Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weekend at the 'Bama Beach

On the way to the Condo, we passed the famous, or infamous, Florabama, a conglomeration of entertainment/pub/bar/beachfront fun. This was the day of the "Mullet Toss" and over 5,000 people were expected. I caught a picture of just some of the motorcycles. Traffic was parked down the beach road either way for 10 miles and people were hiking in. Festivities lasted over a 24 hour period. Someday I just have to investigate this. The idea of a Mullet toss just seems to tickle me - where else but the Florida/Alabama state line would you find someone tossing fish for competitive fun?

Inside the condo. I tried to get "H" to come back and load up the parrot sculpture - I want it for my patio, but he wouldn't. (Joking)

Waterfall and Koi ponds inside the condo. I loved the way they had installed the elevators - they tracks looked like waterfalls as well. I'm sure the architects planned the effect. Looking at all these condos that line the beach, I'm convinced the "recession" is only for us middle class Americans. That a huge segment of America lives in a recession proof bubble - how else can hundreds of these things be built yearly? I grab for every moment I see open beach without buildings!

The pools were awesome! The winding one is the "Lazy River" where I tipped an inner tube, went under, and hurt my shoulder in the process. Sometimes I forget that I'm in the over 40 crowd. The chlorine in the waters burned all our "tushies" and, uh, bits. I think I prefer to do my dunking in the Gulf of Mexico and take my chances with the bacterias and sharks. Actually there are hardly any shark attacks along here - you just have to use good sense - do not swim where people are fishing or after four o'clock when they come in to feed.

Family. Oldest daughter is the one with long, dark hair. My first baby grandson and me....teenagers have a knack for taking photos by holding the camera at the end of an outheld arm! The underwater fiasco didn't do much for my hair.

The pool at sunset and one of the last night's that grandson will have with sweetheart from up north for a while. I think they are beautiful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well, I started to post but Blogspot wouldn't upload any more photos.

Saturday we went to the beach where my granddaughter's dad had rented a condo so she could take some friends and get away for her birthday. They hung around the pools, had cake and went to a concert. We didn't go to the concert, but we did float the "Lazy River." I'm now nursing a wrenched arm - I forgot how old I am and tried to do a flip on the inner tube. Got a bit of a tan, hooray! I wish I could live in that place, it is sooooo nice. And I love being on the water. But sure would miss a yard!

My oldest grandson and his girlfriend were there - they live about 1,500 miles apart. She's planning on moving south, but poor girl, she is born and raised in Maine - it will be major culture shock. Especially when it gets HOT and HUMID.

I can't believe my babies are growing up - - it is a joy to see them grown and such wonderful people, but there is always that twinge when your "babies" - kids or grandkids - reach that place where they are on to another stage of life. Sigh. Heavens it just crossed my mind I could potentially be a great grandma at some point in the next ten years. Eeeeek!

More pics when Blogspot will allow of the condo and Lazy River!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Maybe I'm deluded - but hey, this isn't my kid (we have a known prejudice for our own kids) and I still think he is amazing.

I named this painting(yah - he was knocking at my door yesterday evening), named it Pangaea. And then I asked him if I could keep it. (After all, I furnish the paint and paper!) When he refused, I tried to buy you think the little varmit would sell it? No. I never thought I would be begging a three year old to sell their work to me.

Pictures of our Saturday at the beach condo coming up next! Must finish the science project, I'm lost in the data, confused, panicked at the deadline.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

So Why Aren't We being Warned up here in the US?

I don't know why I haven't seen or heard about this news - I think it is associated press:

MEXICO CITY – Mexico's president assumed new powers Saturday to isolate people infected with a deadly swine flu strain as authorities struggled to contain an outbreak that world health officials warned could become a global epidemic.

New cases of swine flu were confirmed in Kansas and California and suspected in New York City. But officials said they didn't know whether the New York cases were the strain that now has killed up to 81 people in Mexico and likely sickened 1,324 since April 13, according to figures updated late Saturday by Mexico's health secretary.

Tests have confirmed swine flu as the cause of death in 20 of the cases.

Mexican soldiers and health workers patrolled airports and bus stations as they tried to corral people who may be infected with the swine flu, as it became clearer that the government may have been slow to respond to the outbreak in March and early April.

Now, even detaining the ill may not keep the strain — a combination of swine, bird and human influenza that people may have no natural immunity to — from spreading, epidemiologists say.

The World Health Organization on Saturday asked countries around the world to step up reporting and surveillance of the disease and implement a coordinated response to contain it.

Two dozen new suspected cases were reported in Mexico City alone, where authorities suspended schools and all public events until further notice. More than 500 events, including concerts and sports games, were canceled in the metropolis of 20 million.

Mexican authorities ordered schools closed in the capital and the states of Mexico and San Luis Potosi until May 6, and the Roman Catholic Church announced the cancellation of Sunday masses in the capital.

The Mexican government issued a decree authorizing President Felipe Calderon to invoke special powers letting the Health Department isolate patients and inspect homes, incoming travelers and baggage. But officials said it was designed to free health workers from possible legal reprisals and to speed disease control efforts.

A team from the Centers for Disease Control had arrived in Mexico to help set up detection testing for the swine flu strain, something Mexico previously lacked.

The U.S. Embassy said the U.S. has not imposed travel constraints to and from Mexico but is suspending the processing of visas and other services through Wednesday to avoid creating crowds.

It issued an earlier message advising U.S. citizens to avoid large crowds, shaking hands, greeting people with a kiss or using the subway.

While suspected swine flu cases have been reported in about 16 Mexican states, Health Secretary Jose Cordova said "it has not spread to the entire country."

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the outbreak of the never-before-seen virus has "pandemic potential." But she said it is still too early to tell if it would become a pandemic.

WHO lays out three criteria necessary for a global epidemic: The virus is able to infect people, can readily spread person-to-person and the global population has no immunity to it.

Early detection and treatment are key to stopping any outbreak. WHO guidance calls for isolating the sick and blanketing everyone around them with anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu.

Now, with patients showing up all across Mexico and its teeming capital, simple math suggests that kind of response is impossible.

Mexico appears to have lost valuable days or weeks in detecting the new virus.

Health authorities started noticing a threefold spike in flu cases in late March and early April, but they thought it was a late rebound in the December-February flu season.

Testing at domestic labs did not alert doctors to the new strain, and Cordova acknowledged Mexican labs lacked the necessary profiling data to detect the previously unknown strain.

The first death occurred in southern Oaxaca state on April 13, but Mexico didn't send the first of 14 mucous samples to the CDC until April 18, around the same time it dispatched health teams to hospitals looking for patients with severe flu or pnuemonia-like symptoms.

Those teams noticed something strange: The flu was killing people aged 20 to 40. Flu victims are usually either infants or the elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.

Even though U.S. labs detected the swine flu in California and Texas before last weekend, Mexican authorities as recently as Wednesday were referring to it as a late-season flu.

But mid-afternoon Thursday, Mexico City Health Secretary Dr. Armando Ahued said, officials got a call "from the United States and Canada, the most important laboratories in the field, telling us this was a new virus."

"That was what led us to realize it wasn't a seasonal virus ... and take more serious preventative measures," Cordova said.

Asked why there were so many deaths in Mexico, and none so far among the 11 cases in the United States, Cordova noted that the U.S. cases involved children — who haven't been among the fatal cases in Mexico, either.

"There are immune factors that are giving children some sort of defense, that is the only explanation we have," he said.

Another factor may be that some Mexican patients may have delayed seeking medical help too long, Cordova said.

Some Mexicans suspected the government had been less than forthcoming. "They always make a big deal about good things that happen, but they really try to hide anything bad," Mexico City paralegal Gilberto Martinez said.

Airports around the world were screening travelers from Mexico for flu symptoms. But containing the disease may not be an option.

"Anything that would be about containing it right now would purely be a political move," said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota pandemic expert.

Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals.

This swine flu and regular flu can have similar symptoms — mostly fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the U.S. victims who recovered also experienced vomiting and diarrhea. But unlike with regular flu, humans don't have natural immunity to a virus that includes animal genes — and new vaccines can take months to bring into use.

A "seed stock" genetically matched to the new swine flu virus has been created by the CDC, said Dr. Richard Besser, the agency's acting director. If the government decides vaccine production is necessary, manufacturers would need that stock to get started.

Mexican authorities did lay to rest one persistent doubt, after Mexican museum director Felipe Solis died this week, just days after accompanying U.S. President Barack Obama on a tour of National Anthropology Museum on April 16. Cordova said Solis had a pre-existing illness and died of pneumonia unrelated to influenza.


Associated Press Writers David Koop in Mexico City; Frank Jordans in Geneva; Mike Stobbe in Atlanta; Malcolm Ritter in New York; and Maria Cheng in London contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


One of my favorite scenes around town...

Did you know - that if you magnify water enough, it will reveal this - crystals?

Ah, boys and baseball - spring rituals.

I iss keeping exhausted woman company today.

These are gone now - welcoming blooming trees instead...

Sudden exhaustion today - think it was bronchitis lurking and waiting - I've curled up in a cocoon of magnetics and far infared - drinking lots of water to detox - laying off food - thinks I'm better tonight.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Found a New Mojo

Finished the body builder - probably an obvious title would be the "Blue Man." I think finished - Hmmmm

New painting started - the bloom of the banana tree - I was so fascinated when the banana tree bloomed last year - it is awesome to note that the design for procreation seems to be similar in plants, animals, and humans. Flowers are incredibly sexy and I'm starting to understand O'Keefe's fascination with her sensual flower paintings....even rocks and landscape, all took on the softness and shape and flow of femininity and of yin and yang. There are times when I just love getting old!

Art party last night - what a great group of "girls" - how can I be so blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends - here in blogland and also in the flesh - I don't take these gifts for granted. There are not many places in this world where one would dare take the risk of being "real" and just being who we are.

The sunshine is out, probably one reason the world seems improved!

Now, moving to the patio to clean the chairs - the countdown to company is ticking away, I want to have the house at least reasonably clean, food decided upon, and be able to be a sweet place of fellowship.

Last, but not least - a photo of my "blue" bookcase - I'm still working on my study which has several different functions - I need someone to help me do a miracle and make it organized.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Found - Camera!

It was on top of my refrigerator. This only goes to illustrate how much crap the top of my refrigerator accumulates - when I can't find a camera lying up there.

This little critter above can be found, if my door is unlocked, sneaking into my kitchen, sitting at the table and painting away. LOL. I was in bed this afternoon - tired from a lot of action today - and I looked up and there is a Filipino woman in my kitchen! Yoiks. I think she was grabbing a kid. I didn't even get up. I have 11 children in my yard. This is getting out of hand.

Before I feel sorry for myself, I marvel at the neighborhood feeling the kids are generating knowing no boundaries. And it feels good. Most of the time. I feel good NOT being the creature who comes home at dark, slips into the house, isolates, and goes back to work the next day! Food comes from the Filipino neighbor. Mutual babysitting from the navy family. Landscape advice on one side of us and he even edges our yard. We give him meat. We have a wonderful, homogenous navy neighborhood, that's one reason I love my city - diversity!

Isn't it the cutest kid though? And how could I refuse a budding artist? Oi - I have created a nightmare. I am the neighborhood art department and kiddie coral.

Tomorrow night I shall escape to my group of friends, La Bella Leonissi, and we shall paint and sip and snack and tell women stories and perhaps share primitive women tales - finding many commonalities. I just realized how many men call their women crazy when they (the men) are acting crazy - then we all began to tell our own crazy stories - the times men made us crazy and our wild female womanly abandon to the land of crazy concerning our men - and yes, tis true - we are a bit crazy. So, here's a toast to all us hot, crazy, beautiful women! Beware the lioness! But never forget - she will hunt for you and bring you nice warm food fresh off the hoof!

Friday, April 17, 2009

This is Where I Have Been

Yesterday's field day at Grandson's school - the kids were full of energy and having fun!

Science Project - come on, flowers, some of you better wilt, and wilt fast before deadlines!

The waters are all PH tested - purple is alkaline water, green is middle of the range - 7.0 which most municiple treated water in the U.S. The orange is a highly acidic drink - Sprite, one vase is straight from the tap, the others are from my magic water machine at varying PH's. Sports drinks that are so popular are highly acidic - an acidic state in your body creates disease and/or discomfort, incidentally.

Its very quiet today. No grandson. No neighbor kids. Lots of leftover Easter eggs, which I am going to have to slow up on - such an upset tummy! I am left to do grandson's science project since they took him to their house - which is sort of an ethical question for me, and what am I teaching him when I am doing the observations?

We had a grand start with him running PH tests. The colored waters start from left to right, alkaline to acidic, the last vase being Sprite. Now, I'm freaking out, because although the roses did an immediate wilt, they are now holding their own and the other flowers look great in all the waters.

The posited problem was: Do flowers last longer in alkaline or acidic water? The hypothesis: Alkaline water. This could possible correlate (but not part of the experiment) to what might be happening in the human body in an acidic state, I would think. Blood (healthy blood) should run a bit alkaline.

A variable I am afraid that might be entering the picture is that what if the flowers are treated with something prior to entering the waters to keep them from wilting? Yike. That would blow the project. And, only two more weeks are left for the experiment to finish. We should have started about 3 weeks ago for more accuracy.

The depression - my head - I am lost somewhere. Perhaps that is the discomfort zone one gets when leaving a comfort zone before entering a newer, better space (until it becomes a comfort zone and once again, we have to move on and so on). We are always having to leave our comfort zones if we want to grow, so I guess that's good. I've re-invented my physical self, perhaps it's time to reinvent my head some more! There comes times in life where, in our head, we are really all alone, and we have to work it, to think it, to solve the problem, to transit. Can't panic when we are alone, it serves its purpose. We have to change, change is a set rule for existence. I look around and am amazed at the antics I see people go through and the devices and the work they go through to avoid change. It's curious to me, but it is just personalities - and for some of us, we are just destined to be constantly fluxing peeps. One of my friends says that's what she adores about me, that I never look the same as the last time she saw me and I'm always into something else new and different. Poor "H" - it drives him batty as hell. He's just totally the opposite.

Solutions? I'm trying them all. There are book clubs, gardening clubs - but a more appropriate garden club would be Manna Food Bank's garden! But at any rate, I'm working on my own garden, planted lots of herbs, tomatoes, eggplants, way more varieties of peppers than we'll ever eat, the neighbor and mom of the kids I adore offered to help me put my little square foot garden together since "H" fizzled out on that. Perhaps I should take her up on it. I would love to put in melons, peas, all kinds of stuff!

I do continue to devour Susanne Somers books on health - I'm become obsessed with health and quality of life issues and correction of the same - maybe I can find SOMETHING that will work for depression - yeh, that's it - I'm going to look for an affordable gym that won't dun my bank account for two years if I decide I don't want to continue - need to strengthen core muscles to stop spasms anyway. AND there is something very satisfying about the clank of weights on those weight machines, the clearing of the mind for total concentration on what the body is doing - a good time to get out of the head and give it a rest!

I'm afraid I'm becoming obnoxious - kind of like recent ex-smokers, wanting everyone around them to quit smoking, I urge my friends and family to eat organic, and lots of veggies, stop the sugar and processed foods, drink good water - drives everyone crazy. But when my grandson is bleeding from his guts when he comes to me, I figure maybe not so crazy. He drank a whole jug of aloe vera juice in the three days he was here and felt so much better.

Want to buy a bicycle - it continues to be cold and windy (weird) here - we have a nice day, then several cold ones! Yuck! But lucky - you guys have had so much snow! Maybe I'll go try on bikes today - the movies call, I could clean house in anticipation of our old friends' arrival at the end of the month, or just go walk. Walking has been a joy - but afraid to walk alone back on some of the marvelous, but rather isolated trails so close to my home here. Neighborhood getting boring.

Soooooo, blah, blah - I am incredibly boring lately. Oh well. Want to visit you all today too........but need a break off the 'puter for a few hours. Mamma Kitty is adorable curled up at my side sleeping. I have caught the chameleon and released him, hopefully safely outside that other cat, Psycho bought in to stash for a snack.

Thanks for so many suggestions - I think I will make a list and work through them. This quicksand too shall pass - I'm sure - always does...this one is just lasting a bit long.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where de Mojo Go?

Rats! Lost my camera. And worse yet, it had some, uh, personal pics on it. I finished the painting - looks petty good.

It's still raining here. Dull, dark, depressing - not cozy anymore.

I'm overwhelmed. Just overwhelmed, starting to get anxiety attacks and let taking care of myself go by the wayside. Anyone with any ideas how to get the mojo back, suggestions will be well accepted!

At least the science project is started and knowing where to go is better than the time before the journey wondering where to start! It's going to be cool. We measured the PH of all the seven different waters. I'll buy the flowers today, then we begin recording. I figure ten days will do it - we can then do the board and he will be finished on schedule. That grandson can do a water PH test and demo as good as I can and he is more dramatic!

Time to go get boy up for school - see if he wants pnut butter waffles or french toast - big game tonight - his "broken" leg, on second doctor visit turned into "patelular tendinitis" and the cast was removed and we were told he could resume activity gradually - need to talk with coach - maybe he can bat and run a little.

On to seize the day or have it seize me, one or of the two.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend Thoughts and Half Hearted Actions

My little camera has several features I haven't tried - decided I should try the panorama feature. I don't think I'm impressed, maybe it will take some practice. I wish, I want a super camera. Definitely not a need. The little critters in my yard are hunting Easter eggs. They found a few - never know where that rabbit will dump an egg or two.

Its warm today - but oddly, for Florida, windy. Feels like Wyoming. Well, sort of. I want to plant flowers, but have to wait for "payday."

No plans for Easter, perhaps the boy will dye some eggs - perhaps I will pitch in and paint some. I actually finished a painting last night. OOoops now that I've posted it up, I've decided maybe its not totally finished.

Maybe oldest daughter, grandkids and I will find a super yummy buffet on the beach Sunday...maybe. I have visions of a rack of lamb dancing in my head, finished off with a pretty dessert. Wouldn't it be something if we could put on bathing suits and play on the sand and in the water! I guess it won't be long so I should just shut it up. Its been a weird weather year.

My Catholic friends have invited me to "Stations of the Cross" tonight - perhaps I will go, I need a reminder to focus on what I believe in and see deeper than the eggs, the pastel colors and the bunny.

Today is only Friday but it feels definitely like Saturday. Anyway happy weekend everyone! And have a beautiful Easter holiday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I Can't Get No Satisfaction....I tried, and I tried, ......

A missionary friend of mine wrote this on Facebook - it was so good I wanted to share it - I keep puzzling over this global situation - this is so succinct and true I think for me it is an acceptable answer!

Though your beliefs might be different, what do you think about this view?

There is a sense in which we are all searching for something to satisfy us in life. A famous "rock anthem of the 60's was the Rolling Stones song, "I can't get no satisfaction". When our wants conflict with our desires we are totally lost and wind up with damaged appetites and souls. A desire that forms at the soul level (the inner person) was meant to be satisfied. The wants that we have are not so deep and are formed at the eye level ( the lust of the eyes). At present something remarkable is happening across the globe. People have become so saturated and bloated with stuff that hasn't satisfied the desires of their hearts that the world economy has completely stopped on a dime. Buying and selling as we know it have come to a stop sign and no one is running the red light. God in his mercy has called a massive universal "time out" to give us a moment of reflection to think about what we really need in life. YOU ARE NOT THE SUM OF WHAT YOU OWN OR PURCHASE!
Today, I read an article in the USA TODAY that tell us that the shipment of goods world wide has declined to the lowest level since World War 2. The executive director of a major port city said this about our current situation, All of a sudden, it all started dropping at the same time". The former chief economist for the IMF said this, "Global trade is collapsing... the whole global economy continues to tank, from China to Europe to the United States".
There comes a point where you look in the mirror and you see that you have spent too long trying to buy satisfaction at a store, a mall or a car lot... or even in a relationship. You are sick of it and so you stop just long enough to cause the world to wake up and notice... it's called a recession and bad things happen but ultimately good can come out of it. If you can avoid the temptation to buy and sell your way out you might just find something that will really satisfy you and the cost has already been paid.
Jesus died for your sins and mine and he waits with outstretched arms to hold a dissatisfied world in his loving and gracious arms. Why not open your heart to finally get the satisfaction your desires are craving? You will not be disappointed!

This leads me to think that "Stimulous" is only a stop gap - our world, the entire world, is going to have to rethink our way of life and come up with solutions different than what we have been living.

Monday, April 06, 2009

On a Magic Carpet

In my wildest and most heartfelt dreams, I have always wanted to travel the Orient Express from London to Istanbul, Turkey. So, for that reason, and many others, I read President Obama's speech that he made in Turkey. The speech was awesome. It is lengthy, but well worth reading.

Reflecting on my world view, I have always been sort of protectionist, although always wanting to go and see the rest of the world. But now, April 6, 2008, I realize the old days are gone forever. No more Casablanca and viewing the outside world through a hazy, romantic black and white film. We now live in the World, we don't "visit" the world. We do not just live in the U.S. or Canada or England or Italy, the World is our community. The thought of that scares me. How could such diversity possibly, ever, ever, exist in peace and harmony? Only when the "Thousand Year Reign" is here.

In the meantime, we live each day, attempting to change as fast as we can to keep up with our radically changing communities, nations, and world.

Missions conference is coming - I worked with missions for ten years nearly. I have many friends coming here from many, many nations. I am excited. I am excited to see people I love and respect to the utmost, and excited to dialogue with them about their personal lives, about what they are doing, about their ministries. I know few missionaries who get involved with politics of their countries other than to keep an uneasy eye on them for favorable conditions to go about their work. I have friends who have made harried escapes from Albania and Haiti and other nations during political upheavals.

Twenty years ago, I lived in a small town. My world view was about the size of the space that it takes to make a community for 7,000 people. Very inward. Didn't even THINK about the rest of the world. What an adjustment now to say, "Hello World, I will embrace you." My mind drifts back to the 70's when songs boldly stated words like "We are the World." I had no idea. Our magic carpet is never going to return to the place from whence it came!

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Tonight, I saw, I touched, I spoke with and smiled at the most beautiful man I have ever seen. There are a lot of beautiful men - most I think shine from the inside out and that is what is beauty. This man, though, appeared to shine in all ways.

I worked a body building event, and provided water for over 150 athletes. I ran smack into this body builder who I thought surely was a god stepped down from Mt. Olympus! All I could do was gasp, "Oh - - those are awesome," as I looked at his arms, his chest, his shoulders - I have never seen such shoulders...well, here is a UTube Video - judge for yourself.

Two pictures reside on my headboard now - signed "To Diana with Love, Toney Freeman." "H" better not say anything - he was swooning over every taught female thing that walked by. Hint: if you attend a body building event, do not go with your "special someone." Definitely not. We are not happy campers tonight.

So anyway, here is the UTube of this bronze god!

Isn't he awesome? No mere mortal man is he.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Floating Funnelcakes!

Yet another rainy day. We are starting to flood here. Well, not here - we are thankfully residing on an upslope, but parts of town and roads and rivers and swamps, and, you name it are overflowing - we're real wet down here!

The last post? My cat is not really playing with the fax, he has his own business, and his secretary (me) was not paying attention to the fax machine. He is currently working on a patent for a new method of processing dead rats with the ultimate goal of exporting them to China. He says ya gotta dream big.

Have a fun day.