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!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Did It! I'm Turning Myself In And Begging For Mercy...

ROM always brings the mail in when he comes home from work, and for weeks we've had the same exchange when he walks in the door. I ask "Did it come?" and he answers "No, and you are not turning yourself in!".

It all started about a month ago... We went to a party and after we got there I realized I had forgotten something. So I hopped in the car and drove back home to get the missing package. I'm a very careful driver, have only had one ticket in my entire life and that was the day before ROM and I got married. I was on my way home from work thinking of all the things I had to get done before our wedding the next day and I got nailed for going 10 miles over the speed limit. Since I haven't gotten a ticket in almost 30 years I've felt it's just and right that I always point ROM's driving errors out to him- just being helpful so he can become a better driver, dontcha' know? He doesn't always appreciate my helpfulness but I don't let that stop me. I just ignore his moodiness, smile and remind him it's just my helpful nature. One of the things I frequently point out to him is when he enters an intersection after the light has turned yellow. 

So imagine my surprise when I realized I had run a red light on my way home to pick up the package I had left behind. My first thought was "Oh shit!" as I looked in the rear view mirror to see if a cop was in hot pursuit of my flagrant driving violation. And my next thought was thank gawd ROM wasn't in the car or I would have lost all future rights to critique his driving. As I drove back to the party, I was very careful and paid close attention to the traffic signals. Later that evening as we were going home I noticed he entered an intersection on a yellow light and as I started to point it out to him I burst into my nervous guilty laugh he knows so well. So he badgered me to tell him what was so funny and finally out of guilt I told him about running the red light. Later that night he asked me which red light I ran and when I told him he said he thought there was a camera at that intersection. Damn Big Brother and their frigging cameras!  ROM drove back to the intersection the next day to check and sure enough it had a camera. And that's when my paranoia started....

Two weeks went by and no ticket arrived in the mail.  Instead of feeling relieved I got more worked up about it. I just wanted the damn thing to arrive and get it over with once and for all. Last weekend as we were coming home from the beach I told ROM that I had decided I was tired of waiting to see if and when the ticket would arrive and was going to turn myself in. He looked at me like I was out of my mind and had said I was going to go live on Kelly's unicorn ranch and grow organic Gummy Bears. (If you didn't watch past seasons of RHONY the last sentence will make no sense to you whatsoever)  We discussed the pros and cons of turning myself in but he didn't see any validity in my pro arguments and kept insisting that no one ever turns themselves in for a traffic violation. He said they would put me on the crazy list with the nuts who try to confess to murders they didn't do. 

This Saturday will be four weeks from the day I committed this crime that is weighing so heavily on me. (I blame my guilt issues on the fact I was raised Catholic) As ROM walked in with the mail this evening I asked him if my ticket arrived. He assured me it hadn't and once again told me to quit worrying about it. Like I'm going to quit worrying about it- is he nuts? Every time I step out the door I'm sure that a S.W.A.T. unit is going to appear and take me down.  And now you know why I have never murdered anyone... between my paranoia over the government spying on us and my overdeveloped sense of guilt I'd never be able to pull it off. 

Maybe once this damn ticket arrives I can sleep without a worry like Isabella does after our daily evening storms wind down... 

I swear on my life- the police just came by this very moment on patrol and I jumped a foot when the search light went across my windows. Even though I know they have been patrolling frequently lately due to all the break ins, my eye just developed a nervous twitch. I am so not cut out for a life of crime... I did it, I did it, I did it... sweet jezzuz, have mercy on my soul.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sweaty Naughty Parts, Stalled Cars and Psychiatric Legs

Rain was forecast for Saturday so we didn't go to the beach and decided to stay home to do some chores around the house.  I shared the background story on my Philodendron "Red Emerald" (or as I refer to her- Big Red) in a previous entry. When I repotted her three years ago I made a bamboo trellis for her branches to climb. Within a year she had completely covered the trellis and it collapsed with her weight. Being the procrastinator that I am, instead of repotting her with a sturdier trellis I just let her go wild. Her branches intertwined and knotted together- much like Vicki Gunvalson's hair in this past season of RHOC. Poor Vicki had a bad year, didn't she? Her life has been a hodgepodge of messes since she left Donn, the least of which was her crazy hair. But I digress... back to Big Red...

I knew I was going to need help taming and rehoming Big Red. Since the girls lack the ability to repot plants (but Emmy is a pro at unpotting them) that left ROM as my helper. Though the girls were of no assistance that didn't stop them from wanting to participate. Can you spot Emmy in the photo below patrolling and keeping us safe from geckos?  She takes her gecko patrol duties very seriously as she loudly sniffs every corner and crevice. And if she spots one? Nothing will stop her from pursuing her prey- and that is how she unpots plants. Occasionally a gecko may manage to escape into the foliage of a plant thinking he's safe from this crazed predator... only to realize too late that Emmy The Gecko Slayer will not hesitate to rip a plant apart to get to him.

As we started to gently untangle all her many branches I realized this was going to take some time... and it was hotter than hell and so friggin' humid. And I was sweating... I don't do sweat. I find all sweat repulsive whether it's mine or some one else's. It looks greasy and smells bad, plus it's terrible for your hair. Sweat is my body telling me that if I don't immediately retreat to the air conditioning or a chair at the beach I am for sure going to die! If God wanted us to sweat he wouldn't have given us air conditioning, antiperspirants, and ice cream. Right? It's gross and unholy. ROM knows how I feel about sweat so I was sure he would realize how dire the situation was when I told him my tatas were sweating. Instead of immediately rushing me into the air conditioning, getting cool rags to soothe my sweaty tatas brow and an iced beverage to refresh me he playfully grabbed at my dripping tatas as he offered to dry them.  Good thing my hands were filled with Big Red's tangled branches or I might have reached over and twisted his sweaty junk. But enough about groping our glistening naughty parts... back to Big Red...

We had Big Red's new home ready for her. (Damn it, Blogger why do you load pics sideways? Drives me crazy!)

We got all her branches untangled with only three causalities. Those three causalities are now in water in hopes they will root and be new starter plants. When we finally cleared through her branches and got to her pot we realized it wasn't going to be easy getting her out. ROM suggested we break the pot away- you know how men like to beat on shit with tools. But it turned out to be a good idea

I bet when the last piece of that pot fell away from Big Red she felt just like we do when we take our underwire bras off.

After much blood, sweat and tears... okay, there was no blood or tears but there was whole helluva lot of sweat... we got her in her new pot and tied up on her new trellises.  Then it was time to clean up the huge mess we'd made- dirt,  dead leaves and crushed pieces of Big Red's old clay pot. Since my complaining about sweating had only got me groped I decided not to even bring it up again as an excuse to get out of the clean up. But damn it, I swear I was on the verge of lethal sweating- I could see it written on my death certificate: Death By Sweating. Of course the dogs were of no help- Isabella sat by the door wanting back into the air conditioning and Emmy was still on patrol for geckos or anything else that dared to move.

With the mess finally cleaned up, I noticed that not only had it not rained, the sun was still shining brightly. We could have gone to the beach instead risking my life by damn near sweating to death.

Hopefully these severed branches will soon be new plants-

Since I didn't die from sweating and lived to see another day, Sunday we headed to the beach. Beautiful day! Look at this photo I took from our parking spot as we arrived. Doesn't it look like a painting of paradise?

Unfortunately this is the closest we got to the beach. Before we walked to the beach, ROM decided he needed to move the car over a bit from a big puddle so we could get in and out without having to step in it. He turned the key and nothing happened. He turned it again...  and nothing. He fiddled under the hood with the cables and mechanical shit, tried to start it... nothing. So he called AAA and they were to notify a local roadside repair. They said someone would contact us within 20 minutes.

I wandered around the parking area taking photos of the beach- so close but yet so far...

After 20 minutes had passed, I returned to the car to sit as ROM paced and muttered under his breath. I was bored and restless so I told him to give me the keys, then I reached over, turned the key and the car started! Thank you baby jezzuz! I yelled at ROM to get in and we headed home in case the car decided not to start again. After we got home and turned the car off, sure enough it wouldn't start. ROM made arrangements for it to be towed to our mechanic the following morning. Yet another beach day lost. (The car is now back home and made a complete recovery with a new starter)

ROM had Monday off but he didn't even suggest we go to the beach. He knows I don't go anywhere in his pick up truck other than Lowe's or Home Depot. Instead of wasting the day we decided to go to the community pool, get some sun and swim a few laps. There is one small group of people that go to the pool every day- not to swim or sun but to stand in the water or bob around with a noodle and talk. And talk... and talk... and talk... They talk about who is sick, who died, who is having surgery, which all you can eat buffet is the best and cheapest, what they had for lunch and what they plan to have for supper. Sometimes there is even some good gossip which was the case yesterday. Someone asked if "Tom" had been to the pool recently and someone else replied that he hadn't been around since he got into it with "Sue". One of the women spoke up and said that "Sue" started it. "Tom" is the guy that ROM and refer to as "The Cub"- he is married to the The Cougar down the street from us. He looks to be in his early 30s and she looks close to 60. Anyway, according to the pool peeps: Sue had brought a portable stereo to the pool and was playing music. Tom went home and returned with his iPod and ear buds. As he walked by Sue he pointed to his earbuds and said he had his own music... and all hell broke loose. One of the pool guys said Tom said the F word at Sue. But one of the women said that wasn't true and that she was there when it all went down and that Sue said the F word first (she added "you know how Sue throws that F word around, tsk tsk"). As they debated who uttered the F word first, they all agreed that Tom took it too far. But to my disappointment they never said exactly what Tom did that took things too far.

I knew it was time to go when I heard one of the guys complaining about his leg. Someone asked him why he was getting out of the water and he said because he had a psychiatric leg. One of the women asked him if he meant a sciatic leg and he just mumbled yeah, something like that.  As I slipped my t shirt on I told ROM it was time to go. We avoided making eye contact with each other until after we had told everyone goodbye, wished them a lovely evening and had walked beyond hearing range.
that's when we looked at each other and burst out laughing like a pair of hyenas sucking up laughing gas. Just as we would stop laughing one of us would look at the other and say "Oh my psychiatric leg!" and we would laugh hysterically again.  And that, kids, is how you get through a shitty weekend- you find some old people to make you laugh.

Friday, August 16, 2013

You're Ass Is Hanging Out!

No photos to go with this blog entry and once you've read it you'll be glad...
Our community has a landscape crew who do all the mowing for us, but we are responsible for all the detail work like edging and weed whacking,  For some reason people who do trimming work aren't very dependable. I've lost count of the number of trimmers we've gone through over the years.  They just suddenly disappear- sometimes even when we owe them money for the previous month. I don't know if they were thrown in jail, deported, on a drunk or hit the lottery.

Today when the trimming crew showed up, I hurried out to pay them for this month's work. We've had this crew for several months now and I'm hoping we can keep them for awhile. As I walked out the door my neighbor across the street was yelling something at me but I couldn't hear her over the weed whacker. As I walked up to the trimmer guy, I turned and made a motion to her indicating I couldn't hear her as I yelled "What?" At just that moment the guy shut the weed whacker off and everyone within six blocks probably heard her yell at the top of her lungs "You're ass is hanging out!"

At first it didn't sink in what she said and I hollered back "What? What's hanging out?" And as soon as I said that it hit me what she had said. Too late- she yelled back "Your ass! It's hanging out!" Sure enough, my dress was tucked up in the back of my panties. As I quickly turned to hide my ass from the trimmer, I handed him his money and walked backwards toward the door. My only thought was damn- I bet these trimmers never come back now! And I made a note to always check  after I potty to make sure my ass isn't hanging out.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

You've Been Married How Many Times?!?

Next year ROM and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Not nearly as impressive as the big one- 50th, but for us it's one hell of an achievement! I don't think anyone who knew us dreamed we'd last this long. I'll never forget when we went to get our marriage license at the county clerk's office in a small rural Midwest county. The clerk was a very sweet looking older woman- kind of like Aunt Bea from Mayberry. She started taking our information such as name, age, address, etc. Then she asked me if this was my first marriage, and I replied no. She asked "Second marriage?" I said "No". She looked up at me over her reading glasses with an eyebrow cocked and asked "Third?" I sheepishly answered "No".  With her eyes so wide I thought they would pop out of her head she peered up at me over her glasses and in a shocked voice said "How many times have you been married?" When I answered five times, there was dead silence. I immediately felt the need to explain myself so I started babbling that it wasn't as bad as it sounded- my mom married me off when I was a Jr. in high school and I wasn't even pregnant, so of course that one didn't work out, my second husband was horribly abusive, the third one I had no explanation for other than he bored me to death and the fourth one died. She just nodded her head as I rambled on and said  "Oh!"- several times. When it was time for her to take ROM's information she didn't beat around the bush and didn't even bother asking if this was his first marriage. She got right to the point- "And how many times have you been married?" When he replied three times she never batted an eye, just kept writing. I'm sure she's now been dead for many years but I would love to be able to tell her this one worked.  In fact I love him more now than the day we got married, absolutely adore this amazing man of mine. He truly is my everything- even though he once shot me... but that's another story for another time.

Back to our upcoming 30th anniversary... We've never been good about buying each other gifts for special occasions and holidays. Instead we usually buy each other things when we just happen to see something we think the other would like. As we approached our 20th anniversary someone asked me what ROM was going to get me and I laughingly replied that he owed me 20 years of anniversary gifts. And that got me to thinking. I suggested to ROM that we buy each other gifts for all the years we didn't for our 20th celebration.  I looked up a list of traditional anniversary gifts for each year and printed out the list for each of us. I can't tell you how much fun we had searching for gifts for each year. It was like a scavenger hunt and we only had a few months to do it. Some things we found locally and others we found on eBay and online shops. When the day of our 20th anniversary rolled around we were both like little kids on Christmas morning dying to see what was in all our gift wrapped boxes. We both came up with some amazing gifts to fit the theme of each anniversary. And we haven't bought each other anniversary gifts since then. So we've decided to do the same thing we did for our 20th. After the 20th, traditional anniversary lists only have themes for every five years, but I did find a modern list:
21st- Brass, Nickel
22nd- Copper
23rd- Silver plate
24th- Musical instruments
25th- Sterling silver
26th- Original pictures
27th- Sculpture
28th- Orchids
29th- New furniture
30th- Pearl or Diamond
And the search begins!

Speaking of anniversaries- I have to do something with this monstrosity of a plant (Philodendron "Red Emerald"). I bought this plant almost 12 years ago as a little bitty house plant that sat on my desk just before we sold our house in IL. She probably wasn't 6 inches tall- pot and all. She made the move to Florida with us and has thrived on the lanai. The latest support stake has broken down with her weight. I decided this behemoth of a plant needs a stronger and more permanent support. The image on the left is how she looks now and the photo on the right will be her new home. She'll have a metal trellis on two sides of her new table. I will gently and very carefully try to untangle her, repot her and tie her to the trellis, hopefully without breaking off any of her arms. 

Of course Isabella will oversee to make sure I do it right...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Invasion of Seaweed, Fighting Crows and Twerking on the Beach...

Yesterday was beautiful so ROM sneaked out of work early and we headed to the beach. I couldn't believe all the seaweed on the beach and in the water. The recent storms that have come in from the Gulf have washed in huge mats of seaweed

It was low tide and there were piles of shells the storms have also washed ashore.

I love finding shells that are so old they've fused together...

Early this spring I started seeing one lone crow hanging out with the seagulls. It was the first time I had seen a crow on the beach in all the years we've lived here. Yesterday there were three of them that swooped in under an umbrella fighting for any crumbs they could find before the people returned to their chairs.

This snowy egret and ibis wisely avoided humans handouts and junk food, choosing to hunt for fresh food along the shore line...

The ibis scored a tasty morsel...

I loved watching this royal tern and her fledgling...

Mama tern was clearly tired of this big baby following her around and begging.

She would walk a few steps away but the fledgling would follow right behind her squawking and begging to be fed.

The fledgling tried putting on his cutest begging face and dancing around...

Even begged with his bill open, hoping mama would drop something in....

Mama stayed strong and refused to give in to her little beggar no matter how much he danced around, squawked and begged.

I, on the other hand, scored big when I danced for ROM. As we were cooling off in the water I bent over, put my hands on my knees and started jiggling my ass at him as I announced "I'm twerking, baby!" And then I went on to sing a few lines of my favorite song of the summer with a bit of tweaking of the lyrics: "But I'm a good girl, The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty, Go ahead get at me" He fell down in the water laughing and then asked me what twerking meant. I swear, that man wouldn't know any slang terms used after the year 2000 if it wasn't for me! He didn't "get at me" on the beach but he did buy me an ice cream cone on the way home.