Monday, February 02, 2015
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Even without a calendar we can tell when Christmas is coming. Our maple tree up front gives us fair warning by turning red, like clockwork, a few days before.
Merry Christmas to anyone who still has enough faith to still pop in here occasionally and to all my blogging friends regardless. I will mend my evil, lazy-blogger ways in the New Year!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
We saw several other interesting ladies that week at the beach besides the Reading in the Waves lady.
This one was at the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota. As a child I always thought life in the circus must be magical. I devoured adventure stories about girls running off to join the circus. Daring tight rope walkers, trapeze artistes flying through the air without so much as a safety net to catch them, elephant trainers, beautiful horses with bareback riders, lion tamers, clowns and acrobats. What was not to love? Until I saw elephants chained at a circus in Belgium with about 5" of space to move back and forth. That took all the romance out of it.
We came upon this smiling girl in the pouring rain on the Ringling grounds. Not sure why she has that hole in her head but it doesn't seem to be affecting her mood any more than the rain is....
Thoroughly soaked, we went from the gardens into the Ringling Art Museum where we met this demure damsel. I felt a kinship with her instantly as my hair was plastered to my head from the rain just as hers seems to be. The style was perhaps a little bit more flattering to her than it was to me...Still and all --- sisters under the skin!
And then this formidable madam hove into view and put me in mind, instantly, of schooldays and the nuns! Glad I never had to go to her office and stammer and fidget and justify my actions. Doesn't look to me as though mercy would be her strong suit.
This elegant maiden was standing on a table in a hallway in the C'a d'Zan, a beautiful Moorish mansion on the Ringling grounds.(Standing on tables is in the forefront of my mind at the moment as I'm reading "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves." Go read it, you'll love it!) Nobody seemed to mind her state of deshabille...and the last mentioned lady, who might have had some harsh words for her, was at a safe distance in another part of the museum.
I couldn't help wondering how long this lady spent fixing her hair and how much starch it took to keep her collar standing so elegantly out from her neck....
And this poor soul looks as though she needs a chill pill. Doesn't she look a mite tense?
My inner wild child warmed immediately to this beautiful person. She looks like she'd do all the wild and carefree things I'd probably just think about doing. She certainly doesn't look like she needs any chill pills. She could give all hers to the lady above. Wouldn't you like to know what she's thinking? I'd love to hear some guesses!
And here I give you the Biblical Judith, just after she and her maid cut off Holofernes' head, something that unfortunately seems to be enjoying renewed popularity. Not all women back then were docile and submissive apparently. She looks awfully calm for one who has committed such a ghastly deed. I'd have been for poisoning him or pushing him off a bridge.
Meanwhile, outside in the rose garden, this coy milkmaid and her besotted swain were demurring --- would they or wouldn't they go somewhere more private where she might or might not submit to his beseeching?
And in the Dwarf Garden we came upon this grotesque female hiding in the bushes.We beat a hasty retreat!
To end on a lighter note, here is the OC catching another naked lady by surprise and I'm not even a teeny bit jealous!
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Walking on the beach a few weeks ago we spotted this woman in the water.
There were other bathers all around her but she was oblivious to them all, totally focused on her book.
I was intrigued.
I like to read. I've been known to do it at the beach in spite of the lure of shells and swimming. I've even been known to read in the bathtub notwithstanding the possibility that I'll fall asleep and drown the book which wouldn't win me any brownie points at the library.
I was not, however, intrigued enough to wade out there and ask her what she was reading, but I'm still wondering.
My Guess is it was "How To Speak So Dolphins Will Really Listen." What do you think?
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Tickets in hand, I thought there was nothing left to worry about other than what to pack.
Perusal of the fine print brought me bolt upright (from a relaxed, no worries posture.) Who knew that our destination requires that one's passport be valid for six months after one's return? Realizing that one is short of that mark by two months, one began to feel faint.
Some deep breathing was deployed to restore one's equilibrium and attempt some logical thought.
What to do? Brainwave incoming ----Google, Google, Google!
Obtained phone number for Irish Consulate in Atlanta. Logical, right? Called said consulate. Listened dejectedly to recorded message directing me to call consulate in NY instead.
Had I really hoped, expected, a human being to pick up the phone? Actually, yes. I'm Irish.
An eternal optimist.
Called NY. No human beings available. Leave a message.
Left a message, being careful to b-r-e-a-t-h-e so as to sound cool, calm and collected, not frantic, which is how I felt. How many weeks would it be before a Leprecaun called me back? In my mind's eye I saw a long list of phone messages from Americans eager to travel to the Auld Sod and dig around for their roots. I figured my message was # 347 in the lineup.
Pulled my thinking cap down lower over my ears, the better to hear any Plan Bs my brain might suggest.
Silence for a while, then a humming sound as an alternate plan slowly took shape.
Back to the web site and e-mail the blighters.
I then busy myself deleting old e-mails and general in-box housekeeping, when, quick as a blink, there's a reply! Addressing me by my first name no less, and instructing me to send my address asap so they can send me the necessary application.
I'm tempted to send hugs and kisses.
Instead I reply with the requested information, adding that, being used to the bureaucracy and the slow movement of great bodies, I'm ecstatic at their speedy response.
I'm just pushing send when the phone rings. I glance at the caller I.D. All that registers is "Consulate..." My heart jumps into my mouth from surprise and delight as I pick up the phone.
Charles is his name. His accent solid Irish. He sounds a little bored, like it's been a long day and he's beyond ready to go home for his dinner. He tells me they will send the application and instructions as soon as I send them my address. I'm so full of plawmawss I think it cheers him up a bit. He laughs outright when I tell him he should be grateful I'm not there in person as I'd be hugging him.
"Don't worry," he assures me, "We'll get you a fast track renewal and you'll have it in plenty of time."
I am especially impressed, since, a few years ago, I tried to renew my green card on line and was scammed out of my fee by some fly-by-night organization, sounding very official but being, in fact, a bunch of thieves. It was a tortuous tangle and a thoroughly unpleasant experience.
Have I mentioned how much I love Ireland?
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I think I've cracked the code. Just come to the beach. Bring your bucket and your shovel, a couple of big towels and your swimsuit. Oh, and don't forget some books. Nothing too cerebral, just easy beach reading. Leave clocks and watches back at the house. Tell your everyday life to hold its noise, you'll be back in a week.
First order of business is to walk along the beach. Even if it's late when you get there you can walk along the water's edge with the waves slapping your ankles....
.....and watch the sun go down, the best kind of multi tasking.
Get some sand between your toes and listen for the music to start in your head.
Wear something short so you don't have to get the hem of your britches soaked by a sneak attack from a runaway wave. Soon the pounding of the waves will blend with that music in your head and wash you over with peace and tranquility.
Next morning get up, no alarm, just whenever you wake, and do it all again.
Be brave. Go swimming. It'll feel like bathwater, back to the womb, or at least to Ballybunion, fifty plus years ago, with the endlessly blue sky and the vast stretch of the strand and your dad dollacawling with the little stove in the hollow of a sand dune, out of the wind, brewing the best tea you ever tasted.....To go with the best sandwiches ever, made by your mum who was always dainty and cut off the crusts....
'Cept its warmer here, the water more greeny-bluey-turquoise than grey-green. But the exhileration of outwitting the waves is the same. So, added bonus. You're not only subduing time, you're travelling back in it. And yet another bonus --- when you come out of the water your teeth won't chatter like they did way back then, and you won't be covered in goose bumps 'cause the air here is just as warm as the water. Then you can sit in your beach chair or lie on the sand and read your book or just gaze up at the sky and watch the gulls wheeling by.
And if it's raining, as it is today, you just make another cup of tea and curl up on the couch that isn't yours but comfy just the same, and lose yourself in the romantic entanglements of your beach book, confident that, for now at least, you have subdued time.