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April 3, 2012 at 3:41 PM Leave a comment

Meow

There is a biologist who makes a small fortune from our government studying woodpeckers. Oh the things I learn while workamping for the  Wildlife Management. A person who studies birds  is an ornithologist. A person who studies and accounts for the woodpecker population is a pecker checker. 



Lately my sleep has been interrupted often, not sure what’s up with that. I would love to be able to sleep 5-6 hours at a time, but my body has other ideas of merely cat-napping. Meow.  Maybe I am really just a cat who thinks I am human.  Isn’t that how cats think?  


Mermaid?  Maybe not. I think I am really just a cat. Meow. 

For lack of fur, I’ve learned to change clothes several times a day, in itself frustrating.  In the mornings I am dressed for a blizzard, to ward off the winds and cold temps. By mid afternoon, I’m  dressing for a cool summery day. It seems crazy to be wearing socks, boots, leggings, pants, sweaters, coats  in the morning, then sandals and a sundress after lunch. 


All this clothing-changing statically overcharges my hair some days . Recently, it was so charged up that it was slowly flying around my head like I was possessed by the devil. Even worse, I hate those little static shocks when I ground onto something. They make me yelp so loud, the dog was giving me startled looks. You know… the kind that silently says “You’re one crazy cat!”



Meow. 


Right when I figured out how to stay warm on just portable electric heat in my little old motorhome, the temps decided to go up. After a few 29F nights, we’ve been suddenly treated to a toasty 39F this morning. Daytime temps are slowly climbing back up from the 50’s to the 70’s. Thank goodness, because I really don’t like being cooped up inside like a hibernating cave dweller.  I’ve had a really hard time dealing with the outside frigid temps.  I need to grow some thick winter fur for sure. Meow. 


I mentioned before that I wear men’s house slippers because my feet are short and wide with a high instep. Women’s slippers tend to be so narrow, that I can’t wear them without deforming my toes or foot or both. Awhile back I bought some men’s slippers heavily discounted, so that when winter rolled around, my feet would be warm. I am so grateful to have these nice warm slippers, even if they are a tad masculine.


The first cold night, I dug out my screaming red super soft long sleep shirt to wear. Sadly, it has several holes in it. Is something eating my clothes or is it just old?  You would be surprised how much cold air can sneak inside the holes. Brrr!  Where do these holy clothes come from?  Now that I think about it, this sleep shirt is at least 10+ years old. I used to wear it when I lived in the Caribbean on those nights when temperatures plummeted below 70F, making me shiver and shake. I guess things eventually wear out, being better suited for the garbage than the closet. 


The next night I dug out my  other night shirt. It used to be a bold purple, but now it’s so faded, it only hints at pale lavender. It’s become so threadbare  as to be almost useless. I dare day you can see right through it. Even worse, it has stains on the front. It looks like I prefer eating only half my breakfast and wearing the other half. 


Early one morning, while my shades were still drawn to keep out the frigid cold, someone stopped by, knocking on my door. The mail box is just over a half mile away.  Eight of us share the box. So whoever, empties the box, gets to re-deliver the mail to the other recipients. They do things differently, out here in the boonies. 


So I was startled, to hear the knocking and be caught in my unsightly  threadbare night shirt. I needed my prescription glasses to peek out the window to see who was there. I didn’t see my regular eyeglasses, but since my sunglasses are prescription and they were on the counter, I popped them on to look outside. Seeing it was the mail, I hollered “Be right there!”  Then I grabbed the first thing at hand, which was a long trench coat. Two winters ago, on a very cold day, I bought a used olive green unisex double breasted  trench coat from Goodwill. It drapes just below my knees and is oh so warm on a c-c-c-old day out. I bought this before I bought the jacket (I wrote about the other day.) The coat is  too long to fit in my  closet, so it lives on a hanger, on a decorative mermaid hook on the wall. I put on the trench coat, hastily buttoning it up, while answering the door.  It completely hid the night shirt, perhaps looking like I was wearing nothing at all under the coat. 


The caller gave me a very strange look, then handed over my mail. I thanked them profusely while they continued to stare at me, jaw agape. 


I guess, now that I think back on it, maybe I did look just a tad unusual, standing there answering my door, wearing men’s bedroom slippers, dressed in a long olive  trench coat, donning dark sunglasses, with my lengthy static-charged hair  slowly flying oddly above and around my head like Madusa.


It reminded me that I think somewhere at some time, I saw a Pink Panther cartoon with the big tall pink cat  dressed the same way, imitaiting the little man that usually chases him around in a trench coat (only he didn’t have long hair flitting about his head.)


Maybe I am really a cat. A very strange eccentric cat. 


Meow. 

My beloved cat.
I miss him every day.
I so wish he would be FOUND.
I foolishly lost him when I flew to America in late 2009.
See Lost Lil Bear Cat


January 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM 2 comments

And The Rest Of It Followed

Airport officials said the nose of the aircraft went off the taxiway, and the rest of the plane followed it into the grass. ”  Quote from:  Plane carrying 150 passengers skids off icy runway and gets stuck in grass  (By the way, no one was injured, just inconvenienced and the plane was fine.)




Does this quote strike anyone else besides me as hilarious?  No need to drug test those pilots, what kind of grass were those airport officials smoking?  


Imagine trying to explain how your car knocked down a utility pole:
“Well officer, the nose of the car hit the pole and the rest of the car followed it…”


Or how about the time I tripped and fell forward while walking down a sloped driveway a few years back…  “My nose hit the ground and the rest of my body followed…”


One time I watched a boat trying to dock, but he came in so fast, he crashed into the dock. “The bow of the boat crashed through the dock and the rest of the boat followed it…”


So what started this hilarity?  Well, I was about to tuck myself into bed tonight, when suddenly a great big jet(?) flew just above the tree tops. Needless to say, it was incredibly  loud.  I opened up my window and screen, then stuck my head outside the RV,  to see WHAT was going on. Seeing as I am 30 miles out in the wilderness, I was expecting a UFO but it appeared to be a large jet coming in for a nearby landing. 

I’ve only been here 2-3 months, but I’ve not ever heard a plane around here at all. However, I have seen a helicopter fly over here once. 



I went on the internet to see what airports were south of me that could accommodate a jet that big. 


Turns out Florida has loads of airports, air strips and air parks. According to google’s map, by golly, there is an air park south of here. Maybe someone chartered a jet to go to their manse there. 


Somehow I ended up on the above news article when google misunderstood what I was searching for. I read and reread that quote;


“Airport officials said the nose of the aircraft went off the taxiway, and the rest of the plane followed it into the grass. “


So, I could easily describe the jet that passed overhead:  The nose of a jet flew by close overhead… and the rest of the plane followed it… Tee hee hee…


I’m going to bed, it’s already c-c-cold here, supposed to get down to 30 effing degrees tonight. 


Oops, I meant 30F degrees.  (Me bad!) 


Night night!  


I am taking my nose to bed…  hopefully the rest of me will follow it.

January 5, 2012 at 5:48 AM 5 comments

A Good Friend

Sunset last night immediately pushed the temperature downwards.

I bet the northerners are laughing themselves silly at how cold I get so easily.  It did get to 34F that I saw last night, not the late 20’s we were told by the weather folks. I just want to slide under the bed covers, staying there until winter is over. 

Yesterday I wrote that. 

Today at 4am, it is down to 29F degrees outside and 64F inside my RV despite the fact that both my electric heaters have been running nonstop all night on high.  In Florida. *sigh*. So by 6am, it may be much colder. I am up writing, because I am restless.  I got up to check to see if the water was still running, to make sure the electric heater was working and to put on more clothes. I even turned on the propane furnace to take the chill off. Mostly I rely on an electric 1500 watt cylindrical ceramic heater. Thanks goodness I have an electric bed warmer, or I would have never been able to sleep as long as I did. Even Harley is wearing a sweater over his doggy T-shirt, plus curled up tightly in a ball under an afghan on the bed. When I took off his filthy sweater last night, he gave me a sad look. Then I pulled out a nice clean sweater, popped that over his head, pulled his front paws through the armholes, tugging the sweater down his belly.  This apparently made him instantly happy again. He treated me to doggy kisses. Yuck!  Doggy germs!

Every window shade is pulled down as far as it will go, to helps keep the cold out. I miss looking out the windows, even at night. The tiny personal 200 watt ceramic heater is in the bathroom helping to keep it toasty in there. I ordered a second one yesterday, because they are so tiny, draw very little power and uber useful. I was using mine to keep my feet warm under the desk. It was originally designed for cubicle workers with cold feet. But then I discovered how nice it works in my compact RV bathroom. I’ve also used it to defrost the freezer in record time. It’s only 3.8 x 4.3 x 6.1 inches.  The 200 watt rating means it won’t trip your circuit breaker.


A lazy way to defrost the freezer in record time…
The Lasko personal heater comes with a long heavy duty cord. 
Here, I have wrapped a bungee cord around it, 
then attached a carabiner to it and the cabinet latch above.
My freezer was so thick with frost, I could no longer insert the ice trays. 
By the time I found a camera to take a picture, it was time to mop out the freezer, it had defrosted so quickly  with the aid of the 200 watt heater. 


Yesterday, I bundled up Harley and myself to go for a doggy walk.  I ran into other workampers who wanted to stand around and chat. I coaxed one into walking with me, as I can’t stand around in frigid temperatures. I need to walk or I’ll pass out. 

On our brisk stroll we found leftovers of an expired hog, who was long ago dead. Harley wanted to rub that stinky scent all over his nice warm doggy sweater. Then the other doggy came out to play. He and Harley had a fun good time wrestling, chasing, play-biting and trying to find the quickest way to get Harley and his  sweater filthy dirty  in as short a time as possible. 

Harley had a rowdy good time. Some of his winter sweaters show puppy wear and tear from enthusiastic play time. The colder it gets, the more Harley wants to run and wrestle with the other dog. 

The winds kicked up to 35+ miles per hour with higher gusts. I could have sailed across the prairie if I had a sail and a rudder on my wheel estate. Many things under my gazebo went flying. I had a heavy table fan out there, we were using  to blow the flies away when they bothered us. Between uses, I tied a garbage bag over it, to protect it from the elements.  It cartwheeled across the lawn like an errant newspaper caught up on the winds. I haven’t looked inside the bag to see how many dents it has now. 

It was time to go indoors. I was shivering despite wearing a long sweater dress over another dress,  over thick leggings with socks, boots and a sturdy jacket. The jacket is so heavy, that when I was shopping for it at the Goodwill store  2 years ago, I was still pretty weak from my illness. I picked it up to try it on, and it seemed so heavy, I couldn’t hold onto it long enough to try it on. I sadly put it back on the rack, still on the hanger. A few weeks later, I was feeling a bit stronger, the same jacket I liked was still in the Goodwill store, only now it was slightly reduced. 

I felt like  the world’s strongest lady when I was able to pick it up, put it on and buy it. I must admit, in spite of Goodwill’s high prices for used clothing, it was a very well made jacket that must have cost a fortune when new. It didn’t even look used.  Oddly enough, it’s a unique European design, made in Germany. It has 5 pockets, with the two hand pockets well insulated. It looked just like a jacket my close friend from Germany used to wear. Actually he was an old lover, but when we stopped dating eons ago, we remained very close friends up until his sudden passing just before I moved back to America in late 2009. Matter of fact, a few years prior, when I had to urgently travel from the Caribbean  to America, to attend my father’s funeral, he dashed over to my hotel, to announce he would be escorting me to the funeral. Now that is a true friend indeed.

As I drove away from the store, it occurred to me that he used to live only a few blocks away at the time of his death. Was this his jacket?  He always kept his clothes very well maintained and this jacket came with a dry cleaning tag on it. I will never know, but every time I wear it, I think of all the wonderful memories I have of my friend and the good times we had together. 

January 4, 2012 at 12:40 AM Leave a comment

World of Beauty

Tonight is going to be the coldest night we’ve had so far this year. It’s expected to get down to the late 20’s.  But we are only 2 days into the new year. Maybe it’s the coldest this winter, so far. 


I am moving to Florida. It’s just too cold here. My mermaid blood just can’t take this frigid weather. Bah humbug!


Oh wait.  Let me check. Oops!  I am in Florida. Central Florida. Out in no man’s land. I do so love the beauty here. Today it was in the mid 70’s.  By 8pm it is already down to 50F and dropping. 


I am shivering. The little ceramic heater is on full blast. I get up to check the thermometer and notice an open window. *Sigh*  Maybe if I close the window, it will finally warm up inside. (Did my brain freeze up?)


Here are some candid photos I took and a map of the location I shot them in.  Life is beautiful (but getting c-c-c-cold.)

My location on the palmetto prairie at Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area in Florida.

Characteristic plants are saw palmetto, beardgrass, gallberry, wiregrass, and carpetgrass.
Pine trees and cabbage-palms hammocks are  widely scattered.

Sunrise resembles fire in the distance.
Low lying fog blurs the undergrowth. 

My little puppy dog and I walk this road several  times a day.
He likes to water the plants and fertilize them. 

There is always something beautiful in bloom.
The western sunlight begins to fade beneath a canopy of clouds. 


January 3, 2012 at 6:15 AM 4 comments

Looking Cool

Fabulous Pictures…


I’ve found that I practically need to wear the camera 12/7 to capture fantastic pics.  Once you miss an awesome photo op, it’s gone forever. I need a camera like a miner’s light; stuck to my forehead!


Pet Cam…


Sometimes I wish I could put a pet cam on Harley to see what he sees at his diminutive height. I think all he sees when it comes to people, is their shoes and shins. He loves people and wants to see their faces or plant a kiss on them or both.  I’ve tried to discourage him from jumping on folks, something a puppy loves to do. He will often try to greet a person by standing on 2 legs with his front paws almost reaching their thigh. While this is cute, it’s not cool. 


Now when he has the urge to greet people by touching them with his front paws,  I often just snatch him up, holding him upright  in my arm, so that his eyesight is about level with ours.  This enables him to see the faces of the folks he wants to flirt and lavish his love upon. 

Harley plays king of the mountain with my bed pillows.
He is wearing his new birthday coat.
We came back from a walk.
When I tried to remove his coat, he ran for his pillow mountain, so I left it on him.
Silly dog!





Ut Oh…


I thought by moving to America I was forever escaping frequent random power outages. But here in the middle of nowhere, we have power hiccups. For some strange reason, a power hiccup can shut down my heater. This happened recently while I was sleeping. Outside temps were plummeting to the very low 40’s.  My particular motorhome was built for occasional vacationing, not for year round living. Just the same, I am living in it year round. It is insulated, but not very well. So it loses heat quickly. I woke up shivering, cold and having health problems that plague me when I am plunged into cold. I discovered the heater was on but off. Kind of like my brain…  on but off…


So far our power hiccups have not exceeded 5 minutes, but it reminds me how wonderful that I am mostly self sufficient and prepared for longer power outages. But I wasn’t prepared for a safety heater that doesn’t come back on after a brief outage. 


Now I have the propane furnace set up to come on as a backup. But I forgot to top up the propane when I was in Melbourne. It’s always something!

Finally!  Harley poses in his new winter doggy coat! This was his birthday gift.  He was very cold so he has a sweater on underneath. He also has his collar turned up. He thinks it makes him look cool. 

January 2, 2012 at 2:44 AM 4 comments

New Year Resolutions

It’s new year’s eve.  I so wish I were on the beach at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands for Olde Year’s Night. But I am on the prairie at Three Lakes Wildlife Management near Kenansville, Florida.


Yes, I am still very homesick for the Caribbean.  But I’ve forged a new life in America the past two years. 


It’s warm today, so I feel very lucky and spoiled. 


I am totally amazed at all the astonishing things I’ve done this past year. In  2011 I managed to travel around 4 states. Amazingly in 2010, I traveled in 17 states. I do have wanderlust under my feet, I so wish I could travel more. Sell more books, get the next book on the market. Make it happen…


I’m not going to discuss my health, but needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled I woke up alive, again today!  Too many days were spent sick last year, and this year I want that to be zero. 


For my new years resolutions, I want to be kinder, nicer and far more thankful.


I want to wake up alive every day.  Not sure that counts as a resolution, but it’s certainly my goal. 


Out with the negative, in with the positive. Smile more. 


Smiling, even when alone, makes one feel instantly better. So I try to grin like a fool most of my day. I don’t get much done, but I feel great. 


My list of resolutions could go on and on, but let’s keep it simple and reasonable. Notice I am not committing to giving up any bad habits. I’ve decided to focus on the idea that I do have plenty of good habits I so wish to maintain. OK, maybe a few good habits instead of plenty…   Maybe one day I will figure a way to rid myself of the bad habits and be perfect like those that think they are perfect and feel like it’s their lot in life to point out my imperfections. 


Last time someone tried to verbally beat me up over my bad habits. I asked them repeatedly to change the subject. I explained that I am not perfect.  I doubt I ever will be. If they have managed to be perfect with no bad habits, then they are very lucky indeed but please stop berating me for not being perfect. 


I am not sure I want to be perfect!  It’s so much more fun to be less than perfect. Then I don’t feel so bad when I fail at things. 


Recently I listened to an inspirational speaker  on TV, (Joel Osteen)who was promoting the idea of ridding oneself of negative folks, to make room for more positive friends. He explained this in such a way, it really made sense. Not all people in our lives are meant to be there forever. It was something I had not realized before. Sometimes you have to let go. He said we were like a big building going up. Some people were the bricks, others were the scaffolding, just meant to be in our lives while we were under construction. 


I so hate giving up any of my scaffolding. 






December 31, 2011 at 8:32 PM 4 comments

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