Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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She Sips Stella by the Sea

 

DSCF1391Last week I took a couple of days off to spend with The Tour Guide.  On his suggestion we got up Tuesday morning and struck out for Jacksonville Beach.  Also on his suggestion we took the girls.

They slept most of the two-hour drive there and when we arrived at around 11 a.m. just about all the shops and restaurants were closed.  It’s the off season, I guess, though it’s still fairly warm here.

Though I had read online that Jacksonville Beach is dog-friendly there were signs posted everywhere saying no dogs between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  What to do?

We strolled down the sidewalk near the shops and restaurants and found one that was open.  Well, it wasn’t open yet, but the man who was sweeping the alfresco dining area invited us in – dogs, too.  I was pleasantly surprised at how accommodating they were.

With a thick accent I didn’t recognize he said we could sit anywhere we wanted in their outdoor dining area and then he disappeared. There was no one else there.  We were their only patrons.

A few minutes later he resurfaced carrying a metal bowl filled with ice water for the girls.  Moments later a server appeared and took our order.  We ordered what we wanted and then I asked for a hamburger to split between Dottie and Miss Sara.  “Sure, no problem,”  she said.  Our meal came out complete with two doggie boxes for them to eat out of.  Dottie and Miss Sara scarfed down their burger, which had been prepared sans bun, while we sipped on our pitcher of Stella and ate our Gyros.

When we asked our server about a place on the beach we could carry our dogs she said we should just ignore the signs.  “Nobody pays attention to that.  There are always dogs on the beach,” we were assured. With that advice we paid our bill, gave her a nice tip, left caution to the wind, and headed over the boardwalk to the sugar white sand.

It was the girls’ first trip to the beach and they didn’t quite know what to make of it at first. They were confused as to why they were chasing the water one minute and the next the water was chasing them.  Miss Sara recoiled from the chasing waves.  Dottie pawed at them for a bit. Then I took their leads and we ran out as the waves retreated into the ocean and ran back to the shore when the waves chased us back.

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I think they had a pretty good time.  I know The Tour Guide and I did!

DSCF1374We could see the rain coming in from the ocean so we headed back to the car.  The deluge came just as we fastened our seatbelts.  Great timing!  And the cute cuddly dogs slept all the way home.


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A Dog and an Armadillo Before Dawn

DSCF1370 - CopyEvery day, if I’m not already awake before dawn – which I usually am, I’m awakened by a cold snout against my neck.  I pretend to still be asleep and am then pawed at until I relent and get out of bed.

Dottie is on a schedule. She knows when it’s time to eat. Food promptly at 6:00 a.m.; then walkies.  Each day as we walk around the lake I watch the sun slowly rise overhead.  It’s usually quite peaceful.  We hear birds singing, watch squirrels gather their morning nuts, and meet walkers and joggers alike.

One morning, however, before the dawn had begun to crack there was a disturbance.  I wasn’t paying as much attention, I suppose, as I should have been.  Dottie was off – full speed ahead.  The lead tightened and I lunged forward unwillingly. Before I knew it I was on the ground.  I let go of the lead but it was too late.  I’d already lost my balance. Down I went.  Dottie was in the shrubs, tangled by her lead.  Lying in the street, the next thing I saw was an armadillo scurry past my head.

I hopped to my feet, looking around to see if anyone else was about. Whew!  Nobody saw that!  Thankfully, there were no cars coming, else I would have been roadkill.  There were no other walkers or joggers about yet.

The damage was done.  It’s a good thing I don’t have brittle bones.  This is what happens when Dottie sees the armadillo and I don’t:

0620140702That’s the day an armadillo cut our sunrise walk short. No leisurely walk around the lake for Dottie that day.  We trudged back home mere minutes after our walk had begun – in the dark.

And now there are two!  😀   What was I thinking?!?

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Do I look like I would do a thing like that?


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Heat Wave!

It’s hot! It’s damn hot!!

In the land where I’m from we’re currently experiencing a heat wave.  The mercury has hit 100ºF(38ºC) for the last few days and the heat index has been between 105ºF(40ºC) and 107ºF(42ºC).  The humidity is…wet.  And thick.  You could cut the air with a knife.

If this is any indication of what hell is like I think I better get right with gawd. :mrgreen:

 


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Another Day Older

DSCF1288I woke up yesterday morning and made the sleepy descent from my bed to the living room where I found this lovely vase with those strangely died mums(?) on the kitchen counter and a card propped up next to it.  TheBrit can be so sappy.  I love that man.  I would’ve taken a picture of them there, on the counter, but…well…I live in my house.

I added a number to the times I’m holding onto thirty-nine.  I’m not saying how many numbers I’ve added.  It doesn’t really bother me, though.  When we were out to a fabulous dinner with friends and family last night one of them asked if this made thirty-seven. Ha!  Somewhere slightly north of there.

My brother-in-law, who knows very well many this makes, told my six-year-old nephew to ask me.  As if that were a dig.  I proudly announced how many this makes.  Bring ’em on, I say!  Bring ’em on!  If I stop having them it’s gonna mean I had a really bad day.  Really.Bad. So keep ’em comin’!

I’ve really had a month-long celebration.  ‘Cause that’s just how I roll! Seriously, TheBrit had a fantastic idea for a birthday present.  I couldn’t be happier with what I got.  So we went together to pick it out.

 

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Give me food because I’m cute!

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Meet Miss Sara.  We went to the local animal shelter to find her. She was listed as a Boxer/Beagle mix and was only a few days away from her limit at the shelter.  Isn’t she the cutest thing?  And she’s the perfect companion to Dottie.

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I haven’t had my coffee yet – don’t eff with me!

Dottie had been with other dogs, best as I can tell, her whole life.  Her foster family had other dogs and she missed having a companion.  She was kind of sad.  So I had to get a dog for my…dog.  Having another dog around has helped Dottie to come out of her shell some, too.  It’s obvious her first owner either abused her or allowed her to be abused.  She’s still a tiny bit skittish if we walk directly toward her head-on, but other than that she’s golden.  Dottie has mellowed out so much and I don’t think she’s done.  She loves TheBrit to pieces now, which we were unsure about her coming around to.  She got a bit jealous of the new girl and decided to join in on the lovefest! 🙂

Happy Birthday to me!  Four legged friends make me happy.

I can’t leave you without a song, though.  Here’s my birthday theme song for this year:

 

 

 


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I Want to See Blood!

kidsfighting

My sister, Karen, was four years older than me. As a result anytime mama was at work or out for any reason Karen was left in charge.

Now, I’d like to be able to tell you all that I always did just what Karen said, but that would be a bold face lie right here in black and white.  In fact, being the little sister who resented having the big sister in charge, I most definitely did not.  I usually did exactly not what big sis said.  Maybe not the exact opposite, but not what I was supposed to do.

And, Karen, being large and in charge really didn’t mind lording it over me either.  She dealt out demands and instructions with impunity.  Naturally I thought she was being militant and doling out more of the chores to me than she had for herself because, well, she was in charge.  And who could stop her?

She would give (cough)instructions and I’d say, “I don’t have to do what you say. You’re not the boss of me!” She would get angry and chase me down and I’d stick my fingers in my ears.  I spent a good portion of the time when mama was working with my back on the ground, Karen on top of me, using her knees to hold my hands down to keep my fingers out of my ears, pointing in my face and telling me exactly what I’d do when we got up.

When mama was home we’d bicker.  A lot.

“Yes, you did!”

“No, I didn’t!”

“Stop!”

“I’m telling mama!”

“Go ahead you little brat!”

“You started it!”

“Nuh-uh, you did!”

I am quite certain that my mama earned every grey hair she had.  I’m sure there were times when she wondered why on earth she ever had us!

One day we were going on with such childishness – we were children after all – and mama had clearly had enough.  Who knows how many times she’s told us to knock it off.

She ordered both of us out.  “Out! Go on!”, pointing to the front door.  Karen and I, still bickering and mumbling all the way, went out the front door.  Now mama stood in the hallway and we stood on the front stoop, with only the screened door between us.

“Fight, dammit!”

Karen and I looked at each other perplexed.

“None of that, now.  Y’all have been bickering all day long and I’m tired of hearing it.  Go on, fight!  I wanna see blood!”

Now we were looking at each other slack-jawed.

We didn’t fight.  We didn’t know what to make of whatever that was.  We stood there and looked at each other for a good ten minutes, I guess.  It might have only been two but the tension made it seem like at least ten.

I don’t think we bickered anymore that day.  A new day dawned, though, and we were right back at it.

He who fights and runs away, may turn and fight another day.” – Tacitus

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*Inspired by the recent grown-up version on various blogs.  Now I know why my mother told us to duke it out.  Sigh…


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Keep on Going

Those of you who have read here for very long know that I’m not really into Country Music.  You also know I don’t believe in a literal hell where people are going to burn for all eternity.  But you also know, as is the case for just about everybody, I’ve been through my fair share of hell right here on Earth.  Which is why the symbolism and the imagery in this song resonates with me so strongly and why it makes it a power ballad of sorts for me.

That why every time I find myself in another dark, smokey place, I’ll just keep on going.

Yeah, I’ve been there:

Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons
Breathing fire in my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I’d fall right into the trap that they were laying, Yeah

But the good news
Is there’s angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet


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Shell Games

The Tortoise  Photo Credit: TheBrit

The Tortoise Photo Credit: TheBrit

Well, hello there, Mr. Tortoise!  Dottie’s not the only one who likes to roam the garden.

Oh, to be so at home in one’s own skin…or shell as the case might be.

Speaking of shells, it seems religion is one big shell game.  *According to those who subscribe to various religions there is something tangible there to be had but you’ll have to guess which shell it’s under.

Wrong!

Guess again.

Wrong again!

Guess again.

Wrong again!

All out of chances…you lose!

 

*ETA: According to those who subscribe to various religions [I’m of the opinion it’s quite vaporous].