coping, dogs, life goes on, loneliness, memories, old dogs new tricks, photography, technology

Significant others…

As the significant male in my life Ozzie leaves a bit to be desired. Oh, he’s attentive enough, and gazes into my eyes adoringly. He can’t seem to resist me when I’m sitting back in the recliner. That’s when he comes over and plops his head down onto my chest… and grinds his chin into me as if he is scratching an itch. Thank goodness that’s all he does these days, because he used to come flying out of the bedroom where he’d been sleeping on the bed, and head straight for me at full speed. 20367_308243312136_1003066_n
I had only a second or two to put down my coffee and put the laptop on the table beside me before he would launch himself into my lap. The bigger he got the less cute this became, especially once he grew enough to seemingly be all elbows. Charley thought it was funny, and wondered why Ozzie didn’t do the same to him. I wished he would have, but no, he only did that to me.
Maybe if he didn’t choose to pester me when I’m actually typing an email or blog post, or when I’m in the middle of placing an online order or paying a bill, I might not mind so much. But it feels like nagging, and for the longest time I told myself that it was nice to do what I want to do all the time. All day every day.  No adapting myself to another person’s needs or wants.  Except for the dogs, but I can tell them to go lay down and they do.  Now all day every day can seem like too much time to fill. Too much solitude, maybe that’s why I’m out for the sunset every night. My version of prowling the streets at night looking for… what exactly? I have no clue, but something is missing.
At my recent doctor’s appointment, at which I was a rock star with my weight loss and fabulous A1C reading, I told him that I’m having trouble finding my way back to my ‘happy place’. He said, “That’s my story, how about you?” Really?  Another comment about online dating? I objected, and even he had to chuckle over ‘Hot Photonut’, but he said that he personally knows lots of lonely men. I told him to pick a couple of healthy specimens and send them my way. He replied that HIPAA would probably object…

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birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

On the advice…

…of a friend I went out last night with a dryer sheet on my head, tucked under the back of my visor.  And another one sticking out of my shirt, held in place by my bra strap.  I had considered bobby-pinning one to my head, shades of what Catholic girls of a certain age used to do with a tissue if they found themselves without a head covering to wear to Mass.  My friend had been advised that a dryer sheet would keep the no-see-ums away, but evidently I bought the wrong brand because I think they liked me more last night.  A fisherman told me that these little pests are seasonal and that they’ll be gone once we have our first freeze.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that I was rooting for that to happen anytime soon.  But it is inevitable and at least now I’ll have a reason to be happy about it.

He also told me that I had missed the eagle.  It had been across the way in the same tree where I had seen him before.  He says that the eagle was always in the trees where the wood storks are roosting now, but now they have taken that one over.  1127storksI should have gotten great pictures of an egret catching his dinner, and flipping the fish over and over until he got it into position to swallow it.  I had that cheap new lens attached to the camera and was afraid to switch to my other, better, zoom lens.  Better quality wise, but I don’t know if the distance would have been too much for it.  If I had known how long he was going to play with his food before eating it I might have gone ahead and switched.  I couldn’t wait to go home and see what I got, which wasn’t much.

1127egret11127egret2I gave up, switched lenses, and headed to Pine Island.  And quickly captured this photo from the parking lot for fear that it would change before I made it across the beach.  1127sunset1

I’m thinking that I need to find new places to go to take pictures.  But in order to do that I might need to change my work schedule and I’m finding myself fearful of doing that for some reason.  Charley has been talking in my ear lately, he had been fairly quiet for a while, but he used to tell the young patients who complained about working, “If work gets in the way of your social life then quit work.”  As always he was being sarcastic when he said it, and that’s how I’m hearing it in my ear.  Sigh…

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food, home, life goes on, memories, Yummy

You gotta eat…

It was a long, hard day at work today, too long and too hard to go out for the sunset.  So I checked the yard for photo ops, but the squirrel out there ran away and then yelled at me from a tree branch.  Which left dinner as my only option for a post for tomorrow.  Not too long ago someone told me he didn’t drink his calories, and ate mostly salads, on the advice of his physician assistant daughter.  Since I heard that I’ve been eating that way, and not only have I lost a significant amount of weight, but I feel terrific.  I think that’s why I stuck with it, besides it being so easy.  No muss no fuss.  Steamed spiced shrimp has been my choice to add some protein a couple of times since I started, and that’s what I felt like fixing today.  I always have shrimp in the freezer because Publix puts it on BOGO a lot so I stay stocked up.  And I confess that just like I kept checking the sunset as I was trying to leave Pine Island last night, as I cooked I kept checking the front windows to see what the sunset looked like.  I even picked up the camera and almost headed out the door once.  But no, I stuck with the plan.  Shrimp and BOGO fresh pineapple chunks.   Yum.

I think this is Charley’s recipe, which he had passed along to my son when he needed to make it for a party,  So Mike had to pass it back to me.  Charley did a lot of the cooking, and I regret not making him write down his recipes.  Several favorite recipes are just gone.  A word to the wise.

Steamed Spiced Shrimp, Baltimore style…

Put 2 inches of water in the pot, add 12 ounces of beer and 4 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning.  Place your shrimp in a steamer basket and douse liberally with more Old Bay.  Definitely a time when more is merrier.  Steam the shrimp, but don’t over cook.

Charley’s not-so-secret cocktail sauce has two ingredients, catsup and horseradish.  The proportions are up to you.  His version would clear your sinuses.  Mine?  Not so much.

Don’t tell my Uncle Ray about this post, that was his beer in my refrigerator!

blessings, coping, courage, eavesdropping, faith, family, healing, home, memories, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Connections…

Low tide let me down.  I was sure that low tide was always going to be the secret to a great sunset with lots of photo ops.  But not tonight.  All the sea gulls were too far out at the water’s edge to photograph, and no cute families playing either.  But the sunset itself was pretty…

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And an interesting conversation between some women who were sitting in beach chairs behind me.  Turns out they are sisters, but they only found each other last year.  One had come from California to visit the other one who lives here in Florida.  In the year since they have found each other they each have found new family members they didn’t know, or at the very least had never met.  They had the same father but different mothers, and didn’t grow up together, but they had similar mannerisms and sounded alike.  They were so happy to be in each other’s lives, it was heartwarming to listen to.  But probably still rude to eavesdropping.

My mother had eight siblings, and after the war they scattered to the four winds.  I had met all of them here and there when I was very young, so we weren’t lost to each other.  But in moving to Florida, and choosing the Nature Coast because of the proximity to my son when he lived here, I discovered family.  It seems that my mother’s sisters who had moved to Florida were right in this area.  Along with a cousin and his extended family, plus two more of the siblings who spend winters here.  For many reasons I have felt as if I was ‘supposed’ to land here at this stage of life.  Finding family here was an unexpected surprise, and another reason to feel as if being here was meant to be…

 

 

blessings, courage, honor, memories, moments, photography, responsibility, soldiers

Remembering, with gratitude…

 

Several years ago I was traveling to visit my mother in MA, and was changing planes at BWI airport in Baltimore, and as I waited to board my connecting flight I heard a commotion several gates from where I waited. I looked to see what was happening and saw that an Honor Flight had arrived and the passengers, elderly veterans all, in matching tee shirts, were being wheeled off the the plane and through the airport. I heard applause begin and soon the terminal was lined with people, applauding and thanking these men for their service. It was such an emotional moment, and I was taken by surprise by the tears that were streaming down my face. I thought of all the times I’ve waited in the grocery store while an elderly gentleman blocked the aisle, and how we would be impatient with the elderly drivers we encounter on the streets here in Florida. It astounds me that these same men did in fact go off to a war, and endured things which we can’t imagine, and did so as young men who probably were not young at heart when they came home. If they were lucky enough to come home at all. Not many WW2 vets are left, we should treasure them. and all our vets.

Wars have changed, but the horrors that our vets see still changes them. We owe so much to the men and women who serve.

I was looking at the photos in my laptop and came across these. My cousins and I pooled our photos online several years ago, after we realized that we were now the older generation in the family. These photos look to have been taken on at my grandparent’s house. Was one of the brothers leaving, were they celebrating a return? All the brother’s, and brother-in-law, did return from the war. But seeing them all as the young men they once were, with their mother and sister, looking care free at that moment when chaos was taking place in the world, makes me both sad and proud. Everyone probably has similar family photos, with stories to go with all of them. We baby boomers owe them our lives, literally, since they endured and came home to raise their families. God bless them all.

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coping, death, grief, healing, life, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, the easy way out

It’s about time…

I could have left well enough alone. Or done what I’ve done twice a year for the three years that Charley has resided in his urn. Which is a very nice clock. Of all the urns on the shelf from which to choose this was the one and only one I thought would do for him. And it has proven to be a good choice. It has given him a voice, sort of. It chimes at the perfect moments in conversations, or occasionally when I first walk in the door, so that the excited dogs and chiming urn make me feel welcomed.
I have no idea why I didn’t just do what I’ve always done, even though it’s a pain in the neck, and just roll the clock ahead one hour at a time, 23 times, to adjust for Daylight Savings time. You aren’t supposed to roll it backwards you see, and I always take cautions like that seriously. And since it only chimes from 6 AM until 10 PM you have to consider the entire 24 hours. No, my genius idea was to take the batteries out while I went to the Y to swim. When I put them back in a couple of hours later I figured I’d only have to adjust it ahead an hour and change. Ha! It went to 6 o’clock for some reason, and seems to want to chime two hours off of what the hands of the clock say.
So I need to find the little manual that came with the urn, which I’ve seen not too awfully long ago. Somewhere. Or, perhaps, I’ll just take the batteries out again and set the clock for 6 o’clock and put them back in. Maybe it will be right, or maybe it will be 12 hours off. Or maybe I’ll just forget about it and let Charley do his thing. He always did have to have things his way, eventually I learned that it was easier to just go along with him…

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