Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday Night Live and Sarah Palin again!

You have got to absolutely love this. Saturday Night Live strikes again!

Conversations from My Front Porch

Scenario:

Man in his upper thirties, lower forties, wearing blue jeans and white t-shirt, young boy of perhaps five wearing blue helmet, brown shirt and blue jeans. The man, who appears to be the boy's father, is riding a 10-speed directly in back the boy who is on a small two-wheeler that appears to have once sported training wheels.

"Okay, car coming. Ride a little faster, I'll keep behind you."

It is gorgeous today. Perfect day for bike riding. I'm still quite not over whatever it is I had, so this is frustrating. Yesterday was the first day I felt normal, then whammo bammo, tightening in the stomach area in the upper left.

But today is the perfect Fall day. Melissa and I took Skylar walking down the path in this "park" that no one knows about but the locals. I would like to keep it that way because it's the perfect place to get away from it all. You go around this "loop" and through the loop, you're walking on a tarred path which winds itself through the woods and there's even a lake with a bench if you want to stop and enjoy the scenery. We were going there again today, only my stomach is acting up and I want to watch it.

The out my front porch, the scenery there is enough to keep me home. One lone boat trolled by so I figure he's trying to get a jump on Fall fishing. We never caught anything from our dock, but some have caught fish from the docks around us. I know they tried. Wasn't a day that went by this past summer that there wasn't someone out there trying to get dinner's worth at least.

The tide is high, but going out. I have ways of measuring when the tide is high or low and I know that if the water almost fills up the weeds that grow in the marsh in front of the water and alongside the walkway to the dock, the tide has come up or coming up. If it's completely immersed, it's high tide. Funny how you learn these things on your own without having some kind of tide report.

I also play a game. I love it when boats pass through because it throws water against the shoreline. The bigger the boat, the louder the sound. If no boat is passing, there's quiet except for the native birds squawking, but have a boat pass through and it's the neatest sound you've ever heard. I always run out if a big boat is passing, it's so cool.

Well anyway, I thought I'd check in. I've got tours going out tomorrow so I really have to get going. Hope everyone is having a fun and safe week and we'll talk to you again soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why I Hate Ruby Tuesdays

I have so much work to do, yet I have to stop long enough to let you know what happened to me yesterday. I wasn't even going to blog it, but Marilyn Celeste Morris blogged hers and it made me realize how precious life really is.

Not to sound corny, but I almost left this world yesterday.

I had the day off, the tours needed more work, but I needed a break. I have approximately seven days, 11 hours, 15 minutes and 22 seconds before the October authors go out and I'm pushing the pedal to the metal. When my daughter suggested a trip to Walmart, I took her up on it. Hadn't had too much to eat that morning so I decided we'd go out to eat. She didn't want to eat before Walmart so I waited until we had bought the groceries first which was fine as I wasn't exactly to the passing out stage (that came later).

We decided on Ruby Tuesdays. I had a steak, mashed potatoes (I had ordered a baked potato), onion thingees (didn't order) and brocoli. And of course the salad. Service was okay except for my food being wrong but I just ate it anyway. The steak was dry which was unusual for the place as I usually get some pretty good steaks from there.

On the way home, my stomach started gurgling. It hurt so bad, I clutched the door of the truck. My daughter, who was driving, asked me if that's what labor felt like and I could honestly say it did.

We had gotten all the way home and was pulling into the road that goes behind the condos which is how we have to get to my door and I have no recollection of anything except when I opened my eyes, my daughter had pulled over to the side and was yelling my name.

She kept saying she was taking me to the hospital and I remember opening my eyes a bit and feeling very very bad. She said I had peed all over myself and incoherent. All I know is that I was in a dream-like stage and was fighting to come back to normal. She pulled into the carport and ran to my side and I was trying to get out and she kept telling me to get back in, that she was taking me to the hospital. I said no, I want to go inside. She helped me up and was taking me to my bedroom and I told her I had to go to the bathroom and there I stayed having the most horrific pains and it coming out of both ends.

She gave me some other pants to put on and my feet wouldn't move so she picked them up for me. I was deathly ill at that point but was awake at least. We tried to make it up the stairs to my room but decided on the couch downstairs instead and that's where I laid for hours. Slept, then woke up to a dog licking my face (demon dog strikes again). I kept pushing him away but he wasn't budging.

Around 11 p.m., my daughter called my name and asked if I wanted to sleep with her. The way she tells the story today, I had slumped back in my seat towards her and my eyes were wide open yet when she called out my name, I couldn't hear her. She straddled me, tried calling 911 but in all her own hysteria and because it was touch-dial, the call never made it. She kept yelling my name, taking my head against her chest and screaming my name. I never heard her. When I finally came to, she said that's when my eyes went from wide open to closing and that's when she said she thought I was dying. Not a good night for her and I'm so sad I put her through all that.

So I ended up telling her I wanted to sleep in my bed and stayed there until about 2 a.m. when I got up and got something to drink and a sandwich. Was relieved the bad part was over but still felt "out of it."

Today I get up and I'm feeling better. My daughter doesn't even want to joke about it. I'm still weak, but it just wasn't my time to go I guess.

My daughter got her first reality check of realizing her mother might be around one minute and gone the next, so she's not dealing well with that. I'm trying to make light of things and she doesn't want to hear it. She's my best friend in all the world and I realized how much I meant to her (not that I didn't know it before).

And, something else, it sure pays to have a nurse in da house. ;o)

And one more thing, Ruby Tuesdays better get a reality check of their own and check everything they send out to poor unsuspecting and hungry people like me. I won't be back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Conversations From My Front Porch

Scenario:

Young woman and man in their late thirties. Woman is dressed in pink t-shirt, jeans, jacket tied around her shoulders and sneakers. Man is dressed in khaki shorts, black t-shirt and brown sandals.

"How are you doing there in those sandals?"

"Good!"

Tide is up so high, it's filling up the marsh in the front yard by the dock and inches from the top of the wooden walkway leading to the dock. Wind is brisk. Air is getting nippy. Boat is swaying back and forth as the rush of water comes in forcibly from the one lone boat going by. The egrets have found higher ground and nowhere to be seen, and the only sound you hear are the crickets in the grasses below and the waves knocking against the marsh shoreline.

It's a beautiful day. It's Friday, the beginning of the weekend, and not a tourist to be seen. All the condos are empty which makes it really nice to walk the dogs and not be stared at. I didn't want summer to end, but maybe this isn't going to be so bad after all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Conversations From My Front Porch

Scenario:

Two thirty-somethings - one woman and one man - riding bikes. Overcast skies, slightly cool. One egret is standing in the marsh; another is perched on my dock but close enough to watch. Fall is definitely almost here.

Man: How long has it been...twenty years?
Woman: *pause*...I don't know how long it's been.


Before I moved to the island, I hardly ever saw anyone riding bikes anymore. Once in awhile, you'd see someone, backpack firmly perched on his back, riding down the highway, but he was on a mission. Kids nowadays have a mission with their video games, I'm afraid.

But what they are missing.

When I first moved to the island, that was all you'd see. Two-wheelers, scooters, 3 wheel cars the tourists just love to rent from the vendors in town. It was like a whole other world around here. If you had a bike or a scooter, you could get anywhere - the store, post office, beach. Anywhere.

I saw the annual pony penning perched on my bike. I visited the carnival - not once but twice - perched on my bike. I rode 14 miles to the beach and back, been to McDonald's on my bike and have been to Mr. Whippy's on my bike.

My bike and me, we are inseparable. There is nothing better than to hop on your bike and take off into the fresh outdoors. I love looking at the houses, the yards, the wildlife, all from the open-air window of my bike.

I have a special thing I'm going to do for Halloween. My son and I are going to take off just before it gets dark and take pictures of the houses decorated around here and maybe a few kidlets dressed in Halloween attire and put them up on my blog. I can't wait.

I don't want summer to end but maybe I can make the passing of Fall a little bit brighter - all with the help of my no-gas, foot powered, friend who makes me remember what it's like to be a kid again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Foreclosures - Why is it the government's responsibility to bail us out?

There's something I don't understand. I've been watching a lot of CNN lately what with the election coming up and news about hurricanes blasting the east coast (btw, we made it through Hanna with just a lot of wind and rain, but no damage...thanks to everyone who emailed me or commented on my last post!). Well, today they're talking about the government helping to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie mortgage lenders, but something they said really struck a chord with me.

They said that today there are 1.4 million foreclosures in the U.S. and the people want the government to help people bail them out.

This is what I don't understand. Granted, there are a lot of people unemployed, but didn't they take that into account before they took on such a high mortgage? Didn't they think of backups? What to do if their job wasn't there say in the next year or two?

That's the problem with America. Sure, you can have your white picket fence, but why do you have to get into something that has such high risks if you know darn well that sometime down the road, there might be a problem with your job or a problem with your health?

I know it sounds like a dumb question, but let's get real here. Why do we overspend and hope someone can bail us out? Where are the smart thinkers here?

Sure, we have no idea what the future holds, but if you're sitting there contemplating a high mortgage and you have just fallen in love with this house and just have to have it and you know darn well that $2,000 a month is a lot of money and you're just not so sure just in case something else comes up down the road that will prevent you from getting that kind of money, and you're thinking and thinking, and you know what happens? The realtor tells you that if you want this dream home, you must act fast because there are other bidders and you know what happens? Sensibility flies right out the window and you make a bid.

Let's just say this bid is what the seller wants and you get the house. You give your mate a high five knowing you've "won," settle in, buy new furniture, make upgrades if necessary and then along comes high grocery bills, high utility bills, kids needing braces, car needs fixing or replacing and you don't want to admit to your friends and neighbors (or yourself) that you just don't have more money to spend since you already have a big chunk of that paycheck going to mortgage. But, you know if you don't pay the utility bill, it will get turned off, so you pay that. If you don't get your car fixed or replaced, you'll have no way to work to pay that high mortgage. If you don't get you kid braces or cheerleading costumes or classroom dues or a million other things that kids need in this gotta-have-everything world we live in, you're job as a parent is kaput. No, no, you can't have any of that happening, so you pay.

Along comes that high mortgage and you're thinking where in the hell am I going to come up with more money since you've already paid for the cost of high living the good life? You freak. You call the bank. You call the mortgage lender. You call your mom to bail you out again, and Mom's the only one who has it because she thought SMART and perhaps looked ahead.

I know times have changed, but it's time people did look ahead and be responsible for stupid moves like taking on more than they can chew.

But this won't stop anyone. They'll get help from the government and still go out and live like kings. I just don't understand.

Think, people. Think ahead, that's all I can say.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hurricane Hannah on its way!


Not good, not good at all. Hurricane Hannah is making its way up the east coast and we're in the projected path. If you look at this picture, at the very top of the projected path taken this morning at 5 a.m., we're THERE. The thing is, and the reason why I worry so, is because I live on an island and the last time we had a teenie weenie northeaster, it flooded the yard, took out half the street and flooded houses along Main, as well as closed down the causeway.

It's Friday, almost noon, the sun is shining and the only indication it's coming is a slight pickup of wind with ominous clouds moving in. If I were on the mainland, I wouldn't be as scared, but once they close down the causeway, that's it baby, you're here for the ride.

Back in '33, they had a horrible tropical storm blow through here enough to name it "The Storm of '33." Horrible. There was a write-up in the Eastern Shore News last week and it was the first time I really studied the storm and realized how vulnerable this island is.

According to the newspaper article, the whole island was flooded out, people died, houses got uprooted and ended up in other peoples' yards. I have no idea how the ponies and the other wildlife that don't have wings survived.

My daughter got up at 7 and started clearing away what could blow away off the carport. We just slipped out and bought a couple of flashlights, batteries and a couple of cinder blocks to raise the filled-to-the-brim freezer downstairs on the lower level. We took the trash to the dumpsters and tied down the trash cans. Bought dog food, water, bread and of course, Pepsi.

There's just so much more to be done. I don't know what to expect. I'm scared.

To look out the window, you would think it was the perfect end-of-summer day. The calm before the storm? Wind is picking up slightly and it hasn't even made landfall yet.

I'll keep you informed. I'm thinking we're not going to get anything major until tonight or tomorrow morning, but the thing is and this is why I'm worried. Once they close the causeway off, you're going nowhere and HAVE to ride it out. How did all these locals survive? Did they go? Did they stay? Another reason I should have made more of an effort to meet my neighbors!

I do know one old guy a couple of condos down and another old guy a couple of condos down on the opposite end, but that's it. The one old guy pulled his boat in and anchored it to something in the back.

Melissa is right now helping her father come get his boat and take it back home off the island. I hope it goes okay...they're supposed to be here any minute so I better get off here. I'll keep you informed as the hours pass.