coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Bacon and plenty of it

In the time-honored spirit of excessive winter holidays, I made a killer brunch on Christmas day. It was delightfully over the top. Of course, if we ate like that every day it would kill us. On Christmas we throw caution to the wind. Depending on your beliefs, this is a time for joy and celebration in hopes of welcoming the sun or son. I'm a firm believer that to bring back the light, we must eat and drink with abandon and without regard for things like fat, salt, weight gain, or cirrhosis of the liver on this one magical day of the year.

We feast on biscuits with sausage gravy, and potato and cheddar cheese frittata with a variety of salsas. There is citrus salad, sliced avocado, a bloody Mary or two, and the King of Food, bacon and plenty of it. In years gone by, I slaved at the stove frying up strips of bacon. The popping and spitting bacon grease ruined many a Christmas sweatshirt, and the house would smell of bacon for days. That is not a bad smell, bacon; but it gets old.

In recent years I have seen recipes for baking bacon in the oven to avoid the mess. This year I thought I would give it a try. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, lined a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil folded up all around the edges to catch the grease. I put baking racks on top of the foil and carefully placed bacon to ensure I used up every single blessed strip. I loosely laid a piece of foil on top to keep my oven clear of splatter, and then baked it for about 25 minutes. The recipe said 10 - 20 minutes, but I was nervous so I let it go a little too long.

It was good, although not as greasy or succulent as fried bacon. How long you bake it determines how crisp it gets. I left mine in long enough that it practically disintegrated in your mouth. The pieces broke when you tried to pick them up. There wasn't any leftover so I am assuming it was good enough, but next time I'll shoot for 20 minutes.

Fried, not baked: better

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas 2018

I can't help but notice Christmas brings out the best in people. So, why can't that last?

During weeks leading up to this holiday, color-blind donations are made to give poor children Santa presents and warm clothes. Food drives are conducted by churches and civic organizations. Everyday people fill boxes to distribute to families less fortunate than themselves. Then comes the New Year and we revert to our selfish, hateful, fearful selves. Doesn't that seem odd?

Shouldn't we be good and do good every day? Holiday generosity could easily translate into supporting social programs providing food and healthcare for children each day of the year. Hey, let's support job training programs that provide real skills to their parents while we are at it.

Geez-o-Pete, we could love our neighbors regardless of color, religion, country of origin, or who they choose to kiss under the mistletoe. We could even celebrate differences because they are so damn interesting. The recipients of our kindness wouldn't even need to be citizens. This love stuff is crazy! Once unleashed, who knows where it might end? Love may be a Bizzaro World Pandora's box.

I'm neither perfect nor a Christian; however, I have always liked Jesus for the radical social justice superhero he was. It seems like some of his followers don't take his teachings all that seriously. Why is it that Buddha and Krishna had better luck with their followers actually following through with the whole love thing? This makes me wonder where Christianity went wrong. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. 

And extra points for anyone willing to point the finger (not the middle one) at St. Paul.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kentucky Bourbon

We recently visited Louisville, Kentucky. There is a lot to see and hear about horses and the Derby; however, Louisville is all about bourbon. It seemed every restaurant had an extensive bourbon list. Distillery advertisements abound. This made me want bourbon with all my heart. What could I do? 

We were happy (and fortunate) to attend an event at the Pendennis Club, a lush private gentleman's club which is apparently the birthplace of the Old Fashioned. I also had a bourbon based slushy at a fantastic barbeque joint downtown. I drank a variety of bourbon infused drinks at the trendy 8UP restaurant overlooking the city late one night. Okay, maybe two nights.

We were intrigued by tales of the elusive  Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 year-old bourbon that sells for a small fortune, if you can find it. It's all very hush hush and on the down-low, a brilliant marketing strategy. The distillery making Pappy Van Winkle only releases stock once a year.  Small-batch, indeed!  In fact, this is what they say on their web site about finding it: 

"We know our whiskey can be difficult to find, so our advice is to ask retailers in your area if they expect to receive stock, and if so, how they plan to sell it. Many retailers use a lottery or a waiting list to sell our stock. We recommend you get on as many waiting lists and enter as many lotteries as you can.

Best of luck!"
We visited a candy store (Art Edibles) featuring small-batch bourbon truffles made by the first and only bourbon-certified chocolatier in the world. The salesperson gave us each a free Old Forester truffle to eat and then talked us through the resulting taste sensations as if we were embarking on a guided imagery meditation. It was transcendent. I may never be the same. 

We went to the Old Forester Distillery one afternoon for a tour. An image now burned into my brain is of a vast vat of fermenting whiskey, steamy hot of its own volition and bubbling away as it worked magic unto itself.  It lives.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Most Famous Reindeer of All

The other night, while driving our 6 year old grandson home, we made up silly and a slightly naughty lyrics to Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. For instance, "Comet" became "Vomit," "Cupid" became "Stupid," and Rudolph became the "Snot Nosed Reindeer." We pulled out all the stops, using as many gross terms we could imagine to make a 6 year old boy laugh out loud. When Grandpa substituted Shitzen for Blitzen, I thought little N would bust a gut. Good times!

I don't remember my grandparents doing things like this. I fear I am a bad influence. I always knew I was with my friends, but I figured I'd outgrow it long before I became a grandmother. Guess not.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Alright already, I cleaned.

This post is for my blog-friend Sabine, who is often the voice crying out in the wilderness. 

Baby Sister texted to thank me for posting about our mother, and we reminisced about childhood holidays. She remarked on the work Mom did to stage those holidays. She said how thankful she was Mom made the effort because it provided lovely memories. Baby Sister waxed poetically about pulling out Mom's good china and setting a beautiful table under Mom's direction. Sheesh.

mother was a great cook, but a lousy housekeeper.  She's famous throughout our extended family for her messy house. So for her to summon up the energy to discard all the accumulated junk on her dining room table was a monumental act of love in itself.

Great, I thought to myself as I squirmed uncomfortably in my chair with the phone to my ear. Now in addition to cleaning like a crazy woman, I had to go through the boxes in the garage to find the good china?

I muttered a stream of swear words that would make a sailor's eyes pop out, pulled my lazy #%* off the couch to start cleaning the house and digging out the china. I made the effort not because I wanted to, but because my grandkids deserve Thanksgiving memories of a beautifully set table at their grandparent's house.
The things we do for love, right?

Is that all? Well of course not! I'm a sneaky old woman and I'm leading up to something more important than cleaning; climate change. If we don't start making the changes to deal with this, there won't be a future for our grandchildren, great-nieces/nephews.

Why bother? Well, why bother breathing?!

Climate change WILL be at the top of the list for the new Democrat majority House of Representatives in the U.S
While they deal with the big issues, we must muster the energy to overcome our cynicism and despair on the home front. We can start creatively imagining new ideas, new industries, alternate economies, better and more effective political strategies so there will a reasonable future for those we love.

Call me naive, but to me there is nothing more important right now than this: reuse, recycle, re-imagine,
rethink, and redesign. Please make the effort.

Popeye would do it.  Bluto would not. Be like Popeye.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Do I have to clean my house for Thanksgiving?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday. It is as if I went to sleep last July and then woke up this morning. What a wonderful and personally satisfying interlude this election cycle has been. I'm looking forward to more of the same in 2020. 

But now I have to come down to earth and face the cold hard truth. I'm going to have to clean my freakin' house in anticipation of a big family dinner. Let's just say the housework has been a bit neglected and a serious holiday cleaning is in order. Yikes. It will take me days. I better get crackin'.

I'm sure it is hard for readers outside the U.S. to understand Thanksgiving, unless you are Canadian. Then you have already been through yours and you know the drill. But the rest are probably wondering what's the big deal with this Thanksgiving thing, and why don't we just wait until Christmas for Turkey? I don't know. We just don't. We're American, for better or worse. 

Thanksgiving is a family-based holiday, but not commercialized or decadent like the U.S. version of Christmas has become. It is about food, memories, and love. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves. I bet a lot of the people who will celebrate on Thursday dread it like the plague because they will have to sit next to their mean-spirited aunt, or their racist father. Politics, religion, and unresolved emotional themes will ruin yet another family meal in some households. Oh well, as long as the food is good. It is really the best meal of the year.

I love Thanksgiving food. Thinking of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, moist cornbread stuffing with nuts and dried fruit, homemade cranberry sauce, and all the rest make me happy. A special memory is my mother's pumpkin pie. Oh, Ma! I miss you so.

She never bought canned pumpkin. Nope, not my Mom. She bought small pie pumpkins, split them in half, cleaned out the seeds and baked the pumpkin in the oven before scraping it out and making the pie. THEE pie. The perfect pumpkin pie. It was totally different than one made with canned pumpkin. Hers was luscious; darker, complex, textured, better in every way.

Everything was usually made from scratch in her house, but certainly always on holidays. She would even make homemade bread for Thanksgiving. We topped it off with jellies and jams her and my father "put up" (i.e., canned) every August.

I have had dreams about her three times in the past two weeks. In truth, this is what the holidays really do.  They conjure up ghosts.

My mother in pink, 1988

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Counts and recounts

Well, the thing about elections in Florida is that they never seem to end. We came very close to winning the Governor, Senator, and Agriculture Commissioner, but on election night it seemed we lost. 

However, over the next few days they kept "finding" votes that were not counted.  Seriously.  So now the Agriculture Commissioner candidate who was declared the loser last Tuesday has more votes than the so-called winner. Both the Governor and Senator races are within one half of one percent difference between candidates. 

The result? Probably automatic recounts for all three races. It will be weeks before we know the results or who the true winners are. But at least now if we lose, we'll know the truth. And we'll know the places in Florida that need to be held accountable for incompetence at best, and fraud at worst. 

In addition, we now have a cadre of seasoned progressive candidates who will try, try, again. The only thing better than winning outright, is coming back after a loss and winning the second time around. Winning isn't always clear cut; however, win or lose, this progressive energy feels like a huge victory for Florida. 

In the meantime, we took back the U.S. House of Representatives! We are powerless no longer. Hang on to your hat.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween, Florida style

Please tell me I am not the only person who has already consumed an entire bag of Halloween candy that was (foolishly) purchased weeks ago?

I am not looking forward to cleaning out two large pumpkins today. However, I am looking forward to lighting them up this evening. October is warm here. We sit outside on the front porch and wait for the neighbor kids to arrive for treats. They are cute, and I enjoy talking to them. And I'm probably one of the few people who enjoys teenagers who show up in packs. Yeah, I know they are too old, but so what? Halloween is a neighborhood event, and I like the idea of teenagers still wanting to be children who are a part of this fun community ritual. I'm glad they are begging for treats instead of wreaking havoc throughout the neighborhood.  Honestly, I wish I could still dress up and trick-or-treat, too.

Halloween Florida style

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Better than an action movie

I'm sure you are all sick to death of my political posts. Hang in, please. The mid-term elections are less than two weeks away and then I promise to go back to Colette's World style posts. For now, though, I am having the most fun of my adult life with this Florida gubernatorial race. Like so many political battles in this 2018 mid-term election year, this represents the divide that exists in this great country, and it delivers the best hope for breaching that divide and returning us to a healthy democracy.  

Last night I watched the final debate between the progressive Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and his Trumpite opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis. The first debate had more quotable quotes, but this second one was absolutely epic. I spent that hour on the couch whooping it up, pointing, snapping, and feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time. It was more exciting than watching the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series last year, but oddly similar in spirit. And yes, Andrew knocked it out of the park. 

and here's a video of it in case you are as obsessed as me:

Friday, October 19, 2018

If you are in it for the long haul

If you are in it for the long haul, you have to pace yourself. 

It is important to know when to rest, when to breathe deep, and when to look away. From time to time we must step back in order to come back swinging. Not only is that okay, it is essential.

And don't forget pleasure! Pleasure and joy play a role in sustaining a long struggle. Those are the moments that remind us life is worth living. Balance requires joy.

What is life but a series of obstacles that must be overcome? One can always surrender, it's true. But where is the fun in that? What is more important in your life than fighting the good fight? 

Struggle is the great work. If you can maintain hard work and committed living for the long run, in spite of the pain, you will have lived a heroic life. I guess there are some who don't particularly want to be heroic. I don't really understand that mindset, but I know it is a valid choice. Lots of good people live quiet lives. Do I envy them? Yes, some days I do. They remind us of what life could be like if life was normal.

For many of us, for whatever reason, life will never be normal. You are the people I'm talking to right now. Pace yourself. 

Being normal is overrated

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weed 'em out

It's hard to keep up with the weeds in my perennial beds. The summers in Central Florida are long, hot and oppressively sunny. It is impossible for us to get out there between June 15 and October 15 and weed. Instead, we mulch heavily in spring and hope for the best until Halloween approaches. 

We've been trying to use pine straw mulch because it is natural, native, and good for our acid-loving plants. Okay, we do it because we're trying to be politically right-on. However, I'm finding it similar to using herbal meds for physical issues. It sounds good but just doesn't work. Getting rid of weeds may require a sturdier mulch, and more of it. I'm sorry to say this. I really wanted to be kind and gentle, but those weeds must go. Time to get serious.

We've had a ridiculous amount of rain in the past few months so our hopeful, once thick and massive cover of pine straw has broken down quickly. Weeds are not smothered, they poke through the straw. They seem to benefit from the pine straw as much as our azaleas do. They grow and multiply. We're going to have to dig out an entire bed of Louisiana iris to get to the weeds and start again. This time I'm going to spray the tubers with water to try and wash out the weed seeds before replanting. That'll show 'em, right? 

Weeding is a fight that may never be won, but must always be fought. 

Reminds me of politics. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

October in Central Florida

I'm too stressed and overwhelmed over the upcoming elections to write much these days.  However, I am enjoying October in Central Florida so I thought I'd share some photos from our farmer's market and Lake Apopka.  Later today we're going to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival at Disney World with our daughter and granddaughter. I may have more photos for you later this week. 

Pumpkins for sale at the farmer's market

The fishmonger at the market

Hot dog stand

Awapuhi Ginger for sale
Heron on the loop (bike) trail alongside Lake Apopka
egrets hanging out in a tree, spider lilies at the bottom

plant crud, looking down from a bridge

A small alligator, moving fast
I should know what this is, but I don't. It is a water plant.  Do you know the name?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Check yourself

Here's a great site to check voter registration deadlines, your voting status, and find your voting location regardless of state:

Voter registrations deadlines are early this week in most states.  If you haven't registered, please go online and do so ASAP.   It has never been more important to vote.  Go high. Vote as if your rights depended on it.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Get thyself to the polling station

With the televised Kavanaugh hearings it has become crystal clear that our wealthy, white, male ruling class is hell-bent on maintaining power and control. Luckily, we are determined to wrest that control from their bloody hands.

Bonfire of Republican Vanities

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What the heck?

For cryin' out loud, it happened again! 

I was out on a bike ride with my husband. He was way ahead of me, as per usual. I was huffing and puffing trying to catch up with him. Then a young couple on fast bikes passed me on my left. As they raced around me, the woman yelled to me "You are SO cute!!"  

WTH? Apparently I'm going to have to learn to live with this cute/adorable thing. This better not mean I will have to stop dancing at weddings or drinking martinis at downtown bars. Will doing all sorts of normal adult things put me at risk of standing out as "cute" now? I will be completely honest with you. It is making me a little self conscious.

I find it interesting that no one yells things like that out to my husband. He wears a pork pie hat when he rides. He also has yellow and green streamers flowing out of each end of his bike's handle bars, as if he were 6 years old. I have repeatedly told him those streamers are ridiculous, but he doesn't care. He actually IS the cutest thing you've ever seen, but strangers don't seem to feel they can yell inappropriate personal comments out to him.

Well, I have decided I will NOT give up biking just because other people are overcome by my elderly charms. I'm a chubby, gray haired baby boomer and I'm super damn cute. I also have an adorable bike. Get out of my way. I'm nearsighted.

Hers and His

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

If you've got it

I found a new hair stylist to cut my hair.  She is my daughter's stylist and I like her very much.  She does a good job, charges reasonable fees, and has purple hair.  She also has real artwork by real artists on her walls. It makes me happy just being in her salon, looking at all the colors. Unlike the chrome on white walk-in salons I've been going since I've been in Florida, this seems comfortable, edgy, and welcoming.

She told my daughter that she thought I was adorable. Adorable... I'm not sure I know what that means. It is not the first time I've been described that way by a young woman in recent years (i.e., since I got old). The day of my retirement party I wore leggings, a silky tunic top, and an asymmetrical light sweater. When I asked my younger colleague if I looked ridiculous, she said "No, I think you look adorable." That did not fill me with confidence, but I chose not to care. The party went on as planned.

The hateful old hag who lives deep inside me wants to look for ageism everywhere. She wants to disdain this as a backhanded compliment. The Good Colette, however, is thrilled and wonders how I can make being adorable work for me.  I mean if you've got it, flaunt it - right?

Any ideas?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

I am an inert mass

Some people have panic attacks, some have heart attacks.  I seem to have attacks of inertia. 

These quirky spells usually follow a period of extreme activity.  It is a pattern. I work like a crazy woman at something or other for a relatively long time, then I start forgetting to do important things because I'm overwhelmed.  I'm pretty sure this is my unconscious mind's way of telling me to slow down... and quickly, please. Which I then do as if I was slamming on the breaks. After that, I find it hard to do just about anything for a while.  I become inert. 

Here are the things that are way too much for me to do this morning:
  • finding a book to read
  • peeling boiled eggs
  • putting photos in my photo album
  • picking up my grandson's toys and putting them away
  • vacuuming the living room
  • taking my new flip flops out of the box
  • moving the cleaned clothes from the washer to the dryer
  • figuring out how to change the formatting of this list from bullet points back to normal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Peach Pie and Politics

I'm eating peach pie. My husband's pie crust is remarkable. We are a team; he makes the crust and I make the filling. I must confess this is my lunch today. It was either leftover pie or a salad - no contest! Actually, I am only pretending this is my lunch. I know for a fact I will eat that salad, too. 

While indulging, I am researching candidates for circuit and county judges. I have my mail-in-ballot for the Florida Democratic primary sitting on my desk, and I am trying to figure out some of the more arcane choices so I can finish up and mail it in. Florida's primary August 28.

I'm fairly certain who I will vote for as Governor, positive about Commissioner of Agriculture, and struggling with Attorney General. I love my U.S. Congresswoman, so will definitely be voting for her again. The judicial candidates and the school board elections are the tough ones for me, there is not nearly enough information available.

Florida has had Republican rule for 20 years. During that time they've controlled the Governorship, the State House and the State Senate. The Democrats got sloppy as a result, and became less effective at choosing and pushing good, competitive candidates...until now. We have a wealth of great candidates, many of them new. The Democratic party is being transformed by progressives entering the arena. Big changes are coming in Florida in November, unless Voldemort tampers with our elections from afar. It seems they are already trying. Shame on them!

And that, my friends, is why I am voting by mail. I want a copy of what I did. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It didn't rain at all on Saturday!!! 

Why would I say such a thing? Well, it has rained, and I mean POURED, every afternoon or evening for most of the summer. In trying to imagine a Florida summer afternoon rain shower, I would have you think of torrents, sheets, cats and dogs. We have to drain the pool by an inch or two a couple days each week so it doesn't overflow (and by "We" I mean my husband). 

This is the rainy season in Florida. Even though it didn't rain for an entire day, the ground is still squishy. There remain pools of water in low spots, and water rises in every nook and cranny. It is also the hottest time of the year. I am not complaining, not really...  I would still rather endure August in Florida than January in New York State. Anyway, it's hot, muggy, and messy here. 

In truth, I am in awe of (and in love with) Florida. I respect the harsh beauty. I avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. I battle primeval insects. I photograph alligator, egret, and ibis in the wild. Our back yard includes 4 palm trees despite their lack of shade. I grow canna lilies and banana trees. We have annual passes to Epcot (after 4). My county is blue. Actually it is Orange County, but you know what I mean. I relish the natural and cultural diversity one finds here.
I wear hats and slather myself with sunscreen, for crying out loud. This Florida place feels like home.

Oh Lord, I just heard some thunder. Which reminds me, I need to start stocking up on hurricane supplies. 

This is the kind of damage fire ants can wreak when you don't watch where you step

Friday, August 3, 2018

Scratching my head

Have you ever noticed that if you use certain words/names in your blog posts that the number of views in your stats from certain less than desirable countries rises dramatically?  I wonder how much these professional snoopers get paid to make the world a worse place to live in? 

I think we all know what we must do to fight injustice, evil, and lies.  Vote!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bone Tired

Yes, I am bone tired. I am back from the family wedding that warranted my new haircut. I had a great time, filled with family, old friends, and a ridiculous amount of fun. I also had ice cream twice, as well as wedding cake. Wine flowed. Sinful abandon abounded.

Now that I am home, I find myself exhausted. I did nothing yesterday, and I may do nothing again today. I'm trying to figure out if this is a physical reaction or an emotional one? It is likely a combination of the two. I refuse to admit that I am simply aging and have less energy. Oh, Hell no!

In the meantime, my nephew's wife is having a baby. She is having a hard time and a long labor. I wish we were still in Indiana so I could be sitting vigil in the hospital with my Baby Sister. Saturday she married off her youngest child. A few days later her oldest provides her first grandchild.

If sonograms can be trusted, today we add another heroine to the family saga AND Baby Sister and Mikey become grandparents! My nephew and niece-in-law's lives will change forever. Everyone's life will be enhanced when this baby arrives. I may be bone tired, but I am shaken (not stirred) by these glorious events.

Today I will be on the couch reading, napping, and resting my weary bones.
Perhaps I'll get my mojo back after this stubborn baby girl is finally born.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

On passing for normal

I'm going to a family wedding this weekend. I got my haircut so I could pass as normal. Aaack, the pressure to conform. How I hate it. 

My hair has been rather long for awhile - way longer than I should probably wear it. However, I don't like going to the hairstylist. For me it is akin to going to the dentist, just another thing I must endure from time to time.

The last time I got my hair cut was September 2017. You can imagine how long my hair was this morning, before it all came off.  Long enough to pull back in a ponytail, or messy bun.  I like the idea of older women having long hair and pulling it back. I have seen many women of a certain age looking lovely, elegant and artsy with long gray hair. I love that look. Unfortunately, I can't seem to pull it off.  If I grew a few inches taller and lost a half a million pounds (or got my neck "done") it might work.  But that just doesn't seem to happen.   

I don't have another wedding to go to until December. That means I don't have to get my hair cut again until the end of November.  Yay.

Friday, July 13, 2018


I know, I know, forgiveness is a difficult concept. When someone has done something bad enough to warrant our forgiveness, we are usually too angry and resentful to even see straight. So the concept of forgiveness seems out of the question. Only weak people forgive, right?

I'm not so sure. I'm tired of hating and resenting certain people in my life. It is like burning in Hell. I think the real heroes might be the victims who refuse to be eternally victimized. The ones who choose to forgive so they can move on, as unblemished as possible. Because when you forgive, you don't say it was okay. Bad things are bad things, and forgiveness doesn't wipe that away.

Forgiveness happens when you say that the problem belongs solely to the one who treated you badly. You still have to deal with the social, physical, and relationship damage inflicted, but you don't have to hate. If you can forgive, you cleanse your psyche of the darkening stain that particular transgression (or injustice) casts. You walk away with a real chance to heal. The sin stays with the sinner, where it belongs. Am I being naive?

Here's a really interesting YouTube video (by Nadia Bolz-Weber) explaining forgiveness in that light. It made me think:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Some people make me sick

I'm currently sick of interacting with people and need a break from reality. 

I am not a misanthrope, au contraire!  I like people very much. I am a social being, and I care deeply about society. I am able to forgive, and I trust easily. I admit my mistakes and apologize when I lose my temper. When younger, I had an endless capacity for love.  Or perhaps it was simply an endless capacity for the bullshit of others.  I dunno.  Hard to differentiate.

At any rate, I am cranky and snippy. I have just alienated a person with my bad temper and I feel bad about it.  However, she still makes me sick. 

I hate when I do this.

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
Ambrose Bierce

Monday, July 2, 2018

My beautiful New York State

If you've never been to the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York, you may enjoy seeing these photographs. 

Libe Slope at Cornell University, looking down to Cayuga Lake
Looking to opposite direction. That's Ithaca, New York in the valley     
The overlook, gazing down at Taughannock Falls near Trumansburg, NY

Taughannock Falls from the walkway
Standing at Taughannock Falls looking up towards the overlook

One of the walkways at Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York

R, CH, T standing above a small falls, Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY

The top of Lucifer Falls at Treman State Park
Add caption

The bottom of Lucifer Falls
Wine Country, Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, NY

Water and rock formation in Treman State Park

Sunday, June 24, 2018

My beautiful Florida

A cranky osprey on a telephone pole

A discarded fish skeleton hanging from a telephone wire

heron and alligator coexisting

I think this is a juvenile bicolor heron - feel free to correct me

Egret with just the right amount of yin and yang in it's neck

Dwarf poinciana and butterfly.  Feel free to tell me what kind of butterfly it is

The mucky swamp land with a heron smack dab in the middle

More mucky land, this time with attitude

Monday, June 18, 2018

Good Old Matthew

I've been meaning to write about the political trauma in this country. I certainly live it everyday, and have been as active as I can manage without losing my mind.

I am heartened by the outpouring of public support fighting to end the cruel policy of stealing children from their parents at the Texas/Mexico border. I have even learned a new bible quote (is that what you call them?) that is now my favorite. I use it to shut down hateful, heartless, soulless trolls: Matthew 25:31:46. 

You know things are getting complicated when a heathen agnostic like me starts reading the bible to get clear on what is and what is not Christ-like. But I was raised pre-Vatican II Catholic. That stuff (the golden rule, morality, aversion to sin) never really goes away. At least it never went away for me. What I don't understand is why so many Fox News Christians don't follow the teachings of Christ? What's that all about? It is almost like they are following the anti-Christ, ya know? At any rate, they certainly are giving Christianity a bad name. Oh well, their choice.

Here's a fun meme, ha! Feel free to download and share it widely. And then vote as if your immortal soul depended on it come November.  See, I can still talk that talk!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Settle down or someone is going to get hurt

I thought I broke my damn toe the other day. It's not the worst in the grand scheme of bad things; however, walking and biking are a big part of my daily routine. Right now it is black and blue and a little sore, but I can bend it so I think it is okay. Yay!

How did I do it?  Well, I am in the habit of racing my little grandson, N, from the front door to the car when he leaves our house. It started out more of a command performance than a habit. Now it is a simple joy. As he is leaving he looks at me with those big brown eyes and exclaims "Race you, Grandma!" I can't resist. I have only won once or twice because he is much faster than me.  But I run for the joy of the race. 

My husband, T, was amused and wondered out loud if I have reached that age where I should stop acting like a child. Sorry honey, but as long as that little boy wants to race me, I'm gonna run.