Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Olive Grove Painting

Spent the morning finishing my Ancient Olive Tree (grove) painting.

From this...

and the trunk...

And finally finished 

I love the gnarled look of the 900 year old Olives...unlike Live Oaks which stretch like a hand out of the ground...olives tend to Y.  They look like wide open arms waiting for a return embrace.

Ready to be sealed!

Since the Virtual Sicilian Adventure is over I have also found something made of Olive Wood as a souvenir.


Hand carved in Sicily to hold fruit or will arrive soon!

Enjoy your weekend!
More Anon...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Brantley Ryan...Book and Movie Review...Take a Knee and More

Here he honorary great-grandson!

And the proud Grandma...Nicole.

Passed around like champagne on a holiday!

"Hey wouldn't know who is in charge here, would you?"

Even Aiden held him.

Perfect..handsome and looking just like Dad already!

This week's amazing movie

A bittersweet film about growing up in a poor but loving family with an  alcoholic father...and mostly about coming to terms with what life throws you and unfulfilled dreams. 

Excellent film,  and cannot wait to read the book!

Finished my Summer TBR Pile with Pieces of Happiness by Annie Ostby.

Which I thought was going to be a light "beach book" but turned out to be so much more.

Five childhood friends grown estranged through the long years...all in their 60's now...abandoning their unfinished lives to live their last years out together on a Fijian Cocoa Plantation which is owned by one of their group (Kat). 

It deals with insecurity and vanity, widowhood and love, adult children who fail to launch and those who hover, betrayal within their group, Alzheimer's Disease and Cancer, Death and Loss...and so much more.

Not light reading at all.

It does,however, spotlight overcoming adversity, and deciding to make the REST of your life the BEST of your life.

As well as a detailed description of the group's foray into making chocolate from raw bean which they later market as 

Kat's Chocolate: Little Pieces  of Happiness.

Actually, the book led to a future project for me.

I have never attempted making chocolate from Raw Bean through the Conching Process...but I AM soon!

So there is that.

Of course, assuming you haven't been locked in a closet since  last weekend, you have undoubtedly heard about The Mango Marauder’s completely unhinged tweet-storm concerning The NFL and #Takeaknee.

Personally...I still think the great thing about being an American is living in a Country where you are (suppose to be) free to Take a Knee or Stand...without your intent or patriotism questioned.  

I served.  It wasn't for some piece of cloth or an anthem. It was for The Constitution  For what America STANDS.

Of course, Dimwit Donnie whipped his base into a frothing at the mouth frenzy. Calling taking the knee tantamount to treason. Wrapping himself so tightly in the flag it is amazing he doesn't have Stars and Bars on his ass. angry.
And YOU need to be angry as well..he says.

Funny thing....The Internet. It seems that everything you have ever written (or in this case tweeted) stays forever. And can be found.

Please note the date on this tweet...when Donnie John apparently felt a little bit differently about our flag. 

For what it is worth

and to those who have chided me with we should be taking a knee for those who died (referring to the military) 

I fully agree. We should be taking a knee for the dead.

Military and otherwise.

I believe that is how the whole #takeaknee business started...last year.

And, somebody finally clued the Howling Hitler-Wanna-Be into the fact that Puerto Ricans are AMERICANS.

It only took almost 2 weeks.


The governor is brilliant, though...letting everyone know that if he doesn't start getting some real help...they will have to start evacuating everyone to the American Mainland.

"...they aren't refugees,sir, they're Americans...yes have to let them in..."

Miz Cleo has a new prediction...well a couple actually.

1.  They will do whatever it takes to keep the whole evacuation to the Mainland from!

2. The insane tweet-storm (which had not happened since John Kelly came onboard) signifies that John may not  be long  for this Administration.

The man is a well-decorated General in the Marines. He does not suffer fools lightly.

I predict him being fired or resigning...soon. 

I think he needs to do it before becoming forever fouled by the decaying stench of Trump, myself.

The last Kelly sighting was Alabama where Trump trotted him onstage...a human military prop...and he said nothing.

We will see.

About decaying stench...

It looks as though the 3rd attempt at Repeal and Replace: Graham-Cassidy has flatlined....again....

No pre-cordial thump is going to bring this baby back.

Hopefully anyway.

Trump has lashed out at the members of his own party who sunk his healthcare battleship...especially war hero John McCain.

Because he has soooo much respect for our Vets, you see...unless they happen to vote their conscience instead of walking the party line. 

The Zombie Bill will be back, though. Mitch realized today he didn't have the votes and shelved the damned thing.
So it will be back.

We need to be ready for it. 

Miz Cleo thinks that we better stand together at the Midterm Elections 2018 and help take the Senate Majority back...and here is WHY...

Right now...they are having Enlightened Self Interest Moments before the election. They know that they can't piss us off too badly or BOOM they are out of a job.

But after the midterms...yeah...they don't even have to pretend they care any more.  True Story.


Too Cynical? 



Keep Resisting.
More Anon...

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy Proposal...North Korea...and Politics

In a scenario, which is getting to feel more and more like Bill Murry's Groundhog's Day, after 60+ tries...the GOP is trying once more to dispatch the ACA (Obamacare)

It is a GOP ZOMBIE effort...The Zombie Bill... it just won't fucking die.

This time they have hastily thrown it together in just two weeks, and renamed it The Graham-Cassidy Proposal.

You can polish a turd...wrap it in expensive shiny colorful paper...festoon it with bright ribbons...tuck in a gift card...but in the end...when it is unwrapped...yep...still a turd, and stinks to high heaven.

And huge thanks to Susan Collins, John McCain, all the Democrats, and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski- as well as everyone in The Resistance who have stood and continue to stand side by side to STOP this bill which stands to throw hundreds of millions off healthcare and gives huge tax breaks to the 1%.

Our Orange Abomination coming out to say that the bill does NOT let insurance companies refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions. But they can charge you out the ass for them.What he fails to tell you or hopes we don't notice is that the funds earmarked for this bill are to be disbursed in block grants to each individual cover or not cover as they see fit. 

Wait.  Didn't we fight (and win) a whole Civil war to prevent the states from just doing whatever the hell they like...damn the people?

Give your Senator a call today and keep up the pressure


Meanwhile Scott Pruitt...which His Marmaladeness appointed as the Head of the EPA watches as three (count em 3) CAT 5 hurricanes rip through the Caribbean devastating several islands including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands  (whose citizens ARE American Citizens by-the-way) and STILL has the audacity to say

"Now is not the time to discuss global warming."

It is insane...

It is like having your doctor tell you that you have diabetes...then follow it up with

"But now is not the time to discuss dietary SUGAR reduction."

Or your neighbor telling you your house is on fire and when you ask to call the fire department him sayng

"Oh Bob, now is certainly NOT the time to discuss the fire department."

 and meanwhile the Tangerine Tyrant is still vocalizing his disbelief in Global Warming/Climate Change.

Jesus Wept.

Good news, may become moot because he has managed to piss off another world leader who is as insane as he is...

This Guy

Who has been testing missiles...and noted as early as this morning he is going to test a Hydrogen Bomb over the Pacific soon...oh, and that he thinks Trump is insane.

How nuts do you have to be to have Kim Jong Un  (a bull-goose looney himself) refer to you as insane.

Think about that for a minute.

And if we do manage to not be wiped away by a hurricane or a wildfire or F-5 tornado...or Earthquake...or a disgruntled unhinged North Korean Leader...

There is THIS GUY

David Meade.

Biblical researcher who insists that Saturday we will be hit by Planet X...which he calls Nibiru...the beginning of the Apocalypse.


"I read it on Facebook,'s got to be true."

Having personally survived multiple  "...the world is ending..." deadlines...let's just say it gets less and less scary each time, and I'm skeptical.

In fact I've already made plans for Sunday.

So if you are part of The me...keep fighting the good fight.

If your Senators are going to vote No on Graham-Cassidy, or even if you just want to tweet an attaboy to one that is going to...please do.

And let's keep encouraging Mueller with his on-going investigation.

One day this Presidency might just be a tiny embarrassing blip in history books.

More Anon.... 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day...and (maybe) the arrival of a Little Pirate,too!

Woke this morning with a smile on my face, and remembering Bill and all the Talk-Like-A-Pirate Days we enjoyed of our favorite holidays.  From the first "...there be coffee, wench?" to  the last "Arrrrr..." of the night...we both loved it. Through-out the day e-mailing a running piratical commmentary about our day, co-workers, or  interaction with friends.

"Hogging the copier? I suggest you run him through! Arrrrr..."

"Avast ye scurvy dog...I'll be pillaging the bank at noon, then!"

TLAPD began in 1995...but really didn't take off until Dave Barry did a column about it in 2002.

Needless to say, we celebrated every one thereafter.

Today not only am I celebrating...but also may be the honorary great-grandma of a Little Pirate of my own- if he arrives before Midnight.

Brittany (Amelia Rose's Mom...and Nicole's adopted/honorary daughter) is at 40 weeks and is being induced today.

It is a Land Before Time Moment:

"Come OUT.  You are LATE!

It will be so cool if Brantley makes it in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Amelia honorary Great Grand-Daughter, and Brittany.

Believe is an honor! 

More anon...

Update from Nicole:  As of 6:30 this morning...STILL no Brantley. So he won't be a pirate...but will be here today (9-20)

 Cant wait!!!

He has arrived!  Brantley Ryan...

         "What's a guy gotta do to get a cup of coffee around here????"

Monday, September 18, 2017

(Virtual) Trapani,Sicily

All the way up to the third corner of the island today!


A city, seemingly, built around salt.

So, it seems appropriate to  start today's tour with the saline beds.

Windmills pump the sea water into shallow beds for evaporation and the result (after evaporation and raking) is piles of what appears to be never-melting snow; but is,in fact, sea salt.

Trapani Salt Production

Sosalt Tour

And if you can purchase genuine salt from Trapani here > Salt %26 Pepper > Salts&kwid=bingproductads-adid^11472831019-device^c-plaid^1100309429772-sku^1520357@ADL10BMC-adType^PLA

I have also found it on eBay.

Museo delle Saline

It is no surprise,then- that they have a museum dedicated to the area's salt production through history. The Phoneticians developed and used these salt pans.

Tour of Museo delle Saline

But Trapani offers much more than salt.

Erice-Trapani also offers

 Cable Cars to the top

Gondola to Erice

Medieval Town and Cobble Streets.

Tour of Erice

Complete with not just one,but two castles.

                                                        Erice Castle

And last, and perhaps best in my opinion

Baia Santa Margherita

Beautiful coast.Sliver of a beach. 

Turquoise water giving way to that deep Mediterranean Blue.

What's not to love?


With this, a fitting ending, to our Sicilian Adventures.


Only the painting to finish now!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

We All Float...

Soon you'll float, too!

Today's Morning Cup begins with a if you STILL haven't seen the latest release of IT...turn away now-

Wow!  Caught this on Monday. I loved Tim Curry as Pennywise...but this one was 100x scarier...better.  Bill Skarsgard's depiction was darker...more threatening...even the muted colours in his suit and make-up was closer to the clown I imagined while reading the book all those years back.

Unlike the original motion picture this one divided the book into halves...making it much easier to transfer to the wide screen. Instead of trying to pack the story of the children and their adult counterparts into one film. They have spent the entire first film telling the children's stories...building background.

The Sequel will be the continuation of them as adults. 

Great casting. Good score. I don't usually care for re-makes...but this is indefinitely better than the original.

Well worth your time and money. 

Can't wait for the Sequel.

Finished the latest Stephen King novel, as well, this week.

A Collection of Short Horror Stories from the Master of the Genre. Enjoyable but not spectacular. Good, but certainly not his best. After Joyland and the Mr. Mercedes Trilogy, it may be that I just enjoy his psychological thrillers more than the overt killer car type stories,now.

A book that is nice to go through slowly. Read one story. Digest it. Read another tomorrow. 

Worth a look see.

I've spent most of the week recovering from that kidney infection and regaining my strength ( well as dealing with the side effects of Amox 875...bleah) Slowly pulling it back together. 

Have made a start on Fall Decorating...but far from finished.

I do have a wonderful Spiced Pumpkin Jarred Candle and have also (already) baked Cinnamon Bread Pudding, Cherry Crostada and Pumpkin Spice Cookies through the week to take the morning chill off the house,  Also to accompany my favorite Fall Tea: Bigelow Orange Spice.

Tina is into her EMT Clinicals and doing very well.

Chris just received this

His Five Year Service Award...and now has 3 weeks paid vacation!

He is busy with his Network Plus Course and has been learning Coding.

Lennon (and his Gran) made it safely back from Evacuation...although the drive

"sucked hard"

and he had to be back to work immediately-

They were extremely fortunate and came home to a mess but no structural damage and the power was ON!!!!

James and Nicole and the kids added a member to their family this week

Brenden's new buddy

"Dino" the Ferret

He is just too cute.

Emma made the paper!

Excelling in Math!
 Nicole says James deserves some  of the credit for working with her.

And all the kids made bath crafts with Nicole

All of our Florida friends and family cleaning up a lot of debris, water or both. Several still without power...but everyone back from evacuation and basically unscathed. 

Overall everyone very blessed.

A new positive development with Shelby, as well. Not only is she now sleeping with me nightly, but when I wake in the morning she has started this habit of holding my forearm to her as she sleeps like a teddy bear. I wake with this fuzzy gauntlet wrapped round my!

I am the cat's "woobie".

Apparently, I have finally became her person.

Last weekend was the first pot of Grandpa's Chili fixed this Fall...and tomorrow I am doing a kettle of Ham and Beans.

Fall Food at Last!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Shel and her "mousie"