Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Long, 2014....really, really long!

I am THRILLED to see this year end. THRILLED.

Tonight I toast 2015 with my icy cold glass of Cava, and thank the powers that be that I'm here to see a new year come in.

My resolutions are:

  • Lose 20 lbs. and get healthy
  • finish the memoir (again) (it's being rewritten in past tense.)
  • bring my bowling average (118) up to 150
  • keep my writer's group intact and productive
  • get some new paintings done, now that I have a studio again!

  • That's it. That'll keep me busy.

    (well, almost all.) :) #

    Friday, December 26, 2014

    What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

    As most of you know, this time of the year is a horror for me. Without children or family or available friends, Christmas can really suck, so I try to busy myself with things that need or want doing. It's been lovely to have time off, and so I got busy.

    I live in a 1977 singlewide mobile home. It has seen better days. Even in its better days, it likely wasn't all that. However it serves my needs, and I just put pennies away to do the small things that make it more palatable. The bathroom is teeny with an avocado colored tub, and a vanity covered in what-once-was-white formica. A horror of rust rings and stains that refused bleach of any kind, nor rust removal gunk as well. After jumping around the web for several sessions, I decided the least expensive way to go was contact paper! Painting would streak, replacing would cost a fortune, and adhesive papers seemed to work for others in both kitchen and bath, so I'm giving it a go.

    In addition, I don't like drapes much. And in the bathroom? Yech. So I bought some window film to just cover the sucker, keep it private and add a little color to a pretty glum little room. Now I'm much happier. I forgot to take "Before" pictures, but trust me, it was odious. Here's the "After": It's not Better Homes and Gardens, but better!

    It was tricky cutting paper to fit around that sink, so I made a pattern out of heavy watercolor paper first. I had plenty of contact paper left over, so I covered the front of a three-drawer plastic chest sitting under the vanity. That sure made a difference too in the goddawful factor.

    Wednesday, December 24, 2014


    If you'd like a really interesting holiday, give this one some thought!

    Merry, Merry Christmas, all thee with tongues firmly lodged in your cheeks, as well as our dear believers. Ho Ho Ho~!

    Monday, December 22, 2014

    The Cake Makers (poem)

    In the gloom of a large country kitchen--
    think back to Southern plantations,
    with sideboards and planked floors,
    live oaks silhouetted at the windows,
    sunrays dappling a long crooked table
    that dominates the center of the room:

    Around it, a dozen Aunt Jemimas, black
    as cast iron pots, kerchiefs ‘round their hair,
    sit on wooden chairs- animated, laughing,
    softly gossip, rolling eyes. Palmetto hand
    fans push back against the ovens’ heat.

    This reoccurring reverie is more obsession
    than daydream, might once have been REM
    slumber, but now it’s daily haunting
    that opens me to the wall where reality
    and illusion intersect; a tomb of secrets,
    hiding places for all those images
    that are not understood. The Cake Makers
    escaped one night and won’t return,
    their voices like syrup on a summer wind.

    My mind wants to know why I dream
    of slaves. Downton Abbey of the Civil War.
    Look for yourself in dreams, a therapist said.
    The cliché is always just a shortcut to yourself.

    But wait! It is what the cooks do that matters.
    Newly-baked cakes sit before them, aromas
    of lemon and coconut, vanilla and chocolate
    doesy-doe in the air. Mounds of pastel frostings
    gleam in bowls: soft peach, butter-yellow, and pink.

    The colors leap in contrast to the black hands,
    the white aprons, the sepia stain of the old walls.
    The Cake Makers beckon me. Come ice the cakes,
    they call. I don’t want to move. I don’t know how.
    Come, they titter, come. It’s time.

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    And Everything Nice....Happy Holidays!

    New portraits of Sugar and Spice, as rendered by artiste (heavy Degas influence)
    Dwight Richardson:

    Sugar in a pose for posterity
    Spice in the prime of life

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    (No) Fleas Navidog

    Okay, I borrowed this picture and title from a very funny poodle person at :

    The Poodle & Dog Blog (clicky)

    Please visit her and enjoy her blog so she doesn't sue me!?

    Hey, this is HOW I get through the holidays. This stuff saves me. This and my friends who send me movies, dog treats, poetry, and love.

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Four Strikes in a Row!~

    I bowled four strikes in a row and made a score of 199 today, my highest ever!

    Yee Haw!~!!!

    CAPA Art Sculpture Benefit

    December 12, 2014

    My good friends, The Richardsons, invited me as their guest to the wonderful art sculpture show for CAPA, again this year. Dwight, a member of the CAPA board, has worked tirelessly for years on this project.

    CAPA’s Mission is to provide a state-of-the-art cultural and performing arts center that showcases local visual and performing artists, thereby offering affordable and accessible educational, cultural and performance opportunities for the community.

    Bev Jackson, Dwight Richardson and wife, Angela Strathatos

    Besides the wonderful sculpture, there was classical music wafting from the corner where the Kapella Quartet held forth. The caterers served up some of the best baby lamb chops I've ever tasted, and I discovered that Naples has an Art Walk! A lovely evening had by all, as evidenced in the photos of the newsletter below.

    Here's a PDF of the event's newsletter (scroll, or use arrors to page through). CAPA Action Report c16.pdf

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Pre-New Year's 5:2 Resolution

    Okay, you know that this is NOT my favorite time of year. However various social engagements have kept me treading water this month, and I still have a Christmas party at my boss's house, and a Writer's Group (with luncheon) ahead of me before the end of the year. Not bad for a loose fish!

    I've even got a bit of the old jolly spirit because I found some wee little Xmas trees on sale and they cheer up the wee little house:

    So ho, ho, ho!

    But wait, this post is about resolutions! I gave them up years ago, but here I go again. I've gained at least 10 lbs. in 2014 and I'm determined to lose it come the first of the year. I just heard from a friend in England that her sister-in-law lost 14 lbs. in one month doing the 5:2 Diet. Huh? Well, apparently I'm a year behind the fad diet of 2013, which is to eat normally for 5ive days and semi-fast for 2 days. That sounded horrible to me until I went and did some reading on it.

    This is a diet that has seemingly come out of the UK, (all the websites I found) and the best one gives you a calculator for your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which determines how many calories you need to maintain yourself, and your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). By plugging in your specifics, you can see approximately how many calories you should eat on five days, and the TDEE tells you what you'll expend. On Fast days, you simply eat 25% of your BMR calorie count.

    Here's the BMR Calculator if you'd like to see your own.

    Mine came up with 1150 calories which is very close to the 1200 calorie count I have computed in earlier days on other diets. So that gets me down to 300 calories on Fast days. I don't think I'll do that however. Since generally speaking 500 calories is mentioned for women, I think I'll do that instead.

    So between now and January 1st, I shall be diligently planning menus and recipes that support the 5:2 Resolution!

    And yes, this is the logo for Skinny Girl!

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Euro Pianos Naples Wine Tasting and Piano Duo

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Euro Pianos Naples, which is tucked away in a little mall on Imperial Golf Course Blvd., has turned North Naples into a sophisticated hub of collaborative magic!

    This store (all things piano for sale, rent and repair ) has been around for years, but is now transforming the neighborhood with concerts, salons, and a rigorous vision of artistic celebration. (As only one example, they have welcomed my writing group and host our meetings on their premises.)

    The pianos in this store range from the famous grand pianos (they are the only Florida store to carry the magnificent Fazioli) down to pert little uprights with prices low enough to tempt anyone. I was terrified of even touching these beautiful instruments and instructed my writers to keep hands off! Imagine my surprise when owner Sunny Reuter insisted au contraire, that these pianos are to be played and shared! You are welcome to touch! She gave me a tour of showroom (and it is HUGE). They even have player pianos that you can control with an Ipad! If you get a chance, visit and get the tour. You won't regret it.

    Last night Milana Strezeva and Alexandra Carlson, two incredible pianists performed after a wine tasting, on two of the many glorious pianos sitting on the EPN's showroom floor. A Fazioli F278 and a Beckstein D280.

    The Program was as follows:

    Sanuel Barber - "Souvenirs" Ballet Suite
    Maurice Ravel - "Rhapsodie Espagnole"
    John Psathas - "Fragments"
    George Gershwin - "Rhapsody in Blue"

    The music was sublime!

    The wine tasting was hosted by The Wine Merchant 13240 Tamiami Tr. N., with French and American wines. (My favorite was the Pinot Noir).

    Thanks to manager, Raniero Tazzi, for the use of the good photos at the start of this post. (all the out of focus ones belong to me!)

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Sometimes you have to go the Vet....

    I'm not so crazy about doctors myself!
    I think this says it all

    (this photo absolutely slays me!)

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    To Be Water, (poem)

    not in water—
    not whale or porpoise
    seeking sonar depths,
    tiles of sun trapped
    in surface glint—

    but the wet ooze,
    the slackjawed, spooky renegade
    of slosh and wave, tidal flood,
    blind mammoth rolled in slumber,
    sexed up with trailed sperm, seaweed,
    over sands awhorl in fierce unrest,
    tails of skates whipping the floors.

    or water in a tossed pail beside a barn
    —a two-galloner poured over splayed fingers,
    a rush of splash, uncaught and running free
    across scuffed shoes, soaked into earth,
    a muddy disappearing act, a moist shadow
    finale without rot, or slow decay of bone.

    or a rivulet of sweat on the flank of a mare
    or the spit under the tongue of a liar,
    or a final drop gliding on sclera
    as yet unshed.

    reprinted from "Every Burning Thing", Pudding House Press 2008