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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Bro is a Floridian

For my adult life, since the age of 24, I have lived 1200-1500 miles away from my nearest relative.
I am fortunate that both my kids are in Tampa, so I have the next generation close at hand.  Still, living alone and with no close relatives to depend on tests your resilience.

So, I'm ecstatic that my brother and his wife retired to Palm Harbor, about 15 miles from me.  Thus far, we have shared meals and football, but I'm looking forward to concerts and holidays.  They got here via the movers from hell, and so far have experienced 2 brushes with hurricanes.  The former problem should keep them here, never to move again... the latter makes Florida transplants think twice.  But I'm hoping they'll be here a long, long time.

Here's Gary and Denise with my little granddaughter:

Somehow, Florida seems more like home now.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Waiting for Godot...I mean Zika

I am pummeled, both in my personal email and my work email with attorneys and safety organizations (I run the worker's comp desk) and healthcare organizations and the like... all giving me the CDC guidelines. 

Why?  I'm within 250 miles of Dade and Broward counties the area of first incursion for Zika. 

This map is close to accurate in demonstrating the areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is known in the U.S.

You will probably not have to worry above the far southeast and outside of Arizona in the west. 

We are likely to see some action on Florida's west coast.  I'm risk adverse in my job, so my early emails asking us to think about purchasing mosquito repellant for our employees outdoors (home health and home hospice... 80% of our employee population)to get them to start taking precautions BEFORE the virus spreads west...they've pretty much fallen on deaf ears.  I have three pregnant moms on my leave of absence slate this summer.  I'm worried for them, too. 

I haven't seen the pesky Aedes aegypti...but I've been in Florida a long time.   I'm not like the transplants from the last five years who still get a kick out of spending their summers outdoors.   I limit my time out, spend a lot of time in, in the cool, and use the months of November-March for my outdoor activities.  I stay away from the lakes and standing water and don't hang out near the sluice behind my house.   I have no mosquito bites at all this year.  Let's hope it stays that way.

But if you do want to lay some odds, I have the week of August 30th in the office pool for when Zika arrives in Hillsborough county.  Just send me your bets and I'll make the pool bigger.  Prize is a mobile mosquito netting poncho ...very fetching.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Remembering Pam

Posting is sad today...   but when I came to post, I discovered a December post draft that I had never finished, published... it made me smile.   So at least I got that posted prior to this entry....

And on to today....

I loved Pam Patterson.   I loved her writing on our departed meeting ground, Pearlsoup.  I visited the PS nearly every day online in 2003-2005. PS was a writer's website that saw a good deal of of my poetry when I had revived my voice and was writing nearly every day.... some of my editorial and joke posts, and way too much of my comments and personal opinions!   It may be that latter part of the comments and opinions that bonded a few of us together, so that when the website went dark, we were still able to email and to follow each other's blogs.

Pam and I got together for the first time with her sister Kelly and a writing friend of mine that I had met in a Yahoo group, the delightful Marion.  We were all living in the south and spent a girls weekend at a beautiful cottage on the river in Louisiana in 2008.  I flew to Dallas and Pam and I drove there, meeting Kelly, who had driven in from Arkansas and picked up Marion along the way.  The weekend was a delight.

Pam was a special poet...not afraid to pursue dark and lonely thoughts in some poems, along with witty repartee in others. 

Pam had a love for family, for her dogs...a penchant for decorating her beautiful home, and a compelling need to clean that house like a whirling dervish!  Having been a devoted caretaker for her two grandsons while her daughter worked, Pam  incredibly, late in life, found a career teaching/aiding special needs children in the Dallas school system.  I last saw her on a visit to Dallas in 2009.  I got to see Bear Bear, too, on that trip, my favorite of her pack of "furkids".  Bear Bear passed on in 2010, but Pam continued to run with her pack of "furkids".  I think her pup Spanky replaced Bear Bear in the pack. 

Last pic that Pam sent to me, shows her in her classroom, with a student... a real illustration of how devoted she was to the career that came along late in life:

As her life got busier, Pam's time to devote to blogging became less and less.  So, while I could continue to follow Ms. Marion's active blog and to live text and stay in touch weekly, with Kelly, I did not have as much interface as in the past.  We reduced to following each other on Twitter, although I got an amazing email from Pam just a few months ago. 

More's the pity that I did not take more time.   That I didn't let her know how much I cared.


Pam passed away after a short bout with a terrible illness on February 24.  My heart breaks at having not called her in her final weeks.  But I know she knows I was thinking about her.  I always will.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A real appreciation for books?

My granddaughter Grace comes over and spends the day with me every Sunday.
She's a fan of the chewable Sophie the Giraffe... a much too much expensive ($20+) teether that was/is fashionable for babies.  A silly, too expensive baby item  --- that, of course, I bought for her before she was born.

We have a number of baby books we read at my house (and yes, I confess that we watch some Disney Junior as well!).   The only book that Grace finds satisfaction in chewing on is the Sophie the Giraffe book.  Each and every time she comes.   See below:

Is Grace already such an intellectual that she equates the book with the "chewable" Sophie, and so, in turn, makes this the only book she chews on?

Probably not.  But a Gramma can dream.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I'm Jazzed

I'm not a particularly religious person.   The time I spend with my God, I spend in my car, in my home...rather than in any one church.   When the spirit moves me, I go to a church that is close to me.
So far, I think I've been in 10-12 churches in Tampa.   I'm not a congregant.  For most of my church going years, I attended the Catholic church, although I was baptized in an Eastern Orthodox following.  I despair of Catholicism.   I love its pomp and circumstance, but I find little about it connected to God.  I view it as a church of men.   With men's rules.

So it is with surprising feeling that I'm somewhat overwhelmed by Pope Francis.  For as long as he leads the church, it is possible that he will help it find its way.  He has already done so with his kindliness to the poor, the earth, the family.  I hope he will help it find its way to open to the leadership of women, to a welcoming experience for the divorced, for the gay community, for those who use contraception.

I find him humble and gracious, inspiring and a beacon of hope in such a troubled world.  I really believe he lives a life of joy as well as service.

Just one woman's opinion.