Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Right Fit

As I write this we are socked into a two to four inch rainfall AGAIN, and it’s one of those fall evenings that makes you want to curl up on the couch in your baggie cotton pajamas with a blanket and a box of Whoppers. It is a far cry from the hot swimsuit weather we experienced in Florida just a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I wore little more than a swimsuit on most days down there. And I miss it. I went shopping for swimsuits while I was there. I tried on 23 of them because nothing is more difficult than finding the right swimsuit. Except for picking a great fitting pair of jeans. Or a bra.

I’d rather wrestle with a hyena than try on bathing suits, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and this girl waited until all the swimsuits at home were gone from the shelves before she decided she needed another one. While trolling the Highway 98 Destin Target for a water bottle, I stumbled upon a swimsuit rack. Seduced by a clearance tag I tried on a mauve number that was a little edgy. I was all, “Ooh, $7.98 and it fits!” Now, we have all made the mistake of buying some outlandish hat or article of clothing while on a vacation high and the Calypso music is playing and the margaritas are flowing. It seemed like a good idea at the time and then you got home and realized you didn’t want the head of the Methodist Women’s Group catching you wearing that in the Piggly Wiggly. It’s how I ended up with a flowery skirt and tube top from San Juan, Puerto Rico. So, standing in the dressing room of the Destin Target, I eyeballed that monokini and said, “Self, just ‘cause you could wear it, doesn’t mean you should.” And after nixing every justification I could think of for buying that bathing suit, I put it back on the rack. And patted myself on the back for not crossing a line I’ve crossed several times in the past. And then I bought a wool flapper hat for this winter.

Flash forward to this week when Teen Angel and I headed out to buy her a Halloween costume for a school club function she has Saturday night. Now, I grew up in a time when we made our costumes out of whatever was lying around the house or stuff you picked up at the thrift store or dollar store. So, I’m not wild about store bought costumes anyway, given that they’re such a rip-off, and I HATE, HATE, HATE that they’re all so trampy looking. However, living in a rural area, our store bought costume options are limited so we headed off to the seasonal Halloween shop in town, which I won’t name but like to call Whores Are Us since almost everything in there is a g-string short of a stripper’s costume. All of the women’s costumes have the same basic form, a duck skirt (two inches below the quack) and a bustier with something on it to symbolize what the costume is supposed to be, such as a police badge or a dog in a basket. By the way, when did Dorothy start wearing stilettos and a garter belt? As usual we wandered around for an hour with Teen Angel pulling stuff off the rack and me going, “Hellza no!” or “You will not leave our house looking like a ho!” At one point we ended up in the tiny aisle of costumes with maximum booty coverage which consisted of a clown, a nun and a bottle of ketchup or mustard. After some gnashing of the teeth and a couple of eye rolls, we finally came up with an Alice in Wonderland costume that was okay once we bought some full length tights to go under it. Can I get an amen for full length tights?

While waiting for her to try this stuff on, I watched several young women, say ages 17 to 24, trying on costumes and was amazed at what I saw. I’m not criticizing anyone’s body shape, but many of these costumes only look good on someone who is a size 2 with a 38 inch bust. Ninety five percent of the female population does not fit that category and has more real estate to cover than these costumes allow. One girl squeezed into a “police uniform” (beige micromini with a badge), and with buttons popping from her bust to her hoo hoo, she declared it fabulous and headed to the checkout line. It was all I could do not to grab her arm and scream, “Girlfriend, just because you could doesn’t mean you should.” Another girl bought a “vixen” outfit that didn’t need a mask because no one was going to look above her neckline while talking to her at a party. EVERYTHING was hanging out.

I’m no prude, but I must be getting old because I sure did feel like my mama standing in that store. It makes me uncomfortable that young women today are so comfortable with being so naked in front of the world. And apparently, it works both ways. Teen Angel seems to be uncomfortable with some of my choices that have nothing to do with skimpy. When I showed her my flapper hat and asked her what she thought, her response was, (all together now) “Just because you could, doesn’t mean you should.” Smart aleck.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly Photo Challenge

This week's theme over at Photo Friday is "Autumn 2009". Goodness knows, I have something I can submit for THAT! By the way, I do know it's not Friday. It's just taken me this long to get around to it. Thank goodness, they give you a whole week to enter.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Note to Self: Next Time Take Boots

I have discovered that I cannot resist photographing a standing body of water surrounded by fall foliage. I simply can't. From a puddle to a pond, I'm all over it. We had a one inch rain in these parts last Thursday night, so water was everywhere Saturday, especially at the wildlife refuge near my home. The up side was that it was hard to take a bad picture there on a beautiful October day. The down side? Wet feet. But it was worth it. So. Very. Worth. It.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts on the Upcoming Move

-After fifteen years of living in this house, I'm going to finally see the back of my spice shelf again. And I'm a little afraid of what I'll find. I suspect there's a ten year old bottle of Creole seasoning back there.
-I'm very afraid of what I'm going to find in the back of the bathroom cabinet.
-Hubby has been dragging his feet on packing up stuff in the garage, but I think he's getting motivated to do more by the every other day frantic Oh My Gosh Someone's Coming to Look at the House Let's get Things Cleaned Up call from the realtor.
-When we started the remodeling of the new house I was very excited about all of the choices I needed to make in tile, paint and knobs and such. I'm so over that. Right now, you could paint my new living room Lady Ga Ga Pink and I wouldn't care. Not until Christmas anyway.
-I plan to purge, purge, purge during this move. My family is determined to drag, drag, drag all that crap down the street with them.
-The last time we moved it was from a duplex two blocks up the street. This time we are moving just two blocks farther down the street. By the time we're sixty years old we might actually get out of this subdivision.
-There are some things I simply plan to scoot onto a dolley and roll down the street on moving day. The aquarium with gallons and gallons of water is NOT one of them.
-I suspect the cat, who just got used to this house, is going to be really confused when we move her back into her old house.
-Our dog has already gotten into a fight with the neighbor's dogs. How embarrassing.
-Yes, CS. Hubby got the Big Ass Chair. It's supposed to be delivered Friday.
-We're hosting a bonfire/party for Teen Angel's Key Club Saturday night. It will be at the new house because there is more backyard there. Think anyone will notice we don't actually live there yet?
-While I'm excited about moving into the new house, I think I'm unprepared for how emotional the move from this old house where Hubby and I started our family will be. I should probably pack the tissues last.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cross Your Fingers, Say a Prayer and Rub Your Rosary

If all goes well this week, and that's a big "if" given our experience to date, we may have furniture delivered to the new house this Friday. That means we could start moving in soon. First, there is an unfinished grout issue to work through with the contractor tomorrow night. There is also a lot of cleaning to do, some door knobs to install and a shower door that's in transit somewhere, but....BUT....move in day is drawing near. We received appliances this past week, and the gas fireplace arrives tomorrow morning. Woot, woot!

My posting may be a little erratic this week, but photos are coming soon to a blog near you. Pray for me as I wade through fifteen years of "stuff"!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Could Have Stayed All Day

Western Kentucky, Oct. 21, 2009

If only my soul was as peaceful as lake waters.
And my heart was a mirror image of my face.
If I danced with the energy of leaves fluttering in the breeze.
And my mind was as open as these branches.

Then I could be a part of the beauty that surrounds me.

If only.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hooray, Hooray, Somebody Had a Birthday!

Guess who turned one last week, and guess who learned how to eat birthday cake? In fact, Special Delivery figured out what Hula has known for years, cake is a mighty good thing. He dove right in and didn’t come up for air until it was gone…each and every crumb.

Special Delivery’s Rules for eating cake:

First you touch it. And gently remove the candle and gaze at it longingly.
Then you smell it.
And then you taste it and say, “Mmmmmm.” And if it’s good, you cram a fistful into your mouth and proceed to gum it to death.
And give your aunt the “Wuh?” look when she laughs out loud.
While you poke in bite.
After bite.
After bite.
Of ooey, gooey cake and frosting. Ah, frosting. Manna from heaven.
It’s nice to offer to share a bite with your cousin too.
And when you’re finished and your belly is tight as a tick, and your face is covered in butter cream.
You get a nice warm bath. And if your aunt does something funny you show her your four little Chiclet teeth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo Challenge-Pink

It's Pink Week over at iheartfaces. In honor of Breast Cancer Month, the photos for this week's photo challenge must feature pink. Here is my submission. I took it last spring when everything was in full bloom. It's one of my favorites.

I shall cling to it in the dead of winter when I need a reminder that spring will eventually return.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back to Reality

Wow. 5:30 came awfully early this morning, and that big fat pile of work I left on my desk last week did not magically disappear while I was gone. I did not win the lottery either, so I was back at work today and trying my best to get back into the groove. I have to admit it was painful, especially when Hubby called to tell me the microwave that was delivered to the new house this morning had a big dent in the top. Sigh. Back to reality.

I have vacation pictures to share but first a few shout-outs:

-To the tile layers who did not finish their work by 3pm as promised forcing us to leave for vacation two and a half hours later than planned-you did not ruin my vacation.
-To the suitcase that lost a wheel as I dragged it to the bathroom scales to weigh it, forcing me to unload it and repack the 43 pounds of contents in ANOTHER suitcase when I was already two and a half hours late-you did not ruin my vacation.
-To Moo Moo Bossy the Cow who sat behind me on the airplane and kept tapping me on the shoulder before take-off, incessantly hounding me to make Teen Angel and BFF put their carry-ons in the overhead storage bin “right now you must do it right now even though the aisle is full they can’t leave them on the floor like that it’s against the rules stand up and take control of the situation RIGHT NOW”-you did not ruin my vacation. And I apologize for gritting my teeth, using my mean voice and telling you that, “I have the situation under control THANK YOU VERY MUCH and I WILL take care of it when everyone SITS DOWN.” Oh, and take a Xanex before you fly next time. I’m not one to recommend mood altering medication, but you really need it.
-To the lady who took my sandwich order this past Saturday and was obviously not happy with her position at the Fort Walton Beach Airport Quiznos-you did not ruin my vacation.
-To “Bitterman” aka “Gerald”, our prearranged shuttle driver who picked us up at the airport on day 1 with his jaunty hat and sign with our name on it-you made our vacation.
-To Amy, Bambi and all of the other “Bitterman’s” with the Emerald Cab Company who shuttled us all over Destin-you made our vacation.
-To the staff at The Lighthouse Restaurant who twice prepared for us fabulous seafood and prime rib and a delightful champagne cocktail-you made our vacation.
-To the server at Dewey Destin’s who recommended those yummy Red Rock shrimp-you made our vacation.
-To Jason at Extreme H2O Watersports who made our jet skiing outing a delight-you made our vacation.
-To the shuttle driver at the fancy schmancy gated community where we went shopping who did not kick us off the shuttle “for resort customers only” when he discovered that we had climbed aboard because we thought it was public transportation-you made our vacation. As did the other shuttle driver who never said a word when we called from the Hilton for the return ride, acting as if we were Hilton residents.
-And to my family for not whining when they had to pull me away from the beach at the end of each and every day for dinner-you made my vacation.

PS-Let me apologize for all of the sunset pictures. I just couldn’t help myself.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going Home

I hear it's in the 40's and dreary at home. THAT'S gonna hurt after enjoying a week of temps in the upper 80's and plenty of sunshine. We board a plane tomorrow afternoon to head home. It's been a great week. Very relaxing. Due to a proxy issue with the computer I've had available, posting has been almost nonexistant. Well, there was also the issue of me doing a whole bunch of nothin'. I've also been unable to download and post pictures, so those will have to wait a few more days. Ah, the troubles of a life of leisure.

It turned cool here this evening. These Floridians are shivering in the 50-something nighttime temp. We said, "Ha! This is nothin'. Come with us to Kentucky where we have ice storms that knock out your electricity for three weeks." And then we bought Hubby a pair of jeans at Target because SOMEBODY said he wouldn't need any pants on this trip when I was packing.

We have shopped and sunbathed and ripped around on some jet skis. We had planned to parasail this morning, but our appointment was cancelled because of high winds. Mostly, we've just laid around on the beach, resting our minds. And our backsides. I did manage to run two days. My motivation for exercise on the other five days was nil. It's back to the grind next week, given the heavy meals we've eaten.

We will help to celebrate Special Delivery's first birthday Sunday, and then the fun is over. Workers finished our floors at the new house this week, and appliances are delivered Monday. We actually have to start moving. I'm trying really hard not to think about it until I have to. I'm anxious to get into the new house, but I'd rather take a beating than pack up all of our belongings for a move. The next two or three weeks are going to be full. I swear, we'll look up one day, and Christmas will be here and gone. Just like vacation. It's been a good week, and I hate to head home, but there's a Delta fight with our names on it. Let's just hope we get there without BFF's suitcase exploding. I just took a look at it to see how it was coming, took two steps backward and said a couple of Hail Mary's.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Reason we can Never Dance on Tables

On the shuttle between our hotel and the Nashville airport Saturday morning, a man on board commented on Hubby's bakery t-shirt, and we soon discovered he was the brother of Teen Angel's boss at the bakery. Within hours of landing in Destin and settling into our condo, we found out via Facebook that one of Teen Angel's classmates is staying in a condo just down the beach from us. We chatted with his parents while walking on the beach yesterday. AND tonight we were shoveling ice cream into our faces at a local shopping center when we bumped into our niece and her family.

Mama was right when she said it was a small world.

PS-It's official. When I retire we're moving to the beach so we can sun ourselves and people watch all stinkin' day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Destin-Day 2

Our first full day in Destin. The weather was great with bright sunshine and wispy clouds. I can't believe how beautiful the water is here. The waves roll into the shore in a pale green that resembles jade and appear to originate in a deep green that's the shade of emeralds. It reminds me of Caribbean water, certainly not the typical water you see in the Gulf of Mexico. It's so clear, you can see the bottom, even when you're shoulder deep in the ocean. It truly is the Emerald Coast.

Our condo is nice. Our research paid off, and we are on the second floor of our building, right on the corner with an unobstructed view of the eastern sky. We are steps away from the beach, which is very handy. A quick flight of steps and a boardwalk is all that stands between us and the sand. I could get used to living this close to the beach, but I'd rather live in a cottage instead of a condo. A cottage tucked away in the trees, where Hubby and I could relax after a day of running his beach umbrella service and my art shop. A cottage where Teen Angel could bring our grandchildren for visits and swims in the ocean. It's good to have dreams, isn't it?

Today was a day spent lounging on the beach and in the water. A blissfully lazy day followed by a great dinner of half price prime rib and seafood and a little shopping that yielded me a clearance rack sunhat that Teen Angel thought was hideous, BFF thought was cool and Hubby thought was cute. For $3.84 I don't have to fix my hair the rest of the week. Priceless.

Other highlights today?

-Breakfast on the balcony with the warm sun on my face and a breeze in my hair.
-The constant stream of butterflies fluttering past our beach umbrella.
-The fifty to sixty jellyfish that floated in a clump near the edge of the water.
-A sleepy toddler cradled protectively in her grandpa's arms.
-The hilarious man on the beach pretending to read but secretly stealing peeks at the well endowed woman nearby while his wife and mother-in-law sat beside him.
-The smooth charming southern accent of the young man who rented us our umbrella and chairs.
-A vintage military plane that swooped close to the water, right in front us, practicing loops.
-A circle rainbow that lingered for a good fifteen minutes overhead.
-Quiet, peaceful time with Hubby that wasn't interrupted by someone needing a hearing aid battery changed, a drive to the doctor's office or a meal fixed.
-Listening to Teen Angel and BFF giggle uncontrollably in the nearby room as the day winds to a close but their energy doesn't wane.
-A glass of iced tea to toast a good day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Sounds of Serenity

As the flashlights of children hunting for crabs on the beach cut the darkness, I hear the crashing of the ocean's waves against the sand. Their rhythmic sounds lull me into peace, and I draw a deep breath that smells of salt. The ocean is my salve for the stress of recent months, and I bathe in its healing properties. It is here that I will spend the next few days, refueling my soul and resting my brain. I can't wait to sleep with the window open and to forget about anything but the sound of waves. Constant, soothing waves.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leavin' on A Jet Plane

In about thirty hours. The Hula-gen's and Teen Angel's BFF are headed to Destin, Florida for a long awaited and well needed vacation. I plan to wade the emerald waters.
Squeeze the sand between my toes.
And generally spend the next eight days lounging in the sun.
I have four library books packed in my bag, just waiting for me to crack their covers, and aside from making sure that Teen Angel and BFF aren't getting into any mischief, I won't have to take care of anyone. Not one single person. Sigh. I can't wait. I'll post a little here and there, but mostly I just plan on being lazy and soaking up my last chance at summer weather for the next few months. Oh, and brace yourself. I'm sure I won't be able to control my picture taking impulses around all of those gorgeous sunsets.
I'm leavin' on a jet plane Saturday morning. Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, I love the beach so........

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You Know how I get on A roll and Can't Stop

I can't help myself.

Oh, I should probably warn you I've just found a really cool site where they have a weekly photography assignment. Let me apologize now for forcing you to live through my photography education.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Falling for Autumn

I’ve made it clear on these pages that I’m a summer baby who hates fall. Well, I don’t really hate fall, I just find it depressing. While the rest of the world is rejoicing over cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage, I’m mourning bare feet and sun kissed skin. This year, I’ve pledged to make a real effort at enjoying the beauty of autumn. I’m not making any promises, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
As my first step, I headed out to take some fall pictures for a photography assignment over at The Pioneer Woman. It involved bokeh, which basically is opening the aperature as wide as possible to create bubbles of fuzzy light behind your subject. I tromped out to the wildlife refuge near my house, figuring that was my best shot at fall colors. And an interesting thing happened. I learned that fall isn't so bad, especially on a beautiful October day with plenty of sunshine.
The lens of a camera forces you to focus on details, to hone in on the minute and appreciate intricacies you might not normally notice. The foliage in this part of the country hasn’t changed much yet, so we don’t have that knock your socks off color that New England does. Yet. But there is just enough color and subtle change to make things interesting. If you look. Really look. And I did. And I’ve decided that there can be beauty in death or at least the process of dying.