Saturday, April 22, 2017


According to the Calypso song: "Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."  -- Wait a minute! Lemons are NOT impossible to eat! In fact lemon on seafood, chicken, & potatoes tastes like a little bit of Heaven! And lemon meringue pie, mousse & lemon butter on sweet crepes tastes as though I am already there! On a salad, lemon juice tastes better than any dressing out there, plus it makes soggy lettuce crisp!

Sure lemons are sour, but just add sweetening and it becomes extraordinary! I used to make the best lemon bars around. I'd put a layer of shredded coconut between the crust and the lemon mixture, also I was generous with the powdered sugar!

Lemonade was the most refreshing beverage on the planet when I was a child, and if it was pink that made it taste even better.

Anything referred to as "being a lemon" denotes a negative. I've never understood this! That term has always made me salivate. Lemon is a favorite flavor of mine.

To my taste buds, calamondins are sourer. But I used to love snacking on those when we had a calamondin tree at the previous house. Plus our neighbors had a tree that grew lemons the size of grapefruit. We were welcome to help ourselves!  I'm a citrus loving woman! One of the perks of being a Florida girl was having lots of free citrus around.

Lemons are luscious to me, plus they are healthy! Lemon water aids in high blood pressure, respiratory problems, diphtheria, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, dandruff, throat infections, and they are even said to prevent kidney stones. Also I've read they purge the blood of toxins, fight aging, and depression.

Plus lemons are miraculous when it comes to knocking out migraines! As a former sufferer who spent 3 days of dire pain in bed and could not even keep water on her stomach without throwing up, I found that at the first sign of pain to drink strong black tea with industrial strength lemon. That always reduced the migraine to a temporary mild headache.

Lemons can also be used to soothe poison ivy rash, plus disinfect minor cuts and stop the bleeding.

Not to mention, the numerous practical uses such as bleaching delicate fabrics and polishing tarnished brass and chrome. And I've read that lemons prevent moths and ants. -- However the latter failed to work for me.

During my teens, I'd squeeze lemon juice into my hair trying to make it blonder in the summer sun. Of course this caused more freckles! So after washing I'd apply lemon juice to my skin attempting to fade them. Later, I discovered that Miss Clairol and avoiding the sun worked better in both cases.

I still love lemons in my old age. Unfortunately, they've turned hostile toward me! Thanks to my love of lemons, my acid reflux has returned with a vengeance! Citrus has become a major trigger. (I've also been forced to give up orange juice which I love and calamondins are now a distant memory.)  Any health benefits I might derive from lemons are nixed if my esophagus is destroyed. It's comparable to those who claim alcoholic beverages are healthy despite the damage to your liver and skin, not to mention that it makes you fat and impairs judgment. There's other far better ways to attain good health.

Oh well, I can still use lemons as a cleanser and polish. (Sigh!)

Saturday, April 1, 2017


When I told a neighbor that I'd been hired to write a novel based on a half-completed outline, her eyebrow went up. "Exactly how are you going to finish another's story?" she inquired with skepticism.

"Easy!" I replied. Obviously this woman had never taken a creative writing class! This task was also one I had faced in High School English. OK, so it's not easy, writing involves work, but its work that I feel confident in doing.

"How do you come up with ideas?" is a question I frequently hear. The answer is obvious! Ideas come from EVERYWHERE! Look to your own life, your history, and everything that's going around you.

In both my Creative Writing course and High School English, we were shown a drawing and our assignment was to write a story based upon our interpretation.

In 11th Grade English Class, the drawing depicted a crowd attired in old timey clothes gathered around a building. My initial thought was the building was a jail and the crowd was there to watch a lynching. Any moment a nefarious bad ass criminal was going to be led out and escorted to the gallows just out of view.

Here is how I came up with that idea, I remembered my father telling me that in days gone by, a lynching was public entertainment. Entire families would show up with picnic baskets to watch the person jig at the end of a rope.

In my story, the rope breaks and the prisoner is released and pardoned in the belief that God wants him spared. The man goes on to create bloody havoc with impunity. The town's people come to decide this was a miracle of the devil and the man should face a firing squad. They murder him in a hail of bullets as he is leaving a local bordello.

In my Creative Writing course, the drawing was of two children, a boy & a girl racing excitedly towards a barn. Here, my first thought was their prize heifer had just given birth to a two-headed calf. The children were already planning on charging to view it as they sold fruit by the roadside to the tourists heading south and back.

I recalled that during my early childhood, a family down the highway owned a fruit stand. Also for a fee, you could view skeletons of animal freaks which they created by combining bones of different species. -- I swear this is TRUE!!!

Anyway, in my story, the calf becomes a beloved pet. The children become insulted and angered at some of the comments towards it by their customers. In town, they overhear ridicule directed toward their cousin Rufus who has misshapen feet, they rush to defend him. Suddenly they feel ashamed of their own behavior. The two cease displaying the cow despite the fact it was a money-maker.

Both of the above concepts could be taken in many directions. Everyone has different experiences and writes thru their own lens and filter.

Now let's discuss The LADY OR THE TIGER by Frank R. Stockton. If you are a High School graduate you must be familiar with this story!

For those of you who are drop-outs, or were home-schooled by fanatical parents, here is a brief summary: Many centuries ago in a semi-barbaric kingdom, a handsome commoner and a princess become lovers to the extreme displeasure of the king. The lad is sentenced to Trial by Ordeal in the public arena. He is forced to choose between one of two doors. Behind one, is a beautiful lady followed by musicians. This lady will be is bride. Behind the other door, a starving tiger waits to pounce! The princess learns that the lady is a rival for her lover's affections and someone she hates. As the lad stands between the two doors, he gazes up at her. With a discreet movement of her hand the princess motions to the door on his right. He opens it, end of story.

Back in 7th Grade, the teacher read this to the class and then polled us students. All the boys were sure it was the lady waiting behind the door. All the girls were certain it was the tiger. The teacher warned the boys that we girls were not to be trusted.

Later, in 9th Grade English Class, we were assigned to read this story and write an ending. The results were similar to that 7th Grade poll at a different school.

This entitled (is there any other kind) princess is described as semi-barbaric. Plus the waiting lady is a hated rival. Back then, (particularly among royalty) people were considered possessions, and possessions were expendable. I picture ancient Rome and the arena where blood sports were frequent and popular.

Even today, when a cherished man disappears from a woman's life, I've them say they'd rather he be found dead and bloody, than in the arms of another woman. -- Just imagine the mind of a semi-barbaric princess!

Then, there's her daddy, the king! He is furious that his princess has been defiled by this by this commoner! Unbeknownst to his daughter, a tiger might have been placed behind BOTH doors at the last moment to ensure the lad's death.

The only way I see this lad having a chance is if Huns are storming the gates of the city; burning, looting, and murdering everything in sight forcing the spectators to flee for their lives!

Barring that, the lad is screwed and not in a good way. Even if he is wise enough not to trust the princess and makes a beeline to the other door. You can be certain the princess is going to be plenty pissed that he didn't go along with her plan. The lad and his bride would likely be murdered in the night by soldiers. Either way, the guy will be tiger chow or maggot meat.

I saw a post on Facebook that read: My mother raised me to be a warrior not a princess! -- Newsflash: A warrior exists to serve the princess and do her bidding, not the other way around.

Friday, March 10, 2017


Donald Trump should never have been allowed to run for the office in the first place! Those cowards in the Republican Party should have stepped up and thrown this orange blob of slime out long ago! And thanks to a gutless pile of electors who failed to do their duty; we now have a man who isn't fit to run Mosquito Control as our President. And yes, Mosquito Control is an elected position!

Exactly one week ago, I participated in my first protest demonstration against Trump at the Vero Beach Courthouse. Counter demonstrators were there too, but we outnumbered them. A number of police stood between us especially as our numbers swelled.

Not long ago, I got into a heated argument with a neighbor. She insisted that anti-Trump protesters were paid. I told her that if there ever was a protest here, I would join and it would be one hundred per cent on me! Now I can back that up! The vast majority of the other protesters were from the Unitarian Church.

About 12 to 15 years ago, not long after my father's death, and when my friend Margaret still walked the earth, she pointed to it on our drive into town.

"You should consider joining," she said. "The Unitarian is the only church where I can picture you fitting in."

But I didn't like the idea of belonging to ANY church!

Shortly after, there was a luncheon event at the Unitarian place open to the public for a fee. I decided to go and check them out. And my experience was a negative one! I didn't find them a particularly friendly or welcoming group. I felt alienated and had no desire to return.

Anyway at the protest, they were friendly and welcoming. Perhaps this was a completely different group from the one I had encountered previously, or maybe it was only because we have a common enemy. But I still have NO plans to become a church-goer.   

The day of the protest was overcast and chilly. I wore a colorful wool shawl I'd purchased in the market at Chichicastinango several decades ago. A fellow protester complemented me on it. I told her I bought in Guatemala back in 1975.

"Where you in the Peace Corps.?" she asked.

"No, vacation," I replied.

In January of 2016 when I visited Thailand, I mentioned to an American lady living in Chiang Mai that I had a sick feeling Donald Trump was going to win the election.

"Oh don't worry," she said. "He has too many embarrassing and questionable things in his past to prevent him from winning."

Sadly, there are too many people who simply don't care that Trump is a scumbag!

On a remote mountain road in the jungles of Mae Hong Son, I saw an American tourist sporting a Trump T-shirt. I told the driver to run him down! Unfortunately the driver didn't understand English. Also I gave that man the finger! However his back was toward me.

After looking closely at the Third World, I've decided not to expatriate. I love the United States as imperfect as it is. Also I realize that governments can change quickly. A dictator can get in and create havoc. Hitler didn't seize power, he was voted in! 

But I consider myself a citizen of the earth first and an American second. The planet must be protected! And under Trump and his regime it's in more grievous danger than ever before.

Unless Trump is impeached, as a protester I may be eventually jailed or even hanged along with many others for sedition. This is a fascist regime that cannot tolerate criticism in any form, and they keep proving it. I've read that some states are already trying to make political protests illegal. I hope this is not true, but I wouldn't put it past these Republicans in power.

Trump, a so-called Christian has famously stated that he does not believe in turning the other cheek. Well neither do I! Plus I have no desire or plan to live under a dictatorship here or anyplace else!

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Ooooooo!  Booooo! -- Well, not THAT kind of ghost!

I was recently hired as a ghost writer. But I can work in a sheet, my nightgown, or nothing at all. And I can wail or laugh manically as I type, too! This is why I love to write!

I was hired by a friend. Several years ago, she wrote half of an untitled outline with several chapters. It was lost and has now reappeared, but my friend has moved on to other projects. She is paying me to complete the outline, punch-up the chapters, & write her novel.  I can even put my name next to hers on the cover.

As I first started to read the outline, I thought this is going to be a challenge, but I was up for it. The story was set in the business world and lord knows I have no head for business or figures! And second, I didn't like these characters! They needed alcohol to be happy, relax, or just breathe! As a non-drinker, they were exactly the kind of crowd I would avoid in real life. And third, because this was not my concept, I felt an element of passion would be missing.

However, as I went further into the outline it began to read like a Lifetime movie. I love those! And they are popular for a reason!

Lifetime has been called the Man Hater channel, even the Rape Channel. Actually it began as the Womjep (Woman in Jeopardy) channel, where as CBS was the Sitcom (Situation Comedy) channel. Personally, I call Lifetime the WCCC (Woman Causing Chaos & Catastrophe) channel.

The outline ended in the middle at the most suspenseful part. I asked my friend where she intended to go from here. I was informed that was MY job. Hot dog! I knew exactly where to go! But I didn't have an ending.

The first thing I did was to rewrite the outline chapter-by-chapter. I added an extra character in the early chapters to move this story further into where I wanted to go. Suddenly, I felt passion welling up inside me. I was getting excited as I typed. Soon I could visualize and ending.

My friend/client loved the title I came up with, and no I'm not telling! You will have to wait until this book is in print!

I must write at a faster pace than what I am accustomed. The bulk of my time now is going to be devoted to working on this novel. So until this book is completed, I'm going to be cutting back on my blog postings to once a month.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Around the age of 11, I recall my mother complaining to a neighbor, "I don't know what's wrong with Dianne! She has no interest in having friends. She doesn't want me to invite other kids over. And when I do, she hides her toys!"

"Give her to me for a week," the neighbor replied, "I'll snap her out of it!"

I wasn't doing anything wrong. Nor was I harming anyone, not even myself. I just preferred my own company. Plus other kids were careless with my possessions!

My father was more sympathetic. "Dianne sees other children all day in school," he told them, "If she doesn't want to socialize afterward, don't force her."

Later, most of my High School friendships fell apart in High School. The ones that didn't quickly dissolved in Junior College. Then I made friends with co-workers. But those friendships always ended when the jobs did, usually not of my choosing.

Nowadays I have friends who can't handle things I've said about Donald Trump. And I can't handle things that came out of Trump's mouth!!!  If he was anything resembling a descent person he wouldn't be this divisive!

A lesson I learned the hard way is that friendships like marriages are not always meant to last. Many just run their course and die naturally, while others end badly and extremely so!

The worst enemy I ever experienced, I met at age 40. This woman came on as if she was going to be my best friend in the world! She was encouraging and supportive to my face while I was knifed in the back and undermined at every opportunity by her. Never, was this person actually my friend, only someone pretending to be. Foolishly I made the mistake of trusting her and suffered serious consequences.

As for friends during my childhood, what I remember most about these early friendships is how draining they were. In elementary, it seems I was often friends with some tiny, female Donald Trump. These pint-sized Trumpettes would say really horrid below-the- belt things. I'd turn around and gave it back to them, then it was "BWAAAAH you hurt my feelings!!!  And "I" was a mean and terrible person.

Also there were the little Prima Donnas who for reasons known only to them, suddenly and mysteriously became mad at me. When I inquired as to the problem, I was hit with the ever popular, "If you don't know I'm not going to tell you!" Well I'm not a mind reader! And usually, it was nothing I did, only something they imagined I did.

Example:  I knew a pair of fraternal twins "Sarah & Sadie", equally different in personality as well as appearance, yet they were extremely close. Sarah was more my friend, she had a jolly disposition. Sadie was chronically sullen and so touchy you could offend her without even knowing it, which I did.

Sadie began scowling at me, refusing to speak as we passed in the school halls. This went on for a couple weeks. Then she recruited her sister. Now, I had both of them giving me dirty looks!

Finally, Sarah came to me and said, "I miss you and I don't want us being enemies anymore."

"Why were we enemies in the first place?" I demanded to know. "Because I don't have a clue!"

"Oh, Sadie said that you snubbed her in the hall 3 weeks ago by not saying "Hi" back to her.

Oh good grief! I honestly didn't remember any such incident. And if it bothered her to that extent, she should have confronted me. We could have ironed it out there and then! I explained that my mind was probably elsewhere and I didn't see her. Geez!!!

The following year, I became best friends with a new girl named "Carla". She happened to be involved in a bitter feud with another girl who lived 2 houses over from her. And worse, this girl was in our class that semester. Instantly, I was pulled into this mess and forced to deal with lots of ugly drama! Half-way thru the school year, the 2 of them made-up and became best buddies. I was left out in the cold, so much for my loyalty!

In High School, the word "frenemy" comes to mind. There was a plethora of these! Even those who didn't fall into that category quickly abandoned our friendship just as soon as they acquired a boyfriend. And when they were dumped, of course they wanted my shoulder to cry on! But when the next guy appeared, I was tossed aside and forgotten, again.

Just a few years ago, a close friend's ship to happily-ever-after came along and I was left discarded at the dock. Having this done to me at age 16 was one thing, but I never thought it would happen to me again, especially at age 60!

But I moved on. The majority of my current friends I met after the age of 60.

My 2 longest (lasting until death) friendships for 30 plus years were to Pat & Margaret. They were truly my stormy weather friends. Both ladies were my mother's age, but as completely unlike her as any 2 women can get. Perhaps that's what attracted me to them.

When a friendship starts to wane there are signs. Little cracks emerge. Sometimes they can be patched. But too often those become gullies, which morph into a chasm too wide to cross; still you're connected by a thread. Often, letting go feels good.

However when a friendship ends thru death it's more difficult to move on because no hard feelings are involved, I still think of and miss Margaret & Pat to this day.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Actually, I do have ONE nice thing to say. For eight years we've had a lovely black family residing in the White House. Now, they have been replaced by a piece of white trash with cash!

The United States has turned into a grim reality series starring sleazy Don and the Trumpettes. This aged version of the affluenza brat is now our president. Donald Trump makes me embarrassed to be a citizen of the United States. I have nothing but contempt and loathing for this man!!!

Today, he is taking the oath of office. Guess my voodoo doll is defective, or else I need some of his icky hair to stick on the thing.  Eeeeewww! Forget that! From the look of his complexion & tresses those Golden Showers must stain!

I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. I have never liked this woman. But I voted for her because she was the only qualified candidate and I dreaded the alternative. I am a registered Republican and more conservative than liberal in most ways. I don't even like being in the same camp with many of these liberals. But at least I recognize a turd when I smell one, and Vladimir Poop'ns pal stinks to high heaven!

Trump should have been stopped by his fellow Republicans long ago, but what can be expected from a bunch of political whores and cowards. The Electoral College was created to protect us from con men like Trump; instead, this pile of gutless electors turned us over to him.

He and his whore, Pence not Melania, (Although I question the character of any woman who would take up with Trump.) are now in Washington. Notice how he refers to his vice president as "My Pence" as if the guy is his trained monkey. And that's not far from the truth!

This liar has not drained the swamp; it is now filled with more snakes than ever! The nominees for his Cabinet have fought and even tried to shut down the agencies they will lead. -- This is the act of a despot! Expect our environment to be murdered and our freedoms to be eroded.

NEVER, EVER, forget that even before Trump took office the Republicans (behind closed doors) attempted to gut an independent agency investigating any potential shady actions by our lawmakers. Trump labeled this agency "unfair" and objected only to the "timing" of this move! So expect this sneaky stunt to occur again, only next time it will be successful!

And this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg! Donald Trump was trying to control the press starting back in his campaign and expect greater censorship now that he is office. This is dangerous folks!!!

Trump has stated that the rules don't apply to him. So don't be surprised if we end up with a dictator who can't be voted out.

Trump wants a law passed ending our free speech, making it illegal to criticize him. It will be considered an act of terrorism! In his mind, Trump doesn't have opponents, only enemies. And we're supposed to forget all the ugly things he said during his campaign and NOW, too -- NO!!! That's NOT happening!!! Trump needs a big dose of his own medicine. This is a bully we MUST stand up to!!!

In my opinion, he deserves to be pummeled with spit, rotten eggs, dead rats, & garbage every place he goes!

I cannot fathom how any sane person could vote for this viper! And why does he merit such support from the religious right? He represents everything they should be damning! But really, (No surprise here!) these are a bunch of stinking hypocrites and they've just proven it! If they were true Christians, they'd be praying that God strike Donald Trump dead before he can do damage!

Next holiday season I plan to write "Season's Greetings" on all my cards followed by "Saturnalia wishes upon you!"

I recall Trump's quote that he could kill someone in broad daylight in Times Square and not lose any votes. Heck, he could shoot one of his supporters in full view of all the others, then drop his pants and take a dump on the person. Not only would they still vote for him, they'd line up to lick his ass afterward. These people would have to evolve to be called deplorables!

It is truly disturbing that society has devolved to this point and our nation dragged down to this level. President Pussy Grabber is unfit to be our Commander in Chief. From everything I've seen or heard from him, he needs to be GONE and soon!!! He deserves to be IMPEACHED!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


I was enjoying a private tour of Thailand with my own personal guide & driver. It was a fantasy that had become reality! This was a trip I had planned for 2 years. I sacrificed luxuries, neglected household repairs, & pinched nickels every way I could to afford this trip. Plus I subscribed to an expat Thai newsletter online and studied up on Thailand and its customs. Perhaps this country would become my future home? I had to go there and find out.

First, I had to change planes in Dubai. I didn't know I was going there until my Travel Agent told me. And I must say, the airport there was as interesting as it was stressful.

From Dubai, it was on to Bangkok. Soon it hit me; here I was on the other side of the planet!!! Every day was now filled with wonderful pinch-me-am-I-really-here moments!!! Exotic eye-popping architecture and colorfully dressed people surrounded me. Everything was eye candy for the soul!

Every hotel or resort I stayed had either a terrace or back porch with a scenic water view. And each had a Dragon fruit centerpiece somewhere in the room; plus a tea kettle, burner, along with all the tea fixings. This made for the perfect ending to my exhausting, event-filled days as I journeyed north.

I didn't go drinking in the night clubs, that's not my thing! I was more interested in the culture. I felt privileged to see much of rural Thailand and meet people from the various hill tribes and just explore.

Of course I hit the major tourist spots too, including lots and lots of ornate temples. All are worth seeing!

Don't get me started on the variety of gorgeous merchandise in the markets! If Thailand was not so far away and the flight so expensive & long, I'd go back tomorrow with an empty suitcase & lots of cash! Thailand is filled with amazingly beautiful bargains.

Of course during most of the trip I had swollen feet & calves, plus a bruised body from all the walking, climbing, and tumbles I took, but I'd do it all again. Plus I had 3 flights within Thailand, itself and flying isn't pleasant anymore, to say the least. But that too, was worth it. Thailand was a thrilling experience and one not to be missed!

However, I needed to determine whether or not I would be moving there. Unfortunately, the minus column was the longer. I'm a spoiled American and Thailand is still developing. I needed to keep in mind that if I moved, I would not be living in 5 star hotels & resorts, nor would I have a personal guide & driver. Although these amenities made for a truly memorable and magnificent vacation!!!

Everything remains as fresh and vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday! I can close my eyes and feel back there. It doesn't seem like an entire year ago to me.

My memories of Thailand are nothing short of glorious, and ones I will forever treasure.