Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Celebrating Life

One that ended too soon and a new one due in February.

A childhood friend died of cancer in Michigan and a Celebration of his life was held a week later for a gentle man who was a former hockey semi pro, loving father, brother, son, uncle and all around great friend to many.

My youngest granddaughter, Aurora, is jumping with joy, as are all who know her mom - due to have a boy in February. There will be a 13 year difference in the children's ages but what does that matter when the stars have aligned for all the other details? Her mom has nearly completed schooling, has moved into a three bedroom home after 10 years in low income housing and has built a great relationship with a fine man.

We're all overjoyed because Aurora's mom's family has endured a lot of heartache. Two brother died within four years of Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, her mom had breast cancer, she had one miscarriage and a few rough patches before she realized it was time to value herself.

With Duchenne's MD some of the women carry the recessive gene and pass it on to 50% of the males. Aurora's aunt was not a carrier but her mom is. Now we wait for a couple weeks for testing to see if this boy will carry the gene. Either way, the new life is loved and couldn't be welcomed by better people, prepared to handle whatever the future holds.

An added blessing is my granddaughter, who's been in the tween angst and rebellious stage, has turned a corner and appears to be maturing into the best young woman we all know she is.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's Not a Memorable Day!

Woke up this morning calling for George - by my ex's name but not really uttering any sound. The second part (no sound) has happened before) the first part has not. Guess it didn't matter as he didn't hear me anyway.

Had myself all tangled up in bed and couldn't get out.

Kitty Kitty had me up twice during the night so my sleep was broken up as usual but I have this strange, heavy feeling at the back of my noggin. Nothing new. The feeling and fogginess seem somewhat related. I think. Or maybe it's my imagination.

This dementia stuff is fuzzy. Not the feel good fuzzy like a kitten or baby chick. Just fuzzy. I think I've said something when I haven't. I say things I don't realize I have said. And, mix that with George's lack of hearing and we have real interesting conversations.

Most times, I guess I'm doing pretty well, then "ZAP!" along comes that disconnect.

Frustrates the heck out of me.

Made some peanut butter toast and coffee and couldn't figure out what I did with them. George opened microwave and found plate stacked on my thermos coffee cup. Peanut butter gooed all over the place.

I'm going to rest awhile and hope this passes. Thank God for spell check cause it's been a bitch writing this too.

Let's all hope for better days. Treesong

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Awaiting Cooler Weather - For a Huge Sale

It seems no matter how much we downsize, we've realized we can still do more. In our 652 square feet, plus 6x10 storage shed, I'd say half of what we own we NEVER touch let alone use.

So why have it?

Surely not for its value as most is losing value the longer it sits and is NON essential to our survival.

There are enough yard sales, thrift stores and Craigslist postings here in Florida here to prove that people need money - or other essential goods - more than knick knacks, designer jeans and shoes, golf clubs, exercise machines, George Foreman grills and kids toys.

I wear the same clothes every week and use the same items in my daily life. Drawers and shelves and a wicker chest hold the excess. Even in colder weather I doubt most of it will ever be used. Platters, cookie sheets, fabric, antique flower vases, old photo albums, a satin robe, CD's, 20 pairs of blue jeans and several other items will not keep me warm or fed.

Then we have all the doo dads the previous owner had in this place. All packed in boxes in the storage shed. Her tastes leaned to black metal, votive candles, beaded lighthouse thingys and fake sea shell "art." A couple things I've torn apart and recycled but really, why not make a few bucks and give someone else the joy of ownership?

Serious talk continues here about living aboard a houseboat. Whether or not it will happen is another matter but clearing out junk in preparation for it is a no brainer.

Like I told George, I'm to the point that a small houseboat on the Withlacoochie and a camper van parked somewhere is enough to handle. He really wants the boat; I want the camper van. Something happens to him, I'd prolly retreat to one anyway & be a free - er spirit. Something happens to me, he'd keep the van to store his "junk."

Most anyone's life can be much simpler than it is. Guess that's what we keep realizing: just how much we can keep paring down and still be happy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moods Are a Passing Breeze - Sometimes

As the world spins out of control I spend more time in solitude and contemplation.

Most of what goes on around me I cannot control, nor would I want to.

There is so much craziness in the world that the goodness is often eclipsed. What we all need is more time with those people and things that bring out the best in us.

Walks in the woods. Camping and canoeing. A nap in the hammock. A quiet spot to read a book or watch wildlife. A family picnic or a long walk along a deserted beach. A child's first steps or an elder's wise counsel.

Very little of these simple things have to cost next months mortgage.

Soothing your soul begins with introspection and time alone. Once you develop that inner awareness away from the everyday drama and distraction you're less affected by every sideshow in town or your own home!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Of Houseboats and Old Friends

We took a ride to Hermando Beach yesterday to look at a few houseboats. Didn't buy any; not ready to anyway. It was worth looking to get a feel for floor plans, heights, beams, etc.

Also stopped at The Upper Deck in Weekie Watchee. The owners are old friends of George, especially dear Darlene. When he was a shrimper he mixed with Darlene's father and others at a couple local watering holes - in his drinking days.

It was great listening to them reminisce about old times and people, each forgetting names and getting events mixed up. Not often that I see my old salty man mix with people so it was a double treat. I highly recommend the place.

Here's a few pictures:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hidden In Plain View

He can't and won't be the only one resorting to this.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Learning to Live With Bugs

Not the kind big government has in place. Those critters that seek food whether human, animal, fabric, wood, sand or whatever.

Even George says he doesn't recall this many bugs when he lived in Florida 12 years ago. Whatever the case, they've about driven us to the edge.

We've mowed our lawn and trimmed bushes; removed all old, wet or rotting wood; spread insecticide throughout our lawn, shed, beneath and inside our home and still, they find us.

The latest victim is Kitty Kitty who had two rounds of fleas. Frontline helped but every surface in the house and outside had to be treated too. We're holding our breath that they are gone for now.

Food is NEVER left on the counters and I've vacuumed every day this week! Mattresses and upholstered furniture have been treated. Walls have been washed; holes and cracks caulked. Insecticide is routinely sprayed or spread and bug bombs were deployed while we took a drive. And still, they crawl or fly among us. Not as much, but by now we thought they'd be gone.

After Kitty Kitty once again had fleas and another Scorpian was found inside, I visited the hardware store for help. The owner informed me this is the worse outbreak of fleas they've had in years. He advised rotating insecticide products each month because, "They seem to build up an immunity."

Immunity? I think they could survive an Atomic blast.

Make no mistake, we like Florida. Sure beats the snow, ice and cold. But we've had our fill of Palmetto bugs (in the porch), flies, mosquitoes, beetles, four types of spiders (including a few Scorpians), four to five types of ants and FLEAS. Add a Bobcat walking across the yard and rattle snakes and, well, I just wanted to hibernate.

When doing our budget we included "pest control" - a first for us.

And the weather hasn't helped. Rain gives many ideal breeding conditions. But, we're vigilant about eliminating any water catchment. The mosquito control truck comes by every couple weeks too but the rain is daily.

This whole frustration got me wondering: "What would we do without pesticides?"

Forget about Zombies. The bugs would drive us away.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Porch Sitting

While porch sitting this morning I listened as our little corner of the world came awake.

Six deer emerged from the woods to graze on our overgrown lawn as birds began to be more vocal. Kitty Kitty sat at the screen door watching as I sipped coffee.

Soon neighbors began to stir, a few doors slammed and engines started. On our road we've grown to recognize the unique sound of each truck. Two trucks are white but one is driven faster and can be counted on to squeal its tires at the corner of our lot. Two more trucks belong to the same retired family and must be washed daily as even the mud flaps are clean on our dirt road after it's rained.

An elderly couple live through the woods behind us but we've never seen her. Two Blue Tick hounds emerged from their drive last week and he soon followed on his riding mower. Their toned, sleek bodies moved in unison along the roadside as cars whizzed by. He came up beside them, circled around them and they turned toward home. Never a word was said that we could tell. We hear them in their kennel twice daily as he comes out to feed them. For a couple days they were quiet and we wondered at the change in routine. A neighbor said the owner had probably taken them inside due to the heat.

Whenever the electric grid goes down here, the on-demand generator of a neighbor along the river clicks on. Fortunately for most of us, we haven't lost power in awhile now.

It will likely be another scorcher today and we'll retreat inside when the porch becomes uncomfortable. Our dehumidifier has run on a four-hour cycle the last couple days & given the AC unit some rest until late in the day when Sweetie's breathing demands some relief.

Neither of us expect to see a savings in the electric bill this month!

Well, Sweetie is awake so it's time to make a fresh pot of coffee. Enjoy your day folks.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Freedom Day

July 4th marks this country's independence of foreign rule.
Today, the country is ruled by corporations, politicians, lobbyists, bankers and outside influences much more persuasive than good ol' England.

Enjoy your celebrations.

We're doing our usual low key day: coffee on the porch. Watching the birds & squirrels and talking once in awhile. A little reading and a siesta will come later followed by a drive to the Gulf to watch the sunset.

Our visitor left on a plane yesterday. Peace and harmony reigns in our home.

Three loads of laundry and vacuuming are done. Lentils are cooked. Cabbage is steaming. Huge tomato is sliced. Simple vegetarian meal today. Watermelon to follow.

A day of relaxing and reflecting is in order. The best kind of day in a while.

Doesn't the wicker sofa look welcoming with an old quilt cover and pillow shams holding the back cushions? It's my favorite place to be.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Visitor Leaving & Preps Winding Up

She arrived June 6th & has been in various states of manic/depressive ever since. Not something I'm used to.

I've known her for 14 years but spent 11 years apart. They'd come to visit when we lived in Michigan & there were signs but living 24/7 with her moods, drama, accusations, etc. has worn thin.

Sweetie and I said we'd ride this out because we had a general idea when she'd be leaving. Tuesday's the day. Until then we'll both sleep with one eye open.

We discovered she's been hoarding food in her room. Not anything that needs refrigeration but hoarding none the less. A few minutes later while burning paper garbage, we found a bag of clothing in the bottom. Long story short, she's taking food home & tossing out the clothes.

Okay. Luggage will be heavier.

On another note, we're putting the pontoon up for sale. He insisted on a large boat (it's 26') but now he's realized it's too big to really enjoy all of the river. Lesson learned. The boat is larger than our car and I'd prefer something I can handle myself, if need be. So, here's hoping his wheeling dealing self works his usual magic. When sold, we'll use about $1500 for a smaller boat and put the remainder on our mortgage. Balloon payment is due Dec. 3, 2012.

I inventoried the preps in the pantry & our bedroom and once our visitor leaves I'll inventory that room. Sweetie wondered if she'd discovered the preps but I'd already checked. They ARE NOT beneath the bed. Still have that area to fill.

Also, had a 6-7' rattler on our patio this morning. The neighbor shot one on our road a few days ago as it chased his grandchild. Now we're on rattler patrol.

I woke Sweetie up to tell him about the snake but it disappeared before he got to the porch. Darn things understand English.