Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ya gotta eat ...

Zeta and M told us about a good deal through a local radio station's web site. It is an offer of gift certificates for local establishments available at half the face value, if bought through the station's site. We bought one for a local restaurant, forgot about it, and it has almost expired.

Yesterday, we went to lunch, en masse, to redeem our certificate. The establishment wasn't open. Zeta and M recommended the nearby Rockfish Grill as an alternative. The food at the Rockfish was delicious. Really good. It is now another little
jewel that that we will keep in mind. We told Zeta and M that if we are thinking of trying someplace new, we will ask them first. They are becoming our restaurant gurus.

Still, the certificate will expire tomorrow. I called Joffrey's this morning. They apologized for not being able to open on time yesterday. The waitress had an emergency. It's a cozy li'l place, can you tell? Not large, but friendly and the food ... the coffee ... mmmwah.

We will be forced to go to Joffrey's this afternoon. So sad, for us, heh.

From our experience with a previous certificate, we know that any funds remaining from the first visit are returned to the user via a gift card, right there on the spot.

What drama ...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Family picture ...

When Town and Country mall closed for retooling and our nearest Sears died with it, price cuts grew like beanstalks. In the nearly empty Sears, I made friends with a Tilia Foodsaver vacuum sealer and it followed me home.

I have become an unpaid advocate for the thing. Just mention it and I will tell you much more than you want to know about it.
Zeta and M have one, too. When various family members came to visit earlier this year, they saw what it could do and they bought one when they got home.

I got an email from that family recently which detailed how much money they are saving. It is gratifying to see their enthusiasm.

I mentioned, to them, something about the steamer inserts that I use to hold the sealed bags off the bottom of pots of water when reheating or thawing/warming. They wanted to know what kind. Below is what I sent them.

Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Up for adoption ...

Our Adopt-A-Tree program is scheduled to begin soon. The trees offered in May will be Vera Wood, Pigeon Plum, Longan and Tamarind.

The one tree I am interested in replacing with a like species is the Mango we lost. Mangos are scheduled to be offered on Sunday, June 8th from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Northwest area. Don't these people go to church? Guess not.

The next time they are offering Mango trees for adoption is on Saturday, August 16th, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Fair grounds. They will be offering Dahoon Holly, White Geiger, Jackfruit, and
♪ ta-daa Mango.

August. Whooo hoo, that will probably be a Sahara type day, don't you think? Only not so dry. Poor little hothouse grown Mango sprout will probably sunburn in August.

Here's a counterintuitive question: do they make sunblock for trees?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The wrong line ...

In the line at the grocery store: the woman ahead of me had two boys with her. The larger boy, about 4 years old, was in the child seat and the smaller who looked to be a year or so younger was sitting in basket where groceries usually go. She had just a few items on the lowest shelf of the basket, below the little guys.

Something upset the older boy while she was unloading her items to the moving belt on the counter. He started yelling at her, at the world. Trying to use the safety belt to hold him in place just made him more agitated. Still yelling, he began to throw his upper body from side to side and back and forth. He balled up his fists and hit her. Grabbing his hands, she soothed him by telling him to be calm, be calm; that he was going to hurt himself; that she was holding his hands to keep him from hurting himself; to keep him from hurting "Mommie."

With one of her hands holding his at the handle of the basket, she bent down to get the last item from the lower shelf. While she stooped, he bent over and clamped down on her hand with his teeth. I heard her gasp and she let him go to clutch at her own hand. He went immediately still, staring at her.

She never raised her voice. She held him against her and whispered to him. Then she turned and finished paying for her purchases. Her face was blotchy with emotion and so was his.

I felt like mine should be, too. The cashier and the older man who was bagging for her both looked stunned.

I am still not sure if I witnessed a tantrum or a set of symptoms. And I still feel as if I should have done something. I just don't know what ...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Reality of a sort ...

J and I have been watching Survivor and Big Brother9. Do we need to get a life? When these series are ended, we will miss our weekly fix. After the previous Olympics (summer and winter both) that we watched were completed, we remember having the same wish that there were more to watch.

We are, however, really looking forward to 08/08/08 and the Olympics’ opening. Polities aside, the athletes themselves are admirable characters for the most part. Unless it is discovered after the fact that they took ... never mind.

We will just have to put up with the pangs of withdrawal after the closing ceremonies. Of course, there is always the one last season of The Amazing Race: supposedly this year ...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A shot in the ...

Today is the last time, for a while, that I can wash my hair without wearing swim goggles to keep the water out one of my eyes. Two dry weeks, they have to spend - with another probable two weeks in favor of the remaining peeper.

It has been a blessing though. So far, my central vision remains usable because of the treatments. I hope these continue to work until I curl up my toes.

There is a very dark joke that one of the benefits of memory impairment is that you meet new people every day. In my case, it would mean that I could read the same mystery over and over and still be amazed at the surprise ending. :)

As long as I can still see to read, I am so thankful.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dot dot dot

I am much too fond of ellipses. Can you tell?

Others may be addicted to multiple exclamation points or quotation marks like double fingers flickering for emphasis. I like the trailing of an ellipsis ... it seems to demand further inference. If the reader will participate, I don’t have to complete the thought to its possibly absurd conclusion.

When I found a blog template of dots, an “aha moment occurred. (Ignore those "quotation marks")

I was charmed!!! (Ignore those exclamation points!!!)

Home, it was deja vu.

What a relief that I didn’t feel compelled to say: “deja vu, all over again.” Now that would be sooo lame!!!

Just so you know ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WSJ needs a stork ...

We subscribe to two newspapers, one is the local Herald and the other is the Wall Street Journal. When they both get delivered, the folded, bagged papers are usually somewhere near the mailbox, by the sidewalk. Herald delivery has been as regular as clockwork. WSJ broke their clock, regularly.

I began to telephone the WSJ's 800-number each time we missed our copy. The subscription personnel and I developed a troubled relationship. They were sorry for the inconvenience. They offered to deliver the paper right up onto the front porch. Several times, they offered. We accepted the offer each time they made it and then pointed out that the delivery label has "del to porch" printed right on it.

Last Friday, I called to terminate the subscription. The young woman with whom I spoke said that the delivery service had been replaced by a new one and the WSJ should appear every day but Sunday. I agreed to try once more.

The next morning, when I looked outside, there it was: one newspaper was on the front porch, all by itself.

It was the Herald ...

Monday, April 21, 2008

In the wild ...

As children, we used to go fishing with our parents, into the Everglades, along Biscayne Bay, or down in the Keys. This was before air conditioning in private homes became common. We three kids were accustomed to riding in the back seat with the windows open as far as they would go. The semi-tropical airs could give you a facial windburn if you were not careful. The front seats had a triangular vent window which, when opened, somewhat protected the faces of luckier riders.

We were coming back from one of
our secret fishing spots on the edge of the 'Glades, via a dirt road which ran through dry brushy growth. Using a dirt road mandated a slow pace to keep the dust down. Mom was driving when she called to us to quick, look out the back window. She had noticed something in the rear view mirror.

When we did, we saw that
a Florida Panther was following our car. It was about 20 yards back down the road, ambling along with a deliberate, loose jointed gait. its head and spine were held relaxed on the same level, as it came. The shoulder blades were working up and down as it lifted and placed its front paws. It was perfectly at ease, ignoring our car and, after we had watched for a short while, it turned to its left and disappeared completely into the brush. It was thin, but healthy looking, as I remember, and it ignored us so absolutely that we had no fear of it.

We would not have gotten out the car, though ...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Foraging for ...

I was beginning to think I knew the pangs of a deprived crack addict. Last evening, when Big Ed called home to say that Publix-on-Bird did not have any sugar-free white cupcakes and did we want chocolate, I said no. J said yes for himself, and so I went without.

I watched them eat their daggone chocolate cupcakes. Big Ed did offer me a piece of sugar-free candy out of pity. But I bided my time. Okay, I ate the candy but I still bided.

Today, on the way home from church, I stopped at the big Publix across from the university. I garnered four boxes of s/f white cupcakes. Now, I shared one box, but the other three are mine, all mine!

If I were a dog, I would bury them ...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ai sai, auld fellew ...

We like quite a bit of BBC America programming. Periodically PBS runs a series of Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle, which makes us happy. But, for us, the quintessential modern Brit mystery appeared on the Biography Channel: Midsomer Murders.

Chief Inspector Barnaby,
Detective Sergeant Troy, and company pursued criminals regularly in Midsomer. We took it for granted, settled in, and suspended disbelief until Barnaby left, only to return the following week. Then (how dare they) the programming changed. We have been without a Midsomer fix for months, it seems.

Until in moderate desperation, I requested that the library purchase a Midsomer DVD, available from Acorn Media. I asked for just one DVD. The library purchased four. Three have arrived today. The campers don't care if they have seen them or not.

They're happy ...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Busted ...

We had not bought any Sensables. I knew Big Ed, who was not home, had some in the refrigerator in his room. I told J that I would borrow one and replace it when we made a run to resupply.

In Big Ed's room, I rummaged through the boxes in his fridge. Nothing appeared appetizing, so I closed the door and turned to see the cat, sitting in the exact middle of the room, staring at me. Her gaze was intense with amazement. I explained that it was not theft but would have been a loan. She just kept giving me "the look."

Talk about being busted ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Winter, elsewhere ...

These pictures are of R and A while they were on vacation. They illustrate what winter

can be like elsewhere. They also demonstrate that a vacation to winter can be a fun experience, judging from their expressions ... especially the snowmobile driver.

Lake Tahoe is in the background and I believe the one of A by herself is at Virginia City. Don't you wish you could have stowed away in their luggage? What a great experience to tuck away in their own, personal Random Access Memories.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Say what?

There is something about going to the grocery store and forgetting to buy bananas. Taking a list does not help if you don't put everything on it.

But, does forget really mean not remember? Or can
it mean that someone, naming no names, did not ask about bananas until the shopper returned home? There is a little discrepancy in that logic, because the shopper wanted bananas, too.

I guess forget means what it means, and we both did ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Extras ...

If our weather were like this year 'round, there would be a gate at the border and we'd have to pay to get in. What a beautiful, weatherly day. The semi-tropical plants may not be happy with its low humidity, but as a semi-adaptable human, it hit my comfort zone, exactly.

Today, being the tax deadline, McDonalds offered comfort food at comfortable pricing. Quarter Pounder or Big Mac were buy one, get one for a penny. I'll have two of the extra ones, please, for two cents. Yeah, right.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I apologize, this may be more than you need to know ...

How badly do we want a digital, battery operated emergency television? Look: Here

Additionally, in his column at, David Morris writes: "... While RadioShack currently has a 7-inch Accurian handheld portable battery-operated digital set for around $200, there's a good chance as we approach "D-Day 2009" other manufacturers will enter the arena, offering more choices and lower prices ..."

We have 2008 to use our emergency battery operated TV. Let us hope we don't need it and that the new digital batt/opp TVs will become as inexpensive as calculators.

The future is evidently this one from Sony. In covering the "International Consumer Electronics Show," CNN wrote:

The ultimate in thinness is achievable with a completely different screen technology: organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. Sony Corp. announced it will soon start selling the first OLED screen in the U.S. It's just 3 millimeters, or one-eighth of an inch thick ...

They're organic. Will we have to feed them ... can you possibly drop by while we're away to feed the cat and change the sandbox under the TV? Of course it is more than a couple of thousand $$$, right now, for an 11 inch screen. It is also completely viewable from a side angle.

I want one, oh, about 52 inches, to hang on the wall where J's present monster takes up the corner of the living room. I hope I live long enough to see them like solar calculators, portable and accessible to everyone.

I think I'll go read something as an antidote to all this tech/talk ...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The gettery list ...

Things I keep forgetting to buy: vacuum bags (running low, too), Method hand soap (I remembered but the new pump is broken and I have to exchange it), spaghetti squash, ballpoint pens, a hand mirror, light bulbs for Big Ed's fan and for the recessed lights, ant killer (no, not aunt killer), underwear (never mind whose), a utility shed, and a leaf blower.

Pretty diverse forgettery, isn't it? The unhappy truth is that after making this list, it will feel like I have accomplished something.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oddly comfortable ...

A while ago, J's mother gave Mew a kitty condo with three interior levels and a padded penthouse roof which she found comfy and elevated. She loves to be brushed and combed atop that penthouse roof as part of her morning routine. She only explored the lower levels once or twice and decided that they were not as good as the penthouse. Her brush and comb are stored in the top cavity. The second level houses all of our remotes for various electronic equipment. Mew is okay with this. I have her permission.

The Humane Society mailed a freebie little fluffy blanket as part of a request for donations. I folded it into fourths and dropped it at the foot of her tower. Immediately, she stepped on it and decided it was the best thing since green olives.

She naps only here, for the present. I hope when the novelty wears off she will resume tower living. Two people have suggested putting the blanket on top of the condo. But, if she starts to fall off and grabs the blanket, she and the blanket both will hit the floor. Awkwardly.

She did that once with a pillow and it was not a pretty sight ...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If wishes were horses ...

Yes, of course. There is a bug which affects our digital television changeover in 2009. There would have to be one, wouldn't there? I was feeling rather complacent about ignoring the changeover to a digital-only platform. As digital cable customers, we don't have any analog sets running and so the changeover shouldn't affect us.

But no. We actually do have an analog set that has a built in antenna. It is D-cell battery powered and we use it during power failures after hurricanes. It's a cheap little black and white gem that sits in its box from one summer to the next unless it is needed.

I did some googling to see if there is a solution to our problem and did not discover one. "Get a radio" seems to be a common answer to getting storm information. Duuh, we have several battery powered radios. Watching a radio is cold comfort.

I want to watch the weather person endure it with us when the storm gets nasty. I want to see the maps so I can tell if our neighborhood will be on the strong or weak side of the storm. I want to see where the eyewall will strike.

I want my Mommie ...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hark ...

This morning, I heard a sweet, faint sound coming from some distance away. It was the gentle sound of a jackhammer. This is not the common name for a migratory bird, nor is it in the woodpecker family.

The jackhammer is single footed and double eared. It sinks its foot into our consciousness and our concrete curbing. The by product of this activity is not a new nest in the neighborhood, but a new pest.

The dreaded roadwork. Soon, it will be targeting a corner near us ...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If only ...

I'm never satisfied with the weather unless it is in my exact comfort zone: cool; sunshiny (or light overcast); dry, but not too dry; if I have to be out in it. Soft rain with light winds if I can stay inside and read.

Being such a p'ticular creature, It's a good thing I'm not in charge of the weather. We would never get a soaking toad-strangler if I were choosing. The roads would always be dry if I had to drive somewhere. It would stop raining instantly if I had to load the car with groceries or bring them in the house.

Maybe I just need a forcefield bubble around my immediate area ...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Visitor ...

We had a visitor tapping at the door. He was not properly introduced and therefore we did not let him in to play with Mew. She was horribly disappointed at the obstinacy of our refusal.

The parents of the visitor were agitated and screaming until we took our potential playmate away and closed the curtain. Subsequently, he must have moved to the side of the yard as the parents moved over there and were flying in and out of the hibiscus bushes.

We wish the little guy better luck with his next playmate ...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I know, I know ...

I have to admit it. I didn't give them enough time. Although the weather people predicted afternoon T-showers, tonight was when they came. After dark. Almost after some peoples' curfews.

Around 9:45, well after dark, I am sure the fronds were wet. They could not drip, however, because the wind was blowing the rain sideways. Rain blew on, over, and then away from the palm fronds. It may have carried into the next county before hitting the ground. We did get some from the previous county. It blew hard enough for me to decide to put new batteries into a dead flashlight.

That alone kept the power from going out ...

I'll know it when I see it ...

There were promises. The weather prophets said we would have rain, today. Actually yesterday there was the possibility of a likelihood, perhaps, but we should definitely get some free water today. They said. Assertively.

There has been brilliant light from the heavens, all day. It is now about four in the afternoon. Time for me to go and put the stockpot on the boil for turkey and yellow rice with green beans and onions. I was hoping for coolth. The only sort we seem destined to get is the artificial kind and thank heaven for that.

Tomorrow? I don't even want to know what the
water prophets have to say about it. I am no longer their follower.

When the palm fronds start to drip, I will suspect rain ...

Saturday, April 5, 2008


These pictures were sent to me, today, by J's brother (above) and his wife, who is pictured here, as well. The young man in the pictures is their son, Jimmy, who died in a tragic traffic accident in February of this year. He was 36 years old.

I asked permission to share these pictures. It was granted freely.

We went to Jimmy's funeral service. Everyone spoke of his ready smile, which is pictured here. I am grateful to his parents for allowing me to post these remembrances of a sweet young man who was taken from us so abruptly.

I firmly know (not just believe, but know) that we will see one another again. Jimmy was a Christian who accepted Jesus into his heart as a teen.

May God Bless his family and comfort us all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ready or not ...

While taking this picture, no living creatures were harmed, but a straw from a broom was killed, absolutely.

Portable cave: free @ Publix.

Rescued cat: Vet fees and occasional boarding: costly.

Feeling safe from broom straws, lizards, spiders, and mice: priceless!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hiding in plain sight ...

Everything but the kitchen sink? Something in the kitchen sink? An April Fool prank? Try door number two. Look inside by the corner.

This morning as I turned on the water in that same kitchen sink, a rapid motion caught my attention. Now, I admit my attention had not been out of bed long and was not fully awake. But still, the only thing that should have been moving in the sink was swirling water.

Focus. Nothing there. Must have been a floater in the eye. Then there was movement again and a tiny lizard revealed itself. Its colored camouflage was as close as it could get to stainless steel. I swear, if it had not foolishly moved, I would have just washed it's tail and left.

It is now outside, having been gently caught and released in the grass. It had a double escape in that Mew didn't know it was there. The mighty hunter has depleted the house supply of lizards.

This little one did not get the word ...