Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back and Forth and Up and Down.

Packing for a trip this evening but saw this on the news and was sure that I was losing my mind.

"Hours before Congress broke for the August recess, House Republicans claimed that the President could use executive action to fix the border situation with unaccompanied children fleeing violence in the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In a press statement released Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other House Republican leaders indicated that President Obama could address the crisis “without the need for congressional action,” a statement tinged with some irony given that just the day before, House Republicans had slammed the President with a lawsuit claiming executive overreach"   This lawsuit is the GOP suing the President for using executive action to delay the implementation of a part of Obamacare...the very bill they tried to repeal dozens and dozens and dozens of times.

The House can find no middle ground on an immigration bill which their members claimed three years ago would be done by now.  They do not agree with the Senate version.  Now they want the President to use Executive action to solve the issue so they can take off on five weeks away from the job with perhaps less guilt for their inaction.

At least I may be away from the news for some time and that may prevent me from pulling out my hair until I am bald.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beefcake? and Perhaps a Little Cheesecake?

One reader asked if I was writing a romance novel based on the subject of my last post.  No, I am not a big reader or writer of that genre, although I must admit as a much younger woman I consumed my share of bodice rippers with lantern-jawed mysterious men.  Fellow blogger, Rain Trueax, is the romance writer that got me thinking about abs because she has written a number of books that require covers with abs. We talked about cover designs for such books as she does her own.  She has a passion for our country's early history and the wild west and the cultures of that time.  She does extensive research to make her characters come to life so that the story she weaves is more than just romance, and her women are as strong as her men.  If you want to know more about her writing and her books you can go here.

Anyway (please read this in an Ellen DeGeneres voice), I had an opportunity to explore more Beefcake the other day.  I went to an event with my children and grandchildren.  This is an event that I would never have gone to on my own, and unless you are a former marine or married to one, I doubt very much you would have ever gone to one of these either.  (By the way it costs $25 a head just to be an observer, so I probably will not go to one of these again!)  Oorah!!

There was lots of dust and mud and sweat and blood.  You may not know, but it seems that the term cheesecake actually may have originated in Britain way back in the 1660's!  Sexy (and promiscuous) women were referred to as cheesecakes and tarts.  The few women in the last of my photos in this post are NOT cheesecake and certainly more beefcake.   The theory on the word beefcake is that movie cameramen were the first to use the term in the late 1940s and early 1950s when they discovered that women liked to look at well-honed men and actors started taking off their shirts and smiling in that certain way.

These guys above are serious because they clearly are willing to get dirty.  We all know how bad dirt is.

This beefcake (with hench woman and child in tow) is not too proud to wear his glasses when the challenge is done.

(No comment on the dude immediately above!)

 Get down there and eat that dirt!

NO, the woman in the foreground is not dead or tired, she is actually rolling all the way across to each log.

They were moving very slowly by this time as the ropes were super slippery from all the mud.

As they walked up to the last few challenges they all looked like the walking dead to me!

BUT before they could shower and reveal all those six-packs they still had this last challenge to leap over!  "Oorah!!"

I know, you are disappointed that these are not as sexy as you had hoped.  Maybe you can go on over to Mage's ComicCon photos as she always manages to catch a sexy type or two and the costumes she photographs are far more intriguing.

Oh ... one last photo to let you know why in the heck I was there. It was to support my granddaughter and grandson.  She doesn't usually run in purple net skirt, but Dad was too late on arrival to get her changed!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cover Up

Winding down the end of the week with the little granddaughter.  It is Friday morning and she had doughnuts for breakfast and is now watching TV...those things that we are supposed to avoid doing with kids.  But I need a slow morning and thus I have her plugged into the mind-less-tube.  We spent time at the pool the other day and I took the photo below.

This photo is just for one of my blog readers...Rain Treaux.  We were having a discussion on abs, hot men, book covers,  etc.  Do I have you curious?  Oh well, too busy to elaborate.  Just enjoy, unless you are a guy.  See you in a few days!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Busier Than Any Old Cliche You Want to Choose

The world is too much with us this week and in the coming weeks.  Hoping to find time to post and read blogs, but as most bloggers know, the world waits for no blogging man (or woman).

Yesterday was filled with about five hours of doctor's appointments, blood tests, waiting to fill prescriptions, and cancellation of our attendance at a philanthropic reception last night.  Hubby was in so much pain (neck and then an elbow---see prior post) that we pushed into seeing his primary physician late yesterday morning.  Without going into all the details, let us just say we continued this journey most of the afternoon.  He is on three more prescriptions and we are waiting for side-effects.  One side-effect was that he slept all the rest of the day into late dinner after we got home.  He is no longer in pain and trying to slow down.  (We have not checked crab traps in three days !)  Health issues never fall at a convenient time, and this summer is already very full for us.  But, we did squeeze in an  MRI at the end of the week.  We have to get to the healing issues because....

Today I have to get another reservation confirmed for a trip to Ireland in early September (going with my son, wife and in-laws after our cancellation of our trip to Turkey with the other set of in-laws due to all the war issues raging everywhere.)  Today I have to plan for a children's class on soil.  Today I have to grocery shop and plan menus for the week. Today I have to vacuum.  It is crazy, please try to keep up.

Granddaughter gets picked up on Sunday, tomorrow, for a week with us.  We are making felt fairies, cooking stuff, having a chocolate tasting, swimming and dragging her to the garden class I am teaching with other children on Monday.  I am tired already, but loving the opportunity.

Then the week after next week is a break before hubby and I are off to Colorado and Wyoming for two weeks with the 9-year-old grandson to explore geology and nature and sleep in the bowels of a volcano.  He will visit great uncles and aunts and I will attend a high school class reunion as well --- of about 10 of us really old people who are in good enough health to show up!  I am not looking forward to the emotional roller coaster of that luncheon, but I must go.

Then it is back home and another week to recover before we get the littlest grandson (four-years-old) for his week of being indulged by grandparents.

Summer will be over in the blink of an eye and then just one week to get ready and pack for our Ireland trip.  Son's in-laws are making most of the plans, but, thus far, we have only the Dublin arrival, two days in Ballingcollig, a rental car and two days in Dublin before heading home.  We have the whole middle of the week to fill and I wish they would get on it!

Yes, I am tired, you are tired, we are all tired...but we are keeping one foot in front of the other because the alternative is not something I want to dwell on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


You don't want to be there, even if it is for something simple, like making sure you are A-OK.  But I was there for someone else.  I was there for hubby who had fallen off of a ladder...not far...just five feet.  He landed on his butt, but since he is missing the back side of 5 neck vertebrae from a serious operation years ago and the little bit of whip lash from the fall left him a bit stunned, even he agreed with his doctor that time in the emergency room of the hospital was a trade off well spent.  So we were waiting to be called.  We were number 3711, they no longer use last names.

The waiting room is designed really well, since you can hear the nurse at the front hall as if she had a microphone and she is just calling in a medium voice.  When she leaves it is pretty quiet except for the whispers of the half dozen people waiting.

The man in the wheel chair with the oxygen tank and beard and long white hair looked at me suspiciously when I sat down across from him.  His son said something to him, but he was hard of hearing and missed it. 

The two others were women, one in the early stage of pregnancy and in a bit of pain and just finished being put on IVs and the other woman closer to my age in a wheel chair and nursing a banged up leg, surrounded by her entire family that must have been at the Sunday BBQ at her house from the way they were dressed and acting like this was a continuation of the afternoon party.   They cleaned out the snack machine, checked their phones and spent the rest of the time telling jokes.  One son looked a little like a younger version of Willie Nelson with a navy handkerchief over his head and a wiry beard.

In about 30 minutes hubby was called.  He was called ahead of the man in the wheel chair.  I went outside to the garden and took some photos.

Flowers and flowing water surrounded me and were certainly there to relieve stress.  I was not stressed as hubby was in just a little pain and had been taken for triage, but I knew this might have eased some minds on other days.

I had my point and shoot camera and caught this lovely butterfly, a common buckeye on the black-eyed susan.

It was hot and humid, so I returned to the air-conditioned waiting room after about ten minutes.

The man in the wheel chair had moved to a chair but was at his last bit of patience and stood to tell his son he was going home.

"I have been waiting  two  #$$9ing hours and I am %^&-da*?%$ sick and tired of this!"

I agreed with him as they had taken hubby before him.  Son tried to calm him but they were almost shouting since he was so hard of hearing.  Within a few seconds a tiny ball of energy weighing no more than 90 pounds herself with the sweetest smile and little notepad came in front of them and began asking questions.  He was not in the mood for her charm, but she finally got him calmed down while she left to see where he was in the grand scheme of things.  In about 5 minutes she returned. took his arm and they walked through the automatic doors into the triage area.

I continued to wait.  I read my Kindle, slept some and even watched some obnoxious ESPN channel where a loud-mouth was telling us how much he knew about some player and how everyone else was stupid and so wrong.

After two and half hours hubby was released with drugs, feeling no pain and getting good news about his neck.

Unfortunately we were hungry and made the mistake of stopping for a light dinner and ended up driving home in the worst electrical storm I had ever seen...we were following the front south and right under all the lightning.  Hubby was on Oxycontin and very casual about the 4 and 5 lightning strikes every few minutes.  I was trying to see the car ahead of me. (We were slow enough at one time that I grabbed the camera and shot through the windshield.)

We got home to find absolutely NO RAIN in our yard.  It had stopped just a few hundred feet before our neighborhood.  What a bummer.  No glorious sunset either just the last of the clouds above the trees.

But I am not complaining one twit as this was a very nice visit to an emergency room and it could have been so much worse.  Do not even get me started about hubby on a ladder without me!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

100 Years From Now

100 years from now,
Who will remember my name?
Who will protect my treasures?
Who will call forth the memories?

The world I know may be lost by then
Into nuclear winter or endless hot summer.
The few natives will have retreated
Into the bowels of the earth
For rough shelter and safety.

The earth may have slid in upon itself
Becoming an abstract Dali-esc spheroid of clay
Robotic machines may be keeping the peace
Comedy becoming a lost art
with only an abundance of fearful snickers
and outright chuckles rarer than hen's teeth.

Music a distant memory
A long ago dream of another land
Propaganda in song more of a Greek chorus
Days hard and empty
Nights cold and unnerving

Who will remember the unscripted laughter of a child?
Who will protect the benign lover?
Who will call forth their own courage,

100 years from now?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

An Awe Fillled Moment

Another unusually hot day causing me to spend less time outside under the baking sunshine and more time on the computer.  Hubby returns from running some errands and there is excitement in his voice.

"Tabor, come outside,  I want to show you something."

"What?"  I sigh.

"A baby fawn...on the outside of the fence."


He sets down a package and continues, "I got out of the car and heard this bleating sound.  I thought it was some strange new bird and so went toward it and there on the outside of the deer fence was this fawn calling out."

Tabor never rarely misses a photo op and so I grabbed the camera and garden shoes.  Hubby and I hurried to the fence behind my herb bed.  We scanned the foliage carefully.  The sun was bright and the shadows were very dark.  Nothing.  I walked along the side of the fence looking.  Nothing.

Well, damn it, I will just walk outside around the fence!  It is about a half block long so it took me some time to get through the driveway gate and make my way around through brambles and poison ivy and prickly holly to the edge of the ferns where hubby said he had last seen the fawn.

We gently looked everywhere and were just about to give up when hubby stepped back to turn around and head back to the house and at his heels there looking up at him was the tiniest little fawn I had ever seen bleating so sadly.  We must have stood there in shock and awe for some time before we decided that the fawn must have lost its mother to come up to us.  We easily lifted it into our arms, took it into the house and tried to give it some water, which it lapped very hesitantly.  We took it outside to the fenced garden, afraid our air-conditioning might be too much of a shock for such a little thing, and then came back inside and called DNR for help.

They referred us to a local rehabilitation house (a home) run by a retired vet, I think, hubby had done all the talking on the phone.

We wrapped the fawn in a towel and I placed it on my lap in the car and hubby started the GPS and proceeded to the house on the other side of the county.    A young teenage girl, who worked for the vet, brought us inside.  The animal house itself was a disaster.   It smelled like a zoo, there was junk every where, floors needed washing, rugs needed vacuuming.  The vet, who had been showering, greeted us in a bathrobe and was also surprised at how tiny this fawn was.  Born maybe just days ago!  Even he had to take a photo!

He weighed it, felt its stomach, and looked at its eyes and declared it very healthy and recommended we return it to the woods.  He said there was food still in the stomach.  We were glad he said this, because I do know sometimes mothers leave their young for some time, and did not want to keep it or leave it with him in that disaster of a home.

We took the little beastie home, washed it down with a damp clean cloth to remove any of our smell and returned it to the woods.  It stood there looking longingly at us as we placed it on shaky little spindle legs and did not move.  I pushed its behind gently and it finally walked into the deep ferns and amazingly disappeared almost instantly.  We have not seen or heard from it since, so I am hoping is well!  That is, until that little creature becomes a yearling and starts eating our shrubbery next year!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Females Who Saved Me From Myself

I have cried and sighed with Anne of Green Gables.
I have loved and wondered with Anne Frank.
I have lamented Scarlett O'Hara's self-centered ego but applauded her stamina and wished I had her waist.
I admired Nancy Drew and her fearless independence and money.
I learned determination and stubborn argumentative ways from Jo March.
I wanted Karen Blixen's sense of adventure.
I helped Charlotte weave her web and fell in love with Wilber.
I wanted Rima's ethereal presence in her Green Mansions.
I wanted Elspeth Huxley's childhood and powers of observation.

I am sure there are more as this was a stream of consciousness post, but these were ones I read when I was younger (Teens and Twenties) that influenced me the most.

Who are some female characters, fiction or non-fiction, in the land of books that influenced you in as a teen or young adult?

Saturday, July 05, 2014

King Arthur, Spoiled Brat

Arthur came rushing up like a banshee getting angrier and angrier with its temper tantrum until it hit the shore and colder waters.  It was almost as if it had been punched in the nose as it slowed and moved back out to sea.  It completely avoided my little pocket of land on the Eastern shore.  A cool weather front met Arthur's challenge and we now have spring weather for a few days.  Sweater weather...almost.

On the down side we got only a tenth of an inch of rain and winds too strong to go out in a boat.  We headed down  to the local town for an old-fashioned fireworks show being surprised that parking was not full and there were still many places to set up chairs on the church lawn.  We had not seen the fireworks from the land side and asked a dear old lady (younger than me probably) sitting on a folding chair about the best vantage points.  She explained the fireworks had been postponed and she was just waiting for her family who had decided to walk around town before sunset.

A number of years ago a restaurant fire on this island coupled with heavy winds almost burned down the entire town as firefighters worked desperately to bring it under control.  The tally was only two buildings lost and some smoke damage.  With the wind causing unpredictable drifts that evening, fireworks had to be exploded another day.

I am no longer a child and was happy just to get out for a bit and then back home.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


I, like many of my readers, do not like programmed vacations filled with artificial entertainment.  I did like the Williamsburg visit.  They had a game for young historians called RevQuest where they use clues, decoder charts and talks with staff in costume throughout the historic town.  The children and young adults pretend they are spies for America working with the French during the revolution.  They meet in secret places and wear a scarf so staff know they are spies. They have to text messages from cell phones to get confirmation when they think they have solved a part of the puzzle.   I do not think this part of history gets enough promotion.  Oldest grandson, who loves puzzles, did very well.

Re-entry after our week away was a slow process as I caught an intestinal and other illness (probably from sharing water bottle with granddaughter or visiting two 'amusement parks') and had to schedule an appointment for antibiotics yesterday.  I actually enjoyed sitting around and reading and going through the mail and sitting close to the bathroom and not seeing the problems in the yard yesterday.

Gardeners are the type of people who would rather stay home during the growing season than go off and explore some other parts of the world.  It was daughter who chose this time of year and because we want very much to be with them, we agreed.  We came back to a lot (A LOT) of rabbit devastation.  Almost every one of my sunflowers, some over 6 feet tall, brought down by little teeth.  We were not there to spray with a noxious minty smell every few days and they discovered that sunflowers and parsley were not mint but a delicious breakfast and dinner!  They also dug under the fence of our vegetable garden and we have had a real set back with almost everything planted except the tomatoes, of course.  Fortunately gardeners have a strong heart.

On the plus side, the five bluebirds have hatched and are being fed by mom and dad throughout the day.  Feeding five!!  That keeps you busy.

I did take a short time to visit the used book store in the store area of Williamsburg and purchased a collection of poems by Pablo Neruda, motivated by my recent read of "Paula" by Isabelle Allende, and a memoir written by Katheryn Hepburn on the making of "African Queen" which is one of my FAVORITE movies.

Today we begin to move deck and patio chairs and small items to prepare for the tropical storm that is heading up our way. I have many photos to process.  Actually I took less than 500 for the whole week, so I am getting more precise in what I want to take.  I have a house to clean.  We are picking quarts of red raspberries which are not being totally removed by birds and squirrels.  I have to make an apple raspberry pie and hubby is putting up pints of raspberry jam.  I have to do all this before we may lose electricity in the next day or two!!