Sunday, July 31, 2005


Last week sometime, a good friend of mine wanted to discuss Impressionism, or Impressionists, such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne' or even (in my opinion) Van Gogh.

I like almost all of Monet's work. The water lily pond painting is my favorite of his works.
The painting that has touched my life more than any other is a Renoir, Dance at Bougival. If you want to see it, it is in the states, in the museum of fine arts in Boston. I had a print of it for years, and now my mother has one, framed beautifully in an antique frame. It is from his dancers series. Often, I confuse my painters, Renior and Monet, I like them both so well.
Van Gogh was very interesting to study. Starry Starry Night is probably his most famous, or The Sunflowers, which are both favorites of mine as well, but I like the waterscapes with boats in them.

In college I minored in art and took Art History. I had this fabulous book that was a huge coffee table version but it got messed up when the roof leaked when it rained. It has been years since I have given them much thought other than what I like...

I also enjoy MC Escher and Salvador Dali (see, I don't even remember how to spell their names) and

Even though it is photography, Ansel Adams.

I had my entire home done in Impressionist prints and french country at one time, but now I only have some Ansel Adams prints and handwoven rugs on the walls. My room is done in a coastal motif, and I have some great watercolors that I picked up at an Art Show in Rockport, TX. They are of marbles in the sand...

The caption to one is "Lost your marbles?" and the other one is "Playing for Keeps"

I love them both, and then there are the works I have that I just like or relate to... oh yeah, I guess we all do that..

What's your impression?

Knowing is better than Wondering


I finally found the answer to the question all my friends are asking me. You see I took a side trip to another state this summer. It didn't go well, in fact, it went quite badly. I was very mistreated and belittled. I stayed much longer than all my friends thought was healthy, and to some extent I understand their view. I also know that I came home knowing some information about myself that I truly needed to know. So, sometimes good does come from bad.
Tonight, we were watching Mona Lisa Smile and at the end, the editor of the paper was creating her last editorial and she said the title of this blog, and apparently it is a quote from Benjamin Franklin.

Thank you Ben... yes I wondered and now I know, but it is, overall, much better for me to know than to wonder. Yes, it was a hard lesson to learn and painful besides, but I was in the middle of an "AHA" moment, ok, AHA days... yes days...

plus I got to go deep sea diving and I loved that...

Have a coke and a smile

A good night's sleep (well, ok, it wasn't that good, but I did get some rest) and things are looking a little brighter today. I woke up at 5 am and started cleaning the house. So far I have gotten the dining room de-cluttered and cleaned, I am done with the bar, and I am half way through the kitchen.
Also made a trip to the grocery store for diet coke and food for the day, came home put them up and made a spinach quiche. Later will be sandwiches with dinner being a macaroni concoction my family calls goolash, which I bought extra lean ground beef for Alex.
Made all the important calls of the day first thing while shopping. Yes, I talk on my hands free at the grocery store so that I can have conversations without children around. I know they are grown children, that is the problem, when they were much younger, I would just spell things out like y-e-s-m-o-t-h-e-r-I-k-n-o-w... well you get the idea.
Anway, we had brunch for lunch, so will eat ham sandwiches for an afternoon snack.
I have my music cranked, and am cleaning like a fool, so you lazy people have a great day posting, and I will talk to you soon...

My smile has returned, I see the end of the tunnel.. of cleaning at least, so all is right with the world..

Oh and Roxxy if I want to change the url to my blog, how do I do that?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Calgon, Take Me Away

This is bad. This is really really bad.

I have been home less than 3 hours. My summer has been spent elsewhere. Now we are all home to prepare for a new schoolyear. All three of us have been in the house together less than 3 hours, and I am ready to run away again.
1st- the house is a mess... not so dirty as cluttered, for many reasons, like I have furniture I had planned on refinishing, sitting here waiting for me.
All of my "office" furniture and contents are here until next week when I take them to my new digs.
My son's new stuff for his room is here, waiting to be stained and "put together"
and my 18 yr. old has been here all summer alone, nuff said.

Where is that team of Cleaning Men that I ordered on EBay? hmmm I wonder...

Alex, can I borrow your credit card like Roxxy did? lol

If you call and the boys say I am not able to come to the phone, it is because I am hiding under the covers in my room waiting for someone to take me away, far far away...

Friday, July 29, 2005

MR. EYE CANDY MADE MY DAY: A Blog dedicated to Alextrex

In a previous post my view was geared toward explaining the disarray of my mother's yard and my inability to sunbathe. It happen to mention there were some fellows working in the backyard digging trenches for a sprinkler system that were in their early 20's. Alex chose to approach the idea that they were *eye candy* and I was running around undressed and enjoying my view (ok, that's a small exaggeration, but still it is one view). My response was the one fellow, the boss of these men who were much too young, was the one I have had a crush on since I met him. He is, of course, not within my realm of possibilities, but hey, most of the guys I have ever had a crush on aren't.

Two boy/men dug trenches Thursday and the boss showed up while I was gone in the evening. Today, my mom says the boss will be back to work some time today and will be working alone.... hmmm... I chose not to sunbathe, thinking I don't want to if he will show up... we sit in the backyard to visit around noon, I end up cleaning the filters on the pond (after I took a shower and put clean clothes on for a venture in town later) and ended up with mud and muck all over me. I mentioned that if I had my swimsuit on it wouldn't have been a big deal, but Mr. Boss Man was suppose to show up, so I didn't sunbathe...

This evening, after a trip to MY hair consultant, lol, I returned home, and was enjoying a nice bowl of chocolate covered cherry ice cream with my mom and son on the back porch. Mr. Boss Man arrives so he can take inventory of what the men did the day before and to see what he need to do over, and to my surprise my mom spouts off

*You know, _____ didn't sunbathe today because I told her you were coming by sometime today*

I am mortified and THEN, It HAPPENS

He says.... are you ready? He says...

*Well that's too bad, I am sure it would have been a great show* in a very flirty and genuine voice

(yes Alex, I know he is off the market)

It was great to hear, I don't get many compliments so I treasure every one I do get.


and she melted into the patio, never to be seen again...

Ramblings, blogging, and food

Blogging is addictive, or so it has seemed over the last week. As I read emails or have something happen, i consider whether or not it would be a good blog.
Myzchaos makes me think when I go to read her blog. She is contemplating a birthday that is quickly arriving, and I think of the ones that I found difficult. Then I think about why they weren't difficult other years. My dad made holidays and birthdays very special days and now I somewhat expect them to be. I thought 30 was going to be a difficult birthday, when in fact it wasn't and it turned out to be one of my best years, or so I thought for a long time. Now, 40 was difficult... it is to this day, but 42 was fun. The birthday was anyway, I went dancing, met a bunch of new people, still visit with one of them on a regular basis. I have told everyone that I am two 21 year olds in one this year, so don't be surprised by anything I do or say *esp. in a blog.

As I was eating a wonderful brunch prepared by a woman my mother has come in to help her every week, I thought about how long it had been since someone prepared a meal for me... other than a child bringing me a bowl of cereal. My sons made me breakfast for Mothers day. The oldest even called my mother to ask about the secret biscuit recipe, and they were good, even if they didn't look the same as when Ya makes them. I don't have the heart to tell them that I don't really care much for biscuits and that is why I don't pay attention to how to make them. They also made bacon and eggs and they are good cooks.
Now I start thinking of birthdays and meals. My granny Bea always cooked my birthday dinner *close your eyes Alex and skip down or forever hold your peace* of Fried Chicken, fried potatoes and onions, sliced thin and fried in a vat of oil, and chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake and for that matter the other items equally well. It may be because of granny Bea and it may not. It is comfort food for me... Roxxy started a funny "ask a question" blog and my question had to deal with what would you like your final meal to be, if you had a choice... I would choose a meal by my granny Bea, but I was suppose to ask and not answer.

For years of my dating life I would get the question about what is my favorite food... I like all food, it is hard to think of something I don't. The only two things I can think of off the top of my head are tofu and black olives. As far as those two go, it wasn't the taste but the circumstance of a bad experience, which I won't share.

So.... blogging makes me think about things I haven't thought about before and I get some great laughs interacting with other bloggers or reading what some bloggers write...

good that is what I came for... creative escape... esp. since there isn't a beach outside my back door now.

That F'ing Technology

Ahhhh.. The third in the trilogy of the infamous (no, really it is not famous) chat between alextrex, roxxy and myself. They both tell the story sooo well, in their blogs, but we each must have our own point of view.


Roxxy is 18, and she set up a way to chat on her blog. She has a picture of a frog that comes up with her posts to another blog or her own, and she has a background to her blog...

This tells me she is pretty darn savvy at this html stuff and could blow the others in the chat away with one sweep of her keyboard.

Alextrex is 37, claims to be technologically challenged, or in my profession he would be labeled "Special" as in "Special Education" when it comes to technology, and yet, he has the coolest techie toys and a think pad and IT guys to help him *spruce it up, when he needs a little help.

This tells me that it isn't the lack of technology or the lack of brain power that he is capable of exuding, it is that he really doesn't want to know all the techie stuff, he just wants the computer to do what he wants it to do and he doesn't care why.

Then there is me, Bennu, 42, in education, having been around computers for over 18 years now, I still know less than my 18 year old that I have at home, who, like Roxxy, could do all that cool stuff to my blog for me, or show me, but I won't tell him I have a blog. *he doesn't need to know how cool, bad, gross, sick his mom is all the time. I do, however, continue to teach others, including adults, in large settings how to do things that are educational for children to learn and the basics of a computer.
That is me. Staff developer, computer science, critical thinking, so why is it so hard to tell someone something... online?
Well let's see...

Roxxy's chat box is pretty cool, but I noticed there was some lag time in the refreshing, so I asked her how long it took to refresh. I thought she said 11 seconds, and I see by his post that Alex thought she said 1.1 seconds. However we could refresh the page anytime and it would be great.

Alex doesn't know how to refresh without using Febreeze apparently. He has this state of the art think pad in his sisters house that has wireless connection so he doesn't have to "plug in" and yet he doesn't know how to refresh the page. So, I should help, shouldn't I? I mean that is how I usually respond to others, if I can help, I should help.

Now I didn't know a thing about his operating system or what his desktop or menu bars at the top of his screen were, so I was describing the ones on my screen, which I believe must be universal unless you are using a MAC, which NOW I do believe he is... I have worked with those also, but it has been awhile so I don't remember the buttons...

Roxxy teaches me that you can refresh at the click of one button... the F5 button... wow, that's cool, thanks Roxxy, now I don't need to use the mouse, and then she tells me I don't need to use the mouse at all. Terrific, then I don't have to take my hands off the keyboard to chat, wonderful isn't it.
In the mean time, Alex is trying to find the button at the top of the page that I described, yes, it does look like a page, or a piece of paper and it has two green arrows going around in a circle, one on top and one on bottom.
So... then when Roxxy says what she did about F5, Alex typed in F5, but didn't click on the F5 button.

Now I don't have a clue what he is like in person, as far as a conversation goes, but I think he does talk to himself more than he does others. Perhaps he worries too much about what he is going to say next, I don't know.

In the mean time, Roxxy and I are laughing, and using rothflmao and lol, and lmao, and then we have to explain them to Alex, AGAIN.

When Alex finally got the concept of the F5 button, he told us that he was scared to push it because he thought F meant fornicate. (of course I thought, man I want to know what country he went to school in, if that is what they teach you in kindergarten... and P is for Penis, and V is for Vagina)

I was dying, I was laughing so hard, I could see the faces of my IT guys and how funny they would think that was, and then he put me over the top with this idea.

Alex said he thought if you pushed the F1 button you would get one person to fornicate with and if you pushed the F2 button, welll you get the idea.

SoI think Roxxy said that if you pushed the F12 button twice you would get 144 people to fornicate with, and I don't believe Alex would turn that down but he might. Anyway, I made a joke about that being *gross because 144 is, in counting terms, a gross.

Then Alex asked if it was a fornicating rating system, and if so, he didn't know if F1 was the best or if F12 was the best... honey they didn't have rubrics where you went to school?

Somewhere in the middle of this, Alex said he was going to write about it in his blog, which he has, and he threatened to use our names, so I made a joke about it being a threesome, and he really jumped on that idea, wanting to be in the middle... Alex, always has to be the center of attention you

Anyway, LSS,
He found the comparable button for refreshing the page, saying it was an orange arrow... whatever, just push it, was basically my response. Thanking my lucky stars he wasn't the leader of the free world.

Alex tried to write lengthy responses and didn't like it that Roxxy had set it to 200 words or less. Man I am glad i don't have to read his application paragraph where you have to write about yourself, he probably asks for additional pieces of paper... oh yeah, he has those, they are right under his feet...

It was fun, and it was about 20 minutes, but geez, it felt like hours... someone hire Alex a tutor... and in the spirit of my basketball coach from way back, as he would say,

If you can't run with the big dogs Alex, stay on the porch.

I never thought I would laugh so hard at someone's ineptness, and I did it because I thought he was faking it, and now, I am not so sure...

Roxxy does rock, and I will go back and chat sometime, however, I don't think we can top that last one at all, it was great, but yes, it was probably one of those...*you had to be there* stories.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Now, would that be your idea of a dream job?

In the headlines on Yahoo News, I read:

Researcher Measures the Gases Cows Emit

which apparently is still working as a link. There are still people starving in India aren't there? then why the hell are they doing this? for pollution? have they marketed cars that don't pollute yet? no, what the hell are they thinking? in the article the guy says it doesn't want to hear it referred to as fart science or something to that effect, that is hilarious...

ummm thanks, but no thanks, I will stick with my current profession...

Some day I am going to black mail you with this!

My son, I won't say which one, to protect him, why I don't know... when he was little, but old enough to be potty trained, would wet his pants.

He swore he could not tell when he wet his pants.

He pleaded that he couldn't tell when he needed to go to the bathroom.

He said he didn't think others could tell...

I told him that if he couldn't feel wet and warm around his "hooter" then he wasn't going to have any fun as a grown up.

Alex's post about him saying expletives in front of nieces and nephews reminded me of this story...

The older children in the household who heard me say this (they were 15 and 13 at the time) snickered and left the room a shade short of scarlet.

Ahh... motherhood...

I wanted to surprise you

I have been at the beach for several weeks. The time has come to return to the real world. While at the beach, I started working on a tan. Now, keep in mind I have not had a "summer" to get a tan in over 10 years. I have worked right through every summer, and with no vacations to speak of. So, my dermatologist *was* very proud of me. Getting a tan is not what it used to be. My skin has done really strange things, and I don't quite have the tan I was hoping for...

So... *just for Alex*

I was planning on sitting out in the sun while I am in the dry west texas air. My mom has a huge backyard with a pond and trees and grass. She has been talking about getting a sprinkler system put in, but I wasn't sure when Leo (friend and handyman) was going to get it done.
I have been asking about it all summer when I call her (like a good daughter should) only to get the "oh, I don't know when he is going to get to it, he is so busy with his other jobs".

LSS: I drive up after a long flying trip to find the front yard is all dirt. I come in, look out the back window and the backyard by the pond has a great stone patio layed in with crushed granite, and the other side of the yard is .... oh wait... who is that? Leo's helper? what is he doing? moving the stuff from that side of the yard so they can dig it up... WHILE I AM HERE?

so much for sunbathing before I go back home to the grind...

Ya, when did Leo start on the yard?

I don't know, a long time ago...

Ya, how long is a long time? I have been asking about this for weeks now and you have said they hadn't started...

It was a long time ago, I didn't tell you because

I WANTED TO SURPRISE YOU, but it isn't finished, so you had to see the mess it is before it is done.

yeah, I was surprised... surprised to find I will have to get dressed as soon as I get up every morning because there are strange men in the backyard (which normally wouldn't deter me from frolicking around in my nightie, but these guys are early 20's, so ...) and now I can't lay out in the sun today and tomorrow as I had planned.

Now, what am I going to do all day?

Oh yeah, write papers... thanks for the reminder...

Oh I know how I will cheer myself up, I will look up Savage Chickens...

Have a great day, and a diet coke is always a good way to start! Cheers!

Write the damn papers already

That is THE list for the day... although I can promise you, I still have no desire... to write the papers.

We will see what happens...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Time to think

Long drives give you plenty of time to think... about everything and nothing... and now I am here and I am exhausted... I had some great ideas for blogs... we will see how I feel when I have had some rest as far as whether or not I write them.

One involved the words, mega, giga and oh man, I lost the last word, bummer...

Pumpkin time,

and no, the papers didn't get written, I had a perfect score in that class until now.

One Bad Apple on EBAY

I have this "friend" who let someone rain on his parade yesterday. He has found this new outlet and has met many new friends. He has been having so much fun with these new people. Then, of course, you know, something had to be not so fun. This woman made him feel bad when he had done nothing wrong and he wanted to stop engaging this new "hobby". Of course I jumped up on my soap box and said "NO" you will not let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel, ok, so I forgot the word barrel and used another, same thing, anyway.
I was blogging away this morning, thanking Roxxy for thinking of the word futon, and going on and on about what I had bought at the *evil* IKEA store in Houston, when I mentioned the Krabb mirrors and then it all came back to me.
Hi, my name is Bennu and
I am an Ebayer, yes, I confess, I buy things on Ebay. *you know it is addictive, right?*
Anyway, always had the best success, have bought coins, gpsr equipment, clothes (silk dress from 60's for Halloween), gifts, hard hats for 67 heads, etc.
I have had to return a thing or two, but the seller always *made good* on the sale. I always pay promptly through PayPal.
Well, one day there were these IKEA Krabb mirrors, I got them for less than retail, had to pay outlandish shipping. I was so excited, because there is not an IKEA store here and Houston is a 3 hour drive (now I am singing the theme to Gilligan's Island, not good at this hour).
They get here, I have to go to the post office to pick them up, I thought they would come UPS, because...
I don't live in the town I work in... it is very difficult for me to pick something up from the Post Office. I leave my house at 4 in the morning so I can go to the gym before work, I come home right after work, but the P.O. closes at 4:3o.
This sucks... that's exactly what I thought...
I get to the post office, stand in line, foooorrr evvveeeerrrrr, thinking mean thoughts (I can be a mean girl sometimes, but hey I was just thinking them, again my mental telepathy going), like *don't you people know that my time is valuable? there is another counter, why can't you have enough help working to cull this line down? Is it the vibes in here that make people go postal?* well, you get the picture
Long story short (I know it is killing you)
The box was beat to H E double hockey sticks
I got home and the mirrors were broken into a kajillion pieces, *yes, MyzChaos, I know that is not a "real" word, lol, but it is another one of my words*
I emailed the seller, she was rude, she said she would not reimburse me, she said that I didn't pay for insurance (according to the auction page I did), and she would do nothing. I filed a complaint, and I was sorely disappointed because now, now I could not tell all my non-ebay friends who think it is hooey to purchase on Ebay that
*I have never had one bad experience, everything I have ever gotten has worked great or the seller made good on the sale in another way*
That expletive, expletive, woman had taken that away from me, I was P....

Those mirrors sat in that box over a year, on my work bench in my carport (someone else got the tools and saw, so the workbench hasn't seen much action lately). Just before I went to Galveston in June I finally, finally let it go and put them in the trash.

Do I still Ebay? sure, I don't buy much, I usually use it as a price gauge. You have to be careful, some things go much higher than retail. Right now I am in the market for a good, I mean really good, digital camera with 5.o megapixels *alex, that means it will take really good sharp pictures, for future reference, the higher the megapixel the better, and 5 is the highest*, with something other than a memory stick. I like the sonys that have the mini cd in them. I looked, I made a bid, I got out bid at the last second and then I had a vet bill for the dog, so the camera will have to wait.

I didn't let the apple spoil the whole barrel, she did make me more cautious about who I ebay with... lol, it is early...

Have a great day, I have a shower to catch.

Lists, Lists, and Lists

I know it is early, but hey, my day is starting early...

List for the day,

Quit blogging long enough to take a shower ... done
Pack that bag I didn't get packed on yesterday's list ... done
Take Rock Jock the bike so he can do his magic on it ...done
Go see my new professional digs ...done
drive over 550 miles to my mom's ...done
Go with mom to get Micro Office for her computer ... we went but we didn't get it, but did get rum and diet coke with lime, so yeah, think I will have a drink or two instead of paper writing...
Write those damn papers for my masters (now there are three, they are like rabbits you know, and if something were going to be like rabbits, that isn't what I would want it to be)
hmmm, much shorter list, same amount of daytime, we will see what happens.

Have a great one...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I love IKEA. I had never been to one of them before a few weeks ago. The closest one is in Houston, so that is a bit far to drive, esp. since I live near an outlet mall. A few weeks ago they had a sale and I needed to get my youngest (16) son a new bed and he wants a (bed that fold up like a messy couch, what are they, the word escapes, it is late and has been a long day). I got him one and a new look for his room. The thought is that if he likes his space he will spend some time in it. Anyway, while I was there, I saw a rolling stool, similar to what you would see in the Dr.'s office, only the seat is a tractor seat. I couldn't justify it then, but chose to return on my way home today to pick one up.

Let's just put it this way, the stool was 29 bucks and I spent 129 bucks... it is an evil, evil store... they tempt me at every corner... yeah I know, a little self control goes a long way. I don't go shopping and this is why. Of course, everything I got is functional, and I will use it, but still, it is an evil store.

I am sure I will return in a few months to get a lamp I saw today... I better save my pennies in the meantime.

Home again, Home again Jiggety Jig

Yeah, but for less than 24 hours. It is time I was in bed. I have to drop my bicycle off to a friend tomorrow who promises he can make it almost impossible to get flat tires... hey, it is worth a shot. Plus I am going by to pick up the keys and get a peek at my new "office", before I drive off across the state.
The yard has been mowed recently and my oldest helped me unload and rehooked my computer up and he even took me to dinner at Schlotsky's. I brought him a Big Dogs shirt with a parody of South Park on the back, it was hilarious to me and he laughed as much as I did when I first saw it.
It was a good homecoming. As much as I dreaded being here, there are things I realize I missed, like central AC, my DVR (I hate commercials), my computer desk and chair, my pillows and some other things, but you get the point.

There's no place like home, There's no place like home, There's no place like home... oh yeah, I am here... briefly.

Making a list, checking it twice

My friend, Amused Muse, told me that each day I should make a list of things I want to accomplish that day, so here it is (let me know if you think it is possible to do all of this in one day): If it is red it got DONE
Clean the kitchen,
load the dishwasher,
pack food in boxes
pack all cold food in one cooler
pack Diet Cokes in the other for my long journey today
Wash the towels,
Wash the sheets,
Make up the bed
Sweep the wood floors
pack all my clothes and souvenirs
take computer apart (no it isn't a laptop)
load the car
return internet box to cable company couldn't find the address, will have to mail it... bummer
drive an hour to IKEA
Pick up traktor seat chair (that's how they spell tractor, not me)
drive 3 hours home
unload car
put up cold food,
put DC in fridge
put up food in pantry
clean out coolers

pack for 5 day trip to mothers house
eat, somewhere in the middle of all these things,
go see Amused Muse and have a few drinks with her and friend, (hour drive each way)
hook up computer,
write one paper for my masters class that is late
write one more paper for my masters class that is late
yes, I know there is a pattern here.
Go to bed, sleep for 8 hours and get up tomorrow morning at 6 to start driving 550 miles to my mom's house, whose nickname is Ya, and pronounced as Ya in Ya know.

ummm that means I have to go to bed at 10 to get 8 hours sleep. It is nearly 9 am here, so
do I really think all of that is going to take place... lol
that's why there is a list, so that I can check off the things I get done so I don't feel like I didn't accomplish something for the entire day.

hmmm do you get the feeling I don't want to leave my summer abode and return to my regular life... well you hit the nail on the head, that is why I planned it where people were expecting me to be someplace, because I do show up when I am expected to.

My plan has already gone awry, in a good way. The person I am renting from has been out of town all summer and she came back early just so she could see me, so we sat and talked for an hour... now I am behind, it is noon and I am now taking the computer apart, as soon as I post this. The things in red were done, and I left Galveston at 2:30, hmmmm Houston traffic mid afternoon, lovely...

Have a great day, and don't expect a response until tomorrow or Thursday from me, remember the computer will be disconnected and I am swamped.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Daddy, There is Sand in my Bed

I don't know how old I was, but I remember it vividly. My parents took us camping all the time. On one such journey, I remember trying to sleep and not being able to. We were in a pop up tent trailer with two beds, one on each side. My parents slept on one side, and my brothers slept on the other. I slept on the floor in the middle. I know I complained that I was uncomfortable and there was stuff in my bed bothering me, but I don't know what I said. I am sure I was whiney and crying and being spoiled rotten.

My dad got up and changed places with me.

I have told that story many times and finally my mother said "Well you know where we were don't you?"

"No" I said in disbelief that she hadn't brought it up before

"South Padre Island, right on the beach. You sat under the trailer all day, playing in the sand and as soon as you were done, you wanted that sand off of you and everything around you."

So you see folks I haven't changed a bit...

Now I take a shower as soon as I return home, I know I have mentioned it before, but there it is again as I sit here with sandy feet (just got back from my last walk along the shoreline) and I am feeling too lazy or sad to get up and wash them off.

Daddy.. where are you when I need you?

I miss him greatly, but I remember the best things... like when he slept in my sandy bed so I didn't have to.

The End is Near

Tonight is the last night of my summer sabbatical. I am sad. I don't want to go home. I don't want to be the grownup. I like being here, doing what I want when I want. Not doing anything if I don't want to. Going to the beach for an hour or for the entire day if I feel like it.
I will miss:
The beach and all that entails
The neighbors I have met (although they offered me a room if I want to come back for a weekend here and there, and they know I will)
The ability to relax
The laid back pace
The time alone
The beach
The ferry
The Stingaree
The Tiki Bar
The beach
The ability to walk to the beach
Walking on the seawall at night watching the people
Walking on the beach early in the morning and watching the people
Finding shells on the beach
Playing in the water
Reading while sitting in the sun
The beach

What I won't miss?
The sand

you see it is a love/hate relationship, I love the beach, I hate coming home with sand on me. I can't stand it in my bed... but I get ahead of myself... that is in the next post.

Tomorrow I will take one last drive along the seawall, perhaps place a new cache I have ready to place, and head home. It has been great, and I deserved it. I hope it will tide me over until next summer... guess I better start planning that adventure soon.


The following movies are in order of which I thought of them after looking at MyzChaos' blog.

Pretty in Pink: I have seen this movie so many times that my own children are tired of watching it. I am pretty sure it came out long before they were born, but I am not sure. Let's just say, it was when I thought life was like the fairy tales and it has lingered as a favorite due to the hilarious scenes throughout.

Kill Bill: I guess I like Tarentino's work, this was his too wasn't it, along with Pulp Fiction. Revenge, well sometimes I wish I could do the same.

Pulp Fiction: There is nothing I don't like about this film. The lessons, the thoughts, the shots, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and everyone else. I esp. like the scenes with John and Uma, the restaurant, the dancing, the needle in the chest.

Frida: What a great way to portray the artist, I like her work and like how they showed us how it related to her life. I had no idea what she had overcome. Plus I have the highest respect for Salma Hyak. Have you heard her speak? She is an amazing woman.

American Pie Trilogy: Yes the first one was the best one, but I liked them all. I want to play Stifler's mom in the next one. lol

An American President? Is that it? the one with Annette Benning? Cute movie. I like all of her movies.

The Last Samurai: I like culture and traditions and when movies show how they are shattered, for whatever reason, and it involves what I consider slaughter, it really moves me.

The last of the Mohicans: Ditto, plus I am entranced by the history of the Native American Indians.

Gone With the Wind: Someone I once knew told me that we like movies because of how they relate to our lives and personalities... is that why I like Scarlett so much or is it that I liked Clark Gable. Oh I wish I had been born 30 years earlier, at least... There is so much, except the war, and slavery, that I like about this movie.

Under the Tuscan Sun: I want to go there, I want to live there, I want lots and lots of ladybugs... but if I don't get to live there, then make it fireflies...
and yes I could relate to this movie.

Something's Gotta Give: The beach, Jack, Keanu, Paris, what else is there?

City of Angels: Nick Cage and Meg Ryan, a great flick with two of my favorites. A chick flick, but hey, if a guy would give up eternity to be with me one day and not regret it, what else could a girl want... a very passionate movie... heaven on earth.

Family Man: I love Nick, and I hadn't noticed Tea Leoni before but I really like her in this one. I want that marriage... the "I can't get enough of you or surprise you enough and my husband tells me how much he loves me before making love to me or singing to me" well that is why I go to the movies isn't it?

Raising Arizona: It is hilarious, I love Holly Hunter too.

Valley Girls: A favorite from years ago, Nick again, probably was the main reason again, or the underdog motif, plus the parents were potheads which I thought was hilarious.

The Wizard of OZ: Flying monkeys, what a concept. I like the witches, good and bad. I can cackle as well or better than the Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, it got me the lead in the Eighth grade play of the Wife of Bath Tales, so don't make fun of it. Sometimes I do it on request... but that is not for this post.

Lonesome Dove: Mr. Duval, that says it all. I would cut cards with him anytime.

The Incredibles: Fantastic Family movie, but I watched it alone. All the attributes of an action thriller.

Toy Story: Woody, what a guy... I don't know, but I could relate to every toy, even the T-rex, but I really liked Woody... and I liked Buzz too. I wanted the action figure dolls but my sons never got them for me. just a copy of the movie... To Infinity and Beyond...

Now that's scary, the one quote I remember is from Toy Story.

Garden State: The scene at the funeral when he goes into the bathroom. I love it. The overall theme, of feeling something rather than nothing, even if it is pain... I love it. I want a motorcycle just like the one in the movie.

Alien: The first one, I loved it, but it was so long ago, I think the scene made most famous and reinacted in our home is when the alien bursts out of the man's chest at dinner... that is fun to recreate...

Sweet November: Keanu Reeves... man it is a good thing he is easy on the eyes, he can't act his way out of a paper bag. Yeah, this is a chick flick, but I like the Christmas Present scene, the hopeless romantic in me.

The Matrix: I went to this movie against my will and sat on the edge of my seat with anticipation throughout the entire movie. When it was over, I thought, wow, that was a short movie, it can't be over already. Too bad I didn't think the next two were worth seeing, but I did see them.

Monsters Inc.: I loved all the characters, but I esp. like Celia and Roz. I want to be Celia, and I like Roz's

The Shining: Honey, I'm Home... ;)

well that is the start of the list, I will work on it more later... if you want to comment, please follow the format of the title of the movie first then why you liked it , and then other comments, and limit it to the movies listed, then in your comments mention others you think I might should see due to the relationship to the movie discussed.

Can I have this job?

First Good Laugh of the Day

Insomnia: I'm Lovin' It

I was exhausted, a long day in the hot sun... so what that I was at the beach. The headache that wouldn't go away for hours made me want a dark cool place to escape the pounding. After medication, and a diet coke (yes, I know, you are saying... caffeine, you drank caffeine and you think it is insomnia and not a stimulant keeping you awake), and several posts of innocent blogging comments I was spent. Yawning, eyes drooping I went into the bedroom and turned on the tv (transition ploy) and it happened to be on the same channel as the one in the living room, a rerun of CSI from early one... it was virtually over, and Gill still looks good even on a non-cable tv. I laid down, with the ac set and the lights off and remote to turn the tv off in hand. The next show coming on was another episode of CSI and I found myself dozing off before it even started, so I turned it off and went to sleep. Next thing I know, I hear the cat (not my cat, I am cat sitting for the landlord of my summer rental) meow and then hiss and fuss as if someone step on him or something... of course instant fear that some one was in the house over took me... and here I am, I can't go back to sleep now... I looked at the clock when I woke up and it said 2 am... what? I have only been asleep two hours and it feels like all night? yes the insomnia is back. I was hoping it would have been a few more days before it set in, but no...

oh at least The Money Pit with Tom Hanks is on, and I don't think he has sung the name song yet. Guess I will see if I go to sleep in the chair.

I want Sheryl to become a "consultant" and find the fix for my insomnia. I guess you all figured out by now that there wasn't anyone in the house, or at least, I haven't found them yet.

I wonder if those sounds that are so vivid when you are asleep are part of the sleeping world or the awake world, or in this case both. I mean, did I dream that scenario or did the cat, or a cat outside make that noise? Or was it some combination of both? I don't know...
hence the wondering...

enough rambling... I hope all of you are sleeping... and dreaming sweet dreams.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Pumpkin and other sweet nicknames

Would a woman really think that using Pumpkin, like you would Honey, or Dear, or .... well, I am not here to educate you all in the finest nicknames I have ever known... anyway, could a woman really think you were referring to her size? Now if you used, Miss Rhino, or My funny Elephant, maybe...

What are your favorite nicknames you have had other use for you? or you have used for others?

I call my youngest son goober, the oldest josha, and step children were buggae, (which you have to hear to appreciate), and forgae boy

Babies, Dogs, Sea Shells, YellowTail, and An Amazing Day at the Beach PART V: The Final Episode

If it hasn't become clear before this post, I have bad knees. Once upon a time, it was only my left knee. Apparently, overcompensation has taken it's toll on my right, so I move slowly when getting up and down (wording just for you Mr. Electric). To work on strengthening my muscles to help with my knees, I walk the length of the beach with my feet in ankle to mid-calf water for (oh hell I can't think of the word, I hate that) "therapy" (which isn't the word). Sometimes, if the water is fairly clear, I will venture out into the surf. I like to have the water at least waist high and to bend my knees and jump the swells between the sand bars. Today was an amazing day. The water was clearer than it has been all summer. The waves were nearly none existent and the swells were so much fun. I have never gone out so far by myself (saw Jaws as a kid, and sharks are always in the back of my mind). I don't know how long I was out there, but I got a great workout. My legs are stiff this evening and it isn't lack of water, I have had my gallon for the day and am still drinking it.

The thought I had today when I saw what a beautiful day it was, how clear the water was, and the amazing shells I found were...

The planets are aligning, a perfect day just for me, since tomorrow is my last day. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...

Babies, Dogs, Sea Shells, YellowTail, and An Amazing Day at the Beach PART IV

Just like the good old days (or so I am told) a plane flew by several times today while I was at the beach with a huge banner behind it. It was black, with the word [Yellowtail] and yes it was in brackets just like that, a picture of a Roo with a long yellow tail and then Wine... which wasn't a big deal, but then I thought of all the kids looking up and seeing it... and asking their parents about it... well I won't go into those thoughts... but you get the picture.

Babies, Dogs, Sea Shells, YellowTail, and An Amazing Day at the Beach PART III

Every day at the beach is different. Yes the waves are still flowing, the sun is probably shining, the sand is still gritty... BUT... you never know what you are going to find. In this instance, sea shells. The Texas coast rarely presents me with large shells, usually just unusually colored ones. Right after the hurricane hit northern Mexico, I found rather large (for the gulf coast) shells, and promptly plucked them from their sandy graves to my hand and later my collection. Today I found shells like I have never found before. They were still fairly small but smooth, and intact. One, which I will not try to describe here but will come back and add a picture of it when I get a working camera (mine died when I came back from Florida) is the coolest shell I have ever found. I hope I can get it home intact and share it with others.

If picking up seashells off the beach were the same as picking up dollar bills off the stage, I would be rich today.

Babies, Dogs, Sea Shells, YellowTail, and An Amazing Day at the Beach PART II

I keep trying to figure out why people bring their dogs to the beach.

Are they trying to meet other people? I mean, everyone knows that (some) men think that having a dog, walking a dog, etc. is a great way to attract women.

Do they think it is just what a dog wants to do? I mean I love drinking the salt water and sweating through my fur coat, esp. the black one. I also like sitting for hours under the umbrella when the person I am with just wants to sit in the shade at the beach... but if you were a dog, would you understand it and say, yeah I want to do that all day?

There was a guy there with his black lab who loved playing fetch with some toy the guy kept throwing into the surf. It was fun to watch for a minute, but then he saw a gal who had her lab there with her too... hmmm... if I set up a blog for my dog, would that attract your dog .....
While the adults were talking the dogs were playing keep away with the fetch toy, and that was very entertaining. The dogs were more interesting than their owners, and I have a feeling that is why I don't take my dog to the beach... that, and he is an Alaskan Malamute who is afraid of the water.

Babies, Dogs, Sea Shells, YellowTail, and An Amazing Day at the Beach PART I

While at the beach today two young motherly types with a toddler chose to place their things next to my beach party of one. They took the little girl and sat her down in the shallowest area of the water. I watched her as they stood and talked right above her. She would start to get up and try to stand in the sand and waves rolling in (small waves for most folks, fairly big waves for her). It has been a long time since I have the opportunity to watch a small child examine and maneuver in the world around them. If you have the chance, pay attention to how they get up from a sitting to a standing position. Most grownups do not get up this way, nor does anyone over the age of 3 for the most part. I do though, so it was very intriguing and a little disheartening, like returning to the state of a baby, which is what they say happens to you when you are old. I was thinking they were talking much much older. Of course, the reason I get up that way is due to my bum knee since I had surgery on it. It still doesn't make me any less self conscious of how I look when I get up off the floor or the beach chair or the blanket on the sand.

It was quite an aha moment, now I can just say I am in my second childhood. She was a gorgeous baby too, very fair skinned, red hair, great curiousity... and somehow, she knew not to put the seaweed in her mouth but she did pass it from one hand to the other, and despite losing her footing and plopping back down in a seated position she kept getting up and trodding off again.

What to do, what to do

Now that Sunday Morning is over, it is time for me to get ready to go to the beach. I doubt I will stay all day, although I would like to. Saturdays and Sundays have been avoided due to high human turnout, but with only one more day (tomorrow) I feel compelled to go today and thought early would be better.

Afterwards, well I have been neglecting my masters' program for a week so I best buckle down and cowboy up and get'r done.

See, just the thought of the beach makes me giddy.

That will take most of the day and evening.

So... that is the list for the day... maybe at the end of the day and after completing the list I will have a feeling of accomplishment.

Sunday Morning Habits

I don't usually think of myself as a creature of habit. When I got up this morning I felt an urgency to get up before 8 am (not like me at all). I poured a diet coke, sat down, checked email, ( I like to wake up to friendly email, thanks), and turn on the tv to watch Sunday Morning. Then it hit me, I don't watch the entire show and some segments don't interest me, but I love how they shoot the segments and the visuals they create. Today a great segment on Carole King, who is still singing at 63, wow, and looks great...

So, yeah, I admit it, I have a Sunday Morning routine, and sometimes I do sleep past the time the show starts, but at home, I have the DVR tape it, and then I can watch it when I get up... depending on how my date (what date?) went the night before...;)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It was a Wonderful Day

After a very late night of drinking and good conversation with a friend who drove over from San Antonio to see me, we got up this morning and did the "Tourist Thing" in downtown Galveston. What kind of friend/mother would I be if I didn't get a few souvenirs for when I return home next week. Picked up a bit of the beach to take home with me as well. A round glass ball with sand and seashells inside, so I can return to the beach each time I gaze upon it.
After lunch we returned to my summer abode and my friend drove off into the sunset, well... ok, he drove west... if the sun was going down it would have been into the sunset. Hmmm... it was only 3 pm, what should I do? The one and only answer GO TO THE BEACH, Rah Rah Siss Boom Bah (that was for Alex, to add to the excitement of the beach idea).
Layed on the beach, on my new beach mat (which stinks up my car and I thought a dead animal was in there, but no, just the beach mat), drinking water, reading, eating fresh cherries, getting upset when people were so insensitive to block the sun from turning me into a golden sun goddess. I was nice though, just gave them the evil eye through my sunglasses and didn't scream or yell. After all, I was at the beach, it is soothing, I never grit my teeth at the beach, or lose my temper, or tell those spoiled rotten brats that are in their late teens that I parked my caboose at the far end of the beach area so others would not come near me and block my sun, pollute my beach sounds with their droning banter that is not interesting, or feed the stinking rats with wings... but oh I wanted to... then they left... hmmmm my mental telepathy classes must be paying off.
Returned from the beach about the time the sun was setting, and voila, my cell rings, friend on the island says "Hey, what are you doing? Care to join me for a cocktail and dinner?"
My "miss manners" kicks me in the butt... "Hey!" she squeals, "Don't you dare think about saying sure, when it is nearly 8 pm, he didn't call until just now, and that is just not the way things are done! Don't be easy!".... and I say to him "Sure, are you at Mario's?, great I will be there in a bit".
Dinner? well it was great Italian food, at a local spot, not Mario's, and the company was fair to midland. He, apparently, had been drinking for quite a while before I got to Mario's and the conversation was sprinkled with many colorful words, and gestures, and he just kept ordering beers... I had one drink, saw where the night was going and stopped... after all, if I was in a wreck or had to walk home, I wanted to have my facilities or faculties, or wit.. yeah wit about me.

So is the glass half empty or half full? lol, I am sick of hearing that term, so I like how the author of Savage Chickens put it... I think it is half full, but I bet there is arsenic in it... lol!!!

It was a great day overall. I am much more clever when I have interaction with other people during the day. We will see if that is still true in a month, after having 20 s0me odd others in my presence everyday... what stories I will have to tell then.

Pumpkin Time and I am not even sleepy, Good night my sweet, I will not go lightly into this good night...

Friday, July 22, 2005

What's in a name?

Alex's post about friends living in Holliday in Florida made me think... yeah, I do that sometimes....

I have moved around much too much in my life, at least much more than I wanted to, and I know that there will be more new addresses in my future.

I don't know if other folks do this, but when I start researching areas for a new home, I pay as much attention to the name of the street as I do the floor plan and sturdiness/cleanliness of the future abode.

There's a town in the Texas Panhandle called Happy, and the town's motto is The Town Without a Frown. It is a small farming community not far from where my mom now resides. It always seemed a great place to be, although, I know it was simply what the name implied, I never spent much time there to get any other opinion formed.

Then there is Silverton, Tx, named just as the infamous town in Colorado. I lived there for a few years and could have easily changed the name to Stepford. The town's motto was Live the Dream, which if you read the Savage Chicken cartoons, look up the cartoon they have with the same name and you will get the idea.

My favorite abode was in Rockport Texas. Near the water, the coast, I love it, it does so much for my state of mind that I can't imagine not being near water ever again (a large swimming pool might suffice, I just don't know yet). Rockport is next to several small communites, similar to it, Fulton and another area called Holiday Beach... now that sounds like my kind of place, on the Texas coast... drove out there and found that it was a nice area but I never found the beach, even though it was suppose to be right on the bay.

My latest residence, not including my summer digs, is located on a street named Hillcrest, which is the same name of the street where my mom lives. The house numbers are not the same, but they are not far off. It is a similar neighborhood type as well, which is funny, considering her house is over 500 miles from mine. It gets tricky when you are stressed or tired and someone asks for your address (business reasons), or when I am mailing something to my mom...

My summer digs are in Galveston, although I head home next week, after traveling to get my 16 year old son from his dad. My victorian downstairs apt. is on Avenue M 1/2. There is a half street for several of the Alpha Avenues. Now folks, it is an island, why would it be so hard to think of alpha named streets after you ran out of the first 26 letters? Guess half letters worked for the city. Downtown there is a Market Street, as many towns have, and a Post Office Street, which I am sure at one time were the streets the Market and the Post Office, respectively, were on.

I can't think of them right now, probably due to deliberate blocking, but there have been several street names I have come across that made me wonder "who would want to live on a street named THAT?" I am sure you can think of some, so let me know what they were, so we can both have a laugh. ...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

At last my love has come along

As soon as I come home from the beach I jump in the shower... can't stand the sand unless I am building sand castles or having my body ravaged by a man-god. Anyway, as I got out of the shower this afternoon, I found myself singing the title above.... which was very promising, thought I might be about to meet a man... and several times during the evening, while cooking my dinner and doing laundry I found myself singing it again... THEN, as I was watching TV, some commercial came on and that was the music they were using with it... and the thing is, I have no idea what they were selling, I just internalized the song... I miss my DVR, I miss my DVR, I miss my DVR, I miss my DVR, I miss my DVR, I miss my DVR,
BECAUSE then I would be doing my normal, tune in when the show starts, do stuff around the house for 15 minutes, then rewind the show to the beginning, so that I could fast forward through all the commercials and not be "brainwashed"... I also want the new Cuddle Circle Chair by Cantoni... that's not good, have you ever checked out their prices... YIKES... well, now I get to go have dreams about my man, who I hope is coming along... I am ready for him...

Just another day at the beach

It never ceases to amaze me that everytime I go to the beach it is different. Some things never change of course, there is always sand, which is my least favorite part, there is always salt in the water, and rarely do I not see a flying rat (seagull). Today, as depressed as I am, I made myself get out and go to the beach. Now, it shouldn't have been a chore for me to get the gall to go, but it was. Once I was there, in my usual private beach area (well, it is in my mind, which is all that counts), things were great. Hurricane Dennis made landfall in Northern Mexico, but we had effects here due to him. It rained for two days off and on, and the waves were two feet higher than usual. Upon my arrival to "my" beach I noticed that the piles of sand that have been scooped up by the city all summer due to the seaweed were diminished considerably. The sand was wet all the way up to the stairs leading from the beach to the seawall (that's right folks, we have a seawall, it is awesome, and the reason is the Hurricane of 1900, look it up). I chose my regular spot and got comfy. It was about 4 pm, but hey then I won't get too pink, but will get some sun.After reading, napping, and people gazing, I took a stroll down the beach. Of course there is still a bunch of seaweed on the beach and in the water, but I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't as much debris as there is sometimes after a hurricane or tropical storm, althought there was some. I also found a plethora of shells, not just the tiny shells I usually find on the Texas coasts, but much larger, some with a diameter of 3-4 inches. I walked all the way down the water line from one jetty to the next, which is usually impassable, due to water and rocks piled along the seawall. On my way back, with two hands full of seashells, I saw this adonis walking toward me, I tried to keep my eyes on the sand as the water rushed in over my feet and then back out, but he was a looker to say the least. When we passed each other I said hello and noticed he smiled and said hello. I figured he was about 5-10 years younger than me. Which doesn't bother me at all. He reciprocated and said hello, and we went our merry separate ways. Once I reached my abode on the beach, I turned to see if he had turned around or if he was still walking down the beach... he was no where to be seen... then I wondered, was he a figment of my schizo mind, or had I really seen him. I have watched a couple of shows about people who had "invisible" friends due to mental illness. NAH... he just went up the next set of stairs or had walked so far I couldn't see him... bummer, each day at the beach is a new one, and some things you see, you may never see again, and some will be there everytime you go. I am going again tomorrow, maybe he will be there then... NAH... but hey, it will get me there, and then I will be well again...

A Few of my Favorite Things

There is nothing better when I am feeling down than Peach Cobbler and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, unfortunately I like homemade peach cobbler and right now I do not have a kitchen outfitted for me to bake. I am still in the rental on the coast for a week, so I settled for Pepperidge Farms Turnovers, of course, they didn't have peach, just apple, blueberry, raspberry and raspberry chocolate. Hell, I was lucky to find Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (Blue Bell of course, what else is there?).

Why is it so hard to find the things that have made such an impact on you that they have become the fabric of your life?

For years I had a favorite bra, not just one, but a brand, a size, a style, that was my favorite. I bought them 5 or so at a time, and wore them for a year, then bought some more, for my everyday life. After 3 years, I returned to the store to find they no longer have that bra, it is not made any longer. That sucks!!! Now ladies, you know that buying bras is not fun, in fact, to me, it is pure torture, and it just becomes more unbearable as you get older. I am to the point that if the sales person comes in the dressing room while I am trying to squeeze into a new contraption, I don't even care. Not at all like my younger days, and no, I am not that old, simply two twenty-one year olds in one... you figure it out.

Other favorite things... chocolate, which now is a stranger to me, because I gain weight too easily these days.

Recently discovered Savage Chickens, look them up, this guy is a great cartoonist, or at least he is good with words, which is another one of my favorite things, clever people.

A good day at the beach.

Fossil purses, and I am not a purse person, but I like theirs.

Well made cookware, I love to cook, so good pots and pans is important.

Good knives, I have a brand I like, but the name escapes me.

but man, some good peach cobbler sounds really delicious right now... time to go to the beach... perhaps I will feel better when I get back and a bowl of ice cream will suffice. Now just for ice cream I may have to stop and get some mint chocolate chip, if they have it in the pint...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pictures from my Summer

The Bolivar Lighthouse (I believe) sits on private property on the Bolivar Penninsula near Galveston, Texas. I sneaked, snuck, onto the property under an invisible cloak and took a few photos. Lighthouses have always fascinated me so this was a true pleasure. I don't think it is fair to have one on private property and not allow people to view it up close and personal. Luckily, no one was home while I was there. It has a working light that can be viewed driving by or while on the ferry between Galveston Island and Crystal Beach.

Deep sea fishing... my first time, so I wasn't surprised the Gulf of Mexico was such a beautiful blue, but I was surprised that it was, somehow, disturbing to me that I couldn't see land. The sea is such a beautiful living creature and yet can be such a dangerous one as well. It was a very exciting adventure and I hope to go again soon.

My Summer

Greetings from the Gulf Coast. As my "sabbatical" comes to an end ( I return to my "life" next Tuesday), I felt compelled to share some of it.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.... man, isn't that the truth. Let's see... the best of times...

There is nothing better for me than a day spent on the beach, using all my senses.
Listening to the waves crashing as they peak over the sand bars and push their ways to the beach, small children squealing with delight in the sand and water, and the flying rats (sea gulls) begging people to feed them.
Feeling the heat from the sun on my body as the sweat runs and the breeze cools the moisture on my body which keeps me cool and comfortable, the sand beneath my feet, oozing through my toes as I stand in the water, the waves washing over me as I float out in chest high water, that is fairly clear for the Gulf.
Gazing on the the water as the waves wash toward me on the beach, searching for seashells while working my way down the beach, people watching (you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I have seen), and reading a good book while bathing in the sun.
The taste of salt when a wave surprises me and splashes my face. The cool, refreshing slush of a previously frozen bottle of Powerade or Dasani water. Eating chicken salad with chips and cherries for dessert is great on the beach and revives my energy to stay for the day.
The smell of salt in the air, cocoa butter sunscreen, and nothing seems anything but fresh and inviting.
The Sixth Sense is my greater feeling of rejuvenation and relaxation, which I truly needed.... it is all priceless to me.

Sometimes opportunities don't turn out as positively as you would like, and that was certainly the case this summer. I had the opportunity to travel to Florida, the reason, at this point, is moot, but there were great lessons to be learned and it did turn out positively. I had the chance to go for a half day deep sea fishing, which was fabulous. I even caught a fish, and I ate it for dinner so that was the icing on the cake (there were only 6 fish caught and there were over 40 people on the boat). Tarpon Springs is a great area I visited where they harvest sponges off the sea floor using divers, who came from Greece. The area is a great Greek oriented community where I found folks eager to help me find things that would be educational to use in my classroom for greatly reduced prices. The food was to die for, and it just reinforced my desire to someday see Greece (when I was a teen I had a poster of Greece in my room and now see that I should have gone a decade or two ago). On the way home I stopped in Pensacola, but due to the Tropical Storm Cindy, who blew through a day before I did, it was not as impressive as I expected. Hollywood ruins more destinations for me, due to how they portray them, and then I expect more than what is truly there. Other than that, what happens in Florida, stays in Florida.
On the Texas coast, well I have to say, I have spent most of my time enjoying the beach, cooking healthy meals, reading books I have picked up over the last year or so, and working on my master's degree.
Terry, one of the greatest friends I have ever had, came over for a couple of days. She and I went to eat dinner at a fantastic restaurant near Crystal Beach, called the Stingaree. We ate, drank and were merry, then we bought t-shirts to celebrate. Apparently the restaurant once had a resident cat named Mr. Beasley but he died. They had commemorative t-shirts, one created while he was alive, and one upon his death. So, of course, we had to have those. We wore them the next day while we doing the "touristy" thing... I thought some clever person would notice... if they did, they didn't mention it to either of us. On our way to the restaurant we saw the lighthouse, I think it is the Bolivar Lighthouse, but I am not sure, the picture is attached. We rode on the ferry to our dining destination, which is always a treat for me. I never feed the gulls, at least not in the last 30 years, but I did find it interesting they were attracted to the top of a nearby SUV, and I was thrilled it wasn't mine they wanted to use as a perch.

The Worst of Times:
There would be more pictures, but my camera died after the deep sea fishing trip and there isn't a "camera shop" on the island.

There has been seaweed on the beach all summer, due to the ?Sargasso? sea and the seaweed that grows there and breaks loose and floats to the gulf coast. It didn't stink like it does in Corpus, and the last few weeks it has been better and the water clearer.

RED TIDE in Florida, so there were all kinds of dead fish on the beach, which was gross and cool at the same time. I saw eels and puffer fish and others that I would have never seen otherwise, but it was also why so few fish were caught on the fishing trip even though we went very far out into the gulf (ten miles as opposed to the usual 3-5).

Hurricane Dennis, which at least hit much further south, but it feels weird to be on the beach in the middle of the summer and it is cloudy and raining for two days. It was least negative of the ones mentioned, and they are all Mother Nature's doing.

The main thing that occurred was the change in me, I hope that when I return to my "life" I will be able to maintain the "new" me and not fall back into the stress and rush of learning a new job, as a kindergarten teacher, the stress and worry of having a child that trouble follows around and tempts him at every chance, and continuing my journey of finding myself.

Adventures are not always all positive, but you hope the positive will outweigh the negative, and this summer that is certainly true. I have loved it, overall, and hope that next summer I will have another adventure, either here or abroad.

Testing Testing 123

Wow, I don't believe it, I have been trying to learn about "blogging" and now I have one...woo hoo... stay tuned for more entries...