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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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricanes, Blizzards and Tsunamis, Oh My!

We had big plans to dress up and go to Bradenton's Zombie Fest Saturday night, but I woke up that morning with a rotten cold. So instead of partying with the undead I sat home with red puffy eyes, sniffling and coughing as I watched coverage of Hurricane Sandy churning her way up the Atlantic and  chatted on Twitter.  One of the best things about Twitter is you often know instantly when something big is happening, no matter where it's happening. I started seeing tweets that a 7.7  earthquake just off shore of western Canada.  Shortly after that I started seeing tweets about a tsunami on it's way to Hawaii, and it wasn't long before news of the tsunami warning was being shown on The Weather Channel. Sweet jezzuz, maybe this Mayan crap was true after all, but I'm beginning to wonder if we'll last until Dec. 21.

So there I sat watching coverage of the Frankenstorm (Hurricane Sandy)  preparing to obliterate the east coast and watching a live feed from Hawaii as they prepared for a tsunami coming it's way.  I felt like I was watching one of those over the top made for TV disaster movies. Just throw in some tornadoes for the Midwest and you'd have one hell of a movie. Fortunately the tsunami turned out to be a big to-do about nothing.

As if Sandy wasn't enough, there is also a cold front moving in from the west bringing blizzard conditions to W. Va. and surrounding areas. You can almost draw a line with the cold front on one side of it and Sandy on the other side. Some really nasty shit is going on in most the eastern states!


Hurricane Sandy made landfall at Jersey Shore this evening and is still going strong now at 2 a.m.  Sandy grew to be 1000 miles wide before she hit land and most of the east coast has been impacted by this monster. Last I heard over 5 million people are without power tonight.

That cold front bringing snow to W.Va. pushed it's way down into SW Florida today and our temps really dropped. We didn't even get up to 70 today and it's dropping down into the 50s tonight. It was close to 90 every day last week but it looks like summer has come to an abrupt end for us. I was running the air yesterday but had to switch over to heat today. I was not ready for this big cool off and had to dig around to find some long pants and sweatshirt so I could take the dogs out this morning.


This sudden cool down called for our first "winter" food of the season so I made a pot of chili and let simmer all afternoon. Of course I had to make cornbread to go with it... thank gawd I won't be putting on a swim suit this weekend.




As I watched tonight's full moon rise and took these photos, I couldn't help but think that this beautiful moon was making the east coast's high tides even worse as Sandy's storm surge pushed water on land. I hope all our east coast friends and loved ones come through this storm safe and sound...



Friday, October 19, 2012

Virgin Mary Gives Birth to Evil Pumpkin Head

Is this not the craziest shit you've ever seen? I was taking the dogs for a ride the other day when I passed this bizarre tableau. Mary and Joseph with a pumpkin head in the manger? WTF? I had to turn around and go back for a closer look. I stopped the car to get a photo because I knew no one would believe what I was seeing. It was even worse than I first thought... pumpkins, ghosts, a skeleton, lawn gnomes and of course Mary, Joseph and Baby Pumpkin Head. The gnomes and manger figurines have been displayed year around for several years, but now Baby Jesus was replaced by a pumpkin, with ghosts and skeleton as new additions. 


As I looked closer I saw that Baby Jesus was still in the manger after all, and the Virgin Mary hadn't actually given birth to pumpkin. For some reason the elderly people living there thought having an evil pumpkin head devour Baby J added a festive twist to their display. 



Happy Halloween, Baby J!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Sun and Moon...

After two nights of Bravo insanity I needed to connect with the real world where no one was screaming "Fuck you!" or "I swear to God I'll rip her fucking tongue out!". So we headed to the beach for a walk and to enjoy the sunset. It was glorious...

When we first began our walk there were quite a few people on the beach...





As the sun began to set people began to leave... silly people. Don't they know it's right after the sun sets that colors are the most intense? 





I love those moments when the golden orange color of the sun seems to wash ashore before it sets. 


Look at these colors! In person the colors are so much more intense than they look in photos. 

After the sun disappeared, we were in no hurry to leave, so we sat and watched the crescent moon as it began to set, too. 

As the sky darkened the stars and the moon in the western sky took on an orange color which I had never seen before. It was almost surreal to see an orange crescent moon and orange stars in the sky but sadly it had gotten too dark and my camera didn't catch it. 

After the moon set and the beach was covered in darkness we weren't ready to go home so we went out to eat at one of the island restaurants that has outside seating. It was much too lovely of a night to be inside.  Real life is so much more beautiful than reality TV... 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Summer continues here in SW Florida and we squeezed in one more weekend on the beach. The Gulf water temps have cooled down into the low 80's. Soon the temps will drop below 80 and it will be too cold for me. Yes, I'm a complete wimp, I admit it. By December the only people you'll see swimming are tourists. 

Very few people were on our stretch of beach this weekend. It was mostly us and the birds... 







... and some fluffy cotton ball clouds with the sun peeking out.


While we were out in the water several dolphins swam close by and even a manatee slowly floated by us. And no, I didn't try to ride it-LOL (Did you all read about that woman jumping on the back of a manatee last week?)


As we were walking by a sand dune I noticed that someone must have a really good time the night before. Such a good time that she left her panties behind. Dontcha' hate it when you get home and realize you forgot your panties? 

 





On our way home we drove along the inner coastal waterway. I love the houseboat that's always anchored at the end of this dock. I wish I had taken the time to get out of the car and taken a closer picture of this boat. Not only do potted flowering plants decorate the dock, the boat has oodles of potted plants. I can't imagine keeping them all watered.



Even the island cafes and bars have been left to the locals until the winter tourists begin to arrive...



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sarasota Blues Festival- Hot Hot Hot!

Even though I live in south west Florida where it's hotter than hell for six months out of the year, I don't do well in the heat. Due to health issues I have to avoid getting over heated and that's not always easy to do when you live here. My daytime outdoor activities from May through November consists of sitting on my ass on the lanai under a fan, in the pool or bobbing around with a noodle in the Gulf of Mexico.  Everything else has to wait until evening when the sun goes down. But every once in awhile something comes along that we just can't miss.  

Real Old Man is a serious Blues lover. He has three iPods and his iTunes account full of Blues music, then there's his CD collection which I wouldn't even begin to try to count. This year the Sarasota Blues Festival was scheduled earlier than usual- the last Saturday of September. And it was hot, oh so hot and miserably humid.  But whatcha' going to do when your guy is counting on a day of the Blues? You put on your big girl panties (white cotton ones to keep your ass as dry and cool as possible), get your mind right and take off for the Blues Festival! 


Being the sweetie that he is, ROM surprised me by getting not only VIP parking so I wouldn't have to walk far, but also tickets to the VIP area of festival. In this front area where the line of white chairs starts:



To the left of the seating area was a VIP tent set up providing free beer, wine, sodas, water and food all day and evening. And get this- the area had it's own fancy schmancy air conditioned porta potties that actually flushed.  Damn, I love ROM! This VIP shit rocked.

When we first got there it looked like there was no way this storm would miss us:


But just as it got over us it began to break apart and all we got was some spit and clouds. I was glad it didn't pour rain, but I sure liked the clouds blocking out the sun. When the sun came back out it was brutal- 90 degrees and the air was practically dripping with humidity. But the music was blasting and we were in a crowd of happy people so it was all good.

The 2012 Sarasota Blues Festival  lineup included Pett Crow, Paul Thorn, Curtis Salgado, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Ana Popovic, and Delbert McClinton. 

Ana Popovic has a really interesting background story. She was born and raised in Sebia but you'd never know it listening to her belt out the blues. And damn, that girl can play a guitar! You can read more about her remarkable career at the Blues Festival site.


The hours passed quickly as we listened to some great music...









Sarasota area has some serious Blues lovers- there was a sea of people behind us:


I saw a lot of people with wet shirts and towels on various parts of their bodies trying to stay cool like this security guy. As hot as this guy had to be, he had a smile on his face and kind word for everyone. 



See the gal in the cowboy hat? I don't know how she kept from melting but she was dancing with herself and anyone else who happened to pass by. I just knew the lady in the red pants was going to pop a tata out as she danced. Those titties came so close to flopping out a couple of times.






The sky blazed with color as the sun went down behind us to the west ...

... while the moon rose in the east behind the stage.

It was a great day and my fella was happy. Life is good...