL.......aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh"

Then C., the receptionist says, "This is F." And lifts her butt off the chair and sticks it high up and out, "PPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPP........ahhhhhhhhh."

The the other C., Administrative Asst., runs from around her desk and sticks her butt straight out, bent over hands on knees, "PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPP.... oh baby! That's how teenage boys do it!"

We are laughing hysterically now, tears rolling down our faces sticking out butts out and going, "PPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTT".

Then our boss comes out of his office and just looks at us.

We can't stop laughing.

"Ya'll worse than men," he comments and then returns into his office.

Yes, that's the key to this age old question.

Give us women something to laugh about!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Another Sunday Scribble, another Memory.

I reach into my secret place of memorable mornings. The morning after giving birth to my daughter, the morning I woke up an honest woman, the morning I awoke a college student in a dorm room in Murray Kentucky, the morning I was driving up US 119 into the Smoky Mountains and the golden sun light dancing through the canopy of trees gave everything the most surreal brilliant glow that it stays in my mind like a magnificent masterpiece.

Perhaps the most dramatic was a morning in Cancun last October. I was not certain if that morning would ever arrive.

My husband and I were vacationing in Mexico when hurricane Wilma arrived. When I use the word, dramatic, I do not use it lightly. We were herded into a shelter the day before the storm was to arrive. The next afternoon, the roof began to lift off, not being able to withstand the growing fury of the wind.

I had a heavy feeling of doom. Panic was rising from my stomach and making its way to my mind as I watched the roof lift and fall showing us the violence in the sky. 2500 of us were evacuated as quickly as possible to seek out other shelters before the storm reached land.

Approximately 25 of us boarded a bus and headed into the storm. We were let off at a school in the heart of Cancun and we ran, being pursued by the trees beginning to loose root, and the 100 miles per hour rain and wind battering us.

We landed in a room with the random selection of 25 other soaked and scared souls. We became close family for the next five days.

We locked ourselves in and waited for Wilma to hit. It was 6pm.

Wilma began her assault on Cancun at 7. The sky turned black and the wind became an unrelenting roar that did not cease for the next 12 hours.

I prayed all night. I used my fingers as rosary beads. We were in pitch black, hearing only the sounds of breathing and the murmur of pray, and the soft offerings of assurance to those most frightened. Evil sounds swirled around the outside. Trees flying into the building, metal sheets disengaged from the shacks surrounding us slammed into the sides of the school, the occasional wailing of an animal, and the most horrifying of all, the sounds of humans still out there.

No one slept. We waited. Waited for it to pass or swallow us.

As morning approached, the wind began to calm. The rain no longer beat against the walls forcing her way into the small room through the wooden slat windows.

A total calm arrived in time.

Morning broke.

And we ventured outside to see what remained. The whole area was under water, the trees tossed about like rag dolls, Stunned local folk came to the school, tentatively at first, then as friends bearing what food they could offer and the little information available.

It was the eye of the storm.

And in time we were forced back into the room for a second siege of Wilma. She was smitten with Cancun and spent another night making violent overtures to her.

We all knew we would survive to see the next morning.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Thank you Sunday Scribblings for the memories....

I hold a snap shot in my head.

It is faded from age. A little dog-eared from the handling. The people, almost unrecognizable, ghost babies from long ago. Children sweet and young, one in a cowboy hat with toy pistol, the other less dramatic but an intense intelligence already characterized on his face. The mother long legged, or so it seemed to us small children, laying on the bed, a child under each arm and a book held aloft for easy access to turn pages. Myself at the foot of the bed, aloof and listening, a doll in my hands.

The Little Lame Prince.

The Wizard of Oz

Alice in Wonderland

Arabian Nights

Peter Pan

Winnie the Pooh

Profiles in Courage

Tarzan, of the Apes.

Only one chapter a night. We begged for more. Please, please, please.

Okay, only half a chapter, I don’t want you getting up late for school!

Fast forward 20 years to my daughter. “Let’s read a book!”

“Okay, Mommie” and always without fail, over and over again it was BUT NO ELEPHANTS. I did not need to look at the words on the page, I had the whole story memorized.

Another snap shot beginning to show the damage of age.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Reason Number Three - The Crime Report

I imagine that every place has its own style when it comes to crime reporting in the local newspaper. Every town has its own flair describing the activities that society deems criminal. My own small home town approach is cut and dry. We have a weekly that everyone, and I mean everyone, pours over the Police Reports to see if any familiar names are there to tisk tisk over. The specialties in central Kentucky usually revolve around marijuana fields being discovered and tractors being stolen in the dead of night. And of course, the occasional shooting at each other. Usually politicians running for the sheriffs office.

But nothing compares with the Daily Dirt Dished out in Key West.

From the September 28th issue……..

A man who officers reported pulling over about 1 a. m. Wednesday for not having lights on his bicycle got in more trouble when cocaine reportedly was spotted through his fishnet pockets. D.G. tried to eat the drugs, and one of the officers was hurt trying to stop him…….D.G. was booked for having no lights on his bike, battering a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, possessing cocaine and tapering with evidence.”

There was a second one, not as colorful, but still………

A woman was arrested on battery charges after she allegedly ran into the Fraternal Order of the Orioles and assaulted another woman according to police reports.”

There is something both alluring and romantic about living in an area where you have to worry about encounters with unlit bicycles and liquored up women.

Both are very dangerous. If only the rest of the world was so dangerous.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ode to Coconut Rum

I decided to run to the grocery store on the way home from work this afternoon. It had become evident to me last night that the cupboard was bare as I scrounged around for something to snack on before going to sleep.

I began to fantasize about purchasing a bottle of coconut rum. The big jumbo kind. Big Industrial Strength kind. 1.75 Liter kind. Last a long time kind.

It took a lot of control to avoid the liquor aisle. Especially since another item I really needed was located in the same immediate area. I prevailed. I persevered. I passed.

About three weeks ago (has it really been that long?????) I decided I was drinking too much. Rather than fantasizing about purchasing a bottle of hooch, I was mentally pouring the elixir of life as I raced home.

It's not too bad, this self denial. It makes me realize that my fears of being an alcoholic can be put to rest.

I just love coconut rum.

And think of the money I will save. In a years time I should have enough saved to take a trip to Malawi and buy an orphan.

I mean adopt a child.

Friday, October 20, 2006


While blog surfing last night I ran across this interactive blog called Sunday Scribbling. A word would be thrown out and you write an essay/poem/story what ever your little old heart desires and then link to the site.

"Say the word and you'll be free,
Say the word and be like me,
Say the word I'm thinking of,
Have you heard the word is
" ..... GOOD

The first thing that popped into my head is Martha Stewart. I realize Martha has been done to death, but I have not had a crack at her yet.

I must have been the last person on the face of the earth to become aware of Martha Stewart . And when it happened , it was love at first sight.

I believe it may have been in October of a year long past. She was making little ghosts out of tootsie roll pops. I was mesmerized and immediately hooked.

I began buying her magazines at the second hand book store (50 cents, I am one tight bitch). I dreamed of refinishing furniture, planting my own English garden, making a five course dinner for a group of my intimate friends, creating a shadow box from mementos collected from a beach vacation, making my own trellis, furnishing my home with incredible finds at the flea market, turning out the perfect chocolate chip cookie, making my own candles, my own wine.

Martha was my how-to Guru.

She spoke to the latent hippie that lives under my urban facade. To the yearning in my breast to be one with the land. To have my own vegetable patch and hundred acre estate somewhere in Never-Never Land where there are no time clocks, no dead lines, no rush hour, and every hour is happy hour.

I hated to see her go down. Even though all indications pointed to her being a Wicked Witch. I thought her courageous to march off to jail claiming to be innocent rather than cop a plea and avoid the inconvenience of incarceration.

And I applauded her when she emerged, thinner and grayer, wearing a sweater her fellow inmates presented to her as a going home present. One, she no doubt, taught them to knit.

I loved it when she did not obey the rules and was caught leaving the confines of her house detention. She probably had to run to the store and pick up some Chardonnay.

Even though Martha is not the golden girl she once was, I still believe....It's a good thing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Number Four - The Characters

What makes a trip more than just a vacation? What takes it from simply escaping from the drudgery of day to day survival and turns it into an exhilarating experience? An extraordinary adventure?

Why meeting the local characters, of course!

Those tiny random interactions form the tapestry of the memories. The nuances, the spice, the flavor of the area come to life through the people you encounter and engage.

It's so easy to get people to talk. Just find their favorite subject. Themselves!!

At the Art Co-op the lady who came from the back of the store to tend the counter was someone not easy overlooked. As we paid for our purchases Joe and I began to chit-chat with her. Up close, I got a good look at her and she was old. In her late 80's, white hair, stooped slightly forwards, her face tanned and lined as only many years in the Florida sun can sculpture. She was tiny, under five feet, with clear blue eyes.

I asked if she owned the place. "Oh no, I just work here several hours a week. The artists take turns doing this." She proceeded to tell us the hardships of paying the overhead!

I asked if she were an artist. "No, my husband was."

And so it went, "How did you arrive in Key West."

By the Alaskan way, husband in the Navy, terrible accident, retired in '63, lost the bottom part of his jaw (did not want to hear the details of that). How she and her son live in a home that was hit hard by Hurricane Wilma the year before. How they struggled to make ends meet.

It would not stop. She barely had time to catch her breath before starting in on another long dissertation about either repairing her porch for $38,000, or how much she spends on her electric bill. On and on and on. I had inched myself half way out the door, holding it open for Joe and apologizing on why we had to leave and could not stay and listen to her for the rest of our (life) stay in Key West.....

Then it was the Winery where we sampled all the wines before making a decision for the Strawberry and Blueberry. There we found a transplant from New Jersey who still operated shops on the board walk there. We fell into a discussion about 911. We learned how the real true owners of the winery shop were from Washington State and only came in every so often. Ah, to be rich.

Then to the convenient store to cool off and see if there were any unusual beers only available locally. The very young clerk told us he was "retired" form the service. He did not look to be over 20 years old! I commented on how young he appeared. I somehow must have hit a nerve because he stood up and assumed a military position and informed me that his father was Career Military and signed him in at 16. He was in Iraq in 1999...and gave us a look like I would know he was not suppose to be in Iraq on a mission in '99. He took a hit from a RPG in the arm, shoulder and left side of the body. Some of the shrapnel remains in his body as a reminder .

Then there was the guy who was sitting at the bar called the Hogs Breath Saloon. He was wearing a Wilma T-Shirt. We had a lively conversation about him staying on the island while the storm raged and how the water was up to his chest as he waded to higher ground.

And Clay, who arrived in Key West after a tour of duty in Viet Nam in 1968 and never left. He has visited his Mom only twice since then. The last earlier this year. He knows it will be the last he will see her alive in this life time.On the wall was

a picture of him with his company. I found him immediately and commented, "You were a handsome young thing." He glanced at the photo, took it down from the wall and looked at his image from 40 years ago, touching it lightly with his fingertips. "If only I had realized it then", he muttered.

As beautiful as Key West is and could be considered a character by herself, it is the people Joe and I met and spoke with. They are the true beauty of Key West.

And it is them that I carried home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Whispering your secret emotion

I have been in a reading frenzy as of late. Devouring one book after another, realizing there are not enough hours in the day, in a life time to read them all. I went on a book buying binge on Friday and dragged home enough to keep me happily content for awhile.

I found it necessary to drag out my World Atlas and find Borneo.

I read the most amazing description of a journey there, by two British adventurers. The time frame could have been last week, it could have been the 1800's.

It was the Butterflies that took my imagination by surprise. It was the brief description of one character looking over at the other, found him laid out in a hammock reading, covered in butterflies.

The image was technicolor in my mind.

I took out the Rand McNally road maps of North America, and traced my finger along the route from Ft. Wayne to ...anywhere close. Canada is above me, huge with possibilities.

I will not find my butterflies there, but it is close enough for an adventure.

Borneo will have to wait.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Sometimes I am at a total loss for words. Meaning, there is nothing swirling around in my brain that is interesting enough to write a few paragraphs about. My brain is tired anyway from a semi-sleepless night. I tossed and turned and fretted about a big event I had going on today. I obsessed about it even as I slept. I was convinced that it was going to go badly, that the team effort I needed would fail me.

I was unable to badger anyone about it yesterday as I was tied up in a meeting in Indianapolis all day long. How does one day become so long? After our lunch break we had a marathon speaker.

First my legs began to get antsy. Then my eyebrows. They itched. First the right one then the left. Then my ears! I was moving as if I was covered with ants. I needed out of there to walk off some of my nervous energy which was manifesting itself into a major fidget fest.

Finally, the break and I bolted out of there as if on fire. I headed for the nearest EXIT sign and threw open the door and headed down the steps. As soon as I hit the first landing I knew I had made a mistake.

Just like Miami.

Joe had decided we needed to do laundry before heading to the Port of Miami and boarding the ship. This marvelous hotel had a laundry on the floor directly below us. Joe had challenged me to take a more active role in getting the load finished and into our luggage. Challenge may have been too kind a word…..

I huffed off and found the closest “EXIT” sign leading to the stair well. I went from the eight floor down to the seventh and leaned against the door.

Nothing. The door was locked. Oooopps.

I headed back up the stairs and to my horror the door would not open there! I knocked and pounded on the door hoping that I could attract the attention of someone, anyone in the hallway. This went on for a few minutes and I gave up.

Thinking I could make it to the lobby I started to descend. The urge to panic began as I found every door on each floor would not open. Eventually I made it to the garage level. I could smell the nauseous fumes and hear roar of engines but once again the doors would not open!

I could only hope that Joe would miss me in time and form a search party and they would find me trapped in the stair well! I began going back up and checking each door again. I noticed a scary looking hallway under one of the staircases leading into another dark area. I had nothing to lose, so I held my breath and went in.

Sweet Jesus, there was an escape at the end of the tunnel. Beautiful sunlight peeked from around the door edges. It was an industrial type with two panels that met in the middle. I tried to open and it would only budge slightly, teasing me with more of the sunlight of freedom. With as much force as I could muster, fueled by panic and near hysteria, I shoved on both doors at once! By some miracle, they swung open and I fell onto the back patio of the Hotel that opened up into the Bay walk.

I reentered the hotel through the back glass doors into the lower floor level. I passed the two restaurants, several retail stores, a sundry shop, a bakery, and two lobby’s (this particular hotel was two in one) to reach the bank of elevators on the other side of the building.

I had to hold my head high as I passed what seemed like thousands of curious onlookers and hotel guests. After all, it is unusual to see someone roaming around in their bathrobe and hair rollers…even in Miami.

So when I hit that landing yesterday I just knew that door was going to be locked. And it was! I was about to panic and scream “Help” when the door opened and a curious kind health professional asked me if I need help….

Man did I ever! I almost wanted to kiss him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Great Escape

Today was one of those days where absolutely nothing went right. Problem after problem arose and demanded immediate attention. Everything that was out of whack was not my fault, yet it is my job to make it right. I try so hard to make everything run smoothly but I can only do so much. It is like a tag team. If the chain is weak somewhere, my customers only know that I have failed them.

I hate that.

It makes me want to fly away like a bird. To escape it all. To disappear.

To run away.

I'm not very good at running away. I first experimented with it in fifth grade. My best friend B.A. and I were going through a stage where we were walking downtown after school. She had to stay after school and wait for her Mom to pick her up after work. There was no day care back then, you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Just us hanging out with the nuns helping to cleaning chalk boards. We eventually graduated to shop lifting and became very brazen about it. Our M.O. was to sashshay into the Five and Dime, grab one of their bags from under the counter, walk through the store and snatch, of all dull things, school supplies, tossing them into the bag!

When we finally got caught we decided it was better to run away than face our parents.

We began walking out of town down a country road. We must have walked for what seemed like miles when a car pulled over and rolled down their window and addressed us, "Have you seen B.A.? We are looking all over for her!"

Hell, no one looking for me. No one knew I had run away!

I don't remember much more of that episode. Except I got a good whooping.

Now I just head to the nearest library and submerge myself into one of my Great Escapes. I dream about getting another job and surf the internet and catch up on my Dream Job. Usually it is to join a charity organization such as CARE or UNITED WAY or THE CANCER SOCIETY. When I recover from my delusions of trying to save the world, I progress to wanting to see the world and envision myself as a Travel Writer.

Then my lunch break is over and back to the grind of making excuses and feeling helpless.

At least no one is going to whoop me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006



On a visit several years in the past we stumbled on this store and read the tale of "Last Flight Out". At that time we did not purchase a tee-shirt. I have kicked myself in the proverbial butt ever since, because it is something we mention to each other every now and then.

To my delight, we blundered into it on this trip!

The story goes like this.....

Back in the old days (1970's) there was one airline that flew into Key West. In the bars, instead of "Last Call" they would announce "Last Flight Out" which departed at 11pm.

Whether the plane left or not was always a surprise. Sometimes the plane was full, other times it just was not leaving that night.

Thank Goodness there was an airport bar open 24 hours a day. Sometimes the crew of the plane would be among the revelers at the bar.

This time, I bought the tee.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Tomorrow is Joe's Birthday!

The most fun, besides finally being able to lay out the dozen or so Birthday cards I have accumulated through out the year, is giving him his gift.

Gift giving is one of the things I do best. Why? It's simple. I poo-poo what ever he really really wants....

"You know what you can get me for my birthday?"


"A gun. I really need a gun."

Eye roll and look of total exasperation from me. I know why he wants a gun, he thinks its for "protection".

"And how many people have you actually had the opportunity to shoot at?" I ask after the obligatory sound of "Pfffffttttt".

We have an understanding that what he gets is what I really want and then I show him how to use it and then it becomes both of ours.

Not really, but he has pointed this out to me on several occasions in our nearly ten years together.

I know he is going to love the camcorder I got him. (do they still call it a camcorder?) It has cute tiny little disc's that go into the computer so you can load it up and make those wonderfully entertaining You-tube things with. I am addicted to "Tripping on Words" who makes much use of them.

I also think it is going to be a great incentive for me to lose weight!! I'm going to be devastated to see my big fat-butt on the computer screen. Perfect type of motivation for me.

He is going to love his birthday gift, oh yes he is!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


(pictures by Joe)


Joe wrestled the camera away from me and took a dozen photo's in SLOPPY JOES Hemingways favorite watering hole when he resided in Key West.

Besides being so tourist friendly, it's a great place to have fun no matter what time it is! (11am)



Monday, October 02, 2006



After shopping on Duval Street we headed into Capt. Tony's for a beer and some local ambiance. Capt. Tony's is the original site of Sloppy Joe's, another key West historical bar where Hemingway hung out and drank.

Business cards, along with brassieres, panties, ball caps, license plates, and other varied articles of clothing, adorn every bit of space along the walls and ceiling. You can see where the cards have met disaster, Hurricane Wilma of last fall, yet they remain intact, if not a little worse for wear.

As in every bar in Key West, there was entertainment. A performer with an acoustical guitar and his dog laying at his feet, he had a repertoire of songs that included everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis.

A walking tour group arrived to hear the history of the building. Not only was it the watering hole of Ernest, it was at one time a morgue! As the group took over the back of the room and our muscian friend sang Elvis' "Falling in love with you" a sudden thunder storm decided to pay Key West a visit.

Suddenly every light in the bar turned themselves on and shined brightly for a fleeting and astonishing moment....then all went dark. The microphone went dead....his strong yet gentle rendition of the love song faded as he sang...

"As a river flows
Gently to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be

Take my hand - Take my whole life too".......

As if cued, everyone in the bar began to sing.........

"For I can't help falling in love with you.
For I can't help falling in love with you"

We gave ourselves and our musician friend a round of applause. I think the drinks were on the house as we waited for the storm to pass and the sound of rain beating the streets and the roof to fade and resume the hum of fans and airconditioners.

It was a beautiful and peaceful five minutes.



I have enough Kino sandals to last till the next time. Kino Sandals is the most unpretentious, comfy and functional shoe factory in the world. Hand Made and $10!

The wine is almost gone. Why is the wine so goooood in Key West? I loved the Strawberry Riesling Wine. Courtesy of Keel and Curley Winery.

Joe and I hiked all the way from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. On our journey we passed this cozy little Art Gallery. I had my heart set on purchasing some sort
of art to take home. And I got lucky. This was a coop-gallery. Affordable and capricious. And red.

Very red.

Sunday, October 01, 2006



Key West has got to be one of the most beautiful, stimulating, colorful, soul-stirring, exhilarating, fanciful, outrageous, whimsical, boisterous, frolicking and funky towns in the United States.

Look what it did to Hemingway.

Look what it does to all those tourists and visitors who make the journey! After one visit it becomes part of you, one of your most treasured memories. Like a vivid tattoo on your soul.

That is, if you get it.

If you do "get it" then returning becomes a pilgrimage.

It is a place that is best described with photo's. I'll leave the written descriptions to those more qualified. To the poets.

Roosters, roosters everywhere you look. At first you hear them. Cock-a-doodle-do. Why do they roam free? They seem to be given free reign going everywhere and any place they want? Into bars, into restaurants, into the traffic, strutting their stuff down Duval St.

Who knows why, but they seem to own the town. There is even a place is like a haven for the sick and infirm, the unwanted fowl. You can even purchase one if you want.

Though they seem to have no master....if you ask me

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Leaving Paradise Behind

I became slightly depressed knowing that the holiday was about to end. The familiar yet mundane life I left behind called me home. The creeping acceptance of the inevitable. The bittersweet. The realization that I actually did leave all my cares behind. For seven blissful days not once did I think about work! And on the evening of the last day aboard ship, I sat on the deck on the 11th floor, the weight of what I left behind settled on my shoulder and watched the sunset in the stormy sky leaning on me.

On a ship, you are never alone for long. Behind me I heard the shrill and bossy voice of an eight year old girl. That tone is known to mothers all over the world. This bossy woman-child sashayed to the rail and looked towards the setting sun. She turned and ignoring me, concentrated her remark behind me, "No! No! You stay right there!"

Around the corner of the laid out sun chairs, with a canister of soda pressed to her tiny breast, came the two year old. She wore a simple pink empire line dress with a ruffle on the hem and around the sleeveless arm holes. Her hair was so short, and so wispy, the fairy hair of the very young. On the island , she must have had beads braided along the top. On her tiny feet were girly-girl pink sandals.

She stumbled and staggered in that run/walk normally associated with drunks and two year olds.

She stood along side her sister and got tippy toed.

She pointed!

"I see a dolphin", she cried out.

Her older and much more sophisticated sister rolled her eyes and informed her..."You can't see a dolphin! It's too dark"

Her mother appeared from the right and in a soft murmur told her youngest daughter that the dolphins were sleeping.

Little Pink handed her mom the soda container. Turning towards the sea and grabbing the rail she puffed out her chest and began calling loudly, at the top of her lungs.......


It was my very favorite moment of the trip.

Sadness took a dive. He sleeps with the dolphins.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I'm considering changing the name of this blog. In the beginning I thought the name was so clever.

Now it just seems old and worn out. I need to reinvent myself.

Recently another one of my blogging buddies changed the name of his blog and it just automatically changed in my bloglines.

The handful of people who keep up with this blog I hope will hang on.

Okay, I've considered and I am doing it.

Also, heading out on a trip tomorrow. Hence the luggage.

I think I may have one post in me before taking off.

Good-bye MLIAOB.

Somebody is probably going to snap it right up!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


(My daughters luggage at Standiford Field in Louisville after our trip to Tampa in May (my only bag is the one with the colorful spots...the rest is hers, I kid you not))

I was so busy being a single parent and going to night school that the need for luggage was an expense I by-passed. If needed, I would borrow some miss matched pieces from my Mom. I distinctly remember her green Samsonite. I felt secure with Samsonite knowing that the gorillas in the luggage department would not be able to destroy it, even if they tried.

I continued to borrow my Mom's stuff on various occasions through out the years.

When Joe and I decided to go to Colorado, I rushed to Walmart and spent a whopping $50 on three pieces of matched cheap luggage. They were great! They looked exactly like everyone else's luggage and were very difficult to find on the carousel in the luggage claim area. It required that I put little colorful dots all over our stuff. Cute and effective.

Not only has it traveled to Colorado, but to Boston, Gatlinburg, Chicago, Cleveland, several times to Miami, as many and more times to Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, (I love Florida), Columbus, Detroit, Knoxville, Louisville, Jamaica, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Nassau, Ireland, Cancun and Dahlonega.

It survived the category five hurricane Wilma in the bath tub of the Rue Caribe Hotel in October of last year. It survived being lost after a trip to Miami.

It has begun to show the signs of constant wear and tear. The inside of the suitcase is breaking apart. Little pieces of plastic siding fall off every time it is used as of late. The zippers stick.

It's only five years old and time to retire. Yet, I really like the scuffed up look this luggage has acquired. It has aged well and with dignity. No self respecting thief would give this set a second look. Certainly nothing of much value could be in that ugly, worn out Walmart brand baggage!

My wonderful and thoughtful husband surprised me with a set of new luggage! Beautiful, big, light weight and pink. Yes, pink. No need for colorful little dots anymore. I will have the only hot pink bags on the carousel! I just know it!!

My beautiful new Ricardo luggage will catch the eye of the luggage handlers.