Welcome to my Blog Post
I love photography.
I found my niche in my 50’s. What might I discover about myself at 60?
Looks like I have to start a new blog post. My cyber-stalker Paul Keith Gray has sabotaged my:
Blogging With Julie Continues…..
I cannot even access it.
He does that.
To View: Click Below:
I cannot access the post, therefor I have to start a new blog post. To read more about what I go through having a cyber-stalker, then ready my:
(For past blog posts see the Julie Blogs at the top of the homepage bar, or click on the links below.)
All I want is to be a regular person.
Someone that doesn’t have to worry about sabotage from a cyber-stalker that has stalked me for the past 2 decades. What is it like to not have to worry about such things? I envy those of you that don’t have my problems. I find it hard to believe that in my age, 55, I have a stalker. Get a life Paul!
I realize that my Home Page may not be in some kind of order where my personal blog posts are concerned. But I cannot help that. I have a sophisticated cyber-stalker that interferes with that. I just do the best that I can considering…….
There are quite a few people aware of him and are helping me. For that I appreciate them!
Always Improvise! 🙂
I’m on Twitter
I will Follow whomever Follows Me that has mutual interests. (Or people that I feel sorry for.) 🙂
I just wanted to expose myself to some talented and creative, and interesting people out there that aren’t necessarily friends. We all have something to learn from each other.
We have been having lots of fun on Twitter if you would like to follow us:
(If you can’t find me here, then look for me on Twitter.)
(My Twitter Account)
(Gordon’s Twitter Account)
(Our Halloween Fun Account)
(Our Mummy Halloween Account)
(My Cinderella Christmas Account)
I’m Beach Blogging If anyone Is Interested:
November 12, 2017
I am so loving this Nude Beach eye shadow set, lip liner and liquid lipstick.
I am going back for the waterproof mascara.
Just had to share,
October 8, 2017
Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe
I’ve been getting some inquiries about when I would start my Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe as I’ve been advertising for it for a few year’s now?
Just to fill you in, I wanted it to be an Ebay business where I sold treasures that I find at thrift stores, antique stores, junk shop’s, etc. Also, I want to start parting with some of my own things as I am starting to drown in my own home. I’ve become a hoarder! I started buying inventory for my “shoppe” a few years ago and my daughter’s old bedroom is so full that I can barely get in there. So yes, this “shoppe” has to go forward no matter what. The problem is finding that time. To me the best time to start selling on Ebay is in the autumn through Christmas. I was all set to get started on it in September but then Irma hit us and that set me back. That’s one reason why our Halloween plans are not as numerous this year as they have been in the past. The storm might have only lasted a few days, but the aftermath takes so much longer to get things back on track. We do have some nice Halloween things to do this year, but not as grand as we have in the past. There just hasn’t been the time.
And as far as my “shoppe” goes, I’m even thinking about just starting it up early next year. Granted, not the best time to present an inventory of items for people to purchase, but I would at least have the time then to get it started. So, 2018 it is! I am determined! Once Christmas is over with then my inventory will all go into the dining room and we will just live with boxes and packing materials and Ebay auctions galore!
We were dealt a blow 4 months ago when we wanted to erect a backyard home office/studio. We found someone to build it, it would have been built onto a concrete slab, it would have been 12 x 18 feet, it would have had stucco to match our house and even painted the same color as our house. BUT, we do live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, the dreaded Home Owner’s Association, and according to their bylaws, anything not connected to your house is considered a shed. Gordon went to the HOA meeting to present it to the board, only to get shot down! Our “shed” would have cost around $20,000.00, had electricity and air conditioning, had French doors, a chandelier, a beautiful skylight, etc. etc. I was also going to use it as my business space for the Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe.
But, the senior citizens on the Gestapo board said Nein!!
So, we are going with our Plan B and in the process of getting an approval to extend our lanai out into our backyard by about 36 feet and having a concrete slab put in with a pool cage over it. We hired a company to do it. We told them what we want, they drew up the plans, we submitted them to the HOA board and are now waiting back to hear. Granted, it won’t be my backyard studio but it will allow us to extend our outdoor living space into our backyard and have that outdoor kitchen and entertaining space we have wanted.
I’ll let you know what happens.
Here are a few things we just bought yesterday for the “Shoppe.” The Unveiling, to the left I want to keep. I like her. She is a drawing and it’s very damaged. She was priced at $5.00 but we got her for $2.50. And the Mary Botto oil painting to the right, we only paid $20.00. Now we are taking over Brodie’s room with our inventory. More incentive to find a way to start this.
October 6, 2017
Just Catching Up
It’s Been Awhile, Hasn’t It?
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, it’s just that I haven’t felt like talking about myself. I know, I never thought that day would come either. But it did!
But luckily that phase has passed and I’m baaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkkk!!!!!!!
I blame Twitter for a lack of need to blog. I think it’s because I can voice my opinions on Twitter and they reach a larger audience and when you get a “like” or a “retweet” you kind of feel in solidarity with these people. An interaction, I suppose, with like minded people around the world. Whereas I don’t get that with my website. But, being the empath that I am I don’t want to connect too closely to anyone. I need to blog about that on my old empath blog post because I use social media incorrectly on purpose. I really don’t want the maximum people to read my tweets, just a handful. Any more than that and my ears don’t stop ringing for hours, ,mainly my right ear. It’s very loud too! When I had my run in with the Brooklyn Decker crowd on Instagram, I write about that on my original empath blog post at the very bottom, I couldn’t sleep for two nights in a row because I was picking up so much anger and hatred from so many over what I said. It was as if a fire alarm was going off in my ears. I couldn’t block it out. I could see the expressions of hate on their faces and I could feel all the nastiness too. It was awful. Luckily, they forgot about me after a few days and moved on. I have however, been working on many blog posts on this website. I am so behind on so many that I want to catch up. But realistically, it would take me a good year of doing nothing but blogging to catch up on all I have to post. And that’s without doing anything new. Oh well, I do what I can.
It also seems that I’ve written quite a bit of sad and bad things to happen this year. Actually, since the election last November. I write in blog posts below about some of them. And since then we’ve had more terrible things to happen. Not necessarily to us personally, but to our country and territories. The hurricanes for example. We’ve been through our fair share of hurricane’s living here in Florida and when we lived in Hawaii. But one reason I wanted us to buy a house on the other side of Tampa towards Orlando was so we could get away from the evacuation zones and the flooding. I mean, I would have loved one of those old historic homes in St. Petersburg, but I knew that what with Global Warming it just wouldn’t be safe or smart to buy one. So, we looked outside of Tampa at more storm proof homes that weren’t built too long ago, but also weren’t built recently, as in having all that Chinese toxic drywall that so many new homes had. I did my homework and we settled here, so imagine my surprise when Irma became such a threat? It’s not that I am surprised Irma was such a threat to the entire state of Florida. What I am surprised at is that it happened this soon. A storm affecting us here in the middle of Florida wasn’t on my radar for another 10 years. I know this is the future, but unfortunately, the future is here now. Quicker than I thought.
I was out at the condo off and on for a week and a half before Irma hit.
I had gone out there to take advantage of the fact that we were between renters, and I wanted to enjoy some precious “Julie Time.”
BUT, I left on the Monday before Irma hit because I knew this was serious and I knew I needed to secure the condo and then get home to secure our house. Even though at this time Irma was supposed to be headed up the east coast.
Securing the Condo
So, I took one final photo of the view that I have loved so much since 1998, and secured the condo for the storm and then left.
Luckily, my mother had just installed new storm slider doors this summer. That helped keep the water out. Also, by my spreading lots of towels and blankets along the bottom of the doors and windows, that blocked any air from sucking the water into the condo from the balcony.
It may be sunny above when I left but I quickly encountered terrible rain on my way home!
I passed many cars that pulled over on the side of the highway because it was hard to see. But I kept going. Put on sun glasses. It will cut through the glare so that you can see better. Also, it’s dangerous to pull over on the side of the road. Many have been hit by cars that can’t see them parked there. It’s best to just keep on going but at a safe pace. Just make sure you have your headlights on and in some cases your hazzard lights.
I was so rushed to leave the condo that I quickly popped some popcorn in the microwave before I left, to eat in the car. That was lunch!
There is a lot of hurricane prep to do before any storm hits you. Most of the time we are already stocked up on supplies to deal with what may come our way. But we do need to run out and buy last minute things. Like extra water, batteries, gas to store in the garage, filling your car gas tanks up, etc.
But you are also prepping your outside. Bringing in patio furniture, plants, pots, etc. Installing boards over your windows. Or in our case improvising with what we already had, as well as what was available and in stock at the Home Depot type stores.
The First Storm Prep
I call this the ‘first storm prep’ because Gordon’s plan did evolve as more materials became available at places like Home Depot. Originally all the plywood had sold out at many of the stores. So Gordon used what we had available. As in some extra fence panels, some of Brodie’s 45 pound weights, etc.
Here Gordon is adhering cement board to some of our windows.
Gordon placed a fence panel along my nook window. You can see the outside, and the inside.
(The fountain looks that bad on purpose. We’ve been letting the backyard frogs lay their eggs and we feed them our leftover lettuce that goes bad. They then become tadpoles and then frogs. The sticky kind.)
Meanwhile, I was working on the inside of the house, as in storing up water.
I also brought in the only rose we had left on the trellis. I just wanted something cheery inside the house. Seeing as how we were being all boarded up and Irma would have blown it away anyway.
I also brought in some of our key limes that were ripe.
Our NOAA Radio
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
This radio here can save your life. Buy one! Keep it on a windowsill. It will warn you of danger.
When we knew the storm was coming Gordon bought water, but I also started to save water into containers that we already had on hand. There is nothing wrong with our water, as far as I know. So, I saved lots and lots of it. Not only to drink, but to wash up with, if need be.
(Oh, see the Nestle water from above? I didn’t notice that Gordon had bought that brand at the time but Nestle pays Flint, Michigan $200.00 a year for that lead loaded water. And yes, I wrote $200.00. So we will not be drinking it but we will be water our house plants with it. I don’t even want to water plants outside with it because then that lead will go into our soil.)
Storing Water in our Guest Bathroom
I started storing water in some of our pots and containers, and even an empty Rubbermaid storage container that was empty. Keeping everything in the small bathroom. This water was going to be used for brushing our teeth, or washing up, washing dishes, etc. Luckily, we never needed it. But, I never wasted it by dumping it down the drains. I took it outside and watered our plants with it. Water will be something we go to war over in the future. I am not going to waste any.)
Monk and His Water
We also made sure that Monk had a 10 day supply of water on hand.
Don’t forget your pets!
He also had lots of dog food to last him 2 months if necessary.
We are always stocked up!
Me and The Monkee
Monk and I after an exhausting day.
Monk had diarrhea for a week because of Irma. We were so busy running around doing all this prep that it affected Monk and stressed him out. So, for ONE WEEK Monk had diarrhea everyday! EVERY DAY!!!
Weather Radio’s, Flashlights, Headlights, Alarms, Lanterns, Batteries, etc…….
Make sure that you gather up all your supplies so that you know what you have and what you don’t. You also need to make sure that they still work if they haven’t been used in awhile.
You never know just how bad things might get for you. So filling up your bathtub with water just might come in handy. I wouldn’t use it for drinking but it would come in handy for washing.
One thing that I did hope, was that the tadpoles would make it. I gave them lettuce and then they were on their own to survive the storm.
Secure Your Automobiles
One thing that people don’t realize is that tornadoes with hail often accompany hurricane’s. Not only that, but debris flying by can break your car window’s as well.
We were glued to The Weather Channel the week before Irma hit us.
We brought in every lantern or candle to use for when the lights went out.
More Storm Prep
As more plywood shipments started arriving in our area, Gordon was able to buy a few panels. This is our bedroom window, outside and inside. And you can clearly see the photos reflecting in the mirror from the wall that my daughter refers to as “The wall of dead people.”
(My beloved relatives. And not all of them are dead.)
Brodie Came Over to Help
Gordon and Brodie were able to secure up the rest of our windows. Our bathroom, outside and inside.
We have lots of wasps here in Florida and they get mad if you disturb their nests and they will come after you. So, before you start plowing through doing any kind of yard work make sure you have some on hand. It will spray a stream of up to 20 feet. It’s also good protection in your home from intruders.
Gordon also bought other wood to help secure what he had already put together. Sometime you have to just use what you have on hand when what you need is unavailable.
This odd looking contraption of Gordon’s actually did work. But probably because the bands of the storm didn’t slam into them.
Release the Kraken!
I was bringing in the plant and I couldn’t resist. 🙂
Lots of Games and Candles
Recharge every single battery that you have because you never know how long you will be without power.
The Florida Hurricane, A.K.A. IRMA
We needed something a little bright with sunshine as we waited for Irma to arrive. We knew she would be delivering her wrath the following night and we wanted to just enjoy a nice treat before all hell broke loose…….
The Florida Hurricane
Garnished w/ a slice of Florida Orange and our Key Limes
(I’ll let Gordon do the honors here, since he made the drinks for us.)
Florida Shot Glass
OUR Hurricane IRMA
(I noticed how much the drink looked like a hurricane so I told Gordon to remove the lid so that I could photograph it.)
We Saved Coffee
The food in your refrigerator and freezer will last up to 48 hours without power. But after that, throw it all away! We did make extra coffee and stored it in the refrigerator and heated it up on the grill once we lost power.
Instead of Water in the Kettle, we Have Coffee in the Kettle
We ended up taking a last minute evacuee and her cat. A friend of Brodie’s mother. Here Gordon is securing her truck. You can see that the outer bands have reached us.
This photo of me was taken 1 hour before we lost power the night Irma hit us. It was around 7:30 p.m. The thing is, our cables are buried underground. We pay taxes on that. The only people to lose their electricity was our block, a group of 12 houses. There was power in the street behind us, and both streets to our left and our right, BUT, NOT US!
We made sure we had lots of fruit, especially citrus and bananas.
And our Hurricane Boxers that Trish and Bob sent us a few year’s back.
The Night Irma Hit Us!
When the power went out and it was time to go to bed, I decided to sleep on the Lazy Boy chair in the living room so that I could monitor any water that might accumulate on our lanai. I knew that it probably would flood. Gordon said it wouldn’t.
The evening before Irma hit Gordon had dug a trench between our house and our neighbor’s in the hopes that the water would flow from our backyard down the trench and to the street. It did! He also placed some of our garden hoses that syphoned the water from our back as well. That worked too! BUT, I still felt like our lanai would flood. AND IT DID!
I HATE IT WHEN I’M RIGHT!
I woke Gordon up at midnight and told him that the lanai was flooding and it was fixing to come into our house. Gordon got up and grabbed our big sweep broom from the garage and swept the water off our lanai all night long, otherwise it would have come into our home and ruined everything.
Gordon Sweeping Water off our Lanai
We do have a pump, however when the electricity went out the pump quit working and the flooding began!
Our Lovely Bathroom by Candlelight and Weather Radio
This is the lighting in our bathroom at night. After this I totally understand the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise.” Because otherwise you can’t see to do anything. I also totally understand the importance of “Daylight Savings Time.” Without electricity, you revolve your entire life around daylight.
The first thing I looked at when I woke up was our lanai. Gordon managed to keep it swept off and manually made sure it went down that drain and into our yard. Our retaining walls actually helped to keep that water back as well.
The backyard was what I noticed first. The fountains weren’t blown apart by Irma, Gordon had disassembled them prior to Irma.
Our Tadpoles Made it Through
(At least, most of them.)
Our Bat House Made it Through
(Although you can see our neighbor’s tree branch hanging by a thread in the background.)
Then I Decided to View the Front Yard
My View as I Emerge
We had a few downed branches but no damage to our roof.
Luckily for us we got that new roof almost 2 years ago. It can withstand up to 150 MPH winds.
Gordon Dragging a Branch to the Curb
Made it Through, Made it Through
Gordon was happy his curry plant made it through.
The world can relax now.
The Only Two Lanai Flip Flops I Have Left
Gordon swept the other 2 away. Oh, well.
All of our neighbor’s had downed branches. The street was just littered!
Our Neighbor’s House
They said that they had slept in their closet all night because water was pouring into their bathroom.
NO POWER FOR 64 HOURS
We had no electricity, no air conditioner, we had to throw out 3 freezers full of food and all of our refrigerator foods as well. The weather was so hot! We had no warm water, only cold so we would work really hard outside and around the house so that when we took those ice cold showers they would feel good. I had my hair up in a pony tail while I worked and sweat was dripping off the end of my pony tail. How was that even possible seeing as how it was high on my head and not touching my neck or back?
We worked very hard cleaning up the yard and I even started washing our windows on the inside because there was nothing else to do.
Gordon couldn’t remove the plywood from the windows because we had no electricity to run the drill and the batteries on the other one were low. Oh, and that leads us to another story. I present to you, the battery orgasm! (And whatever you are thinking, it’s NOT that!)
The Battery Orgasm
Our batteries in some of our devices were getting low so Gordon asked where the batteries are so that he can replace a few things? I told him that I have plenty of them in the laundry room in the cabinet above the dryer on the right side. So, while I was in the kitchen I heard him call out to me that there aren’t any. I assured him that there are plenty! Whatever you need. AA, AAA, C, D! I commented to him that he was blind if he can’t see all those batteries that are in there! That’s when he told me to come and look. So, I did. I opened the cabinet and they were gone! Every single battery pack that I had purchased was gone!! That’s when we looked at each other and said at the same time, “BRODIE! Brodie took them!” He is our main battery stealer!
Last we heard on our weather radio that I had to keep cranking by hand every 5 minutes to keep the charge going, (p.s. my right arm was ripped!), anyway, the news I kept hearing was that there would be people without power in Florida for weeks! I cringed thinking that we would be all sweaty and nasty for WEEKS! The power was out all over the Tampa Bay area and traffic lights weren’t working.
There was lawlessness!
There was price gouging! The military/police were escorting gas tankers!
We needed batteries!!!
That’s when I remembered……………….Julie’s Junk Drawer, or as I like to call it………….Julie’s Junque Drawer!
I told Gordon that I know there are batteries in there! That’s when he complained that the last time he went in that drawer he got cut by an exacto knife, stabbed by a thumb tack, and he’s pretty sure he needs a tetanus shot from that rusted nail that nicked him. I believe I replied to that by saying something like, “Pussy!”
That’s when he dared me to go into the drawer for those batteries. I told him that it will take both of us because it’s so full it’s jammed and items are even falling out of the back of the drawer into our cabinet below it. So, we decided to do it together. We didn’t realize it at the time but everyone in our neighborhood was outside working. Raking leaves, gathering downed tree limbs, sweeping driveways and walk ways. We had every window open without realizing how far our voices carried. And we can talk LOUD sometimes. So, our conversation went something like this……
Me: Look, I need you to do this for me. I’ll hold it open with my fingers but you need to put your hand in there as far as you can. I know there is something jamming it in the back. So, stick your hand in there now.
Julie’s Junque Drawer
Gordon: I’ve got my whole hand in there and I don’t feel anything.
Me: No, that’s not far enough. You need to keep going! Further! Come on! Can you feel it now? Stick your whole arm in there! I’m holding it open for you! There! Do you feel them?
Gordon: I feel something smooth and elongated. And with a tip at the end!
Me: You’ve got it! Now pull it out! Slowly, I don’t want you to hurt your wrist. Do you feel anymore of them? I know there are a more in there. Pull them all out! Come on! I can only hold this open for so long. OMG! YES! Great! You’re doing it! Yes! Yes! Yes! That’s it! Look how many we have now!
Every one of these batteries was in that drawer!
I Knew It!!
See! I told you! Look at all of it!
Now, aren’t you glad I had you do it? And it didn’t hurt, did it? See! You aren’t cut or anything. I told you!!
Right after we retrieved the batteries from “Julie’s Junque Drawer”, Gordon went outside to finish raking all the yard debris. That’s when he noticed that every man out there stopped what they were doing when Gordon came outside and they looked at him. Some even remarked, ‘Isn’t it a bit hot today to be doing that? I know it’s sweltering in our house.’ That’s when he realized that the entire neighborhood thinks that we were having sex in the kitchen!
I noticed that Gordon immediately came back inside with this weird expression on his face. I asked him what was wrong? He then told me…..
Me: OMG! You get out there and tell them that we weren’t having sex! Go! Now! Just tell them we were looking for batteries! OMG! I am so embarrassed!!! GO!!!
Gordon did go back outside but he never said a word to the neighbors. Instead, his posture straightened, he sucked in his tummy, flexed his muscles, and raked, and raked, and raked, with a satisfied smile on his face.
Me: When he came back inside: “Bastard!!!”
Waiting for the Power to Come Back On!
Gordon missed about a week’s worth of work. Where he works didn’t have electricity for a week. Luckily they paid him even though he wasn’t working. I didn’t have to worry about checking anyone into the condo at that time so I was focused on our home.
Gordon Making Us Greek Coffee on the Grill
Best Coffee Ever!
My Morning’s Consisted of Coffee and the Emergency Radio
Breakfast on the Grill
Coffee in Disney Coffee Cups
Making Leftovers for Breakfast
Red Potatoes for Breakfast
Just add some olive oil and salt and pepper.
Adding Egg Beaters to a pan with some Turmeric and olive oil.
Gordon’s Eggs Require a bit More
I’m Sharing My Eggs w/ Monk
Gordon Tossing His Eggs
After 64 hours we finally got our electricity back on. Our air conditioner lasted two days before it quit on us and we had to call in a repairman. He fixed it for under $500.00. We’ve been running smoothly since then. I just wish that everyone could say that.
To all those still affected by hurricane’s,
WE FEEL YOUR PAIN!
And we didn’t have it half as bad as you!
August 31, 2017
I’ve done a bit of Empath blogging:
I would love for you to check it out.
Just click on the ‘I Am an Empath’ and scroll down to the bottom.
p.s. Don’t think about it too much. My ears are ringing enough as it is. 🙂
August 21, 2017
(Written to me by my brother Johnny via Twitter messaging about my niece Kate.)
Yes, the most prestigious college in Ireland. Look it up, very old and historical. You can’t understand how much of an achievement this was. Well off people would pay big money for these results. You have to get the marks to get accepted here. A standard exam for the whole country. Kate got 540 out of 600. The average is below 400. No one with money would send their kid to her high school because it’s not really pre-college. They also pay a fortune for private lessons and make their kid study for months with no life. It will kill the snobs that my kid went to a lowly ‘tech’ high school and got such results.
Congrats to my niece Kate!
July 23, 2017
My Favorite Dog Biscuits
O.K. so they aren’t actual dog biscuits. But they look like dog biscuits. Either way, these are the best! My new favorite thing! I cannot get enough of the fennel ones, and I HATE fennel! Go figure?
Had to advertise!
July 13, 2017
My Monkee and Me
My Messy Area
Ever since Sugar died Monk spends a lot of time at my feet. He’s getting better but I know he misses his Sugar. We all do!
Looks like it’s back to the 3 of us. Me, Gordon, and Monk.
Monk is 14 and in good health for an old dog who’s lifespan is 14. It really does matter what foods you eat growing up. Sugar was in really poor health at 14 and she was fed crap by her previous owner’s. Monk however, was owned by breeders and groomers so he is in pretty good health and doing well. Although we have never viewed us as owning them, they are part of the family. Or rather Sugar was. Still in our hearts though.
July 11, 2017
Over The Weekend
I promise this isn’t ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.’
But, this is me trying to bury my Mormon post below. So I am stacking this blog entry with photos of me from the photo shoot from over the weekend. Hey, those Mormon’s are mean and they will come after me!
Looky, looky, Julie with dessert!
My Legs are KILLING me!
Do you know how hard it is to hover?? These photos originated from my wanting to fit me, and my summer shortcakes into the profile header on Twitter. So I told Gordon to photograph me bending down over the food.
I might as well just be laying down on the table, it would have been more comfortable.
This Entire Photo Shoot is all Because of This Tin Cup.
(That, and two Elvis Presley bags of coffee. One peanut butter/banana, and one Hawaiian. Looks like Elvis and I had a lot in common. Both southerner’s and fell in love with Hawaii.)
I saw that tin cup at Tuesday Morning and fell in love with it. I am from the south after all. Y’all is what I grew up saying, and still do sometimes.
Iced Tea, Strawberry’s and Purslane
There was originally ice in the iced tea but it’s so hot outside that it melted quicker than anything.
In the south we take our tea, sweetened, or unsweetened. I always took mine, unsweetened. To me iced tea was wonderful just the way that it was. I never needed any sugar or sweetener, just tea over ice.
Julie’s Summer Shortcakes
Strawberry, Pineapple, Mangosteen, Purlane Shortcakes
I seem to be gravitating back toward my roots where food is concerned, and even in other areas as well.
I look around at all the overweight American’s with all of our chemicals and hormones in our food, and then I look back at old movies, that I love so much, and I see such a difference. All these actresses have such small waists and slim figures. I also remember back to my youth where overweight people were rare.
When I grew up we ate plain food. Plain food was tasty, healthy, and non-fattening. Now we eat food that is loaded with everything because for some reason we have to outdo the ‘other guy.’ We have to create something special, and different and loaded with this and that. So I just want to gravitate back to the simple, yet tasty foods that I grew up with. They weren’t anything fancy. Yet they were perfect just how they were.
So, I wanted to create my own little summer shortcakes, but with some simple added ingredients as well.
Purslane, an Edible Flowering Weed
Look how beautiful!
We may be trying to keep our food a bit simple but we also want to update it so that it can be healthy, as well.
The Health Benefits of Purslane are Extensive
I have been using it on many of our foods, my summer shortcakes, included.
They are not only beautiful, they are healthy as well.
My Red Roses
Just something pretty to add to the photo shoot.
All righty then, well, I’ll leave you with me eating one of my shortcakes seductively.
It was a request from Gordon. Need I say more??
Hey, at least I buried the Mormon thing.
July 7, 2017
Me, 1995, Ewa Beach, Hawaii
(I will explain later in the post why I posted this photo of me.)
Remember the Twilight series of books and movies by Stephanie Meyer? They’ve been on t.v. a lot lately over the past week. There were 4 original books which were turned into 5 movies. They starred Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, along with an additional cast of characters.
The Love Triangle
I read that Stephanie Meyer had a dream about a girl having a conversation in a field with a vampire. The dream was so vivid to her that she wanted to write about it, so she did. That is where her book actually started, in the middle. I believe she wrote the first book, Forks, which publishers insisted that she title it, Twilight. She started writing Forks from the middle of the story, to the end. She then had to go back and write a beginning. I find that interesting. Starting a story in the middle and not the beginning, like you would assume a story would begin. But yet that somehow makes perfect sense.
Stephanie Meyer’s Dream
When she first sent her story into a publisher, it wasn’t even finished. She sent in what she had. Apparently, no one was interested in her partial manuscript and were going to reject it until a secretary took notice of it and loved it. The secretary is the one that pushed it through to be published. She wrote Stephanie asking for more of the story because SHE was interested, not the publishers. So, Stephanie sent in more, and the rest is history. But no one would even know of Bella, Edward, and Jacob and the entire saga if it weren’t for a secretary. Which makes me wonder, how many great novels out there are rejected because publishers aren’t interested? How many great stories will we never hear of because they may be different from what a publishing house is used to publishing?
I’m not really writing this to get into any of that. Nor was I some great fan of the Twilight series.
Kristin Stewart as Bella Swan
I objected to the fact that the main character, Bella was so weak and suicidal when Edward broke up with her.
(I don’t admire people that are weak and needy, I feel sorry for them and want them to get help.)
Most of the time I go my separate way from most people. I tend to avoid trends and whatever is popular and in style and I just go with whatever I want to. But every now and then something will come along where everyone is into it and that is when I want to do what everyone else is doing. I’m that way with the Super Bowl as well. I HATE football!! There, I said it! But every Super Bowl Sunday I want to watch it. I want to be a part of something larger than myself. That is how I tackled the Twilight series. I knew so many people that were reading the novels so I went out and bought all of them. I also watched the movies. I really do like the first movie, Twilight. But the rest of them I just don’t care for. And to tell you the truth, I think the only reason I like the first one is because of the music. Not just the hit songs but the background music. I like background music and this was really good!
The reason that I am writing this isn’t really to talk about any of the story itself. What I see when I watch the movies and I did read almost 2 of the books, is that Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism screams loud and clear to me! Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon and it is extremely obvious to me in her stories. I’ve mentioned this to people and they are puzzled by what I am saying. I’ve even pointed out some examples, which I am going to do here right now.
First of all, the Twilight series targets 12 year old girls and 35 year old women.
12 year old girls want to be Bella. 35 year old women wish they had been Bella.
Hence, the target audience. This age group will spend a lot of money for this romance and marketers know it! So right there most of you are being profiled, targeted and manipulated. Are you fine with that?
I’m not here to praise Stephanie Meyer, or here to trash her, but to write what I see in the books and movies and point it out to you so that maybe you might see it to.
I have to admit up front that I did read the first book, Twilight, only to be disappointed in it. It read like an old Nancy Drew book to me. (Although I LOVE Nancy Drew.) Reading things like, ‘I gulped, then swallowed my apple.’ Or something to that effect. To me I was reading some middle school romance novel.
I did start the second book, New Moon, in the hopes that it would be better. It probably was but yet I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I stopped at the last 100 pages. I was so bored!
I suppose that I should better admit that it wasn’t that I was so bored, it was that I just couldn’t stand to read anymore of Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism. So I stopped reading.
You see, I know quite a bit about the Mormon Church and it’s teachings. My step-brother is a Mormon. (Didn’t know I had a step-brother, did you?) ? Also, I lived as a Mormon for a year. (Surprise!!)
Me, age 23
Yes, I was a Mormon for 1 year. Hey, at least I got out after that. Some people take decades before they can get out. So as someone that lived as one of them, I can tell you that the Twilight series is loaded with Mormonism. And if you think about it, why wouldn’t it be? After all, it’s author, Stephanie Meyer, is a Mormon.
In the Mormon Church young people are encouraged to marry young and start families. After all, giving birth is how you spread religion. Think about it, the Mormon Church is only a few hundred years old yet it has a worldwide following. It’s because they had all those wives, giving birth to all those babies. Polygamy and no birth control is how to spread a religion. Also sending out missionaries all over the world doesn’t hurt.
In one of the movies, I don’t remember the title, but Bella and Edward marry right after High School. Because Mormon’s start having children so young, you can look at a family photo of a Mormon family with their children all grown up and you have a hard time distinguishing who are the parents, and who are the children?
The Cullen Family
(Now tell me, if you had never seen any of them before, which are the parents? And the children?)
Another point that I wanted to make is that Mormon’s are taught to not have anything to do with non-Mormon’s. So it would explain why the Cullen children don’t mix with any of the “human’s” at Forks High School. They stick to themselves. Yet, remember when the bad vampires came through Forks? Doing their killing of humans? The Cullen’s may not have liked them but they were going to play baseball with them. Remember?
The Cullen’s and the Vampires
They view the mean vampires as their equals, but not the humans, the (non-Mormons.)
The Cullen’s also see themselves as superior as they live in a world that humans are unaware of. That’s how Mormon’s see life. They believe that they have been given all the answers of life and other people are non-enlightened with this lack of information. They believe that we all once lived in heaven together and that we come to Earth to gain a body and develop faith. (But we are see-through in heaven, hence why we need a body.) Then when we die, and we are reunited in heaven with our loved ones, but only if we are sealed together here on Earth, by the Mormon church in the Mormon temple. But when someone converts to the Mormon church you do leave behind your old life. If you notice, Edward keeps telling Bella that she has to say goodby to her father Charlie and her mother as she was to convert and become a vampire. Only in certain religions do you have to say goodbye to your family. And why is that anyway?
If you are familiar with the saga then you know of the Volturi? They are the leadership of all the vampires. Kind of like the royal family, the most powerful coven. They enforce the laws.
The Mormons have their modern day profit that lives in Utah, along with his elders. They are the power behind the Mormon Church. Just as the Pope and The Vatican are to Catholics. Didn’t know they had a profit, did you?
The Mormon’s also believe that after they die and are descended into heaven that no matter what age they are when they die, they will be at their prime in heaven. Whatever age that is. When you look at the Cullen’s, they are dead, as they are vampires, yet they are all young and beautiful and in their “prime.”
In the very last movie when the Cullen’s and their vampire allies are facing the Volturi and their allies, Alice Cullen found a half human/vampire to bear witness to Aro, the leader of the Volturi, to convince him that Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesme, (who is also half human/vampire) was no threat to any of them. Alice produced a male, and his aunt. The man said that a vampire seduced his mother and got her pregnant. She died giving birth to him. He also said that he reached full adult age by 7, and that he was 150 years old.
Again, the youthfulness of an old person. Mormon’s see themselves as being young and beautiful forever, or as they like to say, “For all time and eternity.”
Another thing the Mormon’s believe is that if you die before age 8 then you go straight to the Celestial Kingdom. But anything you do after age 8 you will be held accountable for.
The man in the photo above said that he reached full adulthood by age 7. Again, everything he did prior to that age he is forgiven for.
Also, when the Cullen’s knew the Volturi were coming for them they went out and recruited some of their other vampire friends for help in order to ‘bear witness.’ Again, more religious terminology.
Even when Bella was pregnant with Reneseme and the baby was killing her, she still wanted to go through with the pregnancy because after all every baby is a gift from God. At least they think so. They see it as their duty to bring into this Earth as many spirits/babies as they can. It’s their duty to God. That’s why most Mormon’s have an average of 3-4 children. But you also have many families like the Osmond’s with multiple children.
Speaking of Marie Osmond……..
Donny and Marie Osmond in Goin’ Coconuts
(I should steal that movie title sometime.)
The Osmond’s are probably the most famous of all the Mormon families. In the summer 1978 my family rented an RV and we drove cross country, mainly headed out west. We drove from North Carolina where we were living, to Texas, (my step-father’s home), then onto Arizona, Utah, etc. I was accidentally left at a gas station in Texas, took them an hour before they realized I wasn’t on board. Only then did they come back for me. (At least they said it was an accident.)
We picked up my step-brother in Texas and drove him to where he would be going to college, Brigham Young University, in Utah. We also got to tour the Osmond Studios in Provo, I believe it was Provo. This is when the Osmond’s were at their height of popularity. I myself even had a “Marie” haircut.
(But I also had the Dorothy Hamil haircut at one time as well.)
Me, Grand Canyon 1978
When we toured the Osmond Studios that summer and I had just signed the guest book, my step-brother turned to me and said, “If someone grabs you and say’s ‘hurry Marie you’re late for rehearsal’ , don’t say anything, just go!”
Marie Osmond and Steven Craig
(First, and 3rd. marraige for her)
Marie married her first husband, Steven Craig when they were young. She had a temple wedding, as most devout Mormon’s do. They had only one child together. They weren’t married very long before she divorced him for his ‘extra curricular activities.’ Ahem.
At their wedding they were ‘sealed together for all time and eternity,’ but she was able to get unsealed from him.
Marie with Second Husband Brian Blosil
She then married a man named Brian Blosil whom she became “sealed” to. They had 7 children together. Some children were adopted. Then when she divorced him she was able to become “unsealed.” Lastly, she remarried her first husband who she was able to become “sealed” to once more.
Marie is known as the “Ziplock Baggie” in Mormon circles. As she’s been sealed, unsealed, sealed, unsealed, and sealed again.
When Mormon’s marry in the temple there are mirrors on the side of the bride and the groom that reflect off each other symbolizing eternity. Hence, marry for all time and eternity, their motto. Except in Marie’s case, of course. 🙂
The Mormon’s refer to themselves as LDS, Latter Day Saints. The full name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But I can attest that they aren’t Christian. They elude to the Christian teachings but they aren’t Christian. They do go by The Book of Mormon, and The Bible. They say the two are a companion. The Mormon’s have a history of persecution, although their history shows a very violent past of their own. The Mountain Meadows Massacre comes to mind. But when people want to fit in, they change their names. The Indian nations people changed their names from things like, Running Bear, to Jackson. When African-American’s were liberated in the Great Emancipation on September 22, 1862, a lot of them chose the name of Washington as to fit in and hopefully be excepted. If people do this then organizations do it too. Even religions. So, what better name than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.? And they do consider themselves, “saints.”
Their profit, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church is their Jesus. He claimed the angel Moroni brought down the gold plates, a.k.a., The Book of Mormon, which is where they get all their teachings from.
Doctors have diagnosed Joseph Smith through his writings and have determined that he was a paranoid schizophrenic. But I’m really not here to get into all that. What I did want to point out is how disturbed I am by things in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series that are very Mormon in nature.
Jacob and Renesme
Bella, Renesme, Edward, and Jacob
(Jacob reminds me of the creepy friend that wants to babysit your daughter for free all the time.)
The relationship between Jacob and Renesme is the most disturbing to me. Jacob had been in love with Bella but she married Edward and went on to become pregnant. She actually died in childbirth but Edward was able to turn her into a vampire so she was “re-born.” The conversion complete.
When Jacob heard that Bella had died he was so angry that he was going to kill the baby, Renesme. But one look at her and he imprinted on her. Ah, he discovered his soul mate.
A boy in his late teens see’s his soul mate in a newborn baby? Yuck! And highly disturbing.
Oh, the movie makes it out like it’s so sweet, beautiful, and natural for a young man to bond with a small child.
What this reminds me of are the polygamist Mormon’s that live on those compounds and pick out which of the new born babies they want to marry when the child gets older. The Mormon leader Warren Jeffs was marrying children as young as 14 to be his brides.
Oh, and all Mormon’s believe in polygamy. They may say they don’t, but they do. There is polygamy in their temple sealings. Men can be sealed to more than one woman, but women can’t. So men can have several wives in heaven but women can’t have more than one husband. So yes, they do believe in polygamy and they do practice it even though they may only be married to one woman at a time. I’m not referring to practicing compound polygamist here.
Another part that is disturbing to me is when Bella and Edward are on their honeymoon, because Edward is a vampire and much stronger than Bella, she ends up with bruises on her body. He sees them, and is concerned, but she tells him not to worry about it that’s it’s o.k. That reminds me of an abusive relationship where the woman is beaten but the husband feels bad about it the next day and is apologizing but the woman tells him it’s o.k., don’t worry about it, I know you didn’t do it on purpose. That’s very sick and dysfunctional to excuse any sort of abusive behavior.
Basically eluding that women should just put up with this sort of behavior.
There are many more similarities that I see in these stories in relation to the Mormon Church but if I name all of them I’ll be typing this all day.
It bothers me that young girls and women watch these movies and envy Bella, and want to be like Bella. Which brings me to why I posted the photo from above in the first place.
I WAS BELLA!!
I’ve actually been Bella a few times in my life. The triangle, the drama, the stalking, the upset, the arguing, the hurt. It’s not romantic. It’s sad and tragic. It’s also not healthy.
It’s easy to envy someone when you have no Earthly idea what it’s really like to be them. But if you were to know, you might find out that it’s not that great. Appreciate the life you have, it’s probably better than you realize.
Julie and Gordon Prom 1983
I’ve come to realized that I like boring, I like sameness, I like everyday, I like aging, I like me!
Amy Fletcher, ’82
Amy Fletcher was a Mormon friend that I had who’s family was very nice to me. They sort of took me under their wings and looked out for me when I really didn’t have anyone else. I was living in Charlotte at that time with my modeling agent. A woman! And her family. I was doing some modeling jobs but they were few and far between. You can’t really make a living off being a model unless you’re some big name in New York. Libby was very good to me and I appreciated her as well.
But, getting back to my portrait above. Amy called me one day and asked if she could come over to see me? I told her yes. She brought over her art supplies and asked if she could draw me? Of course, I said yes. When she finished she gave it to me. I’ve treasured it ever since.
I believe that people should be allowed to believe whatever they want to and to worship, or not, however they want to. But I do object to the recruiting, harassment, and other manipulative tactics that religions use to gain members. In order for me to get away permanently from the Mormon’s I had to be ex-communicated from their church. When they found me here in Florida they were coming to my door on a weekly basis. I asked them to stop, but they said they couldn’t. It took me 2 months to get rid of them. Gordon was working overseas for 6 months at the time in a hostile country and of course this would happen when it’s just me to deal with it.
I do believe that government’s should intervene when children are being abused or neglected on compounds and being forced to marry old men.
I will tell you this. The Mormon Church is baptizing all of you without your even knowing it. Yes that’s right! You just might be a Mormon and not even know it. 🙂
The Mormon’s have the most accurate genealogical records of anywhere in the world. They collect information on you, and your family members. They then have proxy baptisms where they baptize people. My step-brother used to do it all the time. I even read somewhere a few years ago that they were being sued over it.
For All Time and Eternity……
Happy Birthday To Bare Foot In Florida With Julie
We are 6 Years Old Now
July 6, 2017
Celebrating with some Barefoot Spritzer’s
This outdoor sink was one of Gordon’s projects he installed for our backyard that is featured on our website.
When it’s not holding our refreshments it is also a working fountain.
Gordon the Goof! Gotta love him!
July 6, 2017
I Miss Blogging, and Thank You for Missing Me!
Today is my daughter, Veronica’s 30th. birthday!
Veronica and Julie, 4th. of July Celebration
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. It’s not that I have nothing to say, I always do. ? But I’ve just been wanting to do more things for the website, and for us at home, and at the condo. So many blog posts to create and work on, and so little time to do it in. My website is my creative outlet and I feel this need to create every day in one way or another. I have so many ideas in my head that I want to implement but there just aren’t enough days of the year for me to do them in. I can relate to something that Prince once said. He said that he has so many songs in his head that in order to get them out he has to write them down otherwise he would go crazy, only then do they go away. That’s me! Except it’s with all kinds of things. Once I do that blog page on whatever topic, it leaves my head and I can then go onto the next 50 things that are rattling around in there.
I’ve heard that Prince has thousands of songs in his vault. I can also relate to that as I have projects that we have photographed and worked on that I just haven’t gotten to yet.
One thing is for sure, I don’t have cobwebs in there.
I have to say that 2017 has not been a good year for me, but regardless, It’s still been a good year.
I guess that my attitude has something to do with that. For some reason, I’m still happy and still positive. To start off with, we lost our fish, Tasso in early January. Yeah, I know, he was just a fish. But he was a fish with a happy personality that liked us all and enjoyed watching us. He was a nice fish! He was so happy in his bowl. He liked being a part of our family. We know this, he proved it to us all the time.
January 20, 2017 was a very sad day when Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. GOD, it’s so hard to say that! I was even sick when he was sworn in. I’m rarely sick but yet it was somehow appropriate.
So moving on……
Then, in late January my friend Trish died of colon cancer. She literally was diagnosed around Thanksgiving and then she died in late January. It broke my heart to lose her. I still miss her and think about her. She was a positive influence on so many people, especially me. Losing her was very tragic for me and I don’t think that at my age you get over losing wonderful people.
Trish, Cooking in her Kitchen in New Zealand
On January 31, I took a tumble over the dog gate and severely sprained my knee. I was in excruciating pain for at least a week. I was incapacitated for at least a month, with limping and crutches that went on for two months off and on. I did my research online and found out that someone with a severe knee sprain can take up to 10 weeks to 8 months for it to heal. I’m just now feeling as if I am back to normal. That’s 4 months later.
Veronica and Brian gave us one of their betta fish that was so stressed out, which we named Jose Gaspar after the pirate that invaded Tampa on his ship, The Gasparilla. Hence, the Tampa celebration of Gasparilla.
Jose Gaspar and His Tank
When we got Jose
When we first got him he was so used to hiding that I mentioned to Gordon that we should have named him Bigfoot, as we rarely have sightings of him. He was hiding all the time because Veronica and Brian had him so close to another betta in an additional tank that he was stressed all the time and used to hiding. His fins were so tattered due to the environment that they kept him in. Lots of rough coral and rocks. We provided him with a nice soft sandy bottom, a nice big rock to hide in, etc. After a couple of days when he realized that he wasn’t in any danger, he was the happiest fish! He quit hiding and was swimming around constantly. Greeting us when we would walk by. He was the friendliest fish!
Then one day he had this fungus on him. We went to the pet store to buy what we needed to treat him. He did get better but then suddenly took a turn for the worst and died. I was so sad to lose him because he was such a sweet, happy little fish. We will get another betta but that’s not the point. Yet another sad thing to happen this year.
Julie and Sugar, 2017
Our dog Sugar died on June 19th. She was 14 and it was her time but we laid to rest the sweetest dog in the world. When we adopted her about 9 years ago no one wanted her. She was fat, unhealthy, and not too good looking. She was discounted in price. But we saw the dog that she really was. The diamond in the rough. The sweetest dog in the world. We gave her a good home. She in return gave us unconditional love and loyalty. We deserved her because we appreciated her. And she in turn appreciated us. She is buried in our backyard in a section of the yard that I want to transform into an Alice in Wonderland section. Nothing too grand, just my homage to the story, and to Sugar.
There are also a few more sad things to have happened this year but I cannot think of them now. Perhaps I will remember later on and add to this post. Perhaps that is a good thing that I can’t recall them right now. The beauty of aging. 🙂
I do know that when I look in the mirror, I like what I see. Even when I have just woken up and I look into the mirror, I still like what I see. Of course, I’m not some beautiful creature in the morning. But that doesn’t matter to me. I like the person that I am looking at no matter how badly that I may look. I have evolved. I’m so proud of that. I’m so happy about that.
I wish that all of you could see what I see, and feel what I feel. But I believe that is something that you have to discover on your own.
I truly want the best for you. I believe that we all have the capacity to have the best in us. That is my wish for you.
I wrote a very nice write up for Sugar’s passing:
I’m very proud that Monk and I were with her till the end. She died wagging her tail.
How many of us are happy on the day of our passing? Sugar was.
June 4, 2017
Getting Ready for the 4th.
Here is a hint. And no, nothing to do with peanut butter. It’s all about DICK!
Anyway, I had been begging my mother to send me photos of my days in the 70’s during the Nixon Impeachment. I can remember watching the hearings on t.v. at school when we were living in Roanoke, Virginia. I remember that time very well. I also can’t help but compare the Nixon era to the Trump era. So with that in mind……..
My mother did send copies of her videos that she took of us while growing up so I did hit the pause button while I watched the DVD’s, and took photographs but they aren’t very good. But one thing I do see when I watched the old home movies.
I Miss This Girl!
That girl is ME!
April 8, 2017
Back to the Condo
Lunch at the Condo
If you have been reading my blog then you know that I had a severe sprain to my knee back on January 31st. Luckily, I had checked into the condo my long term winter renters and therefor I didn’t need to worry about the management of the condo for a few months. Well, they checked out today and Gordon and I drove out to Indian Shores to prepare the condo for the renters that checked in today. It was a lot of work but Gordon and I always make the best of it. After all that condo cleaning work, we love to visit our favorite stores out in the area.
I prefer to bring my lunch when I head out to the condo. It saves on the calories, if you know what I mean? And besides, what we prepare for ourselves is usually better than what we buy in restaurants. Really!
We did manage to make it to our favorite Asian supermarket today and spent a small fortune.
Gordon Scanning the Herbs
Here is an example of the price difference at your local ethnic markets:
The Asian store chops off the stem of the broccoli so that you get just the part that you want. By doing so it is cheaper for you. In other supermarkets you are paying for that stem so that it will weigh more. Get it? Here you just get the part you will eat as opposed to having the buy a large part that you won’t eat.
I Love All the Asian Store Goodies
Everything is so Beautiful!
The Contents of our Cart
We spent a good $250.00 dollars here. Can’t wait to prepare all of our delicious Asian dishes.
I will be bringing the rest of this write up to my:
Check it out as I have started my 2017 Beach Blogging.
On the Way Home Now
April 7, 2017
It’s Friday and I’m Day Dreaming….
I have this fantasy that someday, some descendant of mine, whether it be a great-granddaughter, or a great- grand niece, or even a great-grand gay nephew, is going to come across some of my website photos and ask his/her parents, “Who is that magnificent creature? WOW! She is amazing! Who is she?”
And the reply will be, “Oh, that is your Great-Aunt Julie. She was really something! She is where we get our talent and creativity from. To know her, was to love her! I’m surprised you haven’t heard of her as she was such a legend in the family. It shook us all to our core when she passed.
To follow in her footsteps is an honor, that is why it’s said in our family, “WWJD, What Would Julie Do?”
O.k. That is my fantasy, now for the nightmare reality:
“Hey Dad! I just found these photos of this woman wearing some costume, kind of looks like Alice in Wonderland except as an old lady! Who is she? God is she ever old!”
“Oh, um, that’s um, (turning toward kitchen and yelling), Hey Hon! I thought you said you got rid of all those photos of your Aunt Julie? Steve just found these! What am I supposed to tell him????” (Most gay man are named Steve, Jeff or Rod. So…..)
“OMG! Did I miss some? I thought I destroyed all of them!”
Father turning toward Steve, “Give me those! Uh, we don’t talk about her son. She uh, she, she was never right in the head. If you know what I mean? None of us like to talk about her. So, just give me those photos and forget about her. Understand? It’s for the best. Hey, always remember that we love you and that you can’t help where you come from. Got that son?”
THAT is probably how it will go. Oh well, their loss! Hey, I’ll be dead by then so what will I care? 🙂
But know this: I will haunt his ass!
No gay relative of mine is going to diss me!
April 5, 2017
Nigella’s New Book
At My Table
I am looking forward to it. It’ll be out this autumn. Looks like she’s “breaking bread” all over the counter. But from the cover it looks like to me that she’s back to the old Nigella style, nothing wrong with that.
April 3, 2017
Oh, I’m Nobody
Shooting our Alice in Wonderland Easter
We just finished shooting our first weekend of our Alice in Wonderland Easter. We focused on the Tea Party scene, as that is classic Alice in Wonderland, and what most people associate the story with. It was a lot of fun to plan, organize, shop for, cook for, prepare for, decorate for, dress up for, and to finally implement. This has been a project that I have been wanting to work on for over a year now. I started scouring thrift stores back then as well, looking for some nice appropriate things that we could use that weren’t that expensive. We also already had a bit of an Alice in Wonderland Easter collection as it was that we were able to use. It doesn’t take a lot of money to create something grand, it just takes an imagination and some work on your part.
Julie and Gordon Tea Party
When I started this website almost 6 years ago, I really didn’t know where I wanted it to go or even what I would do with it, but I just knew that I wanted to do something creative that would grow and evolve over time. If you know anything about me know this, I tend to just dive in to whatever new thing I do without any knowledge, and I just learn as I go. I would like to think that our website has become better over time. I know that I have become a better writer, speller, story teller, photographer, and editor.
Me, Reading Alice in Wonderland
Whenever I talk to someone that doesn’t know me personally but has looked at the website, I always seem to get asked, “Are you an actress?” My usual response is, “Oh, I’m nobody. I just have a website.” I know where they are going with this line of questioning? When they ask me if I am an actress what they want to know is, ‘what t.v. show, or movie was I in?’ And if I say, ‘None.’ Then they view me as a “nobody.” So I tend to just cut to the chase and respond to them with what will make sense to them.
When I am out at our thrift stores in Sun City and I find so many lovely things for my projects I always seem to get asked by the lovely seniors that ring up my purchases, “Do you stage houses?” I always respond, “No, I just have a website.”
I also get asked, “Do you have a store?” “Do you deal in antiques?” “Are you a decorator?” “Are you a designer?”
My response to all of the above is usually, “Oh no, I’m nobody. I just have a website.”
I say these things for their benefit, not mine.
It doesn’t matter to me what any of these people think of me. And to tell you the truth, I don’t even know what I am myself?
I remember my mother telling me that my step-father would remark to my mother, ‘I know that Julie is loaded with talent, the thing is, I don’t know what that talent is?’
THAT is exactly how I have always seen myself.
I know that I am loaded with talent, I just don’t know what that talent is?
I am hoping that my website will guide me there.
Julie and Gordon as Alice and Hatter
I do know that my website has taken me places that I could not have reached on my own.
You know, it really doesn’t matter what is in anyone else’s head, it only matter’s what’s in our own. We cannot control what other people think, but we can control how we think. If you were to take 100 people and line them up in a row, you would find that only 5-6 % were above average, and 5-6% were below average, and everyone else would be “average.”
Average is neither smart nor dumb, that is why they are called “average.”
To me being average is nothing to brag about. I have never had any desire to be “average.” I have never been impressed with anyone that is “average.” So look at the numbers: The majority of people are average. So with that in mind, why care what some average person thinks of you? I do however, care what an above average person thinks of me. I also care about what some below average person thinks of me. But average? Nothing to brag about.
The Key’s and Eat Me Cake’s
Shrinking and Growing
Just as Alice had a world that she would retreat to in Wonderland, so can you. All that matters is what is in your own mind. The point that I am trying to reach is that no matter what anyone say’s about you, all that matter’s is what you tell yourself. There are so many yucky people out there. Don’t let their yucky opinions influence you. Don’t let them convince you that there is something wrong with you just because you think differently than they do. You are a somebody whether anyone else see’s it or not. You need to tune out the yucky opinions and allow in the good one’s. You decide for yourself what you want to believe in and don’t let someone else tell you what you need to do or believe in.
So when someone asks me if I am an actress and I say “Oh, I’m a nobody.” I don’t think that I am a nobody. I KNOW that I am a somebody. I know that I am smart, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, brilliant, talented, and about a million other things. But to that person, I am a nobody. Their loss.
March 21, 2017
A Little Preview
I am working on our upcoming Alice In Wonderland and I have it sprawled all over the dining room trying to piece it together. Even though these photos I’m putting together are in our dining room, the event will take place outside in our backyard.
This will be a combination of my childhood Alice, Tim Burton’s Alice, as well as Easter. I’m looking forward to it. This is when I am at my happiest, planning something nice and creative, a combination of my childhood and adulthood, having all my materials spread all over the room, putting it all together.
I do realize that I am 56 and you may be thinking that I am just too old to be Alice? Well, I’m senior citizen Alice that still has tea parties with her friends. Remember, Alice believes in the impossible and therefore makes it possible. 🙂
March 7, 2017
Alice in Wonderland
Here is a Sneak Peek into our Easter
My Alice Cups and Saucers
I’m so happy that Easter is “late” this year, as in “I’m late for a very important date.”
I’ve wanted to do this for a few years now and finally this year it will happen.
I adore Alice, I think this will be a lot of fun to do. What I love the most about her is her imagination.
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
(I don’t know why everyone always posts those old crazy hair photos of him. He was once quite a handsome man.)
A Few of My Alice Dolls
So this year I will get my tea party, my backyard game of croquet, I used to play all the time growing up with my family, and I will also get my outdoor Easter dinner. It’ll be fun!
I’ll be honoring all the Alice’s.
As an empath I know what it’s like to have one foot into one world, and the other into another. Sometimes I feel as if I am Alice.
Have a nice week,
p.s. I am doing much better with my sprained knee. I am walking normally. My knee is still a little swollen. It does take a good 10 weeks to 8 months for a severe sprain to heal. It’s been a little over a month for me now. My knee is still a bit stiff and sore but I’m really happy with my progress. Pretty good for a woman of 56.
February 23, 2017
Just Catching up and……..
My Letter to the Editor, March 28, 2008
One of my Twitter followers posted this today:
If the first one makes you angry, but you’re okay with the other. . . Then it’s not about the flag. (Retweet if you agree.)
My response was this:
According to the flag code: “the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.” So looks like everyone is equally wrong.
That got me to thinking about a letter to the editor that I wrote in March 2008 to the Rome News Tribune, in Rome, Georgia. The town I was born. I wrote:
Presidential Race Needs Issues Focus
I read Dick Polman’s guest column on my Rome hometown newspaper’s website on March 4, (http://news.mywebpal.com/partners/680/public/news882410.html) combating rumors about how the “right” perpetuates rumors that are not true about Barack Obama and criticizing him for not wearing a flag label pin all the time.
There is a notion in the south that if you fly the largest flag you are the most patriotic. Some people do not flaunt patriotism by wearing American flags all over their clothing. Too, the flag code states “the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.” And it states, “The flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting image of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably a burning.” So it could be argued that those who wear the American flag all over their clothing, and are against flag burning, are unpatriotic.
Some of us wear our patriotism on the inside, and find more useful ways to show it. We speak up when we see injustice, and ask questions when we see our government doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” He also said, “If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
Anther great patriot, Benjamin Franklin, said, “Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you.” And the republicans have been eating us alive for the past seven and a half years.
So is it really all that important that Barack Obama didn’t wear a flag in? Or that his middle name is Hussein? If I could have chosen my own middle name, I wouldn’t have chosen, Ann.
Why don’t we make this next Presidential election about substance instead of choosing a President based on whom we would like to sit down a have a beer with? I want a President who has better things to do than sit down and have a beer with me.
I can remember when I sent that letter in to the Rome News-Tribune that they called me on the phone wanting to know what connection that I possibly had with Rome? I told them that I was born there, lived there growing up, lived there as an adult, and married there at Frost Chapel, Berry College. Only then did they print my very “liberal” letter. Rome is mostly a republican town. Very much against my opinions. So happy I no longer live there and I no longer know many people there.
p.s. Oh, and as far as my knee is concerned, it is getting much better. I am walking on it every day. It tends to get stiff in the afternoon due to my moving about. I don’t need crutches anymore, I am able to walk on it. But it is still a bit swollen and a lot sore. It will just take time to heal and I am taking it easy when necessary.
February 16, 2017
More Birthday Photos and a Happy Valentine’s Day
A close up of my birthday cake and roses. I love it and I’m so proud of it.
The rhinestone vintage jewelry I found at my favorite thrift stores and I had it lying on the table as I hadn’t put it away yet. It was all still in the bag wrapped in kleenex. So I unwrapped them and set them out on the coffee table my leg has been propped up on, see photo below.
In the photo below Gordon is painting my toe nails for me. I so wanted red toes for Valentine’s Day and because of my sprained knee I couldn’t do it myself. So he did it for me. That’s love!
I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day.
Whether you have someone special in your life or not, treat yourself. Don’t wait for someone to do it for you.
I care about you,
February 13, 2017
Today I turn 56
Happy Birthday to Me!
As you may recall I wrote below about how I fell over the dog gate and sprained my knee. It was a very bad sprain, but I was doing very well in my recovery for about a week. Looks like I got too confident and I was on it too much one day and that set me back to crutches and a knee brace right now. So, I am taking it easy, taking lots of breaks between just doing things around the house, so as not to overwork it. I haven’t gone many places alone because it’s hard to get around. I don’t have a handicapped sticker on my car, seeing as how normally I’m not handicapped, so I have to park far away. Gordon has been a big help and he’s doing all the shopping. But he is used to doing a lot of the shopping himself seeing as he works on the base, so he’s always running into the commissary and exchange for us. I’m doing what I can around the house but I also have to prop my leg up several times a day.
I have decided that I am going to just make the best of it. I’ve set up camp on the couch and I am having a blast working on the website. I have so much material that I never got around to posting because I either forgot about some of it, or I went onto the next project before I could post the last ones, that kind of thing. Oh, the creative juices are flowing and I’m loving that part of it. I’m also enjoying all the t.v. series that I have on DVD and Bluray that I’ve been catching up on. Seeing as how I am laid up I am going to make the best of it.
At 56 our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly as they do in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s. But I do believe that the reason I didn’t break a bone was because of the amount of alcohol that I consume.
The benefits of alcohol are starting to catch up here in America in the medical field. In countries around the world drinking everyday is a natural part of their lives and very excepted. The French drink an average of 3-5 glasses of wine a day. Italian’s drink wine most everyday with all those delicious Italian foods they create, with the cooks having their small doses in the kitchen’s. The German’s drink their steins of beer most days while the Irish have their Guinness in their pubs daily. But if you drink everyday here in America? You are an alcoholic. Well, looks like I fit the description because I have two glasses of wine most every evening. But, instead of being referred to as an alcoholic, I prefer the more appropriate term of, Wino.
(Although Gordon and I do have about 8 -10 mixed drinks per year, most of the time we are drinking red wine. Although Gordon does drink beer most every weekend while he grills.)
The Benefits of Red Wine
Do NOT even waste your time drinking white wine as it has no benefits whatsoever except that it is alcohol. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) It is fine to cook with though. White wine does make some excellent gravy’s.
We are also occasionally given the gift of wine that we will drink with dinner whether white or rose’, just because it was a gift and we will reciprocate in kind.
Red Wine actually has a benefit in the fact that it helps you to lose weight. Yes, I said, LOSE WEIGHT!
Red Wine is loaded with anti-oxidents. One of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
Now for the most important benefit of drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Senior’s who drink around 8 glasses of alcohol a week are less likely to break a bone when they fall. And if you note, when a senior falls and breaks a bone, their health will deteriorate from that point on.
I did learn something important about myself because of this fall, I don’t have brittle bones. That is good news to hear when I just turned 56.
So, Happy Birthday to Me!
I may be a bit laid up but I am going to focus on the benefits of taking a few weeks off, and not the liabilities.
I am very proud of my birthday cake. It was my idea to relive my childhood favorite dessert. My mother would buy these occasionally and I adored them! Cream horns! This wasn’t about my eating something that can kill me, (borderline diabetic), it was about reliving a few happy childhood memories and reminiscing. (I did eat one.)
It was even my idea to add some roses to the center.
Sometimes to me food is just a decoration. Especially sweets like this.
My cake will sit out for me to enjoy until I eventually throw it away, but it won’t get eaten.
So drink up American’s! It just might save our lives!
I’ve made my birthday wish and I promise you it will come true!
(Oh, and my birthday ice cream bowl is my favorite childhood breakfast cereal, Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter Cereal. Gordon made the bowls by using melted butter/marshmallows/caramels. Having them harden into our ceramic bowls, then adding the ice cream, sugar free vanilla. It was perfect!)
February 3, 2017
Focusing on the Positive When There is Negative
(See my missing key on my keyboard, above?)
All Laid Up
Photos of me above, with my heating pad tied around my sprained knee, propped up on a pillow on my great-grandmother’s rocking chair with my keyboard on my lap while I get some work done.
On the evening of January 31, 2017 I was attempting to step over the dog gate with a tall glass of water, (Not referring to Gordon, but an actual tall glass of water), when my flip flop got stuck between the bars and I then went right over the tall gate throwing my water ahead of me so as to brace myself when I landed, only to land on the side of my right knee and my wrist, thus landing in a big pool of the water I had thrown ahead of myself.
The Evil Gate That Tried To Kill Me
(Sugar did run over to see how I was doing and stayed at the gate watching me until she saw that I was o.k. about 10 minutes later. Monk however, didn’t even budge from his favorite spot in the dog bed. Sugar is now my favorite pug.)
The Dog Gate
Even though the dog gate will swing open as to let you walk through it, Gordon and I have always just stepped over it. It is a tall gate, but we are tall people. Which suddenly brings to my mind the old saying, “The bigger they are the harder they fall.” I can attest to the validity of that statement.
I can’t tell you how many years we have hurdled that gate while holding a 25 pound Thanksgiving turkey on a platter, and we do it with such ease. At times we have been Olympic hurdlers as we leap over that gate with such grace and speed. We’ve had people in our home that are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s that have trouble stepping over it. Gordon and I believe that that gate is what is keeping us young. So you can imagine how I feel that something I do quite easily 100 times a day suddenly hurt me, and very badly too.
LAIR ESSENTIALS: Lap top, keyboard, books, my grandmother’s quilt, comfy pillows, comfy blankets, books, wrap around heating pad for knee, large heating pad just for the hell of it, books, magazines, crutches (from Gordon’s past knee surgery), cane (old Halloween prop), Lots of DVD’s/Blurays, tissues, cameras, remote controls, books, pretzels, Diet whatever, ice pack for knee, books, reading glasses, backup reading glasses, and books.
Gordon and I hit our favorite thrift stores last month and I found some amazing things. This Raphael book alone is so beautiful. $4.00, and a signature, Elizabeth C. Reed, 1944. That is gold to me!
These are so much nicer than prints! I could frame so many of these.
This big thick pink book is filled with facts about old Hollywood. I knew that Trish would have loved this book. And I would have gladly sacrificed it so that she could have it. As much as I love it.
I am not a naturally positive person, I am more of a negative person. I think that people that are positive have had more positive experiences throughout their lives. I have had more negative experiences throughout mine, hence my confession to you.
BUT, although I am not a ‘glass half full’ , or a ‘let’s look on the bright side’,
I am a “I’ll just make the best of it.”
On Tuesday night when I fell and landed in that big pool of water, I was so upset at being in that big pool of water that I crawled several feet to get out of it and then I collapsed. Gordon saw me from across the room as I was falling over the gate and ran over to help me. He and I both knew that I hadn’t broken any bones because I was crawling, so that was good news. But I was in excruciating pain with my knee swelling up to twice it’s size. I was mad at myself for the spill I just took. I was also worried. I knew that I hadn’t broken anything but that doesn’t mean that I may not have some sort of permanent damage. As in going through life with a bad knee. We do a lot of walking here in Florida, not to mention I love my treadmill, so the thought of having some permanent damage is worrisome.
That first night when I went to bed I was in so much pain that I didn’t get very much sleep. I also couldn’t find a comfortable position to lay on as I prefer to sleep on my side, usually flopping around all night long.
FYI: If you sleep on your back you won’t get any wrinkles. Did you know that?
The next day when I woke up I couldn’t even walk. I could put no pressure on my right leg as it was just too painful. So I did a lot of hopping and grabbing onto all the furniture as I would make my way around the house. Even hopping was quite painful. Gordon did what he could for me before he left for work but I was on my own for the day. The dogs depended on me to take them out, feed them, I also needed to feed myself, bathe, etc. It took me about 1 1/2 hours just to bathe myself in the shower as I couldn’t stand on both legs. It was painful just stepping into the shower to begin with.
Gordon got the crutches out of the attic for me before he went into work. I also got the cane that I keep near the door and started using that. (The cane is something of a weapon, that’s why I keep it out.) Both the crutches and the cane were very painful to walk on but I just took my time and made my way around all by myself. I just kept encouraging myself. Telling myself aloud, “Julie, you can do it. I know you can. Come on. Keep going.”
It was a huge relief when Gordon got home so that he could take care of the whining dogs and feed them their dinner. I know that it killed me to take them outside in the backyard earlier that day, as much pain as I was in.
Why Didn’t I Go To The Doctor?
When you grow up in a medical family, my step-father was a surgeon and my mother was a medical technologist, you learn a thing to two, also I think any doctor’s children will tell you that they are ignored when they are sick. Think about it? If you were to clean houses for a living, the last thing you would want to do when you got home was to clean your own house. If you are a doctor careing for people all day, the last thing you want to come home to is sick children. So as a whole most of us doctor’s kids are ignored.
I can remember when I was in the 5th. grade when we were living in Roanoke, VA. that I had broken the middle finger of my left hand at school recess. I can remember coming home and telling my mother about it. She just glanced at it and didn’t say anything. So when my step-father came home I showed him my finger and told him that I had broken it. He just glanced at it as well, said nothing, and left the room. I knew it was up to me to fix it so I gathered up two popsicle sticks from the kitchen and some tape out of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and rigged myself up a splint.
The next morning at the breakfast table my mother noticed my splint and asked me what it was? I told her that I had broken my finger and that I was going to fix it. She just made some grimace with her face and told me that it looked silly. She wanted me to take it off but I wouldn’t. I then went to school. The kids noticed it and laughed at me and made fun of my splint. I told them that I had broken it and that the splint was to fix it. My teacher overheard the conversation and looked at my splint and asked, “Isn’t your father a doctor?” I knew why she asked that. So I just said, “Yes.”
When I got home from school that day my mother insisted that I take that thing off my finger. So I took it off and that’s when she noticed that it was broken. So when my step-father got home she had him to take a look at it. He then realized that it was broken so they took me into the hospital and he placed a real splint on it and taped it up. I didn’t like how he taped it, he left part of my finger showing, the broken part, I knew that wasn’t right but I was just glad that I was getting real medical attention. I can’t remember how long I kept that splint on but when it was finally removed my finger was crooked with a big bump where the skin was exposed when he taped it up. I knew even then that he wrapped it up wrong. I think that I complained about the bump, but he said nothing.
So to answer the question as to why I didn’t go and see a doctor? Because I knew that my knee wasn’t broken. I knew that going to the emergency room would just be me and Gordon sitting there for hours until an ER doctor could look at me. Then he/she would order an X-ray, determine that it wasn’t broken, then give me some pain killer with codeine in it and then send me home with instructions on following up with my family practitioner.
So I just sucked up the pain and dealt with it myself.
I am a lot tougher than I look. I didn’t grow up being coddled, or given pain pills when I was ill or injured. I had to just deal with it myself. What a lot of people can’t tolerate I just push out of my mind and ignore. And although I was in a lot of pain, I don’t let it overtake me. It’s there, I notice it, but my mind just focuses on other things.
Making the Best of It
THIS is what I do best! Seeing as how I am laid up, why not make the best of it? How many of us would love a day, or two, or three, to just lay around and do whatever we want to?
Read, Watch T.V., Watch DVD’s/Blurays, Take an Afternoon Nap, Craft Projects, Flipping Through Photo Albums, Snuggling with your Pets on the couch, or Working on my Website……
I love this series. It’s a Canadian series starring mostly Canadian actors. I saw it on the Sci-Fi Channel years ago and loved it and knew that I wanted to own the seasons. So I ordered all 4 of them.
Being laid up has allowed me to actually sit here on the couch and watch the episodes and just enjoy them.
I seem to be drawn to these goodwill/moralistic shows now. I just need to see good people helping others and actually winning. I’m tired of witnessing all this hatred here in our country and I just need to escape into a t.v. fantasy where good always wins.
I’m also watching a hell of a lot of Star Trek The Next Generation on BBC America.
I do understand that I am luckier than most. I don’t have a job that I need to get to in order to pay the rent and not get kicked out of my home. My job is in managing my mother’s beach condo and I just checked in our long term winter renters mid-January, and I don’t have to get out there to do anything until they vacate the place in April. Unless there is an emergency or something, I don’t need to worry about anything.
I’m also lucky that my fall has happened at this time of year. This is our winter here in Florida. Granted, it is a pretty mild one, but we tend to stay put and just work on things around the house until March when we start on bigger outside projects. So I couldn’t have picked a better time to get hurt.
I’m also very lucky that I have the husband that I have. Granted, he wasn’t always a great husband and I wasn’t always a great wife, it’s been a learning experience from day one. I don’t think we will ever stop learning, either. But he doesn’t mind cooking, washing dishes, taking care of the dogs, and taking care of me.
So, it’s like I said, “I just make the best of it.”
I count my blessings, I see them, I notice them, I acknowledge them. And I don’t ever take them for granted because I know they will be gone someday and I will miss them terribly. But until that time comes I will enjoy them all that I can.
Everything in life is temporary. Enjoy it all while you have it because it will be gone, or changed, or different, but it will never be the same.
February 2, 2017 Day Two of Sprained Knee
I noticed during the night that I could move my leg in other positions that I couldn’t the day before, so I knew that when I got up this morning that things would already be better for me. I was just so surprised how much better my leg was. Granted, it was still so very swollen and it did hurt to walk around on it, but I no longer needed crutches or a cane. I was really amazed at how quickly I was healing.
I hadn’t even mentioned my wrist to you, I was so focused on my knee, but I also had a slight sprain in my wrist as I did land on it as well.
Nonetheless, I set up camp on the sofa and had the best time watching season after season of Sanctuary, while working on my website. As much as I was improved, I knew that the next day would be even better.
February 3, 2017, Day Three of Sprained Knee (Today)
I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I am today than I was yesterday. I can walk, but with a limp. I am still in pain but not as badly as before. I do still have swelling in my knee but it has gone down a little bit.
My wrist has absolutely no pain whatsoever. How does a sprained wrist heal itself in just 3 days?
I am still keeping my leg propped up on the rocking chair with a heating pad tied around my knee. I’ve started doing a few household chores today, such as laundry. Gordon is on his way home and bringing dinner for the two of us. This weekend he is doing some cooking, especially for Super Bowl Sunday while I take it easy and just heal. At this rate I’m not so worried about my knee anymore.
You know when Gordon was in high school playing football he sprained his knee. He was on crutches for one week unable to walk on his leg. He was at his most fittest. I am going to be 56 and I was walking on my sprained knee after one day on crutches. Gordon has also had two knee surgeries so he understands knee pain very well and is just amazed by my progress. So am I, quite frankly.
But I won’t be complaining about it. I will however, be writing about it on my empath blog.
Take care everyone!
January 31, 2017
Shortly after I wrote the post below my friend Trish died. Cancer had ravaged her little body. Gordon and I are so sad as she was a part of our family. As I look around our house she is everywhere. I picked up a notepad to write some reminders down and it was a notepad that she had sent me. I opened our DVD cabinet looking for something to watch and I immediately spotted some DVD’s that Trish and Bob had sent us. I was rummaging through my jewelry looking for something to wear when I saw the pretty necklace that she had sent me years ago. I put it on. I also put the earrings on that she had sent me in the past.
I hate that when someone dies people always seem to say, “I loved her/him.” Kind of like because they are deceased that those feelings are in the past. Not so with me. I love Trish! She may be gone but my feelings are still there. No past tense. She was my friend and I will miss her forever.
She knew she was dying of cancer but yet she fulfilled my Christmas wish to have a book signed by Annabel Langbein of New Zealand.
Trish was dying yet she stood in line to have Annabel sign this for me.
“Dear Julie, Happy Cooking.”
That is a friend. Someone that puts you ahead of themselves and their health to stand in a long line to get you an autograph.
I will never have as good a friend as her.
I miss you Trish,
January 29, 2017
My Friend is Dying
I am very sad to write this blog post but I want to. Writing things down makes me feel better and I need to feel better right now. If you are a regular reader of my blog then you may know of my friend Trish, above left. She lives in New Zealand with her husband, Bob. Those are their children pictured with them, Leilani and Carl. I’ve known Trish since about 1997. We were living in Hawaii at the time and Gordon and I were Girl Scout leaders. Trish was a Girl Guide leader in N.Z. and had requested a pen pal troop in Hawaii that might want to pair up with her girls. I saw that request and I immediately acted upon it. I was excited for my girl’s to be corresponding with some other girl’s in another country. We could share ideas, get to know each other. I even had fantasies that my girl’s would make life long friendships with their new pen pals, but those relationship’s fizzled out. But my friendship with Trish didn’t! We became friends and started writing to each other, calling each other. She and Bob even came to visit us here in America twice.
When I started writing this I immediately tried to find a photo of Trish and I together, but then I remembered that Paul Gray had deleted all of them from our old computer. He has been my cyber-stalker for the past 2 decades although we believe it actually goes back to our very first computer. I also write about him in my:
But to explain a little. Paul works for a major software company and had two computer’s built to his specific’s. One he gave to us, the other he kept for himself. He could enter our computer anytime that he wanted to, and he did! Reading my email, looking at every single thing we had on that computer. Photos, documents, etc. We had downloaded all of our photos onto that computer. Every photo that we had of Trish and Bob and their visits to us. Our entire life in Maryland. All the sight seeing, all that Washington, D.C. history,and the family fun, Veronica even placed in her science fair….. And thanks to the sheer meanness of Paul Keith Gray, he deleted every single one of them. Oh, I still have those memories, but it would be nice if I could look back at those photos, especially now.
Trish may have been 20 years older than me but friendship has no age limits. I had more in common with her than I ever did with people my own age. Because I am an old soul. My mind is 100 while my body will be 56 next month.
Trish and I also had similar relationships with our mother’s. When Trish was born her mother didn’t want her. She took her down to the orphanage and left her there. When Trish’s father heard what she did he went down there and got Trish and brought her back to her mother and forced her to raise her. Her parents went on to have many more kids but her mother never really liked Patricia. There are no photos of Trish when she was young because her mother didn’t take any. The thing that Trish and I know growing up as we did is that it does affect you throughout your entire life.
We had that trauma in common.
Trish was my only true friend. I know what you may be thinking, ‘won’t my other friends be offended by that?’ We’ll, I don’t really have any other friends. Most of my friends dumped me during the Bush years because I dared to speak out. I was one of the first protestors of the Iraq War. That’s when I realized just how many republican friends that I had. They called me names like, “unpatriotic, un-American, they made me feel so sad. When Bush’s approval rating was at 94% after 9/11 I am proud to say that I was one of those 6% that knew better. I just couldn’t believe how close minded everyone was. Looking at the alternate reality of these Trump supporters now is a good example of the mindset of my former friends.
As sad as I was at being dumped by them, I came to realize that they really weren’t even worth knowing. I was much better off without them.
Trish was a more informed person, she knew what I knew. I leaned on her shoulder and she got me through some very unhappy years.
It breaks my heart that her little body is being eaten alive by cancer and that she is down to just skin and bones. She is unresponsive and in hospice. Her husband of almost 50 years is with her 12 hours a day. Sitting with her, holding her hand, reading to her. Bob called yesterday to tell us how she is doing and it’s just heartbreaking.
I know that when we grieve, we grieve for ourselves. What their loss will do to us. I feel like I’m being selfish wanting her around longer so that I will have someone special in my life. But the thing is, I don’t want a replacement, I want her!
After we initially got to know each other I asked her how many Girl Scout troops from Hawaii responded to her request to become a pen pal troop? She said, “None. I was the only one.”
I’m going to miss you Trish.
January 19, 2017
I would like for you to meet Katelyn Nicole Davis. She lived in Cedartown, Georgia, not too far from the town I was born, Rome. She was 12 years old and would have turned 13 on February 20, 2017. Actually no one will ever get to meet her because she hung herself on December 30, 2016 and live streamed it on the internet.
Wasn’t she beautiful? Look at those big beautiful eyes!
February 20, 2004 – December 30, 2016
I didn’t know her but some neighbors of my mother knew the family. From what I understand there are so many people upset about this. Not only in the Cedartown/Rome area, or the state of Georgia, or the country of America, but as far away as Britain, there are calls asking to remove the video of her hanging herself from online. The police say that it has been copied so many times that there will never be any way to ever remove it from the net so they are asking people not to watch it.
Before she hung herself she alleged that her step-father sexually abused her and that her biological father didn’t care about her. She was depressed, living in terrible poverty and an unsafe, unhealthy environment. She lived in a trailer with her mother and her two siblings. I’m not sure of the step-father’s living arrangements up until Katelyn’s death, but her mother was divorced from Katelyn’s father and Katelyn does say that she was “forced to see her step-father over Christmas.”
Katelyn also said:
“My stepfather did a lot of things to me, that it seems I cannot forgive him for. He physically, mentally and verbally abused me. He struck me with his leather belt that has silver studs, making sure that the studs hit me.
He once hit me so hard with the belt on my arm, that my arm started to bleed. He even… He tried to rape me.”
She also kept a journal entitled, Diary of a Broken Doll.
Of course it was deleted so as not to do any “harm” to the family, and so that other children won’t read it.
I realize that most people would agree that would be the best thing to do, but I don’t. I’ll tell you why.
It was her story. Those were her words. That was her life.
And to add insult to all that poor little girl went through, her story was deleted, erased off the net. Just like her step-father allegedly wanted her to do when he told her to go hang herself.
I’m Sorry that her diary wasn’t pleasant enough for you. Sorry that her story isn’t filled with anecdotes of becoming head cheer-leader at her middle school, or how proud and happy she was at becoming homecoming queen. I think this says more about YOU than it does HER. You don’t want to know what all this little girl went through because it may be too upsetting to YOU. You poor little thing. Let’s just spare your feelings and erase her!
Now do you feel better? Of course, you do!
You know, if in this country we can prosecute a 16 year old as an adult for murder, then we can keep the diary of a very intelligent 12 year old girl online and not have it deleted. It was deleted because she was a child.
Well, my story was very similar to hers when I was growing up. Except I lived in a nicer house, in a nicer neighborhood, with “respectable” parents, not the (alleged) “trailer trash” that Katelyn had.
Julie, Johnny and Frank, Roanoke, Virginia
These photos were taken at the height of my abuse. I’m 12/13, Johnny (left) is 4/5, and Frank is 2/3.
I don’t know our exact ages here.
I hid my unhappiness, stayed in my room, the only time I would come out is to eat dinner. If the weather was good then I was outside playing all the time. Riding my bike everywhere, beating a tennis ball against a brick wall with my racket, or kicking a ball up a hill and chasing it as it would roll down, only to kick it up that hill again, always playing by myself.
(I can guarantee that if there were girl’s sports when I was growing up, soccer, etc. I’m pretty sure I would have been first string considering I was always the best soccer player at school recess. Even against the boys.)
But when I would come inside I had insults hurled at me every day by my mother, words such as being called “worthless, greedy gut, glutton, wierdo, freak, stupid, dumb, pathetic,” etc. I was always scolded for not doing anything “constructive.”
“Why don’t you do something constructive?”
Funny, but I was never told what that “constructive” thing was that I should be doing?
My step-father was a brilliant man, highly intelligent, I can remember as early as 7 or 8 that he would come home from work in this “mood”, (I always knew those “moods”) then go to work on my mother manipulating her to be mean to me, and she would. Gladly. Then he would sit back with such satisfaction of how powerful that he was. After all, he just got a mother to throw her own daughter underneath the bus, for HIM! He would be so pleased with himself.
My step-father was a psychopath and my mother was the codependent spouse of the psychopath. She has acknowledged in the past decade that she thinks he had Asperger’s.
I suffered every form of abuse there is between the two of them, that is all I will say about that. Each one inflicting different abuse. Some abuse stopped when I got older, other abuse went on until my step-father’s death, and my finally getting away from my mother. Although my mother and I do have more of a professional relationship as I manage her condo for her.
Happily, my step-father is dead now, 4 years this April. He died a horrible agonizing death, he had melanoma. I didn’t go see him when he was dying. I didn’t even inquire about him at all from the time I heard he was sick. Not once. I also didn’t attend his funeral. The day I found out he died (my mother sent me an email) that song from the Wizard of Oz kept going off inside my head, Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead. I found myself going about my day singing that song, walking through my house, washing dishes, doing laundry, and just singing that song. I didn’t shed one tear, nor have I ever.
After my step-father died I received a condolence card in the mail from a friend of my mother’s. She hand wrote in it, “You had a good daddy.” I remember thinking to myself, how in the hell would she know what kind of “Daddy” that I had? Was she there to witness it all? Of course not! She just believed whatever my mother told her. And, what was presented for her to see. (That is key.)
Understand that we have two people inside of each and every one of us. There is the real us, and the person we present to the world for everyone to see. Sometimes those two people are the same, and sometimes they aren’t.
When I read about Katelyn and the things she said her step-father would say to her, they were so similar to what my mother and step-father would say to me. Eerily, almost word for word.
Because my step-father was brilliant, his psychological abuse was the worst. He could cut me to the core, right in front of my mother and she would just agree with him. Joining in with such glee with the attacks. I can’t tell you how many times they would humiliate me, especially in front of other people.
Actually, oddly enough all those insults being hurled at me for decades, and a total lack of empathy on their part, has enabled me to go toe-to-toe with anyone that comes after me and come away the winner. Hey, when you’ve been insulted by the best you learn a thing or two.
I was out somewhere with my son years ago and we encountered someone a bit ignorant and a little rude. Without batting an eye lash I chewed this woman up and spit her out before she even knew what hit her, humiliating her in front of a room full of people. Brodie asked me why I did that? I was so cruel to her. I told him that I don’t know? I asked him if I was that bad? He said, “YES!” So, I decided at that point that I was going to try and be nicer and more respectful. And I believe that I have. I would like to think that I have become a better person. Change is possible but you have to want it. The last thing I ever want is to be like my mother and step-father. You have to recognize for yourself that you need to change. When I do encounter someone a bit mean, my first instinct is to pounce, but I’m very happy to report that I have learned a thing or two about restraint, (not always, but it is a work in progress and I’m a more tolerant person. Sometimes……..)
NOTE: If you were to ask anyone that knows my mother or knew my step-father you will hear wonderful glowing things about them. But that doesn’t mean they were good parents. My brother’s agree with that. They were rotten parents to all of us. My brother’s and I also noted one day that “They might have been bad parents, but they were good people.” We all agreed to that. It made us feel better to see them that way. They had done so much to help others. Then one day it dawned on me that a rotten parent is a rotten person. It doesn’t matter that they’ve done so much for others, I judged them on how they treated me.
Something that really bothers me at times is when I look in the mirror and I see my resemblance to her. I have her hands and her legs, and some facial features. I don’t like that I look like her.
Katelyn’s story has hit so close to home for me that I am comparing my life in my youth, to hers. I have been so upset by this ever since I first heard about it a little over a week ago.
The sad thing is that she could have been me.
I could have been her! Had I not had a grandmother that loved me so much and took an interest in my life and was an active grandmother, then I would have killed myself too. I do believe that.
I understand that Katelyn was on medication, anti-depressants.
All I can say to that is, why? How is taking a “happy pill” going to make her accusations against her step-father of sexual abuse and attempted rape, better? How is a “happy pill” going to make her go to bed at night sleeping on that mattress on that wet floor because the bathroom pipes leaked? How is that “happy pill” suppose to stop the alleged emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse, and somehow make her happy?
When you have reasons to be unhappy, you have a right to be depressed. There is a reason for the depression.
When you don’t have any reasons to be unhappy, yet you are, then you suffer from depression.
Children can’t help what home they are born into. It’s not a punishment, or rather it shouldn’t be.
What Katelyn needed was some help for herself and her family. She needed a bed, a safer environment for herself and her siblings. When you don’t have a safe environment, then you can never be happy. She didn’t need luxury, she needed necessities. Necessities that her parents could not provide for her. She needed help.
You know, I know more than anyone how much the south hates democrats, but democrats believe in helping the poor and disadvantaged. Perhaps instead of praying for those people that you know that are in need. Why not actually do something for them? And if you don’t have any money to give them, or furniture to donate, then vote for representatives in your area that will help the poor. Do you know how many Katelyn’s are out there in this world? Millions. The only reason Katelyn’s death is getting so much attention is because she live streamed her hanging. Maybe that video will bring some attention to those children that need help and actually do some good.
But to just erase her from the net, when the net is the place that she turned to for help, is the most disgusting thing anyone can do to her memory.
(I suppose that if Anne Frank had alleged sexual abuse in her diary then none of us would have ever known of her, would we? After all, I’ll bet she just made all that up! Yeah! We don’t know for sure if that ACTUALLY happened so we should just destroy this. Yes, of course! People would be too upset to read this. I mean hey, if it was just about the Nazi stuff, then sure, but sexual abuse? I’ll bet she made the whole thing up! So let’s make sure no one ever reads this.)
The same “type” of people would have erased Anne Frank’s diary, in the same way Katelyn’s was erased.
Katelyn said that she never had a father. Well Katelyn, I never had one either. I survived because I did find people that cared about me, loved me for me, there are some good people out there, you just need to find them. But Katelyn will never know because she was in so much pain she ended her life before she even had one.
I did watch her videos. As an adult survivor of abuse I felt a kindred spirit in her and that was my way of connecting to her. My way of saying that I believe you, that I care about you, that I will listen to your story, and that I will never forget you.
She was so smart, and pretty, and sweet, and good. Much smarter than I was at her age. She even warned people reading her diary that if it was too upsetting to you then don’t read anymore. Wow. As much pain as she was in, she cared about others feelings as well.
I do think that had I had a biological father that cared about me, and that I had an active relationship with, I don’t think I would have suffered all that abuse from my step-father. He would have seen him as a threat, afraid of what he might do if I were to tell my father what my step-father was doing to me. Also my grandfather, who did take an active role in my life, died when I was 14 from his second heart attack. So with those two powerful men out of the way, he had the green light to abuse me. I know how he would think. I mean after all, if Julie’s own father doesn’t care about her, then why should I?
I was disposable.
The only people left for my step-father to manipulate were a bunch of women and children. So he thought he was in the clear. And he was!
About 2-3 years before my step-father died he would talk about this ‘new Will’ he was writing. You see, I did call them as I do manage the condo for them. But he brought it up so many times on the phone. He told me that he was going to change his Will and make it more specific because of all the infighting that went on with this own siblings out in Texas, when his mother died. He spoke of this often. Anyway, imagine my surprise when after he died in 2013, I received my copy of his Will in the mail and it was dated 1999? I called my mother and asked her what happened to his new Will? She told me that she didn’t know about any new Will? This was the only one he had. I also talked to my brother Johnny about it. He didn’t know of any ‘new Will’ either?
Remember when I told you how brilliant that he was? Here is yet another example of that. You see, what he would do is to tell me one thing, usually the wrong information, then tell everyone else, the right information. That way, when we would compare notes, I was always the “wrong” one.
‘Proof that Julie just makes things up! See? I told you to never believe anything that she says! You cannot believe Julie!’
I always wondered why when I would say something, anything, that I would always hear from my mother, my step-father, and even my brother’s, “You just dreamed that Julie.”
I think that he would sum up my accusations against him as that I just dreamed all that went on.
And if they are going to chalk it all up to a ‘dream’ then they could have at least referred to it as the ‘nightmare’ that it was!
As with every story there is so much more to tell but I don’t feel like talking about it anymore. You know, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard on the news people criticizing those that speak up about abuse after the abuser has died. I understand that totally.
THAT IS THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN SPEAK OUT!
In some cases your abuser has intimidated you forever so the only time you feel safe and comfortable speaking out IS when they are dead. The fact that someone would even criticize, tells me that they, themselves, have never been abused and that is when I envy them.
I always saw my mother as a victim, but a willing victim. I think she finally believes me, decades later. But she will never acknowledge it. I think it’s been easier for her to think her daughter is just a big liar than to ever think her brilliant doctor husband could do such a thing. But his death has cleared the way to some independent thinking. He is no longer around to control the narrative. Work his brilliance of manipulation. The only thing I do admire him for was how intelligent that he was. At one point late in his life he started counseling drug addicted women. The one thing they all had in common was that they were all sexually abused as children and turned to drugs to help deal with the pain of being raped every day. I used to wonder if that was his way of making amends for his past sins? But as mean as he was to me up until the end, I doubt it.
What I hope comes out of Katelyn’s tragedy and my story is that people start to believe these young girls, boys, women, and men, when they speak out. Don’t shun them. Give them the compassion that they need. They have already gone through more hell than you will ever know, don’t make it worse for them. The worst thing you can do to someone that was abused and is seeking help, is to shun them. Unfortunately, I know this all too well.
P.S. I do feel that I must clarify one more thing before I go. With every family where abuse goes on there are always good times as well. Laughter, fun, vacations, Christmas’s, birthday’s. It’s not all bad. About 30- 40% of it was good and wonderful. But 60 -70% of it was bad.
One More Thing: This blog post isn’t for those that are going to read it and not believe it. I don’t give a damn about you. This blog post is for those people out there like me, and Katelyn. Who have suffered horribly. Some of us survived, others haven’t. This is my way of saying, “Hey, look at me! I went through all that and I have a very nice life. You can too. You just need to believe in yourself. I know that’s hard to do, especially when you are hearing about how ‘worthless’ that you are. But I believe in you! I was once you.”
All I ever wanted was an acknowledgement of the abuse and a sincere apology. That’s all! Yet, I never did get one, and I never will.
January 20, 2017
Today is the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. She died on January 20, 2000, 17 years ago today. But instead of this sad anniversary being overshadowed by the joy of Inaugurating America’s first woman President, it is a day of mourning the Inauguration of a fascist, and what could be the end of our democracy. So needless to say, today is not a good day for me, or anyone. If you are celebrating, then you won’t be for long.
However, seeing as how there is nothing that I can do about our new President, I wanted to just focus on my grandmother and how much I do miss her. I wrote in the previous blog post of my childhood growing up and how in a lot of ways it mirrored that of Katelyn Nicole Davis, the 12 year old girl that hung herself and live-streamed it on the internet. I spoke of my abuse that I suffered under my step-father and my mother. Writing about that brought me to this memory that I am about to share with you.
My grandmother was the closest person to me, other than my husband, Gordon, she was very important to me. I was also the only grandchild that had a close relationship with her. My brothers of course loved our grandmother, but I was the one that was the closest to her. I think that she took on a very active role in my upbringing, that makes a difference because in a way she was my second mother. I think my grandparents felt very sorry for me because I had a ‘dead beat dad’ who didn’t have much to do with me, and a mother that was busy going to college, working, and dating. So, they took on a very active role in parenting me. And I adored them! They were more than grandparents, they were also parents to me.
I was just shy of my 40th. birthday when my grandmother died. We had just moved to Maryland 6 months prior and we had just experienced our first snowfall in 15 years. Our children, ages 12 and 7 at the time, had never seen snow in their lives as they were both born in Hawaii and only knew of that tropical lifestyle. Oh, there were a few visits to mainland America to visit with the grandparents and great-grandmother during our Hawaii years, but that was done in the summers, so imagine their sadness, finally seeing snow for the first time only to leave it to fly to Georgia for their great-grandmother’s funeral?
I am not from a lovey-dovey-touchy family. They tend to show no emotions whatsoever. No sad ones, anyway. You will never see any Lancaster’s crying. Oh no. Perhaps in private, but not in public. I don’t think I have never seen my mother cry. Perhaps when I was little. I’m going to be 56 next month and I am wracking my brain trying to think if I have ever seen her cry? I have cried many times in front of my mother and she has mocked me on several occasions for my having feelings and emotions.
Because I grew up in this very cold environment, I handle stress or emergencies, or bad news, with humor. I don’t mean to brag but I do have a very good sense of humor. I can bring a room full of people to their knees with laughter, gripping their sides and begging me to stop because they can’t take anymore.
That is a common trait with adults that grow up in darkness as children. When I say ‘darkness’ I am referring to abuse, or poverty, or suffering, or serious struggling…..
Most of the big comedians all seem to come from a very bad time in their youth that has shaped them. For example, Amy Schumer is probably the funniest person we have out there on the comedy circuit and she will tell you that when she was about 12 her parents divorced and she went from a very upper class lifestyle to a lower class one. It shaped her life. She took it upon herself to look out for her siblings and make them laugh as much as possible.
Jim Carey is yet another example of someone that grew up in hardship, his family living out of a station wagon in Canada when he was in high school, to being one of the funniest men in comedy and movies.
Rosie O’Donnell is someone that lost her mother at age 6 and then suffered abuse from her father. Rosie is a very funny, intelligent woman that I have always admired. But I do have something in common with the above mentioned, we all seem to come from a darkness so we seek the opposite, which is light. So we make light of things in order to handle them better. I would much rather be laughing about something, than crying about it.
So, cue the laughter!
We all 4 boarded our plane from the Baltimore/Washington International Airport on our way to Atlanta. It was a last minute booking, so all 4 of us didn’t get to sit together. 3 seats would be together, while 1 person would be sitting alone, but all on the same row. Gordon was leading the way through the airplane when suddenly a big family cut in front of me, Veronica, and Brodie. Gordon was way ahead of us and immediately found his seat and got all settled in. When we caught up to him I remarked, “Well, I see you’ve found YOUR seat!” Usually, rows are all even. As in everyone in aisle 12 is all even with each other. But this was a smaller plane and the only thing even with us was the stewardess station directly adjacent to Gordon’s seat. So, I just looked at Gordon and asked him where our seats were located? He looked around sheepishly and said that he didn’t know? I then said, “Where are we supposed to sit Gordon? The kitchen?” I had the entire back of the airplane in laughter as we did find our seats located at the very back of the plane. The flight was very quick and uneventful. Gordon and I would talk back and forth occasionally and then more laughter would ensue from the passengers seated around us. (I am the funniest person to have around in a stressful situation.)
We flew into Atlanta, grabbed our luggage, and then drove to Rome, where I am originally from. Gordon, myself, and Veronica and Brodie, stayed at Grandma Nell’s house, (my grandmother that had just died), while everyone else was staying at my parent’s house. As in, my bother Johnny and his then wife Cathy, and their baby daughter Kate, my brother Frank and his wife Brenda, and their child Joseph, and my brother Ben, the baby of the family. He was 25 at the time.
When we arrived at my grandmother’s house we had put all of our luggage into the bedrooms and greeted everyone in the living room. Cousins, great-aunt, etc. Of course, while we are conversing with the company, my young toddler nephew, Joseph, was running all around the house playing with the locks on the antique doors, then closing them. So, when it came time to be getting ready so that we could go to go to the funeral home for the ‘viewing of the body’, that’s what it was always called in our circles, we couldn’t get into any of the bedrooms to change clothes as Joseph had locked all the doors. No one could open them as they were ancient locks and there was no time to call a locksmith, so we had to just go to the funeral home in our travel clothes.
(When I think of us in our “travel clothes” I always picture the Von Trapp family singers trying to flee Austria over the border to Switzerland only to be stopped by the Gastapo and questioned about their “travel” attire. Then to escort them to their concert, which was actually a ruse.)
So while everyone at the funeral home was appropriately dressed, we looked like we should be hiking by ‘climbing every mountain, forging every stream, following every rainbow, till we find ………… appropriate attire for a wake.’
(And now that song’s in my head.)
That night though we did have a locksmith come and unlock the doors so that we could access the bedrooms.
NOTE: There was also a really humiliating incident that happened to me in front of a house full of people by my mother. I am only going to mention it like this. Maybe I’ll write about it and insert it in here in the future. But not now.
The very next day was the funeral. Everyone arrived at my grandmother’s house, where we were staying. Her house was the headquarters for all of this. We were all ready and waiting to leave to go to the funeral home once the limo arrived.
As the limo pulled up in front of the house and we were all going outside the front door, that is when my parents sprung it on me, they turned around as we were all exiting the house and suddenly handed me and Gordon their car keys and said, “We’re all going in the limo, you and Gordon are driving our cars to the funeral home.”
Shocker! A Slap in the FACE!
This was vintage John and Mary Keith. Springing this on me at the last minute. They would always do these kinds of things to me. The genius behind it is that I don’t have time to complain about it when they spring things on me. This is why I hate surprises, because every surprise I’ve ever had was like this one. Never a nice surprise, always a bad one.
(My brother Ben might have driven his car to the funeral home as well. Everything happened so quickly. But I did want to note that.)
I remember just standing there in shock. I was already very upset that my grandmother had died, I was also upset that my mother had previously humiliated me in front of a house full of people accusing me of stealing a radio, and searching through our luggage like a crazy woman looking for it, throwing our things around the bedroom, only hours later to have the real culprit show up with it that night once everyone had gone home. (Another relative.)
My grandmother was the only person that was nice to me in this dysfunctional family. The only person that truly loved me, for me. And now I’m being shunned from the limo, and demoted to ‘family friend’ status of driving the cars to the funeral home for the grieving family of the deceased.
This was so typical of my parents. Excluding me from the limo. After all, look at the significance of that snub? Only important people ride around in limos. VIP’s! But not me. I did try to protest and say that I didn’t even know where this funeral home was located. That’s when they told me to just follow them. So, I quickly scrambled to my mother’s car. It was a really new car with all the bells and whistles. I drove around on an old stick shift Mazda, while this car was fancy. The limo was taking off so I am trying to figure out how to drive it. It was an automatic, something that I wasn’t used to driving. It was raining an icy rain. I couldn’t see out of the window and I didn’t have time to look for the wind shield wipers so I just took off after that limo! (This was all before everyone had cell phones attached at the hip as they do now.)
As I was driving I kept trying to find the windshield wiper button but I never saw it. I was also trying to see out of an iced over windshield to follow the limo. I have to say that it was lucky that I got there at all without wreaking the car into a ditch. I hadn’t driven in cold icy weather in 15 years so I did do a good job considering my limitations. I was very relieved when I got to the funeral home and parked the car, just barely. I tried to choose a spot away from other cars because I didn’t want to sideswipe anyone else while trying to pull into a parking spot relatively blind.
As the” VIP’s” are spilling out of the limo, I am parked in the back of the funeral home parking lot with a longer walk to the building. Oh, they did at least allow me the “honor” of sitting with the family of the deceased. That was so big of them.
So you see, the discrimination started at the funeral. I’ve come to realize just how important that my grandmother was to me. I knew that I loved her, and that she loved me, but I came to realize just how much that she would protect me from my mother and step-father. She was there to stop them and prevent them from going too far when it came time to their treatment of me. She would ‘get on’ to my mother if she were to treat me unfairly, or be really mean. I came to realize that having my grandmother alive, was my security. But once she died, there was no stopping my parents from their abuse. I’m not talking about the abuse that is inflicted on children. I’m talking about the abuse that is inflicted on adults. Unfairness, discrimination, prejudice, bullying…….
My grandmother would not have wanted the grandchild that she was closest to in the world, me, to not be included in that ride in the limo with the “family.” Interestingly enough, a sister-in-law that did get a limo ride, is no longer in the family. My grandmother would not have liked my being snubbed by anyone. Yet that is exactly what my family did to me.
Any decent family would have gotten their friends to drive the cars to the funeral home, but not mine. You see, I’m expendable, I’m not important, I’m disposable, just like I write in the previous blog post. I’m the step-child. Even though my mother gave birth to me, she had always allowed my step-father to set the tone and treatment, and she happily carried it out.
When you grow up in this kind of family you are never close. The parents set the tone and create the culture and the children follow it. If you create a loving culture then your children will follow that. When you set a bullying culture, your children follow that too.
As soon as I finish writing these blog posts about my family I will then start to bury these posts with other things to get them further down the column. A deep person will find this, a shallow person won’t. I only want the deep thinkers reading any of my story.
So thank you for taking the time to read it. I consider myself a survivor. I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. But I do hope that it will perhaps help you to understand what others go through because some don’t survive. I was one of the lucky ones.
A Note About My Mother:
For those of you who may be reading this and have rented the condo or you may even know my mother. My story isn’t about turning anyone against my mother, I’m simply telling my story. She has been wonderful to a lot of people in her lifetime, just not me. I also don’t totally blame her for how she has treated me. After all, she was married to a brilliant psychopath. He spent his entire life in keeping us at bay with each other. Always there to insert that wedge into our relationship. After all, if my mother liked me, and enjoyed being around me, and saw me as a decent person, then she might believe my accusations against her husband. So, he always made sure that she didn’t really like me. He always made sure that she never really trusted me. He always made sure that she never really cared about me. And he always made sure that she saw me as being her worthless daughter.
Where I do blame her, is that she let him!
December 15, 2016
I haven’t been blogging in a really long time because I’ve been spending so much time on Twitter. I have enjoyed it, it has been lots of fun, but I’m starting to miss my website and the time that I used to spend here. This is my record of our lives after all. This is Julie/Gordon/Veronica/Brodie and our Florida lifestyle together. Twitter is just some ‘flash in the pan’, popular one minute, unpopular the next. People following you and loving you, or rather “liking” you, then unfollowing you and dumping you the next minute. Some come back to you, others don’t. It is a very fickle medium. Lots of fun, but don’t take it too seriously. Depending on my profile photos, are whether I get more men than women following me. When I started Tweeting, I had a following of 70% male and 30% female. I decided to change my profile photos and keep them rotating and I’m now at about 60% male and 40% female. I was hoping to attract more women. I hope for about a 60% female/40% male following in the future. I relate more toward women than I do men and I would rather have people following me that were genuinely interested in what I have to post and not some man that likes seeing me in an evening gown, or just trying to sell me something. That happens a lot on Twitter.
I have also been a bit upset since the election. I did not see this coming to tell you the truth. I really figured that Hillary would be our next President and I was very excited about that prospect. On election day afternoon I did start to worry, and it dawned on me that here we are all anxious for this to be over with but what if the results aren’t to our liking? Then we may look back on this and regret that we were so anxious to be done with it. Turns out I was right about THAT!
Of course now news is coming out about the Russian influence on our election via hacking…..
I don’t really care to get into that except to say that when we were living in Maryland during the 2002 election, democrats hired a bunch of hackers to see if the voting machines could be compromised and one hacker got in within 30 seconds! He was able to change individual votes, as well as blocks of votes. So, for anyone to be surprised by this hacking is ridiculous. THEY KNEW!!!
NOTE: These voting machines were invented by a republican, with no paper trail, with the republican having the only security codes to the machines. Nuff said!
FOR MORE INFO ON THAT: SEE HACKING DEMOCRACY, A DOCUMENTARY, EXCELLENT BY THE WAY!
I made peace with the end of our democracy when Bush was elected in 2004. Just to clarify, he was not elected in 2000, he was selected by a Daddy Bush/Reagan Supreme Court. When the votes were counted Al Gore had actually won! So if no one cared about that first Coup d’e tat, then why care about this one?
When Bush “won” in 2004 against John Kerry I went into the bathroom and took a shower for about an hour and cried my eyes out because I knew then what it meant. The end of our democracy. It is a bit more complicated than a simple blog post but it enabled the republicans to put into place people, and laws, that would advance their agenda, which brings us to today…..
(Obama was just a “time out”, his Presidency was done with one hand tied behind his back from day one.)
BUT, getting back to Tweeting…
What I was hoping to do with Tweeting was to connect to some very interesting and talented people around the world. Good people, that shared my interests in life. I have to say that I have connected to some very good people. Some unknown people, also some very famous ones. Who would have thought that I would be tweeting and corresponding with Gary Oldman? Dracula! My huge giant crush from the early 90’s!! I had sent him some pumpkins that Gordon had carved of him and Winona Ryder, who played Mina, in Coppala’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder as Dracula and Mina
He wrote back and we actually had a little messaging thing going there. It was so cool! This would have never happened in my day! And I do know that had he been at his most popular that he would not have even given me the time of day. I’m not stupid, I do know that. But it has been lots of fun writing to some of my old fan crushes and have them actually write back! Or re-tweet my tweet! That is the fun part of Twitter. Could we have even imagined this kind of medium as a teenager in the 70’s entering “Win a Date with Bobby Sherman” contests?
Tawney Kitean and myself have even shared a few tweets. I call her by her birth name, Julie. She seemed to respond to that as I am a Julie as well. Kind of like, ‘one Julie to another’. She is very nice and approachable. I told her to be proud of those gymnastics on top of those cars in the White Snake video. No one will ever rival that! That video is going down in history as something special and she played a vital role in it. I like giving credit where credit is due. I’ve also exchanged a few with Nigella Lawson. But Twitter is one social media outlet where we can connect to so many people around the world. I like that. But when I am on Twitter I seem to attract so many hackers to my website. Also I don’t like that anyone can follow you. Unless you sign up for some private account, that really does restrict you, then you are vulnerable to hackers. One guy from Vietnam follows me. I seriously doubt that he wants some cookie recipe, I think he is one of my hackers but what can I do about it? I wish that we could prohibit some people from following us, but as far as I know, that feature isn’t there for open accounts.
Anyway, I am back and I hope to do some more work on my website. Hope you will be back as well. 🙂
November 11, 2016
Now, The Election is Over
I have resisted writing anything until I had digested it all. I was first in shock, then disbelief, then sadness, then fear…..
But now I am feeling better and I am ready to write.
First of all, know that all is not good. I am not here to gloss over this. I believe in truth. I respect the truth. I may not like hearing it, but I do respect it.
We, as Americans, are not going to be o.k. We, as a planet, are not going to be o.k. It isn’t just Americans that will suffer a Trump/Trumpism/Republican world, everyone will! And everyone will hate us for it! And rightly so!
I am scared!
It’s funny but my first instinct was to turn inward, just like I used to when I was growing up and the new kid in every school. Bullying was part of my every day back then. Books were my friends.
I immediately set up my blankets, pillows, and favorite books and magazines all around the couch. I was in a nesting stage. I had all remote controls at my disposal, my favorite DVD’s/Blu-Rays, my favorite Ginger-Ale soda, and my pretzels that I adore so much. Also my heating pad because heat is very comforting. I wanted to watch anything other than the news. NO TRUMP COVERAGE!!! Why? Exactly! WHY?? Where is it going to get me anyway? Sad! Depressed! THAT’S WHY!
AS my brother Johnny put it,” We grew up in the south so I’m not surprised by any of this.” Exactly. I’m not surprised either. I was just hoping that there would be more good people out there than bad. But that just didn’t happen.
The family that I grew up in was not prejudice. I had Yankee relatives that moved down south from up north. The “n” word was never spoken! But my biological father’s family were huge racists. The “n” word was spoken quite a bit in that household. My mother did divorce my biological father when I was 1. I do appreciate that. I never had much to do with that family. But I do know how the south, and those kinds of people think. And it isn’t pretty.
I don’t know if I feel like getting into any of that now. That is a huge blog post for another day, but what I wanted to talk about right now is where we go from here? I really have no Earthly idea!
I keep hearing from people to stay positive!
We are in the middle of the ocean, wearing life vests, with sharks swimming towards us. And I am expected to stay positive? Exactly how do I do that? Crack jokes as the sharks circle us? Talk about the good things that are going for us? Don’t the sharks swimming towards us kind of cancel out any good things to look forward to?
America elected a FASCIST as President. That is the blood thirsty shark swimming towards us! The shark is backed by a blood thirsty congress, and senate, and eventually a blood thirsty Supreme Court.
So exactly how do I stay positive among all that?
Believe me when I say that I want to be positive. I just don’t see it right now.
I’m very saddened by this and it is affecting my life. But I am trying to enjoy the life we have left until January 2017.
I’m doing my best to look positively towards Thanksgiving and Christmas because it may be our last.
November 2, 2016
Election and Stitches
No, I’m not in stitches over this election. What happens, happens, and there is nothing that I can do but vote, which I did yesterday. I did my part and I voted responsibly. That is all that I can do. But where I am in stitches, is literally! Yesterday morning, I went to my dermatologist to have an abnormal mole removed from my belly button. It has been there my entire life. BTW: We all get our moles from our mother’s, not our father’s. Mothers are the ones that pass them down to us. So, I was expecting my mole, which was about ¾ of an inch long, to be cut out. But what I wasn’t expecting was that a very large area around it would be cut out as well. My belly button has about 12 or so stitches in an area of 2 inches in length by ½ and inch in width. That is a pretty big area!
My dermatologist thought it best to remove the mole now because it could turn into melanoma later on. It isn’t cancerous now at all, or pre-cancerous, just abnormal. But I did learn something about myself yesterday that I didn’t know. According to my health care providers I have the thickest skin they have ever encountered on my stomach. Most people have thinner skin. The consistency of mine is found on most people’s backs. It took a long time for them to numb me, it was difficult to cut into me, and difficult to stitch me up, due to the thickness of my skin. I find that funny that I was told yesterday that I have ‘thick skin’ whereas my entire life I’ve been told how “thin skinned” I am. (That comes from being an empath.)
So what is the benefit of having thick skin? Apparently, that means my stomach won’t ever sag. Good to know! I wonder if that means other places on my body won’t sag either? Fingers crossed!!
I get my stitches out in 12 days. My stomach is sore today but these are the things that we have to go through in order to be healthy and hopefully live a longer life.
The Man Who Knew Too Little
Starring Bill Murray
Note to Self: Maybe watching a comedy while having fresh stitches in stomach isn’t such a good idea.
I encourage all of you to incorporate a dermatologist into your lives as you age. Especially when we live in these warmer climates. White people were just not meant to live in these tropical places. So we have to take extra care of ourselves. Sun screen is a must!
Oh, yeah, about Sunscreen…….
Remember several years ago when our government came out warning the American people that sunscreen was causing cancer? They wanted us to quit using it? And notice how they’ve shut up about it since? Well, let’s connect the dots, shall we?
The main ingredient in sunscreen is zinc-oxide. It causes the sun to reflect off of us. Zinc-oxide is also the ingredient in the paint on our roads that causes our headlights to reflect off them so that we can see to drive at night. It is also the main ingredient in safety equipment so that we can better see our emergency workers, road workers, etc. It’s for their protection. Well, prior to our invasion of Afghanistan, America was running low on our country’s minerals, one of which was zinc-oxide. (When you deplete your resources they are gone for good.) Where else will we find more, unless, we take them from another country that is rich in minerals. Hmmm…. Why are we still over there in Afghanistan anyway? Think about it. Why are we still over there in Afghanistan? Liberating people? Yeah, right! Afghanistan happens to be rich in minerals, the war is the distraction. The war is the reason to be there, the war is the excuse.
But back to sunscreen. What ever happened to all the “warnings” our government was giving us not to use it anymore? Is it suddenly “safe?” Was it ever “unsafe?”
Let’s say they needed to keep what zinc-oxide that was left and wanted us to quit using it? Do you tell an arrogant nation that we need to conserve, and share? (Jimmy Carter tried that with gasoline, remember? How did that turn out anyway?) Let’s all sacrifice for our roads and worker’s safety equipment by no longer buying up sunscreen? Yeah, I’m sure that will go over very well with the American people. No, what would happen would be a run on sunscreen, so what better way to get an arrogant, selfish society to give it up willingly? Scare them into doing it!
“Make yourselves sheep the wolves will eat you.” Benjamin Franklin
Live by that.
Again, this is just my opinion. Do I have proof? No! But connecting dots is what I do.
Oh, and p.s. I don’t know who is going to win this election. Empath’s don’t know everything. I hope it’s Hillary, but as an empath, I don’t have a whole lot of faith in people to do the right thing. THAT I know.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park
We spent the day yesterday at Islands of Adventure. We did have a lot of fun but neither of us like it as well as we do the Universal Studios theme park.
Gordon and Julie
The best time to visit any of the theme parks in Florida is September. Most of the tourists have gone home. We are on the same school schedule as the U.K. and Canada, that’s why the parks are so crowded in the summer. We pick up a big Netherlands crowd in October and November. But September is when the Florida locals come out to play.
Kelcy and Veronica, and Veronica with Brian
We met up with our niece Kelcy for the morning, then Brian joined us in the afternoon.
(I think it’s interesting that both Kelcy and Veronica’s clothing mirror each others. Same colors, even down to their shoes and the color laces. Wonder if DNA had something to do with it?)
The Jurassic Park Water Ride
Julie Universal Selfie
I take the photos while they ride the water rides.
Look to the last 3 seats, back row, left.
Back L to R: Gordon, Veronica and Kelcy
They did enjoy the ride!
The Corny Tourist Shots
These are just plain fun! Posing in front of dinosaurs and skulls. FUN!
We did enjoy the Harry Potter section the best.
Lunch at The Three Broomsticks
We Love a Pub Atmosphere and we Love Pub Food
You may recognize The Three Broomsticks from the Harry Potter movie, The Half Blood Prince.
You can see Kelcy met up with a deaf family that were signing, and she joined in. Kelcy works as an interpreter for the deaf.
Kelcy has a dynamic personality, to put it mildly. Very animated, very friendly, very nice!
Our Three Broomsticks Lunch
3 Fish and Chips, One Roasted Chicken Salad, One Pumpkin Juice, One Hogsmead Ale, 2 lemonade’s, One Coke,
and Plenty of Napkins!!
Gilly Water? Pumpkin Juice? Anyone??
It really was a nice day and we had a great time! If you would like to see more then just look at my Twitter accounts.
Have a great week!
Lovely Autumn Pasta
Look at these beautiful fall colored pasta!
Totally Natural, no Artificial Colors
Halloween and Thanksgiving just got a whole lot prettier.
Have a nice weekend!
Early Halloween Shoot
We have been shooting our Ghostly Halloween Game Night and here is a preview of more to come.
I love ghosts and I love vintage and I love old Hollywood, so it makes sense that I would love to do this particular theme.
I also love the game, CLUE!
It is my all time favorite board game. And BTW, I ALWAYS win!
Oh, and that drink is MINE. The one with the lipstick.
Pardon me, I need to get my gloves and my purse.
Oh, and I am in Room 1313. 🙂
Julie and Gordon
I Always Said it was the Boy
The Ramsey Family
Little JonBenet in the front, Burke in the Back
(All of this is my opinion. I have no facts to go on. Just my own opinion.)
I came across this article this morning:
The case of JonBenet Ramsey. Investigators land on theory of brother Burke Ramsey.
I always said it was the boy because of this family photo. The star of the show proudly in the front, while the boy stands in the back of the family. What that photo told me was probably how Burke was treated. I never thought that he killed his sister on purpose, but I think jealousy played a role. Resentment may have caused him to push her down the stairs or something. He was only 9 at the time.
I’m not saying that the parents ever harmed Burke or anything like that. I just think that all the attention was rained down on JonBenet while Burke was just left in back, just like the photo shows.
It also shows how Patsy also inserts herself in the front. Most parents of small children would have the children in front of them, but Patsy is the closet one to the camera, (once a beauty queen, always a beauty queen), with her protege beside her.
I never thought that the mother did it, as so many others did. You don’t invest that much time and money into a child your going to kill.
Now a days we invest in our 2.5 children. We fix their teeth, we give them nose jobs, groom them, train them, educate them. JonBenet had a bright future on the pageant circuit. Patsy herself was a former beauty pageant winner.
JonBenet was her protege.
You can also see in the photo how the husband just let Patsy run things as she pleased. He was probably very busy with his career so that they could have the life that they led. You can see that Patsy’s attention was on her star daughter, probably not her son.
I think they covered it up because they wanted to protect the child they had left. Maybe even blaming themselves for what Burke did. (If he indeed did do it.)
Very sad, but people are murdered every day in our country but we only focus our attention on the pretty, rich, white, ones.
Have a nice week,
(When did I start doing this anyway? Look up! You know, 9-18-2016?
Why aren’t I writing it out like I used to? As in September 18, 2016?) 🙂
Oh well, I meant to post some delicious photos of Gordon’s ribs from last weekend.
They were perfection! BUT, the meat was so tender that it melted in your mouth like butter, BUT it was falling off the bone. There should be some firmness to it so that doesn’t happen.
BUT, they were delicious!!
Our Halloween Lanai
We’re going to sit out here throughout the autumn season as this is the only time it’s in style.
Orange and Black!
The Himalayan Salt Lamp is a gift to Gordon from me. It’s to be used inside otherwise it melts. It purifies the air and makes your environment a little bit healthier, or so it says. Either way, it’s very pretty and he likes it.
Hope your weekend is going well!
Jesse and Tina Rodriguez and Family
I generally don’t get excited about that many t.v. shows out there because I am just not that in to reality t.v., unless it is something like this. But this couple does have me very excited to watch their show and to learn from them. I like people that care about the past, and want to restore it, and not just demolish it. I first learned of this couple when they flipped a house with Tarek and Christina elMoussa on the t.v. show, Flip or Flop.
I do have to admit that I am getting a bit tired of all the before and afters, but I do like this couple and I look forward to what all they can teach me. We did learn of this technique from them:
Paint your walls a blue color and then a few feet from the top, paint it white. You are bringing the sky indoors, just as the Victorian’s did.
We are very excited about how our ‘nook area’ looks and we do thank the Rodriguez family for that. They taught us something beautiful and we appreciate that.
I just received a baker’s rack in the mail that I found on sale and Gordon has been busy buying up spray paint from Home Depot for us to paint it. We bought the one on sale, that had a color that no one wanted. That’s good for us seeing as how we were going to change the color anyway.
Even now we are contemplating doing it a multi-color or just accenting the shelves with a peach while the rest of the rack is a white. That’s the fun of creativity.
I like people that inspire me, or enlighten me to do something different/original/creative/brilliant!
I just thought that I would pass on to you the Rodriguez family’s, Vintage Flip show just in case you might be interested.
So take a look and see for yourself. If you appreciate the past like I do, I think they are worth our precious time. 🙂
Ddos Attack and My Empath Post
I haven’t written about this but on August 27th. a Ddos attack was launched at my website. It lasted a good 24 hours and I informed my security that watch it. They were shocked that my website was experiencing one. Ddos attacks are geared toward banks, credit card companies, and corporations. Launching a Ddos attack on my little website is a total waste of time and extremely rare. There is nothing in my website. What you see on the outside is exactly what is on the inside. Just photos and blog info. There are no credit card info, or social security information, or names and phone numbers.
Our Paypal button on the Lancaster Family Condo post, isn’t even hooked up. I tell my renters to use Paypal through their own computers and not my button. I say that because it has been hacked a few times.
EVERYTHING that you see on my website, is what is inside.
So why the Ddos attack?
Why the revenge? Paul must have learned that Gordon spoke with his sister Heather and her husband about all that Paul has done to us for the past two decades. They were recently here and Gordon confided in them.
So how did Paul Keith Gray know that? He walks into our cell phones and listens to our conversations when we talk to other people. Whether he is listening to phone conversations that we have, or just listening through our phones as they lay on the table. If we wrap our cell phone in a towel, he’ll just walk into another cell phone of someone else in the room. He’s crazy and he will never leave me alone.
I just looked at my fairly new Empath blog post and Paul had added some question marks after some of my sentences. He likes to do that. He wants me to know that he was here and that he can get in my website. Message received Paul. But you know, you added a question mark to a sentence where I stated that I think empath’s are pretty special. You must think so too, otherwise you wouldn’t bother with me. Your transparent, your arrogant, and that will be your downfall.
(Cause, you know, empath, remember?)
On a Happy Note
(Because there is always happiness.)
We have been painting up a storm.
(When I say “we” I mean Gordon.)
We are sick and tired of the olive green in our nook and kitchen so “we” have been painting. We wanted to try this Victorian technique of painting the wall blue, the painting the top white and of course, the ceiling.
Save a few feet from the top to add the white paint.
Overlook the mess and the dried roses that have been drying for months now. 🙂
We wanted a change so our new kitchen colors will be blue and white with touches of sea glass colors everywhere.
Monk and Sugar will LOVE it!!!
(Note all the enthusiasm.)
Have a nice weekend!
I haven’t been blogging as much as much as I used to as there is so much more to do and not enough time in the day to do it. We did just have a hurricane pass through here. We were out today and saw many a tree down, tons of limbs littered everywhere. Nothing on our block though as most of us had already had dangerous trees removed and tree limbs cut down and removed. Our back yard pump was working well and prevented water from coming into our lanai.
Our NOAA weather radio had been going off for days just about every hour with the latest warnings.
Because of all the rain that we’ve had we’ve been spending a lot to time inside and just needed to get out of the house and do some things that we enjoy. We hit our favorite thrift stores this morning and found some treasures. I was also looking for 90’s suits that Dana Scully from the X-Files would have worn. I’m going to be her for Halloween this year. I found a beautiful chandelier that just needs some spray paint and polishing. Only $40.00. I love it! It will go from trash to treasure. Gordon took a little convincing but then he quickly got onboard.
We then headed over to our daughter and her boyfriends house for a visit and to take Brain his birthday gifts. We visited with our grandfish. Brain had painted his fish tank cabinet white and it looked wonderful against their blue walls in their dining room.
With the Light Off, and On
(The fish cabinet used to be this very dark, heavy looking wood. Now it looks to white and bright.)
My Grandfish are Getting so Big!
I Love the Fresh Water Sharks
A Beautiful Betta
They have about 3 fish tanks in their home.
Veronica and Brian are Very Creative
Veronica painted this on their dining room wall of their family tree.
Brian’s Door into the Inner Sanctum of his Mancave
He glued a cardboard box to his door. It was the box that his Halo something or other came in.
Is that not creative? I was impressed!
Oh, and I have been out of action for a little while.
I got an Ugly Boo-Boo
It all turned red, then this small protruding “nipple” appeared, and that’s whey I realized that I had a BOOB on my FOOT!
Not to worry, the “boob” disappeared and now my foot is just black and blue.
It did kind of feel like this though……
(Another one of Veronica and Brian’s decorating choices.)
Have a very nice 3 day Labor Day Weekend America!
So what will we be doing?
Dinner tonight is take out from the Latin Supermarket.
I have started a blog post about being an empath if you would like to take a look.
August 26, 2016
I Am An Empath
There, I said it.
I Am An Empath.
I have decided to share that with you, seeing as how I pretty much share everything else.
So exactly what is an empath? Here is one definition:
A person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
So are you clear now? 🙂
To me it’s much more complicated and complex than just a simple definition, so I thought that I would give you some examples so that you can see what I go through every single day.
One day as I was getting out of my car to do some grocery shopping at the commissary, all of a sudden the Monkee’s music is going off in my head. Remember them? From the 60’s? The Monkee’s? They were a musical group that had a t.v. show. They were Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Michael somebody and Mickie somebody. I LOVED them! I had a huge crush on Davy Jones, he was my one and only true love, (along with Jack Wild, Bobby Sherman, and David Cassidy.)
Anyway, I had The Monkee’s music going off inside my head the entire time I was shopping. I didn’t mind it. It was like what elevator music is to most people, just in the background, not too distracting. It was really nice. I was enjoying hearing it, reliving the old Monkee’s music, thinking about how much I used to love that old t.v. show every Saturday morning. But I did keep wondering to myself, “Why am I thinking about The Monkee’s? And in particular, Davy Jones?” Then I got into my car to drive off, I had my radio station on NPR, as always, and that’s when I heard it, “Davy Jones has died.” Ah, so THAT’S why I was hearing The Monkee’s music for the past hour and a half in my head.
To me, my interpretation, is that is when I am connected to the world. I was picking up on the world mourning Davy Jones and listening to the old Monkee’s music. It was so strong that it was in my head for hours.
Another example: Another time I was, once again, driving down the road when I kept hearing this in my head,
“Walter, I look awful in black.”
I kept hearing it over and over again. “Walter, I look awful in black.” I knew that it was a line from a movie that I had seen before but I just couldn’t place it. “Walter, I look awful in black”.
So as I went about my day, that sentence kept popping up in up in my head. Kind of like that thing that is on the ‘tip of your tongue’ that bothers you until you figure it out? Well, I never did. I went about my daily business, did my shopping, went home, unloaded the car, put things away, and then I did something that I rarely do, I laid down on the couch, and channel surfed up to the higher channels. O.K. so I do lay on the couch ALL THE TIME, but I don’t channel surf up to the higher channels. (Those are usually the dirty, forbidden channels….. 🙂 )
So as I was doing that I came across a movie that I hadn’t seen in decades, Father Goose, starring Cary Grant and Leslie Caron. Oh, Father Goose!! Oh, I LOVE that movie! I haven’t seen that in so long, how cool is that? I am going to lay here and watch it. (I don’t think that I have ever watched a movie sitting up, unless I am at a movie theater. The only way I know how to watch a movie at home is to view it sideways as I am laying down.) Anyway, I think the movie was filmed in the early 60’s and I first saw it as a child and loved it because Cary Grant is funny and it had lots of little girls in it.
O.k. So Cary Grant’s character’s name in the movie is, Walter. Yet I’m still not making the connection. It isn’t until “Walter” runs off to do something dangerous that Leslie Caron’s character says to Cary Grant’s character,
“Walter, I look awful in black.”
(She said that because she didn’t want her new husband, Walter, to die.)
AHA!!! THAT’S why that line has been in my head all day! I KNEW that I would be watching this movie later on, but yet I DIDN’T know I would be watching this movie later on. Get it? Understand?
I was given a puzzle piece earlier in the day that I didn’t understand, of what I would be doing later on that night. It wasn’t until later on that I was able to put the puzzle together. I call that a ‘random’ clue. Just some random thought that pops into my head, that doesn’t mean anything at the time, but ends up being significant later on.
I am also connected to the t.v. I can know in my head one second before I go to the next channel what movie is playing, instinctively. When those things pop into my head I am never wrong.
They don’t’ always pop in my head, but when they do, I am correct.
Sometimes I just KNOW things. Lots of times I just KNOW things. I don’t know how I know, or why I know, I just KNOW.
I know it just as I know I am typing this right now.
That is, when it can be proven. I will give you an example. When Gordon and I were living in Hawaii, we had only been married a few years, Gordon was assigned to a ship, he was in the Navy at the time, he kept wanting to bring one of his fellow sailor’s home to our house for dinner. I kept saying, “No.” I didn’t want that sailor in our house. Gordon was upset with me, he kept asking, “Why? Why can’t he come over for one night? You don’t even know him! You’ve never even met him before. Why are you being this way?” I kept saying that I didn’t want him in my home. I can’t explain it, but I don’t want him here. I don’t want him to come here.
It caused some arguing between Gordon and myself. Gordon kept telling me that he was a nice guy, and that I didn’t even know him to be acting this way. But I never relented. I never allowed Gordon to bring that guy to our house. A few months went by and Gordon’s ship set sail to other countries. It was in one of those countries that his “friend” was arrested for attempted murder and was in a foreign prison. Gordon came home and told me about it. He even told me some things that he had learned of that guy that he never knew. He then told me that he was glad that I fought him on having him to come over to our home.
So how did I know not to let this guy into my home? I don’t know how I knew it, I just knew it. I didn’t know what kinds of things that that guy did, I only knew NOT to let him in my house.
I cannot tell you how many things come to me in the shower. Whenever I want to figure something out I go and take a shower. Answers sometimes come flooding into me. I have had so many epiphany’s in the shower. I don’t know whether it is because I am alone and isolated, or if water has something to do with it. But in the shower is where I solve things. Whether they be problems, puzzles, questions, or insignificant trivia.
Lots of Alone Time
I have always needed lots of alone time. That is when I am able to recharge my batteries. Oh, just if you are wondering. I didn’t know I was an empath until I was 50 or so. I always thought I was just a bit psychic. I never knew exactly what I was until my 50’s. But I always knew I was different from other people in the fact that I could read people so well. When I would make a statement about someone I would always get asked, “How do you know?” And I would always reply, “I just KNOW!” I was right a lot of the time about those people that I would just “KNOW.”
I know when someone likes me, I know when someone doesn’t like me, and I know when someone is pretending to like me. I know when someone is lying to me, or deceiving me. I know when someone’s words coming out of their mouth don’t match what I am picking up from them, the feeling that is inside of me. That’s when I know I am being lied to.
I know when someone wants to do harm to me. I was once stalked by a white truck as I emerged from our beach access path at our condo a few years ago. I knew the men in the truck were bad the second I saw the truck. Funny thing is, I knew there were two white males in the truck even though I couldn’t see who was in the truck because of the tinted windows. I knew they were bad before the truck had done anything the least bit suspicious. As I was hurrying to the parking lot of our building across the street, they had backed their truck into the empty lot (at the time there was an empty lot close to our building), They had backed the truck into an overgrown area so that I couldn’t see their license number. I made it to the elevator of our building located at the bottom of our parking lot and I pressed the button. When the elevator arrived I jumped in and pressed the button to the 5th. Floor, then I jumped off the elevator, when I knew they couldn’t see me, and I quickly took the stairway up to my real floor. When they came to the bottom of the elevator of our building, all they knew was that I had gone to the 5th. Floor, which I hadn’t. I made it safely to our condo and I even brought in the wet beach chair and things so that if they did come to my floor they wouldn’t know which condo I was in.
Something else that I know about them is that they both wore white baseball caps, they were gun owners and that they voted republican. How do I know those things about them without ever seeing them clearly or even knowing them? I don’t know, I just KNOW.
My empath abilities have saved my life more times than I can remember. To me it is my super-power! I use it for survival. And thanks to that super-power, I have survived.
But with every gift there is always a curse that comes with it.
The gift is pretty obvious. Even when I was a little girl and roaming all over Dahlonega, Ga. barefoot, I would encounter strangers offering me rides home. I knew not to get in that car or that truck because what they were saying to me didn’t match what my stomach was telling me about them. And that is where I feel it, my stomach. I’m assuming that is where, “gut feeling” came about, probably from an empath. Also seeing as how more women are empath’s than men, I am wondering if that is where, “women’s intuition” comes from? They say that one in 20 women are empath’s and that it is in our DNA and can be passed down. I know that my mother isn’t an empath, or my grandmother, but I am wondering if my great-grandmother was? I do think that my niece Lola is. When I first met her she was 5 and my brother Johnny had brought his girls over here for a visit. Gordon and I had picked them up at the airport in Orlando and were driving them out to the condo in Indian Shores. On the way I was in the backseat with Kate and Lola and we were getting to know each other. I was asking Lola about her friends back home in Ireland. She was telling me about one particular girl that she knew that just didn’t like her. Kate asked her how she knew that? Lola replied, “I just know.” Both Kate and Johnny started telling her that she didn’t know that. She was just assuming that the girl didn’t like her. Lola kept telling them that they were wrong and that she knows the girl doesn’t like her.
It was when she said that, that I started to pay close attention to her while she was visiting us. She was only 5 but she knew so many things. Strangers would remark how smart that she was. But she wasn’t book smart, she just knew things. That’s when I realized that she was like me. It is hereditary and I think she should know what she is. It will help her in life. It’s a skill and a muscle that needs to be used and understood. I told my brother about it a few years ago. I don’t know if he believes me or not. But I think Lola is an empath, just like me. It’s her super-power and she should learn about it, it can help her in life. It can save her life over and over again. She just needs to believe in herself and tune out the people that say that, ‘you don’t know that, you just think you do.’
There are times when it is wonderful to be an empath.
I was once in line at a grocery store behind a woman who had just bought her two year old son a balloon. I could feel his joy magnified inside of me and I started crying, I was so overwhelmed. It was sweet and pure and wonderful. I didn’t just see it with my eyes, I felt it inside of me. His feelings of pure joy were inside of me.
Then there are the yucky people that I encounter in life. They carry all sorts of nastiness in them and when I am around them their nastiness goes inside of me. All I ever want to do is to get away from them. As far as I can. They don’t have to say a word about how nasty they are, I just KNOW.
I sometimes hear in my head exactly what a person is about to say to me. Not always, but lots of times. So yes, sometimes I can actually read someone’s mind. But not always.
I can very easily recognize psychopaths and sociopaths. Psychopaths radiate a horrible persona that I pick up instantly. Sociopaths however, I read NOTHING!! THAT’S how I know they are a sociopath. They have no feelings. They can stand there and be charming and animated, and funny, but to me it’s like a robot standing there being charming and animated, and funny. I read NOTHING! That’s how I know to stay away from them.
I’ll start a part 2 on being an empath, but right now I’m tired and I want to do something else. I hope you enjoy reading it. Maybe you too are an empath. If so, welcome to the club.
I think we’re pretty special. 🙂
August 25, 2016
More Photos From the Weekend
Gordon wearing the apron that his nieces made for him 24 years ago.
Out at the condo grill by the pool.
Gordon and Heather
Cooking everyone’s hotdogs and brats.
Heather and Kelcy
Veronica and Brodie
(I swear they are like the dogs, you can’t get both to look at the camera at the same time.)
Gordon and Julie
(In desperate need of good lighting. And wishing I had that mango drink right now.)
Yeah, this entire orange color font in this post is revolved around my drink right there.
Me, always taking pictures.
You know, for some extremely odd reason it seems to upset my family that I am always snapping away.
I mean, can you imagine the ungratefulness of my children not wanting their photo taken every day and through every event in life?
Really! I swear, it just boggles the mind……
Beautiful Deanna with her Ornaments
Gordon works with someone that used to volunteer at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium and she had 4 ornaments that were hand painted, I mean Dolphin painted, by none other than, Winter The Dolphin from A Dolphin Tale, and Hope, Nicholas and deceased Panama. We kept the one painted by Panama but Gordon gave the others to Deanna. She loved them! The whole reason for this visit was to see Winter.
Dreams do come true……..
August 22, 2016
Cookie Baking and Family Visiting
Our niece is a big Ariel the Little Mermaid fan and we wanted to do something special for her so Gordon and I made some mermaid and sea life themed sugar cookies with royal icing. She is also a fan of Winter the dolphin with the prosthetic tale who resides at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Making the Winter cookie was easy, we just removed the tale from a dolphin cookie that we cut out, but some of the other ones were a bit harder to make, the mermaids tales kept falling off. But we managed and made some lovely cookies.
I bought all the dragees and embellishments from FancyFlours.com, a favorite shop of mine.
I used some of our seashells to hold the dragees, and as always I like to set the mood for everything that I do. That gives me inspiration to work on any project that I take on, and just makes it more enjoyable.
The Royal Icing, Food Coloring’s, Pretty Bowls
Gordon is the one that made the cookies and I am the one that decorated them.
I think I got the more fun job.
A Fun Mess
We then placed the cookies on a mermaid serving tray, added some real scallop shells that I have picked up from our beach in the past, a little seashell surprise that housed a lovely Ariel bead necklace.
I think she liked everything. 🙂
Dinner at Salt Rock in Indian Shores with Family
Brodie’s School of Fish
My Spiced Curry Salmon
Brodie and I shared the Escargot, below.
Gordon’s S R (Salt Rock) Ahi Tuna
Had Fun with Family
August 17, 2016
Check out the photo that I just took out in Indian Shores.
Check out that lightening! Tampa, Florida is the lightening capital of America. Tampa means, ‘Sticks of Fire’.
August 13, 2016
Clutch the Pearls Ladies
It’s Hitch’s Birthday!
Happy Birthday Hitch!
Cause I love him! 🙂
The Fire Alarm
About a year or so ago when I was out at the beach condo the fire alarm went off. IT WAS LOUD!!! I was wearing my swimsuit so I immediately changed into clothing, grabbed my purse, and my camera, and my camera equipment and headed toward the stairway to make the 3 story journey down to the ground floor to get out of the building. (Interestingly enough I wasn’t the least bit concerned with my computer, cell phone, cosmetic case, or jewelry, as I left them all behind. Huh. I think that I learned something about myself that day, I didn’t value the things that I believe most people do.) Anyway……
As I am making the decent down to the bottom floors I did encounter some other residents in the building. We were asking each other things like, ‘Do you know which floor the fire is on? Did you see anything? Smell anything? I believe that I remarked something like, ‘Why aren’t the sprinklers going off?’ etc. etc…… No one had seen, or smelled, or knew anything.
When we got down to the bottom of the building, which is a parking lot located underneath the building, there was a crowd of people milling around the elevator talking. I was listening to their conversations to see if they knew what was going on. I also was asking some questions of people that were standing near me. Not one person had seen a fire, or smelled a fire, and none of the sprinklers were going off, as they should when there is a fire. I then determined that I’ll bet it’s either a very small fire, OR just a false alarm. So I placed my purse, camera and camera equipment in my car and headed back upstairs to the condo to get some more things. This time I was going to get my computer, and cell phone, cosmetic case, and jewelry. (Because apparently I discovered that I really DO want those things.) I realize that is not always a wise thing to do, but I figured that I had time.
While I was up in the condo I looked out the balcony doors and noticed that the fire truck had arrived and the men were very lackadaisical about stepping down off the truck. No one was rushing toward the building with their fire hoses. They were just all sort of sauntering towards the building. I knew then that there was no fire and that they knew it. But I still continued to gather up my things and as I was exiting the condo 3 firemen were walking through the stairwell door onto my floor. They took one look at me and started yelling at me! They were being really mean chastising me for not leaving the condo sooner. That damn fire alarm was still going off glaringly loud! I wasn’t in the mood to get yelled at by a bunch of men and that alarm was so loud that I didn’t want to talk over it, so I pretended to be deaf by pointing to my ears. They understood my gesture and quit yelling at me. Their demeanor immediately changed and they even held the door for me as I exited the floor to the stairwell.
I realize that I shouldn’t have done that.
This blog post isn’t about tricking and deceiving firemen/women, or ignoring fire alarms. But what this blog post is about is using all your senses to figure things out in life. Use your sight, smell, hearing, touch, and of course always use your brain. Clue’s are all around you at all times. Don’t ignore them because they can save your life.
Whenever I am at the beach condo you smell things from all around you. At least one day a week they test the back up generator and the smell is horrible, but you can smell it. Exiting the condo I can always smell the food being cooked at The Pub that is about 4 buildings away. It always smells delicious and I always want to run out and get seafood.
And don’t do what I did. You really do need to exit a building even when you know there isn’t a fire.
That’s What I Call it Anyway
I checked out a family from the U.K., then checked in a family from Georgia.
Above are my ‘tools’:
Beach Bag Purse/Flip Flops/Briefcase/and Beach Tote with Lunch/Magazines/Tablet, etc.
Thank you to the Taylor’s for my gifts! Hope you make it back home safely, you are lovely people!
Happy Soggy Monday,
(I happen to LOVE the rain.)
p.s. I do have a thing for bags!
Hey, I’m kinda having fun on Twitter right now. If you want to join in, GREAT!
Silver Springs, Florida and The Creature From the Black Lagoon
The post above isn’t ready yet, but I wanted to post something, anything, besides my colonoscopy update. 🙂
Gordon and I had the best time at Silver Springs, Florida last month. This is also actually, a prelude to our Halloween. The Creature From the Black Lagoon was filmed there. Below are some of our best foods from that trip.
Our Creative Juices were Flowing
Gordon Handing me my Swamp Fruit Salad
Chicken From the Black Lagoon Salad on Pumpernickel and Swirled Rye Breads
Swamp Water to Drink
Creature Pasta Salad
Swamp Fruit Salad
This Ended up Being the Best Lunch
It was light, it was delicious, and it was easy.
Oh, and let’s not forget:
(To Snack On)
It was a bit tricky to eat in a kayak though. ?
It was around this time that a dragon fly landed on my hand and I screamed bloody murder! I was so spooked by all the alligator’s. Gordon thought a gator got me. Nope, just a dragon fly.
(Yea, I’m real tough!)
Maybe we should have made the sandwiches ahead of time. ?
This was a really great day though.
Hot, sweaty, got rained on, just perfect!
Hey, what a great way to start this new blog post off with, My Colonoscopy.
Yesterday, I had a follow up colonoscopy from 3 years ago when my doctor found 4 polys and a large tumor. He told me at the time that I am “prone to polyps”. I was expecting him to find something yesterday but he didn’t. I was polyp free. Yeah!! But I do need to go back in 5 years to make sure that I am good. That was really good news. I had a really hard time the day before with all the prep. I was sick from the magnesium citrate stuff. Or however you spell it. When I had my first colonoscopy 3 years ago it was a piece of cake where the prep was concerned. But this time it just seemed to make me sick and it was really hard for me to make it through. I did though!!
I hope that all of you get regular screenings. At my age it is maintenance. I don’t have any health issues. I’m lucky. I don’t take my health for granted. I work on it everyday. I hope that you do too!