Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February band camp

It is bittersweet to watch your child work so hard. He plays a contra (tuba) the heaviest horn in the band. Last camp he came home defeated, dehydrated, and weak. He worked everyday since, jogging and at the gym. This camp I saw a different person. He was determined to do this. I saw him drinking water at every break - he learned the hard way that he must hydrate or his muscles will not work for him.

We had an interesting weekend. On Saturday, Preston had to attend a mandatory concert evaluation with his high school band. I had to pick him up at band camp at noon and drive like a bat out of hell back home to get him there on time. He participated in the evaulation which took about an hour, then we were back in the car enroute to Ocala.

In concert band he gets to sit down with his horn! One of the most wonderful things about all this activity, believe it or not, is the time we spend alone together in the car. He is a captive audience, I can talk to him, and even more important - he can talk to me. He told me on Saturday that he may not want to march with The Magic. By Sunday, he had changed his mind again. He is ambivilent about going on tour for the whole summer. I told him that it is his decision, but that it is a chance of a lifetime. I hope he goes, but time will tell. He has one more camp before he has to make up his mind and make a commitment. "Terrible twos" in a child's life are a piece of cake compared to being the mother of a teenager!

Monday, February 27, 2006

OK, I really didn't consider BEARS being in the forest. How stupid is that? When I reserved the site, I thought it had electric and water hook-up. Most state parks do. Not this one, it is a National Park! I was lucky to get in before it got dark, and I did have a nice paved pad to park on. Nothing to hook up, thank goodness I had replenished my fresh water tank, so I had 37 gallons to flush the toliet and take showers. My travel trailer is self contained, so I can run the lights and water pump on battery. The water heater, furnace and stove run on propane. The waste water has a 37 gallon holding tank. It is nicer to have an electrical hook-up and water, but I can deal without it. I dropped my son off at band camp, and was back about 8 PM. It was a long, dark night. I heard something outside, but I didn't want to look. I knew if I saw a bear, that I would be up the rest of the night! I figured if a bear wanted to eat someone, there were plenty of people in tents all around me. I even saw some tasty looking children down by the lake! There are bear-proof hidden latch handles on the trash cans that bears can't open! I had trouble sleeping because it was so dark and quiet. My thoughts drifted to my "bloggies" and I wondered what all of you were doing! I started figuring out what time it was in Japan and Australia - and wondering what the weather was like there. I guess if I travel this summer, I will have to get wireless internet!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Boy Scout ready

OK, I bought a generator from Harbor Freight. It is 11 hp. 5700 watts, so I should be able to run power in case a hurricane takes it out. I hated to spend the money, and I hope I never have to use it. I has a 5 gallon gas tank for 15 hour run time. The best part is that I got it for $399.99 (why don't they just charge $400.?) That was a good price. I like to be prepared - like the Boy Scouts. I am packing up to head out of town today - hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Buying stuff I will probably never use

I hate to do it. Today I am going to buy a generator. It is about $500. I hope I never have to use it, but it is good to have in the "hurricane belt". I have vowed to buy at least one hurricane related item every season. I have already purchased window boards that slip in quickly with hurricane clips, and they are good to protect the windows from flying objects. The problems usually happen with the after effects of the storm, when we don't have power for days. I have a small generator now, but today I will buy a bigger one. It will run the refrigerator, freezer, a couple of lights and a fan (a must in the hot, hell hole!) I guess this is the price I pay for living in this paradise. The damn generator weighs 154 pounds! I will have to build a wheel kit for it, so I can pull it around. I am off to the nearest Harbor Freight store.

Monday, February 20, 2006

On the road again

I will be heading out, trailer in tow, again this weekend. Preston has Magic band camp in Umatilla, Florida. I have reservations to camp in nearby Ocala National Forest. I can camp in most National and State parks for half price, because I am disabled, and it is pretty cheap to camp there anyway - usually about $15. to $18. a night. I hope to do lots more camping this summer. I have a camping "buddy" that lives in Murphy, North Carolina. He is a retired cop, used to be my partner. He has a travel trailer and we sometimes plan trips together in the summer. In 2004, we spent a week with both trailers in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was very nice. I am lucky to be able to travel around. I look forward

to this summer, I want to take a few camping trips. Hey, maybe I will come and see some of you!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Check this out

Here's a lovely guy. In 1999 he molested some children. I put him in jail, but he is scheduled to get out in 2028 - or earlier if he gets gain time for good behavior. The nine year old girl he molested will forever be my hero. When this creep sneaked into her house one night, she was smart enough to keep her wits about her. She did what he said, but when he told her to come outside with him, she said "NO". That probably saved her life. This guy told his young female victims that he had accomplices in the other room waiting to kill their parents if they made a sound. One victim laid quietly in fear for several hours until she heard her dad wake up and she knew he was safe. We were lucky that this guy got 30 years, the streets are a little safer for a while. I know that when molesters get out of jail, they go right back for another victim. I advocate tattooing "MOLESTER" in big red letters across their foreheads. I do not think this would be cruel or unusual punishment!

Friday, February 17, 2006


How about it? What's your hobby? Retired people need hobbies because the "idle mind is the devil's playground" (heh-heh) I have been thinking about it lately and I guess my hobby is photography. So that led me to scrapbooking. My roomate is a scrapper and that is how I got started with that. I am not near the nut that she is about it. I have a scrapbook for my son's high school band, one for his DCI band, and one for my dogs. I cut out little cute snapshots and arrange them on a page of the book in a unique and crafty way. I think it is rather silly, and I got into it quite by accident because of the photo thing. You might be suprised to know that this scrapbooking craze is a billion dollar industry. I also raise homing pigeons. I have about 30 of them in a coup in my back yard. Now birders are serious about this, they race these birds. Not me. I just like 'em. I don't want them to race; I just like to let them out sometimes and watch them fly around. The most I ever do is take a couple of them about five miles away and see how long it takes them to get back. I am fascinated by their homing skills, but I have no idea how they do it. Those are my only hobbies. Unless you can count camping or biking, but those are more sports I guess. Oh yeah, don't forget blogging - I love blogging and I especially love to read your blogs (all of you know who you are) I guess that is a hobby too. What is your hobby?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Back to normal

We are back to our normal temperature here in Florida. We had a few cold days, and actually saw frost for the first time this year. I like the mild weather, that is why I live here. Soon the long, hot summer will be upon us, with 90+ degrees everyday. I still love it, I am too old to handle snow anymore. I was born in New York and I remember playing in the snow and walking to school in the snow. In contrast, my son has always lived in Florida, and doesn't know what real cold is. I can't ever get him to put on a jacket, the most I can get him to wear is a hooded sweatshirt. He asked me what the white stuff (frost) was on the grass yesterday, and was amazed that he could see his breath! The temperature should go up into the high 70's today. ahhhhhh!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Coldest night of the year

We are in the middle of winter here in Florida, but tonight is scheduled to be the coldest night so far. Some areas just north of us will get down to freezing tonight. We should only get down to 39 degrees F., but that is cold enough for me. I have a nice fire going and I don't plan to go anywhere. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow, but if I had known it was going to be so cold, I wouldn't have scheduled it! Ready for my "Welcome to Medicare" checkup. I finally qualified for medicare, even though I have been on disability retirement for two years. They make you wait that long. I think they figure if you haven't died in two years, then they will give you health insurance. I plan to have all the free probes, blood tests, check-ups and anything else that they will pay for! I will probably be headed over to the cardioligist next for a stress test, haven't had one of those in awhile. I hope everyone has a nice romantic Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Barr meeting Katie for the first time.

"I really like you, have some of my hay!"

Friday I moved Katie over to Barr's pasture. We had a little trouble getting Katie to load up into the horse trailer, but finally (after and hour and forty-five minutes) she stepped right in. I have moved a lot of horses over the years. Upon arrival at the new place, you have to make sure the new horse gets familiar with the pasture. You do this by walking them around the perimeter a couple of times, so they know the boundries. After a couple of hours, you can bring in the other horses. Usually there is the dominance dance, when they sometimes, squeal, bite and kick. They will run for a while, then eventually settle down. When I brought Barr in, I have never seen such love. It was a true Valentines Day meeting. He loved her at first sight. He sniffed her, she made a little squeal, and kicked her back legs. That was it. No running or biting. They took to each other like bread and butter. He even let her eat grain out of his bucket. If Barr had a thumb, I would have gotten the "thumbs up" from him.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gator aka "KATIE"

They sent me some more photos of the new horse. She is a real sweetie!

Lottery winner!

I went out to my friends pasture to look at the horses. She has five horses and needs to give away three of them. I am interested in taking an eight year old mare, named "GATOR" (who the hell gave her that name?) She is a sweet horse, in good condition, and I think she will make a nice friend for Barr. Sorry, I forgot to take my camera, so this photo from my cell phone will have to do. I think I will name her "Katie" because it is more of a girl's name, and it sounds a little like Gator, so the horse won't be confused! The horse is brown with a white face, light brown mane and tail, and one white stocking on the left rear leg. She is pretty, with a nice disposition, I think Marion will like her. When Stormy died, Marion's brother said the nicest thing. He said "somewhere a horse has won the lottery", referring to the fact that any horse who ends up being cared for by Marion will never want for anything! I think Katie is the winner.

bloggin' 'bout joggin'

The boys are jogging everyday after school. I take them down to the bridge, they jog over it, I wait on the other side. Everyday I make it a little longer. Yesterday they did a mile and a half. I am glad Preston is building up his stamina. Matt goes jogging for the exercise, but always has to be the winner. I explained to him that it is all about the exercise and breathing, but he is very competitive, and has to get back to the car first! I wish I could jog with them, but walking is about all I can do at this point! The weather has been so beautiful lately, it is enjoyable to be outside. So think about me everyday at 2 PM, I am down at the river, taking in some sun and waiting for the joggers.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Horsie shopping

I went out to the "ranch" again this morning to un-blanket Barr (the horse). It only got down to 44 degrees F. last night, but Marion insists on blanketing that horse! She is quite the over-protective horse mum! It is so quiet out there, makes you want to stay! Barr was an asshole about letting me take his blanket off. He took the apple that I gave him, and when it was finished, he decided that he had enough of me, and walked away. I got a lead rope out and coaxed him over with some sweet feed, then hooked him up. I got the blanket off, then took him for a walk around the pasture - just to show him "who's boss"! I think Barr is just lonely since Stormy died. Tomorrow morning I am going to look at a mare for sale. If she is sound, I might get her for a companion for Barr. It is nice to have at least two horses together if you want to go on a ride. Barr is a wild mustang, he originally came from the adopt-a-horse program at the Bureau of Land Management. I tamed him, then trained him and I had him for about 8 years, then I gave him to Marion about 10 years ago. She loves that horse as if he were her child! I will try to remember to take my camera tomorrow when I go horse shopping!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Crime scenes re-visited

I took an early disability retirement in 2004 because of cardiac problems. During the extensive medical examination to determine if I was disabled, the doctor told me that I have post tramatic stress disorder. At the time, I sort of dismissed this diagnosis as "crap". PTSD in my mind, was something that soldiers got after being in heavy combat. You know, they jump when a firecracker goes off behind them. My problem was different, I had sleep difficulty. I kept dreaming about my cases, and after a while, I wasn't getting much sleep. A slide show of all my cases would play over and over in my head. I took the medication prescribed by the doctor for this, and it seemed to go away. I took the meds for about six months, then quit, just one more medication I didn't think I needed. It worked. I was sleeping better and no further symptoms. Yesterday, I was driving in my car, and I started thinking about one of my cases. It is weird, I guess they will always be with me. Maybe the doctor was right, I do have PTSD. So far it hasn't effected my sleep again. Just like my cardiac problems, this is something I will have to live with. I guess it is really the least of my problems!