Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We traveled to Tennessee by flying to Asheville, North Carolina via Atlanta, Georgia. We were on a small 50 person jet from Atlanta to Asheville and it was bumpy & exciting, like a roller coaster ride into Asheville with cross winds! We rented a car and drove an hour over to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to the condo. It is a beautiful place, with a large back porch that backs up on the golf course. It was very peaceful & quiet. We did NOTHING for four days and just enjoyed ourselves, hiking & taking photos. The foliage is on the change, going from green to gold & red. We spent time in the Smokey Mountains National Park. Angela's parent's condo is really nice, two bedrooms, two baths, plenty of room. the mountains are nice, a stark contrast to the flatlands of Florida. The weather was stellar! 70's in the daytime & 40's at night. We had a fire in the fireplace. the only downside is that both of us caught a cold- we think from all the re-breathing on the airplane! No matter where we caught it, we were miserable for a few days when we got home!

I like to visit the mountains, but I love my home in Florida - I wouldn't live anyplace else!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Summer end

Today is the first day of Fall, but you would not know this by the Florida weather. The long hot summer continues, with a few days of low humidity to make you think it might be cooler. I have done a lot this summer. I am always busy doing the everyday house/yard work. I went to New York City again. This time my son and I went to see his girlfriend off as she moves up to New York University for her Freshman year of college. I was lucky that my brother, Doug, was up in city at the same time and we got to hang out. My brother is very knowledgeable about the city. Plenty of walking when you are up there! My blood sugar gets out of whack when I do so much walking. If I lived in a big city- my diabetes would be under control! I love the city. There are so many things to do, places to see, great food, great shopping. It is fun, but certainly not cheap! It is difficult to get a nice hotel room in Manhattan for less that $180. a night. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Soho, and it was $200. a night. It was a small but clean, nice room. They have a nice free continental breakfast. I am sure I will be going up to the city a lot more now. I am looking for a campground to drive the RV up and camp, but still be close enough to go into the city. I have checked out Liberty Harbor in Jersey City that is right across the water from the Statue of Liberty. Staying there is $60. a night, and it is an asphalt parking lot, not a fancy campground, but I would enjoy staying in my own digs just a stones throw away from the city! Next month I am going to Tennessee for a few days to spend some time in the Smokey Mountains!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Surprise visit

Matthew traveled from Naval Nuclear School in South Carolina in his new car to visit us over the Memorial Day weekend. He called on Friday and told us that he was en-route. His mom was happy & we had a nice visit with him. Our little dog, Idgy, loves our boys and was glad to see Matt & play with him. After he left on Monday, Idgy sat by the door overnight waiting for him to return. Dogs really are our best friends!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Last look

I went to the beach today. I am trying to get my last looks at a beach with blue/green water before it turns brown with oil. I went to Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida - I haven't been down there in about 15 years. It is a place that people used to frequent to look for shark's teeth. Years back they were abundant, every handful of sand had many sharks teeth. Now it is a little harder to find them & you see people using sand baskets to scoop them up.

Years ago, we took a trip there with my friends Barb & Enita from Texas. Enita took a recipe from a cookbook called "Manifold Destiny" (I think that was the name of it) and cooked our lunch on the hot engine of her van as we traveled the hour it took to get there. Imagine the looks on people passing by as we stopped along the highway half-way there for Enita to check her roast. She was under the hood of the van with oven gloves, unwrapping her meal so she could turn it over, then wiring it back onto the manifold! What a sight! We had a wonderful hot lunch when we arrived at Caspersen Beach! I fear that soon these beach areas will be gone, and all the sea life will be dead. I hope by some miracle the Gulf can recover - but I don't see how.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My boy

Preston went with his girlfriend to her senior prom this past weekend. I am glad that he finally went to a school dance; he never participated in his own high school stuff. He is growing up and not as shy as he used to be- it is nice to see him so happy and in love. Preston's girlfriend has been accepted at NYU and will be moving to New York in the fall. Preston would like to go with her, but it probably will not be financially possible.

Preston is out of college for the summer and is so far unsuccessful in finding a job. I am hoping he will find something soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New beginnings

I neglect my blog for a while, then someone says, "Hey, why haven't you been blogging?" I thought no one was reading this! I am trying to catch up, and I spend my computer time on Facebook - though I don't like it as much.
Lately I have been working on my new Winnebago motorhome. I traded my Durango & travel trailer for it. I miss having a truck, I only have this small sports car now. I spend time/too much money at Lowes & Home Depot and I have to remember not to buy anything BIG because I can't get it home! We went camping for the Mother's Day weekend at nearby Oscar Scherer State Park. It is a lovely park & the first time I had been there. We took our three dogs with us (a first for that as well). They were fine, but we worried about keeping them confined & on their leashes for fear they would get lost. They loved being with us and getting lots of walks. I miss the times when a bunch of us would have a group camping trip. Maybe we should start doing that again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I love the internet. I try to remember what life was like without it. Back in the 80's I was a street cop, and we did not even have walkie-talkies. Cell phones were a dream of the future. We would have to be near the squad car to call for help, or just handle the situation. It seems so dangerous now. The 80's were the beginning of the "no respect" time for cops, and many people would fight with the cops rather than comply. I was lucky to get by unscathed for the most part. Only once, on a traffic stop, a guy knocked me to the ground to get away. We caught him later in the night and found out he was an escaped prisoner.
Cops recently arrested the murderer who took the life of my doctor's wife. What a senseless crime. Here is an account of the current case:
Sunday, february 14
Arrest Made in Briles Murder
Finally an arrest has been made in the murder of Kathleen Briles, which occurred on August 3, 2009 in Manatee, Florida. Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube made the announcement last week. Delmer Smith is a suspect in multiple burglaries in Manatee and Sarasota counties and is the prime suspect in the murder of Mrs. Briles. Smith used a sewing machine to beat Briles to death and apparently was found to have Briles' property in his possession. The main item is a rare Minnie Mouse Key chain, which Smith had in his possession. Dr. Briles identified the key chain belonging to his wife, which he gave as an anniversary gift. The THUG also attempted to sell a necklace belonging to Briles by hiring an accomplice to sell the item. EDITOR'S COMMENT: This has to be the scum of the earth. Florida does have the death penalty and we can only hope it will be applied in this case. Kathleen Briles is the wife of Dr. James Briles; son of the late Iowa Senator, James Edward and Marilyn Lorene Tendall Briles. Not until this case is done and "justice" is carried out will the Briles Family find true relief and peace.

Well, Thanks to Minnie Mouse, the perp had it on his key chain! There is no justice that will ease the pain of having a murdered loved one.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Matthew has been at Navy boot camp now for a week and a day. His mother cried for the first day, but now she seems to be adjusting. It is strange to think that Matt will never be back here to live, and now we have two more bedrooms in our house. When Preston left in December, I made his bedroom into an office, spreading out and bringing in all the paperwork, bills and stuff that we had always kept in the dining room.

We got a letter yesterday telling us Matt's graduation date is in March. We made airline reservations this morning. We are wondering what the weather will be like in Illinois the end of March. It will be colder than tropical Florida, we know that much. I am trying to collect some winter clothes, long johns, gloves, hats - stuff we don't usually need around here.

It is so strange not to have kids in the house. Just me & the pups here in the day. I talk to them a lot. They cock their heads and look strangely at me. They must be wondering where the boys are. I talk to Preston once in a while, but mostly if he needs something. I try to remember that there was a time when I wanted to be away from my parents and just independent & hang out with my friends. I wonder how my parents felt about it. They never mentioned it. I won't either, but I really miss him!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

altered state

Any kind of medication alters my mental state. If I take even as much as a baby aspirin, I can feel the effect on my mind. It is no wonder I feel "crazy" sometimes. I am on two meds for hypertension, one for high cholesterol, one for diabetes, and a couple of months ago the doctor put me on insulin injections. Just keeping up with taking, ordering, counting all this medication is a chore, but with insulin, you have to eat something every couple of hours or you get dizzy & spacey! Today Angela & I were in the grocery store and I got a little dizzy. Suspecting low blood sugar, I got a Life Saver candy to suck on and went to sit down on the bench by the check out counters. "Just leave me alone" is my usual mantra as I sit quietly trying to feel better. Little did I know as I sat there on the bench that sign was on my forehead. You know the one, the cop sign I used to have, "TALK TO ME, IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER" An old man asks if he can sit on the other end of the bench (old, I really mean he was probably my age!). I say "of course", (of course) and he sits down & immediately says, "I had to put down my best friend today". "Oh, no", I say- hoping he meant his dog & that he is not a crazed killer making a confession. He proceeds to tell me the whole tear-jerking story about how they hoped the dog could make it through the weekend, but that this morning she was just so sick with liver cancer that they had to take her & have her euthanized. He relayed to me that he is restoring an old car in his garage and that everyday when he worked on it, the dog stayed right there at his side. He said that he thought when he finished that car, he would have the dogs name painted on the back of it as a tribute to her. He told me that he loved that dog. Finally, Angela rescued me from the bench when she finished paying for the groceries. The dizziness had passed but then I was an emotional mess from the damn dog story and people were staring at me crying as I put the groceries in the trunk!