Monday, August 31, 2009

I believe I made a tactical error...

Well, I've managed to blast Mom out of her chair and out the door 3 times last week (!). A record for the last two years. She got a nice mani/pedi one day and then off to meet up with Ms. Lowe for cocktails at our local dive bar. Our feet are the only proof we were all there. Of course, Bobbi is wearing the sexy shoes (well, the only shoes - I left the house without shoes again)....But, the real kicker (pun intended) is that those shoes are MINE! Bobbi is 'borrowing' them until she gets bored and passes them over again.

So, another day, I took Mom over to Montgomery Mall for some shopping and to meet up with Sophia for some lunch. We're all so busy these days that we infrequently get together. Life just keeps getting in the way. Anyway, Mom and I stopped at a chinese market on the way home to get veggies (note to all: if you want very fresh, very inexpensive vegetables, head to the oriental market. )

While there, I saw a very pretty tray (here's the tactical error part of the story). Gert loved it so, off we went with said tray in hand. So, what I just did, was buy an implement with which to serve Gertie....great, just great. That's what she needs; a reason to stay seated in that chair!

The other night, I was kissing her goodnight before bed and she leaned in for a kiss and, I though, she was going to say something sweet to me like she usually does. Was it going to be 'Goodnight, Sweetheart' (her closing line for Dad for all those years and now the closing line for me - most nights. Maybe it was going to be 'I love you' like I hear frequently. Perhaps a sweet whispered 'Thank you for my day.' So, she leans in, seductively, btw, and whispers....

'I believe I'll have cream of wheat, toast and coffee for breakfast tomorrow.'

And, this was BEFORE I bought the tray. Oy, such a monster I've created...

So, today, she got lunch on her new tray, complete with fresh from-the-garden tomatoes which we're quite flush in. In fact, they're everywhere. Good thing the dogs like them.

I've been quite busy setting up my new business - Data Concepts & Solutions. John is going to be my IT department, having already started to prove his worth. I'm setting up the office upstairs and will be ordering furniture Wednesday - can't wait as I've been working out of the dining room for 6 months and I'm starting to bleed over into the kitchen. I've been quite busy and have managed to even put Mom to work more than once. She has great ideas and, since she's owned Town Hall for, oh, 50 years now, there's a lot of wisdom in her mind.

Picture below was the 3 of the 5 starving dogs today. You'd never know they were starving. And, that blob at the bottom of the last picture is JB falling asleep on duty - he guards the refrigerator on a daily basis and takes his duty (usually) very seriously.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Ok, so there's two so far today:

1. Mom comes into the kitchen from the bathroom where she's evidently been perusing the recent Cosmopolitan magazine in there. One headline on the magazine is '125 different sexual positions.' (Who knew...). Anyway, she comes into the kitchen and says 'I'm sore.' I immediately roll through scenarios in my mind, has she fallen and not told me? Is her bed to hard? Is her bed too soft? Has a dog tripped/licked/or bitten her? A surreptitious glance shows no swollen ankles, visible bruises, etc. Now, remember, this all happens in my mind in about .00001 second.

So, I replied 'Um...why are you sore?' Her reply kills me 'I tried 120 positions and think I got hurt. I don't think I can make all 125.'

Now, it took me a minute to grasp what she was talking about but then I just fell out. I need to remember to pick up my magazines.

2. So, I'm sitting here and just completed an article for about elder abuse. If you're interested, click here:
Elder Care 101: Reporting elder abuse

Anyway, I found a really nice resource, the National Center for Elder Abuse and mentioned to Mom about how great the information is up there. I explained a bit about elder abuse to her and she looks at me and says 'Maybe they should teach us to box.' Ok, I'm done - still laughing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On wayward tour guides and such

Well, Mo, our free tourguide for St. Thomas picked us up this morning after John and I spent a few hours having coffee at the pool. It was stiffling hot and my skin was sizzling so hopping in Mo's car for a beautiful ride to Mountaintop sounded right - the key word here is 'sounded.'

All I know is that Mo's poor Toyota Corolla (circa 1990's somewhere), was screaming for mercy as it tried to get Mo, John and me up this mountain to what was, seriously, a gorgeous view of the island.

Now, ok, I've had a few slices of pizza on vacation but this car bucked, it huffed, it puffed. If you ask me, it was a bit dramatic and not happy in the least. We did get a great view from Mountaintop, a few times, in fact.

Ended up at the port authority, or some sort place, for some appetizers before we wound our way into downtown where Mo dropped John and me off in the town center to peruse a few jewelry stores. Luckily, I made it out unscathed as just couldn't find the earrings I was looking for.

Mo took us to another great restaurant around the corner from her house, right on the beach. Food was just great and Mo actually has a job app in for an adjoining restaurant with a great menu. She's going to come in handy again in the near future, we hope. Had some great lunch and lots of laughs for a few hours. Good times.

On the way back, we stopped by Mo's darling apartment which is smack dab on the Caribbean. The views couldn't be any more gorgeous and the place is just adorable. John and I are totally jealous!

Made it back to our condo and the three of us hit the pool for a few hours of lounging. Watched the sun come down and a lightning storm over St. John. Sorry to be leaving tomorrow but also anxious to get home to Mom and the pups. Wish I could have brought them all down here for, on, an eternity or so. Pictures will be forthcoming....

St John afternoon

Well, morning found us in our favorite spot for coffee, sitting by the pool, watching the waves. Nothing higher on our list - well, except, perhaps, John's bloody mary...he might have to wean off the suckers when we come home! Swam, walked the beach a few times, swam some more. You get the idea. Picture at left is my view from the pool lounge chair.

Took a cab into Red Hook and then the ferry over to St. John as I really wanted to hit a few jewelry stores in search of a pair of earrings. Had forgotten that St. John is known for its gorgeous beaches, pretty much only. No so much for shopping, Did have some great onion rings and very cold Red Stripe though before catching the next ferry back to St. Thomas where naps awaited, and, of course, more pool time.

Actually made it out to dinner for the first time to our favorite bartender, Michelle's, upscale bar, XO. The sashimi tuna I had was among the best I've ever had, cocktails were cold so it was all good. Our favorite ex-bartender, Mo, came to collect us for the 5 minute ride home. Met her baby sis who was working a Duffy's Love Shack - she's a waitress and it's hard work as there's no airconditioning and it does get, man, HOT here. I certainly couldn't do it.

I believe the plan for today is, well, pool for coffee, beach for snorkeling, pool, beach, lather, rinse and repeat. Home tomorrow which is a bit sad but necessary and I'm missing my mama pretty good down here. Only saw one dog yesterday, thankfully, and he had on a collar and had found a patch of sun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Boating day!

So, yesterday found John, Mo and me zipping around the Caribbean in our 26 foot open fisherman with twin 200 engines - va va va vooooom. Smoking fast! It was certainly the best vacation day I've personally have ever experienced as the views were just phenomenal.

We went over to a pretty remote snorkeling spot only accessable
by water as it was a small island. We moored off the reef and swam over from the boat which might not have looked far but turned into a healthy swim! Deep blue water abounded until the reef appeared suddenly. Gorgeous parrot fish greeted me first, followed by fair size snappers. No turtles - drats, or seahorses, double drats as have always wanted to see a few.

Found Skinny Legs at the first try as our Captain was just that good. John put that boat exactly where we wanted to go! I threw the line to Mike, the 8 year old on the dock who tied us up - that's the type of skills kids should have. He was sitting on the peer fishing for snappers with his brother, Sawyer (great childs name, imho). Cute kids who were as nice as could be and suntanned the way a child should be in the summer.
John bought me a hat at Skinny Legs but, alas, it was a tad too late as I appear to be a red tomato today. I swore I wouldn't get sunburnt but a few Dark and Stormys makes one forget about protection (or suntan lotion),. My hair is following suit in a tangled mess - I appear to be that old woman on the front of Hallmark cards this morning. Speaking of this morning, fought a good fight to stay asleep but didn't win. Up around 2, gave up lying around the bed at 4 so the day is off to a start.

Oh, we also landed at the Westin hotel on St. John yesterday for a cocktail at the pool bar. Mo is very handy to have around as it seems that she knows everyone (and gets pretty nice treatment too!).
Hoping to go shopping at some point, if I can get off this gorgeous beach and the pool right in front of me. A nap is certainly in the future today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The joys of pool days...

Well, today found us sitting by the pool - from 4:30 am until, well, just about now. Dear friend Mo came over to hang out and bring club soda reinforcements (the need for this should not be downplayed as club soda is our friend and we were about out). Most of our last club soda stash found itself in John's belly in the form of 'bloody mary lites.' He was on fire with the old bloody mary's again - drank them literally all day and, well, now, if a bit hungover. I just told him that if he couldn't run with the big dogs, he needed to stay on the porch with the puppies. He looked at me a bit bleakly as I handed him aspirin and a club to wash them down.

We had a great day though. We were the hits of the pool as, it seems that no one else thought to bring sunscreen along and we had a bag full. WHY oh WHY would one come to St. Thomas in AUGUST without protection (or sunscreen....). Anyway, we tried to save a few of the poor waifs (yes, bobbi, thanks) but one was already a lobster boy and well on his way to misery tonight...

Entertained an iguana who actually bit my toe (orange toenails with white polka dots must have resembled something tasty to him, or her.). The thing 'about took my toe off at the knuckle' but was, in actuality, a bit of a slight nibble that felt kind of good until I realized what it was! He/she/ it was about 3 feet long and was ok eating the last of our nachos, piece by slight piece. I was pretty close to the sucker at one point, leaning in for a good look when he sort of reared up. Maureen chose this moment to say 'Looks like he might jump' or something to that effect. JUMP? HE CAN JUMP???? WTF! Why didn't you say something about this before???? And, in a moment, he jumped from the ground to the top of the wall which was about 2 feet up! Holy MOLY, who knew the things could jump??? Anyway, all was well as he moved on his merry way. Note to audience: Iguanas will lick a grape jolly rancher but really don't like those candies any more than I do.

Tomorrow, we're hoping to head to Red Hook with Mo in tow to rent the boat. One destination will be St. John where Skinny Legs, the bar, is noted to have the best burgers around. I'm there! John wants to hit Tortola or whatever that other island is and, sadly, St. Croix is not in our future as we can't take the boat there for some reason. I was hoping to see where wee Rita came from but not this trip. We've seen a mess of stray cats but nary a stray dog - lucky for us as I was working on John re: bringing home an older stray, someone around 12 or so (designed to be outtahere within 4 or 5 years), but he's been pretty good about holding steady with 'no more dogs.' So, 'no more dogs' it will be...unless I find one...he he...

Pictures wil be forthcoming once we, well, get around to it. We're on island time, Mon...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

St. Thomas Heaven

Well, if my memory for my camera wasn't stuck in John's computer, I'd upload some wonderful photos but it is and I won't!

We got to St. John after a great plane ride during which I bonded with my seat mate - she has a timeshare at the Ritz and is me on steroids! She comes to St. John 4 times a year, this time, she left her husband back at the ranch (he's an exec in big pharma!) while she headed to the islands (mon!) with her 72 year old momma, her sister and 2 nieces. I'm sort of glad she doesn't live closer (she's from NJ and, no, Miss Lowe, she's not a typical 'Jersey girl' - um, not that there's anything wrong with that...). She and I hit it off from the start and ended up the plane ride finishing each other's sentences. She's a jewelry fan so she tuned me into the good stores on the island which I hope to visit on Tuesday. Julia was a blast - can't say enough about her; she kept me totally entertained, and John too. I'm thinking that we'll run back into her during the week when we crash the facilities at the Ritz.

So, we get here and wait an appropriate amount of time in island terms (that's an eternity to a DC girl...1 hour) for our bag which I'd packed chock full of suntan lotion (can't be too cautious), hair gel (can't be too frizzy), deodorant (can't be too smelly) and short dresses (can't be too...never mind).

Our darling friend Mo, an ex-bartender from La Mex who moved here 3 months ago picked us up in her car at the airport and delivered us to our ocean front condo which is da bomb....full kitchen, great breeze, incredible value. Gotta love all that. Anyway, poor Mo only gained 3.5 lbs of Jolly Ranchers, a bag of Werthers, and some cinnamon candies for her troubles. So, John and I did a very quick unpack and hit what we thought was the beach bar only to find it (gasp) closed! So, took a taxi to redhook and hit Duffy's Love Shack for some mojitos and nachos. Just right! Wandered the marina and fell in big love with a Sundancer 32 footer. Just right, again! Beautiful boat to island hop in!

So, I'm sitting here in our oceanfront condo, listening to the ocean's roar. John, poor young dear, is sleeping and it's 8:08! I've got a few hours to go so figured I'd blog for posterity sake.

Oh, didn't finish the story...

So, J-boy and I took a taxi into Redhook, after Duffy's, hit a few more local spots and ended up in a very nice bar where we met a great woman - Michelle, the bartender...all 24 years of her (give me a break)... But, she's a doll and ended up giving us a ride to the local market, where she waited for us to do some power shopping (wine, vodka, you know...the essentials). Michelle dropped us back at our condo and gave us some great lessons in etiquette for the islands (some things, like, for instance, saying 'Good morning, good afternoon or good evening' as greeting - who knew?) We're planning on seeing her again this coming week. She and her fiance are leaving the island next month to hike the entire Appalachian trail, starting in Georgia and working their way up. I'm sure she'll do exactly that - she's a great find.

It's interesting to me how these people come into our lives - I mean, really, I don't know Julia or Michelle from a hill of beans this morning (is that the expression), yet, despite our ages, life experiences and lifestyles, we all really connected. Our souls must have met before - that's what it feels like and, in fact, I'm sure that John and my's soul must have intermingled for countless ages until we found each other again in this lifetime.

Life, dear friends, is enchanting... can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Charlies 'Angels'....

Or are these the Devil in disguise?

As you can see, we've been having a blast on Nasmaste II all summer.

We've had plenty of guest visits which both John and I really enjoy. Our 'go-to' spot is usually buzzing over for lunch at Tilghman Island and then a sail back (or visa versa, depending on where the wind blows us). I've gotten much better at sailing, having not yet knocked John overboard. I tried once but to no avail.

John and I are heading to St. Thomas on Saturday for 5 glorious days in an ocean front home. Can't wait! A friend of ours, Mo, one of the ex-bartenders from La Mex, moved down there just a few months ago so we're looking forward to spending some time with an 'islander.' Good friends are covering Gert for me which is so nice. I so appreciate my friends! Amazing people; all of them. Thanks Sophia, Bobbi, Mark (keep your bedroom door locked....), Ruth Ann and Kimmie!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Knowing Gert better....

So, I got this quiz forwarded to me on Facebook. I don't generally do these things but thought it would be fun to have Mom complete it. She sure looks boring by her answers below. I might need to do this quiz too, now that I think of it. The below answers are from dear Gert (my comments are in blue)...

1. Been arrested? N

2. Kissed someone you didn't like? N

3. Slept in until 5:00 PM? N

4. Ran a red light? N (I don't believe it....)

5. Been suspended from school? N

6. Experienced love at first sight? Y (Joe!)

7. Totaled your car in an accident? Y

8. Been fired from a job? N (not fired, laid off - JC Penney)

9. Fired somebody? Y

10. Sang karaoke in public? N

11. Pointed a real gun at someone? N

12. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? N (don't believe this one either - she says she doesn't want to flunk this test..)

13. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Y

14. Kissed in the rain? Y

15. Had a close brush with death (your own)? N

16. Seen someone die? N

17. Played spin-the-bottle? Y (In school, we'd play spin the bottle - schools must have been 'looser' back then....)

18. Smoked a cigar? N

19. Sat on a rooftop? Y (and got paddled for it when Bubie found out....)

20. Smuggled something into another country? N

21. Grown your own vegetables? N

22. Broken a bone? N

22. Posed for a racy photograph? N (this one elicited a long 'Noooooooo' - I didn't ask...)

23. Eaten a bug? N

24. Sleepwalked? N

25. Walked a moonlit beach? N

26. Rode a motorcycle? No (this one came out with a long 'I don't think mother wouldn't let me.' Funny thing is my mother won't let me either and now I have a rather large scar on the back of my right leg so I understand this rule now).

27. Dumped someone? N

28. Lied to avoid a ticket? N (I'm thinking Mother Theresa is sitting here next to me and I KNOW that ain't right).

29. Ridden in a helicopter? N

30. Shaved your head? N

31. Made a loved one cry? Y

32. Eaten snake? N

33. Marched, demonstrated, or protested in public? N

34. Buried a pet in the back yard? N

35. Vomited on an amusement ride? N

36. Seriously and intentionally boycotted something? N

37. Been in a band? N

38. Been on TV? N

39. Shot a gun? Y

40. Skinny-dipped? N

41. Gave someone stitches? N

42. Ridden a surfboard? N

43. Drank straight from a liquor bottle? N ( I know she's not right as I have a picture, somewhere, of her sucking down liquor....note to self: must find photo)

44. Had surgery? Y

45. Sent back a meal in a restaurant because it wasn't acceptable? N

46. Taken by ambulance to hospital? Y (Sadly, yes...)

47. Fainted? Y

48. Been in handcuffs? N (hmmm...this No was slow in coming...)

49. Donated blood? N

50. Written a love poem? N

51. Eaten alligator meat? N

52. Killed an animal? N

53. Seen a U.S. president in person? N

54. Sneaked into a movie without paying? N

55. Written graffiti? N

56. Still love someone you shouldn't? N

57. Saved someone's life? N

58. Believe in love? Y

Now, since the above quiz seems like I have a quite boring, strait-laced mother, let's make up some questions of our own...

1. Ever cheated in poker? N (hmmmm....)

2. Ever lost more than $1000 gambling? Y

3. Seen Michael Jackson? Y

4. Worked your ass off (this was her helpful entry into the list): Y

5. Loved a dog? Y

6. Put lard on your father's wallpaper board (which, btw, he used in his livelihood...) and use it as a sliding board with your baby brother (who is 91 now): Y

7. Driven a turquoise and white Desoto convertible? Y - sure wish we still had that car...sigh.

8. Know how to answer a bluetooth? Y (hello?).

9. Loved the same man 65.5 year? Y (that love remains today too..)

10. Had a favorite child? Y (didn't ask - didn't want to know).