Friday, December 31, 2004

3 Hours and 12 minutes to go ...

      I'm off to ring in the New Year with a few friends and won't be going empty handed. Amazing what a difference a little cellophane and garland can make. (I wrap everything in cellophane, my trademark.)

     A bottle of champaign, a cheese ball, (I make these every year for my friends at Christmastime instead of baking cookies) and ... the worlds best artichoke hearts in my Grandmother's silver serving dish. Yep, I did say world's best artichoke hearts, any challengers? I'll try to find time to post both recipes tomorrow if anyone is interested.

     Things should settle down for many of us after tonight, I don't know about you but I'm kind of looking forward to settling back into the rhythm of routine.

     I'm sure that the fact that we are ending 2004 with an international state of emergency of enormous proportion will be on all of our minds tonight and that there will be many prayers that the relief sent to the people in all of those  nations directly affected will somehow outweigh the need, if that's even possible.

    I'll see all of you next year, have fun and enjoy the magic of the evening but ...  no drinking and driving tonight, I mean it. Assign a designated driver if you think you'll need one.

                                          *** Coy *** 

   ps ... WooHoo!!! (insert happy dance here), my camera software glitch is solved. I had time today to delete the program and reinstall it or you may have been looking at a lizard photo here and reading about ... ahhh, never mind. 

     Computer still in a funk, moving soooo sloooooow ... hope to get things back in order in a day or two with a little help from my friends, and you know who you are. lol 


The chicken or the egg? The photo or the entry?

     I'm having major computer issues ... not the least of which is with my digital camera software. Grrr ...

     I have not had a single problem downloading photos from my camera in the year that I've owned it, until now. Grrr again ... I love this camera, it's a Kodak Easyshare, it's so easy to use and it's one of the two things that inspired me to start writing my online journal.

     Being out of commission for a couple of days in the "new photo department," I've noticed that most of my entries here are inspired by the newest photo or groups or photos of the people, places and things in my everyday life.

     My camera is always with me, I keep it in my purse in a cute but light weight little bag, wouldn't want to miss a Kodak moment or anything. Ahhh ... not everybody likes this about me.

     My point here is, I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to write an entry and then choose an older photo to go with it, it feels a lot like putting the cart before the horse.

      If you are wondering what the photo above has to do with this entry, well, truth is ... nothing. It's just a photo I took about this time last year when I was at an outdoor art show with a friend in Delray, it was taken from practically right outside his front door ... nice, right? 

      I remember this day... I had stopped by to show him the photos I took while I was in the Caribbean on a company cruise (Employee of the year). I was still bubbling over with excitement from all the beautiful things that I had seen and all of the fun that I had while I was there.

     I remember the minute I took this photo, I had just made a remark like ... "Every thing was so beautiful there, it was truly paradise ... every photo I took looked like a post card"

     I remember his smile and his words as he said "Don't forget that to the rest of the world, we live in paradise.If you were atourist here you might take a picture of this, (pointing towards the intercoastal) and take it home to show your family and friends a photo that looks like a post card. I took the photo and he was so right ... it did look like a postcard (before I cropped it) I E-mailed it to him that night.

    I think of those words often and have spent a lot of time since then being grateful for something I had been taking for granted for so long ... the opportunity to spend one more day in Paradise.

     Mmmm ... it doesn't get any better than this, I mean it. Are there places to photograph where you live that look just like a postcard?

                                    *** Coy ***

     BTW-to my very wise friend and you know who you are ... we both know that you read this journal, even though you don't admit it and never leave a comment. I just want to say "Thank You" for that important reminder.   

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami ... tsoo-nah-mee

     A few days ago I did not know what a Tsunami was and today I wish I still didn't.

 Quiet surf near Pompano Beach

     11 Nations ... Death toll rising over 77,000 today ... fears that it may reach over 100,000 before this is over ... this is devastation like we have never known before ... it's been hard to think of anything else this week.

       I've just felt this overwhelming quietness knowing how helpless we really are against Mother Nature's fury. This past year those of us here in Florida got an upclose and personal look at her relentless power during the multiple hurricanes she chose to unleash on us. 

     Sometimes she will flex her muscle to cause drought, flood, tornado, earthquake, volcano, forest fire, mudslide, blizzard, avalanche, heat wave or famine ... did I leave anything out?

      I know these things are not news to any of you ... I just needed say them ...

                                  *** Coy ***



Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Calm After The Storm

     The day after Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year. After a month long frenzy of preparing for the holiday celebration, the day has come and gone and it begins to feel like the calm after the storm.

     I usually seem to use this as a day of reflection on the year past and to anticipate the year to come. I drove to the beach today, it was warm and very windy here. (Heres a filtered photo of what things looked like here today). Our beach is still closed off for renovations after the hurricane but I did find some sand to walk on where I could breathe in some salt air and give thanks for the opportunity to live in my minds idea of paradise. (I love South Florida)

     Later in the day I found myself reaching for some of my old books that are as comforting as old friends and I began to reread about the things I feel are most important in life.

     My goals and commitments for the coming year are very clear ...  simplify, take charge, acquire happiness, cleanse regularly, maintain nutritional balance reestablish the habit of physical fitness, define my purpose and balance my life and my relationships with others.

     I did a few weeks of cleansing diet early in the month, I also ended up indulging in the festivities of the holiday with the best of them (you heard our Christmas Eve menu) OMG that potato soup was absolutely sinful.

     I'll be picking up where I left off and I'm preparing my self to make some serious commitments for the New Year, by this time next week I will be ready and hopefully shouting "BRING IT ON"

                                 *** Coy ***


Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Mad Hatters

     My niece Brittney found this funky, pink, fine lady hat while shopping this season with her new college chums in Ft. Myers. She decided that she had to have the hat and that we should all wear hats for Christmas Eve Dinner.

     Hmmm ... we don't really do hats here in South Florida but thought for her we could give it a try. Everyone's hats were supposed to remain a secret that we would surprise every one with on the big night.

     I stressed over finding the right hat and was torn between a fine felt red feathered hat with a netting (lady luck) or a really cool straw hat from Tommy Bahama it's made by the Shady Brady Hat Co. (cute).

     Mom wore her red hat, you know the one in the "when I'm an old woman poem."

 click here for poem

     I decorated my new Straw Shady Brady with a poinsettia, Mandy's little black hat was cute as can be dressed up in green and red with a tiny Christmas Bear and Theresa bought a black fine ladys hat similar to the red one I was contimplating (great minds think alike ahh ... sort of).

     Our family has been known to be pretty corny at times (some times more than others), even the boy's played along ... good sports, right?

     Our Christmas Eve dinner was 5 courses that took us from 4:00 until 11:30 to finish "ugh." In-between courses we played dominoes and tried out a little relaxation practice (early Christmas presents) with Origins Sensory Therapy (if you have not tried it you should), vibrating scalp massagers and the greatest microwavable, herbal scented heating pads for head, neck, feet and back. Ahhhh .... 

     My sister said that these photos are not the kind you want plastered all over the Internet and she's right but ... here in my journal it's just me and you guys and we're like family, right?

     Ah ... does anyone else have a problem conveying your excitement about your J-Land friends to your real life friends and family? Mine usually look at me like I'm crazy or something if I mention one of you in passing conversation as if we were friends. They just don't get it ... but I guess they don't have to, right?

     Anyway after dinner we opened another early Christmas present (matching pajamas for everybody) YaY! after a meal like that it was so nice to slip into some brand new comfy jammies. We always have Christmas breakfast together the next morning (it's when we open presents) and everyone comes over in their jammies for bagels orange juice and eggs. (it's a long standing family tradition).

     Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas and T, don't worry about the jammie pictures being posted, were all family here ... lol

                       *** Coy ***    


Friday, December 24, 2004

A Few Hours to Go Until The Eve Before Christmas


     My Mother has her table set for our Christmas Eve Dinner tonight. The Menu is simple but ... it's all about presentation around here.

     We will start with potato soup, not just any potato soup ... it's Shirt Tail Charlie's famous potato soup recipe, my Moms specialty. Ahhh Slo ... someday we will have to have a potato soup cook off, your Moms recipe always makes my mouth water when I see it in your journal. 

     We will also have the worlds best Caesar Salad ... yep it doesn't get any better than this, raw egg, anchovies and all. Standing Rib Roast with Rosemary (Mooo ... none for me please, I'll take fish) We will also have Garlic Shrimp yum... I'll try to post the recipe, just don't have time right now. Green beans, roasted potatoes and squash and rolls. Simple ... very simple.

     We are not much on desert, we've got a few store bought pies in there ... apple, pumpkin and pecan. If we don't eat it today it will be good for breakfast next week, nothing like that after New Years. Back to the diet, back to the gym.


     The wrapping is under control, nothing like having to stay up all night Christmas Eve wrapping, (it could have happened as late as I was running this year).

     Oh, and lets not forget the real reason for the season. Hope everyone's Christmas will be filled with family and friends and if that's not possible because of a grudge someone is holding, I urge you to pick up that phone and do everything you can to make amends, or make yourself accessible to someone else that may need to make amends. Life is short, very short and there is nothing more important than our family and friends. 

                              Merry Christmas

                                 *** Coy ***

Thursday, December 23, 2004

If one were so inclined (or had the time)

    Well, it didn't stay cold (OK cool) here for very long, we had a couple of days where it got down in the 40's at night it was a nice break and now it's almost 80 again. Soooo ... no white Christmas here, no snowman on the front lawn but ... you could make a really cool sandman at the beach, if one were so inclined (or had the time). Maybe next week.

     Spent yesterday doing a little more shopping, I went alone this time (I get so much more accomplished by myself) just have a few small things to finish up today. 

     Brittney (my niece) is home from college, we spent the entire evening wrapping together last night. A lot of my stuff was already there because I've done so much of my shopping with my sister, I brought over the rest.

     It seems that the preparation work has been the highlight of the season so far, the shopping the wrapping the interruptions to play cards with our friends and neighbors, lunches out with my mother, mall trips with Mandy. The journey's been almost as great as the final destination.

                                  Happy Thursday

                                     *** Coy *** 


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Full of good intentions

     The card below is a handmade J-Land Card I got in the mail yesterday from England, It's one of my favorites this year. Thanks Amy ... Loves Peccarys <-- click Another one of my favorites was from Jersey Girl <-- click it's a winter photo card of her girls and the greyhound on the Jersey Shore ... Brrr ... thanks Nettie.

     I was full of good intentions to get a little artsy with my Christmas Cards this year, hand made deco or maybe an original painting ... at the very least a favorite photo card.

     Even with all of the time I've had off this month I let the holiday slip right up on me and ended up sending store bought cards instead, some of you should be getting yours about now. This is the photo I would have used if I sent a photo card, It's a close up of the flowers on the Old Country Rose table my mother set for a Christmas Party earlier in the season for some of her friends. Very Christmassy, don't you think?

Oh well ... theirs always next year ... maybe I should start now  :.:.:.big sigh:.:.:.

                             *** Coy ***

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

Here in Sunny South Florida.  

     So we may not have a White Christmas this year or any year for that matter, we still know how to prepare for the holiday's. We have had some cool weather this week, we're only talking in the 40's but it is a nice change from the 80's that we've been having up until now.

     This entire month has been filled with festive moments and holiday like happenings for me and I'm loving every minute of it. As hectic as things have been I have not had time to collect my thoughts to make many clever entries here in Dancing in the Rain, a quick update here in there seems all that I can manage but ... I'm doing my best to keep up with your journals and the important things going on with my friends old and new here in J-land and I appreciate all the great comments and e-mails I get from all of you each day.

     The photo above was taken at the mall yesterday (I hate to even use the "M" word). The kids were scurrying around down there in that colorful and funky little activity area and I thought it would make an interesting photo, I like it.

     My Office Holiday Party was Sunday night, I adore spending time with the people I work with away from the office, so far it was one of the highlights of the season for me.

     I was E.O.Y. this year actually, I tied with Brad for E.O.Y this year, we were not invited on the company trip this year like last year, the prize was $$$$ instead. Oh, and I just got an I'M from David saying I won the drawing for a Karaoke machine from work too, I'll go pick that up later and maybe if it's quiet enough there we can even try it out.

     Yesterday I got out and about early in the day with my Mom, I put a few packages in the mail to Louisiana for Angie and Joey, my two older kids. (I miss them so) and then we went to Panara Bread for lunch and took a drive out to some of our favorite shops out in Parkland and then ... yep ... the mall (hard to avoid right now).

     On our way home my sister called to see if I wanted to go shopping, an invitation to do anything with her this time of year is pretty hard to turn down, this is right in the middle of her busiest season with the party decorating. We went to the Wellington Mall, my first time there. The photo above was taken there.

     After shopping, we went back to her house to wrap and wrap and wrap ... we had a welcome interruption, it was an invitation to play cards with the neighbors. Texas Holdem it was fun as always.

     Hope everyone is enjoying this season as much as I am, just wanted to check in. Gotta go, I've already been sitting here longer than I had intended.

                                               *** Coy *** 

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Bahama Breeze

     The best part of spending the whole day helping my Mother with her Christmas shopping yesterday was having lunch with her and my Dad at the Bahama Breeze.

     If you are ever out this way, this would be a great place to try. Caribbean food, nice atmosphere and live music at dinner time. This time of year there is usually quite a wait, especially at night but they have a huge gazebo outside by the water where you can get drinks and appetizers while you wait.

     Even with all of my time off this month, I did not get my holiday preparations finished early like some of you. It does look like I will be out there until the final hour, trying to get things wrapped up.

     I am doing my best to embrace the hustle & bustle of the season and enjoy the decorating, the shopping, the holiday parties, the Christmas card exchanges, deciding on which favorite holiday recipes to use and which traditions to recreate this year. 

     Hopefully I will find some time this week to stop and enjoy the music, the lights, the decorations and the laughter that the season brings. I love this time of year, busy or not.

     Hoping each one of you will find some time to enjoy the little things that matter most this week.

                                       *** Coy ***

Friday, December 17, 2004

Shop 'Till You Drop

     I hate the mall, I hate the mall with a Purple Passion. I avoid making unnecessary trips to the mall at all cost.

    This time of year it's almost impossible not to make a few trips, even if it's just to see what's out there. Last night was one of those nights for me.

     After working all day and then spending 2  1/2 hours at the hospital visiting a friend that so needed the company, my sister called and asked me to meet her at the mall.

     Our shopping styles and our budget are complete polar opposites, when you are shopping with Theresa ... you are shopping to buy.  

     All in all it was a pretty successful outing "note to self, never start the shopping off at the book store and with tools for Dad," no one want's to carry that stuff around all night.

     Can you imagine the girl with almost the whole month of December off has not gotten her shopping under control. Ugh ... 

                                *** Coy ***

      Oh, the photo above is of my sister at the end of an exhausting night.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Brrr ... From South Florida

       Today is really our first winter like day here in South Florida, didn't get cold enough to bring the orchids in but it defiantly jacket weather today.

     The graphic above is from my first J- Land Christmas Card, it's from Connie. Isn't the little bear so cute? I'll be out of town tonight and have some catching up to do when I get back.

     Hope every one is enjoying the magic of the season.

                               *** Coy ***

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hard Rock Christmas

    I had a night out with the girls last night. Yep ... you guessed it, we went to the Hard Rock Casino. The place looked great, it was all dressed up for Christmas.

     Have I ever mentioned that I am not much of a gambler?  Despite the fact that you may have seen several Hard Rock entries in Dancing in the Rain this year and then there are the Texas Holdem' games at my sister's ... oh and that Caribbean Cruise I went on with work this year. Hmmm ...

 Ok, so I do a little bit of gambling but it's for entertainment purposes only. My gambling strategy is pretty simple...

      Know how much you are going to play with before you walk through the door, not usually more than the price of a nice dinner and a show, ahhh ... additional visits to the ATM machine are not good, forgo the free drinks, only raise your bets when you are ahead, If lady luck leaves you in the middle of a winning streak then walk away from the table.

      Oh yea, another strategy I'm working on is to try and give all of my winnings back to the nice people at the casino before I leave so they can keep sending me comp tickets to come back and spend more money with them.

      The almost one month of vacation continues, actually tomorrow starts the almost part. I will be working this week on the day shift. Vacation resumes next Saturday. 

     I just happend to notice that my journal has passed the 10,000 visitor mark, Wow... who would have ever thought?  

     Thank all of you for visiting me here and for leaving your great comments behind, I consider many of the friendships I have made here a real blessing.

                                      *** Coy *** 


Friday, December 10, 2004

An extra 8 hours in a day

       So I'm not off on adventure in some far away land, I'm still enjoying every single minute of my vacation. For those of you that read Dancing in the Rain, you've probably noticed that I'm using my time off to do the same things I do every day after work, I just have an extra 8 hours in the day to do them in right now. YAY ...

       Yesterday I had plenty of time to leisurely get some things done around the house, spent a little extra time here in J-Land, had time to post an entry and to take a photo of a few unexpected front door guests (photo below)


       I spent the afternoon at my sisters house, it's practically unheard of for her to have a day off in December. She spent the whole day at home getting bids from landscapers. This is a photo of a new orchid in bloom on her patio.  


     Several different people stopped by for a visit while I was there, I love unexpected surprises. I'll bet if we all had an extra 8 hours in our day's we would spend a whole lot more time visiting with our family and friends (close up of the orchid)


       Little Miss Genevieve was spending the day with Theresa, she was not feeling good and did not go to school. I didn't take any new pictures of her but here is one of her and her cousin Jac at Thanksgiving. How cute are they?

      Awww ... I remember how excited we were waiting for her to get here from Romania just a few short months ago.  


        I left in plenty of time to make it to Loxahatchee to try and get a perfect sunset photo. This time of year, between 5:30 and 6:00 the sun begins to set and the sky looks as if it ison fire. Although it was a beautiful sunny day, at sunset there was a thick layer of clouds just above the horizon. The clouds completely blocked Mother Natures most magnificent light show. See the clouds?  


      I was not the only one enjoying this magic time of day... Here is a photo of my unexpected companion, we watched what should have been a spectacular sunset together.

     I'll keep searching for the perfect sunset while I'm off, I'll keep you posted. Hey Jersey Girl, how is your sunset on the bay project coming along?  


      When I left the park, I drove out to the Coral Square Mall to try and get a little shopping done. While I was there, my friend Mary Lou called when I told her where I was she said she was close by and wanted to meet me there, that was another unexpected surprise. We shopped, we walked, we talked ... the mall was all decked out for Christmas.  


      At the end of the evening we ended up at the food court for some stir fried veggies. We did a whole lot of chatting, laughing, confessing, you know ... girl talk. While we were sitting there, I got another unexpected surprise, Mandy snuck up behind us with huge hugs and lot's of chitter chattering to do.

       Now what do you think the chances are of bumping right into each other in a place like that? I love my little girl and I miss her so. When she said all that needed saying, she disappeared as mysteriously as she had appeared. It was just a little extra unscripted visit with my beautiful daughter.  


         We were nearly the last ones out of the mall, and it was after 11:00 when I got home. I had time to check my E-Mail and do a little catching up with new journal entries and then one of the best parts of the day was a long conversation with a close friend that lasted until 3:30 in the morning.Yea ... that was one of the best parts of the day.    

                                        *** Coy ***       

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you want to do?          

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Bleeding Heart

     No ... not my heart .... (thank God)

     It's the flowers outside my backdoor that are looking exceptionally great today, don't ya think? They are bleeding hearts, anyone else have these?

      It's great having a little time off ... time to my self to take notice of the sometimes overlooked grandeur that fills my life.

     It's easy to get so wrapped up in the 6 day a week grind, easy to get disconnected with the things around me that stir my soul and inspire creative expression in my life.

     Ahhh ... relax, reconnect and rejuvenate ...

                        *** Coy ***

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Ahhh ...

     Great new haircut, nice fresh highlights, manicure, pedicure ... yea ... really good day today.

    My almost month long vacation continues. I spent a large part of the day at the Hair Salon where Mandy works ... looking good ... feeling good ... nothing like getting all freshened up:-)

     Another project I got accomplished today was getting a package ready to put in the mail for my niece Brittney. Her birthday is on Friday. This year she is away at college and has been home almost every weekend since she has been away but not the weekend of her birthday. Hmmm ... what's up with that?

     It's always been hard to get focused on holiday shopping until the birthday thing is under control and then Mandy's is on January 13th, still have time to worry about that one later.

     I'm still on the detox diet, ( I did cheat on the Jungle Queen night) so many of you have E-mailed and left comments regarding that. More details later I promise, for now you can get a basic idea HERE 

     The photo above is one I took at the beach yesterday. The light is so different this time of year and yes there were plenty of people swimming. I liked the photo as it was but I liked it even more after I ran it through a filter, looks like a painting:-)

                                night all

                              *** Coy ***


Monday, December 6, 2004

Tourist in our own town

Just sit right back and you'll here a tale,

a tale of a fateful trip,

that started from this tropic port,

aboard this great big ship.

(well ... riverboat)

The mate was a mighty back up man,

The rest were brave and sure.


Six passengers set sale that day,

Jo and Barb missed the boat,

for the four hour tour.


The weather it was beautiful,

the Christmas lights were great


If not for the courage of the fearless crew,

dinner would be late, dinner would be late.

The ship set ground on the shore of this

enchanting private isle, for a barbecue 

and a dinner show,


Here on Jungle Queen Isle.


OK, I'll stop now, sorry about the song thing ... kind of ...

     They say it's not where you're at, it's who you're with that counts and that could not have been more true on Saturday night. A group of us from work got together to be tourists in our own town ... it was great, we did have fun. Jo and Barb really did miss the boat by a matter of a minute or two at the most (sorry girls).

     The pictures came out really bad so I ran them through a filter so you and get a vague idea of what the night looked like. I take much better photos when I go places alone and I'm having less fun, well different fun. Hey Alb, there was a little juggling man there, you would have liked it (he was cute too ;-)

     If any of you are ever here in South Florida, I highly recommend a night out on the Jungle Queen. <--- check it out.

     And the almost month of vacation continues ...

                              *** Coy ***

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Air Brushed Lives, Detox, Charles Dickens, Fidle Castro and Nuclear Chain Reactions


     Today is December second, day two of my almost month long vacation. I've spent a little extra time in J-Land over the past few day's catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones as well.

     I'm sitting here thinking how much more honest and real the entries you find here are, compared to the ones you find on the glossy pages of some magazine.

     Every life has it's share of hard times and I'm sure that if we were to read the real stories of the airbrushed and celebrated lives of some of the most glamorous people, we would find that their lives are not that much more charmed than our own. 

     Today is also the second day of my cleansing diet, foods to avoid on a detox diet ... processed and refined foods, alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, wheat, salt and sugar.

     137 years ago today, Charles dickens, gave his first public reading in the United States at the New York City Theater, It was not "A Christmas Carol."  <--- click

     43 years ago Cuban Leader Fidel Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism. Hmmm ... bad move for the Cuban people, heres and entry I wrote a while back on what things are like there now. Cuba <--- click

    62 years ago today, the very first nuclear chain reaction was initiated below the bleachers at the University of Chicago, during the Manhattan Project. The following coded message was then sent to President Roosevelt. "The Italian Navigator has just landed in the New World"

     Nuclear weapons have since been used twice for war, both times by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I guess we can at least be thankful that we are not going to this extreme in Iraq :.:. sigh :.:.

                  random thoughts as my vacation continues...

                           *** Coy ***

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

The month of the vacation, day one

     I spent my first day of vacation, hanging out in J-land much longer than usual this morning. I've done a little blog hopping in some new journals over the last day or two and it seems we've got a bit of new talent out there. (More people to love in J-Land)

     I did start a cleansing diet this morning, it's not often that I have the opportunity to lay low for a few days so I can start a proper detox. (more about that later)

     I took a nap from 12:00 to 1:00 and then got some things done around here. Laundry mostly. I had a nice salad for lunch, a little olive oil and lemon juice only and a cold glass of sparkling water.

     Mandy called around 2:00, we had a nice chat and discussed our shopping trip coming up on Friday. I love my little girl:-)

     At 4:00, I hit the pavement, wanted to at least get out there a bit, into the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It  wasn't to crazy out there, I had no problem finding a parking spot at any of the places I went.

    I have not even started my shopping yet ... gasp! Historically speaking, I usually have things under control by now but not this year.

    If any of you can help with ideas to simplify my shopping, what to give and where to get it, please let me know. I'm not really talking charitable contributions or volunteering of time here, hopefully I've got that part under control starting with helping to create a little Christmas Magic for Cameron. <--- I mean the shopping.

     I ended up at Panara Bread for dinner, had another salad. This time it was a Caesar, yep complete with creamy dressing lot's of parmesan and sourdough croutons. Not exactly on the list for a detox diet but ... I did forgo the perfect piece of sourdough bread and extra Caesar dressing for dipping that usually comes with the salad.

     The healthiest part of that salad was the fact that I ate it outside, just a few feet from my gym. I saw a few people that I know from the gym and now I'll be meeting someone there tomorrow for a work out. I've only been about 10 times in the last 6 months. shhh ...

      I talked to my friend Mary Lou on the phone and we made plans to hang out together a little next week. She was busy putting up all of her Christmas Decorations, she lives on the Intercoastal so they have to get ready for the Boat Parade.

     After dinner I spent a couple of hours at Barnes and Nobel snuggled up in one of their overstuffed chairs, checking out some new books. I did skip my usual Jamba Juice, while they are quite healthy they have an enormous number of calories in them, (maybe next time).

     The picture above is of a car that looked like it was abandoned on the side of the road. I hope some kids didn't take it out and just dump it there. It looked so out of place but made for a nice picture.

              Tomorrow the vacation continues

                        Good Night All

                         *** Coy ***    

It's the first day of December

   Thanksgiving is now behind us and it's time to start decking my halls and doing my Christmas shopping.


     It's the first day of December and the first day of my almost month long vacation, I've got so many things to do.

     It's the first day of December and today is Rosa Parks Day<--- In 1955 she was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white bus rider, we all know the story.

     It's the first day of December and it's World Aids Day. <-- Aids has killed over 20 million people since the first cases were diagnosed in 1981. This years theme is "Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS.

     It's the first day of December and I'm sitting here thinking about civil rights in our country, a country that's foundation has been based on the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness since 1776.

     It's the first day of December and I'm sitting here wondering how it could have ever been a law, that because of the color of your skin you were not permitted to drink out of a public water fountain, use a public restroom or sit where you wanted to on a bus. 

     It's the first day of December and I'm sitting here thinking that for so long, people in this country have acted with violence, hostility, and semitism to other people in this country based on their religious beliefs. We're not talking Germany here folks, we're talking this country where our constitution clearly states that "all men are created equal."

   It's the first day of December and I really want to know how one group of people in this country can tell another group of people in this country that they do not have the same rights, benefits and protections of marriage, under the federal law as the rest of us. We're talking simple everyday rights to family medical leave, spousal social security benefits, rights to immigration petitions or employer based medical coverage for their spouse.

     It's the first day of December and I am thinking that as a middle class, white, heterosexual woman, some people might say these things are not really my problem. To that I would ask "then why am I sitting here with my thoughts as tangled as my mangrove photo above, feeling like they are?"

                                  *** Coy ***