In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

50 Shades of Emmy... 50 Shades of Grey Pales In Comparison

50 Shades of Grey plays out in our home on a regular basis. No, it doesn't involve ROM and me- the kinkiest we get is having sex with the lights on. We get our pain from arthritis and believe me, there's nothing sexy about it. And piddling in my panties when I laugh or cough is all the humiliation I can handle. The aging process is S & M  for us seniors. 

Don't let this sweet face fool you... 



The freak in our house is our Jack Russell Terrier, Emmy. Even as a puppy she was dominate- taking toys from Isabella who is much larger and older than her, rushing to be the first out the door, charging to the edge of the yard if another dog dared to walk by her house, lifting her leg to pee and then kicking and scratching the the dirt to mark her spot and just generally being a pain in the ass. With lots of training and positive reinforcement she eventually recognized ROM and I were in charge and she begrudgingly accepted we are the boss (and that we control the treats she so loves). 

Though she had been spayed as a young puppy, we began to notice her sexual propensity after she turned a year old. The first hint was when she'd be laying on our lap and would suddenly stand up and begin humping. We'd tell her a stern "no" and push her off our lap. She quickly realized we wouldn't put up with her kinkiness so she found other outlets.     
Isabella is always a lady and doesn't even like her butt sniffed which means she wasn't going to be a willing participant in Emmy's debauchery. Lacking a willing partner to fill her dark sexual desires, she found ways to self satisfy- often at the oddest times. She'd be casually walking across the room when she'd suddenly stop and furiously begin humping the air. After a few hard thrusts, she'd resume her walk across the room as if nothing at all had just happened. 
For awhile that seemed to satisfy her inner freak.  

The full extent of her perversions wasn't obvious until she was about 5 years old. It started innocently enough... she loves toys so we bought her a big stuffed lamb for Easter. We had no idea that this innocent toy would take her to depths of depravity that we could never have imagined. 

To our shock and horror, within hours of receiving her gift she brazenly demonstrated her darkest desires. She grabbed the poor little lamb in her teeth and viciously growled as she cruelly shook it. Then she threw it to the floor and as she bit it repeatedly all over. Suddenly her demeanor changed as she gently licked and nuzzled it. But then, like flipping a switch, she was again growling and shaking the poor lamb in her jaws with a death grip. Quickly the foreplay ended, she mounted the lamb and gave it several intense humps followed by a few gentle licks of it's neck before quietly dismounting the poor defiled creature. She then nonchalantly walked away from her new toy, clearly indicating that post coital snuggling was out of the question.  

The 50 shades of Emmy plays out about once a week. We haven't been able to identify the trigger that releases her dominatrix persona and sets off her sadomasochistic sexual activities. It appears to be random and unrelated to whatever seems to be going on our household. 

WARNING- following are some graphic photos exhibiting some of her dark sadomasochistic acts as she defiles the poor lamb. Not for children and sensitive people... 






We've learned to live with Emmy's dominatrix persona as long as she confines her sadomasochistic sexual activities to the poor sacrificial lamb. But we hide her dark side- she's our nasty family secret. Whenever we are expecting company we make sure the lamb is in the closet and Emmy can't get to it. I'm revealing our dirty little secret here in the hope that we can help other owners of S & M dogs by assuring them they aren't alone. Yes, our dog is a freak and 50 Shades of Emmy could teach Mr. Grey a thing or two, but she's our freak and we love her. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chin Hair, Insomnia and Mr. Magoo...

As I was watching a 20 year old rerun of Law and Order at 3 a.m Saturday morning, I realized how drastically my life had changed. There was a time I would have just been getting home from a Friday night of partying. But now here I was post menopausal with insomnia and chin hair, living in a 55 and over community where everyone went to bed at 9 p.m. I never dreamed the day would come that I'd find myself on a Friday night (well, actually early Sat. morning) diligently searching, with the aid of an Ott light, reading glasses and a magnifying mirror, for wayward whiskers sprouting out of my gawd damn chin. 


After making sure every offensive hair was plucked from my chin, I sat in the dark nibbling on cheese and crackers as I watched yet another old episode of Law and Order and waited for the Ambien to kick in. 

ROM and Emmy always go to bed early, but Isabella stays up with me, well kind of... she always sleeps soundly sprawled out on the couch until I turn the TV off, get out of my chair and tell her it's time for bed.  But this night she didn't promptly jump up and follow me to the bedroom.  I got half way down the hall when I realized she wasn't following. So I went back into the living room and told her to come to bed... no response from her. I called her again... still no response. By then I'm kind of freaking out wondering if she was dead so I flipped the light on and found that I was talking to a toy of Emmy's that she'd left on the couch. Isabella at some point had gone to bed without me.  Must have been when I was obsessively searching my chin for the dreaded whiskers. 




Sweet jezzuz, I have become fucking Mr. Magoo! 


Friday, February 13, 2015

There Are Monsters Under Our House...

We had a new heat/air conditioning unit installed last week. It only took them a few hours to remove the old unit and install the new one, but they had to cut to size the material they used to enclose the unit flush with the house. So for several days there was a open space into the crawl space. We didn't think anything about it until after they had been back to cover the opening. 

That very evening Emmy, our Jack Russell Terrier, began acting crazy. Racing around through the house from room to room frantically sniffing and barking at the floors. Something was under the house and by gawd she wanted it! ROM opened up the entrance to the crawl space, looked around with a flashlight but couldn't see any critters. Emmy wasn't convinced. 

Every evening right at sunset, Emmy would begin her frantic floor scratching and barking. Something was driving her nuts and she was driving us nuts. We thought maybe a mouse or a snake had gotten in while the air conditioning unit had been left open. Perhaps the $6000 we paid for the new unit included a free pet. 

Saturday night I became convinced that whatever was under the house was a helluva lot bigger than a mouse. I was sitting in my favorite living room chair watching TV when I suddenly heard something thumping under my chair below the floor. A chorus of Emmy barking and my screaming brought ROM running. Once again, he opened up the crawlspace, looked around with a flashlight and swore he saw nothing. Emmy and I knew better...

Then Sunday evening ROM heard something banging around under the house, so Emmy and I were vindicated. Now he was convinced we were right and there had to be something down there. Now how to get it out? Our first attempt was leaving the crawlspace open over night in hopes that it would leave on it's own. ROM was up and had the opening closed before the sun came up the next morning. We had high hopes the mysterious critter had left during the night

As Monday evening approached we anxiously waited to see how Emmy acted. Sure enough, as soon as the sun set her shrill barking and frantic scratching at the floor started again. I reminded ROM that our marriage vows didn't include living with a wild animal under our home. 

Tuesday ROM came home with one of those humane live traps and several cans of cat food. Of course I had to over think it, as I tend to do with everything, and brought up the possibility that the critter was a vegetarian. He gave me an exasperated look as he told me the critter under the house probably wasn't concerned with the evils of animal farming or a member of PETA. Anyway, he set the trap baited with a can of cat food and stuck it under the house. As the sun set, Emmy started in again, running from room to room but completely ignoring the area where the trap was set. Just before going to bed, ROM went out with a flashlight, opened the crawlspace and found that the can of cat food was empty but the cage was still set and wide open. Damn damn damn! He said he'd bait it again the next night and try again. 

The next morning after I got back with the dogs from their morning walk, Emmy became fixated on the area where the cage was under the house. She whined, clawed and sniffed most of the day. No way in hell I was looking under the house. Whatever it was, I wasn't going to be the one to drag it out. 

As soon as ROM got home, he opened the crawl space up and there in the cage was the monster who had been terrorizing me and driving Emmy crazy. The hungry critter had gone back into the cage to lick the empty can and finally tripped the lock. After ROM removed the cage from the crawlspace he called me outside to see the monster... it was a pitiful frightened butt ugly opossum. It was so terrified I didn't even take the time to get a photo of it before ROM walked it down to the end of the street and turned it loose in wooded area with a creek. He said the poor thing was so eager to get away it did a somersault down the bank, swam across the creek and hauled ass. And now Emmy is back to her relaxing evenings curled up in her chair... 




Monday, July 7, 2014

Letters, Free Lunch and Cremation..

A few of my Twitter friends and I were recently chatting about the lost art of letter writing. Before email, texting and unlimited cell phone plans, sending hand written letters through the mail was how we communicated. Long distance phone calls were expensive so we only called people on special occasions, holidays and in emergencies. Every few weeks, I'd sit down and write long letters with all my news and recent happenings. Of course now that we have email, news is shared instantly and long chatty letters are a thing of the past. But I still prefer writing over talking on the phone. I seldom actually use my phone to call anyone and use it mostly for Twitter. 

Now instead of finding letters from friends in my mailbox...

... I find bills and ads. Even the ads we get now have changed from the kind we used to get. Most of the ads that show up in our mailbox are geared toward seniors for things like scooters for the disabled, companies who remodel bathrooms for the old and frail, incontinence products, reverse mortgages, and prepaid burial plans. This arrived in our mailbox yesterday-
  
I can't think of a more miserable way to spend an afternoon than eating lunch with a bunch of old coots discussing our impending cremations. I'm all for being responsible and preplanning the disposal of one's body, but I sure as hell don't want to spend an afternoon discussing it over a free lunch. 

Until the day I take the big ride down the chute to the great cremation oven, I'll spend my free time with my toes in the sand as seagulls fly overhead and the Gulf waves lap against the shoreline. That beats a free lunch any day...

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Crazy Comes A-Knockin'..

I've become a bit of a recluse lately, spending my days alone in my studio doodling with watercolors and playing with clay. You'd think there would be no way I could get myself in trouble alone in my house, but you'd be wrong. For some reason that I can't figure out, I seem to be a magnet to crazy people. They seek me out. From the time I was a small child, I've attracted crazies. My mother used to tell the story about how when I was 3 or 4 years old she found me sitting on our back steps with my little terrier dog, sharing my sandwich with a crazy old hobo (that's what they called homeless people back then) who was sitting beside me. She said we were chatting away about lightning bugs like we had known each other forever. She was horrified that even though the poor old guy was clearly bat shit crazy, I was quite comfortable with him. 

After many years of encounters with "unusual people" I'm now more jaded and leery of crazies than I was when my path crossed with that old hobo. Now days if I see them coming I try to avoid them. Their drama is much too exhausting- and everybody knows crazies always bring drama with them. That's why Bravo TV hires so many of them. And lord knows, there is never a shortage of crazies. 

Even though I try to avoid interacting with crazies, they seek me out like I have a GPS for crazy attached to me. Even when I'm cocooned within my own home minding my own business and completely disengaged with the outside world. Like last week...

I was in my studio, doodling with watercolors when the dogs suddenly ran to the lanai door barking their heads off. I followed them to the door to find a strange woman standing there. After I quieted the dogs down, I went out on the lanai to see what she wanted. She was a middle aged woman, tall and heavy set, kind of frumpy looking. She seemed normal enough as we exchanged pleasantries. I was wanting to get back to work in the studio so I asked her what I could do for her and then she started into a sales pitch- ugh. She was selling meat from a freezer in the back of her pickup truck. I've seen this before, and am always amazed that anyone would buy meat from some stranger going house to house. About half way through her spiel, I stopped her and told her this was a private community and salespeople weren't allowed in. She continued to talk over me and acted like she didn't even hear me. So then I got pissed...

I told her she should be ashamed of herself for trying to scam these old people and sell them crappy meat out of a pickup truck. I added that she needed to leave right that minute because I was going to call management. Shit the bed, Fred- she went nuts! She started screaming and cursing at me while flailing her arms around and stomping her feet. As she shrieked "You fucking bitch" over and over again, I backed away and retreated into the house. After I locked the glass siding door, I did what any mature, sane and sensible woman would do... I stuck my tongue out at her and quickly pulled the drapes closed. I showed her... I can act crazy, too... behind a locked door. 

PS-
Strays find me, too. Look at this sweet guy who showed up at our door Sunday-
We're trying to find his owners and have notified all the area shelters, rescues and vets. He's such a great little dog with a wonderful personality, I already have a new home lined up for him if we can't find the owners. This is a good reminder to make sure our pets have tags on their collars and are microchipped. Even though we we think it can't happen to our pet, it can and it does... every day. Better safe than sorry!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ebb and Flow of Life and A Day At The Beach

Too many time during my lifetime I've known emotional pain that has brought me to my knees and left me certain that my spirit was broken beyond repair. It wasn't and I survived them all.  And during my lifetime I have also experienced times of such incredible happiness and joy that I was sure it must be a once in a lifetime experience. It wasn't, I've had many times of spirit soaring happiness. What I've learned is that life is a continuous ebb and flow, always changing, a mixture of good and bad.  Never let the dark times trap you because there is moment of joy just waiting for you to find it. I'm as certain of that as I am that the sun will come up in the morning, set in the evening and the stars will come out at night. And with that in mind, it's time that I begin to work my way out of my grief.

Surrendering to grief would be easy, the path of least resistance. I could settle into it with no effort at all. And that would be a damn shame, not just for me but also for those who love me. I need to ease myself back into the ebb and flow of life. And what better place to start than at the beach...

A day at one of Anna Maria Island beaches reminded me of several things I knew and had forgotten, such as...

The simple beauty of nature is always inspiring to me...




If no one will throw the ball to you, throw it yourself!

 And catch it yourself when the waves bring it back to you...

Building sandcastles in the sun with a friend is always better than hiding inside trying to go it alone. 

Sharing your little joys with a loved one is better than sharing your misery. 

Looking for the little treasures of life can lead to joyful discoveries. 

I know my grief won't magically disappear. The loss of my son is a pain I will carry with me the rest of my life. But there will also be times of happiness ahead for me and I will be ready to experience them. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Day On The Lanai With ROH & The Girls

Yesterday I chatted on Twitter with a woman who lost a sister to a drug overdose. After we spent some time commiserating over how awful it is to lose a loved one to drugs, we decided we needed to work harder at bringing some joy back into our lives. We made a pact to spend time every day finding at least one joyous thing to celebrate. I'm a simple gal, so I find my joy in simple things like my husband, my dogs, nature (BEACH!), my plants and my lanai. So today I spent the afternoon tending to my plants both inside and outside the lanai. 

Of course a day on the lanai is number 1 on the list of things the dogs enjoy. Isabella was showing off her cool and casual new summer hair-do. She must have been feeling really good about how she looks today because she posed like a cover girl for photos.




And Emmy? Oh hell no! She can't be bothered with such girly things like posing for photos. There were geckos to hunt and dragons to slay. I'd call her to me and as soon as I started to raise the camera to take her pic, she'd whirl around and race back to her guard post worried that a little anole may have snuck into her lanai. So I got a lot of photos of her ass. (While Bella continued to pose)




After cleaning my plants they looked pretty good. We had a mild winter this season, unlike the past few winters, and they came thru it with no damage. Can you spot the hidden treasures among the plants? 
 A mermaid


 A Yellow Gecko


A Seahorse




I bought this ponytail palm plant Dec. 1st and it has really grown. I have several out in the rock garden that are taller than me, hopefully this one will stay small and grow slowly in a container. But if it doesn't, it will move outside with the other plants that have outgrown the lanai.
Now

December

And this, my friends, is my dose of joy for the day. Life is good... now go find your moment of joy!