Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bald Eaglets - 5 Weeks Old

        "Oh...how they've grown"!!! – feathers, folded wings, wobbly legs and big ‘ole feet!!!  The picture quality is not fabulous this round, but you’ll get a decent idea of what is going on.  I find it extremely interesting that the siblings seem to have very different temperaments and personalities at this young age.  There’s the hungry, bold, ‘me first’ one and then there’s the hungry, laid back, ‘I’ll watch and wait my turn…..until I can’t take it anymore, then I’m going in’ one…LOL
Your brother is awake and stretching
his wings.
You sure are hungry this morning!

Eat, eat, eat...you'll be big and strong!

Wow...am I ever gonna get a turn?

I'm moving in!

That's nice...taking turns.

You know, kids...I'm a little hungry
myself!
(Look at those beautiful tail feathers)

Hey, Ma..wutcha got there?  Don't look
like fish?!

It's NOT....good eye!

Can I have some?
Okay, you can try it...chew it good!

Hey, don't forget me!  What's going on
over there?!

What's mom got, sis?

Not sure, but it's yummy!

She's looking away.....







I'm going in!
Caught ya!
I hear something...
I think they've had enough grub for now.
I think it's him!
Guess not.
Soooo cute!
C'mon, hon!  They're down for the count!

Ooohhhh!  When he's late, it just ruffles my feathers!!!!!




Monday, April 27, 2015

Short Story - A Perfect Mistake

     I mentioned in my previous post that not much was happening…well, I’m hereby retracting that statement.  I am writing again and that, for me, is a big ‘happening’!  I guess my thought was that the things that were happening BEFORE the accident are not happening much now!  The journey is definitely still on!  I’m currently on a different road than originally planned; however, the ADVENTURE continues!  I thought I would include a writing or so of mine as part of the blog…given the fact that that IS what’s going on!
     There is a quarterly contest for freelancers that gives a writer an opportunity to create a short story from a prompt, with a specified word count AND in only 24 hours!  I missed the registration deadline for spring, but I took on the challenge anyway for my own personal practice. 

My understanding, regarding the prompt, is that as long as you keep the basic “flavor” and components, you can alter it in any way that fits into your own story.  So, here is the one I just wrote yesterday.  I hope you enjoy it.

PROMPT       ( 78 words )
Sitting on the porch steps, she stared, ignoring the
scent of lilacs from the overgrown bush. Her heart
lurched when she saw the mail truck approaching,
dust in its wake. Would it arrive today? The ancient
mail carrier took his time handing her some envelopes
and, finally, a large package in brown paper. As he
drove away, she dropped the envelopes on the porch,
and walked quickly around the side of the house,
praying nobody inside saw...

                                                                         A Perfect Mistake

      Jenny couldn’t believe the day had arrived for Bill’s big promotion party.  She had been preparing for this event for months…mostly through online shopping and sending favor requests via email to a few local friends.  Her unusual strategy worked brilliantly as she was held up in LA for business up until a week before the party.  She so enjoyed planning this huge celebration for her boyfriend of 3 years…now, actually her ex…as of five days ago.  Yes, Bill had met Jenny at the airport with one heck of a “Welcome home, honey”. 
     “I think we’re growing apart, Jen.  This just isn’t working for me anymore.   I think after the party, we should go our separate ways. ”
     Jenny was stunned at his matter of fact demeanor, the brevity of his words and his callous attitude.  Her heart ached and it was going to be terribly awkward, but it was too late to inform 75 people that Bill’s big bash was canceled.  She couldn’t help but wonder whether she could “be cool” for the crowd, portraying the proud girlfriend, pleasant and hostess-like and still remain detached.  Could she fake it about still being a happy couple until after the party?  Oh, and what about the…?  Jenny needed a plan and quick!
     She was being haunted by her memory of all the expense and effort she put into customizing a gift for him in recognition for his achievements…and now…now her surprise had to be abolished somehow.  He could never know!  He might deserve it, but he wasn’t going to get it from HER…not now.
.     It was a picture perfect Saturday afternoon in New Hampshire, still a couple hours from party time and Jenny was obsessing over the delivery. 
     “It just better arrive at the exact time I scheduled it.  After all, I DID pay extra for that service!  And if I’m gone too long, one of the guests is bound to notice.”
     Yeah, she was sweatin’ this one!
     Everything was set and Bill showed up about a half hour early…the first one there, of course.  Jenny greeted him with a cordial embrace and they conspired to pull off the evening’s charade.                Guests appeared in droves at first and as the last 20 or so trickled in, Jenny’s heart began to race 
with anxiety about the package.  She was getting nervous and she looked it!  She decided to go out front and sit on the porch.
    Just perched there, staring, she noticed how overgrown her yard was.  There had been quite a bit of rainfall in her hometown while she was in California working.  She ruminated about not hiring someone to take care of things while she was away.  Sadly, you couldn’t even appreciate the gorgeous lilac bush by the front gate.  “No matter,” she thought,  “It’s all I can do to ignore the glorious perfume it emits.  If I had to look at it, too…the flower of LOVE…that could do me in today!”
     Suddenly, she heard the sound whose meaning had been transmuted from excitement to dread!  The USPS truck was heading her way slowly as it made a stop at each home along her street.  Jenny was feeling very impatient at this point.  Thoughts were running rampant in her mind.  “Does everyone have to get mail today?   I can’t wait until this is over.   I sure hope I’m not being missed in there.  C’mon, already!”
     Finally and with a bright smile, the postman declared, “I got that special package along with your mail, Ms. Jenny.  You still want me to hand deliver it to that young man of yours?”
     “NO!!!….um, I mean no thanks.  I’ll take it from here.  Thank you, Mr. Wiley.”
     Before he could say, “You’re welcome,” Jenny grabbed the package leaving her mail behind and sprang to the side of the house praying no one inside saw her.  She’d have to be quick.  She had already been away from the party for over 20 minutes.  Jenny took a deep breath and courageously opened the well-cushioned box to take one quick look at his “pre break-up” gift before she tossed it!  She could feel her emotions surging as she began to read the inscription on the plaque that she lovingly designed for the wall behind his desk in his new office.
William Bradley
A respected man of honor
Never prone to quip
A leader to his crew
The Captain of his shit
     When she first saw that blatant last letter typo, she was met with a moment of panic.  Then she laughed until she cried.  “Toss it?  Hmmm?  Maybe I’ll give it to him anyway!”  
(785 words)

FL-Boo-Boo Update and Spring Craft Festival

***Not a WHOLE lot happening, but what IS happening is good!

      I got a great report from the orthopedic surgeon regarding my foot.  She said it’s healing well and has remained in a perfect position for bonding.  I learned that the heel bone is one of those really important bones that takes quite a while to heal completely.  So…the timeline caught me off guard a bit….approximately 2 more months with boot and no pressure on foot (sitting a lot) then a month or so to get the whole walking thing down again (with boot in house, with boot on sidewalk and so on a week at each phase).  Once I can walk comfortably in a shoe, I’ll get released to get back on the road with instructions for a somewhat limited physical activity plan for another 7 months!  Of course, I’m intending with great conviction that this whole process time will be reduced!!!
Sample of finished product utilizing the
sea beans as the main pendant


'Sea beans' that travel incredible distances
throughout the waters of the world.

The couple that creates this beautiful
jewelry lived in areas where beans
 tend to accumulate and 
collected
thousands of various types of beans 

     


Second, Marie and I went to truly fantastic craft festival in St. Petersburg weekend before last.  I am always in awe of the level of ingenuity that people express through their various genres of art! 
My absolute favorite is this eclectic
wine bottle and glasses holder!  This
artist designs and creates all sizes
of pieces...knick-knacks to furniture!

All of these incredible items are made
strictly from the various types of
palm that grows abundantly here in the
southeast
 I find it refreshing as well as inspiring to not only to experience the artists’ work visually, but to hear the hows and whys and whats of their creations when talking to them.  Such a pleasure.



TIPS:1- Be sure to squeeze as much liquid
as possible from the cooked/mashed/riced
cauliflower...Handi-Wipes worked great!
2-Adhere to making the crust 1/3 in. thick
...mine was a little too thin
  3- Bake the crust longer to get it firmer 
and crunchier  4- Make a double or triple
 batch and freeze some crusts so you
can just grab, thaw and top when you're
in the mood for a bangin' healthy pizza.
It was half gone before I thought of taking
a picture...LOL  You choose the toppings.
I lightly coated the hot crust with olive
oil then added orange peppers, red onions,
mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes,
and sliced mozzarella with a sprinkle
of Italian seasoning on top...yummy!

    






 Last, but not least…I discovered a wonderful recipe that allows me to enjoy PIZZA totally “guilt-free”!!!  Cauliflower pizza crust….what a concept!  I tried it the other day and I was absolutely impressed.  I did learn a few tricks for next time to make the crust AND the experience better which I will note under the recipe!  Try it….you may be pleasantly surprised…I was!
    
      Did I mention that I had a little chat with the Queen that afternoon....I can't believe I'm even putting this picture on here!!!  Hahahahahahahaha!
Too funny!!!



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FL - Sunset on Tax Day

     It’s been a weird few days! I gotta say though for the most part I’ve been feeling and doing terrific since the accident.  But this week so far my state of mind and overall mood has been immensely labile!!!   I can’t even remember the last time I was so “roller coaster-ish”.  Not fun at all!  Naps have helped!!!
     I am grateful.  I am angry. I am puzzled out!  I fall asleep when I try to read.  There is absolutely NOTHING on TV.  I keep banging my foot into things.  Food is boring!  Every single thing I do requires so much energy and focus!  Taking a shower has become a major ordeal.  My entire functional wardrobe consists of a handful of sundresses!  My colored pencils are all beginning to look alike!   I COULD go on and on, but I’ll stop!  It felt good to vent though!  I’m done!
     Marie and I went to the midweek open air market this morning.  It was lovely.  Beautiful produce, food vendors with all natural preservative and yucky stuff-free food, pasta sauce that tasted like it just came of ‘Grandma Italy’s’ stove after simmering for about 8 hours and some very eclectic crafts.  It was good to be out for a little while.  The knee walker and I have a limited mobility window at the moment. 



He was checkin' me out!  LOL





Click on this one and see if you can
find the men's faces in the clouds at
the top...so cool



The best part of the day was being able to watch the sunset on the beach from my sports chair ‘perch’!  Got a few nice shots and when I spotted a heron in the distance, Marie offered to walk to get a closer picture.  Thanks Marie…they turned out great!

Bright Spot – A few days ago, I received an unexpected package in the mail here at Marie’s!!!!  I was so excited and stunned at the same time!  I looked at the label and saw that it was from Rachel and Megan!  I opened it up as fast as I could to see what was inside.  Wrapped in beautifully colored tissue paper were 5 separate smaller packages.  Wow!  They sure do know me!!! 
My goodies!!!
Craft items, tear jerker movies, especially one that I have been looking many months for in several states, The Family Feud card game, nutter butter peanut butter sandwich cookies AND a very sweet greeting card!!!  Of course I cried!  But there was a big ole smile on my face, too!  Much gratitude to them both for my “cheer box”.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friendship

     







 Since my accident,  I have been thinking a lot about living and life because I could have lost mine that afternoon.  I have thought about what has brought me to this point in my life and what means the most to me and one of them is friendship.
     Friends are such an important part of our lives.  We look up to our friends and respect them.  We want them to be happy.  We really like them.  We love interacting with them either in person or across the Web. 

We trust them.

We love to make them laugh, support their interests, offer guidance and listen when they need to vent.  We get excited with and for them.  We share new insights.  We love to let them know how important they are to us.  We do favors.
We troubleshoot as needed.

     We also, whether we realize it or not, expect them to do the same for us.  Sometimes they don’t.  Most of the time we simply let it go because we’re friends.  Sometimes we don’t.  I believe that it is because of fear and fear and love cannot coexist.  When we care deeply for someone, as friends do, somewhere deep inside we might be afraid of not really being important to them, or that they may take us for granted or…whatever!  We feel hurt in some way.  We might have a strong reaction to what we deem as an infraction of some kind.  Then some level of judgment can occur.  Words may be exchanged that make both friends feel bad…causing a possible stalemate.  Then we may suddenly realize that despite our upset, we still love them dearly and cherish their presence in our lives. 






     Wow!  Sounds kind of crazy, but we do it sometimes.  Friends are human!  Disappointments or frustration are bound to happen on either side now and then.  Priorities may become confused. Personal circumstances may leave one more vulnerable in areas of the heart.

     When friends can survive these times, forgive and forget occasional blips and choose to have compassion for each other’s humanness, their bond strengthens and a more loving acceptance of each other can happen.  















 I have also been thinking about how each of us learn more than we imagine possible in relationships.  Friends teach us to take a close look at ourselves and strive to be our best.
     Even having only one friend in our lives is a gift.  It is a gift that many are never given.  If you were given any, love them like you want to be loved and forgive them for their shortcomings.  They're worth it and so are you.

Fun friend flip-flops...LOL