Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rich People REALLY Piss Me Off

I was reading this blog entry on Boudicca's Voice. From time immemorial there have always been useless, overly wealthy people. Yes, they own businesses where poor slobs in the working class gain employment. No, I am not a Communist or a Socialist. I'm not overly fond of people in general anyway. So I'm an equal opportunity disliker - rich, poor, Capitalist, Communist - doesn't matter to me. I totally prefer animals to people. So, when I get pissed off at really rich people - it's the norm - just the reasons are different. Rich people don't have to think about money, except how to spend it or who to screw with it. They aren't worried about medical bills, having enough insurance, wondering if they'll be able to afford to retire, home repairs (as in "can I afford to fix it?). They aren't looking for jobs or suffering through working at one, with all its' attendant stresses. They are planning what wine to drink with dinner, which will be cooked by some Mexican illegal, while they gaze at this particular home's landscaping (also thanks to some Mexican illegals, no doubt).

I won't go on and on about how unfair life is. That is a given. At least in this country, with hard work, you can level the playing field a bit. And I AM thankful for those things I DO have. I'm not living in a cardboard shack in a third world country waiting for a mud slide to bury me. The rich - and useless - have always been with us.

Pslams 49:15-17
"15 But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;

17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him. "

and Ecclesiastes 5:8
"Riches Are Meaningless :

8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. "

You know the phrase, "the only two things you can count on are death and taxes"? Well - nix on the taxes for the rich - however, death knows no boundaries. He takes the rich as well as the poor.

Me? I'm wishing that some hungry Florida alligators would polish off a few useless, wealthy people, instead of clueless natives and/or vacationers - and grab a couple of developers for dessert. But that's another peeve for another day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This is dedicated to my long-suffering husband. Since my sister is visiting next week, my husband and I have mistakenly tried to disguise the fact that we live in an older home that we have not spent 24/7 fixing up. No - we have enjoyed ourselves for the past 4 years, travelling and spending whole days photographing whatever we want. In between, I've kept the place clean, and my hub has done various odd household jobs - or had them done.

First fiasco. We MUST hide the fact that my daughter left the garage/bedroom half painted. Not just any ole' half painted, but part painted black - yes, black - and part painted bright green. Not one of the areas she attempted to paint is completely finished. There are areas near the ceiling and near the floor that are not done - she painted the middle of the walls - in various places. My noble husband decided he would try to rectify the matter, even though painting is the very least of his talents. When he paints, he gets it on the ceiling, himself, the floor - and parts of Cooper City. His brother has also been banned from household painting - evidently this trait is genetic.

Second fiasco. We tried to match the green paint my daughter ran out of. It didn't go well. We ended up with a much darker green, which isn't bad, but it doesn't match the rest of the green she already painted.

At a certain point today, I said - "no more paint must touch these walls". It was so bad - the green was so dark, streaky and patchy - plus, my husband, true to his blood, had gotten paint on several surfaces where it should not have been. Especially THIS green paint.

Next - the fighting. This is a given. Stress + suddenly seeing our house from "visitor's" eyes brought on the recrimination and then the insults.

Oh stupid me, who puts the emphasis on what's important - on the WRONG important. This stuff isn't important.

So, after we yelled at each other and said mean things - he continued to clean the porch, throwing out junk we've been "storing" out there. I cleaned out various closets, and we both put the bed back down (the mattress and box spring were upright against the wall) in preparation for someone sleeping in it.

All I can say is - someday soon we will be laughing a LOT about this whole mess.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Three......Uh.......Four Kittens

Our backyard is Kitty Haven. I first discovered this in April of '05, when I discovered two kittens in the big plastic collapsible shed on the side of our house. Their mama had decided this was a good place to raise her babies. I started bringing them cans of tuna and cat food. This is a picture of one of them with a bit of tuna stuck on his little chin.

My husband caught one of these babies and gave it to a young girl who works at his office. She also volunteers at a cat shelter, but she kept this one for herself. She already had a grown cat, and the little one became inseparable with her big cat. I forget what she named the kitten, but it is full grown now, happy and fat.

Ok, I thought, that's it. Good deed done. We were unable to catch the other kitten, and over time I stopped seeing it in the backyard. I also stopped seeing mama kitty. In the best of all possible worlds, perhaps they moved on. I don't think about the alternative to the best of all possible worlds.

The next episode happened in January. A kitten that must have been born a week or two before Wilma hit us started appearing in our backyard. This one was more pitiful. I never saw the mother, and this one attempted to eat the peanuts I put out for the blue jays. If you know anything about cats - they don't eat peanuts in the shell unless they are starving.

Ever the sucker, I started putting out food and water for this baby. Before long, we were able to catch it using a carry cage we have for our pet cats. (Have I mentioned this is the House of Cats?) We brought him in and kept him separated from the three we already have. We took him to the vets, where he was pronounced a healthy "he" and given his first shots. He was allowed out with our other three and they all got along fine. We named him "Peanut" at first, but then opted for "Junior Kitty" or "Junior Bean". So I'm not imaginative. He doesn't care. He bonded with Squeebles. Squeebles was the only cat that was appalled when he first met Junior Bean. He hissed and spat. The others just ignored the newcomer. Within 24 hours, Junior Bean and Squeebles were the best of friends. Squeebles became "Uncle Squee" and mentored Junior Bean, teaching him how to sit with his tongue sticking out (looking particularly retarded) and other important cat lessons. They sleep all rolled up together, wrestle and chase each other around, and they clean each others ears and head.

This is a picture of Uncle Squee on the left and Junior Bean on the right.

OK - so NOW it's May 06. When we had our fence fixed that was knocked down by Wilma, I put blocks down all around the bottoms of the fence to keep out cats. And I didn't see any for a looooong time. Until this week.

They're back with a vengeance. I believe one of the kittens from last year has grown up and had babies. I've seen the mother and father. Mama Kitty is a calico and Dad is a white with orange pieces. Sound familiar? Check out Junior Bean. Same family. Probably his brother, or the brother of the original two kittens from April of '05. Trailer Trash Cats. Appalachian Cats Anon.

I saw two kittens a few days ago. One that looks just like Junior Bean, only smaller and one that is half white and half dark brown, kind of calico-like. Considering the parents, this is a no-brainer. So I put out some cat food. I don't want them to kill the birds that come to our yard, and I don't want them to starve.

I put out food this morning, and first the calico mama came and ate. Then I heard her call her kittens with a kind of continuous meowmeowmeow. She disappeared under the fence (did I mention that the blocks under the fences don't work?). Pretty soon, a little head popped up under the fence and pushed into our yard. Followed by a second. Then a third. Wow! I didn't know there were three babies!! They all commenced to eat. About 5 minutes into breakfast, a fourth one popped through the fence. Sheesh!! Four little kittens. I tried to get a picture of all of them, but only succeeded in getting two. By the time I got my camera, two had eaten and run. I'll try again tomorrow morning.....but in the meantime, here is the new batch 'o kittens.

In honor of the little foursome.....remember this nursery rhyme? The only difference is - where it says "three", I changed it to "four".

Four little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear,
Our mittens we have lost.

What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens,
Then you shall have no pie.
Meow, meow,
Then you shall have no pie.

The four little kittens,
They found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.

What, found your mittens,
Then you're good kittens,
And you shall have some pie.
Purrr, purrr,
Then you shall have some pie.

Four little kittens,
Put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie.
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear,
Our mittens we have soiled.

What! Soiled your mittens,
You naughty kittens,

And they began to sigh.
Meow, meow,
And they began to sigh.

The four little kittens,
They washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry.
Oh, mother dear,
Do you not hear,
Our mittens we have washed?

What! Washed your mittens?
They you're good kittens!
But I smell a mouse close by.
Meow, meow,
We smell a mouse close by.

Friday, May 12, 2006


My sister will be visiting in 2 weeks!!  She never, and I mean never, travels.  The last time she went farther than her neighborhood radius was too many years ago to think about.  So, she's taking a plane and coming to visit me in hell Florida.   I'm excited - and I've begun to look around me with visitor's eyes.  All the things I'm used to and don't mind, come jumping out at me.  Like the fact that every once in a while, a Palmetto Bug (aka, giant roach) appears in the house somewhere.  The cats torture and kill it, but still - Northerners have no clue when it comes to bug size.  If she sees one of those, she'll keel over and I'll have to call 911.  So we're doing extra spraying around here.  We just got a new front door that eliminates some of the spaces bugs used to get into the house.  Next weekend, the French Doors replace the disgusting sliding glass doors - and more bug spaces will disappear. 

Then there's the fact that we own an older home that has only one bathroom.  Sigh.  The bane of my life.  I lived in a condo before this that had two bathrooms.  But now, only one.  With an old tub.  My husband uses this bathroom.  'Nuff said. 

Anyway - I'm looking forward to her visit - and dreading her reactions at the same time.  WIll she hate Florida?  Probably.  Will she feel sorry for me being stuck living here?  Yeah - probably.  Will I agree with her?  Yup.  Will this make me feel worse?  I'd give that a 10 in probability. 

And last but not least - my sister is coming to visit in less than two weeks - a sister I haven't seen in a few years - and I'm concentrating on stupid stuff, surface stuff.  I should be shot.  I better not say that too loud, since shooting happens a lot in South Florida, and somebody might take me up on it.

Well - whoever you are, have a WONDERFUL FRIDAY!! 

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Florida Is Nothing If Not Armageddonish

While we hold our breaths for another potentially disastrous hurricane season, fires are wrecking what is left of the trees not downed in the past two years.

I live in South Florida, which gives one an even more intense flavor of End of World. The people here are nuts, internationally nuts - since there are more foreigners here, both legal, illegal and visiting than you can imagine. There are few trees left between the developers and the last two years of hurricanes. What's left are stick trees covered with little clumps of leaves - what looks like tons of poodle trees. Very ugly, very sad. There are murders here every day. What small amount of tropical beauty left is being covered by concrete.

There are still LOTS of tilting power poles from Wilma, homes and condos with damaged roofs, either covered by blue tarps or just falling apart openly.

And the relentless march of time continues to June 1st. No doubt, on the first day of hurricane season, the "gate" will open and there'll be something swirling around in the Atlantic looking to land somewhere in Florida. I can hardly wait.

The other evening, sitting in my backyard, which I have attempted to make into a tiny wildlife refuge (native bushes, lots of them - bird feeders, available fresh water every day), little specks of ash kept lazily swirling to the ground. The sky was dark with smoke and the air was stifling from the heat and lack of breeze. Luckily, some of the darkness was caused by some few clouds that deigned to squeeze a few measly drops of rain onto my parched property before moving on. So, as the fires burn, soon to be followed by hurricane winds and torrential rains, followed by flooding, possibly of a disastrous nature (if Lake Okeechobee dike bursts).......I'm just blogging away here feeling ever so Armageddonish.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Don't Nap in the Late Afternoon

I was working on my photos at around 4:45 today, and it got so that I couldn't keep my eyes open. So, ok, I figure - nap time. I up and get into bed (I never made the bed - it's Sunday!!) and promptly fall asleep. The next thing I know, the phone rings. As I wake up, I realize the series of dreams I just had. All bad.

I'm driving with my sister at night. The road is pitch black. She puts on the high beams and I go to lock my door. I hear a crash, the car veers wildly, it is suddenly a hot afternoon and my sister is leaning over me. I've been shot in the face, and I try to remember not to pull on my nose - it might come off.

Before this, I was walking along a hot sunny road. I put down my purse to collect some flowers or something. Next scene I'm driving and an officer pulls me over. He asks me if I've lost anything and hands me my purse that someone found along route 27 (a highway in central Florida). I burst into tears when I realize what COULD have happened - everything stolen, etc.

I'm walking along and as usual, it's hot and sunny. I'm walking along a sidewalk that passes in front of 3 or 4 small entrances to apartments. These are in the middle of nowhere, so it's odd - and there are woods a little ahead after the last apartment. I realize in my dream that my parents live in the last apartment. Suddenly, I see a black snake come out of the woods and race toward me. It is incredibly fast and I can't get away fast enough. I end up dodging it and trying to step on it. It doesn't bite me and I finally get away.

Last, but not least, after I get shot, I'm miraculously fine (dreams are certainly NOT about reality!!) and I'm trying to get away. The guy who shot me is chasing me and still trying to finish me off. I throw things at him, I throw water so he'll slip on the floor. I try to throw a knife at him and he keeps trying to aim and shoot, but I keep throwing things. THEN the phone rang and I wake up.

I am NOT taking afternoon naps again anytime soon. In the back of my head is where I keep all my worries and sadnesses - and I guess some of these popped up in dreams.

I'm worried about no rain. We are dry as a bone here and the sun, it is relentless every day,all day. If we are told to limit our watering, I'll feel very bad for my thirsty bushes, as well as the birds and critters that visit our backyard.

I'm worried about my parents - my dad is 87 and my mom is 78. They are ok, but, come on - the time, it is rapidly approaching, when SOMETHING will go VERY wrong, one way or the other. This is also a great sadness.

I miss my daughter, I'm fat and I'm getting old.

There - just call me an optimist, eh? Sheesh - I SWEAR I'm never napping in the late afternoon again. Now.......maybe in the EARLY afternoon won't be so bad....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Trying Out FireFox Performancing

Wow!  I can type this right from my browser and then publish to my blog.....life is good.


Woke up this AM in the middle of a dream that my husband and I were visiting some friends I haven't seen in ages - they moved away. Evidently they moved to Costa Rica, because that's where I dreamed we were visiting them. My friend's daughter was in an American ex-pat private school there and after she picked up her child, we went out to eat. I looked out the window at the Spanish style architecture and for dessert there was some kind of tart with hot tropical type fruits in it - it was good, by the way. Suddenly, I hear my husband calling me - and it's time to get up.

Oh - and before I met up with my friend, we were at some kind of place where they raise herring to feed to ducks. The guy who ran the place was Japanese, but we were in Costa Rica, in the mountains (does Costa Rica have mountains???). I looked up at the ceiling once and noticed there was a hole in the plaster through which you could see the metal grid. There were REALLY BIG rats walking around nonchalantly up there - and everyone took it in stride. After all, this is Central America, right? No problemo. The rats were the size of super-beavers. I remember thinking that if these people were comfortable with this, perhaps it really wasn't that big a problem.

Now it's up and off to work. Yesterday, I officially decided that if I don't do something about my eating and exercise habits, I'm going to die soon. So I came home after eating some tuna fish for dinner, took a shower - and proceeded to eat nothing until bed. No glass(es) of wine, (too many carbs and I'm too fond of it anyway) no snacks, nada. I brushed my teeth, took some vitamins and relaxed. About 9PM I went to bed and fell asleep, feeling virtuous rather than guilty. Today, when I get home, I should do some laundry and maybe ride my bike a bit. And also - less carbs, more protein and less food all around. I hate being fat.