Thursday, September 30, 2010

Footing the bill

Recent foot problems and a trip to the chiropractor led to an unusual (for me) purchase - a pair of Skecher Shape Ups. It was unusual for a couple of reasons - ordinarily I would never consider spending $80 on a pair of sneakers. However, the inability to walk without pain can drive you to do strange things. Second, I wouldn't normally buy a shoe where the sole is shaped like the bottom of a rocking chair. But, what the heck, at that point in time, I would have given shoes with Hovercraft abilities a try.

I have to admit, they took some getting used to. I had to endure the snickers of my family as they watched me try to stand still on these things, but instead, swayed to and fro, trying to find my balance. I had the misfortune of stepping in doggie poo once, and as you can surmise by looking at the treads on the sole, cleanup was no fun.

After I had gotten over the sticker shock somewhat, the chiropractor threw a curve ball my way.
"You know, you'll only be wearing these shoes for about 6 months, 'til your feet get back to normal. Then you'll switch to a "maintenance" shoe with a different shaped sole."
"No, I won't...I just spent $80 on these shoes - I want to be buried in them." Well, I didn't say that, but that's what I was thinking.

I will say that, after a few weeks of wearing the Skechers, I am a convert. My feet feel great, and I don't even wobble around on them anymore. Hmmm, do you think if the chiropractor said they were medically necessary, they would be tax deductible? I'll have to check into that. Hubby also wants a doctor to tell him that an 18' Sea Ray 185 Sport is medically necessary to reduce his stress...guess I'll have to check into that, too :o)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shoveling Seagrass

We like to go up occasionally to our lot in Tarpon Springs and hang out, dreaming of the day we'll build our house there. (Yes, we're pretty boring people.) Low tide exposes a beautiful little sandy beach and the sunsets are spectacular.

A few months ago, we noticed sea grass washing up on the beach. As the weeks went by, more and more sea grass washed up until it created a thick, slippery mass of sea grass that made it just about impossible to wade out in the water. After a little research, I discovered that it's a natural annual phenomenon, which essentially turns your shoreline into a big compost pile.

We decided to reclaim our little sandy beach. We purchased a pitchfork and tarp at Home Depot and got busy. A little trial and error directed the removal efforts. The most interesting thing we learned was that there was a top layer that scooped off pretty easily with the pitchfork. Underneath that was a layer that had been decomposing for quite a while, and was basically - muck. Stinky muck. REALLY stinky muck. Hold-your-breath, cover-your-nose-with-your-shirt stinky muck.

We decided to haul the intact seagrass over to a pile to dry out. We spread the muck out in another spot because it looks like it will make a great soil amendment when it dries. After one session, here's what the beach looked like:

A few more sessions should git 'r done, and we'll have our lovely little beach back...'til next year :o)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advice for Dog Owners

Never leave your dog alone with a watermelon. Period.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One Little Pepper & How It Grew

K got a Topsy Turvy planter for her birthday in June and we filled it up with pepper plants. It's grown and grown, and flowered and flowered, but no peppers - until now. A lovely little pepper has appeared.

It's not very big, but I have big plans for it...I'll use about 1/4 of it for a tuna noodle casserole, and split the rest between a batch of Mexiburgers and a homemade pizza. Grow, little pepper, grow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Just received a goodie bag from Rings & Things today...they have a drawing each month to give away goodies to their blog partners and this month I was one of the lucky winners!

Here are the goodie bag contents:

Now, to the untrained eye, this may look like a shopping trip to Home Depot. However, to those in the know, these are components used in steampunk design. Whenever I see steampunk items, I think of an old TV show from the 60's that I was crazy about, "The Wild Wild West." Secret service agents West and Gordon guarded President Grant and they alway had the coolest futuristic gadgets!

What exactly IS steampunk, you may ask? It's tough for me to describe, so I'll just quote the definition on

"a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power"

O-o-o-kay. Still a little vague. To give you a better idea of the style, here are a couple of Etsy items by artisans who do steampunk design:

This beautiful piece by Cerriousdesigns is actually a USB drive. Steampunk frequently has gears and an aged patina look. For more info on this item, click this link:

Here's another great steampunk piece:

This beauiful cuff bracelet is by edmdesigns. Notice the use of gears, metal and the industrial feel of the sawtooth blade. For more information on this piece, click on the following link:

Now, I will be the first to admit that I've never made a steampunk item in my life, and I'm not sure I could. However, I've had several requests to make some masculine phone charms, and I think that the industrial look of the steampunk components would make a fine "man charm" :o) So excuse me, but I've got some designing to do!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on this day?

I had just dropped my daughter off at school and come home. I had a a little while where I could weed some flowerbeds before I needed to go shower and get ready to pick my mom up at the airport. She was coming in to town to visit for Grandparents' Day at my daughter's school.

While I was weeding, my cell phone rang. It was my sister. When I saw it was her, I was afraid that Mom had gotten ill and couldn't make the trip.

"Hey, what's going on?"

"Have you seen the news?"

"No, why? What's going on?"

"Well, a couple of planes have hit the Twin Towers in New York...they've grounded all flights in the U.S. It's bad."


I could not picture what was happening in NY, but knowing that every flight in the U.S. was grounded told me that this was something truly horrible.

"Go inside and turn on the news. It's bad. Mom's at home; she hadn't left for the airport yet, but she won't be coming for a while. It's bad."

I rushed in and watched the news in horror. Other news began to surface, like a plane down in Pennsylvania, and another hitting the Pentagon. I went to pick my daughter up at school, talked to my husband on the phone. I wanted to have those I was closest to, close to me.

In the days and weeks that followed, I remember fighting off panic as the story unfolded. I no longer felt safe. My heart broke for the people who had lost loved ones. The stories of the heroism that surfaced were unbelievable. I will always remember 9/11/2001.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Box of Checks

I had put it off as long as I could, but yesterday I finally broke down and went to the bank to order a new box of checks. Now, why would this be something I would put off, you might think? The fact of the matter is, I knew we would need to change our address from our old house in Orlando to our new location, a campground in Largo. I felt that putting our new address on our checks would make it official...we are now - TRAILER TRASH.

Never mind that we still OWN the house in Orlando and are trying to sell it in a terrible economy. Never mind that we have 80 acres in Monroe County, AL, to use when we retire. Never mind that we have saved throughout our careers to have adequate retirement funds in our IRAs and pension plans. Our official address is now a campground, and that kinda smarts.

However, when I look around at the rest of the "trailer trash", I see an awful lot of nice people. On one side of us is a lady in a modest camper with her cat; she's working in Clearwater while her husband holds down the fort at their home in the Carolinas. On the other side of us is a family with a son who homeschools; they moved from a large home to a camper here because the husband had been spending hours commuting to his job in St. Pete. Next to them is a very nice lady who's a retired guidance counselor and psychologist. She has a young Cavalier the same color as ours; she offers frequently to have our dog come visit for play dates. Behind us is an elderly widow with a shy Chihuahua; we occasionally chat while we're out dog-walking.

So, all in all, it's not so bad, and (hopefully) a temporary thing :o)