It’s My Story

Daily Prompt:  Awkward

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“I smile because you’re my Daughter, then I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it!”  Unknown

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when someone says something and you have to hold your breath for the explosion to happen?   Here’s an example of what I mean.  

I was with my daughter and her family on Friday.  We had gone to see the play my grandsons were in at their school.  Following the play, which was really cute by the way, we all went out to lunch.  

We are sitting at the table when our waitress asked my daughter if she and I were sisters.  Now, I don’t think that we look the same age, but apparently either she is looking older or I am looking younger.  I prefer to think the latter.  

I held my breath until I was sure my daughter was not going to blow up at the waitress.  Thankfully she has a great sense of humor and just shrugged it off.  However, for a second or two it was a little tense at our table.  

The thing is, just the week before at my granddaughter’s dance competition the same thing happened to us.  So clearly me losing weight, wearing makeup again,  and dressing like I belong in this century has made me look younger.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  🙂



Daily Prompt: Narcissism, Pedigree, Thin, Infect, Premature, Complication

“It is not your blue blood, your pedigree, or your college degree.  It’s what you do with your life that counts.”  Millard Fuller

This is one of my favorite quotes.  I think it says everything about what is important in our lives.  The days of getting by on your laurels are long over.  A name doesn’t mean anything without doing something with that name.  Without doing something for the greater good. 

It’s true, in the United States we do not have Royalty.  But we have our share of famous families which were thinly veiled with prestige and a class of their own making.  Our own made up royalty if you will.  

This behavior can be infectious to our society.  We have tuned celebrities and athletes into superstars that we treat as royalty.  They become role models for our children, which for the most part is not a good thing.  Many of them have behaviors which are not something that should be celebrated.   Money and what it can buy is taken as a status that avails premature accolades and a false idea of what is important in life.  

I am not saying that all celebrities and athletes are a bad example.  There are many who give back and behave like responsible adults that we are happy for our kids to look up to.  Unfortunately, our media does not focus on them.  They would rather hone in on those narcissistic individuals which in my opinion just celebrates their poor behavior.  

Life is more than what we can have and can buy.  It’s being a part of a community big and small.  It’s learning how to love, help, and support each other, not bring each other down.  There is so much violence in the world today.  Kids shooting up schools, clubs, and concerts being attacked with automatic weapons, violence is all around us.  My personal opinion is that a lot of it stems from the violence on TV, the movies, and video games.  When is the last time a video game which has a non-violent aspect to it was advertised on TV?  Violence is what sells today.  

All this makes being a parent difficult.  When it seems that the whole world is saying hate, violence and sex are the right way it is very hard to get through to our kids that peace, love, and good morals are the right way.  

For those who don’t know what the title of this means, it is an acronym for In My Humble Opinion.  


My Little Piece of Heaven

Daily Prompt:  Forest


Living in a forest is quite an experience.  We cleared just enough of it to have room for our house and garage.  I live in the middle of a long needle pine forest.  It’s quiet and full of life.

I have bear, coyote, red fox, alligator, deer and so many more animals that visit our little piece of heaven.  I love it here.  My property is all natural, no gardens, just a few pots with flowers in them on my front porch.  At night you can hear the tree frogs singing.  If you open my front door at night, there are always several tree frogs sitting around my outside patio light stuffing themselves on the insects the light attracts.

Where I live is unique in that the beach is only twenty minutes away.  I have the best of two worlds living here.

I can sit on my front porch and watch the hawks and occasional eagle fly over my property.  They are beautiful in flight.  I just have to watch out that Gracie isn’t out wandering when those birds of prey are around.  She could be picked up and taken for a good meal.  Then there are the butterflies flying by, the Cardinals and other birds which I love to watch and photograph.  And I am amazed at the different “weeds” that have pretty blooms.

I have fox squirrels here.  They are really cute.  They are mostly black with masks of white on their faces.  There are varying degrees of black, white, and grey on these comical characters.  I also have big bugs.  Yuk!  I could do without them.

The Green Swamp Preserve is a 15,907-acre swamp nearby and it is beautiful.  It has venus flytraps, orchids and other rare plants and animals.  The venus flytraps are in bloom in late May.  I am planning a photo excursion there at the end of the month.

I have lived in a city, the burbs and now in the woods which is my favorite especially since the beach is so accessible to me.


The Village


Picture from Education in Medieval England

Daily Prompt:  Courage, Rube, Costume, Suspicious

It was a day not to be forgotten.  A day when there were so many assaults on the countryside.  Who could the peasants turn to for help?  It seems there was no one with the courage to step forward to defend their way of life.

The nobles were nowhere to be found.  Where were those who had promised protection for the poor?  Would they perish?  But how could the nobles let this happen?  Who would cook and clean for them?   Can they survive without us?

Slowly a rube came forward.  A simple sort who’s costume needed many repairs.  He was barefoot, dirty and spoke with a weak voice saying he would defend them.  “How can this be?” they asked him laughing.  You are a nothing a simpleton.

The rube spoke up saying, I may be nothing with nothing, but together we are something and have many weapons at our disposal.  Gather your farming tools and we will meet at the bridge to defend our homes.

The rest of the peasants in the village were suspicious but did as the rube had instructed.  The peasants laid in wait for the invaders to cross the bridge.  After many hours had passed, a scout was sent out to see where the invaders had gone.

The scout came running back into the village yelling that the invaders had vanished.  Cheers erupted throughout the village.  In no time the rube went back to being the village bumpkin, the nobles demanded the peasants resume their duties and the village continued to get along in the same fashion of its past.  It didn’t take long for the villagers to forget the courageous actions of the simple man who was willing to lead them to their defense of the invaders.



Tortureous Eating

Daily Prompt:  Spicy

I am not a fan of spicy food.  Or I should say, of hot spicy food  I have always equated spicy with hot but I guess that’s not accurate.  I use many spices when I cook, but hot tasting spices I stay away from.

It is inconceivable to me why anyone would want to suffer while eating.  I associate eating with pleasure, not pain.  I guess that for those of you who love to indulge on a tear producing hot dish, you find it pleasurable.

I can remember when my son was a little boy.  Maybe 4 or so.  We went took the kids to Disney World.  He kept seeing the signs along the highway for Popeye’s Chicken.  Finally, after listening to him say he wanted to eat at Popeye’s we gave in.  He said that the chicken was a little hot, but he liked it.  Personally, it was too much for my tender GI tract and my youngest wouldn’t even try it.  After our lunch, we proceeded to the park where we had a delightful day.  It was the next morning when the full effects of Popeye’s Chicken were felt.  My poor little boy was sitting on the commode crying as the spicy chicken made its way out of his little body.  Needless to say, he never wanted Popeye’s Chicken again.

I don’t get it.  My husband used to tell me that when he was young and his dad worked evening shift on weekends he would stay up until he got home and eat hot peppers with him.  He loved how they tasted going in,  but hated how it felt in when they exited. But he kept eating them.

Maybe I have done my family a disservice by not cooking hot spicy food.  I may have denied them the experience of international cuisine.  If so I apologize.  Somehow it goes against my maternal instinct to cause pain while eating.

You will never find hot spices on the spice carousel in my kitchen.  My recipes don’t include things like Cayenne Pepper or Extra Hot Cajun Seasoning.  Just thinking about these things gets the acid churning in my stomach.  For those of you who enjoy these dietary tortures enjoy.




Daily Prompt:  Amble

I spent the day yesterday with my friend Dottie, her son Brandon and her granddaughter Alissa ambling through Animal Kindom at Disney World here in Orlando, Florida.  We had a wonderful time.  I love to see all of the animals that are in the park as well as going on the rides.  The new ride in Pandora is unbelievable.  That’s all I will say on the matter because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not ridden on it yet.  I am always so impressed with the technology and ingenuity that Disney puts into their attractions.

Did I mention that my friend Dottie is retiring from Disney, Animal Kingdom to be specific, on Wednesday?  So over the years, every trip to the park with her is always filled with many introductions to other cast members on the job.  Whoever she takes to the park is privy to an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about the animals and the trivia related to Animal Kindom.  Her shimmering love for both the animals and her career is evident by her desire to enhance your visit with these nuances.

Dottie has never been one to take her responsibilities at work casually.  Even in her first career with Western Electric.  She has always had a very strong work ethic.  Dottie has always been a teacher of sorts in the form of training in both of her careers.

We have been friends since our junior year in high school.  Almost fifty years!  I can remember thinking that I would be ancient when I was fifty.  Now, I just feel blessed to have had a wonderful friend for that long.  We were in each other’s weddings.  She is godmother to my daughter and Aunt Dottie to all of my children.  We were partners in crime (as Mom would say) in our teens. She called my mom and dad, Mom and Dad and I called her mom Mom.  Our friendship has weathered enormous joy, great loss, sadness, happiness and separation of time and distance.  And now I will share with her a new chapter in her life.  Retirement.  Anyone who has retired after working since their teens knows that although we work toward retirement, and for retirement and want retirement, it is a difficult transition.  So I will have the honor of celebrating this special day with Dottie, her husband Frank and her Disney family on Wednesday by attending her retirement party.

As we left the park last night, to the symphony of screams and laughter I looked at Dottie smiling, tired from the day, but happy she had shared her home of the last 19 years with us.    It was the last time she would be hosting family and friends as a cast member at Disney.  Who ever takes her place in the park will have so very much to live up to.

I love you, Dottie.  Happy Retirement.



Hidden Dangers

Daily Prompt:  Hidden


It was around 5 o’clock in the afternoon yesterday that I looked outside to see it drizzling. I had planned to mow the grass for Frank and Dottie, but realized I would have to wait a little longer.   About an hour later I walked past them both saying I was going to cut the grass.  They both looked at me and said OK.  Out I went.

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I got onto the behemoth red machine that reminds me of a pincher bug on wheels.  I affectionately refer to it as Max.  You can imagine my delight as it started right up.  So far so good.  The last time I tried to start it we had to give Max a jump.  I started going back and forth across the back yard making small talk with the two armed machine.  I had to make more than one pass over the rows I was traveling because the grass grows worst than weeds down here.  All of a sudden I attempted to turn and got stuck.  Oh no!  Hidden danger number one.

No matter what I tried I could not get the thing to move.  Then, I looked at where the wheels were and realized I had dug a couple of big holes.  I carried a piece of wood down to the back of Max.  I was thinking I could put it under the tires.  Good idea right? Wrong! Max’s petite physique hid his weight admirably.  I couldn’t lift it.  Hidden danger number two.

Finally, I had to go into the house to let Frank know I just got his new lawn mower stuck in the mud.  Being very gracious Frank said, “It’s OK, I get stuck sometimes too.”  I felt a little better.  But Max was still sitting in the mud.

Then Dottie said to me,  “I can’t believe you tried to cut the grass after the downpour we had.” Downpour?  When did we have a downpour?  Apparently in the front of the house it had just drizzled, but in the back it had poured.  I mentioned to Dottie that I had told her I was going to cut the grass she just said she didn’t hear me.  Hidden danger number three.  With age comes decreased hearing.  I totally get it now when my kids say I am going deaf.   The three of us just chuckled.

So fast forward to midnight.  As I am lying in bed about to fall asleep I hear it raining.   All I could think about was poor Max all by himself in the back yard uncovered getting soaked.  Oh well, it wasn’t like I could go out and get him right?

Today Frank and I decided he was going to try to tow me out of the mud using his electric wheel chair.  Honestly, I was skeptical.  All we needed was to get him stuck in the mud too.  Then we would be in a real pickle.  But, I deferred to Frank and tied the rope around Max and his wheelchair.  I started Max, and as Frank pulled I gave it some gas.  I looked behind me and I see Frank’s chair leaning over on the hill.   Max isn’t budging.  I jumped off and ran up to Frank to tell him to stop pulling.  Repeat of hidden danger number three.  Thankfully, Frank didn’t get stuck or topple over.

Our last ditch effort was using his pick up truck.  I got Dottie to back the truck onto the side yard so I could hook the rope to the back of it.  Frank was positioned between me on the tractor and Dottie in the truck.  I waved to Frank so he could let Dottie know she could start pulling.  All of a sudden Max’s tires took hold and I finally got out of the mud.

We were due to have another rain storm today, so I just stayed on the tractor and cut the grass.  It is storming as I write this post.


Have you ever ridden a tractor like this?  It is a study in coordination.  You have to move both handles to make it go forward, turn or backward.   Frank likes it because he says it’s got a zero degree turning radius on it.  That zero degree turning is what started this craziness.  Give me a steering wheel any day of the week.


Here is a picture of the damage to the back yard.   What should have taken a couple of hours at the most tuned into two days of hidden dangers while cutting the grass.


Sweet Smell Or Bad Odor

Daily Prompt:  Fragrance


Have you ever walked into a department store and been assaulted by an aggressive woman with a spray bottle in her hand?  Before you can say no thank you, you are covered in a fragrance that sends you into a fit of sneezing and choking?  While you are gasping for breath the self-imposed dictator tells you the name of the weapon and what is sells for.  As if wanting to know is the first thing that comes to mind rather than the murder of the combatant.

I often wonder how many people run, not walk, screaming into the outside air for a clean breath winding up in the nearest emergency room.  After several respiratory treatments to open up those vital airway passages the assault starts over again because you are now the carrier of those nasty histamines.  They are in your hair, on your skin in your clothes…

It’s at this point that you realize you don’t even like how it smells.  It’s not a sweet smell that is pleasing which would at least make the pleasure worth the risk to life,  but rather a bad odor that warns of impending doom.

Who in their right mind thinks that this is the way to advertise a product for sale?



Harmony In Motion

Daily Prompt:  Harmonize

Friday afternoon here in Orlando we had quite a storm.  It rained so hard that the back part of the yard flooded.  Right along the back of the yard is a wooded area fed by a stream and it looked like a small lake with trees growing out of it.

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I have been fascinated with the birds here in Orlando.  I love to photograph animals and birds are one of my favorite subjects.  After the area flooded, I walked out onto the porch and to my amazement a flock of about twenty five white Ibis flew right up to the area to forage for food.  The ibeses in harmonized movements grazed along the edge of the water each taking a turn as sentinel.


I attempted to get the birds to come closer by throwing out some cheerios in the main part of the yard.  To my delight, they began to head up toward me.


I discovered that they didn’t really care for the Cheerios and soon turned back toward the water.


I came into the house to show my friend the pictures I had taken.  As I went back out to check on the birds I caught the last of my visitors, a white crane just standing in the water.


I was lucky enough to catch the crane taking flight.   Unfortunately, I was not as ready for the take off as I would have liked to have been.  So the shot isn’t a great one, but I still think it’s magical.



Dormant Memories

Daily Prompt:  Dormant

As I have gotten older I find I spend more time in my memories.  It’s what you do when you spend time with your grandchildren.  You tell them about when their parents were growing up.  And, at the risk of really sounding ancient, you tell them about your own childhood and experience their incredulous expressions of disbelief.

Sometimes, a vague sense comes over me that I might not be remembering an actual memory of my past, but rather a memory of a dream.  Not the kind of dream that pushes you to do, have, or be, but the kind you actually live in your sleep.

One particular “memory”, which is not really a good one, has haunted me for a very long time.  It surfaced maybe twenty years ago.  If it is indeed a memory it surely explains a lot of why I feel the way I do about some things.  If it was a dream,  I find myself wondering why I would have dream’t such a disturbing event in my life.

In the end, we are the product of our environment and it really doesn’t matter if the “memory” is one that has been dormant or if it is actually a dream because it becomes part of us anyway.

What shapes our personality is the good and bad experiences we live through. Understanding our past helps us in our present and future if we are wise enough to learn from these past experiences.   Often our dreams are just a way to show us our fears which we need to face so we don’t become crippled by them.