On his birthday this year, Trav took me to my very first prom. It was the Senior Prom, sponsored by the YMCA. We were the chaperons because we’re under 50… someone needed to keep all those senior citizens in line! Here we are, dressed for the occasion (you can click any picture for a larger version):

Dressed for prom

See that grin on my face? It was there from the time I got my hair done until way after we got home. The prep started with getting my hair styled in an updo by Sofia at Kurl Up & Dye in Spring Hill (her number is 352-836-2012). Thanks, Sofia! Everybody really liked it.

On the way home from the salon, we picked up some of the new Dominos pizza and it turned out to be pretty good. We enjoyed our simple dinner of Hawaiian pizza & beer. Then a little later we got ready to go. Here’s a closer-up shot of the happy couple! Trav is so handsome and he looked quite dapper that evening.

I felt like a princess! Trav got me a lovely corsage from Sherwood Florist. And Trav’s mom gave me some very pretty press-on nails and lovely blue earrings to wear. Plus she supplied me with some really cool nail polish for my toes.

The prom was a lot of fun. We got to hang out with a bunch of people from our dance class and nibble on cookies and punch. Trav’s name was drawn and he got to serve as one of the princes of the prom, to stand up with the king and queen as they were crowned. And we danced and danced and danced!

The South – You Gotta Love It

My friend Jane sent this to me. Thanks, Jane!!

A group of  Alabama  friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day.  That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck.
“Where’s Henry?” the others asked.
“Henry had a stroke of some kind.  He’s a couple of miles back up the trail,” the successful hunter replied.
“You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?” they inquired.
“A tough call,” nodded the hunter.  “But I figured no one is going to steal Henry!”


The owner of a golf course in  Georgia  was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, “You graduated from the  University  of  Georgia  and I need some help.  If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?”
The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, “Everything but my earrings.”

A senior at  Louisiana  was overheard saying … “When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in  Louisiana .” When asked why, he replied, “I’d rather be in  Louisiana  because everything happens in  Louisiana  20 years later than in the rest of the civilized world.”

The young man from  Mississippi  came running into the store and said to his buddy, “Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!”
Bubba replied, “Did you see who it was?”
The young man answered, “I couldn’t tell, but I got the license number.”

North Carolina
A man in  North Carolina  had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it.  Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back.  He asked the fellow what the problem was.
The man replied, “I have a flat tire.”
The passerby asked, “But what’s with the flowers?”
The man responded, “When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back.  I never did understand it neither.”


A  Tennessee   State  trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65.  The trooper asked, “Got any ID?” The driver replied, “Bout whut?”

The Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch.
The Sheriff asked, “Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch?  Don’t you see that sign right over your head.”
“Yep”, he replied.  “That’s why I dumpin it here, cause it says:  ‘Fine For Dumping Garbage’.”

You can say what you want about the South,  but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving North.

Christmas Penguins

We went over to Gramma & Aunt Susie’s house for Christmas, and this year Aunt Susie requested cream cheese penguins, so here’s what we brought!

Christmas Penguins - Group

This batch was fun to make. The hats are fashioned from grape tomatoes… I cut the pointy part off, scooped out the guts with a knife, dried the inside with a paper towel, and pre-poked the hole in the top so they didn’t squish the head down too much. They made great hats and they tasted good, too!

Christmas Penguin

In case you’re interested… see the recipe and more pictures.

And here is the 2010 batch of Christmas penguins! We made a grape tomato Santa, celery sleigh, reindeer and penguin children.

Christmas Penguins 2010

Note to self for next time… group them into distinct crowds! This would have looked better had I done that. Also don’t forget the dabs of cheese on top of the hats. I took the cream cheese with me, intending to do it once they were set up, and I forgot. Doh!

The reindeer antlers are carved from horizontally cut carrot slices – about 1mm seems to be the optimal thickness. We had some trouble with the heads getting split if the antlers were not thin. I laid down two slices and cut both at once so they would match.

Reindeer Penguin Antler Construction

About 6 man-hours of work went into making this batch of 70 penguins.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with love and joy.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. It’s a little late for this year, but I would love for you to participate in the new poll (see the right sidebar). Thanks!!

Abbott & Costello

Our friend John sent this recently. Thanks, John!

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers (and who doesn’t?), please read on…

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, ‘Who’s on First?’ might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don’t know… What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows..

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let’s just say I’m sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue ‘W’.

COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue ‘w’ if you don’t start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on ‘START’………….

Happy Halloween!

What a fun day! We were invited to a party, so we made penguins for a snack… they got to dress up, too! They were a hit at the party – people were taking them home to show and stuff. We had a lot of fun making this batch.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Also see my new page about the penguins… it has a flipbook of the best costumes.

I’ll try to get more pictures of Halloween. Here’s a good one… Trav & his mom. Isn’t his mask creepy!!?!

Halloween Witch and Jason (2009)

And here’s one of the many awesome decorations.

Pumpkin Decoration

Best of all – WE DANCED!!! East Coast Swing and a couple of slow dances, and I practiced the cha-cha a little bit at the table. There was a lady dressed as a princess and she danced a lot and was very good at it. She was having a blast, even if she was the only one on the dance floor. I was thinking on how I admire people who will go up and dance if they want to and then realized – we were those people!

Silly Sammich Test

I love Brian Vaszily’s Intense Experiences web site. Today in his newsletter he sent a link to a fun little compatibility test – based on your favorite sandwich. Pick your favorite from this list, then check out the rest of the story.

  • Club
  • Ham & Cheese
  • Turkey
  • Tuna Salad
  • Egg Salad
  • Chicken Salad
  • Seafood Salad
  • Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

My favorite from this list is Egg Salad. So now try this: ask or email your friends, family and especially your significant other or potential significant other(s) and find out which of the above sandwiches they most prefer. Then see how valid the descriptions are. Fun!

HIT me!

Recently I discovered a blog, by Jon Barron, which seems to have a lot of good advice on health and well-being. Here’s one article in particular I found interesting:

Intense Exercise Slashes Diabetes Risk

Now that I’m exercising on a regular basis (and even getting used to getting sweaty!), perhaps I’ll try to add in some High-intensity Interval Training (HIT). Anybody out there have experience with this type of training?

Mensa Invitational Results

My brother sent this to me and I thought I would share… very cool. Thanks, Michael!

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the 2009 winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee 0intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

Please Help Save Wildlife

This message is from the president of the NRDC, Frances Beinecke. Warning… unpleasant facts are revealed below.

It’s a dirty little secret: government agents spread deadly toxic poisons on public lands to kill wildlife at the behest of agribusiness.

Tell the Secretary of Agriculture this shocking slaughter must end:

Most Americans don’t even know it’s happening. But wolves, bears, bobcats and foxes are being senselessly poisoned. So are dogs. And their painful deaths and needless suffering are almost indescribable.

Compound 1080, one of the killer toxins the government is using, can take up to 15 excruciating hours to kill.  Sodium Cyanide is another poison used in powerful spring-loaded devices known as M-44s that are baited to attract animals. M-44s are distributed throughout our public forests and kill literally thousands of mammals every year. Many animals, including dogs, are unintended victims of this poison device.

America’s public forests and lands exist for our enjoyment and for the preservation of nature. They should be safe places for wildlife, our pets and our families.   That’s why NRDC is launching a massive national campaign to tell Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that our public lands and forests are NO place for such deadly poisons. We need the Secretary to hear from millions of Americans! Tell Tom Vilsack you want the poisoning to end — and you want it to end now:

Secretary Vilsack oversees Wildlife Services, the government agency responsible for the poisoning. They are supposed to work for you and me, but instead they act at the beck and call of agribusiness that sees many wildlife species as predators or pests.

Vilsack has the power to halt this senseless killing on our public lands. Your urgent letter to him will help create a public outcry he can’t ignore!

There are safe and effective alternatives to poisons. There is simply no reason for this slaughter to continue. But it will, unless we take action to stop it.  No more Compound 1080. No more M-44s. And no more wolves, bears, foxes, and bobcats poisoned on our public lands — endangering our pets and families in the process.

Tell Tom Vilsack to get the poisons off our public lands once and for all:

Tree Frog on My Window

This little guy showed up this afternoon and stayed for quite a while. He’s just over an inch long (I was able to measure without scaring him away) and according to my Florida field guide, he’s a Squirrel Treefrog. He can turn brown! I wonder why he’s out right now… they’re supposed to be nocturnal. Click the picture for a larger version.

Squirrel Treefrog

I wonder what that is, above his eye? It looks like a little bit of dirt but I’m not sure.

New Door

One of our recent projects was to replace the leaky sliding glass door. Water started coming in and managed to ruin part of the floor. Here’s what was there:

The back door - before

Trav & Terry got the old door ripped out and started repairing the floor (cutting the damaged part out and putting in new plywood).

Floor repair

Floor repair

After the floor was repaired, we got the door in. And then the fun started, trying to get it all level and closing right. The actual fun part was squirting in Great Stuff around the edges, to seal it up. Here’s the final result:

Door in and done

We really like the new door because it’s highly energy-efficient, and the blinds are sandwiched inside the glass, so we never have to dust them! It uses a magnetic system to slide the shades up and down.

Next project: 18′ x 18′ concrete pad – the start of our porch!

I’m in the 7%

My friend Jane sent this, and I wanted to share… Thanks, Jane!

Written By Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. Here’s a link to the original posting, and one to Regina Brett’s site. You can also get an archival quality reprint. Neat!

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:”

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s,we’d grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come.
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Jane’s note at the end of the email she sent:
Its estimated 93% won’t forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title ‘7%’. I’m in the 7%. Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Baby Lizard

Today when we got home from our walk, we spied this little guy on our aloe vera plant. The leaf he’s on is maybe 2″ wide at the most. I saw him again on my way to the store and he was light brown. I think he’s a brown anole – an invasive species from Cuba. Apparently they eat green anoles, which is one of our native critters. Gah!

Baby Brown Anole

Cocoa Beach and Orlando

Today we went over to Orlando to see Bleys’ new place. “On the way”, we went to Cocoa Beach and spent several fun-filled hours body boarding.

Cocoa Beach

I was pretty excited because Cocoa Beach also happens to be where the Ron Jon Surf Shop is… a place I’ve wanted to go ever since we started seeing ads for it in Florida. It was really neat! Way overpriced, though. I don’t think I will EVER pay $72 for a pair of flip flops, even if they do say Ron Jon on them. Not everything was that terribly overpriced but we were a little shocked by that one. The store was huge, with two stories, and they had a lot of cool stuff there. Apparently it’s the largest surf shop in the world. Here’s a view of the outside, including one of the statues gracing the front yard of the store.

Ron Jon Surf Shop

After the beach we went to see Bleys’ place. Of course, the minute we got there, it started raining cats and dogs, so we had to sit around in the lobby and eat Dum-Dums while we waited for the rain to let up. Then they took us to see the model apartment and it was quite nice. I never had such a nice place when I was going to college! He’ll be sharing his apartment with 3 other guys so that ought to be an interesting experience. Hopefully it all goes well.

So that was our exciting day. Next we’ll rest and treat our poor poor sunburned skin! And Trav burned the soles of his feet on the hot wood of the boardwalk, can you believe it! I never saw that happen to anybody before. We’ll probably go back next week, after we move Bleys into his new pad. Can’t get that close and not stop by the beach! 🙂