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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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can I Touch It?

Those of you who have been reading here for awhile have heard me talk about my neighbor, Dryer Sheet Lady. She's a hoot, and like me, a bit odd. She's also one the sweetest women you'll ever meet and spends most of her time helping people through out the community- she's truly a giver. Well, she's adored ROM since the day we moved here. The first few months we lived here ROM spent a lot of time outside trimming back and removing old trees and shrubs. And since it was very warm he often worked without a shirt. I just about died laughing one day when he was out on a ladder (shirtless & just wearing shorts) cutting back some trees, and there was Dryer Sheet Lady taking photos of him. Of course I wasted no time telling all our old friends that ROM was now the pin-up boy of the retirement community. And her infatuation with him hasn't waned over the years. The other night we were out in the yard looking at the holiday lights, making plans for next year. Dryer Sheet Lady walked over and was telling ROM how great his lights looked. Then she noticed he had grown his hair out (he usually wears it cut very short) and that it was curly. She was mesmerized! She went on and on about his hair and then suddenly asked "Can I touch it?" I literally had to pinch my inner arm to keep from laughing out loud- sweet jezzuz, it was so hilarious! ROM stood there speechless with the oddest look on his face as she reached out and petted his hair- I died! Ever so often now, with a serious look on my face I say to ROM "Can I touch it?" and we both start laughing like crazed hyenas. 

I was doing a lot of touching yesterday, but it wasn't ROM's hair- I was touching pretties in some of the wonderful shops on Anna Maria Island.


This chalkboard was set up in front my favorite shop - The Sand Dollar. I love what was written on it... 



Here are some photos I took inside:










 We left the Sand Dollar with a big ol' bag full of wonderful scented candles, a couple gorgeous mermaid figurines, a starfish bowl, and some other pretties. 




We also stopped by Ginny's & Jane E's Bakery Cafe. It's a quirky little place that's a combination kitschy resale shop, internet cafe, bakery and coffee shop. I wanted to buy this outfit for ROM but was afraid it would drive Dryer Sheet Lady over the edge. I thought the collar was a great touch and might have looked good on Isabella-



The bakery is the best part of this shop- their baked goods are some of the best I've ever tasted.

And now I'm going to go stroke ROM's hair... 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goodbye Christmas, Bring On The New Year!

I'm glad this Christmas is over. I just didn't get into like I do most years. I went through the motions and really tried but just wasn't feeling it. I think the unexpected death of a long time friend, the Newtown killings, and a bit of family drama put a damper on the holidays for me. We did our usual holiday stuff like decorating:



Designed my yearly holiday cards and gifts for neighbors (This is an in progress photo of the cards, forgot to take a finished pic after all the beading was done):



I baked, but forgot to take photos. And we had our Christmas Eve seafood feast- again, I forgot to take photos.  Even though we did all usual holiday things, the joy wasn't there this year. Maybe next year.

I also made a lot of luminaries that we set up in the yard each evening through Christmas Eve. Twenty six for the lives lost in Newtown- 


And special one for a dear friend who died suddenly and unexpectedly a week before Christmas. She was a young vibrant woman and such a talented artist. She was a beloved member of a little artist group I belong to and we've all been friends for many years. (I blocked out all the names because of the pesky trolls who love to uncover real life things about peeps and post it on Twitter... I hope Santa shit in their Christmas stockings)... 




But I have thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas cacti. I'm wanting to add some more colors to my collection but I'm running out of room. If I add more, I'll need to start hanging them which will solve my lack of space problem. I can always figure out a way to make room for more plants, dontcha' know?











And now on to New Year's Eve and the start of a new year...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Another trip around the sun and screw you, Dr. Oz...



I'm not watching these afternoon doctor shows anymore. As if we older women don't have enough things to feel bad about, Dr. Oz made a point of telling us today that even our vocal cords get old and flabby.  I just completed yet another trip around the sun and have all kinds of body parts to worry about. Like exactly how low can a human ass and tatas sag? Is there a category for such things in Guinness World Records?  And speaking of ass, the damn arthritis is making it harder and harder to reach around to wipe my own ass. My eyes are getting so bad I have to wear my reading glasses and use a magnifying mirror to pluck my chin hair. Even then I've been known to vigorously attack a chin hair only to discover I've actually been trying to rip a wrinkle out, not realizing it until after I've drawn blood. It gets worse-  there comes the time when you realize that marathon Kegel sessions won't prevent you from dribbling in your panties when you laugh too hard. Kind of takes the fun out of laughing, dontcha' know? I’m probably only one plate of fettuccine alfredo away from my first heart attack and just a few years away from wearing a tag with my name, address and phone number pinned to my mumu.  And Dr. Oz needs to tell me my vocal cords are getting old? Screw you, Dr. Oz. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Our World, Too, Has Been Torn Apart..."

... said President Obama tonight to the people of Newtown Connecticut. For three days many of us across the country have watched in horror as the news unfolded about the tragic slaying of twenty innocent wee children and six women, plus the shooter and his mother. Twenty seven families are forever changed. An entire community is mourning and shattered. And many of us have cried with them as we saw the pain in their faces and grief in their eyes on our TV.

As most of you know, I'm seldom at a loss for words but words seemed so inadequate as the horror of the Newtown slayings has played out in the news. Violence and family mental illness has played a big part in my life, and the Newtown tragedy has brought up so many old issues for me. I don't want to go back and wallow in all those old feelings so before I slid down into a very dark place I ran away to the beach and spent the evening watching the sunset.

It was bittersweet watching this darling little girl playing in the water as the setting sun painted the horizon with vivid colors. I couldn't help but think of the little Newtown children that will never see another sunset or ever play on a beach again. 

















It always amazes me how in matter of minutes the colors of a sunset can change...



As we turned around to walk back to the car I noticed the Christmas tree of lights someone put on the roof of their beach home. It looked wonderful but I hope it didn't give ROM any ideas... 



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ready for Christmas or end of the world- whichever comes first...

I wasn't sure whether to put the effort into decorating for this holiday season in case the doomsayers are right and the world is ending on the 21st. Then I figured what the hell- if the end is coming we'll go out in a blaze of colorful lights. 

The first sign of Christmas was on Thanksgiving day when I discovered tiny flower buds forming on my Xmas cacti-


And a couple days ago the first white bloom opened...

And the gold plant soon followed...


And not to be outdone, the red plants began to open up, too...




Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without ROM's light show...



 All that's left to do is bake goodies for Walter and Bertha.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tree Molesters and Thieves...

I was awakened early Wednesday morning to the sound of a helicopter circling above and making quite a racket. But the sound of the helicopter was quickly drowned out by the roar of some kind of machinery. Sweet jezzuz, it sounded like I was in the middle of a frigging war zone! I stumbled out of bed and out the door to see what in the hell was going on- before I realized all I had on was thin tee shirt and panties with my bed hair looking like a damn bird's nest. It was the freaking cut rate palm tree trimmers the community hires to trim all the palm trees and they were scalping the poor palm tree in our side yard.  This has been a bone of contention for us ever since we moved here. Instead of hiring competent trimmers to trim the trees correctly (only cutting off dead fronds) they hire these cut rate hacks that scalp the trees until they look like Q-tips. Repeated severe trims of healthy fronds seriously stresses and harms the trees. If you look at the photo below you can see the narrowing of the trunk that is caused by repeatedly stressing the tree with severe trims. In Broward County it's even illegal to do severe trims on palm trees. When I went to bed Tuesday night my palms looked like this- all green healthy fronds.




And when I stumbled outside Thursday morning, this is what they had done. 

I tried screaming over the sound of the saws to get them to stop, but they weren't going to listen to me. Then it occurred to me I wasn't dressed for a confrontation- the work crew sure wasn't going to listen to some old woman in a tee shirt and panties. It's hard enough for a woman to get a man to listen to her when properly dressed, let alone when dressed in practically nothing.  So I went back inside, threw on some clothes and headed back outside to try to save ROM's decorations and lights plus the remaining trees. It was too late- they had actually pulled the truck up into the yard, tossed ROM's deer and ground lights to the side and were mutilating our gorgeous lush palm trees with the fallen fronds tossed on the tree of lights ROM had spent hours erecting.








See the guy falling on his ass in the street? He seemed to be the guy in charge and the one I argued with trying to get them to stop. He was rude, abrasive and made it clear he wasn't going to listen to a word I said.  I bet he's mean to his mother, too.


And no- I didn't shove him on his ass, though I sure as hell wanted to! I have no idea why he was staggering around and falling down. But I hope he bruised his ass and got road rash on his balls.




When ROM got home, he set his deer and things back up and though thoroughly pissed he was relieved that all the lights still worked. We had a serious discussion about putting this place on the market come spring. We just aren't suited for a restricted senior community. 

So did I sleep in and undisturbed this morning? Oh hell no! Shortly before 7 a.m. someone was pounding on my frigging door. I tried to ignore it, thinking it was probably a neighbor wanting something and they could come back later. The knocking stopped and I settled back into bed hoping for another couple of hours of sleep. And then the door pounding started again- this time Isabella reacted and charged the front door barking her fool head off. I got up, walked to the front of the house and looked out the window- it was the police! WTH? Were the tree trimmers having me arrested? ROFL! 

This time I remembered to put a robe on before I stepped out to see what the cops wanted. And no, I wasn't being arrested. The officer told me some thieves went through the community ransacking cars and even stole a car. She said my car doors were standing open and it was obvious my car had been searched by the thieves.  I told her we leave the car unlocked because it has a soft top and we don't want the top cut by someone trying to get in it. And we never leave anything of value in our cars. I called ROM at work to tell him what was going on and he said it must have happened after he left for work at 4:30. 

Oh- and that helicopter that was circling above my house Wed. morning? I never did find out what that was about, but I've had about all the excitement I can stand this week. Gawd help the person that wakes me up tomorrow...